Chariho School Parents’ Forum

March 12, 2008

School Committee votes to make a statement

Filed under: Corruption,executive sessions,transparency — Editor @ 10:41 am

The following statement (file linked below) was read into  the record by Bob Petit last night and the majority of the Committee voted to accept.   There was a discussion for a while.  Normally, the Committee gets to speak and then the public.  But Holly Eaves made a (now famous – or infamous) “move to motion question” which killed discussion – blocking out Barbara Capalbo from speaking.   Which is a shame considering they accused me of not working for the kids – I said I was working for my constituents and their children.  It might have been helpful for the Hopkinton councilor to speak considering she too represents them, but for some reason Holly didn’t think it was necessary.  And, of course, the majority of the Committee agreed.




  1. According to Robert’s Rules of Order a simple majority cannont stop the debate. Was there a 2/3 majority to end debate/discussion? Also, as far as I can recall there is no such thing as a “Move to motion” so what was she really asking for or is this some buried motion within Robert’s Rules of Order?

    Comment by CharihoParent — March 12, 2008 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  2. As I’ve said before, maybe taking a less antagonistic approach would work better. I have noticed on occasions that the tensions are high, especially at school committee meetings. I want my representatives at any level to act with decency and respect. I also expect them to have respect for the laws. If laws need to be changed, do it the right way. There are always right ways and wrong ways to try to get things done. After what I’ve seen and how you handle things, I know I would have a difficult time voting for you. I agree with many of the things you want to do, I just don’t agree with how you’re going about doing them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — March 12, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  3. Who cares. I like having Mr. Petit spending his time writing meaningless statements. Leaves less time for him to be screwing up our children’s educations. Besides, I did’t see any spelling errors or major grammatical mistakes in the statement, so we know Mr. Petit had help. Maybe Mr. McQuaide was wasting his time too?

    CharihoParent wants you to be another hand puppet in Mr. Ricci’s kingdom. In CharihoParent’s world, antagonism is disagreeing with her. Mr. Day is one of the most belligerent people I’ve ever heard, yet he gets a pass from dopes like CharihoParent. Mr. Day is a walking, talking fascist, yet Mr. Petit and his ilk meekly follow along like good little sheep.

    The real issue isn’t attitude it’s Mr. Felkner’s unwillingness to accept business as usual. You can be a pompous windbag (AKA fat Andy), a prissy kiss ass (AKA skinny Andy), or an arrogant dunce (AKA Billy Day), but as long as you vote to keep the money flowing, than you are just peachie keen with the CharihoParent’s of the world. If you dare speak up on behalf of parents, children, and taxpayers…oooh, then you are an antagonizer.

    Keep fighting for us Mr. Felkner. If you do nothing more than divert them from business as usual you’ll be doing us all a huge favor.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 12, 2008 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  4. Chariho Parent, as pointed out last night – in March Giancarlo read right out of the Open Meeting Act handbook that they were not allowed to call the meeting – but they did it anyway. So who is not following the rules?

    The exec session meeting in question last night discussed this blog and my actions. That is a grievance against me and as such I have a right to have it in an open meeting. Again, this was denied.

    I don’t disagree that there is tension. As soon as the rest of the Committee joins me and supports the constituency, the tension will go away. As we saw with the governor’s statement on public contracts – we need to give this information to the public. Why does Chariho continue to hide it?

    Comment by Bill Felkner — March 12, 2008 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  5. And even if they go behind closed doors legally, once there they are supposed to only discuss issues which were specifically identified in the public meeting. The minute they begin to discuss other issues, such as Mr. Felkner’s advocacy or blogs, then they should be end the closed meeting and come out into the public.

    Mr. Felkner has identified a few times that they have violated open meeting laws. I’m sure there are many more. For this group to issue a statement where they even mention the word “open” is silly beyond words. Mr. Day and his cohorts run the School Committee like a secret society. They are the ones who need to be ashamed of their behavior and attitudes.

    Mr. Felkner nails it…the antagonism is a result of Mr. Felkner fighting for his constituency while the rest of them fight for Chariho employees (their constituency). What else explains the budget manipulation and the routine secrecy? If the majority of the School Committee was doing right by the towns, they’d be falling over themselves in an effort to be transparent.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 12, 2008 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  6. Interesting. If they have a document all typed up and ready to go, was it placed on the agenda? Or “buried” somewhere. I doubt Mr P would go out on the limb for anyone other them himself, so he had to have help. did he illegally meet and converse with Mr Ricci and other members of the board prior to the meeting? Little Boy Blue (McQuade) probable DID help write the document, with a little help from his misguided friends.

    Keep up the good work, Bill. Those who know this crooked group are well aware of your fight to bring a little light into a dark place. I think that they protest too much! Something rotten in the dark area know as CHARIHO Administration, and they don’t want it out!

    Give Little Boy Blue back his horn, and send him out to care for the cows and the corn.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — March 12, 2008 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  7. Mr. Felkner,
    If the executive sessions are about you, and they are unwilling to allow them out in the open, can’t you file some grievance/complaint with the AG’s office? Or is this a civil matter? There should be some recourse as you are a representative of this town.

    Comment by Lois Buck — March 12, 2008 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  8. One simple question, has antagonism worked yet? Heck, no, it hasn’t. Mr. Felkner, your statement has the sound of “do it my way or wrong”, that’s the kind of statements that provoke resentment and hard feelings. I do understand what you’re trying to say though but others may take it the wrong way.

