Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 16, 2007

meeting with Superintendent Ricci

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 4:51 pm

Here are the details I have gotten so far.  Superintendent Ricci has informed me that he is meeting with council leaders tomorrow at 3:00.   He writes,

“”I am not meeting with council members to plan for the reintroduction of the bond. “Word on the street” is incorrect. If the bond is to be reintroduced, that would need to come from the Councils in the form of resolutions, and approved by the School Committee, before legislation could be introduced. This is my intent: In an effort to improve communication between the District and the towns, I meet with council presidents/designees regularly and/or when issues arise so that all have the same information. I’ve done this since becoming superintendent.

I have asked for a location and if others are invited.  I will post when I hear an answer.

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22 Comments »

  1. Was the School Committee aware of these regularly occurring meetings between Chariho’s administration and town leaders?

    Talk about subversion…shouldn’t it be the School Committee’s job to be the communication link between the district and the town?

    Sure, Mr. Ricci should communicate with the towns as the School Committee deems appropriate, but I am very wary of a school employee having unmonitored and unapproved discussions with politicians from the towns.

    I hope this gets on the School Committee agenda for public discussion.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 16, 2007 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  2. Mr. Ricci is an employee, and serves at the pleasure of the School Committee? As an employee, doesn’t he at least alert his employer or representative of his ongoing discussions, especially during times of crisis or unrest in the respective communities?

    Does he at least give them a “heads up” of his intent to discuss, mediate, or otherwise provide a plan of action? Or does he consider the School Committee too stupid, dumb, or beneath him to communicate this information. Very often on this site I have seen information stating that employees of the town and state should be treated like employees in the private workplace. May I suggest that at least descretion, respect, and communication be demanded of THIS employee also? A higher position such as the one Mr. Ricci holds should also require a higher level of functioning and accountability.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 16, 2007 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  3. Just to answer both questions here. Yes Mr Ricci does and has let us know of this meeting with the Town Councilors ( presidents) ever month. He has done this to open communication with the towns. You asked for open communication and now you know that to some extent you have been getting it. Any members of the town council or school committee can go to these meetings, they are informal and not as much a meeting as just a time for the presidents to let Mr Ricci know what the towns concerns are. Mrs. Gardiner, he does let us know of these discussions and this type of meeting is no different than the breakfast club at West Bakery. I know people have a problem with Chariho regardless of what is done or how they do things, but at least give the guy a little credit when it is due. He has tried to keep an open forum between the school and the town council, if there were anything to report from any of these talks I would like to think the presidents of the town councils would bring it to the respective towns.

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 17, 2007 @ 7:03 am | Reply

  4. Well said, Mr Petit.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 17, 2007 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  5. Bob:Why was a member of the prees told that she would not be allowed into todays meeting?

    Comment by FYI — November 17, 2007 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  6. I think the problem is that this meeting is being portraited as a normal meeting and NOT planning for a reintro of the bond – but, at least according to the Charlestown TC meeting, this meeting is to plan on a new bond attack. Just strikes us as more of the shady game of symantics

    Comment by Bill Felkner — November 17, 2007 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  7. Mr. Petit tells us he stopped reading my analysis of the ProJo article, so maybe he is not aware of how the meeting is being reported?

    The following quotes sure make it sound like the meeting between Mr. Ricci and the Town Council presidents is a strategy session for subverting the vote. If “FYI” is accurate and the press was not allowed into the meeting, this give us even more reason to be worried about what Mr. Ricci is plotting.

    I’d feel a lot better if Mr. Cordone was on the side of the majority of Hopkinton’s voters in recognizing the original bond as bad for Hopkinton. Any meeting where the perspective of those opposing the bond is not represented is dangerous to the democratic process. Here’s the quotes:

    “to discuss the future of Chariho”
    “Ricci…clarify construction aid…valid through June 2010…what need to be done if a second vote was to be held”
    “Legislation would also have to be reintroduced”

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 17, 2007 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  8. FYI I don’t no why the reporter is not allowed into the meeting. It might be the best thing not having them in the meeting. Lets face it nothing can be done without comming to the towns with what they have decided to bring to the table. I for one would rather hear it from the town coucil presidents than the opion of the newspaper reporter that sat there and listened. One thing I know for sure is that they will change wording to sell papers. I dont think we need more problems because of wht a reporter thought someone meant. Just my opinion. I think right now good or bad we have to trust the presidents and Mr Ricci to come up with something that will please all or it won’t go anywhere. Lets wait and see what they tell us first before we judge what they are all doing. I think we all agree we need to come up with something and I hope this is what they are trying to do. Between the papers,blogs and phone calls I think they have an idea what the people are saying, so lets not start rumors, let us wait and see.

