Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 5, 2008

Bond hearing

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 11:07 pm

Committee member George Abbott reminds us about the bond hearing tomorrow at the State House.  If you can’t make the hearing you can still email your representative .

The bond proposal(H8227) will be reviewed before the House Finance Committee tomorrow at 1 PM.This piece of legislation only appears to address construction projects at the High School, athletic facilities and Maintenance shed.

Repairs to the Middle School and RYSE are not included in this piece of legislation

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260 Comments »

  1. Yup, email your representative and all the other reprensentatives to let the ALL the voters decide, not just a few loud mouth obnoxious people from Hopkinton.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 6, 2008 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  2. All voters did decide under the agreed upon procedure set forth in the Charho Act. The bond was rejected. Not happy with the vote the School Committee along with Richmond and Charlestown Town Councils are attempting to subvert a legal vote and vote again. This isn’t the first time…it worked the last time. As we now know, Richmond and Charlestown voters were played for fools. He we go again.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 6, 2008 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  3. You are right, CR. As long as CHARIHO can continue to destroy buildings with their “destructive maintenance”, and then demand more money to build other buildings so the cycle can begin again, we will constantly hear their call for newer and better. Gone are the days (they think) for “use it up, make do, wear it out”. CHARIHO believes in the continuing stupidity of the voters in seeking the support for these bonds which will neither improve education, or improve accountability. They seem to want to tie us up for another 20 years to their continuing destructive course of self fulfillment and gratification at our expense.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — May 6, 2008 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  4. The bond lost by 47 votes…..lets also remember that in the Town Budget this year there is a new position to help at the town hall because Mrs. Cooke Martin is having a problem with keeping up with registered voters and the counts. They have admitted to having to recount ballots on a few occasions. Maybe there should have just been a recount not a revote. I truly think we are making a big mistake not taking this bond. My opinion only. Time will tell how we make out.

    But this is now what we lose

    1/3 split on the bond- now we pay per child for the capital improvements (same improvements, higher cost)

    The chance to get our high school fixed (if nothing else) freeing up money that could be turned over for work on the elementary. (Giving us the opportunity to look at bringing back 5th and 6th graders)

    losing 20% reimbursement (56% down to 30%) in the vicinity of $10 million dollars ( money that the tax payers will now pay, as we all know most of the improvements will now be in the budgets)

    The argument of being help captive for 20 years is not even a good argument.I don’t know who said that first but you all have taken that for a ride. When broken down the pay back per town was about $4 million, If in a couple of years (if and when the economy gets better) Hopkinton wanted to venture out on their own the buyout would have increased because of the improvements that were completed. I think the bond was good and will continue to say this. I think if you want to hold the line keep fighting the budget, this is where I think we could do better.

    Now we have a town that is looking at building its own school (some say go ahead) I hope they don’t. I can’t see how this benefits Hopkinton in anyway. We have record foreclosures now. If we have to figure out a way to either run or build our own schools I think we will be in more trouble.

    The problem I see is that people are frustrated with contracts, administration, teachers, tax equality and they take it out on the buildings because this is the only place they feel they have the control. I disagree with that theory, I think we can control and need to work on these other issues. I think we need to be more concerned about the very buildings that house our students. This is not a problem that started last week, last month or even last year; I walk through that high school and see the same mess that was there when I attended back in the 70’s and 80’s.

    Personally I think it is time to fix the buildings. If I am wrong I will admit it. Unlike some.

    Comment by bpetit — May 6, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  5. What if politicians were allowed to revote every time they didn’t like the outcome? Let’s say Ms. Walsh loses an election and decides to change the term from 2 years to 3 years and claims this entitles her to another vote. Who would be stupid enough to believe she wasn’t trying to bypass the will of the people? These unending revotes until they get their desired result is what dictators do not democratic republics. Ms. Walsh and Mr. Scott should be criticized for supporting a revote. In this country we aren’t supposed to just keep voting until the politicians get the result they want. Chariho played this trick with the budget cuts a few years ago and it worked. Area families had their money taken from them so Chariho could have a multi million dollar surplus. How many times will we allow ourselves to be played as fools?

    Comment by Real Question — May 6, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  6. bpetit…Exactly… WELL SAID! This is what I have been trying to get across to all. Hopkinton is not looking at the big picture and you are only hurting yourself in the long wrong. By not getting this bond, Hopkinton and Richmond will continue to pay the cost of these repairs and Charlestown gets off easy.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 6, 2008 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  7. Real Question I don’t agree with people saying it is the same bond (maybe in theory). It will be a little less money because some of the repairs are all ready set to go through the budget. Some improvements are set to begin this summer. We will pay per student for these improvements. The bond is also spilt in 3 RYSE,Middle and High School a lot of the same people that voted against the bond in November said if the bond was split than the high school would have passed. Well if it did go back to the voters they could decide. There is still the possibility that all 3 parts would again get voted down.

    I just do not see any benefit for not voting to approve this bond. I think in the long run we will pay more to get the same result.

    1) Pay more because you pay per student
    2) Pay more because of inflation (higher building costs) it will take years to achieve what we could do in little time with a bond.

    But, if the majority are happy with this???? If/when it does come back to cost more I don’t want to hear the reason is because the school committee didn’t do their job. If it comes out that by not approving this bond we do better, I will come out and admit I was wrong. I just don’t see it….but I have been wrong before.

    Comment by bpetit — May 6, 2008 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  8. Real Question I don’t agree with people saying it is the same bond (maybe in theory). It will be a little less money because some of the repairs are all ready set to go through the budget. Some improvements are set to begin this summer. We will pay per student for these improvements. The bond is also spilt in 3 RYSE,Middle and High School a lot of the same people that voted against the bond in November said if the bond was split than the high school would have passed. Well if it did go back to the voters they could decide. There is still the possibility that all 3 parts would again get voted down.

    I just do not see any benefit for not voting to approve this bond. I think in the long run we will pay more to get the same result.

    1) Pay more because you pay per student
    2) Pay more because of inflation (higher building costs) it will take years to achieve what we could do in little time with a bond.

    But, if the majority are happy with this???? If/when it does come back to cost more I don’t want to hear the reason is because the school committee didn’t do their job. If it comes out that by not approving this bond we do better, I will come out and admit I was wrong. I just don’t see it….but I have been wrong before.

    Comment by bpetit — May 6, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  9. Saying this bond is different is like saying a losing candidate should get another chance because he is older than the day of the vote. John Kerry should get another vote if he chooses a different VP.

    You may not like the original bond vote result Bob P. but it was your constituents who rejected it. To be from Hopkinton and favor another bond vote is disgraceful regardless of whether you favor the bond or not. You should have been searching for alternatives instead of supporting another vote.

    The SC doesn’t do its job because it hasn’t maintained the buildings. This is an ongoing problem especially with the elementary schools. The SC hasn’t done its job because it agrees to absurd contracts at the expense of our kids’ educations. There are many reasons the SC should be criticized.

    Comment by Real Question — May 6, 2008 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  10. I didn’t say that we shouldn’t be criticized. Lord knows its all some people know how to do. What I said is if this comes back to cost more over the long haul I don’t want to hear it is because of us.

    I also said I have heards a lot of people say that if the bond was split they would have voted for the high school. Well the bond is split and I say let them vote. If it is only the high school that gets repaired than so be it. The people would be able to make a determination on 1, 2, 3 or maybe nothing.

    I disagree with you saying that to be from Hopkinton and favor another vote is disgraceful. I think to put politics in front of what I think is best for the district is disgraceful. I don’t see where we would be losing money by approving this bond but I can see where we would lose money by rejecting it. So I believe it is my duty to give it back to the tax payers of the district to decide. Especially since so many have voiced their opinion to fix the high school.

    And to say search for alternatives, what alternatives? I am not talking about bringing back the 5th and 6th graders. That has nothing to do with fixing the high school and besides that; are you willing to approve a bond to bring them home? Or does the cost matter? I don’t see how you can bring the 5th and 6th graders back without going through a bond…..now where do we go? Back down the same road? Doesn’t change anything and now you are stuck for another….what is it??? 20 years?

    I am sorry you feel that I have betrayed the Hopkinton voters but I just don’t feel I did. Again time will tell.

    Comment by bpetit — May 6, 2008 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

  11. Stuck for another 20 years? Hopkintonians speak out of both sides of their mouths. You don’t want the district to split up but yet you talk about “being stuck for another 20 years.” If you want to remain a school district then let ALL the voters of the district decide it’s future. Trying to stonewall this vote only serves to make us believe you have some fear of it passing. This vote is different, I don’t care how you look it, the amount is less, it’s split into three, just as your own Town Council has asked for. Barbara Capalbo said would not approve sending the bond for a vote it was the same. It’s not the same, time to put up and let the voters decide or be silent.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 6, 2008 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  12. Well, Bob…now is your chance to “make things right”. YOU are a member of the school committee. YOU can question Mr Ricci, and demand answers. YOU can demand that the school committe take charge and run the meetings, and YOU can become a force to deal with. Are you up for it?

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — May 6, 2008 @ 5:31 pm | Reply

  13. Hi!
    I testified today in Providence against the legislation. We must remind ourselves repairs need to be done. There is a legitimate concern about losing state aid on not approving that bond. For your information it was my impression that Rep. Carter, D-North Kingstown; said they would do what was best for the children or he would. I recall he said both. Rep. Mumford asked about the accreditation issue.
    A number of people were there. I only stayed for part of the testimony. I heard Rep. Scott, Barry Ricci, and Bill Day speak before me. Then Vinnie Cordone,Bob Mitchell, Chariho High School Principal, and I spoke. I was the first of the three.
    I will try to find out when the hearing will be broadcast and let you know. It is usually broadcast on the legislative channel. Chris Keegan and Randy Edgar was there. I saw Kate Waterman,John Craig, Jim Mageau, Ed Barrett, Joe Reddish, Andrew McQuaide,Jr., and I may have missed somebody. I did not listen to any testimony other than Scott, Ricci, and Day.
    It was Agriculture Day at the State House attended a ceremony on that, stayed briefly in the balcony of the State Senate Chamber and Sen. Breene introduced me.
    Within the hour I will be at the Ashaway Elementary School for the Annual Hopkinton Town Budget Assembly. The voting on the budget by the public will be held later.
    I cannot the results of a referendum. However both sides of an issue resist a revote often if they are on the prevailing side.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 6, 2008 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  14. Hi!
    I cannot predict the results it should be in my post.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 6, 2008 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  15. Hi!
    FYI, Rep. Constantino is the House Finance Chair. He did not preside while I was there. I should point out Rep. Kennedy did come into the hearing room.
    Two additional bills, being prepared for submission, one concerning RYSE and the Middle School, will be submitted this week. The bill today only concerned the Chariho High School.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 6, 2008 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  16. A veto of the bond is the only leverage Hopkinton has to get tax equalization. A “one third split” is a cheap buy-off because they know if we accept it we will have no leverage to get real equalization. Its unfortunate that a Hopkinton representative wouldn’t want to fight for the taxpayers. It is disingenuous to suggest that going from 28% to 33% of total town input is the same as equalizing the $1 in Charlestown to the $2.30 spent in Hopkinton per individual homeowner.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 6, 2008 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

  17. BFelkner.. What leverage to you have… even if the bond fails do you really think Charlestown is going to agree to your tax equalization. Lets be real… why would they do that! So what does that do for Hopkinton and Richmond tax payers. More money out of our pockets. You are willing to lose $10 million dollars in reimbursement because you feel you will have more leverage with Charlestown. You are just giving them more justifacation as to why they should walk away. Hopkinton and Richmond residents really don’t want to pay for these repairs thru the fiscal budget. We need to get these capital improvement out of the budget and into the bond.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 6, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  18. Don’t hold your breath expecting Mr. Petit to represent Hopkinton families. The latest bond iteration is clearly a revote. Richmond and Charlestown, with an assist from dupes like Mr. Petit, have employed the same strategy before to overturn a legal vote. The result was years of surplus robbing Hopkinton families so Chariho could keep millions for an “emergency”.

    I suggest that the Hopkinton Town Council immediately contact the governor’s office once the legislation is set to go forward. Hopkinton has been abandoned by our state representatives. Perhaps the governor will recognize how wrong it is to make us vote again and again for the same thing.

    If all else fails I am buoyed by Hopkinton’s recent budget vote where an overwhelming majority said no. I pray this is indicative of a town which has awoken to the dangers of accepting the status quo. Our families can no longer afford business as usual at Chariho. Nothing will change as long as we keep the money flowing without demanding accountability, transparency, and superior educational outcomes. Our children deserve no less.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 7, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Reply

  19. My question is whether the politicians we elect to represent Hopkinton are complete idiots or do they have some other motivation for ignoring what is best for Hopkinton families and our children? Is the allure of new school buildings so strong that these politicians don’t care what they do to the financial health of Hopkinton families? Do they realize families have financial needs withih their own homes?

    What happens to people when they become part of the government? Do you suddenly forget what it is like to in the real world? Why does feeding the government beauracracies become more important than feeding family?

    Hopkinton families can’t rely on our politicians to protect us. A bond not only locks this generation into years more of wasteful and irresponsible education spending but it also dooms the next generation of Hopkinton families. The pols willing to do this to families can go to hell.

    Comment by Real Question — May 7, 2008 @ 9:17 am | Reply

  20. Dorothy I believe I have tried in different areas to start bringing accountability to the administration for the spending and will continue to do so.

    I agree with Richmond Parent in that using the bond as leverage is absurd. Does nothing for us. If anyone truly thinks not passing this bond because it gives us leverage than you are way off. I hope you have more to not passing this bond than just that? Please tell me you do. Charlestown is not going to agree to full equalization (PERIOD). They have repeatedly said this, they did say if the bond passed they would consider a 1/3 split on maintenance costs at the high school. Does it bring it up to where Hopkinton wants it? NO; but something is better than nothing.

    Lets look at it this way…….some out here are saying Chariho will not take NO for an answer, they keep coming back for more. It seems to me some will not take NO for an answer on tax equalization. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house. Never, have I heard anyone in Charlestown say they would even consider tax equalization in the form it is presented here. I think we need to stop spinning our wheels on that idea.

    QUOTE FROM BILL…..

    “It is disingenuous to suggest that going from 28% to 33% of total town input is the same as equalizing the $1 in Charlestown to the $2.30 spent in Hopkinton per individual homeowner.”

    So don’t do anything keep paying the $2.30 to Charlestown’s $1 because if you can’t have it all your way, you don’t want anything? Where is the logic?

    We all agree the schools need work, regardless of how they got to this point. I just can’t see how not taking advantage of this opportunity is good for any of us.

    I have heard from some in Hopkinton that voted down the bond. If they had the opportunity to vote for the high school alone, many said they would have voted for it. I am trying to give them the opportunity to do this.

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  21. Real Question don’t you realize that one way or another we are going to pay to do these repairs? This is what I don’t understand. Do them get a higher reimbursement and 1/3 split on the repairs, OR don’t do them, put them in the budget, pay per student, get less on reimbursement and by spreading it out over more years basically spend more because of inflation…..

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 9:27 am | Reply

  22. Where is the logic? Where is the logic to accepting a tax scheme where a family paying $1 can force a family paying $2.3 to spend even more? Are you so obtuse Bob P. that you don’t understand that Hopkinton families can’t withstand the same increases when our starting point in more than double that of Charlestown families? Every bond or budget increase is the same game. Charlestown families approve spending that costs Hopkinton families more than double.

    You act as if Charlestown’s consistent refusal to agree to tax equity is reason to abandon all effort to put Hopkinton’s struggling famlies on equal footing with Charlestown families. Can’t you see we have the power of refusal as well? They can refuse tax equity and we can refuse to spend any more? Or are you so anxious to spend money you don’t care what it means for our futures? You want to trade our kids’ futures for short term political victory. Or maybe your kids will be rich enough to keep up with decades more of tax inequities?

    A revote is a bad idea until the circumstances change. Charlestown must either give in to tax equity or leave. Hopkinton families cannot afford to be linked to Charlestown families who approve spending as if they pay twice as little as us. Oh, that’s right, they do pay twice as little as us. No wonder they can afford the crazy contracts and wasteful spending.

    It is a lie that the bond is needed for repair. Maintenance can and should be paid for with annual operating budgets. We have millions left in surplus which could be use for repairs and would still qualify for the state reimbursement. Funny how the repairs only become important when the SC is trying to get more out of our pockets. When the SC has the opportunity to spend millions in surplus in repair they don’t do it. You have no problem taking from Hopkinton families but refuse to take money out of Chariho’s bank account. Do you have any scruples?

    Comment by Real Question — May 7, 2008 @ 10:22 am | Reply

  23. Hi!
    Two things:
    1. To get a copy of the hearing yesterday contact capitoltv@rilin.state.ri.us for details. I understand the hearings of the House Finance Committee are rarely rebroadcast.
    The requirement I understand it to provide them with a DVD or videotape for the copy. I understand the turnaround is not extensive.
    2. The Chariho issue is not easy. There is a legitimate concern about losing state aid. However for many years local officials have not come to grips with dealing with the fiscal disparities in the district. The choices of addressing them may be highly unpleasant, which could include equalized tax rate and Charlestown withdrawal,in addition to other possible scenarios. At the present time regardless of what happens on the bonds, friction will continue by the virtually unaddressed solution to the fiscal disparies in the district. I did not stay in the hearing room for all the testimony but you can read http://www.projo.com for Randall Edgar’s account of it and Maria Armental’s account of last night’s Hopkinton Financial Town Assembly.YOu can also get a tape or DVD about it.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 7, 2008 @ 10:36 am | Reply

  24. Real Question if Charlestown pulls out of the district can we afford to go it alone? Is the cost of having our own schools going to be lower than what we pay now? Even if Richmond decided to work with us ( which they said at the last town council meeting they wouldn’t,just incase you had not heard) our taxes would go up and Richmonds will go down; so how are we doing now? Our portion to the district goes up and oh by the way “the buildings still need to be repaired” thats how we are doing.

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  25. You fail to grasp the tremendous waste Charlestown and Richmond have allowed by cramming programs and spending down our throats.

    I confident Hopkinton reps would not tolerate the outrageous contracts which have been negotiated in recent years. I’m confident that Bill F. and George A. would stand firm against NEA demands. I’m confident that Hopkinton voters would elect SC members who would also put Hopkinton families before Chariho employees.

    I’m confident that 6 to 1 student to employee ratios would be gone. Guidance counselors for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders would all be gone. Deans of students gone. SROs gone. Teachers Aids in every corner would be gone. Poor curriculum forcing parents to pay for tutoring would be gone.

    Hopkinton does not support foolish spending. With Charlestown families paying so little they’ve been free to ignore Chariho and not vote or not care how they vote. Richmond would still be a problem as the voters have mush for brains, but Hopkinton would at least stand a fighters chance of getting control of out of control spending.

    If Charlestown were to leave there would be an initial cost, but once contracts began to expire and unnecessary employees were handed their walking papers, Hopkinton families would be keeping more of their money. I am confident.

    Comment by Real Question — May 7, 2008 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  26. Hi!
    I tried unsuccessfully multiple item to post a blog, so I will keep this short. The House Finance Committees are rarely reboroadcst I learned. You can get copies however. Contact capitoltv@rilin.state.ri.us for details. I have an e-mail into them.
    I undertstand you are to supply a DVD or videotape in exchange for a copy. I undertand that there is a turnaround time but not extensive.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 7, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  27. Real Question what I contest is that you can still look in to all of these options. You can pull out of the district at anytime and start your own school system. You can apply to be a charter school system and run your schools the way you want, just don’t look for state aide. The 20 years being tied to the district is fallacy. You can pay off your portion and get out at anytime.

    How does all of this make any sense on refusing this bond? You don’t want to pay now. But, let Charlestown and Richmond go their own way. This way we will pay higher costs?

    And to keep saying that I have not tried to help Hopkinton residents and I am all for Chariho employees is not correct either.

    All I am doing by supporting this bond going back for a vote is giving the Hopkinton residents an option. One I tried to give them when Tom Buck asked for it the first time. My vote would be YES yours will be NO lets and tomorrow we can discuss something else we need to do. There will always be work to do to make this a better school for our students……ALWAYS.

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  28. Hi!
    WE MUST discuss ALL issues! I am troubled by the loss of state aid on a bond. However should those of us that oppose it , continulally condone those who wish NOT to address the fiscal disparities in Chariho?
    Obviously it is not the particular concern of the administration to address the disparities of finances among the town but it NEEDS TO BE AND MUST BE of local officials.There is no serious concern of local officials or certainly most of them to address the tax disparities. It really needs to be ADDRESSED ONCE AND FOR ALL OR WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE PROBLEMS.
    Those of us in politics want to be in politics otherwise we would not run. It is nice to win elections, but we need to make the tough decisions. I can respect and understand Charlestown might want to leave the district because they do not want tax equalization or the financial differences to continue.But a decision needs to be made. Choices are not always pleasant. Richmond who seems mainly only to have a higher median household income to deal with tax increases more so than the other two towns while obviously Charlestown comes to the table with its phenomenal assessable base bigger than Hopkinton and Richmond combined and one of the lowest tax rates in the state.
    What concerns is is John Craig, Charlestown Town Council President, who in the recent past said that an equalized tax rate is unacceptable which is fine, but I don’t recall him offering any real suggestion, on how to deal with the fiscal differences of the three towns.Then if I read correctly he just said this is not the time to discuss those issues? These issues have been around for a long time and have not been addressed for the most part.
    Years ago when the MGT report suggested an equalized tax rate but the compromise reached was the veto power would be given up and instead of an equalized tax rate for all expenses, it would be given only for capital costs. That issue at the polls passed Hopkinton and Richmond, and was DECISIVELY defeated in Charlestown.
    In more recent years there was an SOS group in Charlestown which opposed withdrawal. What that group did not address is how to deal with the fiscal issues involving the towns. Some of this group were either educators or related to them.
    In closing, there is enough blame to go around on why Chariho issues have not been resolved.The real problem is NOT all of the people involved in the debate are dealing with ALL THE ISSUES. IN some cases perhaps the administration role is not to concern themselves with the fiscal disparities but certainly the elected officials should.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 7, 2008 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  29. bpetit… first of all I want to commend you for standing your ground for the best interest for Hopkinton taxpayers as well as Richmond taxpayers. Many families in the two towns support you. The few here that like to lower themselves to calling people names and pointing fingures are just to close minded to see what the real situations is for the future of Hopkinton’s tax dollars. Its seems their own personal issues are getting in the way of the big picture. Keep up the good work… the families of these communities need more people like you.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 7, 2008 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  30. Scott I would like to further understand why you do not support this bond. Can you give me some reasons why you dont support this. What is your pros and cons. Thank you

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 7, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  31. I voted for Bob the first time because I thought he was someone willing to stand up for Hopkinton but I see I was mistaken . Bob, why can’t you understand we have been fighting this tax battle for decades – we are close to getting it fixed and you, a Hopkinton resident, does not want to help us. You are a disgrace to the town. All this “its for the kids” crap. You are as bad as Ricci. If you really care about the kids and not just going along with the stooges on the school board, you would be fighting to get this tax problem fixed so we can move on and really start helping the kids. It is the selfishness of Richmond and Charlestown that has put the kids in jeopardy because Charlestown residents don’t want to pay the same amount as Hopkinton residents. And a Hopkinton resident (Bob) is helping them. Disgraceful!

