Letter: Letter's critique of councilor was 'misplaced grandstanding'

Posted 10/28/21

To the editor:In response to Candy Seel’s letter in the October 21st issue of The Post:Ms. Seel’s attack on Councilman Cahoon’s leadership, courage, and so-called inability to …

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Letter: Letter's critique of councilor was 'misplaced grandstanding'

Posted

To the editor:
In response to Candy Seel’s letter in the October 21st issue of The Post:
Ms. Seel’s attack on Councilman Cahoon’s leadership, courage, and so-called inability to embrace the future in the Post last week (like everything else I have read from Ms. Seel) is misplaced.

Article after article there seems to be relentless twisting and crumpling of every single city issue or success into something useful for Ms. Seel’s Keep Metacomet Green soapbox.

While I am certainly encouraged by the dedication of my neighbors to their causes, including many in Keep Metacomet Green, with Ms. Seel’s most recent letter I am left somewhat dubious of her sincerity.

Recently I came across an old article from June 3, 2016 “Reporter Today” that announced Ms. Seel’s most recent of 3 failed political runs. This 2016 article is where I learned that Ms. Seel not so long ago had completely opposite opinions on development. That was during her prior campaign for Ward 3 which also happens to be Councilman Cahoon’s current seat.

In that 2016 article Ms. Seel cited developments all over the city as examples of the city “moving in the right direction”. Specific developments she highlighted include the University Medical building which was developed by Ms. Seel’s current nemesis du jour, Marshall Properties, Inc., and Kettle Point, a development on Veterans Memorial Parkway, the same parkway that now serves as a sacred land of quasi-environmental-political rhetoric for Ms. Seel.

What’s more is that green space, climate change, and environmentalism are not mentioned once in Ms. Seel’s 2016 campaign article.

Ms. Seel’s flip flop I can ignore and give her the benefit of the doubt, but what is more jarring to me is Ms. Seel’s unfounded and misleading criticisms of Councilman Cahoon. I can not in good conscience leave that unaddressed.

Councilman Cahoon’s work and dedication to the city is unparalleled. In fact, Councilman Cahoon very often supports the very same concerns Ms. Seel referenced in last week’s letter.

Councilman Cahoon has supported tree planting initiatives from EP Urban Forest, has supported funding of public parks and green spaces throughout the city, has participated in planning events aimed to address concerns regarding rising waters threatening our waterfront, and he has supported ordinances and policies that help encourage redevelopment in existing vacant buildings.

Each time, Councilman Cahoon has led with courage and integrity.

While Ms. Seel’s letter does acknowledge that Councilman Cahoon deserves much credit for the new state-of-the-art high school, Ms. Seel then immediately seeks diminish his well earned pride in this fantastic accomplishment by ignoring the many other initiatives and processes in which he has taken on leadership.

Instead, she states the obvious that the “future of East Providence is more than a building,” countering a proposition Councilman Cahoon never made, nor is it a proposition that could be supported by even a glance at his robust track record in this city.

Ms. Seel’s comment characterizing the new high school as merely “a building” expresses a poor understanding of the importance of schools to future generations and to municipalities as a whole. Moreover, there is something to be said about persistence and real results, after all Councilman Cahoon began tackling the school endeavor during his School Committee days, back when Ms. Seel’s political platform described a very different vision for

East Providence than the one she now preaches. Ms. Seel grandstands “that the future of East Providence is more than a building”— but the future of East Providence is also more than Metacomet.

Sarah Smalley
Riverside

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.