Bristol Fourth of July committee to re-vote on route change

By Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

BRISTOL, RI – After thousands of people spoke out against shortening the Bristol Fourth of July Parade route, the committee will take another vote on Thursday at 7pm at the Colt school.

According to Fran O’Donnell, the Committee Chair, committee members  now feel intimidated and in some cases threatened after voting last Wednesday, to shorten the Fourth of July parade route a half a mile.

"Given the intimidation and the nervousness of the committee, I have decided that it is in the best interest of everyone involved to take this to another vote,” said O’Donnell.

But O’Donnell said the main reason behind the re-vote, isn’t because of angry phone calls or e–mails.

Instead, it’s due in part to a complaint filed with the Attorney Generals office, stating the committee violated the open meeting law, and insisted not even all of the committee members knew the vote was taking place.

"That’s the agenda that we post for every single one of our meetings. We made a mistake and we will rectify it, and going forward we will have more specific agendas, but you know we are a volunteer group, we’re not attorneys, we did what we thought we needed to do to comply with the open meeting law,” said O’Donnell.

Many residents on the beginning half-mile stretch of Hope street, told ABC-6 they were happy their voices were being heard.

"Let’s hope the committee hears our voices and changes the vote, and we have our half a mile back in the parade route,”  said Barry Couto.

"It’s wrong, its poorly planned, and it needs to be fixed. The people that orchestrated this situation need to really take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves if this is the proper way to move forward,” said neighbor Jeff Howlett.