    Comment by Another Chariho Parent — May 7, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  32. bpetit… you are right. This would be terrible mistake on Hopkintons part not to accept this bond.

    Comment by chariho parent — May 7, 2008 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

  33. Chariho Parent I know how long this battle has been going on in this district as I started Kindergarten in Richmond, elementary in Hope Valley and Graduated from Chariho. The problem was here when I was in school and now out for 25 years, it is still here. So now I ask this question to you Chariho Parent, how do you figure “we are close to getting it fixed”?

    I cannot believe some of the comments I have heard on here. The know facts

    1) you lose 30% state reimbursement

    2) you lose 1/3 split on this bond and the possibility of getting Charlestown and Richmond to agree with you on at least 1/3 of the maintenance cost at the high school campus going forward.

    3) Doing these repairs through the budget
    a) While paying per student
    b) Still losing 30% reimbursement from the state on any capital improvements

    4) Doing these repairs over years while everything continues to go up

    5) Losing regionalization bonuses (which is just more money we are losing)

    6) Breaking up a district when you are screaming about taxes and cost as they are now

    a) You will still need a bond to fix up your schools and to build your own if that is the way it goes…..remember you won’t get 56% or 60% to help from the state either.

    So 6 reasons that I can think of to vote for the bond just off the top of my head

    1) Stand firm for tax equalization
    a) Not any closer now than you were over 25 years ago (Charlestown still says NO)

    2) Richmond all ready saying that if Charlestown goes, they would like to go with them; NOT Hopkinton

    Still trying to see the logic here Chariho Parent, can you help me? Come on, I am not going to agree with you here just to agree. I have yet to see how this standing firm is helping us out. I said it at the beginning. I might be wrong. If I am I will be the first to come on here and apologize and admit I am wrong. But to say I am a disgrace because I am from Hopkinton and I approve this bond is just wrong. If we had another 10 years to spend bickering back and forth over tax equalization without losing $10 million dollars doing it than maybe (and even that would be hard) just maybe I would agree.

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  34. My post #33 was answering “Another Chariho Parent”

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  35. The state of RI is 1/2 BILLION in the red.

    The state is annihilating regional bonuses after “promising” them to get schools to regionalize; is trying to irradicate State Aid to Education – level funded now and probably slashed further next year; slashing aid to cities and towns; annihilating public funded grants for open space, housing, welfare, child care, etc.; severly curtailing any of these “promises” about renovation or building percentages – they don’t exist if the state goes into bankruptcy.

    The state is not going to be there anyway no matter what they “promise”. They can’t deliver – there is No Money.

    Hopkinton is a frugal, frustrating community of persons that demand basic programs without frills. We have the lowest property tax increase in the state – yet again. And we have run this community like a smart homeowner. There are savings for capital expenses and we spend that money when needed. We use our surplus for one-time expenses – like the One-Call Now emergency plan (4 years worth on that one-time expense). Our debt burden is very low – land trust bond, police station, and water. Our bonds are not used for items that cannot last the length of the bond – they are for structural needs – open space, roads (this year), town buildings, water.

    In this economy our housing prices have gone up – 5% over last year. Our number of days a house is on the market have gone down. Our community is strong and beautiful with pristine water and very protective people who question everything. We try not to depend on the state. They do not know where Hopkinton is – certainly to our advantage.

    If we have to start thinking outside the box where the Chariho district is concerned – so be it. North Stonington has a lovely small school system that produces some of the best grades/scores in the state of CT. Perhaps secession is an option.

    Bond or No Bond – all three towns must come to the table and talk funding. This is the time – we are not going away.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 7, 2008 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  36. Hi!
    Richmond Parent, I am torn by this. Clearly repairs need to be done. Losing the funding is a very legitimate and great concern. Fair criticism could be applied all around.
    I can see both sides. It is not likely the fiscal differences will be addressed any time soon.The political will power still seems to be missing to do so. If the legislation passes which is possible, we are locked in the
    bond(s), without the tax situation rectified, and Chariho will result in the same problems of the past.
    What we really need is an outside Chariho source such as the Dep. of Education, General Asembly, or the court system , to force the towns into a solution on finances. Clearly we are not at present coming up with a solution to it.
    I cannot and will not argue to the fact repairs buildings need to be made.
    Should we, RichmondParent ignore for all practical purposes disregard the fiscal disparities always knowing that for the immediate future Charlestown is likely to have a higher assessable base and one of the lower tax rates in Rhode Island; Richmond will likely have a much higher median household income, and Hopkinton has neither the highest median household income like Richmond; or the aseesable bAse of Charlestown?
    There are certain similarities: Hopkinton is closer to Richmond in Assessable Base and number of Students at Chariho as well as both these towns spend on education percentage in their local taxes; while Charlestown and Hopkinton seem to be only close on median household income although Hopkinton is more than Charlestown.
    The real question is should we pack it in as far as an equalized tax rate, say we can never can or willing to solve the fiscal issues that separate the towns, and just move on? If we do that, are we willing to accept the consequences of never finally addressing the fiscal issues?
    I assume that will not answer your question. I do not see a pleasant future on school finances.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 7, 2008 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  37. I want you all to know. I am not in anyway saying that we should forget about tax equalization. I think this needs to be addressed in some form. I truly do think there is a problem with it. What I am saying here is full equalization as we have heard on here numerous times is not happening. Charlestown has made that clear. Are there other ways to make it somewhat more even? Yes I believe there are. I just can’t see losing this much money and not getting our buildings fixed while we try to figure this out.

    Comment by bpetit — May 7, 2008 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  38. The bond isn’t happening either BPetit. It’s amazing how after the school committee negotiates givaways to teachers, para professionals, etc they keep coming back to the ‘spending authority’ for more who are trying to hold onto their homes. Charlestown after voting out didn’t want to spring for their own school at $30 Million plus as they didn’t understand they weren’t getting the state aid thats afforded to the other ‘poorer towns.’

    Charlestown may talk about leaving but they aren’t going anywhere. If they do wish them well. This isn’t a new problem its the same one the district has had for 50 years and no one has stepped up and done the right thing and its not happening now (or gonna happen).

    So much for ‘its about the children’ blather. It’s never been about the children unless someone else if footing the bill, no matter what town you live in.

    Comment by Reply#37 — May 7, 2008 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  39. Bob,

    I know you are trying not to forget the funding dilemma in Hopkinton.

    But, Charlestown and Richmond have made absolutely no moves to help rectify the funding issues. They will not even come to the table. When we suggested the Finance Directors from the three towns get together, Mr. Lathrop from Hopkinton, came to the meeting armed with ideas, suggestions and options including partial and full equality. Richmond and Charlestown Finance Directors sat there and said and did nothing other than to say their towns weren’t interested in addressing the issue.

    It was obviously a waste of his time. Hopkinton is trying to get people together and talk about this. We bring charts and tables. We bring possible solutions. Richmond and Charlestown refuse to even begin the discussion.

    Hopkinton and Richmond, together, arguing at the budget meetings got Chariho to use its surplus for repairs – Tom Buck and I were there. They had no intention of using that massive surplus (6.8 million to start) to fix the schools. As it is, 3.5 million will be used, 1.8 million will still be surplus, 1.5 will be used to offset the unfunded health liability for school employees.

    You were there too – and how often did they shoot you down when you wanted to cut or delete or remove an item or a job? The raises, benefits, pensions that everyone in the state and school governments allowed for years is home to roost. And now its our fault the schools weren’t repaired or built or renovated.

    Now “we’ll lose funding, we’ll lose money, we’ll lose reimbursement rates”. Cut social workers, cut aides, cut administration – get your feet on the ground and your budget working for responsible maintenance, responsible grades and scores, responsible teachers who are responsible for students learning solid basics – math, phonics, literature, history, science, languages, economics, writing.

    Bill Gates said ” Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the SLIGHTEST resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.” And “The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.” (Thank you Frank Bliven).

    Hopkinton is trying to accomplish something for our families – we succeeded once and we will work as hard again. Nothing is taken for granted in this community and if we fail, it won’t be for lack of work, lack of discussion or lack of backbone.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 7, 2008 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

  40. Hi!
    How long can we DODGE important issues that are interlated such as:
    1. Fixing our schools?
    2. Dealing with fiscal disparities?
    I don’t see good prospects regardless what happens. At some point bond(s) will pass, perhaps this year, the fiscal issues won’t be addressed, I feel. With Hopkinton’s close vote last fall on bonds and Hopkinton’s overwhelmining rejection of the regular school budget recently that portends not to be easy. The issue cuts both ways: losing substantial state aid in construction costs if a bond is not passed this year with the real possibility local officials will NEVER seriously dealing with fiscal disparities.
    The Chariho School Committee has NOT really taking the management study issue particularly seriously and even less so dealing with the fiscal disparities of the three towns. While they may eventually do a management study, while the school committee as well as most of the towns seem poise not to seriously look at a solution to the tax disparities but they may look at other options.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 7, 2008 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  41. I believe that while frugal, Hopkinton is also generous. BUT when a school committee asks for more money when needed repairs could have been done to save a building, when suspect and questionable behavior is committed, when additional repairs and upgrades for other building are neglected while there are MILLIONS in a surplus account, why SHOULD we approve a bond? We would be neglectful of our duties as citizens and parents if we supported a continuing regime of underhanded tactics, hidden agendas, and general mismanagement if we support any bond which would support this questionable (at best) behavior. Regardless of the wants of the school committee, I cannot and will not support any bond while this inappropriate behavior and wasteful spending continues.

    Think of it! Buildings hauled in under cover of night to start a new, unapproved program (RYSE)with not a shred of evidence that the program works, and no studies of this program since its inspection. Utter disregard for our school committee person, Mr. Felkner. Failure to release requested information, and a witch hunt which cost us money searching for a nonexistent legal complaint against Mr. Felkner. And NOW they want MORE money to mismanage, miss-spend and waste? Not from me! Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — May 7, 2008 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  42. Post #32 is not me, it’s someone else.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 7, 2008 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

  43. Another, how can you even say you’re close to getting fixed? There is no way Charlestown would ever agree to it the way Hopkinton invisions tax equality. Bob Petit has the right ideas and is the one that is truly looking out for the interests of Hopkinton and for the school district. He’s the one thinking with a clear head using facts and figures instead of emotion. The current stance of the hot heads from Hopkinton on this blog are only serving to split and divide the school district to the point where there will be no Chariho School District even though your Town Council says it wants to remain a district. Keep up this mentality and we will go nowhere and then become three seperate school districts until such time as the state regionalizes the schools and then we are at their mercy, not ours.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 7, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Reply

  44. Dorothy, Hopkinton is not being frugal in their stance, they are actually being wasteful. 56% reimbursement vs 30% remimbursement is not being frugal at all. If the repairs are done as part of the annual budget the best we would get is also 30% reimbursement from the state. After July 1, it is my understanding, that there will be no regional bonus for the existing regional school distrcts in any way, shape or form. Adding to the annual budget only serves to hurt each and every town, too, because the town’s annual budget is affected by the increase and leaves no room to be able to help pay for town services. How is this being frugal?

    Also, how can you say your town is being frugal after two years of double digit tax increases? And Scott Bill Hurst wants to run for School Committee? What is he going to do, cause all towns to have double digit tax increases, too? Give me a break!

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 7, 2008 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

  45. Scott… thank you for your response. It is clear to me that you see both side of this situation and you are torn. Is it fair to say that you understand that turning away the state aide would not make economic sense for the town of Richmond and Hopkinton. (Equialization is not a possiblity because Charlestown nor Richmond will support this idea. They wont even discuss it). Turning away 10 million dollars would be very wasteful. Would you agree that if the repairs are rolled into the annual fiscal buget that this is more costly to the tax payers of Hopkinton and Richmond? If the bond is not passed, what is next for Hopkinton. If the bond is passed, do you think the three towns will work together to solve some of these other problems.

    Comment by chariho parent — May 7, 2008 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  46. Not me from me either Dorothy. Fat chance anything will be done about tax inequities if a bond is approved. They want to build a race track with borrowed money? Who’s fooling who here?

    Bob Petit may have the best intentions. I’ve seen nothing of any value out of him yet but maybe he means what he says and does plan on doing something positive eventually. So far he has been a bust. Every cost saving proposal he’s proposed has been shot down. He then joins the rest in spending like drunken sailors. I have trouble believing anything he says to be honest.

    Barbara is right. Hopkinton has made every effort to fix this district. When do we finally resolve the issues? Send millions to Chariho “one more time”. Fat chance! Chariho will never get my vote or any of my family members votes until they actually do something positive rather than talking about it.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 7, 2008 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  47. Scott… I do agree that their are problems that need to be solved but I feel that saying no to the bond is just going to cause more problems and people will lose site of what needs to get accomplished. Lets get the schools fixed and then address the other issues. Lets not dodge this issue any longer. Holding out to get equalizaton of taxes just is going to happen at this point because their is such a division. Lets get this done and then address the other issues.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 7, 2008 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  48. Chariho Parent,

    Hopkinton’s tax increase last year was 1.9% – the lowest in the state. This year is the same. What is yours?

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 7, 2008 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  49. Equalization is the solution but the problem is too much spending. Because we don’t have equal taxes Charlestown doesn’t care how much is spent by Chariho.

    If you don’t want tax equity I’m betting Hopkinton families would agree to a bond if our tax burden was as low as what Charlestown families pay now. If Charlestown wants to continue to pay less than us then they can accomplish this by cutting spending. Once Hopkinton families see their tax bills cut in half I’m sure they’ll be agreeable to throwing in an extra hundred dollars or so for a bond.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 7, 2008 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  50. Here’s another idea. Each vote is weighted by the actual tax burden of the voter. That way for every Charlestown vote an average Hopkinton vote would be equal to around 2.4 vote. A Richmond vote would be equal to around 2.7 votes.

    With weighted votes at least the people carring the heaviest load would have more control over future spending. For those who don’t care about the importance of equity the weighted voting system shouldn’t be a problem.

    Here’s a slogan – “You weigh what you pay.”

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 7, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  51. richmondparent,

    If we fixed the school you wouldn’t fix the funding.

    I have yet to see in black and white anyone from Richmond saying they don’t mind spending $2.50 for every $1.00 a Charlestown homeowner pays. If you don’t mind then Charlestown really has found the perfect draft horse for their wagon. Hopkinton may be in the same harness, but we just sat down.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 7, 2008 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  52. Don’t forget that Richmond also gets the joy of seeing their tax burden go up 2.5 times more than Charlestown for every crazy contract signed by the school board. Richmond gets three board members yet each Richmond family feels the tax burden 2.5 times more than each Charlestown family. Budget time must be a time for celebration in a town which supports their families paying 2.5 times more than the neighboring families for the exact same school system. Maybe Richmond voters are not draft horses at all? Maybe they are a different member of the equine family? Sure seems that way.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 7, 2008 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  53. Barbara,
    What did Hopkinton cut back on to get down that low? What hidden account was raided? What funds did you have this year to take from but those funds won’t be there next year? I believe Richmond’s budget increase is about 2.7%, I’ll know better after the budget public hearing next Tuesday. I know the Richmond Town Countil won’t play games with the budget as Hopkinton has in the past because they saw what happened when your raid accounts year after year, it eventually comes back to bite you with double digit tax increases.

    We are in a catch-22 here, Richmond and Charlestown won’t do anything to change the funding until you agree to fix buildings. This was a chance to step in that direction but still Hopkinton puts up road blocks. Everything else that Hopkinton wanted was done and when all that was done, then came the cry about the funding. How much more do you expect the other two towns to give in to? When is enough, enough? Speaking with the town councilors from Richmond, the fear is, if you get the funding the way you so desire, what’s the next roadblock Hopkinton will put in the way? Seems like there’s always something to complain about coming out from Hopkinton. It’s understandable now why we are at such an impass and I honestly believe that this will be the one that kills the school district.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 7:03 am | Reply

  54. TorC, what you propose for the vote would probably be unconstitutional. One man, one vote.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  55. Barbara,
    Both Town Councils have said, approve the bond then we’ll talk about the funding. Catch-22. You don’t want to approve the bond, the other two towns won’t talk about the funding. When does the merry-go-round ride end? The taxpayers of all three towns are being held hostage because of this.

    Richmond Parent, if you’re interested in looking into the options for Richmond, the School Withdrawal Committee is being formed. You can either get in contact with the Town Clerk’s office for an application or download it from the town’s web site on the first page of the Boards/Commissions section.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 7:19 am | Reply

  56. Who knows, but it is probably as Constitutional as unequal taxation. Rep. Scott is quoted as saying a court may have to order more spending at Chariho. Should the issue of spending end up in court it would be nice to have the court rule on the issue of taxation too. A country was formed partly due to taxation without representation. Hopkinton has been paying unequal taxation without equal representation.

    I’m wondering what Richmond and C?harlestown have conceded to Hopkinton? How about lowering the taxes on a Hopkinton family to the same as what a Charlestown family now pays? We won’t even care if the Charlestown families continue paying half of what we pay. You would need to reduce Chariho’s budget by half or so, but that shouldn’t be too hard.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 8, 2008 @ 7:29 am | Reply

  57. Richmond is already looking to withdraw from CHARIHO? I believe I saw and ad in the paper looking for people to come forward to study withdrawal?

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — May 8, 2008 @ 7:32 am | Reply

  58. Richmond voters are known for not caring about the poorer families among them. This is why Richmond never rejects any spending proposal at Chariho. Can you imagine them studying a school of their own, discovering it will drive 1/3 of their families out of town, and still going through with it? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    As a fan of parents choosing schools Richmond could be a leader and be the first to move toward a voucher system. I don’t think they have it in them but you never know. I think the most likely outcome is a lot of noise and no action.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 8, 2008 @ 8:08 am | Reply

  59. Charihoparent, thank you for the invitation for the School Withdraw Committee. I will look into it but my first concern is getting this three “new” bond back to the voters. Many parents with students in Chariho are very happy with what the schools have done for their children. Their only concern at this point is getting the schools repaired in a timely fashion and they are very frustrated with the Hopkinton approach. My children have done extremely well and despite the false information that is discussed regarding poor performance, Chariho students overall are doing well in comparison to like schools and in national comparision. Their spending in comparision to like schools in Rhode Island are not out of control but in line to other schools. I would geuss that many of the people complaining about the schools do not have children in the system at this point. I was one of those parents that did not want their 5th graders going to the middleschool but after we went thru the experience, I have to say they do a great job with the transition and all my children loved the change. They were ready to take on this new chapter in their lives and thrived. Due to the programs Chariho has developed, the parental involvement and communication between parent and teachers/administration is superior. If this bond does not get based, then I believe Richmond will have to consider a withdraw and I will be more then happy to work with this committee.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  60. The bond will die. Thankfully there hasn’t been any state senators willing to support a revote. Hopkinton Rep. Kennedy has also weighed in against undoing a legal vote. At worst case it gets rejected again by Hopkinton.

    Chariho fails to educate to the level we should expect and require. Individual children may do well, but Chariho apologists choose to ignore the lack of data coming from Chariho. RYSE as an example wouldn’t shut up if it did a great job at a reasonable cost. The reason details on spending and outcomes are not available is because Chariho has nothing good to report.

    As for 5th and 6th graders in middle schools Lois Buck provides study after study documenting the negative effects of shoving kids into schools with teenagers. Typical Richmond attitude to ignore the facts because your kids happen to be doing well. Very similar to ignoring the poorer families because you can afford to pay ridiculous amounts of taxes.

    Spend a few minutes reading the Chariho contracts. Compare the compensation given to the hundreds of Chariho employees with the salaries and benefits of those of us in the real world. From the contracts alone we can tell that Chariho hurts families. The contracts don’t even tell us how many employees we pay for who aren’t even needed.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 8, 2008 @ 8:27 am | Reply

  61. TorC… care to back that statement up or are you just shooting from the hip AGAIN. What makes you think that Richmond Familes don’t care about the poorer families among them?

