Shortly after the first , Warren Town Councilor Cathie Tattrie voiced her concern regarding the impact of the school's budget request on the Warren town budget and requested feedback from residents.
"If the majority of Warren tells us to give the school department what they are asking for, we will give it and try to muddle along," Tattrie wrote in the post. "If Warren asks us not to give it, then we will go that way. But some input from our citizens would be nice. We are here to serve you."
But on Monday, Superintendent Melinda Thies distributed an email through the parent groups for Bristol and Warren schools falsely stating that if Tattrie received a number of emails showing support of funding the budget increase for the school district, the councilor would support the school's budget proposal.
"[Cathie Tattrie] has shared with [John Saviano] that she will change her vote and will support the district if she receives 100 e-mails from constituents," Thies wrote in the email.
But Tattrie denies ever making such a comment to the School Board Member and claims that she was very surprised that the Superintendent would distribute an email without confirming the information with her first.
"I never said that," Tattrie said. "Just to put a number on it would be silly. There are thousands of residents in Warren. Why would 100 forced emails change my mind?"
At that, Tattrie also noted that Thies' efforts drummed up about 30 emails, seven of which were from residents of Bristol.
Tattrie also made a point to post a response to the distributed email in a .
This is my response since Melinda did not deem asking me if that was how the conversation went:
Please forward this along to your email group. Thank you.
What was said to Mr. Saviano, is that I have reached out the Townspeople of Warren through my blog on Patch, and asked for their input as to how much they would like their taxes increased. If I got more people telling me to give a higher amount than what we already budgeted to give the Schools, than I have people asking me not to raise taxes, then I would reconsider the amount. How he added in a number and misconstrued our conversation with a "magic Number" is unimaginable. There are approximately 10,000 people in the town of Warren, and even in our lowest voting turn out, more than 100 came out to vote. I do appreciate any input as it is a very important issue. But this campaign is not the conversation that was had. Thank you.
Bewildered by the misinformation distributed by the Superintendent, Tattrie stands firm with her vote, reiterating that the was to reach out for public comment.
"I want people to know what is going on, and I don't want people to be surprised when they see their bill," Tattrie said. "If I had a majority of people saying raise my taxes, I want a better school system I would go with them. But the people who are not responding are the ones that concern me more. I would like people to say one way or the other, hold the line or give the money."
Editor's Note: The Joint Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 27, at 7 pm at Mt. Hope High School to make a final vote on the proposed budget.