    Bill you might be right about planning another way of attacking the bond. Are you against it if they come back and say they would like to split the bond just to get some of these things done?

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 17, 2007 @ 11:33 am | Reply

  9. Mr. Petit continuously amazes me. Now he’s telling the public that we are better served if our government can operate in secret. You can’t make this stuff up!

    If the media misreports or misquotes anything, public officials have the podium to make corrections. To use bad reporting as an excuse for secrecy is absurd.

    I believe Mr. Felkner has weighed in on the splitting of the bond, but I’ll let him speak for himself. As for me, initially I would have supported the High School bond. This was before I gave much thought to what it will mean to Hopkinton to locked into another 20 years of an inequitable tax scheme.

    If Hopkinton should decide to approve any bond which will be financed over a number of years, then Hopkinton has basically locked itself into the Chariho Act as it now stands. Hopkinton cannot remove itself from an unfavorable tax situation unless we have no oustanding debt to Chariho.

    Also to keep in mind is the power of Richmond and Charlestown to overwhelm Hopkinton with majority votes on the annual budget. Does Hopkinton trust Charlestown and Richmond to care equally about our children? Charlestown clearly does not think of our children as equal to theirs as expressed by their fight against tax equity.

    Charlestown and Richmond have the power, through the annual budget, to improve and maintain their own schools while neglecting Hopkinton schools. Don’t think this is possible? Then tell us why Hopkinton was alone in protesting against the maintenance neglect of the 1904 building. Did any committee members from Richmond or Charlestown apologize or offer support to compensate Hopkinton for our loss?

    Richmond and Charlestown cannot be put in the position of controlling the educational outcomes for our children for the next 20 years. The only leverage Hopkinton has is through the bond process. The minute we approve a bond and don’t get legal guarantees that our interests our protected, we have signed our own death warrant.

    I will not support any bond until we have tax equity and I’d even like to see annual budgets become subject to town vetoes (this one might be neogtiable). Until then, any Hopkinton resident who supports a bond is a fool and they will doom their children to the whims of the other two towns. I love my child too much to do that.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 17, 2007 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  10. CR, you are RIGHT! If you could have seen the interior and exterior of the Ashaway School, you would have been horrified! AND OUR CHILDREN were exposed to that mess! We inspected the school just a few months after it had closed, and I cannot understand to this day why the town council sold us out because of a threat (perhaps) of a lawsuit. NO care was given to that building in spite of a legal contract (the lease), and we cited many, many things that should have been corrected BEFORE the school was turned back to the town. Let us hope the new committee is able to make the Ashaway School work for the 5th and 6th graders. Just another example of how CHARIHO does not give a darn about Hopkinton.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 17, 2007 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  11. How about lunch (or dinner) HERE, where the kids eat! This report is directly copied from the RI web site. Note that we do already HAVE money in the budget for cleaning, and these are not pet mice, they are dead mice, droppings, vermin, etc.

    CHARIHO MIDDLE SCHOOL
    455 B SWITCH ROAD RICHMOND, RI 028941314
    Facility Type: Food Service (Non-Profit)
    Facility Status: Active
    Inspection Date: 05/02/2007
    * (This inspection was performed by a 3rd party auditor)
    For more information regarding third party school inspections click here.
    # Violation
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The door to the outside, located in the receiving area, is not tight-fitting. Outer openings of a food establishment must be protected against the entry of insects and rodents by tight-fitting doors.
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The presence of mice is not controlled as evidenced by droppings and nesting. The presence of insects, rodents, and other pests must be controlled to minimize their presence on the premises by routinely inspecting the premises for evidence of pests, using acceptable methods to control pests, eliminating harborage conditions and routinely inspecting incoming shipments of food and supplies.
    47 Non-food contact surfaces clean

    Inspector Comments
    The nonfood-contact surfaces of foodservice equipment and storage areas including the receiving area have an accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue and other debris.
    47 Non-food contact surfaces clean

    Inspector Comments
    The nonfood-contact surfaces of the floor fan have an accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue and other debris.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    The floors in the kitchen and receiving area has an accumulation of soil residue and food debris. The shelving has “webs”. The physical facilities shall be cleaned as often as necessary to keep them clean.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    The acoustic ceiling tiles in the kitchen have holes and stains. Those tiles should be replaced with easily cleanable, durable, vinyl tiles. The materials for indoor floors must be durable, easily cleanable and nonabsorbent for areas suject to moisture such as food preparation areas, walk-in refrigerators, warewashing areas and toilet rooms.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    The ceiling vents in kitchen (5-6) has an accumulation of soil residue and food debris. The physical facilities shall be cleaned as often as necessary to keep them clean.

