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January 14, 2016

What Tiverton’s credit rating really means

I wrote in a letter last month that moving forward as a community means being able to discuss differences of opinion in the way that a community should.  At its bottom, that means we must treat the challenges that we face as problems to be solved, not as knots in a rope that we’re using for political tug of war.

We see a good example when the municipal government’s budget reserves tangle up with Tiverton’s credit rating.  As part of a recent refinancing arrangement, Tiverton hired Moody’s Investor Services to rate the town’s bonds, and the result came back as A1, which is the fifth-best rating possible (out of 16).  To hear town officials and their political allies tell it, the rating will cost the town big money and was mostly a consequence of voters’ approving elector-petition budgets at the last two financial town referendums (FTRs).

Continue reading in the Sakonnet Times.

December 10, 2015

Big issues loom — let’s face them as community

Maybe something arrived in the local air, with the summer months. Or maybe we were all exhausted by the constant roll of local issues about which we had to care, from major development proposals to all-day kindergarten. Whatever the cause, we seem to have had some months of relative political peace in Tiverton.

Continue reading in the Sakonnet Times.

May 11, 2015

Ignore the threats and lies; vote for budget #2

Supporters of higher taxes in Tiverton are saying a lot of negative things. They’re calling people who disagree with them “outsiders,” as if we don’t count in our own community. They’re threatening to take full-day kindergarten away from children. They’re lying about what the budgets do.

If you’re interested in the truth on these matters, see TivertonFactCheck.org.  My purpose, here, is to explain how Budget #2 — the 0.9% budget — is part of a positive vision for Tiverton.

Continue reading in the Sakonnet Times.