The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, an often heard saying that speaks volumes especially in the arena of local politics. Citizen voters should put careful thought and vetting into the process in 2022 for members of the North Smithfield Town Council, as the results will affect the policies and quality of life of residents for quite some time. Objectivity, facts, and logic should play a prominent role and emotion should take a backseat to avoid the dreaded out of the frying pan into the fire scenario.
An ancient phrase of “Cavete Suffragator” or “voter beware,” comes to mind.
In the case of Paulette Hamiliton there are many red flags from her past practices when given the trust, responsibility and authority of a town of North Smithfield office holder. Some of the archived information is available for consumption is clearly troubling.
Outlined for vetting:
– July 29th 2010 National Wind Watch Brenna McCabe, Valley Breeze Staff Writer. Did you know you were chatting with Paulette? “Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton is admitting this week that she pretended to be 15 different people commenting on an online Valley Breeze story last week about a proposed wind turbine in effort to advance a positive conversation about the idea.” Did you know you were chatting with Paulette? | Wind Energy News (wind-watch.org)
– June 9th 2015- Recall petitioners outline complaints about North Smithfield Town Administrator Donita Naylor Journal Staff.
Paulette Hamilton urges voters not to sign a petition seeking a recall election to replace her. She said her political opponents disagree with her taking the position of chairwoman of a proposed regional mayoral academy, RISE Prep, that would serve Woonsocket, Burrillville and North Smithfield.
The organizers of a recall petition aimed at ousting Paulette Hamilton have agreed on the reasons they will list at the top of each petition.
As reasons for the recall, Lowe and Vowels list:
>Hamilton’s support of the regional RISE Mayoral Academy charter school. The petition says this will incur “much higher out-of-district educational costs to bear, and subsequently diminishing the overall school curriculum” in North Smithfield.
She works on RISE during taxpayer-funded town time, “a practice that is equivalent to the stealing of taxpayer dollars.”
>”The unbridled chaos in the NS Tax Assessor’s office is now ONE YEAR OLD,” and taxpayers “are still in the dark regarding cause, effect, and the ultimate financial burden we face” as a result of Hamilton’s “incompetence and failure to oversee an office she has been sworn to administer.” Tax abatement issues continue, and accountability has been abandoned, the petition says, citing an estimated financial impact of about $750,000.
>Lack of leadership in moving ahead with three bond issues approved by voters in November.
>Bullying tactics, specifically asking a volunteer to step down from an appointed committee because, in an online forum, he questioned the tax basis for automobiles.
>Hiring a building and zoning official who lacked certification required by the state, then rehiring the former official to sign documents.
>Terminating the town finance director by a text to her cellphone.
Administrator Hamilton, lost track of the Tax Assessor’s office, that cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars when it came to the 2013 tax levy, and North Smithfield paid dearly for Hamilton’s incompetence. The particulars of her “minimal oversight and leadership” can be found in this letter to the Valley Breeze:
-August 9th 2015 Sandy Seoane Council ‘directs’ Hamilton to remove name from RISE | News | valleybreeze.com
North Smithfield Administrator Hamilton was one of the driving forces behind the RISE Prep Mayoral Academy in Woonsocket. North Smithfield now has 39 students attending RISE Prep at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $475,000 annually. Adding two teachers wouldn’t cost anywhere near that total, efforts to appease now-Governor McKee continue to cost the town dearly.
-February 16th 2016 Bill Rappleye Town administrator says car dispute driving her out of politics | WJAR (turnto10.com).
Paulette Hamilton “…took the town-owned 2014 Ford Focus to visit family in Maryland. She said that was not an abuse because it has long been common practice of the administrator to use the car for personal reasons on weekends, and she paid for the gas.” In reality, she filled the town-owned car at the taxpayer-funded fuel pump before her trip to Maryland, and validated it by claiming “she needed to get back in a hurry if needed.”
-March 9th 2016 Sandy Seoane https://www.valleybreeze.com/news/hamilton-fights-back/article_8de875ce-2b18-50d0-9eaa-036ee1514e43.html
August 24th 2016 Sandy Seoane Hamilton is MIA at council meetings | News | valleybreeze.com
Administrator Hamilton, when employed by the town, simply stopped going to Town Council meetings. Her absences (per then Town Council President Robert Boucher) were exasperating. “She’s not fulfilling her obligation to the taxpayers of North Smithfield. She’s already checked out. She was elected to do a job for the community. We can’t get answers on things,” said Boucher. “We can’t keep postponing things. The council is very saddened by this.”
North Smithfield voters deserve better from its elected leaders.
Integrity coined by Charles Marshall: “ Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. ”