Block Island Times

Town Council denies Filippi’s re-appointment to Tourism Council

The Town Council held its annual joint meeting with the Tourism Council on January 5, and when the topic of board dynamics was broached, the sparks began to fly. Executive Director Jessica Willi told the council that the board was dealing with a very stressful situation, and it had beenhard to get enough members together to form a quorum.Council Member Martha Ball jumped right to the part of the matter that bothered her the most: the hiring by the Tourism Council of attorney Robert Goldberg. Stating that Goldberg had been in “an adversarial position” to the town as the attorney for Champlin’s Marina since 2002, Ball questioned how and why the Tourism Council would hire him.Willi responded that the members of the Tourism Council had received an access to public records request, and when she approached Town Solicitor Kathy Merolla for advice, she was told that the town’s attorney was “not touching that with a ten-foot pole,” and that she was “on herown.” Willi said she asked other tourism boards in the state for advice on where to turn for legal advice, and Goldberg was recommended.Tourism Council member and former president, Steven Filippi, addressed the Town Council, saying

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