Tiverton

The Kaleidoscopic Arguments Against Democracy

By Justin Katz | July 26, 2011 |

Last week, in Tiverton, the committee tasked to create an alternative to the financial town meeting (FTM) held a hearing on its proposal. Basically, the budget process would follow the same steps, with the Town Council and School Committee submitting budgets to the Budget Committee, which puts together a final request for the consideration of…

An A Priori Ruling from RIDE

By Justin Katz | June 28, 2011 |

Every year, for the past several, Tiverton’s Financial Town Meeting has made a distinction between the amount that it was appropriating from “local funds” and the amount that it expected from state and federal aid. For fiscal year 2010, the state aid came in $367,165 less than predicted, and the school department took the money…

Fun at the FTM

By Justin Katz | May 14, 2011 |

I really hope Tiverton’s financial town meeting (FTM) practice disappears with a proposed all-day referendum that townspeople will have the opportunity to approve in the fall. But in the meantime, we have to come out and fight the good fight. The only striking aspect so far has been the mocking grumbles and sneering looks that…

Comparative Budgets

By Justin Katz | May 4, 2011 |

I don’t know Providence finances well enough to quibble with Mayor Angel Tavares’s budget proposal, but in emphasis and presentation it stands in stark contrast to Governor Lincoln Chafee. Tavares led with controversial and concrete initiatives for spending reduction, while Chafee led with a massive tax increase. Maybe they’ll get to the same place —…

CORRECTED: The Minutia of Getting Your Way Locally

By Justin Katz | April 12, 2011 |

Among the oddities of local politics is the stuff that you have to care about and pay attention to. A number of years ago, Tiverton opted to build three new elementary schools. I wasn’t around for the debate, but at least a significant portion of the electorate believed that the old schools would be sold…

Doubling Expenses Through Fees

By Justin Katz | April 5, 2011 |

For this week’s Patch column, I took on Tiverton’s new Pay as You Throw (PAYT) garbage-bag fee: Granted, of all of the factors contributing to this increase, the proximate end of the landfill’s usable life is among the most legitimate. Town leaders have spent decades inadequately preparing for the day that the dump was full…

Using Transparency to Know What Administrators Should Be Investigating

By Justin Katz | April 1, 2011 |

My Patch column, this week, notes that school administrators in Tiverton appear to analyze differences between their approach and that of one of the most successful districts in Rhode Island (neighboring town, Portsmouth) only to the degree that they can formulate excuses why their own students and community in general are to blame for the…

Where’s the Money Supposed to Come From?

By Justin Katz | March 30, 2011 |

On Monday night, the Tiverton Town Council finally let the ax swing on a new trash collection system that will at least double the cost of curb-side pickup for residents. (The metaphor is meant to indicate an executioner, not a lumberjack.) The Tiverton Town Council approved a contract on Monday night to begin a trash…

Everybody’s Representative?

By Justin Katz | March 18, 2011 |

It doesn’t quite rise to the level of Whitehousian attack, but RI House Representative John Edwards (D, Portsmouth, Tiverton) does give a tax reformer reason to wonder how evenly his representation applies: “There is a loophole in that law that some groups have been employing to avoid reporting campaign activities around a Financial Town Meeting,”…

A Lesson for the Town’s Educators (and Parents)

By Justin Katz | March 16, 2011 |

Not surprisingly, a majority of Little Compton parents would prefer to keep the town’s students flowing through one of the state’s best high schools, in Portsmouth, rather than move them over to Tiverton’s facility right next door. I’ve explained why I would feel the same, were I among them, but the number of reasons that…

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