The Tiverton Citizens for Change reports that the local budget committee increased school spending by just one dollar. Here is more from their president:
Our hats off to the Tiverton Budget Committee who last night voted 6-3 to add $1 to the municipal contribution to the schools, essentially level funding the Schools for 2011.
The Budget Committee also voted to fund some new capital and major expenses, such as a new pumper truck for the fire department and materials for the Tiverton Senior Center roof and Tiverton Community center roof.
With the school vote, the current proposed property tax levy increase dropped from 13% to 7%, with still more work to do to get under the State Mandated cap of 4.5%.
While it is certainly laudable that the budget committee is level funding the school district—and we appreciate the symbolism of the token $1 increase—it is clear, as this message itself states, that they still have more work to do. For starters, it doesn’t sound like the budget committee was frugal enough with capital projects. Given the budget constraints, why is the town going out and buying a new pumper? You know you can lease those things instead of buying them outright. Even better, does Tiverton really need a new pumper? If they are replacing an old one, maybe they should think about extending it by another year.
Also, one wonders why Tiverton needs both a ‘senior center’ and ‘community center?’ Roof repairs aren’t going to break the budget, but it all adds up. It seems that local officials still have their work cut out for them, and the fact that they are already getting a congratulatory note from the local citizens watchdog group shows just how far we have had to lower our expectations in Rhode Island.