Sometimes I Wonder About Tiverton
I have lived in Tiverton for the past 25 years. I moved here because it was a beautiful community. As a child my family lived in the south end of Fall River, it was just a few miles but it seemed like a different world. For a period of time I have seen the town's appeal deteriorate due to high taxes and declining real estate values. Ask any realtor the good and the bad about Tiverton and it's a pretty sure bet- beautiful town with high taxes. More than anything else high taxes and spending has stressed our families and bitterly divided our community.
I have often wondered how the town could be better and I have concluded the following: a well thought out budget with long term goals and objectives would be the first step to reverse the negative connotations about moving a family or business into town. It seems to me the town council has started this process but the current budget committee has gotten little cooperation from the current budget committee which appears to have a partisan agenda. But just imagine how potential businesses and families would look at a town that consistently kept its budget well below the tax cap rather than regularly exceeding it, other towns regularly do it and I see no reason why Tiverton cannot achieve this. A well thought out budget along with a well-run school system and excellent community services such as our new library will benefit the entire community. Over the past 25 years I have witnessed budgets which have been bullied through at the financial town meeting and were not in the towns and taxpayers best interest. That behavior at the high school gym is what motivated me to get involved and help find a solution.
As a member of the Financial Town Referendum (FTR) committee I helped design a much fairer way for more people to cast their accurate vote and eliminate the show of hands which sometimes added up to more than the attendance in the gym. Opposition to the FTR cried foul, they told everyone who would listen the FTR would close schools and end after school programs, bottom line none of it happened and the FTR resulted in one of the lowest tax increases and highest participation rates I have seen in the past 25 years. Even with the tremendous success the FTR has had the same people have again resorted to scaring and telling voters them if they don't get their way schools will be closed, after school programs will be eliminated, etc. The same group stands ready to overturn the democratic voting system of the referendum and take a step backwards to the bullying which almost always got them their way in the past and put the town in the position it is now.
My name is Bob Gaw and I want to bring my small business skills and experience to the Tiverton Budget Committee. I ask you to imagine how the future of the town will look if our taxes double again in the next ten years like it did in the past ten. Now consider how the town will look if the Budget Committee started working with the town council and worked for the taxpayers and not against them Then we could keep taxes below the cap, become more business friendly, expand our tax base, and still offer excellent community services- that is my goal for the Tiverton BC and that will benefit everyone.
Candidate for Tiverton Town Council