Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 18, 2007

Councilperson Capalbo reports from meeting

Filed under: bond,meeting notice — Editor @ 10:41 pm

From Barbara Capalbo:

George Abbott told me about this ‘meeting’ – I didn’t receive an invitation either – but if it’s on, I’m game! Told George I’d meet him there. We would either be told to leave or sit quietly in the back. Mr. Ricci ran the ‘Superintendent’s Meeting’ (which he has been known to call occasionally, I learned from Mr. Ricci) joined by the ‘invitees’ – Mr. Cordone, Mrs. Kenney, Mr. Reddish, Mr. Oppenheimer, Mr. Craig, Mr. Poulouski and Mr. Day. The other eight of us sat quiet as mice (almost) in the back – that would be Maria Armental from Projo, Emily Dupuis from the Westerly Sun, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Brown (I actually don’t know her, so I could be wrong), myself, Mr. Abbott and Mrs. Dolan.

No one was allowed to comment or talk at all except ‘invitees’. This was OK with me. I realize most of you won’t believe this but Mr. Cordone spoke up for Hopkinton. He informed the group that he spoke for himself not the council since the majority of the council were against the bond and he could not/would not speak for councillors not present. He also stated that we (everyone) has the right of individual vote and he would not speak against Hopkinton’s vote or anyone else’s.

Vin continued his discussion thinking this ‘meeting’ was about the reasons for the bond failure and how we should move forward. He had numbers concerning the tax revision issue and presented it so that the three councils could begin the discussion to solve the problem – money, taxes, equalization. Charlestown’s Mr. Craig was not going to discuss this issue. Richmond’s Mr. Oppenheimer said this was an on-going issue for decades and he had been on both sides of the question.

Then they got to brass tacks – how the bond failed because of ‘lies’, misinformation, ‘certain’ people – this took Mr. Craig, Mr. Day, Mr. Poulouski, Mr. Oppenheimer and Mr. Reddish some time to vent (there were no specifics). All present spoke to the cost of the bond versus the cost within the operating budget and the town 5% budget cap. Hopkinton raised taxes 1.8% this year and we only have two small bonds which were included in the 1.8% – we weren’t even close to the 5 and 1/4% allowed this year.

Then the creme de la creme of the meeting was Mr. Reddish informing Mr. Cordone that he should ‘control his council better’ – I almost gagged – I thought this was illegal controlling elected officials points of view to keep a pleasant council (also probably an open meeting violation), but then Mr. Craig actually had the audacity to concur. It was a Kodak moment.

Mr. Ricci retrieved the conversation by changing the direction to bring up the bond again – Mr. Oppenheimer wanted the ‘re-do’ as did all others present (in fairness to Mr. Cordone, I’m not sure he agreed). They do not want to change the bond, split the bond, review the bond. They want to ‘meet’ to annihilate the misinformation, lies, and ‘certain people’ to find the truth so that they can re-vote the bond and it can be endorsed 100% by all members of the councils. Because this is the best bond to fix all the problems at the main campus and they need to get the reimbursement monies (probably good for 3 years) and otherwise it will all have to go into the operating capital budget (the elementary schools were called ‘landscaping’, the high school was more crucial, therefore the elementaries won’t get any money at all).

Mr. Ricci and the group proposed an immediate meeting (Dec 4th) of all three town councils (15 people), the entire school board (12 people + administration) and finance committees, the public is invited and encouraged to attend, persons can ask to write in and put themselves on the agenda to speak their minds – to or at – all present to correct all the misinformation presented before the bond vote.

Can you say ‘auto-de-fe’?

The Omnibus meeting is in January when, hopefully, people are calmer and blessed with the holiday season. Perhaps the Chariho Act Revision committee will have met and begun the process of equalizing taxes; and perhaps the school board will have received a letter from a council or two asking to keep the next 5th graders ’08-’09 in their own elementary schools.

Or not.

*************

auto-de-fe” – The phrase auto de fe refers to the ritual of public penance of condemned heretics and apostates that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their punishment (that is, after the trial).

I had to look it up.

Unfortunately, I will be in DC from Monday to Wed that week.  But everyone knows what I want.  I don’t believe any of it is not achievable.  And I know that if we don’t get it now, we won’t for the life of the bond.

