Local Politics in Poetry


You know an election season is bound to be odd when it’s scarcely begun and already poetic letters to the editor are hitting the local papers.  Tiverton entered this phase this week when one activist associated with the local big-government, high-tax political action committee Tiverton 1st sent a poem in to the Fall River Herald attacking me.

By way of background, I proposed a budget to voters (who approved it) that held taxes down to a 0.9% increase for the upcoming budget, leaving the line items up to the Budget Committee.  After achieving around 84% of the adjustments needed, the committee backtracked and instead eliminated most of the budget for curbside trash pickup, expecting people either to bring their trash to the dump or for the Town Council to set up some sort of new fee to force people to pay the money that the town initially wanted in taxes, but that the voters refused to pay.  (The move is legally questionable, particularly because the very same activists have long argued that the Budget Committee has no authority to set policy, while now the Town Council president is insisting that her council has no authority to refuse the committee’s decision.)


You’re Welcome, Dear Susan

Responding to a personal attack masquerading as a poem by Susan Scanlon, whose sister, Deborah Scanlon Janick, is a member of the Tiverton Budget Committee.

Hi, Susan! Your poem in these pages
thanked me for the referendum results.
As when your sister, Deb Janick, rages,
your real goal seems to be your sharp insults.

Could it be your sister didn’t tell you,
when she wrapped up work with the budget board,
ending trash was what she wanted to do?
So many non-trash options were ignored!

On June 7, here’s what Deb had to say,
writing on Tiverton 1st’s Facebook page:
“The residents of Tiverton will pay
the price for voting for Budget 2.” Rage!

Now it’s the Town Council’s turn to decide
on the administrator’s Option E,
which moves cash around to keep trash alive,
or a sneaked in tax or fee, then blame me.

So, my dear Susan, you are most welcome.
My goal, as always, is one of service.
Now our neighbors can see from the outcome
what sort of people we have in office.