As a financial planner and a member of the Rhode Island Estate Planning Council, I frequently practice and study personal, commercial and trust asset transfer cases like the Town Annex. In short, Caleb Chadsey was not a king and North Kingstown was not then, and is not now, a monarchy. One man could not “forever assign” his intention, which equated to a wish and financial obligation upon the municipality and taxpayers for all of eternity. The term “forever assigns” is interpreted in the modern estate-planning community as “relinquishing all ownership rights and remainder interests.”
The Annex, originally the centerpiece of Wickford, is presently in serious jeopardy of becoming the central eyesore. This situation is further exacerbated by the approach of one councilwoman, acting alone and against other members of the Town Council, to the attorney general. This obstruction of transferring this building per the will of the voters is a gross abuse of taxpayer funds and man-hours of North Kingstown municipal staff that should be allocated on other matters of higher priority town business. The cost of the special election alone totaled $13,500, not including the amount of administrative time abruptly required to respond to the attorney general and produce over 300 pages of documentation for review.
May the will of eight of 10 North Kingstown voters prevail, and may all voters remember those responsible for the unnecessary energy and expense in the November election.
Mary K. Brimer
The author is the owner of Ginger Green Financial and a declared candidate for Town Council.