May 23, 2010

A Familiar Drum

Justin Katz

I'm keeping up the posting over on the Tiverton Citizens for Change Web site, including the observation that the drum that the Tiverton School Committee beat prior to our financial town meeting are now being played in West Warwick:

Sports programs and part-time employees join the list of recommended cuts school officials hope will compensate for a $1.2-million hole in the School Department’s proposed $47.8-million budget. …

Topping the list of cuts is the closing of the Maisie E. Quinn Elementary School, a move that will save the district $750,000. …

The School Committee is still discussing this budget, Chairwoman Lindagay Palazzo said Thursday. The committee will review the proposal at the June 8 public meeting, and likely will vote to have a budget ready for the Financial Town Meeting, now scheduled for June 22.

How long, do you suppose, until parents and taxpayers learn that there's a template in play, here.

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"there's a template in play, here."

Sports and after-school activities, education programs, building maintenance, entire school buildings. Everything, EVERYTHING, gets flushed rather than touch compensation.

Posted by: Monique at May 23, 2010 9:23 PM

A few months ago I wrote a letter to the editor which was critical of the Tiverton Town Moderator, Michael Smith. My reasons for being so critical had to do with public statements he made at the time about seeking advice from one special interest group, the Tiverton Citizens for Change (TCC).

However, I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due. Mr. Smith got off to a rocky start during the first day of the Financial Town Meeting (FTM). He clearly spent time between that day and the second town meeting day reflecting on how to improve the process. Knowing firsthand how challenging it is to moderate an FTM, I want to congratulate Mr. Smith for the improvement he showed from the first to the second day of the FTM. As well, kudos to Town Clerk Nancy Mello for fixing the sound system problems and to the counters for a job well done.

I cannot say the same for our elected Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Caron. Starting with last year’s FTM and continuing throughout this year’s budget process and FTM, Mr. Caron has proven to be one of the most arrogant, disrespectful and childish elected officials I have ever met!

Mr. Caron’s toddler-like behavior shines through in his FTM on-stage antics making fun of voters who didn’t agree with him and his enormous ego is illustrated in his May 20, 2010 letter to the Sakonnet Times (“To the FTM no-shows, enjoy your tax hike”). He led a budget process that was anything but transparent, attempted to quash the voting rights of firefighters and police officers, and then his letter chided voters for not supporting him.

I know that some who support the financial viewpoints of the TCC do so because they truly find it difficult to make ends meet, but also understand the importance of community. Mr. Caron and his colleague David Nelson obviously are not in that boat. They don’t care if we have good schools or good community services available to all. They have no interest in working with those who have different viewpoints than their own for the betterment of our town. Simply put, they care little about our town, but only want to hold on to as much of their wealth as they can.

I urge all voters to be wary of anyone who is endorsed by the TCC, especially Mr. Caron, in the Fall elections. We don’t need elected officials who want to ram their own agenda down the throats of our citizens and who lack the civility to govern.

Mike Burk
Tiverton, RI

Posted by: Fair and Balances at May 24, 2010 8:54 PM
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