1. bring back 5th & 6th.  2. stop RYSE social services  3. tax equalization  4. pull labor contracts in line with private sector pay (the contract has not been approved by the board yet)  5. budget maintenance

Or they could solve all our problems and grant parental choice – let our $13k walk out the door with our children and we will take responsibility.   Might have to settle the investments and cut liability but it could be done.

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32 Comments »

  1. I find it highly ironic when the side that wants to spend more of our money on a school delivering inferior results implies that opposition to the bond is telling “lies” and “misrepresenting”.

    From the Rhode Island 2008 Budget At A Glance: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/HouseFinance/2008EnactedBudgetGlance.pdf
    · Construction Aid. The Budget funds construction aid to local districts at $52.9 million based on
    updated estimates, an increase of $3.2 million. Aid is based on wealth, but each community receives at
    least a 30.0 percent reimbursement of approved costs.

    From the Chariho’s FAQ Propaganda:
    Housing aid regulations are in the process of revision. Both the Building Committee and School Committee felt that it was in the best interests of taxpayers to qualify under the existing regulations, as it is unlikely that new regulations would be “friendlier” to taxpayers. It appears that new requirements will be imposed and state aid, as we know it, may be in jeopardy.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  2. Who’s lying now?

    We were told by bond supporters that we had to vote for the bond because Rhode Island Housing Aid regulations are in the process of revision and to qualify for 56% for new construction and 60% for renovations we needed to approve THIS bond.

    Here’s what they didn’t tell you. In August, a full 2 months prior to the vote, The House Fiscal Advisory Staff issued 2008 regulations for Housing Aid. Under the new 2008 regulations, Chariho remains eligible for exactly the same level of reimbursement. That’s right…while you were reading propaganda telling you to vote Yes to ensure the same funding formula, they already knew this was a lie and the funding formula was good at least through 2008.

    The games played by the pro-bond side don’t seem to end. They lie, distort, and misrepresent, and then claim those of us asking questions are the liars. They provide no specifics. We provide document after document of their lying ways. Who should Hopkinton listen to when deciding where the truth lies?

    Here’s a link to the latest document providing more evidence that Mr. Ricci needs to be fired:

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/HouseFinance/2007educationaid.pdf

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  3. An authoritative source recently reported to me that CHARIHO may have $4,000,000-$6,000,000 sitting in surplus accounts. CHARIHO reportedly received over $400,000
    in interest payments alone during the 06/07 budget year alone. He estimates the District would need to have about $10,000,000 invested to generate $400,000 in interest.

    More information on the surplus will be available when the new Audit Committee report is released in a couple of weeks. I’m no financial genius, but I will try to stay on top of this issue as events unfold.

    I will want to know why this money, if it does indeed exist, is not being used to fix up our schools.

    Comment by George Abbott — November 19, 2007 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  4. The budget projections for Interest Income is as follows:

    Fiscal Year Ending 2007 – $150,000
    Fiscal Year Ending 2008 – $300,000

    Why would interest revenues double in one year? The $300,000 would be the highest interest revenue in at least 8 years (I don’t have the information prior to 2000…it may be the most ever). I wonder if you discovered more game-playing Mr. Abbott. Please keep us informed.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  5. More evidence that we need to protect 5th and 6th graders from the older children:

    The Westerly Rag reports on November 9th –
    Chariho teens charged in bus drug case

    By Vickie Goff

    HOPKINTON – Two Chariho High School students face drug charges for allegedly distributing prescription pills during their morning bus ride.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  6. Agian I put this email out to show that no one was lying about the return on the bond.Right now it stands at 56% and 60%, chances of it staying that way are slim to none. When the flyer was written and until now it states a fact that it is the last time we will get htis reimbursement on bonds. Even your Represenavtive doesn’t think the reimbursement rate will stay the same but without a crystal ball no-one knows for sure. The word from state reps. and senators is that it will be reduced, it hasn’t yet. If we were to go back out for re-vote ( and I am not saying it will) and it was over turned before the legislators meet and change the rates than we would qualify. No one was trying to lie to you about the reimbursement.

