To the Editor:
There is a four-worded formula for success that applies equally to organizations or individuals – “Make yourself more useful.” Also, tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. In this matter, I can find no tactful way to express my displeasure at what Johnston representative Stephen Ucci has done. He, on his own, left the dugout where all of Johnston’s elected officials are diligently and tirelessly working to rid our town from those odors emanating from the landfill, which we are not responsible for. Stephen, I guess, was not getting a good enough view from the dugout so he decided to sit in the grandstands; you know, become a grandstander.
Is it his wish to extend the timeframe for a resolution to our current problem by forming a legislative commission to study it? What the people of the town of Johnston should know: Since early in October, those of us who care, the mayor, Town Council members and our state senator, have been meeting with the CEO at the landfill and his staff regarding our current odor problem. We are first attempting to determine the source of the problem and then correct it. It has taken too long, but it’s not as simple to accomplish, as some may believe it to be. We cannot just load that landfill on the back end of a truck and haul it away.
We have met with those in charge of Broadrock Energy, the company responsible for extracting the methane gas from the landfill to turn it into electricity. They are involved and working with us. Also asked to be with us was Governor Chafee; although he had short notice, he has been with us at our last two meetings. Along with the governor at the last meeting held at the State House was Dr. Michael Fine, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, and Mr. Terry Gray from DEM [Department of Environmental Management]. We all care.
I have always believed that in order to give a real service to those you represent, you must serve with integrity and be sincere and be willing to tell them the truth. Money is not the problem because the money being spent is from Rhode Island Resource Recovery and Broadrock, and they are working with us to resolve the problem. I’ve been involved since 1982 with that landfill as a resident for years and now as an elected official. Each time a new phase is started, and this is phase 5, they seem to run into problems. I can only guess that if anyone knew why, we would not encounter the same smelly situation.
We are not looking for praise. As I have said before, praise for something worthwhile is worth giving. Praise for nothing is worthless. We would all like to see a solution, an end to our current problem. We then can just breathe easy and enjoy our community without paying special homage to anyone.
Ernest F. Pitochelli Sr.
District 2 Councilman