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Jeff Caron: A Plan for the Charter Review Commission

The Tiverton Taxpayers Association (TTA) Candidates for the Charter Review Commission (CRC) pledge to protect the Taxpayers interest (Financial Town Referendum (FTR) and casino revenue) while performing their duties to review and recommend updates to the charter.

Adding four words “…, including casino gaming revenue, …” to Charter Section 1214 will help to ensure that the FTR voters will decide if the casino revenue should lower taxes, and how. And because TTA candidates intend to “protect” the FTR, not replace it, minor improvements to the FTR can be addressed in a couple meetings, leaving many months to perform a comprehensive review of the remaining charter sections as elected to do.

I was elected to the 2003 CRC and a Co-Chair (with Nancy Driggs) of the Financial Town Meeting Changes Advisory Committee (FTMCAC) which wrote the FTR charter change proposal. In addition, I served on the Budget Committee (BC) from 2004-2010 (Vice Chair 2007-2008, Chairman 2009-2010), 2012, and am presently a member of the BC.

Most of the information needed to recommend improvements to the charter is distributed among those who work with the document daily as well as our townspeople in general. If elected to this CRC I will push to set up meetings with all known stakeholders (Town Council, Clerk, Treasurer, Administrator, School Department, etc) and include multiple “Public Input” agenda items. The goal would be to record (in a detailed spreadsheet) the gamut of changes in the first three months of the twelve-month CRC term.

The CRC would consolidate, debate, and where there is consensus draft the charter change proposal language. I expect this part of the process would take up the next six months, which will leave a couple months at the end of the process for final review (including by the Solicitor) before the recommendation package is submitted to the Town Council.

Based upon my 2003 CRC experience, I expect that the charter change tracking spreadsheet may contain 20-40 “raw” charter change entry “ideas” that touch on all thirteen articles of the charter. It will be the role of the elected CRC to transform these into a 10-20 “recommendations”. It is in this part of the process where TTA Candidates will protect the Taxpayers interests.

The TTA Candidates (LaCroix, Driggs, Caron, R. Rom, Coulter, Fougere, Clarke, Lopes, Cook) are highly qualified for the Commission – learn more at tivertontaxpayersassociation.org/crc2017.

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