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  62. Correction.. “if ths bond does not get thru, then I believe Richmond like Charlestown will have to withdraw”

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 8:38 am | Reply

  63. Barbra…Charlestown has allowed their town to be developed over the last 20 years and I am sure that many old timers didn’t like this but they allowed it. As a result, they have increased their tax base. I, as a Richmond taxpayer, can not point the finger at Charlestown because my town has not increased their tax base at the same rate. I can say however, that my town, like Hopkinton, should be focusuing its energy on increasing their tax base to take the burden off the homeowners. Hopkinton has had many opportunities to do this and have chosen not to. They don’t want their community to become a “big” city. Okay, I respect that, but you can’t expect Charlestown families to pay for it. Lets not forget that many of the beach front homeowners don’t even have children at Chariho but they still pay taxes toward the school. Do I like paying more, of course not, but I understand why the families of Charlestown get to benefit from their towns development.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  64. Barbara

    “Hopkinton and Richmond, together, arguing at the budget meetings got Chariho to use its surplus for repairs – Tom Buck and I were there. They had no intention of using that massive surplus (6.8 million to start) to fix the schools. As it is, 3.5 million will be used, 1.8 million will still be surplus, 1.5 will be used to offset the unfunded health liability for school employees”

    Simply not true. WE as a committee were working on how to spend this surplus and where we should end up. Did we take suggestions, YES, but than again supposedly we don’t let the public speak and don’t listen. Now you are saying it is because you brought it to our attention. Which way is it?

    How do you purpose to fix the elementary schools? Going to bond? Been there all ready that too was shot down. Now we can get less money and try to get a bond to fix the elementariness…..seems to me we just keep spinning our wheels. So when your proposal goes down, we can look at fixing the high school campus. AGAIN

    The 1904 building was not brought up to code because of the cost. Does anyone remember the Station Night Club Fire?

    Dot your comments in #41 are so way off you want information, request it. It is the law you get what they have. If they don’t have what you request, you automatically say they are hiding something. It is the name calling and accusations that are pulling people away from the table.

    Truth or consequences your comment about me being a bust not really sure why but lets look at this, If the Town Council is working so hard

    They ask for 1/3 split- get it – still back the bond

    Ask to spilt in 3 the bond- get it- still nothing

    Brought up tax equalization- Charlestown and Richmond said they would talk about the high school maintenance being spilt 3 ways. Hopkinton didn’t want to hear it, it is not equal. But the other towns are the ones who won’t listen? I have been in these meetings it is not just the other towns.

    I do think something needs to be done but it is no closer now then 30 years ago. Barbara made the comment that they are here to stay; this is great; I think we need to look at ways of changing but than again shortly we may not have to worry.

    Barbara a 1.9 % increase is great as long as it doesn’t come back to be 18% in a few years because we want to make it look good now. Isn’t that basically what happened last time. We didn’t think outside the box and put away for a rainy day. We took from one account and put it in another. Great another 18% increase on top of spending more because we have to fix our buildings through the budget. Looking good now…

    I don’t see a whole lot this Hopkinton Town council has done to be honest….I like the low increase in taxes but leary because of what happened last time. All the building that is finally happening was brought in by the last council…this council is just adding to it. I don’t even agree with them taking a stand and holding their ground.

    Bev has always been for the bond, Sylvia has always been against the rest have floundered back and forth. I think cried wolf one to many times. You kept asking and getting and still not supporting. There is such a word as compromise. I call a spade a spade, if I am wrong with this bond I will admit it and apologize. But if not I will not be afraid to call out those who stood their ground at the cost of the tax payers,

    This brings me to the next comment

    COMMENT # 55 IS THE BEST ONE I HAVE HEARD YET. GREAT COMMENT CHARIHO PARENT.

    The last comment from Richmond parent- Thank you for someone for once saying something good. I too have a child in 8th grade and all thought he goes through his ups and downs as we all did with learning he is doing well.

    Comment by bpetit — May 8, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  65. Charlestown accessable tax base is based on property bordering the beach and many people who own those homes are not registered to vote in Charlestown. I lived in Charlestown for 11 years. No real development has affected a change in their accessable base. I lived on Driftwood Drive off of Burdickville Rd, on Old Coach Rd, near Narrow Lane, and on Sheila Drive, next to the post office. Their development is pretty much nill.

    Hopkinton on the other hand has 3 new companies coming to town, which will bring in higher paying jobs, not big box low wages. (Take a ride to exit 1) This increase in our accessable base will benefit Hopkinton, but it is not the Atlantic Ocean. It helps, but it is not a substantial cure.

    Look at Watch Hill, Misquamicut and Weekapaug, compared to Bradford, downtown Westerly, and White Rock. I don’t see the villages with the lower valued homes benefiting from the beaches and the Atlantic Ocean. Their houses aren’t valued the same.

    Richmond and Hopkinton can do their best to bring development to our towns, but it will never do enough to equalize our tax bases to Charlestown’s. We do not have their natural resources.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  66. “How do you purpose to fix the elementary schools? Going to bond? Been there all ready that too was shot down.”….. Answer: Yes, with a 99 million dollar bond that would have left 2 assets for Hopkinton to clean up after. [1904 and HV school] Also note, the 2001 bond proposed building a new elementary school and repairs to the high school, which passed in Richmond and Hopkinton, yet failed in Charlestown.

    “The 1904 building was not brought up to code because of the cost.”….. I believe that you are right, but partially. I question the logic of making less than 2 million in repairs to a building that is structurally sound and by more than 1 fire marshals opinion would be 95% compliant if a sprinkler system, holding tank, and pump station were installed. Yet, the notion of building a new school for over $4 million makes better sense. I’m missing the logic here.

    “Barbara a 1.9 % increase is great as long as it doesn’t come back to be 18% in a few years because we want to make it look good now. Isn’t that basically what happened last time.”….. Answer: NO. Those involved at the time felt that they could lessen the impact of the Chariho budget by dipping into the surplus fund, repeatedly. I understand that the finance person at the time rightfully advised against it. They didn’t listen. Eventually, the undesignated money is gone and you are left with what, a huge tax increase. That is not what is happening now. The HTC has been cutting back drastically on almost every budget line. They understand that this is a trying time for taxpayers. They are trying to keep a town functioning with as little change as possible. They may not always be able to keep them that low, but I give them credit for trying.

    “I don’t see a whole lot this Hopkinton Town council has done to be honest….I like the low increase in taxes but leary because of what happened last time.” I can understand your concern from the last time, but I’m sure you attended the Chariho Workshops, when Tom and Barbara advised against using the surplus to offset expenditures. This is exactly what happened to Hopkinton a couple councils ago. So, basically you are saying that Barbara and Tom are two-faced, advising the school committee one way and stabbing the back of their own citizens another way. That truly disappoints me Bob. Why not call Tom to get an explanation, or perhaps attend the town budget workshops to ask your question. Using that argument here is a poor choice, and serves no purpose other than to try to change the topic.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  67. Lois.. I agree with you. Hopkinton has great potential. You have a lot of open space and I95 runs thru it. I only hope that Hopkinton does allow the three new companies to come to town but up to this point they haven’t. It may not be comparable to Charlestown tax base but it will certainly close the gab. I am not sure what your point is regarding Bradford, Westerly, and White Rock vs. Watch Hill ect. because they are all are part of the town of Westerly. Maybe you could clarify further for me. It is my understand they are all one town and they do benefit because the town gains a great deal of tax base from those wealther communities.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  68. They (the 3 companies) are currently constructing their buildings. It is hard to come in to an incomplete building, don’t you think? The council has done their best to promote growth, but not to the sacrifice of our resources and the beauty of our town. The villages will remain intact, using the benefit of I95 to our advantage.

    The property values in the villages of Westerly further from the beach do not benefit from the ocean. They do benefit as a town/district for the funding of their services/schools, as the tax structure for the whole town is based on assessed value. Unlike Hopkinton and Richmond, who use the same schools as Charlestown and receive no financial benefit, there is a great disparity here that makes it seem like the whole thing is totally unfair to our two communities.

    As I have to go, I would make one comment. After the bond, I attended a school committee meeting. Had to bring the kids, and boy was that inconvenient, but I felt I needed to support my husband. Surprisingly, at that meeting Mr. Polouski came out and said that he supported equalization, and questioned whether we would share our state aid and give up our veto. A week later, he changed his position. Was this a Freudian slip?

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  69. Lois..I din’t realize the three companies had already started their buildings..great news! So when Hopkintons tax base grows significantly higher than Richmonds.. are you going to carry us and allow us to benefit from your development?

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 11:31 am | Reply

  70. RP, I wonder what Hopkinton will do when Charlestown tax base gets wiped by a hurricane again? Will it then become more equal for the taxpayers to by student?

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  71. to pay per student

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  72. Bob, regarding #41. Guess what? Go to Ashaway School, and you can (still) see buckets during rainstorms, and mice taking over the place. In fact, children can not leave anything in the building that might feed the mice, as they are a problem.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — May 8, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  73. Richmondparent, In a Hopkinton/Richmond School District, Hopkinton’s tax bill would increase a little and Richmond’s would decrease a little. We are well aware of that. We still feel that this is the right thing to do.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

  74. It would not be right to fight for something, and then turn around after the withdrawal of another town and go back to the same old same old. That’s kind of hypocritical, don’t you think?

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  75. Lois, that wasn’t the question I asked. I asked what would Hopkinton when Charlestown’s tax base is loss because of a hurricane wiping out many homes along the waterfront? I never said anything about a Hopkinton/Richmond School District because I don’t think that will ever happen given the animosity displayed by some Hopkinton residents which is very evident on this blog. I know I feel that I could never trust anything getting accomplished in a timely fashion in school district that involves Hopkinton.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  76. Just an FYI – someone mentioned about multiple names. It does appear that we are getting a lot of multiple users from IPS addresses with similar or duplicate homes (.converse.net ISP and ri.ri – which is a government entity). I can get back to parsing later but just to give you the heads up that there is a bit of funny business going on so keep that in mind when reading post from people that don’t sound like the right person – or when you see the same person speaking with multiple names. Honestly, I don’t care if its the NEA or the school (assuming they aren’t using tax dollars to do so). I’ll worry about that later – just giving you the heads-up now.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 8, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  77. Charihoparent, your question was not on my screen when I read Richmondparent’s question. I can’t help you with technology.

    To answer your question: If a hurricane came along and wiped out Charlestown’s tax base, then Hopkinton and Richmond, and likely the people who live to the northern side of Rte 1 from Charlestown would have to pick up the difference. Why is that so hard for people to understand? An equalized tax based on assessed values would be based on property values of all 3 towns. So, if the horror of a 38 hurricane scenario occurred whereby the south side of Rte 1 was destroyed, their property values would obviously change. Ours probably wouldn’t. So, we would have to pick up the difference. That is what it means to be a school “district.” The notion that this would be detrimental to Charlestown under that scenario has yet to make a hair of sense to me.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  78. Bill,
    Is there a way that people would have to register for the use of one name, so that that user is the only one who can use it?

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  79. Lois,
    That’s the thing, I don’t see Hopkinton wanting to pick up the difference especially if their house values suddenly being higher than Charlestown for some odd reason. It’s the feeling amongnst my friends that Hopkinton will always find a reason to whine and cry about something to do with the school district, we feel that there is not satisfying Hopkinton.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  80. I do not believe that I have ever spoken with animosity towards Richmond or Charlestown. They are an important part of this district, as Hopkinton is.

    It is all a matter of perspective. Some people are struggling to make ends meet. Some are not.

    I wish that those who make their comments, and I will generalize here, remember that there are 2 sides to every issue. In the case of Chariho, there are 3.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  81. Lois I just want you know I am not and will not call anyone names. I don’t think that is going to fix any problems we have.

    Comment by bpetit — May 8, 2008 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

  82. Hopkinton has been paying higher taxes for many years. They have been very generous in the past. I have yet to see a Hopkinton tax revolt.

    History has demonstrated Hopkinton’s willingness to pay their taxes. They have for years been paying the highest taxes in the state because of the structure of taxation within this district.

    I, respectfully, disagree with you regarding the unwillingness of Hopkinton’s loyalty to the children of this district. You are saying that if a hurricane wiped out the south coast, that Hopkinton would be heartless and not be there for these children? You are sadly mistaken if that is what you think.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  83. Bob, I don’t believe in calling people names either. I am concerned by your comment though. Not being honest is lying. I refer to your comment #64, and my answer #66. Do you see my reason for concern?

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  84. Lois I like your answer, i was trying to make a point about equalization working in both directions, all I can only hope for is this all works out for the good of these children and we can have a school that we and our children can be proad to come from CHARIHO. I think many of us here feel the same. Bond or no bond, it just seems we are spinning our wheels and it is very frustrating.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  85. Lois,
    Hokinton has not shown a willingness now to be there for the children by not supporting much needed improvements in the schools. However the schools got into the condition they are in are fairly immaterial at this point. What is of importance is that they get fixed. Many of the problems stem before Barry Ricci’s time. People have to stop blaming him for all that is wrong with the district. He’s not the criminal that some want to make him out to be. Heck, some of the problems stem back to 1958 and shortly thereafter. Also, Lois, Hopkinton has been generous only because it’s the town that has had the history of being either #1 or #2 in the school population. Turn the tables around, if you had the smallest of the school population would you want to be the one paying the most? I highly doubt it. Were you as concerned about the School Districts funding when you lived in Charlestown as what you are now?

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  86. I was an immature teenager and an individual in my early 20’s when I lived in Charlestown. I was a little more hot-headed at the time and would have easily cast my vote for withdrawal if I was living there. Mostly, I did not concern myself with local issues until my 40’s. That is sad, huh? I believe that is true with a lot of people though. Life and experience change a person.

    I can’t speak from Charlestown’s perspective now, been living in Hopkinton for 14 years. I would hope to think that I would do what’s right for the whole district. I would not fault Charlestown and I do not fault them for their position. After all, it is their perspective.

    I would hope that we could find some way to come to a compromise. What that is is difficult to say. I wish it were that simple.

    Please understand our perspective.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  87. Richmondparent, I hope it works out too! I think we all still have a lot in common. We just need to plant our feet on common ground.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  88. Lois,
    I try to understand your perspective, you’re one of the few level headed persons on this blog and make sense. When I see some of the other posts though, my aggravation flares up again. I feel that Hokinton has to also undertand the perspective of the other two towns. Adding constant repair and construction costs to the annual budget just doesn’t make sense nor is it feasible. As long as the district has to do that, Scott Bill Hurst can forget about the management study because there will be no funds available for it. Something has to be done and has to be done now, not 5, 10, 15 years from now when costs are higher than what they are now. Let’s get the schools to be in the condition they should be in in today’s dollars with the biggest bang for the buck that we can get. And like I’ve said, the town council from both Richmond and Charlestown are willing to come to the table once a bond is passed, we can’t continue to play this silly game anymore, it’s just going to get that much more expensive for everyone, not matter how the tax bill is split up.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  89. Lois I understand what your concern is. And we have talked, and all though we don’t see the same on some things we can agree on others. One thing we agree on is no matter what, this district has a lot of work to do. But I would be willing to say if we truly knew the other regional districts in the state; I am sure they have a lot of problems also. Everyone has their own ideas, feelings and opinions which make it very tough to come together on commonn ground. From what I hear, doesn’t matter what one town comes up with someone is going to feel like they have been slighted in one way or another.

    Comment by bpetit — May 8, 2008 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  90. Lois I had to take this from you post in #86

    “I can’t speak from Charlestown’s perspective now, been living in Hopkinton for 14 years. I would hope to think that I would do what’s right for the whole district. I would not fault Charlestown and I do not fault them for their position. After all, it is their perspective.”

    This is exactly what I am saying. I live in Hopkinton, I was elected by Hopkinton voters to serve the Chariho School DISTRICT. When I look at information and make my vote I feel it has to be for the good of the District and the Education of the Students. I am on the School Committee not the Hopkinton Town Council, which needs to watch out for our town.

    I do agree we have some issues to work out, but in my prespective this bond is the best thing going for the DISTRICT. I have tried to make cuts, I voted down the budget (ONLY becasue I felt that $300 thousand more would not have broken the bank) and I continue to look at ways to save and better our district.

    Around $3 million dollars, thta is what we have put towards repairs this year on our buildings. That is how much we could have allocated toward the elementaries if this bond were to pass. This I feel would be so a big boost for this district.

    Comment by bpetit — May 8, 2008 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  91. To all you that may serve on the school committee or town councils, I just want to say regardless of what side of this depate you are on, I have to commend you for taking the leadership roles that you have taken. You may not agree with me or maybe you do but I do respect how difficult this job is for you. Being in a public position is by no means easy.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 8, 2008 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

  92. The key phrase is “I’ve tried to make cuts”. Richmond and Charlestown, through their school board reps, have consistently disregarded Hopkinton families who are driven into poverty by outrageous tax bills caused by Chariho! So because Bob Petit tried but failed he can wash his hands of the Hopkinton families who can’t afford to pay for the educational amenities which he “tried” to cut?

    We’re told we must approve bonds before expecting any tax agreements, but for years we’ve had nutty budgets, contracts, surpluses, programs, employee hirings, etc. shoved down our throats by the other two towns. Forget about tax equity, how about a little compassion for those of us unable to afford 6 to 1 student to employee ratios? We don’t need SROs, Deans of students, teachers aides, guidance counselors for 14 year olds and younger, psychologists for mommy and daddy, replacements for mommy and/or daddy, weight rooms and fitness centers, and much, much more, but we DO have all these things courtesy of Richmond who can’t help itself and Charlestown who can afford to not worry about how much is spent.

    Hopkinton families aren’t the the bad guys because we have limits. We’re not the bad guys because our land doesn’t abut the ocean. We have lousy reps like Petit who probably has plenty of money for himself and his family so he pretends he represents Richmond and not Hopkinton. But we are not the bad guys because we all aren’t the Petit family. Some of us are less fortunate. We’re not whining for a government handout but we do resent being forced to hand over so much of our hard earned wages to be wasted and misspent at Chariho.

    My family lives in a smallish home with 1200 sq. ft. of living space – 6 rooms total, 3 bedrooms, one bath. Chariho costs my family around $3,000 per year. We have our own housing problems. We don’t take out loans for repairs. We budget for repairs. I assume all responsible homeowners budget for repairs? We don’t take out 20 years equity loans to pay for landscaping or for tracks which won’t last 10 years before needing replacement again.

    This is foolish spending. This is what Richmond and Charlestown have been forcing down the throats of Hopkinton families and it demonstrates what little regard these towns have for Hopkinton families, not to mention their own poorer families. Especially Richmond where their poorer families literally pay thousands in taxes for Chariho. At least poorer families in Charlestown get a relatively good deal on education costs.

    Don’t tell us to trust Richmond and Charlestown this time. Richmond has never shown it has any restraint. Not once. Charlestown has never shown it has the compassion to overlook its own favorable tax situation and to consider the burden Chariho spending puts on Hopkinton families.

    For once I’d like to see Charlestown reject excess spending even though their families can afford it. For once I’d like to hear Polouski reject a program or a contract or eliminate positions because he feels the pain of his neighbors in Hopkinton whose families don’t reap the benefits of oceanside properties. Just once Richmond or Charlestwon could prove to us they care more about Hopkinton families (children included) than they care about Chariho employees. Maybe if they showed a sliver of compassion for Hopkinton we could respond with a tiny bit of trust. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be giving Richmond or Charlestown any of my trust in the very near future. They’ve never done anything to warrant it and trying to make us vote again on a failed bond is just the latest in a long history of disregard for the families of Hopkinton. They can go jump off a bridge before I’ll shed any tears over Chariho.

    My children need a decent home much more than Chariho needs a track or RYSE needs brand new buildings. My children need clothing much more than Chariho employees need double digit raises. My children need food much more than 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders need guidance counselors. Until Richmond and Charlestown get a clue about what children really need, they shouldn’t expect our trust. Want a boost for the district? First get Chariho spending under control (do more then try) and then ask us what our families can afford to do.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 8, 2008 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  93. TorC, you reap what you sow. Charlestown and Richmond feel that can’t afford the likes of you in return for your mistrust of the rest of world, never mind just those in the Chariho area. You want to hold everyone else hostage because of your feelings, it doesn’t work that way. What your saying is that you want higher school district taxes because of having to use the annual budget to do the repairs. You don’t make a lick of sense on this one. Akthough I do agree that many things need to change. You’re looking at it one way and don’t want to hear or see how others view the same problems. Until you and others like you are willing to sit down and actually work towards a solution, nothing at all will be accomplished.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 8, 2008 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

  94. Charlestown would be doing its adult citizens and children a big favor by agreeing to a graduated tax equalization plan for CHARIHO.If they are hit by a category 3 hurricane at some point in the future, it is unlikely that the State or Federal Governments will allow most of the coastal residents to rebuild due to insurance ,sewer and other environmental issues .This would result in a significant erosion of their tax base and their ability to pay their CHARIHO bill.
    Charleston should look to the benefits of a taxing district in the event of a catastrophic hurricane.

    Comment by george abbott — May 8, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  95. Similar situation in Connecticut:

    http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=6c50cb8d-eaca-425f-a437-b9845d0bc4cf

    Thought you might be interested.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  96. Thank you Mr. Abbott. This has been one of my points. You just said it much better.

    Charihoparent, I understand your points. I’ll be honest, I don’t always agree with you, but sometimes I do.

    I get frustrated quite often. I want the best for my children, who attend Chariho schools. I’ve had for the most part a wonderful experience dealing with the teachers and the support staff. I will never take away from them the fact that most work very hard for our children.

    Could something be done to give the towns and the district more leverage to deal with the unions? Yes. What? It would be kind of hard considering we have a state that can’t handle this very problem themselves.

    Since I keep talking about perspective, here goes. As a parent, I, like others, am also concerned about how much we as a family pay in taxes. This is money which I would rather put towards the necessities of life. And I’m sorry, but I do question some of the choices made by the district for this very reason.

