Welcome to TIVERTON 1st!

Tiverton 1st is a grassroots community organization open to all who support preserving our quality of life in Tiverton by maintaining both our community and school services in a fiscally-responsible way, and promoting cooperation, compromise and community pride.
Membership is open to all Tiverton residents who are at least 18 years old & support Tiverton 1st's principles & goals (non-residents or those under 18 years old are welcome to join as non-voting members). There's no membership fee.Just email your name, address, phone # and email address to: Tiverton1st@cox.net.
You can also request to become a "Tiverton 1st Friend"& join our confidential email list.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TOWN SEEKS TO EXTEND LIFE OF LANDFILL

Providence Journal article on Tiverton's request to the State to be allowed to extend the length of operations at the town landfill.

http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150701/NEWS/150709947/-1/breaking_ajax

Friday, June 26, 2015

SCHOOL COMMITTEE SAVES ALL DAY KINDERGARTEN FROM FTR BUDGET CUTS

Thank you to our school dept officials and School Committee for working to find a way to fund All Day Kindergarten (link below), saving one of its priorities from the cuts caused by the FTR-approved Katz budget that nearly forced its elimination. Unfortunately, there aren't sufficient funds to restore the other programs eliminated as a result of those budget cuts. 

This situation has illustrated the destructive consequences of making mindless cuts to a budget prepared over months by those we elect and hire to do so, in order to save a few tax dollars in the short term. The idea that you can strip away reserves required to handle emergencies, cut funding for services, count on unexpected savings to restore those cuts, and somehow not cause severe damage to the community is foolishness. It's a self-defeating and shortsighted way to operate a town, and a mistake that hopefully won't be repeated.


Brian Medeiros

Tiverton, RI

http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20150625/NEWS/150627372/0/breaking_ajax

Thursday, June 11, 2015

STATE MAY STEP IN TO FUND ALL DAY KINDERGARTEN

Herald News article on the All Day Kindergarten funding issue (link here):

http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20150610/NEWS/150619038/0/breaking_ajax/?Start=1

Amazing that some people don't see the connection between supporting an alternative budget that cut funds intended to fund ADK and the delay of that program when that budget with those cuts was approved by the 20% of voters who voted in the FTR budget vote on May 16. To be clear, the School Committee and those of us who support our public education have long made All Day Kindergarten a priority. It's those who push budget schemes that cut the funding and then manipulate anxious parents with misinformation about magical piles of money who should be made to answer for their actions.

Brian Medeiros
Tiverton, RI

Monday, June 8, 2015

REALITY CHECK: ALL DAY KINDERGARTEN

Tiverton is one of the few RI communities without All Day Kindergarten, despite a consensus that it is an important educational goal. It is not currently included in the School Department's plans for the upcoming school year, and some parents are understandably upset about this. Unfortunately, some are misinformed and mistakenly blame the School Committee for this situation.

The simple fact is that the reason for the delay of All Day K was the outcome of the May 16 Financial Town Referendum vote. The School Committee and Budget Committee put forth a budget that funded all priorities, including ADK, for a small tax increase. Petitioner Justin Katz, a longtime opponent of public education, cynically put forth an alternative budget that cut the funds intended for ADK. He and his allies spent thousands to push this plan. Despite warnings from the School Committee that approval of Katz's plan would jeopardize ADK, a majority of the 20% of voters who turned out to vote approved it. 80% of voters stayed home.


Katz had falsely claimed that the School Department had huge surpluses that could fund ADK. The School Department had made clear that these funds were in fact spoken for, and that Katz's budget cuts had eliminated any rainy day funds. Still, Mr. Katz continues to deceive anxious parents with baseless claims that the School Committee is playing politics. All Mr. Katz has ever done is use our students as political pawns, and this is his latest chapter.


Anyone paying attention would know that the School Committee has fought hard to fund ADK for years, often thwarted by shortsighted budget cuts endorsed by Mr. Katz. They fought hard for the Budget Committee budget to insure they could fund ADK. But Mr. Katz is now attempting to use parents to pressure the School Committee to play one group of students against another, since the only way to fund ADK is to take funds from somewhere else. The School Committee has properly rejected this attempt to hurt one student to help another. 
But Katz continues to point fingers at others and create fantasies of hidden money to cover up the damage he caused.

So who killed All Day K? Simply put, it was Justin Katz and his allies, as well as all who voted for his proposal's shortsighted cuts to save a few dollars, and the 80% of voters who didn't take the opportunity to vote in support of ADK. 


No doubt the School Committee will continue to seek ways to fund ADK that don't involve recklessly stealing funds from other needs. Unlike Mr. Katz, their priority is students, not political agendas. They'll need the support of those who are only now realizing the destructiveness of Mr. Katz's budget scheme. Mr. Katz succeeded in getting his irresponsible plan passed, but now he has to grow up and take responsibility for the consequences and stop blaming and deceiving others for his actions.


