Tiverton Charter Change Similar to Playing Budget Bingo

Tiverton Budget Committee member Joanne Arruda writes a letter to the editor in opposition to the proposed financial town referendum.

The more I read through the Financial Town Referendum proposal, the more I realize the budget process will become a “Budget Bingo”! The mere fact that anyone who wants or doesn't want a particular budget or item can in fact do so by just getting in on the “50 Signature Raffle”, and bingo! Fifty signatures gets your budget proposal on the ballot with no questions asked and no answers given!

This proposal completely reduces the value of the Budget Committee who is given the job under the charter to balance revenues and expenditures in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, and who meets weekly for months in noticed open sessions. The committee scrubs the budget recommendations from the town administrator, all the department Heads, and the school department all in conjunction with the Tax Assessor then brings the finalized budget to the public hearing where it’s presented to the Town.

I have to wonder what the ballot will look like. Will there be columns with each proposal named for what it will represent? So if you're a person who follows the budget process, then I guess you will go through every column until you find the budget proposal that suits you, vote yes and you're done! But how will you know what you're voting for is a legal budget? You will have to do the math to know if your budget will put the Town over the tax cap.

Oh but wait, two members of the Town Council can veto the vote of the people if the budget isn't what they think it should be. If one of the Bingo Budget passes, it will be sent to the Budget Committee who must try to deal with a budget that is neither supported nor defended. Does this make any sense to anyone? No other community in Rhode Island has such a cockamamie budget process. 

I don't know about you, but I find this change from the Financial Town Meeting to this Financial Town Referendum to be very dangerous. All you have to do is think about it - how has it been vetted?

A change of this magnitude should have gone through a Charter Review Commission duly elected by the voters of this town, which would have taken the time necessary to be sure that every aspect of this proposal is legal and practical and fully vetted, not as in this case a group selected by this council. In essence there are still more questions than answers.

Democracy is messy, and the Financial Town Meeting isn’t perfect. However, this proposal isn’t the silver bullet.

What do we have to lose? Everything!!!

Vote no for Financial Town Referendum on Nov. 8.

