The Town Council of the Town of Tiverton, County and State aforesaid held a Regular Council Meeting on

Monday, December 14, 2020 at 7:00 via a Virtual Meeting viewable at Tiverton Videos on YouTube.



Council President Hilton called the meeting to order with the pledge of allegiance to the flag.


             Members present

Council President Hilton

Councilor Perry

Council Edwards

Vice-President deMedeiros

Councilor Clarke

Councilor Driggs

Councilor Cook



Town Administrator Cotta, Solicitor Marcello, Clerk Mello and Deputy Clerk Veegh were also present.


4. REGULAR MEETING: (Retiring Town Councilors)

A. Approval of Minutes
     1. Approval of Regular Session Council Meeting
Minutes November 23, 2020

Councilor Edwards motioned to approve the relative Council Meeting Minutes for November 23, 2020. Councilor Driggs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

B. Proclamation of Appreciation to Town Clerk Nancy L. Mello with Thanks for over 28 years of service
     in Town Government

Council President Hilton read a congratulatory Proclamation for the occasion of her retirement. The proclamation ended with the statement: “That every official and citizen of the Town of Tiverton extends to Nancy L. Mello their deep appreciation for her invaluable service to the Town of Tiverton and the very best wishes for happiness and good health in her well-deserved retirement.”

C. Brief Closing Remarks and Acknowledgement of Appreciation by Departing Town Councilors

At this time, the departing Council members Hilton, Driggs, Edwards and Clarke made brief parting remarks and mentions of their experiences serving on Council.


A. Swearing-in of Newly Elected Officials Town Councilors, Town Clerk and Town Sergeant

At this time, Town Clerk Mello swore in new Council members Michael Burk, Deborah Janick, Jay P. Edwards and William Vieira, new Town Clerk Joan B. Chabot and Town Sergeant Kelly Levesque.  

B. Introduction of Town Clerk, Mrs. Joan B. Chabot

Newly sworn in Town Clerk Chabot congratulated the newly sworn in Councilors and Town Sergeant and began the regular meeting.

6. REGULAR MEETING: (Newly Elected Town Council)

Mrs. Joan B. Chabot, Town Clerk

A. Roll Call of Newly Elected Town Council   

Members present

Councilor deMedeiros

Councilor Perry

Council Edwards

Councilor Burk

Councilor Janick

Councilor Vieira

Councilor Cook



B. Conduct Election of Town Council President

Town Council President:

Clerk Chabot asked for nominations for Council President. 

Councilor Perry moved to nominate Councilor deMedeiros to serve as Council President. Councilor Janick seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-1, with Councilor Cook opposed.

                A. Election of Town Council Vice President

Council President deMedeiros asked for nominations for Council Vice President. 

Councilor Janick moved to nominate Councilor Burk to serve as Council Vice President. Councilor Vieira seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-1, with Councilor Cook opposed.

                B. Brief Remarks – Newly Elected Town Council Members

At this time, the newly elected Council members Edwards, Burk, Janick and Vieira made brief remarks encompassing thanks to voters, outgoing Council, future challenges ahead and wishes to work together to do what’s best for the town.     


President deMedeiros read the items on the Consent Agenda.


Note 3:  All items listed within the Consent Agenda are to be considered routine by Town Council and will
                ordinarily be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a
                member of the Council, or a member of the public so requests and the Town Council President permits,
                in which event the item will be removed for separate consideration later on the agenda.

A. Approval of Town Council Minutes

        1. Board of Canvassers (3)    

B. Acknowledge Receipt of Reports
        1. Police and Fire Department overtime reports – November 2020
        2. Department Monthly Reports – September 2020

        3. Jennifer Siciliano, Town Planner and Administrative Officer – Report of Activities of Planning

            Department and Planning Board for October and November 2020
C. Approval of Tax Abatements      

                D. Approval of Town Council 2021 Meeting Calendar
                E. Town Clerk - Approval of Advertisement for 2021 Annual Tree Warden Appointment per DEM
                F. Councilor deMedeiros – Approval of Bay Street Moratorium Extension to June 30, 2021

Councilor Burk removed Consent Agenda items 7-C.        