    CHARIHO MIDDLE SCHOOL
    455 B SWITCH ROAD RICHMOND, RI 028941314
    Facility Type: Food Service (Non-Profit)
    Facility Status: Active
    Inspection Date: 05/02/2007

    # Violation
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The door to the outside, located in the ( delivery/ receiving area inthe back), is not tight-fitting. Outer openings of a food establishment must be protected against the entry of insects and rodents by tight-fitting doors.
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The presence of ( pests, ie mice) is not controlled as evidenced by (dropping noted in kitchen area near dry storage pallet and in dry storage room. ). The presence of insects, rodents, and other pests must be controlled to minimize their presence on the premises by routinely inspecting the premises for evidence of pests, using acceptable methods to control pests, eliminating harborage conditions and routinely inspecting incoming shipments of food and supplies.
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    Unapproved pest control devices such as spring traps used in dry storage room.
    47 Non-food contact surfaces clean

    Inspector Comments
    many area in the kitche, mop area, dry storage area, receiving back area not clean to sight. visible heavy build up and webbing noted behind and in between equipment, food storage shelves, prep tables. Extreme clutter noted in mop area. Dry storage area shelves, and under the shelving units not clean to sight.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    ceiling tiles are not of food code approved material.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    Kitchen areas, receiving areas and outside premise, outside the back doors and around dumpsters cluttered and not clean to sight.

    CHARIHO MIDDLE SCHOOL
    455 B SWITCH ROAD RICHMOND, RI 028941314
    Facility Type: Food Service (Non-Profit)
    Facility Status: Active
    Inspection Date: 12/05/2006
    * (This inspection was performed by a 3rd party auditor)
    For more information regarding third party school inspections click here.
    # Violation
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The door to the outside, located in the receiving area, is not tight-fitting. Outer openings of a food establishment must be protected against the entry of insects and rodents by tight-fitting doors.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    The ceiling vent in the chemical storage area has an accumulation of soil residue and food debris. The physical facilities shall be cleaned as often as necessary to keep them clean.

    RICHMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
    190 KINGSTOWN ROAD RICHMOND, RI 02898
    Facility Type: Food Service (Non-Profit)
    Facility Status: Active
    Inspection Date: 09/11/2007
    * (This inspection was performed by a 3rd party auditor)
    For more information regarding third party school inspections click here.
    # Violation
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    Dead pests in traps observed throughout kitchen. The presence of insects, rodents, and other pests must be controlled to minimize their presence on the premises by routinely inspecting the premises for evidence of pests, using acceptable methods to control pests, eliminating harborage conditions and routinely inspecting incoming shipments of food and supplies.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    Painted cinderblock walls need cleaning and repair in the storeroom and behind the dishwasher. Holes in walls (storeroom), build up of food residue and sticky in the Dishwashing area.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    The floor and wall junctures throughout the kitchen do not have coving. The floor and wall junctures must be coved and closed to no larger than 1/32nd of an inch.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    Walls are sticky and have an accumulation of food debris in the pizza prep area.

    RICHMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
    190 KINGSTOWN ROAD RICHMOND, RI 02898
    Facility Type: Food Service (Non-Profit)
    Facility Status: Active
    Inspection Date: 05/08/2007
    * (This inspection was performed by a 3rd party auditor)
    For more information regarding third party school inspections click here.
    # Violation
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The presence of drain flies is not controlled as evidenced by observing them in three bay sink, on the kitchen walls,door screen. The presence of insects, rodents, and other pests must be controlled to minimize their presence on the premises by routinely inspecting the premises for evidence of pests, using acceptable methods to control pests, eliminating harborage conditions and routinely inspecting incoming shipments of food and supplies.
    36 Insects, rodents & animals not present; no unauthorized persons

