Town of Truro vs CLC
Bob Delaney

Jamestown, RI

#1 Jun 5, 2014

Town of Truro vs CLC
Posted by Frank Haggerty , June 05, 2014 at 04:30 PM

Cape Light Compact
Cape Light Compact

Dear All,

At the Barnstable County Commissioners' meeting on May 28, 2014, Commissioner William Doherty (former Chairman of the Cape Light Compact, current member of the CLC Governing Board and Executive Committee), suggested the possibility of retaliating against the Town of Truro by doubling the cost of IT Services provided to Truro by Barnstable County in response to an amendment proposed by the Truro representative to the Assembly of Delegates which proposed to reject a 2 1/2% tax increase and to cut the County budget by $74,000.

The video record of the County Commissioners' meeting can be viewed here: . Mr. Doherty's comments occurred beginning at, or around, minute 12 on the video.

In proposing the amendment, the Truro Delegate, Ms. Deborah McCutcheon, had stated that she could not vote for the tax increase because the County executive branch and agencies under their supervision, including the Cape Light Compact, had failed to provide information on their finances that had been requested of them.

The Delegate from Truro also stated that she could not in good conscience vote in favor of a tax increase if she did not have access to sufficient transparency to understand how the funds would be spent and that she intended, through these minor, but symbolic, reductions in revenue and expenditures, to "send a message" to the executive branch that the Assembly would not, and could not, condone this lack of transparency.

See Assembly Minutes for meetings of May 7, May 21 and May 30, 2014 here: The video record of the County Commissioners' meeting can be viewed here:

Neither of the other two County Commissioners objected to Commissioner Doherty's suggestion of possible retaliation against the Town of Truro. When Commissioner Doherty mused that "one wonders" if such financial retaliation ought to be pursued, Commissioner Sheila Lyons chuckled. Chairman Mary Pat Flynn responded by saying: "We know where you are coming from."

At yesterday's meeting of the Assembly of Delegates (June 4th), the Delegate from Truro, speaking as a public official during public comment to the Assembly, decried Mr. Doherty's threat of retaliation against the Town of Truro; stated that she had acted in the best interests of her constituents; gave notice that she would not be intimidated by such tactics; and denounced Commissioner Doherty as a "corrupt thug." (See Assembly meeting video record here: ).

The Delegate from Truro will doubtless be criticized by some for a purported lack of civility in speaking plainly to the issue of Commissioner Doherty's clumsy attempt to intimidate a member of the legislative branch of government who acted in good conscience with his indefensible threat of retaliation.

In my opinion, however, in circumstances such as these, the public is much better served when elected officials have the courage to be blunt and unequivocal in denouncing such petty and unpardonable tactics -- and in doing so quickly -- especially since Commissioner Doherty's colleagues failed to do so and appeared to sympathize with Commissioner Doherty's suggestion.

We are extremely grateful for the Delegate from Truro's fortitude and integrity in the face of such adversity -- all the more so since there never seems to be enough of these essential attributes which are often so critically lacking in government at all levels.

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