Tourism expresses frustration over timing of PUC meeting
Members of the Tourism Council expressed frustration at their most recent meeting about the timing of an upcoming public hearing on the draft agreement that has been struck with Interstate Navigation. Some members of the Tourism Council felt that members of the public were not given sufficient opportunity to weigh in on the issue and also felt that scheduling a public meeting after a prospective agreement had been reached seemed futile. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 4 at Town Hall and the draft agreement was announced March 4 at a Town Council meeting.
“If the agreement has already been reached, why have a meeting,” asked Tourism Council Vice President John Cullen.
“It feels as though they put the cart before the horse,” said Second Vice President Brad Marthens, referencing the fact that the draft agreement was announced before the public hearing was scheduled. Marthens suggested that the Tourism Council be more proactive in presenting their opinion when such an agreement comes up again. “We should send in a formal response to the Town Council,” said Marthens.
Block Island Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kathy Szabo said, from the audience, “It seems as though [the state and the PUC] have made up their minds,” adding that she sent a letter about the matter to the council that did not receive a response.