To the Editor,
On Monday, April 2, the Middletown Town Council will consider a for a November 2012 bond referendum to support a new Pavilion.
I do not support increasing debt at this time, but I can appreciate the passion of Mr. Semonelli and the Beach Commission for a new structure that is badly needed, and I will support the proposal because I believe the voters should have the opportunity to weigh in on this important issue.
Similarly, I have proposed three additional questions for the November ballot, none involving the expenditure of funds, but all asking the voters to express their wishes regarding issues that have been deadlocked at the Town Council level for more than three years.
1. Shall the Town of Middletown actively pursue collaborative discussions with any or all of the Newport County communities (Newport, Portsmouth, Jamestown, Tiverton, and Little Compton) regarding potential school consolidation and/or regionalization?
2. Shall the Town of Middletown actively pursue discussions related to the sharing of municipal services with other municipalities in Newport County?
Also, based on an analysis of the results of the townwide wind turbine survey (see the April 2 agenda on the Town of Middletown web site), which seems to have been dismissed as irrelevant, I am requesting that the following question also be placed on the ballot.
3. Shall the Town of Middletown allow the development of wind turbines in Middletown locations that conform with site, noise, and flicker restrictions as established by reasonable ordinance and zoning regulations?
It is time for the Town Council to stop its squabbling about factionalized issues that may or may not be popular and affect their chances of re-election. While I believe that the Town Council is elected to represent the wishes of the voters, the intent is to represent the wishes of all of the voters, not just those who have the most influence or who protest at meetings.
When the Town Council seems unable to represent the Town as a whole, it is time to take these issues to the voters and let them decide what they are willing to do as they move towards an uncertain economic future.
I do support these three referenda for reasons that I have made abundantly clear over the past three years in this publication and on my web site, middletownleads, and I will campaign vigorously for their approval.
If the voters do not approve these three ballot questions, then I will no longer pursue the issues. Furthermore, if my support of these issues costs me my re-election, so be it. But I will not sacrifice my conscience and integrity while I play politics with the economic welfare of the Town.
Barbara A. VonVillas