    Hi Bob,
    Because of the present state deficit, and the fact that new state funds would have to be committed to any new building improvements (which ultimately increases the overall debt of the State of Rhode Island), there is no clear answer as to what the reimbursement would be for new school building projects that are brought forth in the future. There has been widespread discussion about changing the percentages, however, as of today, that has not been done. We are basically in a wait and see mode. If a new proposal is introduced next year, it may be the same percentage reimbursement, or it may be a greatly decreased percentage amount. Without the benefit of a crystal ball, there are no guarantees going forward.

    Sincerely,
    Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy
    District 38

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 19, 2007 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  7. Also going back to the comment in #5, there is more to this story than what is being said. I cannot and will not comment anymore on this except to tell you before you pass judgement on this you need to know the whole story. Check your back yards/neighborhoods.

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 19, 2007 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  8. I CAN”T believe this! I agree with you, Mr. Petit. Children in all age groups do use drugs, BUT it is more prevelant with an older age group, thus the desire to keep the 5th and 6th graders in their own school a bit longer. This does tend to provide them with a longer time to be what they are supposed to be, children. We all know that some children are sexually active in their 12th year, that they experiment with drugs, smoking and other bad behavior. It is the desire of parents of young children to shield their younger children from this hormonally charged environment that many press for keeping children in a smaller school, with younger children. Besides, kids usually do better in elementary school as 5th and 6th graders anyway.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 19, 2007 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  9. You may want to give some thought to additonal reading comprehension training Mr. Petit. Post #5 is not about “passing judgment”, it is an example of the risks we take as a community when we mix 5th and 6th graders in with the older children. How you read this post to be about “passing judgment” is beyond me.

    For the record, I think distributing drugs on a school bus is very, very bad. Sorry if my judgment offends you.

    Your communicatinon with Mr. Kennedy aside, I provided a link to an official state website in which 2008 educational funding is reported. Contrary to Mr. Kennedy’s assertion, along with Mr. Ricci’s assertion, as early as August 2008 it was known that the funding formula was to be in place for 2008. I can even tell you that Hopkinton will receive the same dollar amount in 2008 as they received in 2007. Pretty cool trick, huh?

    Mr. Kennedy does not impress me. He’s grown up in the statehouse…and he is a political insider. I’d find it quite disturbing if he wasn’t aware that the 2007 formula remains in place for 2008. The document (and I’ll link it again…maybe this time you can actually read it) was published in August…well before the bond vote. Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Ricci and yourself do not need a crystal ball…you need to pay attention and they need to stop trying to fool voters.

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/HouseFinance/2007educationaid.pdf

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

  10. Has anyone seen a media report of Mr. Ricci meeting? I don’t get The Rag and I haven’t seen it on ProJo’s website.

    I have fun comparing the reporting of the media with the usually more detailed and accurate reporting of the average (not that your average Mrs. Capalbo) citizen. I wonder if it is because of ideology (pro big government media), deadlines, or space limitations?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  11. To help you out further Mr. Petit, fiscal year 2008 Construction Aid is reported on page 55 of the document. The chart which lists Chariho 2008 reimbursement is on page 88. As I’ve said, Mr. Ricci and Mr. Kennedy seem to be pulling your leg (or as some people might say, lying).

    You can read about how the formula is calculated on page 87. You might even be able to calculate Hopkinton’s reimbursement should Charlestown and Richmond buy us out of Chariho. Of concern, it looks like regional schools receive a bonus reimbursement percentage, so this could be a major factor if Hopkinton should get kicked out of Chariho. Right now, Chariho gets a pretty high reimbursement rate in comparison to many other school districts in Rhode Island.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  12. The report cited above only covers the current fiscal year (FY08, which runs from 7/1/07 through 6/30/08). It says nothing about the following fiscal year. Last year, all the “real” budget activity occurred in the May and June; saying we know now what the reimbursement will be next year is just wrong.

    Comment by david — November 19, 2007 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  13. You know CR forget it. what do you want. you ask people to look into things and get you answers so I do. I don’t care what your report says. NO-ONe ever said the rate wouldnt be there in 2008, wha I said was at the next session when they look into the reimbusrement rate it looks like it can change or the word is it will change. You dont seem to trust or like anyone CR.I will give Mr. Kennedy at least this much credit, he is there and maybe knows a little more about what is being said. The things you are reading here can change in a heart beat if they feel it should be changed ecspecially with the deficit that we are looking at. Just so there is no more confusion on this ” the rate will be in effect until the end of the school year” and I know this has been said before. You are correct about the reimbursement rate for regionalized schools, but they are also talking about cutting that back to. Which doesn’t make much sense either since the Gov. would like to see more towns regonalize.

