When Bullying Is What We Can’t Do Individually

Soon-to-be-former Town Councilor Brian Medeiros (who isn’t running to maintain his seat) expresses a potentially alarming notion about governance:

Government is supposed to help us all do things we can’t do individually.

If he’s talking about communal defense against plausible military attack, then I’d agree. If he’s talking about making teachers into an unaccountable class with disproportionate earnings and benefits, then I disagree. The point is that humanity developed societies to accomplish its larger, more complicated goals, but government and society are not synonymous. Some communal tasks are best assigned to families, to businesses, to religions, to cultural institutions.
It’s particularly galling to hear a town councilor’s protestation that we should have “an honest, respectful debate about what kind of town we want to live in” mere months after the body of which he is a part subverted public confidence in our financial procedures in order to pass a budget that faced tangible opposition. It’s difficult to take seriously admonitions to work together as a community in order to avoid the loss of services when the local government maintains the character of the town — as they call it — by rezoning swaths of land to forbid commercial development and then leverages procedural technicalities to brush off applications submitted hastily to beat the zoning switch.
I kid you not that there’s a local political action committee (PAC) that calls itself the Alliance to Preserve Tiverton’s Quality. From my place in the working class quarters, that sounds like a group advocating on behalf of “quality” residents to ensure aesthetic lifeboats from our sinking economy. In that spirit, thwarting developers and squeezing ever more tax dollars out of residents is something that those pulling town levers couldn’t accomplish individually.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bluebird of Happiness
Bluebird of Happiness
12 years ago

The Alliance to Perserve Tiverton’s Quality has several agendas, foremost is transparency in government and citizen involvement in local government. They are a “good government” group. They look for a better financial town meeting or something else. They are concerned with environmental quality, perservation of open space and farm land, promoting a higher quality of education in the public schools. And in tax fairness- an attempt to go beyond personal property taxes funding all town government & schools. With state help perhaps. They also desire careful economic growth in town, which means no large malls or high polluting plants like a asphalt plant which tried to move in years ago. But development on Main Road and Stafford Road, a grocery store etc is desired. They promotes the clean up of the Bay State neighborhood to be paid for by the polluter. They promote the idea of Tiverton has a progressive small town. The TCC (anti-tax group) is led by the wealthy land owners like the Nebergalls $3.5 million house) and by people who bought houses here in 2004-2007 and paid top dollar and are now paying taxes on houses worth LESS than when they bought them. This is the case of the President & Treasurer of the TCC ($600K house and $806K condo), both bought in 2005. Why should I elect people to my Town Council who were not here for the town-wide discussions and decisions on the School Bond and mall opposition? People who only care about their wallet BUT NOT about the nature and history of the town they just moved to? Brian Medeiros is a good guy, and smart. He is actually the real maverick on the Town Council- an independent voter who sometimes agrees and sometimes disagrees with the rest of the council. Brian has a… Read more »

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Gee, Rich, I’m involved with TCC. You wanna tell the world how much I paid for my house? How about my household income, or my out-of-pocket expense for my children’s medicine?
Or better yet, why don’t you put your class warfare where your interests are and explore the wealth of Alliance members for us all to peruse?
Both your local Democrat town committee and the Alliance support government officials who did all they could to subvert the will of a significant segment of Tiverton’s population. They support, in short, oligarchy.
Change is coming, Mr. Joslin, one way or another. It’s just a matter of time.
(By the way, has it occurred to you small-town progressive dictators that businesses might not want to open up on Main Road… five minutes up a one-lane-each-way street from the nearest highway? Wonderful concession y’all will make: allow development where businesses are most notably failing rather than in areas in which they might profit.)

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“So will they cut the Senior Center- which is the number one most effective agency helping seniors with low incomes in North Tiverton? Who are hurting in ways Cynthia Nebergall, corporate lawyer with 5 bathrooms will never hurt? Will they try to cut Special Needs? Will they slash snow plowing, road repair? Will they sell the town out to a mall developer that will never realize any real revenue for us? TCC candiates just promise change– but NO SPECIFICS.”
Sir, you’re missing the point completely. Unless Tiverton and most other cities and towns start doing something quite different, all of the cost-cutting measures you list will be imposed. Not by the TCC or any other citizen group but by the simple reality of a soon-to-be-empty municipal check book.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

By: BluebirdofHappiness: “They (The Alliance) also desire careful economic growth in town, which means no large malls or high polluting plants like a asphalt plant which tried to move in years ago. But development on Main Road and Stafford Road, a grocery store etc is desired. They promotes the clean up of the Bay State neighborhood to be paid for by the polluter. They promote the idea of Tiverton has a progressive small town.”
Not so fast. You’ve abviously neglected to mention the attempt by the Alliance to prevent the Black Goose on Main Road from expanding their business hours beyond 2 PM so the owner of the establishment can make a decent living. The Black Goose is a good example on how to foster good small business in Tiverton, yet a few high-minded Alliance members along with their Town Council allies tried to put it out of business anyway because it was too close to some old blue-blood Alliance residences. Change can’t come too soon for Tiverton.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.