To the editor:
Last week Charter Review Commission (CRC) candidate, Andrea Souza, tried to explain her rationale for saying the Budget Committee (BC) was “no better than Stalin, Lenin, or even Kim Jung Un.” There is no rationale to compare Budget Committee(BC) members to murderers. It is offensive and hateful speech. Is this how she is going to behave on the CRC?
Ms. Souza failed to mention that when the BC began the “Open Public Forum” it also discussed ending it when the BC voting began, that no comments were made at four of the meetings, and only 12 people spoke in all. Little of the public comment was about the budget, but rather became a platform for hateful angry rants and personal attacks often filled with false statements toward BC members.
Through all of it, the BC lowered the tax rate by seven cents for all taxpayers. This obviously upset some so much that they decided to run for the CRC to make sure tax decreases don’t happen again.
It is interesting to note that she, along with most of her pseudo- slate, will not answer the Tiverton Taxpayer Association (TTA) candidate questions, including one that asked what the FTR Elector Petition signature requirement should be (currently 50 signatures under the Charter). A review of public hearing minutes from last summer shows that she advocated for 500 signatures. For all the complaining about “ending” public comment, this candidate obviously has no problem “ending” the voice of the taxpayer through the elector petition process.
Two of the three “trio” candidates (Ms. Joselyn and Mr. Paull) also refused to answer the pointed TTA questions. The third, Mr. DeCotis, did find the time to post a photo of himself on Facebook with his new light blue sign, literally posing with two “trolls” who he claims support the “trio” – it’s all online. This is serious business – advocating for changes to the charter that will increase taxes is not a joke. His time would be better spent answering the TTA questions.
Others who “answered” the questions were vague and noncommittal. The public record overwhelmingly shows that certain candidates seek to eliminate the FTR or minimize the voice of the taxpayer to achieve higher taxes.
The TTA endorsed candidates who pledge to strengthen the voice of the taxpayer, not weaken it, and to perform a thorough and meaningful review of the charter. Please learn about the TTA candidates at tivertontaxpayersassociation.org/crc2017 or on COX cable TV channel 18 where TTA candidates are featured on the Richard Urban Show as well as the TTA Candidate Forum.
Donna J Cook
Candidate for Tiverton Charter Review Commission.