The Continuing Adventures of the Tiverton Town Council

I was a few minutes late (again), and I’ve got some new technology that’s taking me a while to work through. Luckily (in this limited context) one of the topics in which I was particularly interested — Rep. John Loughlin’s update on state budget developments — will not occur. Apparently, Portsmouth is more important. (Just kidding, John.)
7:22 p.m.
Of notable local budget news: the town’s proposed budget is still over the cap, although a few offices squeezed out a $43,000 more dollars (administrator, clerk, and treasurer). Town Administrator Jim Goncalo has scheduled meetings with all of the relevant unions, although to my knowledge, he hasn’t been authorized to go Lombardi on them.
7:31 p.m.
On the agenda, this evening, was a request from the Recreation Committee to begin advertising for summer positions. Councilor Louise Durfee called up a representative (Chairman Gary Rose, I believe) to ask whether he’s gone before the Budget Committee, yet, because they’re proposing a 16.5% cut across the board, don’cha know. Knowing looks and hints about conversations.
7:45 p.m.
Here’s the audio of that exchange: stream, download.
8:00 p.m.
Technology note: Laptop batteries lose their duration even if they’re almost never used as laptops. Town hall note: the outlet next to me does not appear to work…
Back to my stealth blogging gear.
8:24 p.m.
Representatives of the Recreation Committee are back in front of the council to ask for permission to accept donations of land and money to begin the process of developing a soccer complex (which comes with minimal expense, none from the town, to begin with). Ms. Durfee took the opportunity to talk about the notable experience of going before (or even attending) a Budget Committee meeting.
“They’re looking to cut everything.” Well. Yeah.
8:52 p.m.
Councilor Jay Lambert asking that the council be clear about its budget submission: “Just because you don’t like the style of the messenger, don’t ignore the substance.” Meaning the budget committee.
Durfee thinks the budget is “arguably” low, arguing from the spending side, without regard to taxes.
President Don Bollin is arguing that collective bargaining determines budget amounts, even with contracts open. (I’d argue that the unions use the budgeted money as a baseline.)
Bollin is also wary of following in East Providence’s footsteps even though resolution of those issues are about a year out.
Cecil Leonard counts himself among those who worry that the council is already cutting too much.
9:07 p.m.
Chris Cotta approached the council to agree with everything the council has said, but to follow through on the process.

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Joanne Arruda
Joanne Arruda
15 years ago

Mr. Katz:
Again, a correction is in order. You write as a caption to a photo that “Councilor Arruda takes a moment to do some messaging:”. Again, you couldn’t be more wrong! I would never be so disrespectful to my fellow councilors or to you a citizen of this town as to “do some messaging” during a meeting. Let me remind you, at that moment during the meeting we as a council were discussing scheduling a workshop with the Budget Committee. I was entering the date into my calendar. It’s something I do very regularly to keep my schedule organized. So to again mislead your readers is something you really should be careful in doing. If you’re going to invest the time to attend the meetings you are responsible to your readers to report the facts.

Justin Katz
15 years ago

The timing didn’t seem to me to be quite that direct, and at any rate, what struck me about the moment was the nature of the conversation going on while you were thus distracted.
But having been unable to see your PDA screen (obviously), I’ll take your word for it, delete the picture and caption, and offer an apology.

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