Councilor Burk motioned to approve Consent Agenda items with the exception of 7-C. Councilor

Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Councilor Burk questioned Smith’s Auto Body/Uncollectable per Rossi Law. Councilor Edwards explained per the Assessor, Smith’s Auto Body had changed hands several times and the statute of limitations has expired. Rossi Law is the firm hired to collect delinquent taxes.   


Councilor Burk motioned to approve Consent Agenda item 7-C. Councilor Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


     The Public May Send Written Comments via email to or by regular  

     mail to the Town Clerk at 343 Highland Road, Tiverton, RI 02878 or place in the grey drop box located    

     outside Town Hall by 12:00 noon on Monday, September 28, 2020


A. Comments received
     Edward Ward – Street light on Starlit Drive and recycling program concerns


Councilor deMedeiros reminded Council could not discuss the item but could carry to next meeting as an agenda item. Councilor Cook offered to put item on next meeting agenda for follow up.  



                A. Approval of proposed amendment to Tiverton Code of Ordinances - Article I – Section 10 – Public
                     Nuisance of Animals – continued from November 23, 2020


Councilor Cook had supplied the Council with new amendments/changes the previous Saturday. Solicitor Marcello explained that since original posting, Councilor Cook had received recommended changes from the American Kennel Club that she incorporated into the original draft ordinance. He posed three options for the council: make amendments as presented tonight or have discussion tonight but re-post a new public hearing prior to final adoption or not accept the amendments.  


Councilor Cook summarized the draft section updates and additions. She explained the goal was to be more comprehensive in order to address past, present and future issues, preventing the need for future updates.


Council President suggested and Solicitor Marcello concurred that item be continued and possibly re-advertised to ensure the public is aware of the final draft.


Lengthy discussion continued amongst Council with regard to penalties, fine amounts, clarification and definitions of dogs “at large” and circumstances when a dog is considered to “unreasonably disturb the peace.” Other concerns were brought related to the consideration of emotionally impacted rescue dogs as well as adequate/reasonable time frames between offenses.


President deMedeiros opened the Public Hearing. Administrator Cotta asked multiple times if any members of the public wished to speak; there were none.


In order to allow additional time for the Solicitor and Councilor Cook to conduct research and further craft language, it was agreed the item should be continued.  


Councilor Edwards motioned to continue the public hearing to the Jan 11, 2020 meeting. Councilor Cook seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


                A. Litter Committee – (5) Member Board - (5) Year Terms - (3) Vacancies
                     1. Maureen Morrow, 47 Peaceful Way -
Requests re-appointment to expire 10/15/2025


Councilor Perry motioned to waive policy and proceed to re-appointment. Seconded by Councilor Cook, the

motion passed unanimously.


Councilor Burk motioned to approve the relative re-appointment. Seconded by Councilor Vieira, the motion

passed unanimously.

                B. Harbor Master – (March 2020 – March 2021)
                     1. Tyler Loomis, 89 John Duggan Road – Requests Annual Re-Appointment with Harbor and Coastal
                          Waters Management Commission Recommendation

President deMedeiros read the Harbor Commission’s favorable recommendation to continue Harbormaster Tyler Loomis’ employment for an additional annual term. The letter highlighted his competency as well as increased proficiency in administrative tasks. It was noted in addition to maintaining necessary certifications, Mr. Loomis had advanced his education with added marine training.


Councilor Perry motioned to approve the relative re-appointment. Councilor Vieira seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

                C. Acknowledgement of resignation:
                     1. William J. Vieira from the Arts Council effective December 7, 2020
                     2. Michael DeCotis from the Budget Committee effective November 17, 2020
                     3. Deborah Janick from the Budget Committee effective November 28, 2020
                     4. Jennifer Joslyn from the Budget Committee effective December 8, 2020       

President deMedeiros read the above resignations into the record.