    Mrs. Gardiner I agree on most your comment with the 5th and 6th graders. All I am saying is that CR post something on here saying what was said in #5 but doesn’t know the story behind it or where it happened. Don’t believe everything you read in the paper, oh thats right CR you don’t unless you can use it against someone or it agrees with you thoughts.

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 19, 2007 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  14. The report covers fiscal year 08. 2008 is next year. You must have been taught with Investigation math. This means that when the Building Committee put together their bond, the funding formula was still good for at least another year. Which means that the implication that voters had to act now or potentially lose the current rate was a lie. Of course we have time to still get the 56%. We have until at least July 08.

    Any purchasing person worth their salt knows how this game is played. You create a sense of urgency and get people to purchase out of fear. People like Mr. Petit fall for it, but Chariho didn’t scare Hopkinton enough. We’re more worried about feeding our families than feeding Chariho employees.

    If the funding formula is good until at least July 08, then Charlestown and Richmond have a few months yet to put together a proposal that will equalize taxes and improve educational outcomes. I’m waiting patiently.

    Mr. Petit…I do like many people. I just don’t like being lied to and manipulated. For all your defense of Chariho, one thing remains constantly true. We pay more, and receive less. No matter how many excuses you make, this doesn’t change. You and your buddies want us to pay even more, and you’ve shown us nothing in regard to improving educational outcomes. We don’t trust Chariho and they’ve given us no reason to trust them.

    As for the drug bust, I simply cited a report from The Rag. I don’t trust the media, but they don’t get everything wrong. You can tell us what you know or not, that’s fine, but since it was in the NEWSpaper, then it is NEWS worthy.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2007 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  15. Don’t blink Hopkinton. ProJo’s Maria Armental reports on Mr. Ricci’s meeting.

    http://www.projo.com/ri/hopkinton/content/SC_CHARIHO20_11-20-07_8I7TLA9_v88.2a73912.html

    The article misses a lot, but of note, Mr. Polouski is receptive to tax equity with conditions. Mr. Cordone does not believe he can get Hopkinton’s Town Council to agree to a re-vote.

    Pay attention people…remember when Richmond and Charlestown threatened to kick Hopkinton out of Chariho? Now their begging Mr. Cordone to control other Town Councilors.

    We need to hold firm. We are right and if we ever want things to improve for our children, we have to get Richmond and Charlestown to hold Chariho accountable. If they won’t do it, we have to do it.

    The funding formula information I posted today makes it pretty clear to me that Charlestown will suffer greatly if they go it alone or remove Hopkinton (and our lower income) from the reimbursement calculation.

    Most school districts in Rhode Island qualify for the 30% rate, and Charlestown would probably get 30%. As we know, they are an affluent community. Charlestown will pay one way or the other unless we give in and let them off the hook for another 20 years.

    Hopkinton should be very proud that we stood up for our children and told Chariho no. Chariho needs to educate our children and do it at a reasonable cost. Charlestown and Richmond are throwing a tantrum. Let them get it out of their system. Maybe when they are done they’ll realize that Hopkinton has had it right all along. Before we give Chariho more, we need superior performance at a realistic cost. That’s not asking too much, is it?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 20, 2007 @ 12:50 am | Reply

  16. CR you are the one who lies the most on here. The meeting was not invitation only. The children with the drugs were not on the bus at the time this happened. Teh rates for reimbursement are good until July, by the time we get the 3 towns together on a plan, put it to vote to the town councils, school committee and get it to the legislators and on thier agenda there is a very good chance it will be under new rates. It is not like any of this is going to happen over night. Barbara is looking into a plan of her own that she is going to present at the omnibus meeting, than the towns have to figure out how they want to handle it; if they want to handle it…..I dont see a new resolution getting in before legislation gets together and if everything goes the way we are hearing they will go the rates will be changed. This is where the crystal ball comes in but I guess by your comments you are the only one that has one. I agree with you, lets forget about the bond and lets move on. Things need to get done and will get done only now through the operating budget and not the bond, just the way you want it. You have said that things should be taken care of through the operating budget; you got it.

