To the editor:
Good government requires elected officials who come to the table with their own ideas and perspectives about the small and large issues they will face. It also requires that these officials have the ability to listen to opposing perspectives, identify common ground and focus on solutions that balance the competing interests and needs of our citizens.
Effective local government requires a Town Charter – our Constitution – that contains the checks and balances necessary to operate a 21st Century community. It needs to provide sound methods for determining budgets and managing expenses while holding elected officials accountable for their decisions. It needs to ensure that key governmental services are provided as efficiently as possible. It needs to ensure a fair electoral process and that the rights of the minority are protected.
I am running for the Tiverton Charter Commission because I believe that I have the skills, knowledge and experience to be an effective member of this critical commission. I have 20 years of experience working as a legislative liaison for state government which includes writing and negotiating key legislation. As a trained social worker, I am adept at working collaboratively with others and finding common ground. As a former School Committee member, I understand the competing interests of local government.
Some single-issue candidates – Caron, Katz, Coulter, Driggs, LaCroix and Cook to name a few – will want you to believe that I run simply to eliminate the Financial Town Referendum (FTR). Yes, I have been a vocal opponent of the FTR as I don’t believe it is the most effective way to approve budgets for a 21st Century community. However, I also know that, if elected, I will be one of nine members and others won’t necessarily agree with my perspective. I will have to work with them to develop recommendations for you to vote on that make the most sense for all of us.
Additionally, as I said, the Charter isn’t simply about the FTR or finances. It is our Constitution and it prescribes many functions beyond finances and budgeting. Remember, the Charter Commission only recommends changes to the Town Council who then decides what is put on the November 2018 ballot on which you get to vote and have the final say.
I ask you to vote for me on July 18and ask that you also vote for the following candidates: Michael Janick, Gregory Jones, Jason Mello, Kimberly Sutherland, David Perry, Andrea Souza and Donna Edwards. Thank you for your consideration.
Candidate for Tiverton Charter Review Commission