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Tiverton Council Endorses Fiscal 2012 Budget at 1.4 Percent Levy Increase

Patch reported live from Tiverton's Town Council meeting of Monday, March 12.

7 p.m. The meeting begins.

Rep. Edwards seeks support for Sakonnet River Bridge bill

7:04 p.m.  Council votes 6-0 to support House Bill H-7306 by Rep. Jay Edwards (D-Tiverton, Portsmouth) . Councilor Cecil Leonard is absent.

Edwards says the bill stops the change of bridge ownership from the Department of Transportation to the Bridge and Turnpike Authortiy, and prohibits tolls.

"It would be an added tax to the citizens in the East Bay area," Edwards said, adding tolls will be at or more than the cost for the Newport Pell Bridge toll, and will completely cut off Tiverton from the rest of the state. A copy of the bill is attached to this post.

Adoption of carryforwards and transfers policy

7:09 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to approve a consent agenda item on Councilor Rob Coulter's carryforwards and transfers policy as part of his long term financial plan for the town. It was presented at the . The policy documents the transfer of budget authority among accounts during a current fiscal year and carrying unspent authority from one year to the next. The town administrator can transfer up to $5,000 within a particular department, and up to $3,500 between departments without proir Town Council approval.

7:10 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to approve sending a letter to President Barack Obama to request restoring Clean Water Act protections. 

7:12 p.m. Public speaking portion of agenda commences.

Stormwater report approved

7:35 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to approve the annual stormwater report, as brought forward at the Feb. 27 meeting with Director Stephen Berlucchi.

Wind farm discussion

7:37 p.m. Council speaks with Garry Plunkett about the possible wind development talk and legislation to make the East Bay Energy Consortium (EBEC) a public corporation. Plunkett reports that the legislation was filed by deadline, puts it into a que, where the nine towns involved with have to endorse the wind energy idea. It makes EBEC a legal entity, giving it the authority to issue tax free bonds and finance a project without risk to Tiverton.

Council President Jay Lambert said the issue of eminent domain came up at the last meeting, as an entity being governed by member towns, it must have one of the three government powers: police, taxation or eminent domain.

Plunkett also mentions a special EBEC breakfast meeting next Tuesday, March 20 at the in Portsmouth is taking place to discuss the legislation.

Department discretionary budget pilot program approved

7:47 p.m. Council votes 4-2 to approve Coulter's department discretionary budget pilot program. Councilors Ed Roderick and Brett Pelletier vote no. The , and are being recommended in the pilot program. It is aimed to allow departments to fund its own department discretionary budget up to $1,000 so that department can make spending requests of a minor size.

Elderly Low Income tax exemption program continued

8:08 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to continue Coulter's property tax relief measures proposal. Tax Assessor Dave Robert said the Property Tax Exemption Committee determined that legislation at the General Assembly would be needed in order to change the town's tax credit so the council to adjust income levels.

Council endorses fiscal 2012 municipal budget

8:14 p.m. Town Administrator Jim Goncalo presents the final approximate $18.2 million fiscal 2012 municipal budget with revenue estimates and estimate tax rate analysis. He says the current budget proposal is a 1.4 percent increase on municipal side of tax levy. Goncalo said the expenses were lowered by about $3,400 and they added $192,820 in excess surplus, drawn from the General Fund, for one-time purchases for capital equipment.

Goncalo notes they anticipate an approximate $200,000 surplus in fiscal 2013, with $86,000 of that attributed to actual growth in town.

9 p.m. The council is still talking about the revenue estimates and the funded and unfunded police pension portions for the upcoming fiscal year. Lambert points out the town will be paying $700,000 into police pension.

9:25 p.m. Council votes 3-2-1 to increase the grant to the library to $477,060. Motion passes and added to Goncalo's budget recommendation. Councilors Dave Nelson and Joan Chabot vote no. Councilor Coulter abstains.

9:36 p.m. Council votes 4-2 to send the budget proposal to the Budget Committee. Nelson and Chabot oppose.

Marketing the industrial park

9:55 p.m. Council talking with Town Planner Chris Spencer and Economic Development Commission Chairman Len Schmidt about customary practices conducted to attract new businesses into town, citing the recent success of Tom's Market. They are also talking about marketing the industrial park.

Spencer reports that DiPrete Engineering's master plan and concept plan were approved by the Tiverton Planning Board, and, with engineering, roadway and drainage system work currently going on, a final plan review is still needed.

Spencer added that Planning Board is waiting council response on whether they can hold a hearing on the proposed 'floating zone' for the industrial park.

10:05 p.m. Council votes 4-2 to set a public hearing of April 27 for zoning amendments to the industrial park. Nelson and Chabot oppose.

10:20 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to designate Trailer Avenue as "not a platted road," receiving no DPW services except rubbish collection at Last Street.