    Inspector Comments
    The doorframe to the outside, located in the receiving area has holes. Outer openings of a food establishment must be protected against the entry of insects and rodents by tight-fitting doors.
    45 Food & non-food contact surfaces cleanable, properly designed, constructed & used

    Inspector Comments
    Wood counter top is used in the construction of prep station and has a build up of residue correction . Replace top w/ material easily cleanable by 8-01-07. Non food contact surfaces of equipment that are exposed to splash, spillage or other food soiling or that require frequent cleaning must be constructed of a nonabsorbent and smooth material.
    51 Toilet facilities: properly constructed, supplied & cleaned

    Inspector Comments
    The receptacle in the women’s toilet room is lacking a cover. A toilet room used be females shall be provided with a covered receptacle for sanitary napkins.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    The paint is chipping or worn on the walls in the storeroom, back kitchen across from 3 bay sink and the dishroom. The walls are constructed of cinderblock.. This material is not durable . Paint and cover w/ material that is easily cleanable and durable. Materials for wall surfaces shall be smooth, durable, easily cleanable and nonabsorbent for areas subject to moisture such as food preparation areas, walk-in refrigerators, warewashing areas and toilet rooms.
    53 Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean

    Inspector Comments
    Some coving in the receiving/kitchen area is in poor repair. The physical facilites must be maintained in good repair.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 17, 2007 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  12. […] council members to discuss a possible reintroduction of the bond.  As you can see by that post, Mr. Ricci responded that the meeting was standard operating procedure.  Here is the letter […]

    Pingback by The email calling for the meeting « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — November 17, 2007 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

  13. CR dont put words in my mouth. And you continue to amaze me too. The papers are ok to go into something and report if it meets what you want. You sit here and rip into them and say they post nothing but lies and support the adminsitration, continually cutthem down and rightly so. But as soon as you think it might benefit you, ” I think we should allow them in there. Why so you can bitch about the lies they put in the paper about what is said in this meeting too. Come on CR, you blow in the wind.

    I agree that the school committee should have been in these meetings. I actually think at this point they should have had a omnibus meeting if they were going to talk at all about this. I will voice my feelings towards this and try to get it that way if these meetinds are to continue. But I am not going to jump on what the papers say just to be able to complain about soemthing else.

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 18, 2007 @ 7:19 am | Reply

  14. Mr. Petit, I jump on the media when they misreport, but I still expect and want them to report. This is not complicated. Also understand that should be a difference between reporting and editorializing. Most of my problems with the local media is not their reporting, but their editorializing…and if they editorializing within an article.

    The media might not do a good job around here, but they certainly tell us more than Mr. Ricci and most on the School Committee.

    Mr. Ricci should be fired. I know you can discuss this is public, but he should be fired. For all my disgust with Chriho, it is only recently I realized that getting rid of this snake oil salesman is necessary. I had hoped you would be able to control him and have him do his job, not your job. This isn’t going to happen.

    Now we find out his has a meeting to discussion “solutions” for overtunring the vote. He invites select politicial leaders who are all pro-bond. You tell us that you should be at future meetings? You, Mr. Felkner, Mr. Abbott and Mr. Pruehs should have been at this meeting representing Hopkinton as we voted for you to do. We didn’t vote for Mr. Ricci…the majority doesn’t even agree with him on the bond, yet there he is negotiating with our Town Council…not the School Committee…Mr. Ricci. Unbelievable.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 18, 2007 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  15. I was not present when Mr. Ricci’s contract was approved, and I am not saying one way or the other regarding his “firing” but it is my understanding that the contract has a 2-year severence provision. If he was fired, we would still have to pay him for 2 years of his salary (nearly 1/4 million dollars). Bob, do you recall this at the contract approval or were you there?

    Comment by Bill Felkner — November 18, 2007 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  16. I think it is pretty evident that keeping the guy around is costing us more than $125,000 per year, so getting rid of him still would be a great deal.

    We need a superintendant who focuses on educating our children and controlling budget growth. We don’t need a superintendant who bypasses the School Committee and plots with town politicians and citizens (Mrs. Brown) to get his dirty hands on even more money.

    I realize that no one on the School Committee can publically comment on Mr. Ricci’s employment status, but if the Hopkinton contingent of the School Committee is not actively seeking to get rid of a superintendant who is engaged in plotting to subvert Hopkinton, then we have even more problems then a renegade superintendant.