    Comment by Bob Petit — November 20, 2007 @ 8:38 am | Reply

  17. The meeting was invitation only unless you conisder sitting in the back of the rrom with orders to be quiet a position of honor? Only those “invited” by Mr. Ricci were allowed to speak. Unless you think Mrs. Capalbo is lying?

    Again, I posted what was in the newspaper. I didn’t claim to be there, nor did I claim the report was accurate. Merely suggested that drug dealing teenagers were an unhealthy influence on younger kids. Do you disagree?

    The reimbursement rate is good until July 2008. We should have been told this. It was known at least in August, if not before. Instead the Building Committee attempted to frighten voters into supporting the bond by implying the rate would not be available again. They lied.

    Accepting a wasteful and misdirected bond which locks us into an inequitable tax scheme is ludicarous. The majority of Hopkinton voters realized that voting yes for the bond was a terrible idea. If the School Committee starts making Chariho accountable you might find Hopkinton more receptive to reasonable budgets. If Chariho starts achieving superior educational results, Hopkinton will be pleased. None of htis will happen as long as the superintendant runs the School Committee. Mr. Ricci needs to be fired. The School Committee needs to grow a backbone.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 20, 2007 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  18. Interesting information from a 2005 ProJo article. Please note that I can not vow for the accuracy of the article. I did not write it and I am only citing what they claim to be true. I find it interesting to contrast what was being said then versus what is being said now.

    http://www.projo.com/education/content/projo_20050930_chref30.1c5cbb4e.html

    If accurate, the article notes that in 2005 the reimbursement rate for the Elementary School projects would be 56% and the High/Middle School a mimimum of 50%. Now we know that the 56% rate has held steady until at least July 2008.

    If accurate, the article claims that a 2004 Charlestown plan to withdraw would have a price tag about $40,000,000. This was with interest, but also included state aid. No wonder Charlestown isn’t falling over itself to get out of Chariho. Charlestown can easily afford the $40,000,000, but boy is it a lot cheaper if they can take Hopkinton and Richmond along for the ride.

    If accurate, the bond was put on the ballot without Hopkinton’s Town Council endorsement. The council voted 3 to 1 “not to endorse”. Any wager on who voted for the 2005 bond endorsement? Was school employee, Mrs. Kenney, on the Town Council in 2005?

    If accurate, the article says that Hopkinton had an 18.9% tax increase followed by a 5.3% tax increase (thank you Charlestown and Richmond). I believe one of these increases resulted when a Chariho operating budget was cut by $2,000,000, but then Charlestown and Richmond petitioned for a re-vote and had many of the cuts restored? Boy, a re-vote to screw Hopkinton…that sounds familiar.

    If the article is accurate, even in 2005 Charlestown was worried about tax equity. In 2005 “Chariho lawyers” said “a change could happen”. If Mr. Ricci is successful in subverting the 2007 legal vote, then I would strongly recommend that Hopkinton begin the lawsuit for tax equity within the Chariho district. If Charlestown wants to ram unrestrained budgets down our throats, then their citizens must feel the same amount of pain. If they don’t, it will never stop.

    If the article in accurate, former Charlestown councilor, Mrs Carney, references the Bristol-Warren school district where the state legislature overrode Warren’s town veto. Mrs. Carney believes this could bode badly for Charlestown being able to hold onto their inequitable tax scheme. I agree. Hopkinton might need to worry about the legislature overriding our right to veto the bond, but if the legislature does take this undemocratic action, we should ask them to also override the Chariho Act as it pertains to tax inequalities. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. A spokesman from RIDE acknowledged in 2005 “the General Assembly can pretty much do what it wants with the Chariho Act”. This spokesman also said “any school building project would face a risk with the reimbursement rate, which could go up as well as down”.

