News & Commentary

  • Tiverton Truth FlashPhoto of Important Differences in Board of Canvassers Authority

    Important Differences in Board of Canvassers Authority

    Given errors in the budget petition submitted by Tiverton resident Sanford Mantel, the authority of the Board of Canvassers to keep petitions off the ballot has become a topic of conversation.  Some participants in that conversation have noted that, last year, I told the Board of Canvassers that they had to put elector resolutions on the ballot even if they're illegal.  That was correct, then, and still is. When the Board of Canvassers met in 2018 to certify the budget proposals and resolutions for the ballot, then-Solicitor Anthony DeSisto showed up at the meeting without notice to electors who had put in petitions and told the Board of Canvassers that multiple resolutions were "illegal."  He had no written opinion and offered a patchwork of explanations — according to the solicitor, some were't related to the budget, some might violate other sections of the charter, and some were against this or that state law.  The Board decided that it had to follow the advice of the Town Solicitor and blocked the resolutions. According to the charter, the Board of Canvassers has the authority to "certify" budget petitions (that is, budget proposals from citizens) and elector resolutions (which are questions or statements that citizens want to put before voters).  This certification is (or should be) entirely a question of whether the petitions correctly followed the steps to appear on the ballot.  In 2017, for example, several school committee and town council members attempted to put in a budget petition, but they didn't correctly…

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  • Photo of TTA Town Council Members Are Keeping Promises and Under Attack

    TTA Town Council Members Are Keeping Promises and Under Attack

  • Photo of Tiverton Town Council Meeting 3/6/19

    Tiverton Town Council Meeting 3/6/19

  • Photo of About Those School Budget Claims

    About Those School Budget Claims

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