    As a neighbor, I think about the elderly people on fixed incomes who do not make the double digit increases in their social security checks that the teachers make in their wages. Again, it is a matter of perspective here. I’ve heard tell of older folks having to cut their life saving pills in half because they can’t afford to get their monthly prescriptions refilled. And there are other issues that others have laid out. I certainly don’t want to preach here, so I won’t go further regarding the hardships many have felt. I’m sure you know of them as well.

    I hear your argument, CP. I understand you feel the repairs are too pressing and that the potential loss could not be made up. I would truly like to believe that the other two councils are ready to talk, but it truly is not up to them now is it. Any changes would have to be voted on by the 3 towns. So, to coin an old phrase, talk is cheap.

    TorC may rub you the wrong way, but he/she understands the problems at hand with those that are struggling financially to stay afloat and feed their families. I believe that you do too. You just disagree with the approach. Please, when reading TorC or RQ, look past that which aggravates you and read between the lines.

    Richmondparent, thanks for noticing the efforts that the councils and the committees make. It truly isn’t easy for them and their families. The demands of councilors and committee people are great, and they, the demands, stress the families of these people as well. Would I go through it again, as a wife of a councilor? Yes! I wouldn’t hesitate. I love my town, as I am sure you love yours. We truly live in a wonderful part of the state.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  97. CP and his alter ego Richmondparent are the ones who gratingly object to every argument which deviates from “approve the bond and shut your mouth”. Notice how CP completely ignores the listing of expenditures which could be cut to help Hopkinton families and poorer Richmond families? CP not only needs to read between the lines, he obviously needs training on how to read the lines themselves.

    Nothing complicated about Richmond and Charlestown stepping forward and cutting spending at Chariho. After Richmond and Charlestown have shown respect for Hopkinton families by large cuts in spending and significant improvement in test scores, then I’m sure Hopkinton families would be much more receptive to spending money on a school which has proven itself worthy of our trust and our money.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 8, 2008 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  98. TorC, you perhaps are the one who needs to read the lines, I’ve said many times that there are problems with Chariho but I don’t lay the blame totally with the district administration. A lot of the problem falls on the shoulders of the school committee, especially the ones who have been around the longest. If the school committee was stronger and not as apt to bend to the administration then real things could be accomplished. Who’s fault is it that we still have some these folks on the school committtee? It’s us the voters that have to share that blame. Bill Day, Andy Poluski and George Abbott need to go and let new people get on the school committee. You want respect for Hopkinton yet you don’t want to respect Richmond or Charlestown. How can you get what you don’t want to give yourself? So many things in life are a two way street. One more instance of “you reap what you sow”.

    The only time I’ve said to shut your mouth was when I referred to Hopkinton getting pretty much everything it wanted to try to get the bond through and when you finally got all you wanted out came the old tax equity arguement. Was it not Hopkinton that asked for the 3-way split on the cost of the bond to begin with? Was it not Hopkinton that asked for the split of the bond? I feel Charlestown gave into the demands and so did Richmond, when will Hopkinton step up to the plate and be willing to also give in a bit? If you don’t want to give and continue to shove I that will cause the district to no longer exist in the faily near future because if Charlestown goes, so does Richmond. Then you’re in deeper financial trouble than what you are now.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 9, 2008 @ 5:08 am | Reply

  99. Who says its just the administration? Ricci shows time and time again he is incompetent but obvisouly the school board is repsonsible for most fo the mess. They’re the ones who tolerate his failures after all.

    As for Hopkinton getting what it wants they thought is ludicrous. Hopkinton wants huge cuts in spending and huge gains in education. Where are the spending cuts? Contracts remain totally out of whack with real life. Administrations ooze out the cracks. Hopkinton gets its way? Were you paying attention to the budget vote?

    The district will contnue to exist. I’d love to see Charlestown get out. They talk a good game but when push comes to shove they stay in Chariho because no matter how much money they have or how much they claim to want more stuff for their kids, they can’t beat the deal they get at Chariho.

    Richmond blusters about withdrawal but it is merely a tactic. They aren’t going anyplace. Richmond has no self control and would spend itself into oblivion if Hopkinton weren’t around to restrain them.

    Hopkinton will stay in the district because leaving will have an initial cost we can’t afford to pay. We’d be happy to see Richmond and/or Charlestown leave on their own, but we’re not prepared to take on the expense ourselves. Should one or both of the other towns go, Hopkinton will be fine because we will then have the votig power to cut budgets and approve reasonable bonds. No more 6 to 1 student to employee ratios. No more crazy contracts. No more Ricci. Hopkinton would be fine. I encourage you to tell your Richmond leaders to put up or shut up. I don’t see it happening.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 9, 2008 @ 7:40 am | Reply

  100. I will speak for myself on the understanding of a 3 way split. When it was discussed and agreed upon, I thought that meant equalization. Pretty naive, huh? When I actually saw the numbers, I realized that the communication or simply my understanding of it was flawed. This is where I felt it in our best interest to reject the 3 way split; it was not what I thought it was. If others have thought as I did, it is not: oh, well, we got this, let’s get more. That is not the case.

    Don’t make it out to be one big conspiracy, it is not. Personally, this is what happens when things are rushed. Rash decisions are made. I think the HTC made that clear on December 4th that they would not make that mistake again.

    And look where we are, the same problems exist. A new/old bond proposal has been rushed, without any thorough thought of the consequences down the road. And none of the HTC’s concerns have been addressed from Dec. 4th.

    Also, for various reasons others spoke out against the bond. Mrs. Carney was against the language regarding the change it would make to the Act. I would be curious how she stands on this new/old proposal.

    And I will tell you this. The issues are not that pressing is my understanding. As long as yearly progress is being made, all parties involved, (ie…fire marshals, accreditation agencies, and whomever), are content. The problem with past school committees is that they did not make yearly progress. At least this current school committee made some progress forward. Was it enough? No. But, they have done better than others.

    As in The Day article, this is not an isolated case. The problem exists in other communities. So, Hopkinton and those in Richmond who support equalization based on assessed value can be rest assured that they are not alone in their thinking.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 9, 2008 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  101. CharihoParent, I think you have to realize at this point TorC is just not going to understand. Rolling those repairs into the financial buget are going to cost him more monies, that is the fact. So if the bond does not come back to the voters, tax equalization is not going to happen. Charlestown and Richmond voters will be so upset that the will look into withdraw so you can forget about any shot at getting them to talk about equalization.

    If they do withdraw, his taxes will go up because now Hopkinton has to fund their own school. If they don’t withdraw, his taxes will go up because the budget will continue to go up to offset the cost of these repairs costing me and him more monies.

    If the bond did get approved, then we have all the more reason to expect the annual budget to be cut as many of those line items will have to come out. Maybe then Charlestown and Richmond will consider discussing tax equalization. Playing hard ball is not going to help Hopkinton situation it is just making the situation worse.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 9, 2008 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  102. I did understand the problems with or without a three way split. I agree that many people did not get it and may have been fooled if the bond was split right from the beginning.

    It is not accurate to say that Hopkinton got its way as the families of Hopkinton speak through our votes and we regulary ask for spending cuts and reject bonds. If this doesn’t tell Richmond and Charlestown we are looking for help in reducing the spending at Chariho then they aren’t paying attention. I’m still waiting to hear about a budget or bond Richmond voted down? You’d have to be a complete fool to believe Richmond or Charlestown has done anything to compromise with Hopkinton families. Where are the spending cuts?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 9, 2008 @ 8:26 am | Reply

  103. Playing hardball with Hopkinton isn’t going to help Richmond either. Richmond’s student enrollment exceeds Hopkinton and it looks like this trend will continue. Richmonmd has the most to lose. Before too long I would expect even Richmond to require spending cuts. I can’t imagine Richmond going on their own with their uncontrollable spending habits. Imagine going on a shopping spree without any cash or credit? That would be Richmond.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 9, 2008 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  104. I think you have established that you feel Richmond taxpyaers are idiots…can we get over the cheep shots, they are getting old. Yes this will cost Richmond even more than Hopkinton. All the more reason to get it out of the annual budget.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 9, 2008 @ 8:37 am | Reply

  105. TorC, if Richmond has uncontrollable spending habits why is their overall budget the lowest of the 3 towns? If Richmond has uncontrollable spending habits, why is their tax rate lower than Hopkinton’s? If Ricmond has uncontrollable spending habits, why has Richmond never needed double digit tax increases like Hopkinton? Of the three towns, I would say that Richmond has shown the most financial restraint overall.

    Lois, you’re preaching to the choir about “one big conspiracy”. That’s what I’ve been saying all along about Chariho but the likes of TorC, CR, Scott Bill Hirst, Georgia Ure, et al, what to make Chariho sound like “one big conspiracy”. A 3 way split of the bill was certainly better than paying per pupil, it was a step in the right direction and a huge concession on Charlestown’s part. You mentioned the Decemeber 4th meeting, what did Hopkinton do to come up with any solutions to the problem since then, how often was this matter discussed at Town Council meetings? I heard of it being talked about in only negative terms, nothing came out from Hopkinton on how to come up with something new that they might like. Charlestown’s and Richmond’s Council President both asked for possible solutions from Hopkinton and got nothing back. What are we suppose to do, wait until the year 2100 for an answer from Hopkinton? Hopkinton had a chance to come up with some proposals and didn’t do much.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 9, 2008 @ 9:27 am | Reply

  106. sorry correction …. “taxpayers” are idiots/ can we get over the “cheap” shots, they are getting old.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 9, 2008 @ 10:05 am | Reply

  107. Actually it was me who said Richmond “voters” are morons. I will issue a correction. Richmond voters who consistently approve all Chariho budgets and all Chariho bonds are morons. Many taxpayers don’t vote. While this may be because they are idiots, it doesn’t guarantee they are morons.

    Hopkinton’s proposal has always been to cut spending at Chariho. Rant on about town budgets but it doesn’t matter. I expect municipal spending to be more restained (especially police), but Chariho costs us 3 times more than municipal spending so Chariho is understandably the biggest concern and the biggest reason why our spending is beyond many families resources.

    Hopkinton consistently votes against growing budgets. Some of our board members (the responsible ones) vote against contracts far exceeding real world pay and benefits. As long as Richmond and Charlestown choose to elect board members who negotiate bad contracts then Hopkinton will probably exercise spending restraint by rejecting bonds. Splitting the bond is meaningless. Give us budget cuts and contract sanity and you might get us to approve reasonable bonds. Give Hopkinton families the same tax bill as Charlestown families pay now and we might not even ask for equity.

    Comment by Real Question — May 9, 2008 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  108. Hi!
    1.People can make their own judgements on me and my views. The inaction on responding to the fiscal disparities is ALL to share in the Chariho community. Let’s talk about compromise.
    Years back after the MGT suggested an equalized tax rate in Chariho, to politically make it work the concession to make it work was to give up the veto power and have equalization on capital costs. That concept was vehemently opposed in Charlestown and approved in Hopkinton and Richmond.
    For many years the fiscal disparities between the towns have not effectively been addressed. The SOS group, the group against withdrawal in Charlestown wanted to stay in the district but NEVER to my recollection offered a solution to the fiscal disparities in the district. The bigger question is should we keep the district together and just REPEATEDLY ignore the fiscal differences in the district?
    2.Look at the problems of regional school districts by reading William Clay’s letter in today’s South County Providence Journal http://www.projo.com ,. This referes to the Exeter-West Greenwich School District.
    3. The public libraries in Hopkinton are on the verge of getting the same funding amount for the third straight year if the proposed amount is approved which is $55,000 for each library. The libraries which benefit children as well as all ages have been held firm on budget amounts from Hopkinton town funding and should get some sort of budget increase from the town. Whether you agree with me or not you may want to let the Hopkinton Town Council know your opinion as they will consider their finalized budget plans this Tuesday, May 13TH at 7:00 P.M., at Hopkinton Town Hall. The Hopkinton Town Council members are Vincenzo Cordone, President, 862-9956; Beverly Kenney, Vice President,539-7766; Thomas Buck,377-2418; Barbara Capalbo who posts on this blog often, 377-2254; and Sylvia Thompson, 377-4912;.
    4.I will try to get back to post some answers to this blog soon posed to me.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 9, 2008 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  109. RichmondParent, if it makes them feel superior to use the cheap shots, let them have it. It just shows their lack of intelligence when they can’t discuss a subject without consistenly useing demeaning and degrading terms. Sometimes I can’t help but give them a little dose of their own medicine though, I love how it gets them all twisted up when I do it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 9, 2008 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  110. William Clay or Bill Day? The West Greenwich letter writer is looking for relief from the state spending cap on municipalities dealing with regional schools. Without the spending cap Hopkinton is doomed to Chariho’s irresponsible spending for who knows how long! The only restraint on Richmond and Charlestown is the spending cap. Obviously the Exeter/WG school system would benefit from district taxing too, but until then the cap is our only savior.

    Comment by Real Question — May 9, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  111. Look at the bright side CP if you’re attacking me for calling irresponsible spenders morons then you can ignore the moronic indability of your voters to ever say no to Chariho spending. Actually works out good for you since it is easier to defend Richmond voters from being called morons then it is to defend the results when morons vote.

    Comment by Real Question — May 9, 2008 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  112. If it is not one excuse it is another. As Mr. Felkner points out, there are posters here with IP addresses indicating a link to government agencies and schools. Who among those who comment strikes you as government workers and/or teachers?

    To take it further, Mr. Felkner posted NEA tactics not too long ago. I never see legitimate concerns addressed by tax equity opponents…not here…not anywhere. They hem and haw, raise bogus objections, feign indignation to name calling, and name call themselves, but we never see any ideas or solutions other than telling Hopkinton families to accept the status quo and approve a bond.

    Who has the most to gain if nothing changes? The kids? No. The taxpayers? No. Families? No. Chariho employees and their families have the most to gain if we keep on the same merry-go-round of the last 50 years.

    Charlestown’s withdrawal was undone by Chariho employees once already. These leeches have been sucking Hopkinton families dry for years and they desperately cling to the town body. They do not want any change. They do not want any compromise. They have want to continue riding the gravy train while families struggle to make ends meet. Don’t be fooled Hopkinton…not on Internet websites and not in the voting booth.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 9, 2008 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  113. The HTC has offered suggestions. They came with the idea to look into the tax situation with the 3 finance directors.

    Sylvia has offered many a document to help regarding budgetary situations.

    Tom has offered his suggestions regarding the use of the middle school for the RYSE/ALP program with just the removal of the 5th graders.

    Many have offered suggestions regarding using the room at the Hopkinton schools to shift lines to address overcrowding at the other schools.

    Suggestions regarding the budget for actual/budget figures were first brought up by Tom and brought to Mr. Ricci’s attention prior to the 2nd workshop. Took about 3 weeks to get an answer on that.

    They attended the Dec. 4th meeting in full force with tons of info to share, which was ignored because the only suggestion from the other 2 towns was the bond.

    I could go on…

    Don’t tell me that they have not offered ideas. It is simply not the ideas that the other towns would even consider because the only idea from them is the bond.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 9, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  114. I myself have brought up a lot of ideas. Whether they would work is a matter of discussion. The problem is no one wants to discuss mine or the others, or they make some excuse, or they delay action so nothing can be done.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 9, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  115. Exactly right Mrs. Buck. Hopkinton has been a bubbling caldron of ideas and solutions. They pretend otherwise. It is a lie.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 9, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  116. Where CharihoParent is correct (and we all agree) is the multi past year salary and benefit increases within the school budget. It certainly is not a new problem but a very large on-going one that the present school board will have to struggle with for a number of contract cycles. This is however the purpose of the tax cap. Specifically that the school contracts cannot continue their growth as the public finally has no money to subsidize them.

    RI is in enormous debt because of pension, health, and salary contracts across the board. We, personally, deal with local municipal and school contracts. These take time to change, but change they will.

    Hopkinton’s budget is 23.5 million – the school portion is 17.7 million. That leaves 5.8 million for our municipal budget. Charlestown’s budget is 23.8 million – the school portion being 13.9 million. Their municipal budget is 9.9 million. We don’t know Richmond’s yet, but my guess is that it is pretty close to Hopkinton’s. We are similar.

    Chariho says we lose money if we don’t pass the bond. They also contend that if we had to pass the due diligence on this bond with outside construction overview (which are the new policies) then it would cost us much more. Now why is that?

    Could it be because there are effectively no ‘green’ construction building materials, or building controls, or any substantial savings of energy in this re-built old building? Perhaps it is that the well near the high school that has never been a problem will need to be moved (or re-drilled?) and there is no cost associated with this probable event? Or maybe the track is only a ten year solution and this is a twenty year bond? Maybe the design of the new library makes for poor traffic circulation for everyday events and for emergency management of vehicles and students.

    Certainly getting any government entity involved costs taxpayes more. Whether the high school bond passes with good or bad architectural or societal choices, we have to live and pay for it for twenty years.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 9, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  117. CR I can come up with an idea that no one likes to hear. Hopkinton take them to court and see if they can force them to pay. This maybe the only option. The other towns say no to tax equalization and Hopkinton say yes. Hopkinton says no to bond the other towns say yes. Where do we go now?

    Lois, I will not disagree with you that Tom has done some hard work on the TC. But he was told the night of the omnibus meeting as were the rest of the TC that if they would accept this bond Charlestown and Richmond BOTH agreed that they would sit down with the finance officers and discuss how to come up with a way that would work for all. Mr. Craig and Mrs. Waterman BOTH said if they wanted just complete tax equalization and no compromise than the discussion would go no further. Everyone agreed that they would go back and try to come up with some ideas and present them at a later time. Than came the meeting the towns called together: it was a nightmare. Hopkinton came in with ideas, this I will give them. Problem being it wasn’t about compromise; it was about full tax equity. At that point the meeting should have ended because the other two towns both said they would not consider it. They specifically said to Hopkinton “you have had time to come up with ideas and all you come back with is the same offering and “It is not going to work”

    Other ideas that have been floated out there are to fix the elementariness. Well seems one sided there too. Richmond and Charlestown don’t have room to bring back the 5th or the 6th graders. You say that Hopkinton can open some classes for the Richmond children to go to Hope Valley. Great idea for Hopkinton. But maybe they don’t want to send their children to Hopkinton. Hopkinton doesn’t want to send them to Chariho. They should be closer to home; they don’t need to be on the bus that long just some of the reasons I have heard.

    I am not by any means saying these are bad ideas. (I think you agree we have to look at things from all angles) At this point any idea is a good idea. The problem is getting people together to talk about these ideas. We have tried to schedule another omnibus meeting for August but I think if this bond goes down so will that meeting. Let’s hope not.

    I don’t see the other towns coming to you with ideas because they have all ready said they will not consider tax equalization. If you approve the bond than we will look at 1/3 split on the high/middle school campus. They can’t bring the 5th and 6th graders back they have no room. The only way this district can come up enough money to do that would be to take out a bond and put on additions. Now we are back to bonds and tax equalization. I wish I had an answer but all I see is us on this merry-go-round someone mentioned earlier.

    Comment by bpetit — May 9, 2008 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  118. Mr. Petit, you said it very clearly and concisely. You got out the thoughts I’ve had and then some. Somehow we have to stop the ride we’re on because it’s getting us nowhere. Then you add the distractions that some want to offer such as school choice and the whole mess only gets that much more mixed up. School choice may not be a bad idea but since it’s not available at the moment, let’s get off the ride and get to work to fix the schools and the district.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 9, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  119. Hi!
    Steve Tymon at Capitol TV can be contacted about copies about the hearing of the House Finance Committee last Tuesday. He can be reached at stymon@rilin.state.ri.us and phone 401-222-3838 and by Fax 401-222-1259,.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 9, 2008 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  120. Funny thing about Mr. Petit. When Richmond or Charlestown say no, he believes them and stops making any effort to convince them otherwise. Yet when his own constituency says no to bonds…no to budgets…he blissfully goes on his merry way pretending he heard nothing.

    Why doesn’t our no mean no? Why should Hopkinton families sacrifice more to Chariho? Why does Mr. Petit hear no when Charlestown and Richmond say it, but is deaf when Hopkinton says it?

    I think it would be appropriate for Mr. Petit to join Richmond and Charlestown in suing Hopkinton for more money. I’m sure he would defend those towns when Hopkinton countersues for district tax equity.

    Mr. Petit does not represent Hopkinton and he does not care about Hopkinton children. He’s played the fool by Mr. Ricci and the other School Committee members. Ever hear the phrase “useful idiot”?

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 9, 2008 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  121. Bob, do you really believe Charlestown when they said that? They have said “no” for 25 years but when the bond is dead, they say “please vote on the bond and we will talk about tax eq” – I’m sorry but I don’t believe them. If it were true then lets see them put something in writing.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 9, 2008 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  122. There is no reason that we cannot work on several problems at the same time. We do not need to solve one before we begin on another in an elementary sequence.

    The town councils can work on improving the language of the Chariho Act to allow each town to individually build/rebuild/renovate its own elementary buildings to the benefit of the district and without equalized taxation because each town pays only for its own decisions. These would still be leased to the district for $1 a year but with stronger negotiated maintenance agreements. This would also free up wings in the middle school for additional programs or Richmond’s 5th and 6th, or ALP and/or RYSE students.

    The school board can begin its re-negotiation of contracts and reduction in employees to reign in the substantial over spending in salaries, benefits and pensions. This will be very difficult because the people they must work with have those very same contracts and prefer not to lose them.

    The town councils and the school board can demand that we all sit down and solve the funding dilemma – grand list with/or without percentage of students – with an arbitrator and/or our own attorneys. Equalized maintenance, buildings, and administration via the grand list; with students equalized by grand list but also by percentage by town.