    If the article is correct, pro-bond people in 2005 believed the bond should pass “on its own merits, not on what might happen with the law”. Funny how their tune changes based on circumstances. In 2007 they tell us we should approve the bond because the law may change. They’re a sneaky lot.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 20, 2007 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  19. Bill,
    People if possible please post Article XII of the Rhode Island Constitution on this web site as this concerns ” Of Education”,. I am going to check out the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s web site.You may not want to include the whole State Constitution because its large and does not have the relevancy of certainly this section on this web site.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 20, 2007 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  20. Curious,
    The 18.9% tax increase was partly due to the fact that to offset the budget, Hopkinton’s then town counsels repeately for a few years dipped into the reserves to offset and keep the taxes down. When the money ran out, slap. Boy did we feel it. This doesn’t mean that Chariho isn’t partly responsible, because their need to spend put the counselors in the place to try to offset continued tax increases from the school budget. As we know, almost 80% of our taxes goes to the schools. That is a big share. Whether they were right or wrong, I have my feelings on, but hindsight is 20/20.

    Personally, I see the same thing happening when Chariho budgets surpluses into the next year’s budget. What happens when the surplus isn’t there and they base our past taxes with it figured in. Eventually, it catches up with them. I personally think that budget surpluses should be applied to capital improvements. Put it into the buildings. Maybe they can put it into the elementary schools. Or better yet, give it back to the towns in the form of a check and we can spend it on our schools. Just a thought.

    Comment by Lois Buck — November 20, 2007 @ 5:31 pm | Reply

  21. Scott,
    can you provide a link and ill post it, thx

    Comment by Bill Felkner — November 20, 2007 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  22. As you note Mrs. Buck, Chariho consumes around 80% of our taxes. Unless Hopkinton had 0% increases in the years leading up to the 18.9% increase (and I know this isn’t true), then regardless of how surpluses were used, ultimately, around 80% of the increase is attributable to Chariho’s thirst for our income.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 20, 2007 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  23. http://law.justia.com/rhodeisland/constitution/C12.html

    ARTICLE XII
    OF EDUCATION
    Section 1. Duty of general assembly to promote schools and libraries. — The diffusion of knowledge, as well as of virtue among the people, being essential to the preservation of their rights and liberties, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to promote public schools and public libraries, and to adopt all means which it may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education and public library services.

    Section 2. Perpetual school fund. — The money which now is or which may hereafter be appropriated by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of public schools, shall be securely invested and remain a perpetual fund for that purpose.

    Section 3. Donations. — All donations for the support of public schools, or for other purposes of education, which may be received by the general assembly, shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.

    Section 4. Implementation of article — Diversion of funds prohibited. — The general assembly shall make all necessary provisions by law for carrying this article into effect. It shall not divert said money or fund from the aforesaid uses, nor borrow, appropriate, or use the same, or any part thereof, for any other purpose, under any pretence whatsoever.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 20, 2007 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  24. Correct!

    Comment by Lois Buck — November 20, 2007 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  25. As a clarification, the fiscal year begins on July 1st. FY2008 began on July 1st 2007, which means any funding allocations for FY2008 are for July 1, 2007 until June 30, 2008. If you slip a bond past Chariho before July 1, 2008, assuming reimbursement rates are not changed in the next session, then the current rates will hold. As of July 1, 2008, we will be in FY2009.

    Comment by Joe Schwartz — November 21, 2007 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  26. Oh, and the Council makeup in 2005 was, Kenney (President), Cordone (VP), Brian Scott, Gary Williams and John Matson. Brian Scott was most likely absent, he almost always was. It’s really hard to guess which one voted for the bond. It wasn’t Matson. It probably wasn’t Cordone. He has switched his tactics lately. He used to want to hold Chariho accountable but now seems to want to give them the farm. So it was either Williams or Kenney. Williams is a teacher, but a standup-guy who generally seemed to care about the welfare of the Town. A lot of people thought he was misguided, but I’ll bet he would have seen through the School Board. So you are probably right, it was probably Kenney. Anyone remember that far back to confirm or deny?

    And as much as we get upset about Chariho taking our tax dollars, we overspend our municipal resources just as badly. If we trimmed some of our own fat, we’d be much better off and not a single citizen would notice.

    Comment by Joe Schwartz — November 21, 2007 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  27. Mr. Schwartz I did a little research on municipal spending in Rhode Island a while back. If memory serves, comparatively speaking, Hopkinton does a great job keeping municipal spending under control. In fact, I think they may do the best job in the state on a per capita basis.

    I don’t think Hopkinton warrants a Town Manager (just one more person focused on spending our money), but all and all, I believe it is a stretch to say our municipal budget is as wasteful as Chariho’s budget. Far be it for me to defend government spending, and perhaps we do the best of a bad lot, but the numbers are the numbers.

