Below is a press release from We the People of Exeter, the group leading the recall effort in Exeter.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Recall Petitioners Speak
“Council Should Have Talked to the People”
Contact: Mr. Brian Bishop
WeThePeopleofExeter@gmail.comPh: 401-439-7877October 17, 2013
EXETER, RI – We the People of Exeter is announcing the grassroots effort to seek redress of our concerns has been successful. The Exeter Board of Canvassers has certified the recall of four town councilors initiated by the hard working Exeter citizens, who were ignored and dismissed, by those councilors while trying to protect their constitutional rights.
“If these four councilors had spent as much time talking to the citizens of Exeter as they have spent talking to the press the past few weeks, we would not be here”, said petitioner Joseph St. Lawrence.
While firearms licensing was the subject of the underlying debate, this is not, as some members of the council falsely claim, merely a firearms issue. First, they refused to listen to constructive criticism regarding the rights of the citizens by limiting comment and frustrating Exeter residents who were unable to speak on the issue. Now, they dismiss petitions from 600 citizens as petty. This is just the arrogant and unresponsive attitude that galvanized this recall.
We are Exeter residents engaged in a time consuming grassroots effort while trying to juggle work, family and life in general. We did not make the decision to sacrifice our valuable family time over a bygone ‘gun issue’, but we viewed the actions of the town council resolution as taking away the rights of Exeter citizens and surrendering our local powers to the state. When the council dismissed, disrespected, and ignored us, we became united. Our only recourse to redress such urgent concerns was through the recall provisions of the Exeter Town Charter which was adopted by the electorate of the town 16 years ago.We did not choose the process or set the recall rules, but are working within the town charter to hold the town council accountable. This is democracy at work. At the upcoming election, we urge the voters of Exeter to make your voices heard and vote in favor of recall.