In March 2017 when the Tiverton Town Council was faced with two prior candidates seeking appointment to the Budget Committee, Alex Cote and John Perkins, it used the rationale of selecting the ‘next highest vote getter who ran for the seat in the last election’. Seems fair enough, right?
Except last week when the same issue came up to fill three additional vacant Budget Committee seats, the very same Town Council did not first look to that remaining candidate who actually ran for the Budget Committee, John Perkins. Nor did the Town Council consider that he had applied for such appointment twice and was the first to apply this time. Interesting to note that nominee John Perkins is known to advocate for limited taxation.
Instead, this Town Council conveniently nominated and voted for nominees in the order the applicants appeared on the page – which was alphabetical. So, DeCotis, Joclyn, and Paull were voted on first – and appointed, while Perkins and Wieman were dismissed without even a vote or discussion on the merits. The fix was in to prevent a taxpayer advocate from being appointed to the Budget Committee.
The Charter Review Commission (CRC) you elected in July is in the process of gathering proposals, and one such proposal would require any vacancy in an elected position be automatically filled first by ‘the next highest vote getter’ until that list is exhausted. Only then could the Town Council make an appointment.
This CRC, which was elected by a mandate, is working diligently to fulfill the pledge candidates made to preserve the Financial Town Referendum (which ensures a voice for taxpayers) and to protect the anticipated casino revenues (to ensure these funds stay in the FTR budgeting process, giving you a say). With the opportunity for the impact of the casino to lower Tiverton taxes by 10%, all voters should be encouraged to know that this CRC they elected is working for the taxpayer; the jury is still out on this Town Council.