Warren council prez Stanley won’t back down on BCWA ‘witch hunt’ statement

Warren Town Council president Chris Stanley, standing, address Ray Palmieri at Thursday night's town council forum. Warren Town Council president Chris Stanley, standing, address Ray Palmieri at Thursday night's town council forum.

Bad blood still lingers between Warren’s town council president and a group of residents who questioned the governing of the Bristol County Water Authority earlier this year and last.

At an otherwise benign and measured forum for Warren Town Council candidates Thursday night at town hall, council president Chris Stanley responded to BCWA critics when asked by audience member Ray Palmieri whether he regretted saying earlier this year that some residents were on a “witch hunt” and were out to get BCWA officials, most notably board chairman John Jannitto, a friend of his. Among them were Mr. Palmieri, himself now a member of the BCWA board, and Marina Peterson, who was acting as moderator of the forum sponsored by the Rhode Island Voters Coalition.

When asked by Mr. Palmieri if he regretted the statement, Mr. Stanley was resolute.

“I absolutely stand by that,” he said, looking from Mr. Palmieri over to Ms. Peterson. “And I think you and Ray were a part of that. The problem was you chased after single individuals. You weren’t after the institution, you went after people, one man in particular, John Jannitto. He’d stand here (before the council) month after month after month and take the beatings.”

Continuing, he added: “I think you had a concerted effort to go out there and attempt to upset an apple cart for absolutely no good reason. The majority of the accusations you made were baseless and false. I don’t regret making the statement at all.”

Mr. Stanley’s answer drew a loud gasp from Ms. Peterson, though Mr. Palmieri said nothing in response other than to acknowledge Mr. Stanley.

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8 Comments

    • Marina Peterson said:

      I couldn’t agree with you more! There were some excellent questions on developing business opportunities in the town, questions on EBEC, harbor projects, school tax proposals, budgets, and more. I guess that all of these were “measured and benign”. Oh well, as they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”….. You can’t always meet everyone’s expectations.

  1. GaryM said:

    Mr Stanley,

    As Council President, you should be ashamed of yourself. For years, BCWA was taking water from one of the most polluted raw water sources in the state, the Kickemuit, loading it up with chemicals, and passing out to the first in line being your constituents in Warren.

    Thanks to citizens, and not the town council, they are now drinking 100% Scituate water.

    Can you explain to your constituents why the Kickemuit has now been shut down as of June 2012, and why it remained open up until then.

    If you believe this to have been a witch hunt, you are part of the BCWA decades old problem.

    Gary Morse

  2. comn sense said:

    So, Mr Jannitto was a personal friend, and your constituents were only, well, constituents.

    It seems Pres Stanley, you’re quick to put a personal friendship ahead of the interests of your constituents.

    Why don’t you admit it. That this is the real issue.

    And where is the Rep Town Committee on this embarrassment?

  3. Marina Peterson said:

    I believe that most Warren residents have come to realize that there were serious problems at the BCWA that needed to be corrected. New directors, with new ideas were needed to approach these existing problems with an unbiased approach. The fact that Mr. Stanley feels that there were baseless accusations made should concern Warren voters. It shows either a blind allegiance to a friend, or a complete lack of understanding of the issues that needed correction/attention at the BCWA. When our water rates are increased in a few months, much of the blame for these necessary increases rest with all three Town Councils for not being informed on the situation at hand and for reappointing the old guard year after year after year.

  4. drjacoby said:

    Interesting how Ms. Tattrie was silent on this question. She made the original motion to re-appoint Jannitto in January 2011 which was seconded by Mr. Stanley. The vote failed 2-2 due to Mr. Frerichs being absent. The matter was then addressed again at the March 2011 meeting where Mr. Stanley motioned to appoint Jannitto which was seconded by Ms. Tattrie and supported by Mr. Frerichs so it passed 3-2 with Mr. Lial and Mr. Bolster both opposed.

    Why are both Tattrie and Stanley so focused on getting Jannitto? Was this really in Warren’s best interest???

  5. curiosityscout said:

    Mr. Jannitto may not have been responsible for all of the problems at the BCW but this speaks again to board appointments. When things go wrong on someone’s watch it makes sense to make a change and not reappoint the same people. That is not a witch hunt, it is just making a change for the benifit of the community and to regain confidence in the institution.
    I believe these positons are paid which makes it even more of our council’s responsibilty to do the right thing for the rate payers. This can be done with out drama just thanking the individual for thier service and appointing a new board.

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