Tiverton, the November 6 election is for the town, too

Tiverton, the November 6 election is for the town, too


To the editor:

At the Nov. 8, 2011 special election, with a large voter turn-out, Tiverton residents voted 2 –to-1 to replace the financial town meeting with the Financial Town Referendum (“FTR”).  They fought the battle, won the victory against groups determined to maintain the status quo of the financial town meeting, and keep the control of the budget in service of their special interests.  There still exists a small group of people who opposed the FTR and are trying to destroy it.

It was members of the current Town Council such as Joan Chabot, Jay Lambert, David Nelson, and Rob Coulter, who made their victory possible through their support of the recommendations of the Financial Town Meeting Changes Advisory Committee (“FTMCAC”), of which I was co-chair.

What the FTR has brought Tiverton citizens is:  a control over  property taxes, especially with a tax cap protection; a reform of the budget process, especially giving taxpayers advance knowledge of all budget options (no more surprises on the floor of the gymnasium during a financial town meeting);  the ability to vote in private, on their own schedule, in five or ten minutes (no more having to be subject to ridicule or boos from members of the community at increasingly raucous financial town meetings); the ability vote by absentee ballot, and, with the assurance of an accurate vote count (no more shenanigans and shadiness of floor votes).

The destruction of the FTR would be a huge setback for the Tiverton taxpayer.  The positions towards the FTR of many of the candidates running for Town Council are well-known (Chabot, Lambert, Nelson, Coulter, Driggs).  Joe Sousa and Peter Mello are also in support.   The importance of voting for any person in support of keeping the FTR cannot be over-emphasized.

On November 6, remember the battle Tiverton citizens won to say freely how they want their hard-earned tax dollars spent, and vote only for those candidates who pledge to fight to keep the FTR.

Nancy L. Driggs

Chair, Voters for the FTR



  1. To All,

    For the record, I am a candidate for Tiverton Town Council (though not endorsed by the TCC) and in no way, shape or form have I ever made any statement or claim regarding eliminating the FTR. The voters put it in place and so it is. Let’s move on.

    This is really a non-issue in my opinion and a distraction from addressing the real issues facing Tiverton. In fact, I can honestly say that no one I have talked to (candidate, citizen or otherwise) has advocated for — let alone mentioned — trying to eliminate the FTR.

    As is evidenced by the Candidate Forum hosted last night by the Newport Daily News and broadcast on Cox Cable Access, all the candidates (at least the 12 of the 14 who attended) agree that focusing on economic development as a vehicle for lessening the residential tax burden and increasing our municipal revenue stream, in addition to a sound, transparent, and collaborative budgeting process is the way forward for making good on our responsibilities to the town and its citizen.

    As a community, we must roll up our sleeves and move forward, not dig in our heels and dwell on the past

    Bill Gerlach
    Candidate, Tiverton Town Council

  2. Who is talking about reversing the FTR? I continue to read TCC comments about this conspiracy theory to reverse the FTR. I am not aware of any candidate who has discussed a reversal of the FTR. As a coordinating member of Tiverton 1st, I can assure you that T1 has never even entertained any thoughts or discussions on an FTR reversal. Nancy, please share who continues to supply you with such falsehoods. Possibly same voices who feel that TCC candidates are the only ones opposing the tolls?

    • Keep in mind many members of T1 opposed the FTR. They wrote numerous letters to scare people into thinking it would harm our community. Here’s one of T1 founding members crying over the results. He lead a campaign against the FTR ,

  3. FR Herald News editorial on the FTR is online. Does it congratulate Tiverton voters for their decision to preserve our community? Or at least offer a balanced, factual perspective? No. It reads like a TCC press release. It praises the FTR process, while stating that ‘scare tactics’ and ‘false choices’ were offered during the debate. It states as fact that ‘special interest groups stacking’ the FTM resulted in the tax cap being ‘broken’ (a phony TCC created term). It tells how Budget 1 taxed more, without any explanation of what budget 2 did or would cause. And it calls our legitimate concerns over this FTR process ‘hyperbole’ & ‘doomsday scenarios’ that didn’t happen; this is just the first time it’s been used, a little early to raise the ‘mission accomplished’ banner. Sure sounds ‘fair & balanced’, doesn’t it? Don’t know if the writer is biased or just ignorant of the facts, but just repeating TCC talking points is pretty sad journalism.

    Brian Medeiros
    Tiverton, RI

  4. The FTR lie appears to be the latest in a long line of TCC-generated lies to the taxpayers in order to scare the uninformed voter (their prime constituency) into supporting their often poorly though out positions. Whenever I see something like this whether it’s from Nancy, her alter ego “Jane Doe” or one of the other TCC shills I laugh and think of the 22% tax increase threat of a few years ago. These folks are simply not credible.