10:25 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to award contract for broker services on Nonquit School and old Ranger School to H&H Real Estate LLC, of Middletown.

10:27 p.m. Councl votes 6-0 to award a contract to Horner Millworks for replacement of the town administrator's office window.

10:29 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to approve awarding a contract in the to work in a Voting District Project for Tiverton to Election Data Services, Inc.

10:59 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to go into executive to discuss various litigation.

To watch full-length Tiverton Town Council and School Committee meetings, go to http://www.tivertonvideos.blogspot.com.

Just Another Taxpayer March 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The fact that Nelson and Lambert voted not to meet in Open Session shows they are at best, hypocrites when it comes to Open Government.
RI Teabagger March 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Thank you TCC for taking a stand against the powerful library cabal. We were one vote away from having them find other sources to fund their own health insurance. We will all pray for Mr. Coulter to find the courage to vote next time. God bless.
Tiverton Dad March 14, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your question Jim, or if you misread my comments. Of course pensions and COLAs and even the international monetary crisis have an effect on Tiverton's financial standing. My point was that the TCC is hiding the extent of the tax increase in Tiverton by sucking money from the reserve fund and underfunding the police pension.
Gerry Jones March 16, 2012 at 06:05 PM
RITea, real profile in courage there from robbie. From my understanding, abstaining is only to be used if you don't understand the issue or were not present for the hearing. Which one was it? Maybe he should just put his big boy pants on once in a while and take the vote.
Just Another Taxpayer March 16, 2012 at 06:41 PM
GJ, since Robbie is the Town Council's liaison to the Library Board of Trustees, he would have had a helluva time trying explain his vote since is supposed to be a "supporter" of the Town Library. It's no surprise that he abstained. Hopefully, residents will continue to see what Robbie, Lord Nelson and the rest of the TCC supporters really stand for which is lower taxes = elimination of town services.
Jim L March 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM
this read like a written script, very strange
Jim L March 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM
and again i ask what would all you do
Tom March 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM
JimL: I wouldn't run on the platform that I was going to control taxes and then get elected and have to raise them. I wouldn't say I support the library and then abstain from voting on a library cost. I wouldn't promise the FTR was going to lower taxes when it can't be guaranteed. I wouldn't support elected officials who move out of town, nor would I appoint someone who doesn't live in town to the budget committee. I wouldn't take back money from the schools that was appropriated by the FTM and then waste taxpayer dollars fighting to keep the money. I WOULD make the required payment to the pension system, just because previous TC's may have made bad decisions I feel we should keep our promises. When I voted to increase spending I would tell the truth and tell the percentage of the increase in spending not the increase in the tax levy because it is a smaller percentage number. What would you do Jim?
Tom March 17, 2012 at 04:30 PM
In summary: I wouldn't be a hypocrite.
Rug Doctor March 17, 2012 at 05:55 PM
This is still much better than Durfee and Bolin and the rigged FTM. Someone needs to buy a pair of balls for our current council to share.
Tiverton Dad March 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Gerry, an abstention has the same effect as a "no" vote. It's just a more cowardly way of doing it.
Tiverton Dad March 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Rug, after the first rigged FTR, you might be singing a different tune.
Joe Sousa. March 18, 2012 at 09:56 PM
How do you rig an FTR ? Will thousands of dead people vote ?
Jim L March 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM
to imply that any town council rigged the town meeting is just a falsehood and a lie no council ever had that power, the only ones in town with that power is the teachers and the nea, proff go check the records and raises and cola's given, it's just a simple fact, someone wanns give me facts says i'm wrong?? step up, the only time this happen was when duffee and arruda said not we don't have to vote, it up to the ftm, guess they learned what voters thought of that, and all the unamed club members on here should never be allowed to bring that bs back
Tom March 19, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Pay attention Jim he said rig a FTR not FTM.
Jim L March 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM
rug doctor spoke of a rigged ftm, just like almost always tom your wrong, again
Tom March 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Jim L: Then post your response as a reply to his comment. You posted after the comment by Tiverton Dad. Use spell check, organize your, thoughts, and don't drink so much and we might understand you better. Also, I was right about the funding for the schools!
Tiverton Dad March 19, 2012 at 02:45 PM
The most obvious way to rig the FTR is for the council to veto the levy chosen by voters, a power that is granted to them by the FTR. Another way to rig it is to flood the ballot with illegal budgets. Since the FTR system provides no way to filter these out, these leaves the door open for the council to implement their own budget. Another way would be for small groups of taxpayers to submit sham budgets to confuse voters, or budgets that ridiculously under fund town services to appeal to voters who will choose to lower taxes at any cost. I'm sure people who are more devious than I am can come up with other ways to rig this poorly planned and conceived process.
Tiverton Dad March 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Jim, now that you have accused the teachers of rigging the FTM, step up and explain how they did that, with proof not conspiracy theories. In my opinion this is an uncalled for slam at people who are doing their best to teach our kids and work within the system that we have in place.
