PCC leader Fitzmorris axed from Charter Committee: Patch

The Portsmouth Town Council on Monday night approved the removal of three members of the sitting Charter Review Committee (CRC) for missing multiple meetings, including Portsmouth Concerned Citizens (PCC) President Larry Fitzmorris, according to reporting in Portsmouth Patch.

In addition to his role on the PCC, a members-only group advocating "limited and moderate property tax increases," Fitzmorris also serves on the board of the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition (RISC), according to a listing on their web site.

The other two members removed were Stephen Larsen and Kevin Gavin, in a 4-2 vote that crossed party lines, with Republicans Liz Pedro and Paul Kesson in the minority. All three of those removed had reportedly missed at least five consecutive monthly meetings.

The Council's action was ironic because it was Mr. Fitzmorris and the PCC who proposed a set of Town Charter amendments in 2010, prompting the Council to form the review committee.

If there is a bright spot for Mr. Fitzmorris, it is that he did have the chance attend the most recent meeting of the CRC to advocate those amendments to the two-dozen-member group. However, of the four proposals — A fixed timetable for Charter reviews, elimination of partisan elections (which was, confusingly, titled "elimination of the straight party lever"), recall of local elected officials, and two-year terms for the school committee — only the timetable was approved. The CRC recommendations will go to the Council later this year for possible inclusion on the November ballot.

"We believe that an individual voice is rarely heard in our government," Mr. Fitzmorris says in a post attributed to him on the PCC web site.

Indeed. Especially if that individual isn't, well, there. As a well-known political figure in Portsmouth once said, "Democracy is decided by those who show up."

Full disclosure: I also serve on the CRC, and I admit that because of work schedules, I missed a couple of meetings. Also relevant: In 2007, I was denied membership in the PCC by a secret vote. bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'