Tattrie playing politics with board appointments

Tattrie playing politics with board appointments


To the editor:

During Thursday night’s candidate forum a question was directed to Councilwoman Cathie Tattrie regarding the methods used to evaluate applicants for board appointments.  Ms. Tattrie responded by stating she favored protocol to promote alternates in spite of the qualifications and experience of other applicants. Now I find this interesting since protocol was not used several years ago when I had applied for a position on the Conservation Commission and prior to that meeting was the only candidate who had applied within the mandatory 30-day period.

Councilman Davison Bolster  spoke up to say the most qualified individuals should be appointed to boards regardless of the circumstances. 

To me this opinion makes sense. Shouldn’t the object be to appoint the most qualified people to our town’s boards? I do not understand the logic behind her statement.

Back In December 2011 there were three appointments to the Planning Board made by the Town Council. Ms. Tattrie chose to vote against one of the candidates, Douglas Kallfelz, an eminently qualified architect with a master’s degree in design from Harvard. In addition to his academic pedigree he also has experience in many of the areas including civic buildings and mixed used housing. He is the Vice President of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. As I recall she was the only councilman to vote against him. 

After voting against Mr. Kallfelz, Ms. Tattrie motioned to appoint Richard Silva, a retired bank branch manager, secretary of Warren Democratic Town Committee and now a Democratic runningmate for Town Council.  Mr. Silva was appointed in a 3-2 vote with Councilors Tattrie, Stanley and Freichs voting in favor — Councilors Bolster and Lial voting against his appointment. How does he have the same qualifications and did the fact he was connected to her political party come into play?  It certainly appears that way to me and I am sure I am not alone in that opinion.
Her reasoning was as Ms. Tattrie told the Warren Times, architects do not necessarily make good Planning Board members because they like to be the architects and might try and influence the plans brought before them.
I believe that once again this is a matter of playing politics taking presedence over the best interest of our town.
Rick Norman
Westminister Street


  1. What are we worried about? These boards don’t accomplish anything. They’re full of people who want things to pad their resume.

    The best thing to happen to Warren over this year could be the sale of Hope & Main. Hope & Main will put Warren in national news and draw people to our town. And, this was done by a private party and her vision. No town boards contributed to this. They will claim they did. But it was 1 person’s sweat and equity.

    We need less government groups/boards, and the same cooperation that we’ve been getting from what I think is a solid diverse council.

    We all know the Warren Conservation Commission does jack. On Earth Day, they hand out snacks and t-shirts emblazoned with Dunkin Donuts logos, while I walk around town picking up litter, most of it being Dunkin Dounts cups and straws (oh the irony).

    If you want to conserve Warren lands, start with your own backyard. Turn it into a backyard wildlife habitat. If you just want to join the WCC, just to pad your resume, keep complaining while our waters grow less potable and swimmable, and while our lands lose less wildlife.

  2. Cathy Tattrie has made the motion to appoint on multiple controversial board appointments in the most recent term.

    John Jannito BCWA – motion to appoint Jan 2011

    George Gempp Asst Harbormaster (paid position) – Jan 2011 – motion to appoint. He only lasted four months in this position resigning in April 2011 under odd circumstances.

    Richard Silva Planning Board – Dec 2011 motion to appoint.

  3. Alligatorman, Lisa Riola (the woman who is responsible for the Hope and Main project) publicly credits the WEDB with leading her to the building and pointing her towards this incubator idea back when she came to Warren expressing her idea about a holistic healing center. Its too bad so many people in town have such bad attitudes towards individuals serving on these boards. If you think the consevation comission is not performing well maybe you could join the board and inject some new energy and ideas. I am sure they could use your help.