Jim L March 19, 2012 at 05:38 PM
tiverton dad do you teach in portsmouth? I'm picking on the nea and you come right out with durfee and bollin and may or may not be slandering their names, ask you a question and you tell whar you wouldn't do , ever tho you were asked what you would do, you call elected members of the town council cowards, but you hide behind false names, this act in inself makes you not to be trusted at all, the folks i talk to around this town and know who i am are telling me your act is just getting old and why do i spend time discussing anything with the club, i don't know maybe it keeps me amused
Tiverton Dad March 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Still waiting for you to step up and prove your accusation. Election fraud is a crime by the way, so that's a pretty serious charge. I'm flattered that people around town are talking about me, and I'm amused that anyone thinks they have any clue who I am or what I do for a living.
Mark Wyman March 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Jim Lipe the teachers and nea could not rig anything in order to attend and vote in theFTM or vote in the FTR they would have to be registered voters in the town of Tiverton. As registered voters they have every right to vote that is not rigging anything it's called democrocy it's what this country is founded on. Just because they were able to get larger numbers then your groop does not mean it's riged. Just get over it. ps facts are fact and fake name or not doesn't change that. If you don't want to trust facts then you are just a fool.
Jim L March 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I quote the rug doctor,"Durfee and Bollin and the rigged ftm" is the club eating it's own now? are you saying that the little compton parents didn't send there kids eslewhere for a better education ? the facts support me 100% on that, or the fact that you have to be a fool to support anything said behind a false names, thats 100% foolish, say i don't hide again i don't care, people know who i am, infact some folks have a good idea who you guys are
jon devolve March 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Hey Jim, I believe the Little Compton parents choose to remain in Portsmouth for a number of reasons. What those truly were, I have no idea. Speculating as to why does nothing but cause arguments. I do believe that if the LC students did in fact end up in Tiverton, that would have potentially meant the addition of more teachers and support staff. Don't believe the town could have handled that in this current state in which we live. Too many people would have complained, and in turn, this might be one of the reasons Little Compton residents did not want to come here. To quote a former Boston Celtics basketball coach "the negativity in this town sucks and it stinks!"
Jim L March 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM
first mr desolve i agree that the negitivity in this town stinks, and i myself am part of the problem, my fight is that we deserve more out of our school system then we are getting and i freely admit a part of that is personal due to the way i have seen mr rearick handle kids he didn't like when they became involved with his favorites and the fact that we always seem to be doing ok compared to others, but middletown and portsmouth are never as a base to compare to0, LC has seen fit to send there students threw this town instead of to this town, also the regular unamed folks on here almost always start a post with some form of stupid name, or comment, a negitive comment was even made on here about the supermarket that hasn't even opened yet, Joe Sousa is always doing something, right or wrong, he is moveing and the club or regulars on here just point out or make stupid none helpful comments of no worth, what 12 teachers? who cares? rigged the FTM it's gone . going to rig the FTR, we haven't had one yet! lord nelson/ hot dog king? sidekick? geez some folks on here need to grow up i wish patch would just stop such foolishness
jon devolve March 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Jim, I agree with you. Although, my last name is Devolve and not Desolve. Not sure if that was a poke at me or not but nonetheless, funny. Just realize that there are people trying to help, trying to make sure that every student gets the quality education they deserve. Comparing our school system to others does not solve the problem. There are many differences between every school district and when the grass seems greener, well... So instead of being negative and responding in ways that are not helpful, join a committee to make sure the RIGHT thing is done for everyone.
Joe Sousa. March 20, 2012 at 12:21 AM
"The most obvious way to rig the FTR is for the council to veto the levy chosen by voters, a power that is granted to them by the FTR." A power that is granted to our elected Town Council through a charter change voted in by the people. What really bothers you is a few hundred people, many who profit from the town levy, cant control it anymore. The people made this change with an informed vote. The FTR committee did a wonderful job and cleaned your clock. We are continuing the Democratic tradition of one man, or woman, one vote. God Bless America
Tiverton Dad March 20, 2012 at 05:05 PM
This is also a power that proponents of the FTR, including Joe, repeatedly claimed did not exist until after the election was over. Again, I am amused by the assumptions made about my motives. I said repeatedly that I am in favor of a budget referendum--just not this flawed concept. The democratic tradition of one man, one woman, one vote will fly right out the window the first time the council doesn't like the outcome of the FTR. Then it will be seven men and women, one vote. TCC democracy.
Joe Sousa. March 20, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I supported the FTR and the Check and Balance of the council vote . I was vocal about it at every opportunity .You lie again in your diatribe about people not knowing. The people knew exactly what they were doing.
jon devolve March 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Jim, what do you want out of the school system?

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