Chariho School Parents’ Forum

February 28, 2008

Feb 26 meeting

Filed under: contract negotiations,Corruption,Unions — Editor @ 11:05 am

I was not available for the meeting but I understand that this blog and my actions were discussed in a closed session meeting.  Similar to the last meeting, which was over my noted objection.

It is also my understanding that the Committee voted to give Mr. Ricci unrestricted access to the attorney.  

This is a result of my complaint that Mr. Ricci used the school solicitor for a personal grievance issue (in other words, the lawyer represented Mr. Ricci and not necessarily the school).  I also tried to copies of the invoices from the attorney but the Committee refused access to those public documents.



  1. I posted a number of comments about the meeting over on Hopkinton Speaks. Your fellow School Committee members were afraid to say your name. It was quite humorous.

    I wasn’t aware from watching the meeting that your blog or your actions were a discussion item for closed meetings. Mr. Day recited secret vote tallies, but as usual, in direct violation of the law as I understand it, he didn’t give any details on what the votes were about.

    I hope you continue to publicize any topics the secret society discuss in closed meetings that legally should be available for the public to hear. The fools could file a complaint against you for divulging the details of illegal meetings. What is worse…illegally hiding public information or divulging the details of illegally hidden public information?

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 28, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  2. Mr. Abbott did at least try and get the committee to have Mr. Ricci provide information on his discussions with the attorney subsequent to using legal services and presumably costing taxpayers expensive fees. Mr. Ricci feigned personal insult and claimed it was micromanaging for the School Committee to require accountability and transparency into why our money is being spent on legal services and advice.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Abbott withered under pressure from the entire committee and the administration. He was so flustered he ended up praising Mr. Ricci’s performance as superintendent. As we would expect, the School Committee gave Mr. Ricci access to the attorney without any proscribed guidelines. I see no reason why Mr. Ricci would feel constrained from once again receiving personal legal advice at taxpayer expense.

    While I assume the strategy was devised behind closed doors by a majority of the committee, Mr. Petit was the one chosen to make the motion to give Mr. Ricci unfettered legal representation at taxpayer expense. Mr. Petit is once again an embarassment to Hopkinton.

    Mr. Preuhs also weighed in and admitted he was too busy to oversee how taxpayer money is spent. He doesn’t want to receive the “5 or 6” weekly emails that would be generated should Mr. Ricci have to account for his legal expenses. Apparently Mr. Preuhs is unfamiliar with the delete function as it pertains to emails?

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 28, 2008 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  3. If there is nothing to hide, why is the school committee so secrective and less than forthcoming with public information, but very generous when taking the liberty of spending the taxpayers money?
    My answer is where there is smoke, usually you can find a fire.

    To the committee: STOP HIDING THE FACTS!

    Comment by RS — February 28, 2008 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  4. Exactly…schools aren’t like a business where we voluntarily give them our money for a service we deem worthy. Public schools take our money from us through taxes. It is not “micro-managing” to expect to be kept informed of where and why our money is being spent. We’re not talking about buying paperclips…the legal bills at Chariho are in the thousands (one year it was over $150,000)…most lawyers charge a few hundred dollars per hour….so it adds up. Mr. Ricci should not be contracting the services of a lawyer we pay for unless it is serious stuff. If it is serious stuff than we should be kept informed.

    Why is this concept so easy for taxpayers to understand, but so difficult for politicians and government employeees to get through their thick skulls? I’m with RS…stop hiding the facts. Why are you afraid?

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 28, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  5. Consider the arrogance of Mr. Ricci’s response to the request for information on legal expenditures. Mr. Abbott, being a government employee himself, probably doesn’t have the point of reference to understand the “micro-managing” excuse is utterly ridiculous.

    For anyone who has ever worked in private business and spent their employer’s money, you know full well that you are accountable for where, when and how that money is spent. In private enterprise an employee at any level would never dare tell ownership that reporting specifics on expenses is “micro-managing”. We would recognize that it is ownerships’ money and they are entitlted to know what we are doing with their money.

    Only a government employee such as Mr. Ricci would be so obtuse as to tell us we don’t have a right to know how he is spending our money. Only a School Committee as corrupt and as inept as Chariho’s would fall in line like good little sheep when an administrator tells them he does not need to be accountable for spending our money.

    As an added kicker, even if your employer was dumb enough to let you spend their money without explanation, the government would send the IRS after you if you only provided vague and general accounting of expenses. Think about that…Mr. Ricci would have us micro-managed by the government when the government is taking our money, but he doesn’t want to be accountable when government spends our money. Once again our School Committee has proven themselves to be unfit to represent us. They just don’t get it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 28, 2008 @ 3:12 pm | Reply

  6. Hi!
    It is NOT micromanaging the school system asking basic information on how the school system conducts its affairs and policies. The roles of a school committee representing the public and the role of a school supt. are essentially different.
    The real question is this: What is the respective roles of the school committee and the supt. of schools and how well do they perform them? The school committee essentially sets policy, hires a supt. of schools, and adopts budgets & contracts, among other things. The school committee is accountable to the voters and the supt. of schools to the school committee. The supt. also has certain responsibilities required by law.
    I consider Bill Felkner a TREMENDOUS ASSET to the Chariho Regional School Committee. I talked to him about running as a write-in in the last election. I am glad he did. I am glad George Abbott is on the school committee. George may not be as forceful as Bill. But he is committed to young people and was a social worker for the state and was involved with youth that had tough circumstances.
    It is of interest that those critcized most often on the school level have proven their committment to youth: Georgia Ure, is a former educator and was Hopkinton’s first recreation director; and Bill Felkner worked on a Native American Reservation in South Dakota with issues impacting those families.
    The issue is one that those in power don’t want to be held accountable. Education in its best sense should demand intellectual curiosity and the ability to assemble facts. The real interesting thing is this: with the maintenance of effort requirement the schools essentially start off with the same amount as the previous year. It would LOGICALLY assume that both the public and school children could benefit by better financial oversight.
    Knock Bill Felkner or George Abbott if you will, but they are among the BEST school committee members we have on the eleven member Chariho School Committee.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — February 28, 2008 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  7. Public Education in Rhode Island has been known as far back as the 70’s as ‘feeding a dead horse.’ Translation ‘spend more on salaries and benefits’ on teachers and administrators and the kids will ‘be better educated/smarter’?. The failed experiment of over 30 years are the failure of the parents/those of you who have been able to stay/your parents who were here being duped in that the ‘District’ cared about their kids more than themselves (union and administrators). Parents let’s stop it in our generation from happening.

    Charter Schools, school choice. Sign me up and show me the petitions to sign. Give my child a $8,000 computer and some home study courses and keep them away from the district. It will be a lot cheaper than $13,000 change a year to get them to graduate.

    I think that all tri town parents want the best for our kids and I don’t mean a ride home in the upgrade from the bus to a Toyota Camry to a Lexus.

    RI Education Scores failing the kids, lowering of standards (to achieve a level of success) Soaring Benefits and Salaries . . . disappointing.

    Accountability, openness to government, public access to records . . .

    Bill Felkner move out of Hopkinton and to our town so we can appreciate some accountabilty and bring the mild mannered/low key Abbott with you.

    Kool Aid

    Comment by Kool Aid — March 13, 2008 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  8. Ryse is a hell for the children !

    Comment by looking forward — June 12, 2008 @ 12:59 am | Reply

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