    At the same time we can put together a new building committee and hire a creative architect to address a thoughtful and complex plan to renovate/rebuild the high school campus using aesthetic structural, vehicular, personnel and energy efficiency for a building we can be proud of throughout the 21st century of instruction. Not a band-aid. Your grandparents (and probably parents) have said “There is no free lunch” and “You get what you pay for”. They were right.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 9, 2008 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  123. Bob,

    Bill is right. At the omnibus meeting none of the council believed Mr. Craig saying he would address equalization after the bond. He was blowing smoke. We just stayed polite.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 9, 2008 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  124. #123, Craig is a ‘school administrator’ after all, we get ours first and the kids last if their is anything left and if not blame the spending authority. This rant has worked well for 40 years. Let the NEA-RI shut down education in the state if the have the onions and lets see how big the 800lb gorilla is and how much they care about ‘the children’, NOT! You go spin doctors, you go.
    Shut it down and lets get er done!

    Comment by Question Mark — May 9, 2008 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  125. BabaraC, if reference to your post #122, this is the merry go-round that I’ve talked about. Why should we put together a new building committee? We’ve been through two building committees in the last 4 years with the same end result. Until some of the other issues are settled it is totally useless to have a building committee anymore. Spend money on another architect only to have Hopkinton vote against the bond again? Why bother?

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 9, 2008 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  126. But maybe they don’t want to send their children to Hopkinton. (Oh, please spare me that argument. The children in Wyoming are closer to Hope Valley than their own Richmond Elementary School.)

    And it isn’t just equalization. That is part of it. The bond still doesn’t address the issue of the elementary schools if the towns agreed with moving the imaginary school lines.

    It takes me 10 minutes to drive from my house to Stop & Shop in Wyoming. We have our children drive on buses to Providence on Field trips. That is just not a valid argument. The students in Hope Valley used to go to Westerly High School when my father was a child.

    Children from the Buckeye Brook Rd. and Burdickville side of Charlestown could go to Ashaway.

    The excuse that it is too far to go to a different school in a different town is not valid when the 3 towns currently send children to Hope Valley for the preschool program. That’s not a problem. And I know children travel from all 3 towns to both Richmond and Charlestown. So, why is it good for some and not for others?

    And as far as the most recent omnibus meeting goes, Tom suggested taking care of the 5th grades to open up a wing in the 5th grade section of the middle school. Security doors could be installed if people are so worried about safety and security. The RYSE & ALP programs could use less than 1/2 of that space considering the amount of space they currently use. Additional space would be available so there would be no need for expansion on the middle school. What do you have: No need to build on the middle school other than security features and temporary/permanent walls and no need to build a RYSE & ALP building. Savings of around $8 million, probably a little less. Yet, Tom was chastised by the other 2 town representatives.

    Our representatives have been providing information and offering suggestions. It’s just no-one wants to hear them because they have accepted the bond as the only solution. It’s like a horse with blinders except the blinders are on their ears.

    What concerns me is that the discussion of Richmond going in with Charlestown occurred long before the Campus 2010 plan was even written. That saddens me. Guess who was not involved in those discussions? Any guesses?

    And I said, talk is cheap. It is not up to the councilors to bargain anything. It is up to the voters to decide in regards to equalization. I do not understand why Mr. Craig or Mrs. Waterman could even place that thought on the table.

    Barbara’s post #122 has a quite a few of the suggestions that Hopkinton has brought forward.

    If people are serious about working things out to include Hopkinton, then I would hope they would read them with an open mind. I’m not sure they really are, so be careful about their suggestion of sincerety.

    I will post the following link again:

    http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=6c50cb8d-eaca-425f-a437-b9845d0bc4cf

    This issue is not solely a Chariho issue.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 9, 2008 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  127. Bill, I think all 3 towns should have something in writing before we go much further into this. And if one of them breaks the agreement, they should be a monetary award stated to be paid to the other two towns. Hopkinton agrees to the bond, Richmond and Charlestown agree to come to the table with Hopkinton to work out a new funding formula. Charlestown and Hopkinton agree to support equal representation for all the towns, not this 4, 4, 3 representation. Settle for either 3 or 4 committee members for each town.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 9, 2008 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  128. Charihoparent, read the paragraph before the mention of an architect (post #122). She stated that the issue of funding would be addressed at the same time and she gave some of the suggestions. If I read it correctly, she is stating that there are a great deal of issues to be considered, simultaneously.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 9, 2008 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  129. CharihoParent, I like your suggestion. Maybe an emergency meeting could be called between the three towns to discuss this. However, it will be up to the Hopkinton voters to pass the bond, and if it is passed than the three would agree to come up with a funding formula that works for all.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 9, 2008 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  130. This is what amazes me. The issues have been brought up before, and to my surprise, not by Hopkinton, but Richmond. The exact concerns that we have been vocal about were brought up during the discussions of Richmond’s Education Advisory Committee. So, much of what many Hopkintonians have been questioning has already been discussed. So, why are we made out to be the bad guy here?

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 9, 2008 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  131. CharihoParent,

    I’d love to help you, but the towns can’t agree between themselves for their citizens private vote. These are people who feel strongly about their position, the school and their family’s budget – pro and con. Richmond’s budget vote was telling – generally they pass the budget with 10% against; this time it was 30% against.

    The state can turn around next month and reduce Housing Aid by 100,000’s of dollars after you and I have passes our own budgets. Then where are we, or you, or any of the towns?

    I think Richmond citizens are listening. I believe Charlestown really is looking at full or partial withdrawal and may not want to be tied in for twenty years. Hopkinton is open for conversation – about funding, elementary schools, bonds integral to individual towns. Real discussions determined to find a solution. The next bond vote? Who knows? Goliath is demanding and David is warming up.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 9, 2008 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  132. I’m still laughing from post #127. Based on the past behavior and the most recent attempt at a bond revote I realize that Richmond leaders have little regard for the democratic process but CP seems to believe that a deal can be worked out bypassing an actual vote! Making it even funnier he wants Hopkinton to agree to spend millions more at Chariho in exchange for the promise to “talk”. Sorry to say but talking to Richmond and Charlestown leaders with their disjointed logic is torture. Paying for torture isn’t likely to fly!

    I like Barbara C.’s idea of partial withdrawal of elementary kids. K to 6th to start and Richmond can use the middle school for their space needs…Charlestown too if they decide it works better than expansion. Maybe once all three towns get a taste of running K to 6 we will decide to individually take complete control of education for our kids? Maybe we’ll rue the day and run back into each other arms? Another excellent idea proposed by a Hopkinton leader. Where are you Richmond?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 9, 2008 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

  133. TorC, your very own town council has said they don’t want to withdraw. What is it, do you want to withdraw or not? Make up your mind, if you have one.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 10, 2008 @ 5:48 am | Reply

  134. Oh, by the way, TorC, you’re going to spend millions more one way or another. What really matters is how you choose to pay for it. Over 20 years through a bond or the more expensive way and the way that will cause larger/more painful increases in the budget, through the annual budget. Personally, I’d rather have the bond. Simple math rules the day. Maybe you’ve learned the current math they teach and can’t figure that our for yourself.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 10, 2008 @ 5:54 am | Reply

  135. I haven’t heard anyone rule out partical withdrawal? Besides, unlike Charlestown and Richmond, Hopkinton leaders have shown themselves to be receptive to ideas. Since Barbara C. is the one mentioning partial withdrawal of K to 6th then I’m guessing she is open to partial withdrawal. The devil is in the details but Hopkinton is stuck on one solution.

    As for the millions, cut millions from annual spending and you can spend it on repairs. Once things are fixed the millions remain out of the budget. Simple math.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 10, 2008 @ 7:18 am | Reply

  136. Chariho is not stuck on one solution.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 10, 2008 @ 7:47 am | Reply

  137. How can there be so much discussion about a bond in this district when the administration will not provide information for an audit?

    Did anyone read how much information was not available to the auditor for her to prepare accurate financial statements on the district?

    You never know, there may be enough money hidden somewhere that could pay for the repairs to the schools, but no one will ever know. Why not ask the state to have the district audited first, then, go on with your discussions about a bond. Perhaps you may find out that the bond may not be required after all!

    If you want to build a new building for RYSE, the ‘KinderCare’ center, of the district, (absolutely no reflection on the students stuck there), you are wasting money. The space in the existing building is being used inefficiently and some classrooms only have 2-4 students at a time in them. However, you will never be allowed to go inside the building to find out. Suggestion: Rely on former employees to tell you what really happens behind those locked doors!

    Comment by Reckless — May 10, 2008 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  138. The administration provides vague info at best and no info at worst. Few seem to care. I’m sure an audit would be interesting. A management study would probably be extremely enlightening as well. The school board has shown no desire to question the administration. They like being blind then they can pretend everything is fine and dandy. These people are perfect example that ignorance is bliss (and useful idiots too).

    RYSE is KinderCare and beyond. From what I hear we’re paying for ParentCare too. The building they are in could be purchased but the board wants us to spend millions more than necessary. I guess they think we’re loaded?

    I hope former Chariho employees do come forward. They may be more likely to tell us the truth. Does anyone ever leave the place without a pension?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 10, 2008 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  139. The news had reported last night that the Governor has stated that the budget deficit will be larger next year.

    Barbara is right. We’ve passed the Chariho Budget, our town budgets are next. There is nothing stopping the Governor and the Legislature from cutting state aid. I heard that they actually did this about 15 years ago, when the state faced a similar situation. The budget deficit is larger now. What will the towns do then? Certainly, what will Richmond and Hopkinton do as their reliance on state aid is greater than Charlestown’s.

    The simple fact is that many of the ideas that Hopkinton is trying to put forth has already been discussed by Richmond, just 2 years ago. When I read that document, it seemed like deja vu. That tells me we agree on a lot of things.

    The fact is I’ve been told that the high school is in excellent shape. That the issues with it can be taken care of over a period of time and that the accreditation issues and fire code issues will be fine if yearly progress is made to correct them.

    The main issues to me are the 5th and/or 6th grades, budget constraint, and the funding issue. If these were addressed, we’d be well on our way.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 10, 2008 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  140. Hi!
    The equalized tax rate for schools including sharing education state aid that ALL towns normally get would put Chariho on the best financial foundation and impact property taxpayers differently than now but arguably fairer.
    Some of the people PRESENTLY in the Chariho region live in fire districts with an equalized fire tax such as Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire Distric. “Bill” Day a longtime prominent fire official in Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire Dept.,in that district is the current Chariho School Committee Chairman!
    Now granted fire taxes are less than what one pays for education, but they are equalized often over municipal boundaries. The Ashaway Fire District which I am on the governing board is wholly within Hopkinton but the Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District takes in part of Hopkinton and part of Richmond.
    Good question: MGT reccommended an equalized tax rate phased in over time. Do you think they would risk their professional reputation to come up with something in a report just to hurt a particular town like Charlestown? That doesn’t make sense.
    Compromise: The political leadership of Chariho region came up with a compromise to give up the veto power in order to have equalized tax rate just for capital but not not operational costs. Remember operational costs are more costly because of a per pupil cost each town is under. Charles Beck,then Charlestown Town Council President, I recall at that time supported that and was defeated in the election. He paid the price for that.
    What we need is an outside force to deal with internal divisions that the towns really seem not be able to deal with themselves.
    We are seeing a need for some building improvements in our schools. The Town Councils should be meeting NOW while the clock is ticking about not only the bond(s) but the real issues that are impediment to delivering education services to our students. If June 30TH is the deadline for the current state aid why aren’t special meetings/workshops being proposed now? That is what leadership is all about.
    Years have gone by in missed opportunity. The BLAME can be SHARED, but what are we going to do NOW? What is interesting giving testimony at the State House is no person deals with every dimension or certainly not the same. Administration officials essentially deal with building concerns while the tax and fiscal concerns are essentially the Town Council concerns. I did not stay for the whole hearing but getting a copy of the proceedings.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 10, 2008 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  141. The Management Study recommended phased in tax equity because each homeowner being equally responsible for the cost of Chariho was and is the only way to ensure that education spending it within the means of the most voters within the district. As we can plainly see with tax inequity, some towns have more tolerance for spending than others. The disagreements between towns is inevitable and the Management Study had no choice but to recognize the obvious. Unfortunately nothing was done to fix the problem and now they want to fix newer problems while pretending the tax inequity issue can be pushed aside once more.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 10, 2008 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  142. Lois your comment in #126 i didn’t say I disagree with it. but some may. It is their town and their school. Right now that is how this district is. It is divided like it or not. the wedge keeps going in further and the division keeps getting bigger. So while you may think that is a solution I bet there are many out there that could care less if it was 1 mile or 15 miles. As for when you father was traveling to Westerly is irrelevant. We need to get over what happened in the past. Things are so much different just since we have been in school.

    Also your comment about taking it to the voters for equalization. I have seen you commnet on Deb Carney and her feelings towards what is going on, maybe you should talk to her. she was agianst even 1/3 on the bond. I think she was the one ( forgive if I am wrong Deb) that said if you give them 1/3 on the bond they will just want more.

    Lois comment #130 I don’t am not looking at Hopkinton as the bad guy. Just wish there were some way to all come together. As you posted this is not only a Chariho issue, I think I stated that earlier in a post, thank you for the link. We all need to look around this very same issue is happenine every where. To date I don’t see where anyone has an answer for it. Maybe the state should step in, make all regionalized districts their own taxing athourity.

    I have to say TorC and CR you are both being rude. Everyone on here is trying to converse, come up with ideas and a plan. they might not all agree but at least they are trying. All the two of you do is call people names and critisize what they say. Again this is not going to solve anything. I hope you educate your children how to respect people better than you do, if not you may want to ask a Chariho Teacher to help you.

    Comment by bob petit — May 11, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  143. I teach my children respect is earned, not simply given. For those advocating further impoverishment of Hopkinton families, including Mr. Petit, there is nothing to respect about this opinion.

    Using nice language while harming your neighbor is not respectful. It is sneaky and dishonest. Lying to someone’s face may be a talent but not one I admire or teach my children to admire.

    I’m not surprised to hear Mr. Petit recommend asking a Chariho teacher for help parenting children. Perhaps Chariho teachers are Mr. Petit’s God, but they are not mine. Teachers too are worthy of respect when they earn it.

    Mr. Petit’s reliance on Chariho to teach children values, other people’s values, is one more example of what is wrong at Chariho. If we concentrated our resources on education we could cut millions right there. I’ll parent my own children. If Mr. Petit and others want help raising their children they should pay for it themselves.

    Everyone does not come hear looking to talk about ideas and plans. Ideas are plentiful but there are those who bring the discussion down by introducing false objections or telling lies. Mr. Petit does this when he dismisses Mrs. Buck’s idea about bussing children as irrelevant. What happened in the past can teach us what is possible in the future. There’s no reason children can’t travel a little longer. And Mrs. Buck rightfully notes that some children would actually have less travel attending a different Chariho school. Mr. Petit’s choice to try and diminish Mrs. Buck’s ideas is not respectful. Nor is it helpful to solving the Chariho problem. Mr. Petit advocates for the status quo and insults anyone with alternative ideas. He insults the majority of his constituency who oppose more spending. Nothing to respect from Mr. Petit or his opinions.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 11, 2008 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  144. Bob, I do not agree that you do not look to the past. That’s what history is, the past. One can learn from the past. You made the argument about the math and that it was better when we went to school. That is the past. The day we forget what worked is the day we spin our wheels and make the same mistake twice.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 11, 2008 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  145. We both agree on Deb Carney’s argument. I understood that she was concerned how the 1/3 split would affect the Chariho Act and what affect that would have on Charlestown. Perhaps, it was both. She is a very smart person, and I did have an opportunity to talk with her. Charlestown, and Chariho are very lucky to have her watching out for our best interests.

    I believe we can come to some agreements. But, all parties are going to have to be willing to listen. So far, Hopkinton has offered many suggestions. Jim Lathrop, the town’s finance director, tried to sit down with them to offer them a variety of options. I understood they just sat there. The ideas that Hopkinton has suggested doesn’t necessarily mean that in the end that is the way the district would go. But, the other parties would have to make their offers, counteroffers, and compromises, and to date I haven’t heard of any but the reintroduction of the bond. This was by no means a 3 town effort.

    I am not sure that the towns are working in good faith to help Hopkinton out as well. Case in point, the change in reimbursement for Hopkinton to Chariho was soundly rejected. If this, as Mr. Stanley has suggested, would not affect Chariho, then why not allow the town to do it. Seems like a bitter response to me.

    Here is my theory about the elementary schools. There are many from the other 2 towns that don’t want to invest in our elementary schools. Why? Because we have 2 and they have 1. This is why the 99 MGT study suggested that the schools be turned over to the district. In the meanwhile, this impass will never move forward, and our 5th and 6th graders will be retained at the middle school, which is totally against the 70 plus percent of the people surveyed multiple times in all 3 towns.

    I’ve had people admit to me that the research is there, but it will never get addressed. Why? Because of economic reasons. The simple fact is that we have the room on our Hopkinton property to expand, but it will not happen because it is on Hopkinton property. Isn’t that really what it boils down to?

    So, we come to the agreement for a joint bond for the elementary schools. Hopkinton can invest their funds into their own schools, Richmond and Charlestown could build their own elementary schools. Each would pay what they want. But, hey, it’s probably too late for that.

    I guess my question is this. The governor has veto power, if the majority of the house, I would assume is 2/3’s vote can overturn it, why aren’t we fighting to retain the regional bonus? Why aren’t our representatives in South County working for this veto overturn? This does not just affect us. There are other districts within the state who will be deeply affected by this decision. And you know as well as me, once we lose something, it will be harder to get it back. In the meanwhile, other issues regarding the campus can still be discussed. When? Now.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 11, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  146. Richmond parents as well as Charlestown parents want their children in their own town. Sending kids to Hopkinton will not work. As far as the condition of the High School. IT IS TO SMALL. Have any of you been in that school when the students have to switch classes. It is a dealth trap. The kids are on top of one another trying to pass in the hallway. The school has double the kids that the building was designed for. Yes, many parents want the elementary schools repaired but at this point, since we cant get bonds passed, we have to start someplace and the high school is the highest priority.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 8:24 am | Reply

  147. I’m beginning to think all our schools are death traps. Perhaps, we shouldn’t be sending any of our children to school.

    I hear so many differing opinions about this school and the others, I don’t know what to believe anymore.

    The quandry that I am in is the 5th and 6th graders. This just comes back to them. I have always said that the removal of these kids from the middle school would take care of all the overcrowding issues at the middle and high schools.

    I can accept the need to spend millions of dollars on repairs and maintenance with a few conditions in place, but not expansion. Your going to have to do some serious convincing to get me to believe that expanding the high school is a necessity, when the expansion should be going on in the elementary level, based on sound research.

    You know what they say, hindsight is twenty-twenty. I wish Mr. Felkner had come 2-4 years earlier because I think, if he had, the communication between the 3 towns would have been there sooner, and we would be addressing the elementary schools right now, if not already taken care of them. But, as Mr. Petit has said, that is the past.

    I understand everyone’s concern about the high school. Like I said, I get differing opinions from different people that contradict each other. One says we need the work, another says that if satisfactory work progresses, then things will be fine, and the other polar opposite is that there is no big rush.

    What is the cost of expansion/new construction at the high school, the RYSE building, and the new construction to remove the modulars for the middle school?

    I will be honest in that I am not quite ready to sacrifice the needs of the 5th and 6th graders because I’m worried about state aid or the lack of it. This may not make sense to a lot of people, but it is of great concern to me.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 12, 2008 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  148. Hey CR sounds like I hit a sore spot? Also sounds like you don’t like it when someone calls you out. Just remember that as you rip in to other bloggers and call them names. It amounts to nothing. I don’t rely on teachers to teach my children values I merely suggested it to you because of the way you treat people when they disagree with you. It is ok for you to disagree with people. It is ok for someone to disagree as long as they agree with you way or your line of thinking. If they don’t they are called names. Sort of like being a sore sport, if you lose do you call the other players names?

    Lois point well taken about the past, you are correct about learning from past mistakes. I guess the point I was trying to make was the way the no child left behind act mandates you doing so many things that some of what we did in the past you can’t go back to if we wanted…..my thought was there but I said it the wrong way. You are correct.

    Comment by bpetit — May 12, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  149. Lois, parents would love all the problems addressed and they should be addressed. We should want only the best for our children. Education is the foundation for future success and we should take great pride in our schools. The high school was not designed for this many kids. This is a fact. Many are under the simple idea that if they cut cost in other areas the school committee can fix these problems. The problems are to big and that is why they don’t get done. Years and years of neglect and a few repairs each year just wont cut it. All its does it place a bandaid on the situations. Atleast we are all in agreement that repairs need to get done. What a shame that we are willing to pass up on millions of state aide to help us get out this situation because so many beleive they have the right answer and are egos are getting in the way. We could fix the high school with the bond, and utilize other monies to help fix the elementary schools. Why is that so hard for people to understand.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  150. Mr. Petit you can’t insult me. I don’t value your opinion. You can deny that you expect teachers to parent children but your support for programs where Chariho takes over parenting is evidence that you are lying. Your lies cost us all millions every year.

    Mrs. Buck in post #149 you can see the reason why Hopkinton must stand firm and not capitulate in anticipation of Charlestown and Richmond making good faith efforts in the future. You correctly remind us that bringing 5th and 6th graders back to Elementary Schools solves any overcrowding issues at the Chariho campus (if they are real). Your solution is once again ignored.

    Even without the issue of tax equity the Chariho bloc will not accept any change in the status quo. Bringing 5th and 6th graders back to Elementary Schools is not something Chariho employees want to happen. To these nitwits Chariho is supposed to function to the benefit of the adult employees…any changes that are not favorable to the employees will be fought against tooth and nail by the administration and the puppets on the School Committee. 5th and 6th graders at the Elementary Schools is case and point.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  151. CR, can you explain to me why you think Chariho employees would not want this. If you give a statement like that could you give reason why you think that is the case. It helps to support your theory. What difference does it make to Chariho employees if the 5th and 6th grades are in the middle school vs. the elementary schools?

