Budget, Politics & Government, Rhody News, Tiverton

TTA slate will do best job on charter

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To the editor:

Following rushed charter hearings last summer, the Town Council has now called for a Charter Review Commission (CRC) to be elected with the Financial Town Referendum (FTR) topic front and center. Twelve of the 24 candidates running would put the FTR at risk of outright elimination or changes that reduce the rights of Tiverton residents.

The Tiverton Taxpayers Association (TTA) has warned voters about these candidates, but some people insist that TTA candidates are only concerned with the FTR and will not improve any other sections of the Charter. A moment’s thought proves that the exact opposite is true.

Records show that the original drafting of the FTR began soon after the May 2010 Financial Town Meeting and took just about a year. Anyone who remembers that year knows it was very intense for those involved — and tense for the community watching.

Revamping or replacing the FTR will be just as big a task as it was in 2010 – 2011. It is a significant undertaking, and is so critically important to the functioning of the town that tremendous effort and attention will be needed to try to get it right.

Ask yourself: How will a CRC that takes on that monumental task have any time to perform the review of the rest of the Charter?

Answer: It won’t.

The TTA candidates pledge to “protect” the FTR, not replace it. This will free us up for most of the year to perform the charter review we were elected to do.

The dozen candidates who dislike the FTR will be bogged down for the year in myriad complex (and political) issues. They will find themselves in controversy and debate for months. How does this help the Charter? Or the townspeople?

There are two options:

Vote for the TTA slate and keep the FTR intact, clarify a single sentence regarding money from the casino, and spend the next 11 months improving all the other sections of the Charter. This will produce continued taxpayer control over taxes, including revenue from the casino, and a greatly improved Charter.

Vote for some combination of the other candidates and burn up the bulk of the year forming a new budgeting and taxing process that will face fierce political opposition on the November 2018 ballot, add in some provisions for allocating the casino money for spending off the books, and rush the last month to cram in a year’s work on the Charter. This will produce a likelihood of higher taxes, including minimal tax relief from the casino, and a haphazard review of the Charter.

Please learn about the TTA candidate slate (La Croix, Driggs, Caron, Rom, Coulter, Fougere, Clarke, Lopes and Cook) at tivertontaxpayersassociation.org/crc2017. It is composed of attorneys, engineers, business owners, and both past and present elected taxpayers — all ready to spend the year improving the charter, not replacing the FTR. Thank you for bringing the postcard inserted in this paper to the polls on Tuesday, July 18.

Stephen T Clarke

Tiverton

Candidate for Charter Review Commission.

Comments:

Mike DeCotis

Mr. Clarke,

As a newcomer myself to the “political scene” recently I’d like to respectfully ask how many budget committtee, school committee or Town Council meetings have attended? Your perspective from afar feels as though you are one that may live in South Tiverton and dwell in a house that has a substantial tax assessment. It would seem to me that someone that lives in your area of Tiverton of course would be 100% for keeping taxes as low as possible. I also take from your speech at Countryview Estates (where my belief was that political events are not allowed to occur there) that yiubalso do not have children in the school system. My point is that if the FTR is all that the TTA is concerned with then why run for the Charter Review Commission? The charter is the equivalent of the towns constitution and has many parts to it not just one. I also do not think you need to threaten the potential non TTA commission charter candidates by stating in this LTE “that will face fierce political opposition on the November 2018 ballot”. Mr. Clarke, by whom are you threatening here? Sounds like mob mentality in my opinion. Mr.Clarke I am pleased that you have decided after all this time you’ve lived in Tiverton you’ve decided to remove your head from the sand it was stuck in butvyour empty threats are nothing more than why no candidates from the TTA should have the majority of the voters support on July 18th. Myself, Jennifer Joslyn and David Paull are busy giving back to the community and listening and meeting residents to hear what they want in our town. Please keep your opinions to yourself when suggesting that there are “The dozen candidates who dislike the FYR will be bogged down for the year in myriad complex (and political) issues”. You do not know the other candidates; but if you showed up at the Town Hall or the High School people might actually know who you are.

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