                A. Councilor deMedeiros - Assignment of Town Councilor Liaisons for Boards and Commission


Councilor deMedeiros noted several vacancies for the various Boards & Commissions and requested fellow Councilors to consider volunteering as liaisons. The following additions were made to the current Board and Commission Liaison list.  

Arts Commission: Councilor Vieira. Budget Committee: Councilor Janick. Conservation Commission: Councilors Vieira and Edwards. Economic Development Committee: Councilor Burk. Harbor & Coastal: Councilors Cook and Vieira. Housing Authority: Councilor Burk. Juvenile Hearing Board: Councilor Perry. Landfill/Recycling: Councilors Edwards and Perry.  Newport County Chamber of Commerce: Councilor Burk. Open Space: Councilors Edwards and Vieira. Planning Board: Councilors Janick and Edwards. Police Pension Board: Councilor Perry. Recreation: Councilor Burk. Tax Assessment Board of Review: Councilor deMedeiros. Zoning Board: Councilors Janick and Edwards.


                B. Councilor deMedeiros - Discussion of Vacancies on Various Boards and Commissions


Councilor deMedeiros noted vacancies on several boards. Deputy Clerk Veegh confirmed recent advertising for public service appointments with a deadline of December 7, 2020. Few applications had been received thus far. Possible re-advertisement may be necessary.


                C. Councilor deMedeiros - Advertise for (3) Vacant Budget Committee Positions for Unexpired Terms to


Councilor deMedeiros explained that per the Charter, the write ins were for the positions open at the time. Three new vacancies now exist due to recent resignations.


Councilor Perry motioned to approve the relative request to advertise. Councilor Janick seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

                D. DPW Director Rogers – Approval to expend funds from Acct. 5530-7645 for bulldozer repairs
                     (est. $34,510)


DPW Director Rogers briefly addressed Council noting that while the machine had been inspected by the company, failures may exist in hidden components that could potentially affect cost. Administrator Cotta added that funds had been available last year, but had been held back due to 2020 financial challenges. Due to the anticipated DEM extension, the bulldozer replacement is a critical expenditure.


Councilor Perry motioned to approve the relative request to advertise. Councilor Cook seconded the motion.

The question of potential additional expenses caused Councilor Perry to amend his original motion.

Councilor Perry amended his original motion to include the language “not to exceed 37K.” Seconded by Councilor Edwards, the motion passed unanimously.

                E. Town Administrator – Authority to Renew the MTG Disposal LLC Contract from 12-14-20 thru
                     12-21-22 as Allowed per Contract at the Town’s Discretion


Councilor deMedeiros noted the original contract should be supplied to council. Administrator Cotta noted that the contract expired the previous day therefore time was of the essence. DPW Director Rogers added that months of negotiation had taken place in order to achieve what they believed to be best possible pricing. Discussion among the Council ensured relative to determining the percent and dollar cost increase of the new contract. Director Rogers clarified that the deferred payment expires this month. It was noted that the new contract price represented a 1.9% increase and the budgeted amount was more than sufficient to cover the cost.


Director Rogers noted that a renegotiation clause remains for when the landfill closes. He added the town will take on the burden of wet recycle rejection loads (due to open tops) for only the first two in a calendar year which was a favorable compromise with Mega. Administrator Cotta mentioned that at some point it would behoove the town to look at larger containers with lids which may mitigate some of the trash around town as well as complaints. He added that Mega had been very responsive to issues that have arisen.

Councilor Janick queried if other companies had bid or been considered. Administrator Cotta explained that Mega had previously been the low bidder and the competitor company had been purchased by the same parent company as Mega.


Councilor Burk motioned to approve the extension of the contract with MTG Disposal LLC as described in the letter dated December 7, 2020 with the total annual rate for the first year of $717,312.36 and for the second year and half a month of $766,312.00.  Councilor Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

                F. Town Administrator – Approval of Police Chief Jones’ Employment Contract – December 14, 2020

                     and ending December 13, 2023


Councilor deMedeiros asked for a motion to table the item until post executive session.


