NK taxpayers see the "value" in educating our children and giving them extracurricular opportunities, along with maintaining roads and dams, providing services for senior citizens, and providing public safety.
Keeping those priorities in mind, we cannot afford to "waste" taxpayers' dollars, particularly during this period of budget crisis at both the state and local level and while people are being taxed out of their homes.
NK taxpayers are looking for accountability, transparency and fairness.
Each Forum will be held at the North kingstown Public Library 6:30-8:30 PM
And will be aired on public access cable Cox Channel 17, and Verizon Channel 37 The February 18th meeting is currently being aired on Wednesdays at 7:00 P.M. on the following dates: March 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st
Town Manager and Superintendent Discussed the Current 2009-2010 Budget as Well As Their Plans for the 2010-2011 View Video Online Moderated by: Larry Valencia, President of Operation Clean Government. January 14 Governor's 2010 Supplemental how it will impact NK Taxpayers View Video Online
Featured Guest: Gary Sasse, Director of the Governor's Department of Administration
February 18 Budget Transparency (Access to Public Records) and Budget Compliance
View Video Online and Currently being aired on public access TV Wednesdays 7:00 P.M. 3/10, 3/17/, 3/24/, 3/31
Featured Guests: Professor Barbara Meagher University of Rhode Island Department of Journalism
William J. Felkner Founder and President of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute
Due to the tremendous financial challenges that we are facing in the current year, next year, and perhaps longer, The North Kingstown Taxpayer’s Organization has, for the third year, organized a series of monthly Budget Forums.
Next Scheduled NKTO Budget Forum:
April 21th from 6:30-8:30 at the North Kingstown Public Library
Analysis of the Preliminary 2013 Budget
The forum will be , and each will be taped for broadcast on public access cable.
Last Year's Budget Process
On APRIL 17, 2002 NK Town Council meeting minutes reflect that then “Representative Benson (now a member of the school committee) cautioned the School Committee to be conservative because the State is out of money. North Kingstown has the largest population in the State of homeowners over the age of 65 and is proud that the Town Council recognizes that in their taxes.” Considering the current, more serious financial crisis,THIS IS NOT A GOOD YEAR TO RAISE NK TAXES!!! By continuing to increase taxes to the point that industry and jobs will not come to RI, by driving our retiring population away, by compelling our young graduates to find greener grass in other states, by securing our present individual benefits at the cost of the future…..Are we really making Rhode Island a better place to live for tomorrow?For business, families, retirees or our children? NK Taxpayers do not support cutting teachers while maintaining redundant overhead within the same town. We have been talking about consolidation for years but haven’t made any real progress because of “governance issues,” another way of saying “turf” issues. Enough rhetoric!
Statewide, only 52% is used for Instruction (in class teaching) Last year’s NK school budget identified that only 47% was to be used for:
Teachers salaries and benefits
Paraprofessional salaries and benefits
In Class Technology
That says to NK Taxpayers that 48% of education spending presents an opportunity for savings
We estimate a conservative 10-15% potential savings by eliminating “waste” - anything that does not add value
Supplies purchasing and inventory control
Redundant functions (Management staff) within the same City/Town
Also, NK Taxpayers do not support cutting any sport or extracurricular activity, particularly while there is such a disparity between the “haves and have nots.” Particularly when, one team receives over $50K each year while another gets no funding from the school general fund and is “pay for play, which is against State law. We are encouraged by that our Superintendent, Town manager, School Committee and Town Council can work together for our Town’s future. Jim McGwin President NK Taxpayers Organization
Comments made to the: North Kingstown Town Council1-26-09
Budget Suggestions For 09-10 And Beyond
Town Manager Embury and his directors have, for the last few months been struggling with the directive from the council to prepare a budget with little or no impact to the taxpayers.
The national recession coupled with the years of fiscal mismanagement of the state budget by the Rhode Island House and Senate have left this state in a financial meltdown of their own making.
Years of over spending and the use of one time only moneys to cover up the problem have not been successful, nor were they the actions of people with financial wisdom.
The actions of the governor to clean up this irresponsible fiscal mess have been met with unwarranted criticism.
The fiscal state problems have been transferred to the Rhode Island communities at a time when they and the local taxpayers are least preparedor capable of handling this extra financial burden.
State aid is being reduced, many taxpayers are unemployed, some have lost their home to foreclosure, senior citizens have had their 401k investments reduced by 30%-40% and utility costs have risen to unprecedented highs.
During the years I have been a taxpayer and resident, our town employees have been compensated very generously by the taxpayers of North Kingstown.
There has never been an action to reduce or take away benefits bargained for ------ but now things are different-the taxpayers never bargained for a national recession and a Rhode Island unemployment rate of 10%.
Mr Embury and counter parts at the school administration have been looking at deductions in personnel and other items that could be reduced to manage the 09-10 budget.
This recession will get worse and will certainly make the 10-11budget process a nightmare-- with service reductions unacceptable and a school program that may not be viable without tax increases.
The largest budget item for any town and school is salaries and benefits.
I think this is the time when our employees have a chance to “give back” to the citizens and taxpayers of North Kingstown who have been so generous to them over the years.
It is also a time to heed the call of President Obama “That it is a time for all to sacrifice.”
I am asking the town council and our union and non union employees consider forgoing their contracts for aperiod of time and have their salaries frozen .—This time period would be determined by the council and school committee.
This would give the town council and school committee time to fully consider the impact of the recession and insure that only redundant or unrequired personnel are reduced and that the services to the taxpayers and students are not affected.
Such actions by the town employees would be a message heard throughout the state and nation it would also send a message to the students throughout the state that “our employees were willing to help those that had been so generous to them over the years.
This would need to be coupled with a redoubled effort by the town council and by the school committee to aggressively consolidate” like “activities with all other communities that are like minded and insure that there are no redundant services rendered between school and town government.
I do realize that this is far from a perfect solution.However, it is only in “the theater of the absurd” that elected officials and town employees would ask those that are unemployed or have lost so much of their retirement savings to fund an increase in pay for those that are employed.
2008 NKTO Candidate QuestionnairesDownload now in PDF format
Candidate Forums Online Video
Town Council Candidates October 8th
School Committee Candidates October 16th
We at the North Kingstown Taxpayers Organization, believe strongly in a local government that is transparent, accountable and fair. Over the past several years we have worked to familiarize the voters with the ideas and opinions of the candidates prior to an election.