At the January 13 Open Forum portion of the Tiverton Town Council meeting, very disturbing statements and actions by the replacement Town Council President Patricia Hilton and replacement Vice President Denise deMedeiros came to light.
Mr. George Alzaibak, on behalf of Tiverton Days (a beloved Tiverton community activity and event) came to the podium angered at having twice been refused a place on the Town Council agenda. (Tiverton Days, in order to receive a permit for the event, is first to get approvals from both the Town Council and the Recreation Commission.) His outrage over this exclusion from the agenda and his concern that just two members of the town council (Hilton and deMedeiros) were keeping him off the agenda were obvious, especially when he called the area at Grinnell’s Beach a “mausoleum.” It was his rightful understanding all issues should come before the entire Town Council for input from all the council members.
The Public Forum is a means for any resident to vent whatever he/she wants to, for up to three minutes; no response from the Town Council is called for or should be made. Nevertheless, Hilton and deMedeiros gave counter arguments, at length, to Mr. Alzaibak, with no admonishment by the new town solicitor, who later admonished Councilor Joseph Perry when he sought to speak.
The Hilton and deMedeiros comments were revealing.
Replacement president Hilton told Mr. Alzaibak that “things are not what they seem,” and that, in essence, his version of the events was not correct — was not what was going on “behind the scenes” — because in fact there were meetings scheduled, and every effort was being made to address the issues. Replacement Vice President deMedeiros agreeing, stated, “we [Hilton and deMedeiros] are doing everything to get you on the next agenda,” and that “we” are still planning those meetings and have a few weeks. Mr. Alzaibak repeated that no one had told him he wasn’t on the agenda that night, and he understood the process was that he comes before a public meeting of the whole Town Council to vet concerns.
On January 13 the Town Council was hearing from Mr. Alzaibak for the first time any of these Tiverton Days issues. This is wrong and against Town Council policy. The Town Council never authorized replacement Town Council President Hilton or replacement Town Council Vice President deMedeiros to act as a subcommittee, or to conduct any meetings. It is certainly not for those two to work behind the scenes and then bring before the Town Council, for the first time, a neatly tied package that five other elected officials have little choice but to approve and probably little evidence that there was ever any disagreement.
Featured image from Tiverton Days’ permit application.