    Mr. Ricci has a level of arrogance that is astounding. He knew that the media and the public was on to his secret meeting, and he still had the nerve to exclude our School Committee members and invite Mrs. Brown. Why does this man think he can get away with this behavior? Could it be because he’s never challenged by anyone other than Mr. Felkner?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 18, 2007 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  17. If I were the Hopkinton School Committee, I would call for a meeting of my own, a very public meeting, to discuss what you need to do as Hopkinton’s representative to gain control of this situation. I’d invite the public to attend and offer their opinion of Mr. Ricci’s actions to overturn Hopkinton’s vote.

    Hopkinton is under attack. Unfortunately, many of the attackers are Hopkinton politicians. It needs to be clear to the electorate who is working for Hopkinton’s interests and who is working against Hopkinton’s interests.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 18, 2007 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  18. CR you seem to think that Hopkinton has this control over what the rest of the district is going to do or not do. WE are elected officals of Hopkinton, but we are only 4 on the entire school committee. If we all were to vote one way on everything and the rest of the committee voted the other way, we wouldn’t win the vote anyway. I am getting tired of hearing all these accuasations and assumptions. I am fine with the vot staying the same as long as Hopkinton is fine with us putting these things in the operating budget. George Abbott knows that this will be done, we kept a lot of these reparis out of the operating budget last year in hopes that the bond would prevail, it didn’t. Now we will have to put these in the budget and go from there.

    I don’t have a problem with meeting with the town council if that is what they want to do. But I will say again, if the 1904 building is brought up in this meeting, all I can say is whatever is spent on the 1904 building better be spent on Hope Valley School. This is aobut bringing our 5th and 6th graders back and I don’t have a problem with that. If we bring them back we need to bring them back to their schools.

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 19, 2007 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  19. If the snake oil salesman Mr. Ricci can bring together a group of politicians who have no authority as a group, but can have influence on their respective legislative bodies, then I see no reason why Hopkinton’s School Committee members cannot also ideate and strategize on where to go from here. Believe it or not, I trust you to represent me a lot more than I trust Mr. Reddish or Mr. Craig.

    Now if you are afraid to make your views public or if you feel your fellow Hopkinton School Committee members have no ideas or strategies, I can see resisting a public meeting. You do seem to have more in common with the members from other towns anyway, so maybe it’s best for you to hang with only the people who think like you?

    As for you insistence that 5th and 6th graders only be brought back to “their schools”, I would agree that this is preferable. But I’m a big fan of a parent’s right to determine what is best for the their child(ren). As a parent myself, given the choice between Chariho Middle School or Ashaway’s 1904 building, I know what my choice would be. I would advise you to give less thought to what you and Mr. Ricci want, and more thought to what Hopkinton citizens want.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  20. Mr. Cicchetti and Ms. Eaves from Charlestown tried to add money into the budget for capital expenditures in case the bond failed but the school committee turned it down – all or nothing. All the time.

    They were right and sensible and I thought so at the time. I remember Mr. Ciccetti really trying (in his very quiet way) to make people see clearly the problems if the bond failed. He even said that that money wouldn’t be used if the bond passed.

    I don’t fault Bill or Bob for that issue – they had just been appointed and didn’t know how the entire operating budget is positioned. I don’t remember how Lois and George voted, but I think the only ones were Mr. Ciccetti and Ms. Eaves who tried to find a contingency fund.

    Comment by BarbaraC — November 19, 2007 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  21. Spoke to a long time friend on Saturday who lives near the big hill on Main Street in Hope Valley. She agrees with you CR that if it meant sending her children to the 1904 building over the middle school, she would do it in a heartbeat. She said that that isn’t any further than sending her kids to the middle school. She even told me about a woman her drives her child to school every day because she doesn’t want her kid on the bus.

    Comment by Lois Buck — November 19, 2007 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  22. Hi!
    What is needed is a workshop between the four Hopkinton School Committee members and the five Hopkinton Town Council members.Preferably before the January Chariho Omnibus Meeting.It is preferable to the December 4TH Chariho meeting.It appears Hopkinton will not be present at that one?
    To prepare better for an Chariho Omnibus Meeting each town and particularly Hopkinton should meet with their own Town Council and School Committee delegation.Agreements within individual towns may not be the same on Chariho issues but a town wide discussion would be better to take place before going to a regional meeting it would appear.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 22, 2007 @ 4:55 pm | Reply


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