To the editor:
Twelve candidates for the Charter Review Commission failed to show up for the Tiverton Taxpayers Association (“TTA”) Candidate Forum, and, except for vague answers from two, did not answer the TTA questionnaire. Nevertheless, public records exist:
Many of these twelve seek to increase the number of signatures required on an Elector Petition – anywhere from 500 (as many as US Congress candidates) to 1200. Some want to limit the dollar amount any elector petitioner can change a Budget Committee (BC) recommendation. Some have suggested eliminating the BC, and the Financial Town Referendum (FTR), allowing the Town Council to do the budget with no direct voter failsafe.
DeCotis, Jocelyn, Paull (the trio): Self-proclaimed “fresh faces”. In 2015, DeCotis advocated for all day kindergarten to save his own family the expense and hassle of afternoon daycare, and in this paper said “shame” on retirees, or TTA supporters who voted for lower tax increases.
In this paper this week, DeCotis, states the BC level funding of School Department proves we have no regard for the children’s education, but fails to mention the school department’s $3.4M surplus. Also, not mentioned is the fact that the BC just delivered you, the taxpayer, a tax rate decrease. Jocelyn, in this paper, said she was “appalled” when the BC (as was always planned after hearings ended and budget votes began) removed the “Open Public Forum” from the agenda and approved speakers’-names-only in the minutes, failing to mention this was due to the BC secretary (Candidate Janick’s wife), drafting one-sided minutes against the taxpayer). Paull: In this paper this week wants elimination of existing elector petition taxpayers’ rights (remand option); refuses to detail his FTR “facelift”, fails to state that FY17 budget transfers occurred because then BC “tax and spenders” (like the trio) had punished taxpayers for their vote to limit the tax increase; and removes the taxpayer direct vote in the use of Casino revenue. Alarmingly, the trio lawn signs are displayed by staunch union supporters.
Souza: In this paper, stated she thinks the BC no better than “Stalin, Lenin, or Kim Jung Un”, and “un-American” for removing “Open Public Forum” (see above).
Sutherland: In this paper this week asks if she is “naive”, and says, maybe so. Well, she is “naive” – she does not comprehend the gravitas of CRC recommendations.
Jason Mello: This week, in this paper, provides no details on FTR modifications, and advocates districting, making it harder to find quality candidates.
The approved TTA Candidates: Justin W. LaCroix, Nancy L Driggs, Jeffrey E Caron, Richard A Rom, Robert D Coulter, Raymond D Fougere, Stephen T Clarke, William F Lopes, Donna Cook support voter rights and lower taxes, have taken a pledge to protect the FTR and protect the Casino revenue, have responded to questionnaires, written many letters, and participated in televised candidate forums. www.tivertontaxpayersassociation.org/crc2017.
Candidate for the Charter Review Commission