Councilor Janick motioned to table item 11-F until post executive session. Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

                G. Town Administrator – Approval to Advertise Position and Hire Laborer Position at DPW/Landfill


Administrator Cotta explained that the DPW had lost a foreman in late May. Due to budgeting uncertainties, the position was left vacant. He added that winter/snow approaching, it made sense to reconsider filling the position. Councilor deMedeiros questioned the position name and job description. Director Rogers clarified the position as a landfill attendant/truck driver laborer. Administrator Cotta confirmed that the union was aware of the position/job description as well as giving permission to waive the internal posting.   


Councilor Perry motioned to approve to advertise the position and subsequent hiring of the relative DPW/Landfill position. Councilor Burk seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


                H. Town Solicitor – Approval of Durfee Cemetery Agreement – Continued from November 23rd Meeting


Solicitor Marcello reminded the item relative to upkeep of the Durfee Cemetery had been carried from the 11-23-20 meeting due to lack of backup. He had initially recommended against accepting monies from private individuals for maintenance. However, research revealed the cemetery had been deeded to the Town many years ago and the Town had agreed to the upkeep. Monies had been given by the heirs of the Durfee family over the years, yet no formal agreement regarding the Town’s responsibility was in place. The agreement language was now included as backup.


Councilor Cook motioned to approve the Durfee Cemetery Agreement. Councilor Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

                 I. Town Solicitor – Approval of Executive Order Declaring Tiverton State of Emergency with Newly

                     Elected Town Council President Signature


Solicitor Marcello explained that in March, the Governor declared a State of Emergency and requested all 39 cities and towns to do the same. As the town had just changed council presidents, he advised the new council president execute a new State of Emergency declaration to ensure proper authority in the event of a future necessity.


Councilor Perry motioned to approve the Executive Order declaring Tiverton State of Emergency with newly
elected Town Council President Signature. Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


                A. Councilor deMedeiros –PAYT Trash Bag Amnesty from Saturday, December 26th and ending
                     Thursday, December 31st

Councilor deMedeiros reminded of the previously approved PAYT trash bag amnesty and that it allowed up to two bags per household.  

                B. Solicitor – Justin Katz v. Town of Tiverton et al                    

Solicitor Marcello advised that the relative suit had been filed 120 days ago with no action, until recently when service was filed upon the Town.


                A. Councilor Cook – Potential Litigation 42-46-5(a)(2)

Council President deMedeiros announced that agenda item 11- A will be tabled. Item was not advertised correctly and will be on December 28th agenda.

                B. Town Administrator - 42-46-5(a)(1) – Personnel -Job Performance/Annual Evaluation/Yearend
                     Review Police Chief Patrick Jones – Notice Given

Councilor Edwards motioned to enter executive session pursuant to 42-46-5(a)(1) – Personnel -Job Performance/Annual Evaluation/Yearend Review Police Chief Patrick Jones – Notice Given Councilor Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Council entered executive session at approximately 9:19 pm
Council returned to open session at approximately 9:52 pm

Council President deMedeiros announced that in Executive Session the Police Chief Patrick Jones’ Performance review was discussed and no votes were taken.  Minutes were sealed.

Councilor Perry motioned to seal the minutes of the Executive Session. Councilor Vieira seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

11 F.  Town Administrator – Approval of Police Chief Jones’ Employment Contract – December 14, 2020 and ending December 13, 2023


Councilor Perry motioned to approve the contract for the Police Chief from December 14,2020 through December 13, 2023 as per the contract at the towns discretion. Council Vice President Burk seconded the motion.


Councilor Edwards mentioned that the real significant difference in this contract is the Chief now gets holidays and longevity. Administrator Cotta mentioned the contract was run by Tim Cavassa, chief labor council, with only minor tweaks in language. Changes were reviewed with Chief Jones and he will review with Council President before signing.


The motion passed unanimously.


Councilor Perry motioned to adjourn the meeting. Councilor Janick seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.



A True Copy.



                 Joan B. Chabot, Town Clerk



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