Brian Medeiros
Tiverton, RI

Saturday, May 16, 2015

BUDGET 2 WINS FTR VOTE

Obviously, tonight's FTR results are a big disappointment. So, too, was the turnout, just around 20%, when over 60% turned out for the November election. It's a sad commentary on the level of voter participation when a 20% turnout is reported as a "large turnout".

The bottom line is that all voters could have voted on the town budget, and of those who did, the majority chose Budget 2. While every elected body and professional feels this is a mistake, that's the way elections work. 


Tiverton 1st will continue to work to inform and motivate community-minded people to get involved, run for office, and above all, to vote. Results like tonight's are frustrating, but we care too much about out town and schools and the people of Tiverton to give up.


Thank you to all who played a part in support of Budget 1, and to all who did take the time to vote. Let's take some time to determine the best path forward, and then get back to work in support of our community.


Brian Medeiros
Tiverton, RI

Friday, May 15, 2015

SATURDAY IS THE FINAL DAY TO VOTE ON TOWN & SCHOOL BUDGET / 7am-8pm at THS

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the final day for voting on the Town and School Budget at the annual FTR (Financial Town Referendum). All registered voters are eligible to vote at the High School from 7am - 8pm. Remember to bring your photo ID. Please take time from your busy schedule to help determine your town's future, and your own.

Tiverton 1st encourages every voter to get the facts and vote to approve Budget 1, the Budget Committee proposal that was put together by all three elected bodies and the professionals we pay to manage our town and school finances. It balances maintaining vital services while containing costs, and will cost the owner of a $200K home just $1.50 more per week than Budget 2, without all the negative consequences of Budget 2. 

As a community group, we rely on people who share our love for Tiverton to vote, and encourage their friends and neighbors to do the same. If everyone does their part, together we can protect Tiverton's financial stability and its future.

The backers of Budget 2 have an extreme political agenda they've been unable to enact through the regular election process. So they've hijacked this budget vote to exploit the understandable financial concerns of many residents. But as has been demonstrated, Budget 2 will not only be destructive to the town's financial stability, by raiding the town's savings and underfunding vital services, but it will ultimately cost every taxpayer more. It's a potential self-inflicted wound that will benefit no one but those spending thousands to promote it.

Town finances can be complicated. At the end of the day, the question to ask is: who do you trust? Is it the people you elected to represent you, and the financial professionals they hired to manage town finances? Or a fringe political group with a self-serving agenda?

We are all taxpayers, and demand our town government balance services and costs in a responsible way. Budget 2 backers like to tell people to "control your taxes". That's what town government has been doing for the past five years. Since the large tax increase in 2010 necessitated by inadequate savings to meet a crisis, spending and tax increases have been stable, and at historic lows. Progress has been made, and long-term plans enacted. Budget 2 will reverse this progress and bring back instability and lurching from crisis to crisis, with higher taxes and new fees as a result.

This is your chance to directly decide what kind of town you want Tiverton to be. Every vote counts, and every non-vote benefits those looking to return us to financial instability. We're better than that, and we deserve better. Please get out and vote to support Budget 1 on Saturday. Five minutes doing so can prevent years of financial crises and higher costs to all of us.

Brian Medeiros
Tiverton, RI


LETTER: TOWN COUNCILOR BRETT PELLETIER

This Saturday, May 16th marks a new FTR arrangement in the town of Tiverton. We’re ALL voting at the High School. It’s just one way the Town has found to save taxpayers money. The past 2 years have been particularly difficult to budget: massive snow storms, increasing electricity and healthcare costs, and a $600,000 budget deficit. But we made it work. We will always make it work. That is our job. It’s not a victory when we prevent bad things from happening; it’s what we have sworn to do on your behalf. It might not seem like it from national headlines, but public service is a humble endeavor. I take my responsibility to be a good steward very seriously. The only way cooperative governance works is if we trust one another.
I try not to ask much from the voters of Tiverton. Today, I simply ask for your trust. Many of you trusted me enough to elect me three times to the Town Council. I now ask that you trust that I’m working for your own best interests and the best interests of your children, grandchildren, neighbors, and even those yet to come. Our new Town Administrator has a passion for public service, and coupled with our revised budget and capital planning, we are starting to find more than one year’s solutions to multi-year problems. This planning will address what we can do today to make the next 10 years progressive, not regressive. That work is reflected in our Budget #1. Some would have you believe that we’re all stupid, fatuous, and irresponsible. I can tell you there is nothing further from the truth and I would suggest that those willing to stand up and work for you and take such name-calling and hostility do so out of a willingness to help their fellow citizens.
I’m prone to quoting Churchill so here goes... “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried… No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried.…” I know it’s not perfect, but it’s the system we’ve all agreed on; don’t take the legs out halfway through. I ask that you all vote for Budget #1 on Saturday. I spent a lot of time and energy, along with a lot of other public servants, in thinking about it, analyzing it, and presenting it. It works, it’s responsible, and it serves the best interests of the residents of the town of Tiverton and it lets your public servants do just that…serve the public.
Thank you.
Brett N. Pelletier