Tuesday, August 10, 2010
On July 29th the Foster Town Council voted to place three proposed changes to our Town Charter on the ballot in the November elections. I am most concerned about the proposal to make the position of Town Moderator appointed instead of elected. I wish I had attended the hearing to speak against the proposal. Shame on me for my complacency!
We have been watching our individual freedoms being eroded for years on the national level and I believe that granting this right of appointment would be another example of transfer of power from the citizenry into the hands of a very few. The five members of our presently seated Town Council speak with one voice only --- lacking any Republican or Independent members to open democratic debate.
We are treated to a pleasant report of Council accomplishments published in the Foster Home Journal each month. I read every word --- never get steamed about the content ---but I wonder about what I don’t read there. Speaking of that, I don’t remember reading, in his monthly FHJ reports, that Representative Scott Pollard co-sponsored the legislative bill to require district moderators’ positions to be appointed instead of elected. Perhaps I missed that? Please correct me. In any case there appears to be confusion of the titles “district moderator” and “Town Moderator”. John Lewis is quoted in the Observer as saying, “The new state law contradicts our town charter.” “As a result the charter has to be changed, he said.” I hope John will clear up the confusion in his next Council report in the FHJ.
Please vote in November to keep Foster’s elected Town Moderator. Unfortunate that there is only one candidate, no choice is a bad deal for democracy even if you like the candidate. That situation too was apparently a mix-up that could have been avoided.
For more information you can read the August 5th issue of The Valley Breeze and Observer newspaper, take a look at http://www.fostergop.com/ and the General Assembly page, http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext09/housetext09/h5730aaa.pdf