There are two items on the Portsmouth Town Council agenda this evening that could use the support of folks who want to promote a progressive agenda. Back to back items for consideration are a request by the Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) to help conserve the Spruce Acres Farm, and a plea from the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) for the Town to pay up on their support.
The ALT proposal is $300K (to be split over two years) to enable purchase and conservation of 22.6 acres of farmland on the Portsmouth/Middletown line. This is not just good for environmental reasons (although it does help protect our watershed), it also makes good sense economically, since a subdivision at this location would add to town infrastructure costs.
For AIPC, the case is even simpler: the town has been withholding its promised annual payments to the island-wide planning group, demanding an audit. Voices on the right have objected to the AIPC on tin-foil-hat conspiracy grounds (basically, anything that smacks of "planning" triggers these folks). The AIPC has been responsible for bringing in over $2.5M in government and private funding for island planning efforts over the last two years, and yet the Republican-led Portsmouth town council has been stiffing them for $36,000.
You can read the briefs linked above, and if you can make it to the meeting to support these items, it will make a big difference for our town.
If you can't make it, you can always drop an e-mail to our Town Council. Here's a sample you could copy and paste to get you started.
Please support ALT and AIPC
Dear Town Council members:
As a resident and taxpayer in the Town of Portsmouth, I'm writing to urge you to support the requests by the Aquidneck Land Trust and Aquidneck Island Planning Commission scheduled to be heard on Monday, February 27.
The ALT proposal would be a valuable addition to the conserved properties in Portsmouth, and would help to maintain the character of our town.
The AIPC has done great work supporting all the communities on Aquidneck Island, and deserves our support. Now that they have provided audited financial statements, there is no reason not to release their funding.
Thanks very much for your support of these important efforts.