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 11:00 am | Reply

  152. It’s been discussed before richmondparent…along with citations and real life testimonials. Sorry if you weren’t around for it. There’s a huge different between teaching in a Middle School and teaching in an Elementary School. Teachers specialize because of the differences. It’s just not us who recognize the differences.

    Apart from the teachers qualifications, there are other employees who depend on the Middle School model for their livelihood. Guidance Counselors are one example.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 11:35 am | Reply

  153. CR not trying to insult you. I think you do a fine job of that on your own. Not sure what programs I have supported that take over parenting I have supported a lot that are for education if that is what you mean, but then again I thought that was why our children went to school; to be educated.

    The 5th and 6th graders can’t go back to Richmond and Charlestown becasue they don’t have the room. This has been stated at least 100 times. You can slice and dice it all you want. THERE IS NO ROOM. If Hopkinton wants to bring back the 5th graders this can be done I believe without problem. It would take a little more to bring back the 6th, Lois and Barbara have been wroking on this and could probably answer this. I am not talking about the 1904 building. I think there is still room without it, Am I correct with this Lois.

    Comment by bpetit — May 12, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  154. What are all the psychologists for? Social workers? Aides? Guidance Counselors? Do you oppose all or many of these various jobs? How did past generations get by without an army of unrelated adults dealing with every childhood issue imagineable? Parents…but now we have adults employed by the schools dealing with the issues formerly dealt with and decided by parents.

    I question whether the space is available or not, but considering we have a bond for over $17,000,000 being proposed, I’m certain a slice of that amount would be more than enough to get 5th and 6th graders back into Elementary Schools as well as free up tons of space for the 7th – 12th graders.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  155. Hope Valley had a portable classroom parked in their school parking lot because they didn’t have the room for their 5th grades and if my memory serves me right they don’t even have a gym in that school. So they, as well as Richmond and Charlestown, do not have the room to bring their 5th grades back. Not only was there no room for the 5th grades but the years my children were in the school, the music and art teachers had to move around from class to class because they had no room to have their own classroom. Moving the 5th and 6th graders back to four schools is a good thing but it is going to cost us a lot more monies than repairing the high school and are all you people in Hopkinton going to support this?

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  156. The no child left behind act will not lot you or a school to leave a child behind becuase they have issues that are not the norm. It is the law that you have to provide them with an education. Remember many years these children were placed in institutions and forgotten about because that was the “easy” thing to do. This law prevents people like you from doing that!

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  157. Sure, once Charlestown and Richmond support our efforts to cut spending in the budget and agree to an equitable taxing formula, I’m sure many in Hopkinton will be receptive to spending to bring 5th and 6th graders back to Elementary Schools.

    As for cost, that analysis was done a while back as well. A brand new Elementary School could be build for around $10,000,000. Even if it has gone up a couple of million it is still cheaper than the Chariho campus proposal.

    Hope Valley has a few modulars buildings. At least one has been there for decades. There could be room for more modulars. The 1904 building is also available.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  158. correction – The no child left behind act will not “allow” you

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  159. I have no problem providing children with an education. I do have a problem providing them with a well paid entourage.

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

  160. The 1904 building is not available. That will cost millions to bring to code. Richmond and Charlestown are not interested in sending their kids to Ashaway. Renovations and additions would have to be done to all four schools and that would cost much more than $10,000,000.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

  161. Why? If you 5th and 6th graders in Hopkinton and Charlestown are bussed to Richmond, why can’t Richmond and Charlestown 5th and 6th graders be bussed to Hopkinton? Is there a magic mile marker for transporting children?

    How many million to bring 1904 to code? More million then to replace the RYSE buildings? More millions than to expand the Middle School?

    Another solution deemed unworkable by a brilliant and open minded Richmondite. Geniuses one and all.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  162. Parents want their kids in their home town elementary schools. That is why they want their 5th and 6th grade students back into their own communities. They do not want their 5th and 6th grades going to Hopkinton. What does that solve? Sending small children to Hopkinton simply will not work, like it or not the parents of these communities will not stand for it.

    The way you conduct yourself is just simply ignorant. It is very clear to me that you are very uneducated and lack a great deal of experience. It is very clear to me that you are a very unhappy person. Therfore, discussing this with you is just a waste of my time and the readers of this blog. I wish you the best of luck.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  163. So richmondparent is the grand poo-baa of all parents? I’ve heard parents say they want their kids in Elementary Schools but I haven’t heard of any vote asking if the Elementary School had to be within walking distance. Did I miss this vote?

    It may be this is how parents feel, but given the choice between a bus ride to Chariho with teenagers or a bus ride to Ashaway with younger children, I’m guessing parents would rather have their children separated from the teens.

    Everything you write is a waste of all our time. The status quo is all you will accept. Why not be honest and admit it? Is it possible with all the ideas we generate here that none of them have any merit? Why don’t you take your questions and ask Mr. Ricci and his gang a few?

    One good thing in all the blogging here is the number of positive idea generated from Hopkinton people. Of the three big naysayers, Mr. Petit is the only one from Hopkinton. I’m not sure his motivation, but he obviously is not representative of Hopkinton’s ingenuity.

    I believe CharihoParent and richmondparent are both from Richmond. I doubt anyone will be withdrawing soon, but should it ever happen Richmond could be in big trouble with the apparent lack of ideas.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  164. I’m guessing parents would rather have their children separated from the teens.

    So now you are grand poo-baa 2.

    I don’t remember a vote about busing to another town either. But It makes it right because you are guessing? Or because you would have your child back to your town and that is all that matters? Which one?

    “I’m not sure his motivation, but he obviously is not representative of Hopkinton’s ingenuity.”

    I am not a represenative of your words CR. Barbara and Lois and some others that post on here from time to time, i would and have tired to discuss with them, undestand them and agree or disagree with them. I don’t hear anything from you but negativity and name calling. So you are right when you say I do not agree with your words or your ways, it doesn’t solve anything. Richmond parent and Lois have had some good discussions going back and forth until you get involved and start to name call again.

    Comment by bpetit — May 12, 2008 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  165. I wrote theat I am “guessing”. Unlike richmondparent who speaks for parents as if he is the one who decides. Maybe if you paid attention in school you’d understand the different between a person who admits to “guessing” and a person who represents others as if it is certain fact.

    As for my child, moving 5th and 6th grades to any of three towns will have no impact on our family. We’re flexible.

    If you only hear negativity from me, then your listening skills are as limited as your thinking skills. Maybe if you got your head out from inside Mr. Ricci’s butt you’d hear better?

    Richmondparent discusses nothing. He objects to about every idea put forward and other than variations of the status quo, he offers nothing new.

    Mrs. Buck, Mrs. Capalbo, Mrs. Thompson, Mr. Felkner, Mr. Abbot, Mrs. Gardiner, Mr. Hirst, and many others have brought forward ideas which might move the district forward positively. Your side doesn’t even want to discuss them. You said “no” and that is that. Mr. Ricci’s sycophants remain stuck on stupid. Thank goodness for Hopkinton.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  166. CR, Bob Petit isn’t the only one who sees your posts as negative. You don’t see it because that’s all you know. Lois is being nice when she will only say that she won’t get into the name calling. Bob is at least the 3rd person that has taken you to task about it. If only Bill Felkner would ban you from the blog until you can stop that harrassment that you dish out when someone doesn’t agree with you. We are all entitled to our opinions and stances on issues and you are not the sole abitor of who’s right and who’s wrong like you try to be. Maybe you should try growing up and bit show some respect for others if you expect others to show you respect. Only a bully respects another bully.

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 12, 2008 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  167. Nice CR this is what you limit yourself too. My head in a butt. The only ideas that have been thrown out there have been for Hopkinton’s benefit if any benefit at all. People want to know why we would trow $10 million away and this is the best you come up with…..My side didn’t say NO as I dont have a side. I can see points that all people have made on here but I dont go through life with blinders on either. I realize that to fix this problem we have to find common ground not what is best as far as some in Hopkinton see it. But than again most of these people you named have also said we have to meet in the middle but you don’t listen to them either.

    I do have to agree with Richomnd Parent that talking to you is useless.

    Richmond Parent, Keep bringing your ideas to this blog it seems to me like you and Lois had some good discussions that could amount to something.

    Comment by bpetit — May 12, 2008 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  168. I don’t deny my responses to Mr. Petit, CharihoParent and richmondparent are negative. I have no choice since none of these three stooges has anything to offer which is to the betterment of the community.

    All three object to anything that deviates from the status quo at Chariho. Hopkinton rejects the status quo time after time, yet we are told that we are wrong for not accepting business as usual.

    Mr. Petit, the useful idiot, is the worst of the three since he purposely seeks to harm his own town’s children. He is either too stupid to know better or he does recognize the damage he is doing to Hopkinton families but doesn’t care.

    Mr. Felkner consistently tries to stick up for Hopkinton families, yet he not only encounters obstacles from the other towns’ members, but he has to deal with Mr. Petit’s betrayal along with Mr. Prueh’s ignorance. Mr. Abbott tries to stand with Mr. Felkner, but he gets steamrolled by the rest.

    The Hopkinton Town Council has done an excellent job standing up for the community, but they have their forum and are pretty powerless to move the School Committee.

    Calling me negative is the same strategy Chariho always uses to silence critics. If you dare challenge the status quo and ask for accountability and transparency they try to avoid the real issues by attacking the messengers.

    Want to shut Mr. Felkner up? Want to shut me up? Then open up the process. Prove that you spend our money wisely. Prove that you are educating our children at a level commensurate with what you spend. Prove your case and nothing we say will have any influence.

    If Chariho does its job at a reasonable cost then the community will not believe anything we have to say. As long as Chariho fails to adequately educate and fails to be accountable then we will be negative. As long as Chariho hides, we will continue to discover.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  169. Hi!
    The Middle School Bill House#8256 and RYSE School H#8257 has been introduced by Rep. Scott and Walsh both on 5/08/2008,.Both referred to House Finance Committee.
    I will advise on hearings when I learn of them. The previous bill introduced was H#8227 concerning the high school which I and others spoke on last Tuesday,.
    Reportedly Bob Petit and others want to change meetings procedures at the school committee. Bob, what is your explanation of this? I understand will be discussed at tomorrow night’s meeting.Bob, relax, I won’t be there.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 12, 2008 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

  170. Mr. Hirst do you know if the bond bills require Senate introduction too? Mr. Ricci has said that the legislation has to be approved by the end of June. Will the revote supporters have a chance to meet this target date? How much would it cost Hopkinton to pay for another vote? Does Chariho pay this cost; the state; or the town?

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  171. bpetit, I must say that I give you and the people on the school committee a great deal of credit having to deal with people like CR. This idea that everyone on the school committee is out to steal from the taxpayers and everyone that doesn’t agree with him must be stupid is just an easy approach for CR. Since he/she doesn’t want to back anything he/she says up with any facts is just easier to call someone a name or accuse them of hiding information.

    I am that parent on the football fields, the baseball fields, the soccer fields, the PTO meetings and the community centers that hear what people have to say about this situation. I know that this is not a true representation of Hopkinton and that many are just tired of people like CR. I can say to you that many that I have spoken to are very happy with your position on this debate and wish more people like you would step forward.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  172. Funny how Hopkinton families vote no to bonds and no to budgets but RP wants us to believe they are completely happy with Bob P. who says yes to bonds and yes to budgets. I wonder if a guy calling himself richmondparent really has a clue about what families in Hopkinton think? I don’t know if I attend every event in the tri-town area like RP but I’ve yet to meet a non-Chariho employed person who is happy with how Chariho is managed. Sometimes they support the bond because they feel bad for the kids but nobody seems to be happy with contracts, spending and management at Chariho. Even the people who say they would vote for a bond don’t like the bond. We must be on opposites sides of the room? Or maybe RP hangs with the rich people and not the regular people? The people in Hopkinton I know call a spade a spade. No politically correct crap from the Hopkinton I grew up in. Idiots are idiots here. No sense sugar coating.

    Comment by Real Question — May 12, 2008 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  173. HV has a gym w/ a stage. 3 Modulars are there. The oldest one which was there when Bob and I went to HV has had some extensive work.

    The grounds at the HV School could likely support construction. The asset next to the school, which is Langworthy Field, would have to used more extensively and would have to be more handicapped accessible. The architects we have been talking to see great promise with the Hopkinton schools. There are 3 modulars on the grounds of HV School. 2 are classrooms and 1 is administrative. Looking in the windows, it appears that the downstairs of the oldest section is a teacher’s room and an art or teacher’s aid room. At least it is being utilized, as my concern would be that, if it isn’t, the maintenance neglect would be very apparent, as in the basement of the 04 building.

    The 1904 building was received by the architects as a building with great promise. The rooms are very spacious, much larger than current classrooms. It is structurally sound and is not sagging unlike a lot of older buildings settle with time. This building has a granite packed foundation and is as solid as they come. The building is wood with steel beams running through it. Much of the building is in excellent shape with the exception of the areas where the children were not allowed to be in because of fire codes. It’s amazing the maintenance neglect in these areas.

    I am saddened that some people would have a problem sending their children to Hopkinton schools, and would choose to send their children to the middle school even though 70 plus percent feel this is an inappropriate environment for their children.

    I know for a fact that parents in Richmond and Charlestown are currently sending their children to Hopkinton Schools for Preschool and I believe there is an autism class in HV. Also, I know there are parents that have sent and are still sending their kids to Ashaway.

    So, what is the reason?

    As far as the bonds go, this is my position on the bonds. I will not vote for RYSE or the Middle School bonds. The high school bond is the one that leaves me perplexed as there are so many differing positions on it. I would rather see some changes in the language of the bond before I would vote for it.

    And I certainly have my concerns regarding the notion of expansion at the high school and the track. The track was initially built with donated funds. But, I’m sure that somebody would find fault on the notion of fundraising for a new track.

    I used to live in Richmond. I also lived on the line to Richmond near Dow Field. The issue with the schools and the redrawing of the lines are not a kids choice. The kids would not have a problem with it. It is the adults.

    And I have to tell you that I believe that it is not a building that defines a school, it is the teachers, the administrators, and especially the children. And the people I’ve met in HV and Ashaway have been truly professional, caring and extremely supportive, and the children are simply wonderful. So, what is the problem?

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 12, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  174. Could you share with us with specificity the items in the High School bond which have you perplexed Mrs. Buck? This is the language in the legislation:

    “THE CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, IMPROVEMENT, DEMOLITION, ALTERATION, REPAIR, ADDITIONS, PAVING, LANDSCAPING, FURNISHING AND EQUIPPING OF THE CHARIHO HIGH SCHOOL AND IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SWITCH ROAD CAMPUS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A MAINTENANCE FACILITY, TRACK, PARKING AND UTILITY AND SECURITY”

    Do you know what is being contructed, renovated, improved, demolished, altered, repaired, added, paved, landscaped, furnished, and equipped? From what I can tell we’d be authorizing $17,000,000 in spending but Chariho could pretty much do whatever they want with the money? Is there a detailed listing of where the money will be spent?

    The construction they do specify is a maintenance facility, a track, and parking. I don’t see how any of these projects must be done immediately.

    Anyway, I’m not perplexed. In recent years Chariho has been an irresponsible actor. They’ve taken millions in excess without maintaining any of the infrastructure. The system is broken and leadership is terrible. Until the system is fixed and the leadership is changed, we’d be fools to trust Chariho with millions more.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 12, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  175. Lois, I am sure that the people at the HV and Ashaway schools are truly wonderful people but I don’t think that you can assume that the parents of the other two towns would want their small children taken out of their towns. My experience dealing with elementary parents would suggest to me that this would not be a good idea. But, it is certainly something that could be asked utilizing a simple questionaire. The survey that was sent out many years ago suggested bringing their students back to the elementary school. It did not suggest they go to another town for elementary school. Again, this is something you could ask the parents.

    My children, with Charletown, went to the middle school in the 5th grade. At the time HV and Ashaway kids stayed in the elementary schools. I was one of those parents that did not want my children to go but after I saw what a great job the school did keeping the children in their own area, I was okay with it. My children thrived in the middle school and loved the new experience. They were given many more opportunities that HV kids because more resources were available to them. I wonder how many parents feel the way I do after they experienced the transition and would not change the situation. Again, a simple survey could answer that question.

    It is my understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, that classrooms can not be in the basement areas of the elementary schools. I beleive that Richmond lost a number of classrooms because of this. Richmond does have a preschool class of its own but I am not sure about Charletown. It is good to hear that you think the employees at Hope Valley School are truly professional caring and extremely supportive. Up to this point, many of the bloggers have said nothing good about the Chariho employees. It is sad to see this because it simple is not true. This organization has some great people that work very hard for such little pay and appreciation. As far as the High School, the building was not designed to hold this many children. I would encourage you to spend some time there during the day to see what it is like. As far as the track, this is a beutiful track and it is shame that our kids can not utilize it to have their home track matches. It is not safe. We keep complaining that our school does not maintain what they have. Here is a perfect example of why this happens. This is a beautiful track why wouldn’t you want to spend moneis to keep it in good condition. Instead, you are telling the school committee to neglect it and don’t allow our kids to have home track matches becuase it just not worth repairing.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 12, 2008 @ 11:14 pm | Reply

  176. The track should have been maintained in annual budgets. We have families with deteriorating driveways in Hopkinton. You want them paying for a track for the next twenty years when they can’t even afford to maintain their own driveways? If enough people feel the track is worthy, they can collect money from anyone who agrees with them. The track is symbolic of Chariho’s total disregard for the poorer members of our community.

    The town of Hopkinton has some great families who work very hard for little pay and appreciation. To add insult to injury they are expected to pay grossly inflated salaries and benefits to school employees. How frustrating it must be to work 50 hours weeks, 50 weeks a year and then have your money given to government employees who work less hard and work less often.

    As for Middle School, regardless of individual experiences, the vast majority of research verify the benefits of leaving children in the Elementary School environment. Chariho families inherently seem to understand that young children should not be pushed into inappropriate environments. While there may be some children who are not damaged by daily exposure to teenage behaviors, they are the exception, not the rule.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 13, 2008 @ 12:30 am | Reply

  177. “I don’t think that you can assume that the parents of the other two towns would want their small children taken out of their towns.” (BUT, ISN’T THAT WHAT EVERYONE IS DOING. I’VE TALKED TO PEOPLE TOO. THESE PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO THE MIDDLE SCHOOL AND WOULD RATHER SEND THEIR KIDS TO ASHAWAY FROM HOPE VALLEY, SOMETHING OTHERS HAVE SAID THAT THEY WOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH. LO AND BEHOLD, THEY DON’T. MANY HAVE MADE IT SOUND LIKE THEY WOULD BE TRAVELING WELL OUT OF THEIR WAY TO GO TO ASHAWAY WHEN I THINK IT ADDS 1 MINUTE TO THE TRIP.)

    And it is not like they are leaving the state. It’s not an amber alert situation. What is the rational for sending your child on a bus for a longer trip, if a school in another town is closer?

    I agree that the district is doing their best to keep the children in the same area. But, the children still share the same center aisle down the main part of the building. Some children have to travel great distances to get to resource rooms. The auditorium, library, office, and gymnasium are shared rooms and are accessed by this corridor. They stand at the bus stop with older children. I understand they are doing their best, but there is no way to keep these children in a bubble.

    There is very little space for play time, which is essential for the younger children, as this is socially beneficial for their growth and maturity.

    You are talking a school of 1200 students, which is arguably unacceptable when they recommend a high school population should be at best under 700 students, and this is a middle school. Simply, the benefits of smaller schools is what I am trying to get at.

    I would rather spend my money on the high school for repairs and maintenance only for items where the lifetime of the bond does not exceed the lifetime of purchased item. I would agree to the purchase of lockers, as there lifetime would certainly exceed 20 years, but I do have a problem with the purchase of a track, when they should seek funding by donation and its useful life would likely not exceed the life of a bond. Why buy a car with a 10 year loan when it depreciates from its full value in less than 6 years. It doesn’t make economic sense.

    I’ve always had a concern for the exercise room that takes up some needed classroom space, when if I need to use exercise equipment, I sign up for the Y, which I believe is very inexpensive for children under 18. I feel like I’m subsidizing someone’s physical fitness program out of my own wallet.

    One of the issues of concern to me is the continued failure to maintain our buildings. I will not be a happy camper if this continues. Perhaps, the bond should address this.

    I would also want someone from each council involved with the spending of the money, to be able to give a report to the other council members at their biweekly meetings. This would guarantee that the information regarding expenditures is available to the public. I would like made public a detailed quote of the expenditures, so that anyone from the public can compare what was spent against what was quoted.

    I would like to see the 3 towns actively find a solution to bringing back their 5th and 6th grades to the elementary level. (Definitely the 5th grades, I’d prefer the 6th grades as well as no-one can argue that this is what the community has wanted for some time.) If a joint bond, which is probably fruitless at this time, is the option, then let’s go for it. Richmond could purchase some land and build a new school. Charlestown could build on their already existing lands, a new school. And Hopkinton can make additions and improvements to its 2 schools. Each will pay their own costs, no question about ownership if the notion of withdrawal should continue to resurface. It seems that Charlestown and Richmond want to spend money, then invest your money into your own schools. Everyone will be happy as the overcrowding issues would be dealt with with all the schools, Charlestown and Richmond can spend to their hearts content, the issue of small schools versus large schools will be addressed, and most importantly, the 5th and 6th grades will be in a more academically and socially appropriate environment.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 13, 2008 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  178. You are talking “about” a school of 1200 students. Sorry!

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 13, 2008 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  179. I think if people were aware of the research and benefits to elementary schools and small school environments, they would reconsider their opinion if they have really formed their opinion regarding the middle school. I personally don’t believe the vast majority agrees with that assessment, but I don’t recall any surveys on that. And opinions can often be swayed by the person or people generating the question. If you already side with the benefit to the middle school, then even your tone of voice might cause people to give you the response you want to hear.

