Charles Allott of Portsmouth named land trust's director
PORTSMOUTH — Charles ("Chuck") Allott has been named executive director of the Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT), a nonprofit group that works to preserve Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character.
Mr. Allott, an attorney who lives in Portsmouth, has been serving as ALT's interim executive director since December 2012, shortly after Ted Clement stepped down. The land trust's board of trustees voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Allott on Thursday.
On Friday Mr. Allot said that "based on the quality of candidates" that ALT heard from, he was surprised by the appointment.
"They did a national search, so they had some very good candidates who had more experience in running a land trust than I do," said Mr. Allott. "But I have many local contacts as well as a good lead on the island that an outsider wouldn't have. So that worked in my favor."
Board of trustees Chairwoman Linda L. Ujifusa said Mr. Allott was chosen "because of a broad consensus that he could best lead ALT to conserve the next 2,000 acres and steward our conserved properties, as well as maintain and build positive partnerships with ALT stakeholders.
"In sum, the board selected Chuck because he would make sure that ALT continues to pursue successfully its mission of, 'Preserving Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community.'"
Mr. Allott was one of the founders of ALT and since 1990 has been active on virtually all of the land trust's committees as well as the board of trustees.
A lawyer who has specialized in real estate and municipal law in private practice, Mr. Allott served on the Town Council from 1999 to 2002, and is also a former assistant town solicitor.
What's his first priority as executive director?
"The next 2,000 acres!" said Mr. Allott, before adding, "Just generally protecting the watersheds, farmlands and parklands — such as the Glen. We preserve a lot of parks in the Newport area as well."
ALT is currently in negotiations with the Town of Portsmouth on a plan to conserve and enhance the former Elmhurst School property at the Glen. ALT is offering $1 million toward tearing down the Elmhurst School — closed in 2010 — in exchange for an ongoing conservation easement which would include a public waterfront park.
For more information about ALT, visit www.aquidnecklandtrust.org.