Out and In in Tiverton

My observation of Tiverton government began too recently — and I’m insufficiently inside — to really get the significance of the move, but Town Administrator Glenn Steckman offered, and the town council accepted, his resignation tonight. Apparently the “arising rift” in town government noted in recent Providence Journal coverage was more of an arisen rift.
Being a fan of rifts, though, I’d suggest that now is the perfect time for the Charter Review Commission to consider placing the possibility of creating a position of elected mayor before the voters. That way the lead executive of the municipality wouldn’t work for the town council, but with it and sometimes, one would hope, against it.
Other town council news is likely of minimal interest to readers in the rest of the state, but I would very much like to know if a bizarre moment from tonight’s meeting is at all common at this level of government: After several neighbors of the Boathouse restaurant spoke in strong opposition to the possibility of indoor live music at the establishment (more, I got the impression, of the during-dinner ambient sort), and after several town council members spoke as if in agreement with the residents, Councilman Jay Edwards made, Councilwoman Joanne Arruda seconded, and the council overwhelmingly passed a motion to permit the entertainment license. So disjointed was the moment that I thought I’d misheard until other members of the audience whispered their own surprise to each other.
I almost wonder whether some of the council members mistook the motion actually made for its opposite. Or did they intend to grant the license, but with the restaurant’s representative in total understanding that he’d best keep the new feature tightly in hand? Or perhaps some of my fellow interested citizens and I did mishear…
Apparently, the confusion was mine (which is always a possibility and one that I emphasized in this post). Councilman Edwards has corrected me, in the comments, that his motion was “NOT to grant the license for entertainment at the Boat House,” meaning (I take it) that it was to deny the license. It would seem that either I misinterpreted the reactions of others in the room (including the manager from the restaurant), or I’m not alone in having misheard.
I apologize for my confusion… although per my usual habit, I’d like to mitigate my culpability slightly with a reminder that my mind is much occupied with the difficulty of simply sustaining a household in this state, thanks to the end result of the RI Democrats’ reign. (That’s written with a wink and a smile, of course.)

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16 years ago

If Tiverton is anything like where I grew up, somebody on the council knows the owner and called him up and said “You’ll keep it down so I won’t hear from your neighbors?” and he got an affirmative and there ya go. The business gets what he wants and the vocal opposition gets to come back to the council and complain or vote the jerks out next time if the noise ends up being more than they can bear.
Not entirely transparent government. Certainly not corrupt. The problem being is that when you operate any cog in complete darkness movements become mystery and people don’t like mysterious government. Because in this state it USUALLY means corruption.
Of course, I could be completely wrong as everything I just wrote is completely conjecture.

Jay Edwards
Jay Edwards
16 years ago

Please try to get the facts straight. The motion that I made was NOT to grant the license for entertainment at the Boat House. I suggest you print a correction before you create a rift of your own.

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