Woonsocket Vote Proves Point of Tea Parties
In case you missed it, a Tea Party broke out in Woonsocket the other day (h/t).
As reported by WPRI:
Woonsocket’s City Council has voted against a supplemental tax bill that would have raised property taxes by eight percent.
Councilors took the vote late Monday night, following testimony from dozens of residents. Council members said arguments against the bill changed their minds; it was originally expected to pass.
The bill was meant to close the school department’s $3.7 million deficit. Councilors plan to meet Wednesday to decide on their next course of action, which could include a lawsuit against the state for more funding.
Why did it go from “expected to pass” to not passing? From the Woonsocket Call:
After some five hours of discussion, at just about midnight, the council…vot[ed] 4-3 against the measure. In the end, it was Councilwoman Suzanne Vadenais who tipped the balance. Early in the evening, she indicated a reluctant willingness to support supplemental taxes, but by the end of the night she had changed her mind.
“It was a very difficult decision,” she said. “After listening to all the people who spoke tonight, I can’t vote for this.”
Vadenais joined Councilors Stella Brien, Christopher Beauchamp and Roger G. Jalette Jr. in opposing the measure. Council President Leo T. Fontaine, William Schneck and John Ward were in favor of it.
So, were Woonsocket residents inspired by the “Tea Party Movement” to take a more active role in local government? The signs seem to indicate that was the case. What is for sure is that something has happened to finally push average, apathetic taxpayers into having their voices heard.