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Candidate Statement: Karen Ryan

Democrats Won’t Raise Taxes Any More Than Republicans

At the recent Little Compton Community First Town Council Candidate Forum, 20-year incumbent Councilor Gary Mataronas used the time-worn scare tactic that, if elected, “the Democrats will raise our taxes!” This is ironic because the current Republican Council increased the FY2018 tax levy by very nearly the maximum allowable tax cap but still spent more than was budgeted. Only five other towns/cities in the state increased their tax levies by larger percentages.

The Council likes to accept credit for Little Compton’s low tax rate, citing their fiscal conservatism. What they don’t say is that the tax rate is, in large part, due to a significant tax base consisting of non-resident, second homeowners who don’t have children in the local school and don’t make large demands on local services. The tax rate is also impacted by the state-mandated, four percent cap on the amount of property taxes that can be raised by the town each year.

Don’t be scared by false assertions. With the election of a Democratic town council, residents will benefit from a fresh look at the town’s operating and capital budgets, conducted by Councilors with valuable municipal budget and capital improvement experience. 

 

Candidate Statement: Karen Ryan

Promoting Civility, Transparency and Access to Public Information

Small-town government depends on the involvement and participation of its citizens. For too long, the Little Compton Town Council has kept residents in the dark about Council business. The current Council discourages citizen participation by 1) limiting access to public information; 2) not providing adequate time for people to voice concerns during meetings; 3) using an antiquated audio system that makes it difficult to hear discussions among themselves; and 4) too often reacting to public input in a defensive manner. No one should be afraid to voice an opinion or concern at TC meetings. The five Democrats running for LC Town Council will treat all residents with respect, regardless of personal opinion or political party. We will make public meeting materials readily available on a constantly updated town website. We will conduct town business in an open, inclusive and deliberative manner. In these difficult times, this is how we will all move forward together.