David J. Paull was appointed Monday to fill the vacant council seat opensince councilor Joe Perry’s death in mid-September. Paull is expected to be sworn in and seated at the next council …
David J. Paull was appointed Monday to fill the vacant council seat opensince councilor Joe Perry’s death in mid-September. Paull is expected to be sworn in and seated at the next council meeting on Monday, Dec. 11.
Paull, of Warren Avenue, has lived in Tiverton since 2008. He is a retired firefighter/EMT for the Town of Barrington.
He previously served on Tiverton’s budget committee and the Town Farm Renovation Committee, and currently serves as co-chair of the Dog Park Advisory Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for town council in 2018 and again in 2020.
In nominating Paull, councilor Deb Janick said he has regularly attended council meetings, “not just since we had a vacancy in this seat, but for all of the three years I have been on the council.” She added that “he has a good working knowledge of what various town committees do and how town departments interact.”
Paull’s appointment came after councilors briefly debated whether write-in votes cast in the last town election should be considered in filling the vacancy. During that election, the highest write-in vote getters were Paull, with 33 votes, and Dave Perry (no relation), with 35. Perry was one of five candidates who had applied and was interviewed for the council vacancy.
While several councilors pointed to provisions of the town charter that do not permit the town to fill a vacancy based on write-in votes, John G. Edwards V argued that exceptions to the provisions are warranted.
“The charter’s not perfect ... To have those [write-in] votes thrown out and invalidated I think is the antithesis of a functioning democracy. I think it’s incumbent upon us in a democracy in this country to count every single vote.”
In response, councilor Jay Edwards said individuals who disagree with provisions within the town charter should either join the charter review committee or submit suggested changes to the group.
In addition to Paull and Perry, others interviewed for the position included Blake B. Hayden, Stephen T. Clarke and Edwin K. Schober, Jr.
Four councilors — Denise deMedeiros, Deb Janick, Mike Burk, and Jay Edwards — voted in favor of Paull’s nomination. Edwards V and Dennis Milbourne voted to support Dave Perry.