Fall Open House for All Conservation Commission Chairs and Liaisons

The RIACC Board is pleased to invite you to an open house at our next regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, November 16th at 7 pm at the Warwick Senior Citizen Center at the corner of Pilgrim Parkway and Rt. 117, three minutes from Airport Road.

As you are probably well aware, Paul Roselli our RIACC Vice-president and Chair, is extraordinary, leading the charge, going all over the state in defense of a truly green energy path as the best way to preserve our green spaces – and the best way to halt plausible disasters.

But he can’t do all this alone.

He and we need a team of leaders to support this effort – and others.

With that in mind, we are recommending a return to our original RIACC founding by-laws and calling for a meeting of all CC chairpersons or their liaisons (representatives to/on the RIACC board) for an early Thanksgiving of sorts.

The occasion will be five-fold: one, to develop some unanimity about the kind of workshops you/we want to see in the 2017 L W C Summit; two, to determine the best use of RIACC funds and finances for the coming year; three, to solidify the best way to deploy local liaisons on the board, that is, the best length of time commitment/service on the board (e.g. stints of three, six months, one year); four, to decide on our status vis-à-vis the RI Department of Environmental Management. And five, I would like to be able to retire from RIACC sometime this January to concentrate more on my teaching and other commitments.

It is equally important, whether Hillary or Donald is elected president, that we consider issues that will determine the direction and modalities of our future efforts These are all weighty issues, issues that will determine the direction and pathways of our future efforts. It is imperative – equally important — that a representative from each CC attend. Refreshments will be available.

So our agenda, briefly will be:

  • How the yearly summit can best or better serve our interests
  • How best to use our limited financial resources
  • How we can ensure continued strong representation on our board
  • How we can best determine our unique role in the state matrix of environmental organizations, (a plethora of land trusts, RIDEM, TNC, town councils, town planning processes, and interested residents generally)
  • How we can choose wise leadership going forward

A solution for busy-lives that actually allow those lives to either become part of the RIACC board and our associated and collaborative makers of change and creative contributions:

  1. Each commission offers one of its members for a once a month tithe of time (a ninety-minute meeting), serving on the RIACC board for a period of say stints ranging from 3 months to 1 year, or some variant like a fall semester or a spring term… You can do this, your commission has someone who can make this kind of donation of time on a regular basis for a limited period of time…
  2. A RIACC network of talents and contacts is developed and established, whereby commissioners become a reliable bank of skills, gifts and assets such as legal expertise, PR expertise, digital/website expertise, writing or public speaking expertise, where-to-go-to-for-immediate help expertise, financial expertise, access to rooms or facilities expertise, etc. – so a living network of resources that can be deployed in different situations or for a given, delimited project.
  3. Recasting the formal structure of RIACC such that there is an emphasis on a small core group working on a consensus model of decision making – intense community building, if you will.
  4. All board members seeing themselves as dedicated leaders imbued with a sense of mission – and ready to step forward immediately.
  5. A considered change in the organizational model of RIACC to reflect on changes in or to the very concept of a municipal conservation commission. Take, for example, the aim to have one person be the environmental agent or voice of conservation in the town who sits on the town review board — like the technical review board in Smithfield, which includes a town engineer and town planner and which follows the guidelines of the town comprehensive plan in a preliminary informal conversation(s) with an interested developer… Or, to be the “local eyes and ears” of DEM and charged with DEM coupled with town comprehensive plan enforcement… Or, to be town stewards watching over town inventories of environmentally protected or sensitive land in a purely advisory but visionary way, one that is seriously custodial of the town or area’s future.


What do we want to truly accomplish in this state? What could only a state wide organization do that can help you achieve — what?

Forget Donald, forget Hillary!

What would Alexander Hamilton urge at this juncture? (“Ain’t gonna waste my shot!!”)

Come celebrate the passage of the Green Economy Bond Vote. Join us for a show, some food and some good and thankful plotting in November. Bring a colleague!


Dan Novak, RIACC President

PS Please forward relevant ideas to me, or to Paul Roselli at our new Facebook page: RIACCUSA. We want to hear from you. A precise agenda will be sent out before our gathering.

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