April 22, 2009

Woonsocket Vote Proves Point of Tea Parties

Marc Comtois

In case you missed it, a Tea Party broke out in Woonsocket the other day (h/t).

As reported by WPRI:

Woonsocket's City Council has voted against a supplemental tax bill that would have raised property taxes by eight percent.

Councilors took the vote late Monday night, following testimony from dozens of residents. Council members said arguments against the bill changed their minds; it was originally expected to pass.

The bill was meant to close the school department's $3.7 million deficit. Councilors plan to meet Wednesday to decide on their next course of action, which could include a lawsuit against the state for more funding.

Why did it go from "expected to pass" to not passing? From the Woonsocket Call:
After some five hours of discussion, at just about midnight, the council...vot[ed] 4-3 against the measure. In the end, it was Councilwoman Suzanne Vadenais who tipped the balance. Early in the evening, she indicated a reluctant willingness to support supplemental taxes, but by the end of the night she had changed her mind.

“It was a very difficult decision,” she said. “After listening to all the people who spoke tonight, I can't vote for this.”

Vadenais joined Councilors Stella Brien, Christopher Beauchamp and Roger G. Jalette Jr. in opposing the measure. Council President Leo T. Fontaine, William Schneck and John Ward were in favor of it.

So, were Woonsocket residents inspired by the "Tea Party Movement" to take a more active role in local government? The signs seem to indicate that was the case. What is for sure is that something has happened to finally push average, apathetic taxpayers into having their voices heard.

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Very disappointed in Leo Fontaine.

Posted by: mikeinri at April 22, 2009 5:30 PM

But I'm not surprised at all.

Posted by: Tyro at April 22, 2009 8:54 PM

Pat Crowley to NEA MIssion Control: "Houston, we have a problem! We may not be able to continue our upward trajectory of pay and benefits. The fuel sources for our mission are tapped out and making rumbling noises. The rumbling noises are starting to spread throughout the ship, and are getting louder."

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at April 22, 2009 11:45 PM

Having heard someone praise the council's decision, you know Sooze will swoop in and take credit for it.

Posted by: rhody at April 23, 2009 1:04 AM

She had urged them not to do this just the day before, Rhody. Yeah, that's the ticket ...

Posted by: Monique at April 23, 2009 7:06 AM

Former Councilman Brian Blais has a great analysis on this vote and the bogus "tea party" analysis.


Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at April 23, 2009 12:21 PM

Jerzyk, As I predicted...the RI Revolution will be televised.

Posted by: Red at April 23, 2009 1:28 PM

hey ragin....


Posted by: Pat Crowley at April 23, 2009 3:52 PM

Matt, I guess those Tea Party-ish signs I saw in the picture were an illusion. Party affiliation in RI can be pretty ambiguous (DINOs and RINOs, etc) so party affiliation is less important than the actions taken. Besides, the fact that all of the anti-tax votes were by Dems kinda sorta bolsters the bipartisan angle of the Tea Party, doesn't it? Blais appears to have misinterpreted Lane's point about the "activist Left", too. (Which undermines that part of his post). It's pretty clear to me that Lane is talking about Progressives who are used to showing up and dominating public forums and are now seeing others participate, too. Lane wasn't talking about an "activist Left behind the measures" at all. Blais clearly took him out of context. The rest of Blais' point about Carrulo, etc. is a fair one.

Posted by: Marc at April 23, 2009 6:37 PM
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