We The People, RI, is supporting the recall of the four Exeter council members that supported a Resolution to support H6160 that would remove the Clerk as the licensing authority for pistol permits in Exeter despite a massive opposition of the voters in Exeter.
October 17th, 2013, press release:
Recall Petitioners Speak
“Council Should Have Talked to the People”
Contact: Mr. Brian Bishop
October 17, 2013
EXETER, RI - We the People of Exeter is announcing the grassroots effort to seek redress of our concerns has been successful. The Exeter Board of Canvassers has certified the recall of four town councilors initiated by the hard working Exeter citizens, who were ignored and dismissed, by those councilors while trying to protect their constitutional rights.
“If these four councilors had spent as much time talking to the citizens of Exeter as they have spent talking to the press the past few weeks, we would not be here”, said petitioner Joseph St. Lawrence.
While firearms licensing was the subject of the underlying debate, this is not, as some members of the council falsely claim, merely a firearms issue. First, they refused to listen to constructive criticism regarding the rights of the citizens by limiting comment and frustrating Exeter residents who were unable to speak on the issue. Now, they dismiss petitions from 600 citizens as petty. This is just the arrogant and unresponsive attitude that galvanized this recall.
We are Exeter residents engaged in a time consuming grassroots effort while trying to juggle work, family and life in general. We did not make the decision to sacrifice our valuable family time over a bygone ‘gun issue’, but we viewed the actions of the town council resolution as taking away the rights of Exeter citizens and surrendering our local powers to the state. When the council dismissed, disrespected, and ignored us, we became united. Our only recourse to redress such urgent concerns was through the recall provisions of the Exeter Town Charter which was adopted by the electorate of the town 16 years ago.
We did not choose the process or set the recall rules, but are working within the town charter to hold the town council accountable. This is democracy at work. At the upcoming election, we urge the voters of Exeter to make your voices heard and vote in favor of recall.
Brian Bishop is a 32 year resident of Exeter, Rhode Island and one of the communications directors at We The People of Exeter.
EXETER TOWN COUNCIL RECALL PETITION
Four members of the Exeter Town Council voted en bloc to deny you due process under Rhode Island law; they are William Monahan, Calvin Ellis, Robert Johnson and Arlene Hicks.
Under Rhode Island law: 11-47-11, cities and towns are mandated to provide qualified law abiding citizens the right to apply for a concealed carry pistol permit.
This issue is not a debate about gun rights but rather the Exeter town council's unilateral actions based upon a personal bias and their defiance and suppression of the will of Exeter voters.
The four council members attempted to exempt the Town of Exeter of its statutory mandate. They did this by drafting a resolution to have the General Assembly change current Rhode Island law to have Exeter opt out of its obligation to its citizens. The Town Council has repeatedly defended their actions and stated the Clerk can not do background checks on applicants and therefore Exeter should not issue pistol permits. However, the permitting policy that the Town Council approved requires the applicant to obtain a background check from the Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Investigation as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and submit it as part of the application.
Representative Valencia sponsored two House bills at the request of the Exeter Council. If successful, this would deny citizens the right to due process by the Town of Exeter.
The excuse was the Exeter town clerk is not qualified to handle the issuance of the permits. This is a false statement; it is a deliberate attempt to advance a political agenda against the Exeter citizens' Constitutional rights.
Hundreds of your fellow Exeter citizens adamantly opposed this resolution. They called, wrote and attended town meetings to testify against it.
Despite our overwhelming objections, the town council passed the resolution ignoring the voices of the voters and those of a fellow council member.
Chronology of Events
Due to a large public interest at the town hall March 4th meeting the room capacity was exceeded. The Council moved for a change of venue.
A special meeting was held at the Metcalf School on March 11th where attendance by concerned citizens exceeded the 300 capacity limit, again the room filled beyond capacity. Despite every speaker in opposition but one, the Council passed the resolution 4 to 1 to deny Exeter citizens their Constitutional rights to due process.
Regardless, the abusive behavior of the four council members is a gross violation of our representative system of government and as citizens we have a duty to remove them.
The Recall Election Objectives
* Re-Establish a Government: for the people, of the people, by the people.
* Defend your rights as an Exeter citizen and the rights of your fellow citizens.
* This is a non-partisan issue and concerns the Constitutional rights of all Exeter citizens.
* Elect officials who will represent the people and faithfully execute the duties of their office in accordance with the Exeter Town Charter and the law.
* Elect officials who will honor their commitment to the United States of America, respect the rights of its citizens and who will defend the US and Rhode Island Constitutions.
Please Take Action
* Sign the four petitions to hold a special election.
View the March 11th Exeter Town Meeting online:
View the video (starts 35 minutes into the clip) of House Judiciary Hearing of H6160, June 4th, 2013:
View the video of the Exeter Town Council meeting, December 2nd, 2013:
The samle ballot can be found here.
Below are links some some of the mailings that have been sent out to residents of Exeter supporting the truth behind the recall election.