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Is Scheduled Landfill Public Hearing a Ploy for Political Cover?

At the July 29, 2019, town council workshop, Pare Engineering discussed three post-landfill closure options: a transfer station, a recycling center, and continuing curbside pickup finding ways to deal with certain recyclables.

At the August 13, 2019, town council meeting, the town council voted unanimously for the option to continue curbside pickup; the clear guidance the town administrator requested happened at that meeting so he could commence exploring options of dealing with certain recyclables.

Yet, at the October 28, 2019, town council meeting, replacement town council president Patricia Hilton scheduled a public hearing on the post landfill-closing options. When questioned by me as to why this was necessary given that the town council had already voted on an option, Hilton claimed the town council “had not voted to pick one thing in particular” but had gone forward with the idea of a recycling center, and that it was clearly said at the August 13 meeting that “we wanted public input,” that the public should be made aware of and have a voice in the decision.

At the November 8, 2019, meeting, while discussing my motion to change a “public” hearing to an “informational” hearing, I said a vote had already been taken, and no one had indicated a public hearing needed to be held prior to voting. Replacement president Hilton now claimed she had made it clear at the August 13, 2019, town council meeting she wanted public input.

Both of Hilton’s claims are false.

On August 13, a unanimous vote was taken to continue the curbside pickup. And, no one raised the need for a public hearing before the town council voted. Hilton spoke three times during that meeting. At time 1:29:24 about seeing costs for both recycling possibilities and scheduling frequency of curbside pickups since abandoned furniture sits on the sidewalk for weeks in rental properties in N. Tiverton. At time1:35:48 commenting on Councilman Katz’ proposed amendment to the motion. And at time 1:51:00 questioning whether access to a recycling site could be had from Industrial Way, and that site next to the DPW would be perfect, but it is too wet.

The state-wide mailings sent to Tiverton voters before the recall election on October 10 lied that the town council had not dealt with the imminent landfill closure. Hilton, who signed the recall petition, knew then that was not true. So, why is she now claiming no vote was taken, and that she had always stated a need for a public hearing before such a vote (which, by the way, was unanimous) when she hadn’t? Sounds like political cover to me.


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