Chariho School Parents’ Forum

March 20, 2008

From today’s ProJo

Filed under: contract negotiations,transparency,Unions — Editor @ 3:05 pm

“The right to know is a top priority” 

The Providence Journal recently reported on a “statement” read into the Chariho School Committee minutes by member Bob Petit denouncing me for sharing “confidential” information with the public (Felkner’s Web blog ruffles feathers, March 13).  The Committee decides what is hidden in executive sessions and I’m sorry if what I am about to share offends them, but there is more that you should know.


This all started when the NEA accused me of illegally interfering with the contract negotiation process by saying something to someone via a post on my blog (Chariho School Parents’ Forum,  When I asked for the evidence, the NEA flatly refused to provide me with any details. 


Four months later I learned that the NEA had requested a hearing with the Labor Relations Board (LRB).  I was not notified.  The interim Chariho solicitor, Andrew Henneous, and the Chariho Superintendent, Barry Ricci, were notified.  The LRB asked Mr. Henneous if I would be present at the hearing.  He didn’t respond. 


I asked Superintendent Ricci if he was aware of the LRB’s request and he said the lawyer never told him.  However, the board chairman, Bill Day, was notified. 


This is indeed an odd situation.  First it is odd that Bill Day, whose wife and son are both NEA members at Chariho, would be involved.  Secondly, and more perplexing, is the fact that the lawyer is an interim solicitor who is vying for the permanent job.  The superintendent has repeatedly recommended that the Committee hire him – even after the revelation of this communication breakdown.  Would you hire a lawyer that kept information from you?


But all this was hidden in executive session and seven of the eleven Committee members who voted to approve the “statement” chastise me for sharing it with you.  It’s your money, do you agree with them?

 Bill Felkner, Hopkinton representative on the Chariho Regional School Committee. 


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