In a letter appearing in this week’s Sakonnet Times, Tiverton resident Will Newman joins those who apparently believe that politics is about making false accusations to generate hatred against their neighbors. Hopefully, he has merely been misinformed, and the following responses will ease Mr. Newman’s mind.
Does the Tiverton Taxpayers Association (TTA) win elections with “outside money”? No. Our campaigns are entirely funded by people here in our community, supporting the work of dedicated residents.
Does the TTA “favor shutting the high school”? No. Actually, we want the school district to improve to such an extent that Little Compton no longer feels compelled to bus its students from one end of Tiverton to the other in order to utilize Portsmouth High School.
Does TTA want to turn “our new library into city offices”? No. In fact, the budget the Town Council proposed increased funding to the library. To the extent that TTA members have suggested plans for the library, the emphasis has been on expanding its activities as a library.
Do we want “normal town services” to “give way to de minimus taxes”? No. The budget the council proposed would have increased spending by 5.4%, and the Budget Committee brought it up to 5.9%. Some people accused us of wanting to spend too much!
Additionally, the first draft of a long-term plan presented as part of the council’s budget proposal showed a path toward stable growth and controlled tax increases. Meanwhile, we resolved a challenging negotiation to address ongoing staffing issues in the fire department, we approved an update to our emergency services communication and information technology, we fast-tracked the purchase of a new ambulance, we supported most of the Town Administrator’s proposed capital plan, and we’re working to open town offices during lunch hours and other times when residents can actually get to Town Hall. In short, we’re working to improve services and make them more efficient.
People told me to expect it, but I’m still surprised by the willingness of some to spread falsehoods for political purposes. It’s a shame. When whisper campaigns spread false information, people aren’t even receiving one side of the story; they’re hearing fiction. If you ever have any questions about what the Town Council is or is not doing or what TTA is working toward, please do not hesitate to contact me. My email address is email@example.com and my cell phone number is (401) 835-7156.