To the editor
I’m sure by now the fine folks here in Tiverton have had enough of the rhetoric surrounding the Charter Review Commission (CRC) vote coming up July 18. By rhetoric, I include the “sky is falling” talk about the FTR and your taxes “sky rocketing.”
Here is the reality of it: not a single candidate wants to eliminate the FTR! Even the one candidate who did recently stated he is very open to maintaining it and wants to hear from the other elected candidates.
There is no hiding the fact that the FTR could use say, a “facelift,” if you will. As candidates for the CRC, we have spoken to hundreds of residents that agree the FTR is both good and bad. Good because you vote on your budget. Bad because it allows for petitioners to submit a budget that is not justified and defended in a public forum.
With the passing of the last petitioner budget a number was thrown at the wall and the town was told to essentially “figure it out” if they needed money for specific line items. Do you even realize that every single month in FY17, department heads had to return money to the general fund to cover shortfalls elsewhere?
Residents voted on a petitioner budget which included all of its specific line items, and yet the town was forced to operate inefficiently by taking back from the same departments you voted to send specific monies to!
One may argue that police still respond. The rescue truck still responds. The lights are still on. But that’s not the point here.
The point is you are essentially partaking in the classic “bait and switch”.
As for the casino revenue that the TTA keeps bringing up, this is not necessarily a charter duty. Yes there may need to be language regarding a “Casino Commission”, but the responsibility for the allocation of funds would be in the hands of the Casino Commission, the Town Council, and the host agreement.
That being said, rather than apply every single penny of the host agreement (not the tax revenue as that would go to the general fund) toward infrastructure improvement, debt elimination and economic development, you are being led to believe your taxes can plummet!
Yes your taxes can be reduced, however, isn’t the smarter move to eliminate the debt and improve our overall infrastructure? This would eliminate those line items from your current budget anyway and also lower your taxes, save huge money on interest, and stabilize the financial future for decades! Vote with the better half of your gut feeling on July 18 for Michael DeCotis, Jennifer Joclyn, and David Paull.
David J Paull
Candidate for Charter Review Commission