Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sounds like an Endorsement to Me

On" the Newport Daily News editorial page (sorry, no link), there is a letter from the White Knight," Councilor Ed Silveira. He is running again as an unendorsed Dem. This means he did NOT ask the Middletown Dem. Town Committee leadership for their support nor is he receiving any support from them. He took the same path as Councilor Bobby Sylvia & myself (I chose to run as an Independent, though). And yes, I am still a registered Democrat (R.I. is a strange state).

You have got to admire a guy who for two years put up with nothing but abuse from a Council whose majority under leadership direction decided to isolate & make irrelevant an ELECTED official. The poor guy was put in the "time-out" corner for two years received occassional support from Councilors Sylvia & DiPalma. How did he stand it for TWO YEARS??? I don't think that I could have, let alone decided to run again for office.

Who is standing with him NOW- Me, Barbara VonVillas, Helen Christy, and slightly to the side, Robert Sylvia.

So here is the letter which the Daily News editor headlined: "On Nov. 4, vote for a voice of integrity on Middletown Town Council." Indeed. I'll second that. If you vote for no one else, VOTE FOR ED SILVEIRA!

Dear Editor,

In the last few weeks, I have visited with Middletown citizens throughout our town. The one question I am constantly asked is “Given the way you were treated by the Council majority, why on earth would you run again?!”

It is true that from the beginning of this Council, Paul Rodrigues, Shirley, Mello, Teresa Santos, and Barbara Barrows (“The Block”) combined to strip me of liaison duties to key Town committees, failed to recognize my nominations or motions, and just generally tried to reduce me to irrelevancy. Although I was often supported and joined in opposing this activity by Lou DiPalma and Bob Sylvia, The Block repeatedly prevented me from being heard.

So why not just walk away? Well, first and foremost I am an optimist – especially on Middletown and the common sense of our citizens. Our Town is a special place, and despite the Council rancor, I believe we will get over these political antics. I think a new Town Council will make real progress in solving our Town’s problems, and with your support, I would like to be part of that.

I am proud to have consistently supported open government and open records, especially when it involves allegations of improper conduct by Council members. Hiding public records from public view is never a good idea, and is corrosive of the political process. I am proud to have opposed Council interference in operation of Town committees and boards. If I am part of a new Council, I will continue my efforts to restore public confidence in the Council’s integrity.

I am proud to have voted for placing all Town Charter Commission change recommendations before the voters, without exception; specifically including non-partisan elections and term limits; regardless of my personal views on the desirability of the changes.

I strongly recommend approving all Town Charter changes on the ballot, especially questions 7 and 9 (on page 4) which strengthen conflict of interest provisions and explicitly prohibit Council member interference in Town operations.

I am proud to have proposed reducing the tax rate through prudent use of surplus funds. I was pleased to support open space acquisition, to participate in review of our Zoning Ordinance and implementation of commercial design standards, and to advocate for island-wide solutions.

Not everyone will agree with me on these or other issues, but I believe that only through open Council deliberation and debate can we hope to find the best answers to our common problems.

If you would like a sample ballot, please call me at 862-5105, or download the Middletown ballot at
With your help, I look forward to participating in the process of rebuilding confidence in our Town Council and solving our real problems - and I ask for your vote on November 4th.

Ed Silveira
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