Letter: Budget Committee out of touch with Tiverton reality


To the editor:

As a taxpayer, I am very concerned with many of the recent comments that have been made during budget committee meetings.  It brings me great concern when our building inspector is told that it is ok that he is being overworked, should be grateful that he got a vacation, and it’s reasonable that residents wait 30 days for building permits.

It is also careless when members of the committee suggest that our high school should be closed and repurposed for a police/fire/ town hall annex and it is in the towns best interest to bus our 540 high school students to other communities or other states because that's what we did in 1964. Essentially this would be taking Tiverton tax dollars giving them to another community, or state, displacing our town’s children and telling them they are not welcome here, Tiverton taxpayers find no value in educating you.

Our police, fire, and school department heads have all sat before the committee and said the same thing — Tiverton pays the lowest salaries in the state. How can these departments be expected to retain employees when they do not offer competitive wages, funding keeps being reduced and departments have to beg for essentials.  I'm saddened by the fact that the possibility of losing trash pickup is a greater concern than ambulances breaking down, officer safety, providing meals to seniors, keeping a newly built library open and providing quality education in properly maintained schools.

Tiverton is still growing although members of the committee state people are leaving in droves. Currently Tiverton only has 84 MLS listings for single family homes; 14 of these MLS listings are listed as under contract or in inspection period.  Portsmouth currently has 85 MLS listings. Our school enrollment has increased since full-day K has been offered. Elementary schools are at student capacity and the bus my child rides to the middle school is full when it reaches its last student pick up.  I'm not sure where committee members saw empty buses as recently stated but they look pretty full when they drop off our 562 middle school students.

Every citizen and department should be fairly considered when planning our community budget. Those on fixed incomes, hardworking families, young, old, everyone. We all live here together and share the community we have invested in.

Jennifer Joslyn



3 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
joe sousa

You can't expect families living pay check to pay check, or seniors to give more every year. I suggest you and the others take your check book out and donate to the town. The over taxed public has had it with the increases every 365 days.

Wednesday, March 15 | Report this

The argument about taking "Tiverton tax dollars" and "giving them to another community" feels good but isn't. It is not as if all teachers live in Tiverton. Nor is it that the dollars to those retired teachers stay in Tiverton or even in the state. Why not have a school system for every street block? The argument just doesn't make sense.

School enrollment is down 17% over the last 15 years while costs are up 71%. Scale and diversity matter.

Thursday, March 16 | Report this
Ed Davis

Really....do you actually think a neighboring community would want Tiverton's 500 High school students???? Newsflash....just about every neighboring town s dealing with budget issues and overcrowding in schools. Knowing the members of the new budget committee, they think we can just ship the kids out and get a cheap deal. It's not going to happen. Neighboring communities are not going to subsidize another town because they are too cheap to educate their children. I lived in Tiverton for the better part 58 years and sadly, I moved out. What's going on in town with the budget committee and the constant cutting is driving a lot of young families out. No one wakes up and says, "I want to pay more taxes!" But some people are wiling to pay more (and I am paying more where I live) in order to get more!

Monday, March 20 | Report this

2016 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Prudence Island · Riverside · Rumford · Seekonk · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc., email mrego@eastbaynewspapers.com.