It has been 56 days since our Secretary of State Gorbea administered the oath of office, to our newly elected North Kingstown Town Council. On that day, five elected officials committed to our citizens that they would “faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Town Council”
Transparency in the duties of the people’s business, is the foundation of American government. This weekend’s actions of the sitting Town Council prove that they have little commitment to this cornerstone, by keeping the citizens in the dark to covertly do its business. The public has a right to expect its government to always conduct its business in the sunshine and as open as possible. But, somehow we’ve already arrived at a time where a search process for our town’s next CEO, our Town Manager, raises many questions.
It is unacceptable for the leadership of this Town Council to not provide timely public notice. I understand that posting the agenda to the Secretary of State’s website at 3:30pm on the Saturday before a Monday night meeting that will be held at 5:30pm, meets legal compliance, but it does not meet the needs of our citizens. On the same token we had Town Council members who wanted to hurriedly bring together a citizen’s panel to review past candidates. What was this panel’s recommendation? No one knows, because it was never published or allowed to see the light of day.
The covert nature of this hiring, unfortunately lends itself to questioning this appointment right out of the gate. This ill formed and staged process, carried out by a majority of members of this Town Council breeds concerns about the process and with it paints negative perceptions of the new Town Manager, before he or she can even begin.
By the time this letter reaches you, we will most likely know the outcome of this critical leadership position in our town. We will know emphatically, if this newly elected council’s first major decision for our community was made in the best interest of its citizens, students and businesses or if was it made to satisfy a political agenda.
With that I will ask, did our Town Council members faithfully discharge it’s duties to us as citizens of this town?
Jason Albuquerque, CGCIO, C|CISO
North Kingstown Republican Committee