    Let’s get some research data regarding the benefits of the middle school model out to the public as well as the 5th and 6th grade data and all the area committees who have come to the conclusion about the advantages and disadvantages regarding both models, and then ask them objectively to evaluate both.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 13, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  180. Lois, I would agree that all these issues should be looked into. A survey could answer many of these questions. I do not disagree with you that the 5th and 6th grader should be at an elementary school but I want to make it clear to you that my children’s experience was not horrible. They did a great job considering the situation. What I am saying to you is the current elementary schools can not handle this until major renovations can been accomplished. Maybe allowing the towns to develop their own elementary schools is a good idea and a start into seperation of the district. In the meantime, while we work out all these possibilities, we are turning away millions of dollars to help us with all these other issues. I don’t have the numbers as far as student enrollments by grade availale to me at this time, but by pulling the 9th grade out of the highschool I would have to geuss might free up 300 spaces. School was still designed for that many children so we haven’t really soled the problem.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 13, 2008 @ 8:40 am | Reply

  181. correction.. “the school was still not designed for that many children”

    Comment by richmondparent — May 13, 2008 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  182. Richmond Parent thank you for your support and I wish to thank all those that are behind me in this battle over this bond and some of the other issues I have taken on.

    I do agree with Lois that many people want the 5th and 6th graders back but in the mean time I don’t agree we should lose the money from the state at this point. We need to move on this bond, freeing up a lot of the money we have designated towards the high school from the surplus. With this money we can look at additions to the elementaries to give more room, to achive the goal of bringing back the students. Even with the first attempt to pass this bond, the 6th grade addition was moved to the end of the time line on construction so as to give time to the respective towns looking in to the cost of the elementary improvements.

    I would like to pass on to all of you and hope you would pass it on to parents that are nervous about the 4th to 5th grade transition. Right now it is all we have so lets try to make it the best experience we can.

    Have these parents contact the Middle School, they are more than accomodating to help these children and parents with this transition. They will take them on a private tour if they wish.I beleive they have a day that all parents and children can go on a tour, sit in a classroom and actually eat lunch at the school to try to help them over come these fears. I think they have an excellent plan in place to try as best they can to help. We all have the fear of the unknown, this makes it a little easier.

    They also do somewhat of the same for parents of the 8th graders. At the end of the month these students will take a tour of the high school to try and help them get acclimated. I believe they send home a pamphlet with some ideas for parents to help these students make the transition.

    Again if you know of any parents or students going through either transition this year let them know the school committee,administration and teachers do care and try to help them make this an easy transition.

    Comment by bpetit — May 13, 2008 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  183. See, I don’t look at it as turning away millions of dollars. I believe that spending money to expand the schools and to build a RYSE facility is wasting millions. I wish I could help you understand. It is space that doesn’t need to be there.

    The space needs to be in the elementary schools, not on the campus. You agree that the 5th and 6th grades need to be in the elementary school. I think we have common ground here. The experience you feel about the middle school is positive. I’ve had similar positives. That is truly because of the efforts of the employees there. But, and there is a “but,” the more academically and socially appropriate environment is in the elementary schools, so why add space onto the stuctures on the campus.

    The space made available when removing the 5th and 6th grades from the middle school would provide a substantial amount of empty rooms. Enough space to construct a secure space for RYSE and a space for the ALP program. In the meanwhile, we tough it out with the modulars. Eventually, we can remove them, which would make opponents to modulars very happy.

    Then, everyone will be happy that they have 2 schools, like Hopkinton. Hopkinton can make use of their own facilities and the advantages they have. Richmond and Charlestown can build happily spending all the money they want.

    BUT, take into consideration the needs of your own taxpayers in the venture.

    Finally, the district could bring the 9th graders into the middle school, and you have a much smaller population on campus. This goes along with the research regarding smaller schools and their benefits.

    I could go on, but I really have some place to be.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 13, 2008 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  184. You are correct Mrs. Buck in observing that the Mr. Petit’s of the world fail to understand that the rest of us see the bond as wasting money. He thinks we are losing money. We don’t want the million of our town or our state money to be spent repairing tracks or building maintenance sheds or whatever when we need millions to fix and expand Elementary Schools.

    Many families in Hopkinton can’t afford the current financial burden imposed by Chariho’s spending. The primary solution to all this is cutting the annual spending followed by spending the saved money on a bond that expands the Elementary Schools. Once students are moved back to the appropriate environments we can see what is left to be done at the main campus. If we have another spending savings available we can spend those savings at the main campus.

    None of this requires withdrawal by any town. As long spending is shifted from employees to infrastructure the local families will not face greater financial burdens. Perhaps each town will decide to take control of their Elementary Schools. I favor this approach. But it is not necessary.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 13, 2008 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  185. Lois, I understand that “you” don’t see this as us wasting millions but atleast let the voters of the three committee make the decision. You may be right, maybe many people feel it is not the way you do. We will never know that if it is not allowed to be voted on. Many may feel it is a great opportunity to get the repairs done at a much cheaper cost to the taxpayers. Many may not want money invested into the RYSE program but do feel the highschool needs repairs. It is certainly a matter of opinion. I know that some beleive this is the same bond but how can it be the same since it is know three different bonds. You the voter can decide what projects are the most important to you. Who knows maybe they will all get turned down. It is not up to a few people to decide that for the rest of the communities. It is up to the voters to decide that. If all three bond get turned down that we will have to take a different direction. If Hopkinton does not want the bonds then they have the right to vote it down.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 13, 2008 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  186. correction. “You may be righ, maybe many people feel it is not the way to go.”

    Comment by richmondparent — May 13, 2008 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  187. Perhaps we want the lockers but not the maintenance shed and track? Perhaps we want an alarm system, but not lockers? We can play the game of breaking the original bond up into bits and pieces all we want. Why not list each and every item and put it up for vote?

    This bond is a revote. Pretend all you want that it is different, but as I’ve illustrated, we can make it different in a million different ways yet we are still voting on the same items. The vote was held. This bond was defeated. You want another vote go back to the drawing board and start again.

    I’d suggest your next bond be exclusively for Elementary Schools. I’d also suggest that you make drastic cuts in spending before coming to Hopkinton again with a proposal to add milions more in tax liabilities to our already too high tax bills. Your best chance is to get concessions of tax equity first, but if you don’t want to pursue this route you at least should try to reduce the annual spending.

    I won’t support any bond that does not include tax equity across the board, but Hopkinton families have shown a great desire to have our 5th and 6th graders back in Elementary Schools. Perhaps if you propose a bond which limits itself solely to this goal you can fool enough Hopkinton families to get it passed? Then you’ll have another 20 years of tax inequity. Many of us will be dead by the time it expires and you can hope to bamboozle the next generation.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 13, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  188. Lois I see your point and I am not saying that all will be approved. I think if we can get the high school fixed it is a step in the right direction. At that point we can contiune to figure out what needs to be done at the elementary level. We don’t lose the state money for the high school portion ad we free up that money to go towards other repairs or additions to achieve the goal of bringing back the 5th and 6th graders. I think a lot of people do agree the high school needs to be fixed.

    Comment by bpetit — May 13, 2008 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  189. And once again we’re told that if we just approve a bond, that predictably includes much waste, THEN they will address the real issues like tax inequities and Elementary Schools.

    Are we fools? How many times do we allow ourselves to spend millions on promises that things will improve? Have things improved? No. It’s a lie and Mr. Petit is the latest in a long line of Chariho con artists. Approve a bond and nothing changes. History is our guarantee.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 13, 2008 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  190. Is there an itemized list of what the high school bond revote will pay to fix? All I’ve seen specified is the track, maintenance building, and landscaping. I don’t consider any of these things urgent requirements that can’t be taken care of over time with the annual budget. Someone mentioned lockers and this might be more legitimate, but I don’t see lockers mentioned in the revote bill?

    If a revote is approved does the bond say Chariho has to spend the money in specific ways or do they get to do whatever they want? If they are limited where can we see what the limitations are? If they are not limited, then even if you agree with a revote for a track, landscaping and a maintenance building, there is no way to ensure the money will be spent on these things. Right?

    I’m against the revote, but for those on the fence it is important to understand exactly what you are voting to approve. If you are revoting to trust Chariho to spend your money wisely and honestly, then you may want to give it some serious thought. A revote is a bad idea, but it is even worse if Chariho is free to spend the money anyway they want!

    Comment by Real Question — May 13, 2008 @ 12:53 pm | Reply

  191. The generic terms furnishing and equipping cover items like desks and lockers.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 13, 2008 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

  192. To me, if the money is earmarked for the high school, then it goes to the high school. Any leftover money should go back to the towns as they paid for it. Legally, there are some real issues as to where the money is allocated. This is why I asked for quotes.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 13, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  193. But money going to the High School is not enough in my opinion. We need to know exactly where the money will be spent. The school should be legally bound to spend it where they tell us. Saying it will be spent at the High School leaves too much leeway. Does Hopkinton trust the School Committee and administration to spend our money responsibly. If you do trust them, why?

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 13, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  194. The same issues have existed in the Chariho district for years and years. To approve any more spending with the anticipation that the situation will change is foolish. If you send millions to Chariho expect them to treat the money the same way they always do. They won’t spend it transparently and they won’t account for how it is spent. They never do and they won’t change on a promise.

    The same applies to tax equity, grade configuration, curriculum, spending, and anything else they will tell you they will deal with if you only agree to revote. They are pathological liars. They promise results and deliver failure. Bob P. is either in on the game or too naive to get it. Why would he ask Hopkinton to trust a SC which has a history of shafting Hopkinton?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 13, 2008 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  195. The high school bond is a band-aid – not a creative renovation of space. Expand the gym and build UP – cantilever the upper floor, add a modular elevator. Space, extensions, classrooms and offices. Without redoing the entire parking lot and traffic patterns, well and water supply system, and moving/re-building the library/media center to a space eqidistant from the vo-tech building and the high school.

    Green the architecture, the energy, the infrastructure. Pretend that we will actually use this school in the 21st century and not the 19th. I don’t mind spending money on the high school – just not this clueless and thoughtless arrangement.

    Comment by Flick — May 13, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  196. CR… Look at the numbers, the bond actually wasn’t defeated. It was approved by a vast majority of the voters in the district. It lost in Hopkinton by a scant 47 votes, that isn’t an overwhelming majority in my book but perhaps it is in yours though. Afraid that more voters in Hopkinton will come out this time and perhaps at least a part of the bond will pass this time?

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 14, 2008 @ 7:39 am | Reply

  197. You don’t agree with the design but atleast you agree that the school is in need of repair. I beleive the current library is planned for new classrooms and the new libary planned to be built is more designed for the needs of the 21st century.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 14, 2008 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  198. CharihoParent, that is exactly why they don’t want it to go vote. They say they represent the Hopkinton people, but they really don’t want to take that chance that the Hopkinton voters may not think like they do and pass a bond. If they were so sure that the Hopkinton taxpayers do not want this bond, then what do they have to lose. Let it go to vote and lets see. If it gets voted down, then they were right.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 14, 2008 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  199. The bond lost. The Chariho Act requires approval from majorities in all three towns. The bond did not receive majority approval in Hopkinton. The bond was rejected. Too bad budgets don’t require majority approval from all three towns, but we don’t cry for a budget revote in Hopkinton. Under the rules agreed to by all three towns the bond legally failed and the budget legally passed. Maybe we should keep revoting on budgets until Hopkinton gets its way? I want a revote on the bond that authorized the middle school. I don’t think Hopkinton would approve it this time. I’d also like a revote for the school committee. We elected a guy but I think we changed our minds now. In 11th grade I voted for the wrong person for class treasurer. I want a revote. Give me all my revotes and I’ll support your revote.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 14, 2008 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  200. That is the beauty of the voting process. Yes that one bond did fail, but this is three bonds and that is the difference. The voters want to vote on what they think is a priority for their school and community. If we want to vote on something that has been changed then we have the right to vote and you and others have the right to vote no. Three people from the TC do not have the right to tell the people of Hopkinton what they can and can not vote on. The voters have that right to vote and if they want to reject it they can. When its time to vote for new school committee reps, you get to vote again and maybe you will step up and run. When the budget gets changed next year, you get to vote again.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 14, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  201. The TC has a responsibility to protect the integrity of our vote in Hopkinton. They have done it well.

    I think we should break the budget up into contractual pieces and vote on them individually. We can have a budget for administrative expenses, teaching expenses, and support expenses. We can then vote on each piece separately. Tell you what, get working on splitting the budget into three and when we revote on the split budget we can revote on the split bond.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 14, 2008 @ 10:27 am | Reply

  202. The bond is upstate. If the legislators approve it, than goes back to the public, if not it doesn’t. We move on. At this point not much any of us can say or do it is up to the legislators now. All we can do at this point is wait and see.

    Comment by bpetit — May 14, 2008 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  203. bpetit – you are right and hopefully we will get a chance to vote. Please pass on to the SC that my child had a wonderful education experience on the DC trip. The teachers that organized this event should be recognized for a job well done.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 14, 2008 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  204. Just when I think I’ve heard it all. Maybe because Bob doesn’t value his constituents’ opinions he assumes all politicians are the same. We can, and should, make our opinions known to the state politicians. I’m not sure, but I think the revote needs to be passed in the state senate too and last I knew it wasn’t being sponsored. That may have changed, but we can still have influence there. Again, I’m not certain of the process, but perhaps the revote would have to be approved by the governor? If so, we could have influence there too.

    Finally, should the revote overcome the state hurdles by the end of June (because that’s the supposed deadline), we will be forced to vote again. In case this happen, it is very important to be talking about the problems at Chariho so Hopkinton families don’t get complacent and allow this destructive revote to be approved.

    Talking about the revote now is worthwhile if for no other reason then it helps to highlight the many issues at Chariho which are ignored or dealt with poorly. When the bond is gone (and hopefully for good) we’re still left with a school which spends uncontrollably and without accountability. Despite all the hot air, I don’t see Richmond or Charlestown going anyplace so we will need to remain vigilant in anticipation of the next attack on Hopkinton families.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 14, 2008 @ 11:11 am | Reply

  205. Addressing Post 196, the bond was rejected under the Chariho Act. If it had been approved you wouldn’t be trying to subvert the result and revote. Truth or Consequences explains it very well in Post 199. I’m sure the explanation will be beyond the understanding of the Chariho apologists.

    As for the future of the revote bill, I would hope that the state politicians would recognize an attempt to subvert a legal vote. It is important that they hear our voices.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 14, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  206. Mr. Abbott has mentioned if I recall to some extent a consideration of the transportation cost of transporting the young people which will have to be negotiated along with the heating of the buildings. Some may feel that along is enough to do on their own never mind those utility increases.

    Added on top of this, is a reduction in town or city aid that is being considered along with a reduction in education aid. The reduction in education aid was also part of Governor Sundlund’s plan in 1991-1992 when the State Banking Crisis/DEPCO was going on and the reduction of state aid of up to 18% percent.

    In an December 11th article of 1991 in THE SUN, School files state aid suit which was filed by the Exeter West Greenwich School District, claiming its inherently unfair to poorer districts.

    Then Superintendent, Walter Gibson (former Westerly school teacher and then principal after leaving Superintendent position in Exeter West Greenwich) wrote, “I think the state aid formula is another example in rhode Island of something that has gotten out of hand.”

    If any school committee folks want to chime in, what if any aid formula is now into play. I thought I read somewhere that RI was one of possibly three states in the country which didn’t have one. That doens’t sound right because we are alloted funds somehow. To a writer, please inform. Thanks.

    Anyway, one behalf of all tri town voters the tri town councils attorney’s should be encouraged to review or research the Exter-Westerly Greenwich suit regarding a reduction of state aid to education. To me its an obvious issue that we as tri town voters can agree on. In reviewing quickly other articles, other districts jump onto the suit but Chariho didn’t. Why couldn’t tell you yet.

    The Sundlund (D) (now its Carcieri (R)) faced a rougly $220 million deficit and much of what is being ‘bucked’ by the cities, towns, state workers is a replay of 1991-1992 time. Their was a 10 furlough for state workers which was fought by the unions and upheld by the courts. We’re going through it again 16 years later.

    In closing, the lawsuit, “alledges the way the state aportions its education aid violates the constitutional requiment that “the burgens of the state out to be fairly distributed among its citiznes.”

    This year’s (article December 11, 1991) cut in education aid by a cash-strapped state prompted threats of a court challenge similar to those that have been successful in other states, such as Texas and Kentucky.

    This is 1991 folks and we’re still talking, still bickering at this level. If you go back to the early 1990’s and read about the sweet heart pensions that we are still on the hook for, being paid for by you and the rest of us, would really go goofy unless you are in the gravey train line. A providence employee worked on day and is collecting a pension. This is why we can’t get money for kids. Everyone is taking and no one is paying.

    Be well and bring some facts the table and not mudslinging. I don’t have time and I’m sure others don’t have it either, to go through 200 responses that don’t add to the tri towns. Respect the no vote and move on, it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise if your following along. If your not following along, when the guy says how would you like a good hawaiin punch say no!

    Fare thee well, tri town voters.

    Comment by James Hirst — May 14, 2008 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  207. I’ve heard similar concerns Mr. Hirst. There is a stir going on up to our north that will likely be doom for us to the south. We will likely feel it come July 1st. And because Hopkinton and Richmond receive the most state aid, it will likely be more painful for us. And to complicate matters, the Chariho budget has passed and the town budgets are next. The axe will fall after their votes. So, what are the towns to do?

    Also, I understand in tonight’s paper that Richmond has a shortfall of $392,000 (that’s my understanding) because they overestimated state aid, potential 8%+ tax increase. Good luck Richmond. I mean it sincerely. We feel your pain.

    Received a phone call from a friend who was concerned about my comments regarding Mr. Petit’s unenviable position as a school committee member. This person felt that because we elected Mr. Petit, not the district, he is our representative and should do what’s best for Hopkinton. I hope I said that correctly.

    My reason for my posting was that I felt that a school committee members position is quite tricky in that, yes he does represent his constituents, but he has to weigh that with the needs of the children within the whole district.

    The other reason is that I wanted people to use the RI general laws and the Chariho Act to prove their point regarding what position Mr. Petit should take towards his representation of his constituents and the students within the district. This would likely clear up some issues. To date, I don’t believe anyone has done this.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 14, 2008 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  208. Bob has no legal obligations to any constituency.

    From my political science classes I remember there were two schools of thought on representing constituents. One school held that you should vote/represent according to the wishes of the majority of your constituents. Kind of like taking a poll on each issue. Bill Clinton comes to mind.

    The other school believes a rep should vote based on their own analysis of each issue. The thought here is that our reps have access to info plus they are more focused on the issues than their constituents. George Bush comes to mind.

    I tend to like the latter approach, as apparently does Bob. Many of us are too busy to follow issues as closely as our reps. The problem I have with Bob is that he does the analysis, as do many of us, but he manages to regularly come to conclusions in direct contradiction to his constituents, but totally in line with the other towns constituents. I’m not sure how he does this so consistently, but he does.

    None of this is tricky. Every politician, regardless of what office they hold, can vote as they please. If they break the law we can have them arrested. When recall provisions are in place we can remove them from office, BUT, as long as they are in office there is no legal requirements for who and how they represent.

    Bob could screw Hopkinton families with every single vote and every comment he makes (some would argue he does) and legally he has every right to do it.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 14, 2008 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  209. Thank you TorC.

    I skimmed through both documents, and I’ve concluded that the approach regarding performing his duties to the benefit of the children is how they are written. I do not see anywhere that he has to vote based on his constituency. If anyone can see where I have erred, please let me know.

    I understand that the Chariho Act issues have yet to be solved, but I would guess that the 86 version is probably pretty close regarding a SC member’s duties. The RI General Laws are more specific to their duties and does not appear to be in contradiction to the Act.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 14, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  210. I think this addresses Bob’s motives. How about the others?

    I would welcome their comments regarding this.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 14, 2008 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

  211. If all tri town voters and their representatives are smart, don’t approve the Amendments, the towns have to much at risk to have Moe, Larry and or Curley, to accept these terms unless they/we are comfortable. Lets get some information from 1986 forward. And how do we know we know they 86 are right?

    Comment by Comfortable — May 14, 2008 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  212. Lois,
    The SC position should be about what is best for the kids. unfortunately, if that were really the case, the Charlestown reps would be the first to fight for tax eq just to get a bond passed.

    Thats why, while I sincerely feel the pain of our property taxes (mine has almost tripled in 6 yrs) my opposition to the bond is because its throwing good money after bad. We pay $12k per student and we have holes in the bathroom walls and roofs. Its a poorly run company and you don’t throw more money at it until the problems are fixed – which is running a school based on performance and output accountability – not based on seniority and inputs. Passing a bond will postpone the solution. Fix that and you have what is best for the kids.

    ToQ,
    I agree with the ‘representative’ government. You elect me based on my professed values. I represent you. If I stray from my values you should vote me out.

    Thats the way its supposed to work. but the finger-in-the-air method is more common.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 14, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  213. Lois thank you for your input here and understanding. T or C thank you too. You may not agree with me but if I read your post right you see where I stand.

    I agree with Bill in his last post. WE need to make them more accountably, we need to figure out a way to get better test scores, higher averages across the board and try to come up with a way to reward those that truly do care about the students and how well they achieve. WE have a lot of teachers that do care, but I do admit we have some that are there for the benefits. Bill has some great ideas and hopefully some of these ideas come to life as we continue to work towards transparency and accountability. I know some want this yesterday, but it does take time. Some things are being researched to get a better understanding how it works and if it is working for the best interest of the students. Holly has asked to set up a sub committee to look at contracts and how bids are being handled. I think this will be a learning experience for all involved and hopefully brings some information to the public to help them understand. I would like to be part of this sub committee because I know there is a lot that I still don’t understand. Some do not like sub committees but you have to understand, there is no way we can do all of this work in the school committee meetings. We as sub committees try to get as much information together as possible and than bring it to the whole committee to discuss it. As seen the other night with the Rules of Conduct policy, we are not perfect. When we bring it back to the whole committee we get everyone’s ideas and make the changes. If we sat as a full school committee on every policy or issue that needed to be looked at we would be there every night all night. There is a lot of time and effort that goes in to some of these sub committees.

