Letter: Community First Shines Through
Tiverton resident Gloria Crist writes a letter to the editor.
To the Editor:
While I am aware there will be arguments made about the vote - and no doubt the blogs have been on fire with assumptions and personal attacks - it should be noted that through the vortex of letters, slick, expensive postcards and numerous robocalls, an element of community spirit was not lost. In truth, I'd like to believe for some Tiverton residents, this particular vote allowed some of us to regain a sense of community. I am one of those residents.
Stepping in - or more importantly, stepping up - allowed me to take a vested interest in the core centerpiece of last weeks historical vote: community. While I can agree on some components of the financial town referendum (FTR), I am still holding out for someone to take a closer look at the dangers the FTR allows for a small town such as Tiverton. I've read others are "looking at Tiverton's FTR as a model." I would hope those interested in the FTR also look at the flip side of a plan that has many loop holes.
It was not good enough for me to just complain anymore. I made a choice to learn more about both budgets. I made a point to observe, ask questions and get involved.
Yes, I am a parent. Yes, I value the impact a public school system can have on a community. Yes, I believe the essense of community serves us all. No, I was not willing to sit back and let an elitist political action group take away the rights of others, simply to fit their own agenda. I have problems with a group who defies spending, yet had no issues with spending thousands on numerous mailings and way too many robo calls. For the record, and for the third time: Please, please, please remove me from the TCC lists. I don't want 5 more phone calls. I can do without four postcards spouting propaganda.
Those who oppose the Budget Committee victory will argue it won only by a small number. In the vote for democracy and what is good for the greater of a community, there are no small numbers - just as in the world of theater there are no small parts. This budget won because people - grassroots in nature and full of heart - stepped up to declare our community must come first. Period.
Our town has problems. We have gotten off track of what it means to thrive. To celebrate. To give back. There is a need for cultural and economic development - positive economic growth. Yet, as proven, we have not lost our sense of what it means to come together for the greater good. I challenge the members of the TCC to pause for a just a minute and participate in community. Care about more than just what is good for you.
Look at the many, and I do mean many people, who come together to make a difference. On the field, in the small business, in the classroom, in the library, in the park, on an emergency call, at the checkout. We live here.
We care deeply about what happens here. I am a Tiverton resident who is willing to step it up and contribute. Are you?