To the editor:
Tiverton voters have a clear choice on election day. There are two distinct slates of local candidates on the ballot: one supported by Tiverton 1st, the other by TCC. The difference between these candidates couldn’t be starker.
Tiverton 1st’s recommended candidates come from a variety of backgrounds and political views. They are united in their belief that preserving our community and school services in a fiscally- responsible way is key to Tiverton’s quality of life. They will promote cooperation, compromise, and community pride, putting the good of the entire town before personal agendas. They support smart economic development, oppose any Sakonnet River Bridge tolls, and have a record of community service.
TCC and its candidates have a record as well. In May’s FTR, rather than unite the town around the Budget Committee’s compromise budget, TCC proposed an alternative budget. It cut $600,000 from the school budget, which would have forced either closing a school or eliminating all extracurricular activities. It raided the town’s General Fund, below the legally required level. It took the $600,000 from the schools and moved it to the municipal budget controlled by the TCC-majority Town Council, a 5% spending increase. FTR voters saw through this plan and rejected it.
In 2010, TCC supported a failed budget that stripped vital community organizations like Visiting Nurses of all funding. Last year, Councilors Nelson and Coulter refused to recuse themselves from a lawsuit against the town seeking to overturn voters’ budget decisions, even though Mr. Nelson had expressed support for the lawsuit and Mr. Coulter’s wife had originally been one of those suing the town.
TCC’s School Committee candidates have denigrated the many achievements of our schools, labeling them “mediocre”. They promise to “never use threats of closing schools or eliminating sports to achieve annual budgets”. Yet they stand by TCC’s annual attempts to gut school funding, which basic math shows would force these very cuts. They won’t threaten destructive cuts; they’ll guarantee them.
Now, TCC claims that they will “oppose ongoing efforts to eliminate the FTR”. The proven fact is that no candidate, nor anyone in town, has suggested eliminating the FTR. What does it say about TCC when their campaign centerpiece is a completely phony issue?
Candidates can say anything during a campaign; judge them on their actions. The record is clear: the TCC candidates will work on the TCC agenda; Tiverton 1st candidates will work on Tiverton’s agenda. Tiverton is a great place to live. Working together, we can make it even better.
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