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Argument Erupts Before Town Manager Job Review

Tempers flare between resident Julie Campisani, and councilors David Crook and Glenna Hagopian.

An orderly charter review meeting exploded into an argument between a resident and a pair of town councilors on Monday night, before a scheduled review of Town Manager Grady Miller’s job performance.

The fireworks came at the conclusion of a meeting between the charter review committee and the town council. The temperature flared in the small boardroom at town hall, where the meeting was held.

Julie Campisani, of 48A Narragansett Avenue, angrily accused councilors Glenna Hagopian, David Crook and Alisa Trainor Fleet of colluding to call the performance review to fire Miller.

“Town council members meet independently and make decisions that impact this town,” Campisani said. “It’s not permitted to allow Mr. Crook to hold full meetings with other committees.”

Campisani said she had proof that the council had met in violation of Rhode Island open meetings law.

“If in fact, you go to closed session, and Grady Miller is terminated, I will speak with the ethics committee and the attorney general,” Campisani said.

“Oh really?” Hagopian said. “I would encourage you to share it.”

Campisani said in reply, “Maybe we can’t get rid of you today or tomorrow,” at which point Crook exclaimed, “Jesus Christ,” and left the room.

As Campisani continued, Hagopian said, “I’m very thrilled to hear your opinions.”

Campisani said in response, “I know you’re not, but that’s okay.”

Hagopian denied her claim that anything had been decided about Miller’s job.

“Wherever you’ve gotten your information about pre-configured decisions or that any decision is going to be make tonight is wrong,” she said. “We are here tonight to have a discussion here tonight with five people, and with Grady, and our solicitor.”

Campisani then addressed her remarks to Miller.

“So Grady, if I call your office tomorrow and you’re not there, I know you’re gone and I know my next step,” she said, which got a round of applause from the crowd of about 25.

She said to the council, “We can’t get rid of you today, we can’t get rid of you tomorrow, but November 2012, you’ll all be gone.”

This statement got another round of applause from the crowd, at which point Campisani left. She briefly exchanged words with Crook on the way out.

The council went into executive session at about 8:15 p.m. to discuss Miller’s job performance. As of 9 p.m., they were still in executive session.

I'm Tired of the Games September 28, 2011 at 04:37 PM
NonnieMouse: Not bitter at all. Look into the pending littigation and some of his PA announcements at the beach. I have darned good sources as to what goes on in Town. Yes, there were issues that needed to be addressed with Mr. Miller, but they should be handled internally, not the grandstand play by Ms. Hagopian.
NonnieMouse September 28, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Gee Tired, your definition of "bitter" must vary greatly from mine. You sound as if you have a VERY personal agenda against Mr. Fontaine, and other town employees. Also, you aren't the only one with "darned good sources", so perhaps you need to check those.
I'm Tired of the Games September 28, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Naw. If my definition is not the same as yours so be it. I call it accountability for Mr. Fontaine. Only met him once, but witnessed a couple of his tirades against some of the Town employees. I have the highest respect for Town employees who do an excellent job under the working conditions they frequently endure while Dept. heads skate away. I'll stick with my sources who I've known for years. Once again, Mr. Miller deserves our support in moving Narragansett forward.
Too Funny September 29, 2011 at 05:04 PM
This town is such a joke
My Opinion September 30, 2011 at 12:24 AM
For what it is worth a hand full of Grady Miller supporters, the special interest groups, have voiced their support for a job well done. At the same time, the state of morale regarding town employees has never been worse. This is interesting when you consider that there is 12% unemployment and those in today's work force covet jobs and have an appreciation for how lucky they are to have jobs in such a terrible economy. All things considered this is very telling. Grady Miller has done a wonderful job as a tireless self promoter spending an inordinate amount of time catering to special interest groups in town. At the same time he has failed miserably at assuming his responsibility as a leader which is what he was hired to do. The town manager should be aware that his duty is to the taxpayer, not to himself. The town council, as Grady has implied, has made his job a greater challenge with pay and hiring freezes. The truth is that the economy has dictated that and the town council is thoughtful enough to recognize the economic terrain. Maybe the town council was right to exercise their duty to review Gradys job performance in order that he be made aware of what is going on around him.

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