Letter: Reject Katz plan to minimize Tiverton services

Posted

To the editor.

Among the Tiverton Budget Committee’s newest members is Justin Katz, a professional blogger for the Ocean State Current. This blog serves as the online journalism and commentary wing of the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, an organization funded in part by the billionaire Koch brothers.

Along with other super-wealthy conservatives, the Koch brothers have established and funded a nationwide web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations, like the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, that together form the State Policy Network (SPN).  The SPN seeks to promote an extreme right-wing political agenda in state capitals and cities and towns across the country, an agenda that aims to privatize education, take away workers' rights, roll back environmental protections, and make changes to the tax system to benefit the super wealthy.  

How does this connect to Tiverton?

Recently Tiverton's budgets have been shaped by the conservative ideology of Justin Katz, a Koch brothers surrogate, and his widely publicized beliefs in small government and minimal town services, along with a strong distaste for retirement security and unions ... especially the teachers’ union.  

Last year, after two years of Mr. Katz’s drastic austerity budgets, the town voted yet again for a Katz petitioner budget. It reduced the Budget Committee's recommended budget by $957,895 forcing the town to make the onerous decision of  where to cut  almost $1 million more from an already pared down budget. The result was the conundrum of how to pay for trash pickup.

In November Justin Katz was elected to the Budget Committee.  Since then meetings have often turned contentious and acrimonious, with multiple department heads reporting that chronic underfunding has left them unable to run their departments properly. And yet Katz keeps pushing for cuts that may be penny wise but are undeniably pound foolish as he relentlessly pursues his agenda.

Make no mistake, Mr. Katz's agenda for Tiverton is the agenda of the Koch brothers: Get rid of public education, destroy unions, eliminate any safety nets for the most vulnerable in our community, and reduce public safety funding.

Tiverton deserves better than to be the unwitting participants in an ideological experiment funded by the Koch brothers and carried out by Mr. Katz.  Tiverton residents can demand better by rejecting any Katz-crafted or Katz-endorced budget at this year's annual May Financial Town Referendum.

Barbara Martin

Tiverton

Comments

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JB

Really love to read all the Soros/Alinsky socialists running with their screams of agony about how horrible it is to responsibly managing a town's finances. No one wants to take away schools. Just want schools to manage responsibly.

My observations of Mr.Katz are that he has always conducted himself professionally and factually. He has been attacked (see above) with baseless name calling and attacks on his character solely becasue his point of view differs (which is of Alinksy) rather than present "facts" of your own to refute his investigative discoveries of past "events".

It seems to me that we pay ONE tax bill. Yet there is one single department with a state law protected "Maintenance of Effort" clause preventing it's budget from being reduced, while this law has been used for this department to carry a surplus. A surplus? So, if there's a surplus in one department and another department needs money for a new roof, does it make sense for that department to propose a tax increase for the roof when that money is sitting in the other departments coffers?

There are numerous residents in Tiverton that were enticed to move to this town because of low taxes (self included) only to find that in a short period of time the taxes increased at higher rate than ever. It is bewildering that the "locals" were so desirable to have folks move in, and then act like we have no voice in how the tax dollar is spent. Most especially when by your own example (last ten years) you are completely unqualified to make these financial decisions.

Regardless of your slanderous comments against JK... he is an ELECTED OFFICIAL. WE are watching, WE are observing, WE will be looking to elect even more conservative town officials until we see the rates fall inline with services provided.

Wednesday, April 12 | Report this
JB

One last erg spent on this today... we who are branded "greedy" and "anti-community" are in fact the total opposite. I refer you to the most basic formula of property tax: valuation of the property. The property owner's income is totally irrelevant when determining the amount of tax. If a house is valued at $220K, the tax rate is the same if the property owner makes $50K/year or $500K per year. Logically, those complaining about the tax increase would most likely be the former than the latter. And of course the retirees who live in town homes now going for the mid-500's to mid-600's (IDK the valuations) paying $10K per year property tax with zero school attendance.

Wednesday, April 12 | Report this
Brian

I really love to read all the Katz kiss ups who can only attack anyone who opposes him as socialist and Alinsky types. I call it like i see an a turd is a turd(Katz) and this one can't be polished. JB please tell me where in my statements I have slandered Katz. He does more damage to his own reputation and to this town than anyone could ever do.

Wednesday, April 12 | Report this
joe sousa

The people elected Mr. Katz to do exactly what he is doing. The Financing for Ocean State Current is Legal and many support it. You may fool some with the Dark Money BS. The educated public knows better and gets it's information on time with out the Spin. . Get use to lower budgets and less spending on non essential items. Make Tiverton Great Again!

Thursday, April 13 | Report this
JB

Brian, You give your own examples in your response. The "damage" is a matter of perspective. I see it differently. Math. Facts. Not emotions.

I made the Soros/Alinsky comparison IRT to Barbara's comment above, are you Barbara?

Thursday, April 13 | Report this
Brian

No i am not Barbara and its not my fault that your response was poorly written an illogical as are most of Katzmann writing. Are you Justin perhaps or just another sycophant.

Thursday, April 13 | Report this
JB

The hits keep coming... lol

Facts.

Math.

Logic.

Brian <-- confused....

sorry bud, I hear you can get a great education at THS though... maybe you can apply for a redeux? teaching you is not my responsibility.

Thursday, April 13 | Report this
joe sousa

Some times you have to look the insults up.

syc·o·phant

ˈsikəˌfant,ˈsikəfənt/

noun

noun: sycophant; plural noun: sycophants

a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.

Thursday, April 13 | Report this

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