    Comment by CharihoParent — March 12, 2008 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  9. I don’t believe discussing a blog is one of the legal avenues to convene a closed session meeting. It seems to me that the school committee has violated the open meetings law.

    If Mr. Felkner is correct, and in March, Mr. Cicheti read from the Open Meetings Handbook that this was not a legal reason to close a meeting, then the committee knowingly violated the law. They should be held accountable.

    Mr. Felkner should file an open meetings act complaint. Maybe then the school committee will finally be forced to be responsible for their actions.

    Comment by NewBlogger — March 12, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  10. CR, and what shall we call you? A hide behind their computer belligerent hot air buffoon?

    Comment by CharihoParent — March 12, 2008 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  11. You can call me whatever you’d like. I don’t make decisions for other people and thus I have no obligation to be transparent.

    As for Mr. Felkner filing open meeting violations complaints…why? The law has no teeth. I like the way he handles it now…if they discuss issues that belong in public then he informs the public. Works great.

    I’m not sure why the committee is antagonistic toward Mr. Felkner…but I think this is great too. Used to be the School Committee and administration shafted students, parents and taxpayers behind closed doors. Yes, they continue to shaft us all, but at least they’re not able to hide it as effectively.

    I think the bond vote is the result of voters disccovering information that would have been hidden in the past. That’s a multi-million dollar victory for antagonism.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 12, 2008 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  12. Actually, it does work pretty well. As an example, we posted info on the math scores and curriculum options. If you recall the first meeting with Thornton, we were considered off base. Parents got involved on the blog – found a ton of information – and now the school is taking real action to change the curriculum. I haven’t said boo about Investigations math in months – but the movement continues. All because we decided to bring it out in the open.

    I also think we will find that Chariho will become a trendsetter in contract reform. Again, all because parents have gotten involved and have become intollerant of the status quo.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — March 12, 2008 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  13. Ssssh…one of the secrets is not to take credit for any changes. These clowns are so arrogant they’d rather see children suffer than admit they were wrong about curriculum, contracts, or anything else. Let them pretend they were planning on changing things before you came along.

    Antagonism translates to debate. B.F. (before Felkner) there was no debate. Everybody agreed…give the employees whatever they asked for and adjourn the meetings at 8:30 PM. The old timers were well rested back in the day (or is that Day?).

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 12, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  14. Mr. Felkner,

    Let us know if some money is needed to take legal action. I’m in.

    Comment by RS — March 12, 2008 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  15. Don’t get too excited about the curriculum change. I understand there is a likelihood that the new experiment is merely a modified contructivist curriculum.

    When there are known curriculae which deliver math skills to children around the world, why Chariho, or any other school, would experiment on children is beyond my ability to comprehend? Why not switch to a math curriculum which is proven most effective?

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 12, 2008 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  16. 1. I too am concerned about this modified constructivist curriculum I believe is being forced on us once again. I wish that when the curricula salesmen and women were here that the general public could have been invited as well, at least more publically. As it seems, we are totally in the dark about what curricula they are experimenting with. I have asked on one of the blogs if Mr. Felkner, Mr. Petit, or Mr. Abbott could find out what the experimental programs are. Also, perhaps it could be posted here. This is an excellent forum. I for one, as a parent, would like to know how it affects my children.

    There are a lot of intelligent people in these communities that should have a voice in what their children are taught. I for one would like to be able to be involved in the process of choosing a new curriculum. Obviously, one does not have to be a teacher to be objective and to make this decision. It seems the school committee had a lot to say about what program was used, and they are not educators. When do we as the parents of these children get our voices heard, five or six years down the road when the damage was done to 6 more generations of kids.

    2. As far as filing complaints, it is a shame that, I fear, there are time limits on filing them after the alleged violation. Perhaps, if someone is in the know, they could elaborate here.

    As far as the current situation, I believe there is some recourse, and it is certainly in a timely fashion. As I am no lawyer, I am unsure.

    Comment by Lois Buck — March 13, 2008 @ 6:43 am | Reply

  17. Don’t you know that our comments about constructivist math curriculum are just more “wild accusations”? The School Committee only wants what is best for children . Chariho has probably ruined the future math potential of hundreds of children with their decision to experiment. Oh, well, it’s not their children so who really cares?

    I don’t know why everyone thinks filing complaints is of any value? The best we could hope for is the Attorney General to scold them by saying “don’t do it again”. Do you really think the School Committee cares what the AG says? They don’t even care what taxpayers and parents want. The School Committee’s default position is to hide information. Why?

    I like it the way it is. The School Committee breaks the rules by secretly discussing issues that belong in public forum, and Mr. Felkner breaks the rules by telling us when the School Committee breaks the rules. I know some people consider this antagonistic, but I like how it works out.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2008 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  18. Lois, I think the statute is 180 days, or something similarly short.
    should be in the OMA.
    RS, I appreciate the thought

    Comment by Bill Felkner — March 13, 2008 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  19. […] Times.  Apparently, Mr. Madden was trying to get information from Mr. Ricci regarding the topic I discussed in the public forum.  Mr. Ricci did not give the information.  I subsequently published the info James was […]

    Pingback by Mr. Ricci may have influenced the Chariho Times to fire James Madden « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — March 22, 2008 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

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