Now Tiverton Budget Committee seeks to silence critics


To the editor:

When we chose to buy our first home last year, we chose Tiverton for its small town feel despite adjacency to bigger cities. When we bought the house, we chose to pull our daughter from a small private school and trust in the schools our new town offers. As a public school teacher myself, I believe in public education; it is truly the great equalizer in our nation. You can imagine my horror when I witnessed the Tiverton Budget Committee shoot down a 1% increase in net school spending as though they were asking for millions. This is certainly not what I had in mind when purchasing a home for my children.

Tiverton residents need to know that the schools, library, and pretty much every other public works are in danger to the rogue wishes of certain members of the budget committee. Attend any Tiverton budget meeting and witness the personification of the saying, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Under an archaic charter, several members of the committee are disrespectful, demeaning, and only looking toward their own interests. You can witness the members of the committee shouting at town residents as they try to speak during citizens’ input.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that at the March 16 meeting, it was deemed that public input was no longer necessary and the committee voted to remove it despite it not being placed on the agenda (a violation of the open meetings law.) Public input was called “not productive” and members said they felt “attacked” by those speaking. Funny, I thought these were people elected to represent the citizens, not silence them. Each aspect of the recent meetings has been almost unbearable to watch and the student senate meetings I attended as an undergrad had more decorum and sense of Robert’s Rules than these held by our elected officials.

Today I implore the budget committee to do their due diligence as elected officials and act in the best interest of the town. Cuts to schools, fire, police, or the library are simply intolerable. But most importantly I urge all Tiverton residents to unite and let the budget committee know that this will not stand in our town. I assure you, their budget impacts us all. This will not be another year in Tiverton of petitioners budgets getting passed under our noses. We are unified, we are aware, and we want only the best for our children and our community.

Shannon Dufresne



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joe sousa

Shannon being new in town I can understand your lack of knowledge in the electoral system we use to place town's people on this Committee. They were elected to do what they are doing. I know you want to wake up the town, but we are not sleeping. Too many have to work two jobs just to break even each month. They don't get summers off either.

Feel free to pull out your check book and pay more to the town. Thank you in advance.

Sunday, March 19 | Report this
Helen Reddy

Mr. Souza,

We regret having to inform you that the American flag is still flying over the post office. Thus, the American way of life is alive and well and thank the good Lord. Clearly your communistic "We must only have what our poorest can afford" mentality doesn't fly hear, again, our American flag flies here. If there are people working two jobs (and I do mean if) that's called being an American. Tiverton should not be restrained from improving because we have people who work hard... are you serious? Frankly, I think you're generalizing and you just don't want to personally open your dusty old coin purse. You are the problem. If people like you still had your way, we'd still be using out door plumbing and sharing a telephone line with our neighbors. It's time to grow... actually, it was time to grow about 15 years ago. Two of our school buildings are literally infested with asbestos, our fire chief drives a hoopty, 28 police officers is not enough and our library is in need of better staff and more staff. We need trash pickup, street lights, better infer structure and less Dollar Generals. We NEED to stop electing the same people and expecting different results!!! Duh?!

Clearly this town has out grown your ability to comprehend the future, may I recommend a quaint little dacha in the chilly area known as Siberia? I'm sure I could rangle up a few thousand people that would love to help you move (and all the others who live in the land of make believe). Thanks in advance for giving me one more thing to thank my parents for... which would be the immunity to the disease in Tiverton known as "that's the way we've always done it itis"

PS John... you may want to see a doctor about that... sounds like you've got a pretty bad case!

Monday, March 20 | Report this

It never ceases to amaze me. The emotional reaction of those who want to continue to raise the tax burden in Tiverton that is.

I think logically. Tiverton population is about 15,780... TOTAL.

The 2016-2017 BC submitted a 49.5 Million dollar proposal. a bit more than 10 million paid from the state.

29.6 Million of that is for the School Department.

.7 million Municipal, 5.1 million for Admin, 5.8 million for PP&P, .6 million for Library, 2.3 million DPW, .1 million for parks...

I've lived here since 2004. Never seen a budget request less than the year before (even though every year the increases are for "one time" expenditures. The fact that every year some factions of the town ask for more money demonstrates they are incapable of working within their means. What really gets me is that these same people vote for a casiNO based on supposed windfall of cash to lower taxes becasue there's so many foreclosures in Tiverton. Which is it? Taxes are too high causing foreclosures, or we need to increase taxes? And I don't buy the foreclosure - tax link anyway... no bank has ever foreclosed because someone didn't pay their taxes, they forclose when you don't pay your mortgage...

Tuesday, March 21 | Report this

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