TIVERTON — The unseating of Joan Chabot as Town Council President may be on the table for discussion and possible action at a special meeting of the Tiverton Town Council tonight, Thursday, September 7, at 7 p.m in Town Hall.
After the call to order, the council will address the single agenda item: "For discussion and possible action on Town Council Governance and Leadership."
The issue dates back to Aug. 15 when Council President Joan Chabot was given 48 hours to step down as president by two council members.
Ms. Chabot confirmed the ultimatum on Monday, Sept. 5. "Yes," she said, "I was asked by two councilors after the council meeting of Aug. 15 to step down as president."
Asked why she was asked to step aside, Ms. Chabot said, "You'll have to ask them."
The two delivering the ultimatum were Councilors Christine Ryan and Patricia Hilton, she said.
In response, Ms. Chabot sent the following e-mail to Ms. Hilton and Ms, Ryan on Thursday, Aug. 17 at
"I believe in open, honest and transparent communications. Any issues that you feel exist with the current council and specifically with my actions as Council President should be discussed with the whole council in public to have complete transparency. If your goal is a better running council, then this is the approach I would recommend so that all council members are involved and have input into a resolution.
"Having a private discussion, with an expected resolution (my resignation as Council President) to your specific issues, does not reflect transparency or open and honest discussion.
“We should all strive to make things better and I am always willing to work with you going forward to address any issues as a Council."
At the Aug. 28 council meeting there was discussion about leadership, following a comment by Councilor Hilton who said she and Councilor Ryan "would like to see about a discussion about scheduling a special meeting to discuss council governance and leadership to see if other councilors would be interested."
Addressing Councilor Hilton, Councilor Edwards asked if she "could provide some clarification as to what you're asking us to do." To which Councilor Hilton said "to discuss council governance as well as council leadership."
Council President Chabot said to call a special meeting, you need three councilors to request it. "At least that's what's in the charter."
Following which both Councilors Joe Perry and Denise deMedeiros said they were in favor of it.
With at least four members thus favoring a special meeting, Clerk Nancy Mello was asked to schedule Thursday's special meeting.
Councilor Hilton could not be reached for comment. Apart from Council President Chabot, no other councilors were polled.
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