Gearing up for the Financial Town Meeting

I’ve arrived early at tonight’s Tiverton Citizens for Change FTM-prep meeting, at which I’ll be speaking. (FTM stands for financial town meeting). Even people who aren’t speaking began walking through the VFW door about a half-hour early.
Hopefully turn-out will be good, although it would likely be too optimistic to expect an equivalent turnout to our meeting last year. After all, that one followed a controversial event. This year, we’re trying to prevent a repeat.
I’ll be checking in as I’m able. If you can come, please do.
6:52 p.m.
Well, we’ve already surpassed the average town council, school committee, or budget committee meeting. Harry Staley from the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition is here (he’s speaking). General Assembly Rep. Jay Edwards (D., Tiverton) just arrived (he’s not speaking).
7:10 p.m.
We’re starting a little late, owing to a delayed speaker. Rep. John Loughlin (R., Tiverton, Little Compton, Portsmouth) just arrived, though.
7:23 p.m.
About sixty people are here. TCC President Dave Nelson opened the meeting, followed by TCC & Budget Committee member Tom Parker, who is currently reviewing budget amounts and processes.

7:34 p.m.
Harry Staley is up:

7:37 p.m.
Providing some anecdotes, Harry’s describing the way things work in Rhode Island. He emphasized that it doesn’t matter what party it is that has a monopoly on government; it’s not healthy.
“Instead of facing up to the problems that we have, they’re going to turn to the stimulus money to pump it in to the current deficit.” That’ll make things worse… and he’s somewhat pessimistic.
7:56 p.m.
TCC member and Budget Committee chairman Jeff Caron is going through some financial changes that we’d like to see made moving forward:

8:12 p.m.
Bill Murphy of the East Providence Taxpayer Association has taken the microphone:

Bill’s characterizing the current power of special interests in RI as “a hostile takeover of government.”
8:19 p.m.
A great comparison of the U.S. Army, in which officers wait for the enlisted men to eat, with U.S. and RI government, in which the leaders take for themselves and then divvy up some of what’s left.

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