Joanne Arruda

Rug Doctor October 09, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Wow Joanne you are spouting the same talking points that all of your other AntiFTR buddies are. So what if it only takes 50 signatures to get on the ballot. I will never be given an opportunity to speak at the FTM so my points or other people do not at all matter in your book. What you are saying here is that the voters are not smart enough to figure things out and that you do not want more people voting on the budget. What does the town have to loose with more people involved in the process? Anything is better than what is been the norm for years. What is the matter Joanne the unions will not get everything they want with a system that is more fair to the voter than the FTM. Wow you letter speaks nothing to the intimidation and the very poor behavior that Tiverton is now a laughing stock for. Why do most of the major newspapers want the town to change the FTM? Are you so antitaxpayer/voter that you can not even grasp this concept. You and your buddies have been benefiting from the rigged sham that you call an FTM. Once again more distortions, lies and false imformation from Democrat Ms. Arruda.
stoney larue October 09, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Rug Doctor, I have been to the last four ftm and have not been intimidated by anyone or seen much of that type of thing. What I have seen are the Mr and Mrs. O'Dell and Jethro Joe Sousa running around threatening people and acting like pukes. That and Nelly staring people down from his seat in the stage is about the only example I have seen.
Tiverton Dad October 09, 2011 at 06:08 PM
What you and every other anti-democracy supporter is failing to acknowledge is when Ms. Arruda writes: "Two members of the Town Council can veto the vote of the people if the budget isn't what they think it should be." It bears continuous repetition, because that will be the result if this passes. Or perhaps you just don't care if the will of the majority can be vetoed by two people.
Rug Doctor October 10, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Stoney you are a red shirted liar. Tiverton Dad where is the anti-democracy? Having more people in the town voting and involved in the process is pro democracy. What person on the council will not go with the vote of the people? The same crazy non argument. More lies and deception how nice.
oldandtired October 10, 2011 at 02:23 AM
Yes Rug. Because all council members are so trustworthy. You don't really want me to start again on all the broken promises with this one. You are an idiot if you think no council member would ever go against the people. Have you lived in Tiverton long? Happens all the time.
Rug Doctor October 10, 2011 at 03:13 AM
Old and Tired I would email the folks that broke promises. I think that the FTR will help change things for the better otherwise many people will be calling a realtor.
BD October 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM
Why do you constantly lie to us by presuming that more people will vote at the FTR? Is that what you and the TCC would like to portray to try and mislead us again? Why do you think leaving the final levy decision to two members of the council (I wonder which two will it be?) is "pro-democracy"? This TCC-led council has already performed actions against the "majority of voters" by reducing a voted appropriation. That's why they are now in a position of defending their questionable actions before the state. Any more spin Ruggie?
Rug Doctor October 10, 2011 at 11:21 AM
BD you are the one not telling the truth. Of course more people will participate in an all day election. BD the truth hurts too bad you can't be honest. Spin you and Ms. Arruda, Mr. Burk, Ms. Epke etc are full of spin and lies. You want to keep the same outdated rigged meeting that was stolen one year so that the unions and all your friends can have whatever they please. I never recall Nany Mello asking who has a cell phone in a private all day ballot. BD you and your group are doing the misleading...
Tiverton Dad October 10, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Be careful about giving up your rights and freedoms for a few bucks. Someday you might want them and they're a lot harder to get back.
Just Another Taxpayer October 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM
RD, how has Mrs. Arruda and her buddies have gained from the FTM? Also, by calling Mrs. Arruda a democrat does not diminish the validity of her arguments. By mentioning her party affliation, you are clearly demonstrating your own inability to present facts that would support your position.
BD October 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Talk is cheap, Ruggie. Please point out to the readers ANYTHING that is untrue in my comment. In the mean time you lost us in your paranoid rant of lies and accusations "outdated rigged meeting that was stolen". What are you talking about? Sorry, I have no idea what Nancy Mello's cellphone has with you and TCC's agenda. Perhaps it was being used to contact the aliens that "rigged" the FTM?
stoney larue October 10, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Rug doctor when I went to the meeting I was wearing a yellow shirt at least last year. Please point out the lies that you claim I have been telling. If you want to be a loudmouth blowhard at least provide some evidence to back it up. You and other ranger and name callers do a good job with the image of the TCC.
Tiverton Dad October 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM
Rug--yes or no--two members of the council may override a majority vote at the FTR if the levy exceeds the tax cap.
BD October 10, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Joe, once again I would like to hear what the "reformers TCC" have done to improve the town since coming into office. If you recall, last time you were asked you couldn't come up with anything.
Joe Sousa. October 10, 2011 at 10:40 PM
