Letter: N.S. bond ballot question should be rejected

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Town residents are in the process of voting, with a November 7th deadline, for a congressional candidate, and locally, for a town bond to build a new police station, with an amount not to exceed $18 million. We have repeatedly stated that we are supporters of the fine women and men of the North Smithfield Police Department, and our reluctance to move forward with this bond is in no way associated with any lack of admiration for our department. Our responsibility lies within walking a fine line between what is essential, what can be afforded and what should be modified to address the needs of all (of) the community. 

The current bond language, in our opinion, does not provide a clear path to voters and is confusing at best, which is why we attempted to remove it from the ballot, and provide a more concise question that clearly articulates the will of each voter. The other consideration is the low voter turnout during a special election. Many residents will wake up on November 8th to learn that they are now responsible for the repayment of a bond that may increase their annual taxes up to $377, for 20 years. That increase will be in addition to any regularly scheduled tax increases to operate the town in an efficient manner. For some, there is little or no fiscal impact, yet for others, including young families, older retirees and those who are not gifted with a substantial income, the impact could be quite significant and burdensome.

We have asked the administration for a forecast of our town expenses and income for many months, but as of this writing, have no further information that can make our decision to vote for this bond one that is based in fact and concrete numbers. This is akin to buying a new house and not knowing what your expenses and income will be prior to the purchase, but blindly going with an emotional decision that could prove to be overwhelming.

We ask that voters consider all the facts before voting. We are advocating that this bond question be rejected and to allow the Town Council to review other options, including renovation, resubmit a more detailed question that is clear and concise, provide accurate fiscal impact, and place the question on the presidential ballot for November 2024, with a solid game plan that addresses needs and focuses on payment ability.

Paulette D. Hamilton

Kim Alves

Paulette Hamilton is a member of the North Smithfield Town Council and Kimberly Alves is the council president.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Crickets Joey ….crickets.

    She voted for it…
    Now is against it…

    If it passes, she wins. She can say she voted for it and also say she spoke out against it publicly under the guise of “fiscal responsibility”

    If it fails, she wins. She can say she voted for it but also say she spoke out against under the guise of “fiscal responsibility”

    This is called being a true politician!

    Not good qualities of a council “president”

    She must think that the majority of residents don’t pay attention.

  2. “If Town Council President Kim Alves is now “advocating that this bond question be rejected”, what exactly has happened to change her mind since she voted May 23 to include the NS police station referendum on the ballot next Tuesday?
    Didn’t she know then that it would be a special election and voter turnout is typically less?
    She knew the specific referendum language that would be presented to voters, right?
    Didn’t she consider the fiscal impact to taxpayers back then?
    What specifically led her to flip-flop?
    Or who pressured her to sing a different song?”

  3. Wasn’t it Kim Alves, council president, who made the motion to add the language, as it stands today, to the ballot initially???

    I’m pretty sure that’s what the minutes on YouTube show.

    Yet now she is against it???? Someone’s playing politics with both sides of the coin….

  4. I think this article is ridiculous. These are the people that make decisions for our town. I would love to see the backup plan if this fails. Ooh yeh there isn’t one. Many of you are correct the bond was poorly written and confusing because of these 2 councilors wanting to confuse voters by adding in the renovation which makes zero sense when you know the facts. Both these councilors need to be voted out

  5. The bond was written in such a way by the people who want to force this on the taxpayer. It should not pass but it will go through no matter how the taxpayer votes due to the fact that some people in power want this no matter what. It’s not fair to the taxpayer to have this shoved down their throats just like the middle school was years ago and to have the sewer project STOPPED thanks to Paulette D. Hamilton who put an abrupt stop to the project which many home owners needed on St. Paul St. back in the day! I know I WAS ONE of the taxpayers that voted and it was approved that got SCREWED by her!

  6. Agree!! What I’ve stated in earlier comments on this bond issue. Even the finance committee would not back this bond issue. This bond issue is like jello… not clear and too many unknowns.

  7. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I believe your position is one shared by most taxpayers in town.
    A job worth doing is worth doing correctly, not one decided under arguable circumstances. Pushing ahead without all known factors is pure folly. What is it going to cost to run this new station? How much more in electrical, heating, cooling, IT, etc….?
    This should be on the ballot in 2024 where we can expect a more full voter turnout. Not one decided by the few hundred that show up for these lesser elections.
    Thank you again for speaking up for the taxpayers who cannot afford this.
    I have no mortgage and I still cannot afford these ever increasing taxes.
    How new home owners with expensive mortgages can absorb these increases is a mystery to me.
    Your opinions are greatly appreciated.

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