Budget, Politics & Government, Rhody News, Tiverton

Council decides which charter changes go on ballot


To the Editor:

By now most Tiverton voters are looking forward to next Tuesday, July 18, as it means this is the last week of all the letters to the editor by candidates and their supporters. It is the last week of hearing from the Tiverton Taxpayer’s Association’s (TTA) tired message that the Financial Town Referendum (FTR) is for some reason a sacred cow! It is the last week of some members of the TTA pretending that they know what other candidates are thinking when they don’t even come close!

I believe your choice is simple. If you really believe that the FTR is the best thing that has come to Tiverton since sliced bread, then feel free to vote for those candidates supported by the TTA. Clearly they will do anything they can to protect what they built regardless of whether a majority of Tiverton voters think it should be protected.

However, if you believe that Tiverton needs a Charter – our Constitution – that will move us forward into the 21st Century, and if you understand that the Charter is much more than simply how we vote on town and school budgets, then I ask for your support for me and the other seven candidates endorsed by the Tiverton Democratic Town Committee (TDTC). These candidates in their order on the ballot are Michael Burk, Michael Janick, Gregory Jones, Jason Mello, Kimberly Sutherland, David Perry, Andrea Souza and Donna Edwards. Two of these candidates are Independents (Jones and Sutherland) and the rest of us are Democrats.

We are not single-issue candidates and we do not believe the FTR, or any part of the Charter for that matter, is a sacred cow to be protected. We believe it is important to do our research, to look at how other Rhode Island communities address key issues in their charters, and consider how we can help Tiverton be a successful 21st Century community. We believe that our Charter must work on behalf of all our citizens, not only for the members of a small special interest group like the TTA. We have our individual perspectives but know that we must work together to come develop recommendations that make sense for you to vote on in November 2018.

Yes, that’s right, the Charter Commission doesn’t unilaterally make changes to the Charter as the TTA would have you believe. The Commission makes recommendations to the Town Council and the Town Council decides which recommendations are placed on the November 2018 General Election ballot. You then get the final vote.

The polls are open from 7 am – 8 pm on Tuesday, July 18th. Visit the Tiverton Democratic Town Committee’s Facebook page for information on your polling location.

Mike Burk

Candidate, Tiverton Charter Review Commission


the Breeze

I’m confused; you write, “regardless of whether a majority of Tiverton voters think it should be protected”… but the FTR is voted on in the past and the majority of Tiverton voters have passed the budgets supported by TTA. I think you meant to write “the majority of the people you know in Tiverton”. You might want to get out more and meet the other 14,999 of us.3 DAYS AGO | REPORT THIS

joe sousa

“the Breeze

I’m confused”

You got that part right.

Laura Rom

You Mr. Burk, are very well aware that candidates running for the Town Charter Commission have a very clear understanding of how the commission recommends changes to the Town Council, allowing the recommendations to be placed on the ballot to be voted on by the voters. Making false statements to the contrary makes you look uninformed and desperate.

The reason the FTR should be protect is because it works for the voters of Tiverton, allowing any voter the opportunity to submit an additional budget. As a commissioner, I would support a recommendation to the charter that the town provides a public workshop outlining the procedure for submitting a voter budget petition. Voters should always have a budget choice, and had you and your 3 elected official co-sponsors followed the procedure of submitting your elector budget petition correctly, we would have had 2 budgets to choose from this past budget election and the town would not have wasted money on defending a frivolous law suit.

tubby barton

Ms. Rom, maybe we can find some common ground here. Do you also agree that the frivolous “law suits” and charter complaints filed by Katz, Cook and the Coulter/Nelson council (all of which were unsuccessful) were also a huge waste of taxpayer money?

Laura Rom

Mr. Barton, any frivolous government law suit is a huge waste of taxpayer money regardless of who files. I do not feel comfortable commenting on the law suits that you named as I do not know all of the detail, however the outcome is not the issue, the validity of the suit is what is objectionable. I was present for the BOC meetings on this last budget petition law suit that was filed by 4 elected officials and strongly supported by Mr. Burk, and it was a frivolous attempt to overturn in court the decision that had been unanimously voted on by the Board of Canvassers and very strongly supported by the legal opinion of the Town Solicitor.

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