The Tiverton Town Council has done well in the last two years, so well in fact that the detractors of the present Town Council have had to resort to false statements and lies in order to disparage them. The present Town Council has some enemies because it works hard to keep the taxes below the State Tax Cap during this time of recession/depression, so that those on fixed income (or no income) do not loose their homes in Tiverton (something that some have recommended). Even criticisms that are true, such as the criticism that the Town Council holds meetings late into the night - sometimes past midnight with the Closed Executive Sessions, - - demonstrate the devotion to duty with the councilors working hard, late into the night, to avoid making decisions without ample study and scrutiny, and keeping the Closed Executive Sessions at the end of the meetings in order to minimize inconvenience to meeting attendees, and in order to fully comply with Open Meeting Law, RIGL 42-46-5(a).
The Tiverton Town Council has been open and honest with all Tiverton Taxpayers over the last two years despite numerous false statements made by many who oppose the actions made by the Town Council, because the Town Council has clearly indicated that it is in favor of enforcing both the letter of the State Law and the intent of the state law regarding the Tax Cap on the increase to the amount of money that a municipality can demand in taxes from the taxpayers. The State of RI Tax Cap is now set at 4%, and despite the efforts of the Town Council, the Tiverton School Department has managed to exceed the Tax Cap during the last two years by absorbing the sacrifices made by the Municipal side of the town government up to the maximum combined percentage allowed by the State Tax Cap; and has even exceeded the State Tax Cap last year by obtaining an additional $367,165, via a plan of misinformation and collusion with the RI Department of Education and the refusal of the Superior Court to hear the truth in a Court Hearing.
Because the School Department has been held to the combined Tax Cap, the School Department has waged a war of false statements against the Town Council over the last two Years. All of the false statements are clearly contradicted by the facts, and have been repeated by the School Superintendent and several members of the School Committee, as well as others who have little respect for the truth.
1. TRUTH The Town Council did not steal $367,165 in 2010, and an additional $243,092 in 2011, from the Tiverton School Department. The Independent Auditor of the Tiverton Accounts found that the Town Treasurer had made a $367,165 error in 2010 by listing the total amount of anticipated RI State Funding for the Tiverton Schools in the Tiverton School Department Accounts prior to the actual receipt of the funds, and then failed to correct the amount when the actual RI State funds received were $367,165 short of the anticipated amount. The Tiverton Town Council merely approved the Independent Auditors $367,165 correction.
2. TRUTH The Town Council is not responsible for the expenditure of an additional $80,000 in Tiverton Taxpayer money for legal fees. The Tiverton School Department is responsible for the expenditure of an additional $80,000 in Tiverton Taxpayer money for legal fees, because the School Department initiated legal action to obtain the $367,165 in 2010, and $243,092 in 2011, from the Tiverton Taxpayers without the required Special Financial Town Meeting (or FTR) Request to request additional funding in order to replace the RI State Education Funding that the State withheld from the Tiverton Schools.
Tiverton Schools received from Tiverton Taxpayers: a 4.576% increase in 2011 (Tax Cap 4.25%), and a 6.0% increase in 2012 (Tax cap 4%) after receipt of disputed $610,257 (3.17% before).
3. TRUTH The Town Council is not responsible for spending tens of thousands of dollars on the unnecessary resurfacing of Lawton Avenue and other streets for the personal benefit of Town Council members and their friends.
The resurfacing of Lawton Avenue and several other Stone Bridge area streets was a decision made by the Director of Public Works (Not the Town Council) because: 1. the streets were in horrible condition and were breaking up when plowed in the winter; 2. the streets were dug up by the Gas Company in order to replace old gas lines that were unsafe; 3. the Gas Company was willing to pay a significant portion of the repaving work because the replacement of the gas lines was partially responsible for the condition of the roads; and 4. the Gas Company significant contribution to the repaving effort could have been lost if the streets were not quickly repaved before the Gas Company contribution was withdrawn.
4. TRUTH The Town Council is not responsible for wasting $58,500 on a Sewer Study to benefit friends of the Tiverton Town Council and TCC. The truth is that a sewer study has never been performed in Tiverton, the decision to have no sewers was made unilaterally and independently by Louise Durfee, some areas north of Bulgarmarsh Road have no possibility of a septic system other than a storage tank, and the sewer study is required by the State.
5. TRUTH It is not true that Items deleted by the Budget Committee in 2012, represented voter decisions. The Budget submitted by the Budget Committee in 2012 was an illegal budget, because it exceeded Town Charter defined Budget Committee Authority. It was a budget package approved by the intimidation of School Closure, and did not represent any specific voter approval of Budget Committee illegal deletions.
Voters who value truth and honesty have an obligation to vote for incumbent Town Council members (and Nancy Driggs who worked diligently for the FTR) who carefully balance the needs of all residents, rather than voting for those endorsed by the purveyors of the false statements and lies, who have a hidden agenda.
NOTE: False statements are the result of errors/incompetence, and/or mental aberration, and/or lies.
Roger A. Bennis