    My analysis did not include the Police Department budget or the school. Hopkinton spends nearly 40% of their municipal budget on policing. Far and away the highest percentage of any town or city in Rhode Island. The data I used in my comparison can be reviewed here:

    http://www.muni-info.state.ri.us/documents/finances/municipal%20budget%20info/Budget2007.pdf

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 21, 2007 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  28. Hi!
    Thanks for Curious Resident for posting, Article XII of the Rhode Island Constitution.
    Obviously, I am VERY CURIOUS if the Chariho School Committee and the Richmond and Charlestown try to do an “end run” around Hopkinton, if the Hopkinton Town Council of Hopkinton does not agree to go along with an identical bond revote which appears likely.Even Vinnie Cordone has said publicly, the same bond should not be presented again.I assume Bev Kenney will! I assume I won’t get an argument from any of you on that statement!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 21, 2007 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  29. Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Hirst. Thank you for your work on behalf of Hopkinton!

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 21, 2007 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  30. Wait a minute. We spend 40% of our municipal budget on Police? The highest percentage in Rhode Island? And you say we spend our municipal funds wisely? Which side of your mouth are you talking out of? How can you possibly separate the Police from the rest of the budget to justify “wise spending”? It would seem to me that you have to look at the municipal budget in it’s entirety and assess all of it’s positives and negatives in the context of the whole. Clearly, if we spend 40% of the budget on policing (in a small town with no economic development and a moderate standard of living) something is wrong. If Charlestown were to do the same, it might be marginally understandable. But not in Hopkinton. Something is very wrong here. We either do a good job or a poor job on municipal spending. We’re not just a little pregnant. With what you have admitted to, I’d say we do a pretty poor job on our municipal spending.

    Comment by Joe Schwartz — November 21, 2007 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  31. Well, I’ve gone off on police spending more often than I’d like to admit…so much in fact that I remain anonymous for this very reason.

    Public opposition to the police dept. seems to result in “investigations”. “Investigations” can prove very expensive for the targets of investigations…even innocent targets. My family cannot afford any legal bills. You can read my views on the Hopkinton Speaks website…look in the archives.

    After railing on and on about the ridiculous spending for policing in Hopkinton and receiving dead silence from the town officials who comment there, I came to understand that Hopkinton politicians live in a state of fear on this issue. After reading media reports,I don’t blame them.

    Because I decided that a Town Councilor can’t go after the police budget without suffering legal consequences themselves, I cut out the police department when assessing Town Council frugality. I know it is wrong, but I wouldn’t go after the police department if I were them…would you?

    By the way, after Hopkinton, Richmond was next in spending for police as a percent of their municipal spending. Richmond is around 33%. There is a huge drop after that with the next town (I don’t recall which one) being around 24%. I’d estimate the average town/city to be around 18%.

    Now don’t ask me anything else about the police budget. It won’t change, and I try to avoid the subject. If you want to take a chance…have at it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 21, 2007 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

  32. I applaud the Mr. LaCroix in this excerpt for expecting accountability before dispensing $20,000 of other people’s money to seniors. Predictably his desire for accountability and responsibility wasn’t embraced by the Richmond majority. He sounds like a one man Hopkinton.

    I can’t imagine how frustrated this Mr. LaCroix would be with the lack of accountability from the Chariho School system where Richmond spends 850 times more than at the Senior Center. We could use a guy like this Mr. LaCroix talking to his fellow citizens in Richmond about Chariho’s failure to be accountable and responsible for their actions. Imagine how assinine it would be to demand accountability over $20,000 while not giving a care about an institution which consume $17,000,000? At least Richmond is consistent…they don’t expect anyone to be accountable.

    http://www.projo.com/extra/election/content/SC_RICH_FTM13_06-13-07_TV60D53.35ec792.html

    “Town resident Paul LaCroix suggested cutting $20,000 from the senior citizens association’s proposed $30,000 request, citing the organization’s failure to submit the required audit.

    “It’s all about accountability and responsibility for your actions,” LaCroix said.”

    His motion, decided by paper ballot, failed on a 55-28 vote.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 21, 2007 @ 9:00 pm | Reply


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