This letter is a brief update on the status of your Charter Review Commission and an invitation for public comment.
The Commission held its first meeting and went right to work soon after the special election in July. First, we completed our initial organizational tasks. Now, we are inviting charter change proposals and comments for review and study. Then, starting in January, we will triage and debate the proposals and choose which ones the Commission will recommend to the voters for approval next year.
This is a fair amount of work to accomplish in our one-year term but we are well on our way. As of this writing, the Commission has already held seven meetings and reached out to virtually the entire Tiverton government to make connections and invite input from officials. In addition to numerous informal comments, we have so far received over 70 formal written proposal submissions, all of which are available for review online and at the Town Hall.
Formal charter change requests must be in writing and are due by December 31st. But even with over two months to go, the proposals already on the table cover a broad range of topics including “hot button” items such as tax and spend authority, term limits and recalls, and who decides how casino money is spent, as well as more routine items such as changing the size or organization of boards and commissions and making wording changes for clarity.
While public attendance and input is welcome at all meetings, we are specially dedicating a number of “open mic” meetings where most of the meeting agenda will be reserved for those members of the public who wish to submit proposals or just offer feedback or information. The first is set for Monday, October 30th (7:00P.M.) at the Tiverton Senior Center (207 Canonicus Street), and the next will be Monday, December 4th (7:00P.M.) at Town Hall (343 Highland Road). If you would like to be heard, we ask that you be present by 7:00P.M. so that the speakers are heard in the most efficient manner possible.
If you are unable to attend a meeting but wish to submit proposals or share other feedback about Tiverton’s Town Charter, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Commission by letter (343 Highland Road, Attention: Charter Review Commission), by e-mail (TivertonCRC@cox.net), or by phone (401-525-0469). Thank you.
Robert Coulter, Chair
Donna Cook, Vice Chair
Richard Rom, Secretary