To the editor:
The 2012 election will be one of the most important in Tiverton’s history. In our new Financial Town Referendum (FTR) world, many Tivertonians continue to point to taxes as issue number one facing them today. The outrageous spending increases of the past have been put behind us, but their effects still persist. To reform Tiverton’s budget process this Town Council has partnered with Police, Fire and Teamsters to finalize labor contracts which recognize the dire budget issues facing our community. These long term contracts minimize risk of big spending increases in future years by sharing in efforts to address rising healthcare and pension costs. Another clear example of constraint is the flat, five year waste disposal contract with Patriot Disposal. Choosing a different path, our current School Committee has demonstrated less of the sensitivity to budget pressures than many of Tiverton’s hardworking families would like to see. TCC candidates for School Committee recognize this issue of budget reform and have promised not to close schools, stop athletics, music or other extracurricular programs to achieve budget goals.
Our work is not done. Leaders of the effort to defeat the popular FTR and Tax Cap last November have made no commitment to preserve this hard won taxpayer success. To the alarm of many, the Chairman of the Budget Committee traveled to Providence to argue against Assembly approval of the FTR Charter Amendment, in defiance of the overwhelming majority of voters who supported its passage. The equation for Tiverton’s fiscal balance is dependent on spending restraint. TCC does not call for significant service cuts; we call for restraint of new spending to rebuild our town, while we attempt to attract business to our Industrial Park, and other appropriate areas in town. We are working against the tide of living in a state with the worst business climate in theUnited States.
Tiverton residents are tired of the ritual scare tactics of imminent doom to drive more spending. Holding down spending and the size of government is a key step in stabilizing our communities’ future. TCC will not hide behind platitudes of ‘preserving services’ for an excuse to raise taxes on those least able to pay them.
The Tiverton Citizens for Change leadership team has signed a pledge not to leverage the closing of schools or cutting extracurricular activities for political advantage during a budget debate, to hold tax increases and spending down, and to fight the Sakonnet River Bridge Tolls. Our record is one of success, and we hope that you will support our efforts to continue that reform by supporting our team in November
Tiverton Town Council
President Tiverton Citizens for Change