It's quite obvious the same people who drove the car in the ditch shouldn't become back seat drivers. This is the crowd that has brought us 47 million in unfunded liabilities for Town Pensions. Our roads are deplorable. Our town buildings need millions in repairs. Businesses avoid use like the plague. We can't afford to make that mistake again. I'll stick with the reformers TCC.
Jim L October 10, 2011 at 10:44 PM
Bd . well first they broke the cycle of dem the reps gettinmg voted in so different friends got jobs and tax breaks and rewards, god get me my elephant gun, theres one in my jamime's nowi. For year's this town sifted from 2 politicail parties and while there was a head at the top , the folks running under them wanted something, man is it a bitch to get a tc who only wants to help the town, not the clown that they dug up to gather votes for their party now if you wanna run for something in this town you gotta stand up, not just point at the former party who had control and i find that an excellent job of politics at work
stoney larue October 10, 2011 at 10:47 PM
Wow. Public official and TCC spokesdufus Jethro Joe Sousa is on fire with the attacks and lies.
Rug Doctor October 10, 2011 at 10:58 PM
No one remembers the stolen FTM in 2008. What about all of the red shirts and the intimidation? The stolen meeting and the red shirts are just dreams I had a few years back. Sure !!!The same people against this change in our government are the very same folks who ran this place for years. Of course they do not want any change, they will loose power. BD your not the brightest bulb in the circut here it is when there is not a quorum Nancy Mello has folks in the crowd call people on their cell phones to come to the meeting. This will not happen with an all day private vote on the budget. Ms. Durfee is behind the entire opposition to the FTR. BD nice try that you do not know what I am talking about. Did you move to town last week? You know what is going on because you are one of the spinners from Miss Durfee's group. When has this council gone against the will of the voters? Ms. Durfee and Mr. Bolin did not even give the voters the opportunity to vote on a changed FTM. These are the same folks who stole the meeting. Lawsuits up the wazoo, unfunded pensions, and dirty tricks is what the opposition has been up to for years.
stoney larue October 10, 2011 at 11:00 PM
May,I be the first one to say JimL, what the heck did you just say.What in the world are you trying to say?Please explain!
stoney larue October 10, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Sure Joe and you never posted as Jethro either,
Joe Sousa. October 10, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Jethro Who ?
BD October 10, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Good to hear from you Ruggie, we haven heard from you since I called you out above when you couldn't back up you statement about lying. I'm sorry Jim L, I just don't understand what you want a response to. As far as "stealing a meeting", that doesn't sound very ethical or legal to me. Are you sure the TCC is the right group to support if they can't document or prove any of those allegations? It sounds like it should be a slam dunk to me if anything was done inappropriately in front of all those witnesses. So Nancy Mello is somehow part of a great anti-TCC conspiracy also? If that's the case I would have expected charges to be filed if there was any evidence of impropriety. At least the TCC should have had one of their supporters run against her (Joe perhaps?). I do like the Spinners and I'm particularly fond of Rubberband Man. However, I've got to say there weren't any lawsuits before you and the TCC moved to town. I'll let you go now, you must have to search for Bigfoot. Don't forget the moon landing was a hoax.
Joe Sousa. October 10, 2011 at 11:44 PM
If anyone needs more evidence BD, is a clueless Shill, read this bit of wit. "However, I've got to say there weren't any lawsuits before you and the TCC moved to town".
oldandtired October 11, 2011 at 12:05 AM
Rug Doctor October 11, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Nice try BD, you and your group stole the meeting in 2008. What a selective memory you have. The FTM is a thing of the past it has way more problems than solutions. Every time you write a word your not telling the truth. BD = Mike Burk. There were many lawsuits against the town for many different things. Remember the recall or did you just move here.You dope I was pointing out one of the major problems with the FTM and the lack of a enough voters to run the meeting. That is why I mentioned Ms. Mello. Have another drink your not making much sense. Your whole comment is untrue except for the name BD.
Just Another Taxpayer October 11, 2011 at 01:06 PM
RD, the "red shirts" did not appear until the 2010 FTM. why do you continue to resort to name calling when trying to make a point. Do you do this because you do not have any evidence or facts to support your positions so resort to such behavior? Mrs. Mello has never asked voters who were attending an FTM to call their friends in order to create a quorum. The only time something like this occurred was when their was special FTM called to appropriate an additional $100,000 to the School Department. This meeting was held three or four years ago Finally, how do you know Mrs. Durfee is behind all the opposition to the FTR? Please provide some facts to support your claim. To date all the lawsuits that have been filed regarding the FTM have come from Mr. Nelson, Mr. Coulter and their TCC supporters
Mike Burk October 15, 2011 at 04:32 AM
To Rug Doctor: Sorry, but you have it wrong. BD is not Mike Burk and I have no idea who BD is. I don't believe in anonymous blog posting and never have. I actually find blog posting fairly unproductive but thought I at least had to set the record straight. If I choose to blog, it will be under my real name, not some anonymous posting. Have a great weekend!


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