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.