Editorial: East Providence needs to appeal most recent TLA-Pond View/Kenlin Properties court ruling

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There's arguably no more important aspect to the future fiscal fortune and security of the city then what is and will be planned on the East Providence waterfront.

The Commission charged with overseeing the area to date has done an admirable job, adding both important tax dollars to the city coffers while also raising the profile of the location with the inclusion of several reputable businesses and facilities.

What the city doesn't need is for the waterfront to be mired in a literal and figurative mess like the one that has embroiled East Providence for the last several years with the likes of TLA-Pond View and the land owner, Kenlin Properties.

There's no argument that the recycling plant started out on the right path. Everything pertaining to permits and the process was done to the letter of the law. It may not have been the most prudent of decisions 15 years hence, but the plant has the right to operate per the original variance.

However, much like the operation itself, things and times change. If we are to believe the dozens of local residents and neighboring business owners, and there's no reason not to, then those running the facility have not lived up to their end of the bargain. In fact, they've likely broken one too many promises.

With that being written, the City Council needs to do the right thing. The individual Councilors need to set aside any past loyalties or political obligations and vote to appeal the recent Superior Court decision.

There are two lock solid votes on pursuing an appeal to the State Supreme Court. One of the remaining three members of the Council has to have the guts, the gumption to do what's right, to listen to the will of the people in the area.

It's not the only place in the city that needs the Council's support, but at the moment it's arguably the most important.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.