    Going back to Bill’s point, I agree on the accountability, and performance base. I do not agree on the issue with the bond. I think the high school needs to be repaired. I do not agree that if a bond were to pass that we would stay in status quo. I think we as a committee would need to make sure that it doesn’t. We need to improve our schools and we need to improve our grades it is “our” responsibility to fight to make this happen and not leave it status quo. It is a slow process and a battle all the time but I do think this committee is going in that direction. Bumps in the road? Yes. But heading in the right direction? Yes.

    Just because I don’t agree with Bill on some issues, doesn’t mean I do not agree with other issues he brings to light. It is a case by case basis.

    Comment by bpetit — May 15, 2008 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  214. Yes you read me right. You have no responsibility to take a poll on issues. You should vote however you decide is right for you. You are also correct that we often disagree.

    I get aggravated because you fight harder for the status quo such as passing a bond without requiring changes first, then you fight for change such as eliminating unnecessary positions and rejecting unreasonable contracts. In watching you at meetings and reading you here I believe you lack the ability to fully understand the arguments. So while I prefer politicians whom lead, I like to feel confidence that they have the capacity to grasp the issues. We don’t want to be led further down into the pit. I rarely doubt Bill’s understanding of issues, I frequently doubt whether you have a clue. Sorry, but that’s how it strikes me.

    I do see how sub committees may be necessary but with the school boards history of hiding info it does make me wonder if the point is to shorten meetings or to keep discussions from public view?

    Teachers are like everyone else. Good and bad. The problem for me is they claim to be professionals but function within a union. I find unions and professionalism to be incompatible. Professional are compensated based on performance not seniority. Merit pay is the way to go but unions will never allow it to happen with any significance. Merit pay would reward the good teachers and it would certainly make most of the teachers improve their performance. We might even find a few bad teachers end up rising to the challenge.

    Parent choice is the ultimate merit system as parents are sure to choose the schools with the best teachers and the best results.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 15, 2008 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  215. T or C there

    is no reason to be sorry for the way you feel. I respect your honesty, as I hope you and others respect mine when I stand for what I believe in. I don’t agree that I do not have a clue on issues just because I don’t jump to your side of the track. I can fully understand the point Bill and others have made about the status quo, I think it the same way. You see, to me the status quo is; there is a bond lets vote it down until we get x,y,z. After the bond is defeated x,y,z is forgotten about until there is another bond. I feel this is why it takes so long to get a bond through. We stand to lose a lot of money if we don’t do this work now. That is my stand and I respect you for yours. I knew going in to this I wouldn’t please all people all the time. Again, thanks for your honesty.

    Sub committee meetings are posted and are open to the public. I fully understand that it is hard for some to make any meetings and this is why you and/or others watch it on cable. But honestly, we do try to find out what we think would be pertinent information and bring it back to the committee and the public. WE have nothing to gain by keeping it from you. We live in this district too.

    Merit pay…..I am all for it. And I am with you we would be hard pressed to get this in any contract as good as it would be.

    I am not against parent choice, not sure right now it would be the way to go. At least until we fix some of the other problems in this district. I think it would be just adding to the mess we all ready have. I know Bill has talked about it and I have read some articles on it but I just don’t know well it would work in this area. Most schools in this area are in the same boat with over crowding or just enough room. Most of the schools in this area are about at the same level with testing scores, grades and proficiency. With one exception of N. Kingstown I believe (and someone can correct me if I am wrong) did well. Most of the charter schools have long lists of names of children waiting to get in. And even with that they would take a sibling over a new applicant and that is their right. No one can tell them any different.

    I think the state should step in and do a blanket coverage of negotiations for contracts, retirement benefits, pensions, life ins, medical, dental, ect. I believe that you fight fire with fire. Have a professional negotiator go against a professional. I also think you can get better rates with larger numbers and lastly I believe this state is small enough that you can have all teachers at the same level, be on the same pay level. This keeps teachers in this state from being able to bounce from school to school because of the pay and or benefits. This is what Chariho ran in to years ago; every time that would get a good teacher this teacher would leave for greener pastures. This is why the contracts got to the point of being absurd. Now we are trying to reel it in and it is a difficult task at best.

    Comment by bpetit — May 15, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  216. It is tempting to turn contract negotiations over to state professionals, but then I look at the condition of the state and all the crazy contracts they’ve agreed to over the years and I get smarter.

    I like local control of schools because I can have a conversation with Bob Petit or Bill Felkner and make my opinions known. Ever try to have a conversation with Sen. Breene or Rep. Kennedy? They might give you the time of day as a school board member but they’ll give the average citizen two minutes and forget the conversation within 5 minutes. I’ve tried before. I can’t say I even blame them. They have lots to do.

    I know we don’t have professional negotiators but we do have plenty of people who understand we can’t give any more. I think we need to take back. If negotiations are kept local we can control our future. If they go to the state the state controls our future and as frustrated as our local politicians make me at least we can argue. The little guy doesn’t stand a chance once our fate is in the hands of the state.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 15, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  217. good point about the state taking over.

    Comment by bpetit — May 15, 2008 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  218. Hi!
    CR Answers To Your Questions:
    A. Ref: Bond Revote:
    1. Needs to be passed by the RI State Senate and signed or allowed to come into law. At present as far as I know Kevin Breene and Dennis Algiere the State Senators don’t support the legislation unless all town councils are on board.
    2. The target date is June 30TH; to pass the legislation to take advantage of current levels unless the legislature and Governor determine otherwise.
    3. All towns pay for elections. As I understand it the votes will be on the election day we all vote for President and other candidates and referendnums.
    B.Ref: Meeting Saturday.
    Apparently a meeting is slated for Saturday with Town Council members for all three towns. To avoid open meetings violations only two members from each town can attend. For multiple reasons I made on this blog under another listing, I don’t think Beverly Kenney should be one of the two from Hopkinton, one of which she is the odd person out on the Hopkinton Town Council position regarding the bond issues.
    Six or more school committee members attending would be a open meetings violation apparently, as six is a simple majority of school committee members.The only exemption to the law I know of is a political party town committee where a majority of elected officials from the same body such as town council or school committee can attend without being an open meetings violation.
    C. Feel free to attend the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee meeting Sunday night if you will consider running for office this Fall. I will run the meeting in the absence of Ken Mott, our HRTC chair. My phone is 401-377-4643,. Meeting 7 PM at the Hopkinton Police Station. Those eligible for running as Republicans are Unaffilated Voters and Republicans.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 15, 2008 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  219. Hi!
    Even if you choose not to run feel free to come to our Hopkinton Republican Town Committee meeting. We always discuss the schools among other things.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 15, 2008 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  220. Well now we know why the sudden meeting on Saturday. With no Senators willing to sponsor the revote without Hopkinton TCs approval the revote crowd is making a last ditch effort to sway Hopkinton TC. I hope Kenney does go because she’s already in the school’s pocket. Has anyone indicated what the meeting will be about? Another let’s beat up on Hopkinton event?

    I see the point about the state taking over the negotiations but can they do worse than the SC? Could the state possibly give away more?

    Just because Petit can’t be arrested for favoring Chariho policies that hurt Hopkinton families doesn’t mean he should be given a pass by us. The guy gets himself all worked up over a bond revote when the passage of the bond spells doom for Hopkinton kids and their parents. Who can afford more tax increases? Not me. Richmond and Charlestown refuse to control spending and contracts. Until they show they can control their urges to spend Hopkinton families into bankruptcy we can’t ties ourselves up.

    Comment by Real Question — May 15, 2008 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  221. Where is everyone getting the info on the Saturday meeting? I’ve check the local newspapers on line and haven’t found anything about it? Is it open to the public?

    Comment by Real Question — May 15, 2008 @ 11:13 pm | Reply

  222. Hi!
    To answer 221 it is my understanding it is not an “official meeting”. To avoid “open meeting” violations no more than a simply majority of any body can attend. That would be two members per town council and not more than five school committee members. I don’t know if school committee members were invited.
    PERSONALLY THE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP (TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS), SHOULD MEET PRIVATELY ON THIS ONE AND NOT AT THE SCHOOL.I GENERALLY BELIEVE IN PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF ISSUES, BUT COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES NEED TO TALK TO OTHER FRANKLY AND PRIVATELY, WITHOUT THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE,THE PUBLIC, AND SCHOOL BUREAUCRACY LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDER. OTHERS COULD BE BROUGHT IN LATER INCLUDING OTHER TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS NOT ATTENDING. I UNDERSTAND CAROL BLANCHETTE IS ATTENDING.SHE IS THE ASS’T SUPT. I ASSUME SOME SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS WILL ATTEND AND SOME PUBLIC MEMBERS WILL ALSO.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 16, 2008 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  223. Hi!
    I should probably have noted unofficial meetings do not need to be advertised and posted throughout the towns in reference to #221 and add to my #222,.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 16, 2008 @ 11:10 am | Reply

  224. I wasn’t implying the meeting needed to be posted but since it was being talked about and someone mentioned ProJo I wondered if it was public knowledge.

    I agree that the towns should have discussions without school officials present. One big reason we need tax equity is because Charlestown consistently votes for excessive spending because under the taxing scheme their families can afford to pay more and our families can’t. It would be nice to have town leadership agree at a minimum to no longer support budget increases. We’re spending so much per kid we could easily and fairly see budget reductions. Especially considering Chariho enrollment has decline significantly over the last decade.

    Maybe if Charlestown empathized a little with the financial impact Chariho has on Hopkinton families we’d all get along better? I don’t think a conversation about controlling spending at Chariho is likely to occur with Chariho officials there to change the topic. I’ve seen Ricci at SC meetings and at the tri town meeting change the direction of conversation when he doesn’t like where the discussion is going. He truly is an expert manipulator. I’ve seen it time after time.

    Whatever is talked about on Saturday I’ll be extremely disheartened should Hopkinton TC members agree to a revote without a legal guarantee of tax equity. Except for Kenney they’ve shown their loyalty to Hopkinton families. I’ll be shocked if they abandon us now.

    Comment by Real Question — May 16, 2008 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  225. SBH – WHY THE CAPITALS??? THINK WE CANT SEE??

    Comment by oh boy — May 16, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  226. ProJo reports today on the meeting. You can read about it here:

    http://www.projo.com/education/content/projo_20080516_chariho_meeting.1078ae200.html

    Charlestown’s Town Council authorized their solicitor to research “breach of contract” claiming Hopkinton fails to fund Chariho adequately (trying not to laugh here).

    Ms. Armental notes that all three towns agree repairs are needed. She doesn’t say how she determined that there is agreement. Did she survey the voters. Nor does she report that the bond goes far beyond repairs and includes things like the running track, landscaping, and a maintenance building.

    The article is actually an editorial as Ms. Armental claims that tax equity would shift “most of the financial burden to Charlestown”. I’m not sure this is accurate, but it is biased to report on tax equity without telling readers that equity would results in all property owners, regardless of town, being taxed the same amount for education. Tax equity means all property owners will be taxed the same within the district.

    Saturday’s meeting is being held to put the screws to Hopkinton one last time. This is Richmond and Charlestown’s last gasp at subverting the bond vote and getting a revote. I believe Mr. Cordone is vulnerable and Mrs. Kenney is always ready to give money to Chariho. The key for Richmond and Charlestown seems to be picking off one of the other three (assuming Mr. Cordone does bend to the political pressure).

    Hopkinton’s leadership must not capitulate to a bond revote unless Charlestown and Richmond legally commit themselves to tax equity. The “breach of contract” is just one more game. We pay among the highest per pupil costs in the country. We should be paying much less. If what we pay is not enough to deliver a first class education in first class facilities, then Charlestown should be suing the School Committee and Mr. Ricci for mismanagement. The recent surpluses alone demonstrate that Hopkinton has been overpaying, not underpaying.

    Whoever attends the meeting from Hopkinton should be focused on the interest of Hopkinton families. The meeting should be limited to two Town Councilors from each town. Nobody else. If Chariho sends representatives and/or if their are private citizens present, then Hopkinton Town Councilors should instantly recognize that they are being artificially pressured by a numbers game. Personally I would leave if I showed up and was overwhelmed by the forces of Chariho special interests.

    Good luck to whomever is going. Don’t be intimidated by bullying. Do Hopkinton proud and stay strong. Don’t tread on me.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 16, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  227. Tell Charlestown and Richmond to bring it on! The minute a lawsuit about paying enough for Chariho hits our solicitors desk, an immediate countersuit seeking an equitable taxing formula should be filed. I could see a judge feeling badly for the kids (despite the mismanagement) and ordering increased spending while also ordering tax equity. Charlestown could very well be digging their own grave if they try to lawyer up against Hopkinton. I hope they do it. Get this over with once and for all!

    Comment by Real Question — May 16, 2008 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  228. Hi!
    Oh Boy capitals only for emphasis. The issues are serious and cannot be taken lightly. BTW I took the time to dine at Vo-Tech today.
    I hope that all participants are quite serious. The numbers tell the tale (partial listing),:
    1. Last bond Charlestown and Richmond for, Hopkinton against.
    2. Hopkinton nearly two to one against operational budget for next fiscal year.
    3. Charlestown has an assessable base more than Richmond and Hopkinton COMBINED.
    4. Charlestown has among the lowest tax rates in the WHOLE STATE.
    5.Richmond no matter what they say is approaching three times less the assessable base of Charlestown. They spend around 82% on education versus Charlestown’s around 60% ,. We are in the 70% range. When facts are known will Richmond really go with Charlestown?
    6.Richmond has a higher median income than the other two towns which can make them more able to pay property taxes. While Charlestown being a coastal community has a number of property owners that can’t vote probably/possibly more than the other two towns combined?
    A real concern is this: Will there be a move soon to take waway the veto power to get a bond passed?
    Excellent question for tomorrow for attendees: If you don’t support or think it can be enacted an equalized tax rate, how do you propose to handle the fiscal disparities in the district?
    Just some thoughts.
    BTW Did you see where Charlestown may sue Hopkinton. Check out http://www.charihotimes.com , on that and other local news.John Craig is in front page of yesterday’s The Providence Journal http://www.projo.com on a non Chariho related item as well as a Chariho item. Check out also http://www.thewesterlysun.com ,for local news including the school district.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 16, 2008 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

  229. And while Chariho’s School Committee tries to make it harder for the public to question Chariho, Westerly citizens will have a chance to approve charter revisions requiring greater transparency in their school system. Notice the comments section…apparently Chariho politicians aren’t the only ones afraid of sharing info with the public.

    http://thewesterlysun.com/articles/2008/05/14/news/local/doc482aecc6c4367931501808.txt#blogcomments

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 16, 2008 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  230. CR,
    Why is Cordone vulnerable? He was the ONLY councilor that went to the state house 2 weeks ago to speak out against the resubmission of the bond and he made it clear at the council meeting that he was against the revote. Where were the rest of the big mouths that were against the bond? If he was going to buckle, wouldnt it have made sense to buckle a long time ago?

    Comment by justbecause — May 17, 2008 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  231. I didn’t say Mr. Cordone would buckle. I said he was the most vulnerable. Purely my opinion because he was the last one of the four to come to his senses. Plus, his recent job loss may have given him appreciation for the financial problems of average Hopkinton families. I certainly hope he continues to oppose a revote. He deserves our praise if he does.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 17, 2008 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

  232. When is enough, enough! Know we are going to spend all this money with lawsuits. Lets give more monies to the lawyers. Let the voters decide what they want to do with the three bonds. Let us decide if we want to take the state money and fix this problems. The amount of time and monies wasted over this is just out of control.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 18, 2008 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  233. hey richmond,
    why dont you worry about finding the 400k shortfall that your finance wiz and banker created w/your towns budget. and you want to spend more???
    MORONS!!!!! you people deserve what you get

    Comment by lolipop — May 18, 2008 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  234. RP wants to waste money but he is very selective where Richmond should waste its money. Enough is enough when Richmond and Charlestown decide spending money taken from families requires something of equal or greater value in retrurn. Employing half of Richmond isn’t enough anymore!

    Comment by Real Question — May 18, 2008 @ 10:03 am | Reply

  235. i love pineapples

    Comment by stone cold — May 18, 2008 @ 10:45 am | Reply

  236. You keep saying that Chariho Employees are all Richmond Tax payers. Is this a fact or is something you are just saying. I know many of Hopkinton and Charlestown people that work for Chariho.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 18, 2008 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  237. I don’t want to spend more..I want to save more. I want my money back from the state so I can improve our schools. I am tired of all the schools upstate getting the state monies. We don’t want these improvement in the annual budget. That would cost Richmond Tax payers much more money since we pay the highest amount. Get them out of the budget and let Charlestown pay the cost equally.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 18, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  238. with Chariho’s history of irresponsible budgets, a bond relieves the pressure to control contracts and to properly budget for maintenance. Bonds are a bad idea except for spending on capital projects with a lifespan exceeding 20 years…and even then they are only worthwhile if the spending is needed and the management is solid. Throw in the wide disparity in tax burden on families from each town and the Chariho bond is a disaster.

    The argument that we save money because we get a discount is silly. Buying something we don’t need, or something that should be paid for with our regular budget, is wasteful especially if we take a loan to buy it…even if we get it on sale.

    This is how we got into the mess with police deparments and the SRO. The Federal government offered to pay for police for a few years but once the money went away we are still stuck paying for police officers we don’t need and can do without. Nothing is free…we pay for it one way or the other. If other towns or cities are too dumb to understand this concept it doesn’t mean we should join them.

    By the way, Senator Algiere who represents Westerly and parts of Charlestown has supposedly said he would sponsor the Chariho bond legislation. This is one more negative step toward a revote. On a happier note, the senator does not believe the legislative body will approve the bill without the support of all three Town Councils.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 18, 2008 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  239. CR – how can you say that the high school expansion is not something we need. The school was not designed for this many children. You know that it is to small. You can not expand buildings with the regular budgets so why would you ever pay for something at full price when you can get it on sale. Not only are you going to pay for it at full price when you place it in the buget, Hopkinton and Richmond get to pay for it at a much higher cost. How does that make any sense. Properly budgeting for routine maintenance is one thing but expanding a building is not. Lets be smart about this. Good for Senator Algiere, he realizes how this is the smart thing to do for our communities and a few people do not represent all.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 18, 2008 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  240. Senator Algiere represents Charlestown and is demonstrating he could care less about Hopkinton families.

    For years all three towns have indicated a desire to have 5th and 6th graders taught in the Elementary Schools through a series of surveys and actual votes. The expressed preferences of all three towns have been ignored. Ironically, if Chariho had listened to us any problems with overcrowding would have been long ago alleviated.

    Richmond and Charlestown can whine til the cows come home. These towns have callously disregarded the financial impact of irresponsible budgets on Hopkinton families. If voters in these more affluent and lower taxed communities had shown restraint with budgets, Hopkinton families might now be better situated to absorb increased taxes. You reap what you sow as they say.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 18, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  241. Hopkinton would be in a better situation if they had expanded their tax base. They have had many opportunities to do this. No one is out to stick it to the Hopkinton people, lets remember that Richmond families pay more than Hopkinton. Let us remember that the bond to expand the elementary schools was turned down. At this point, it will cost much more to rebuild and expand all four elementary schools. This bond may not be the best situation, but it does solve some of the problem. If we get this problme solved, it will free up other monies to make other necessary repairs in the elementary schools. For years, Pinni was the bad guy, now its Ricci. Come on people, give me a break. Stop pointing the finger at everyone and accusing them of stealing or hiding our monies. These are our kids, our communities, lets take responsibility for them.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 18, 2008 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  242. Perhaps when we were lucky enough to rid ourselves of Mr. Pini we should have been smart enough to fire his underlings as well?

    As Mrs. Capalbo has stated over and over, neither Richmond nor Hopkinton will ever have the tax base to keep up with Charlestown. As an ocean front community they will always pay much less in taxes. As long as they pay so little they will be willing to accept increased spending and taxes. Hopkinton simply can’t keep up with a Charlestown electorate who vote based solely on their tax burden without consideration for the impact on our tax bills. Charlestown can afford to give their children all kind of programs, buildings, employee salaries, benefits and whatever else they want. When Richmond is too foolish to say no, Hopkinton is stuck with budgets our families can’t afford.

    My suggestion would be for Chariho to start proposing annual budgets which reflect the significant student enrollment decreases of the last decade. After a few years of proving they can control themselves and consider the financial burdens put on families from all three towns, then maybe Hopkinton will be more receptive to bonds? Better yet, give us tax equity. Best option of all would be parental choice.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 18, 2008 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  243. The budget will never be decreased because we have all these repairs that must be done. They don’t go away because you get a “no” vote on the bonds. So you want the school committee to make all the necessary repairs out of the annual budget and you also want them to propose a decrease in their spending. So what happens, the school does not have the funds to make repairs, they get cut out of the budget and then we accuse them of not taking care of what they have. Remember, when improvement get placed into the budget, Richmond and Hopkinton get stuck paying a higher percentage of the annual budget.

    Hopkinton may never reach the same base as Charlestown but the TC should work on reducing the burden off its families by encouraging business to come to the area.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 19, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Reply

  244. Richmond,
    Have you been under a rock or do you just like to distort the facts? Have you seen there are 4 buildings going up at exit 1 and maybe a movie studio at exit 2? The TC has worked to increase the tax base BUT no matter how much they develop, they cant keep up with the rediculous spending increases at Chariho that make up 80% of the tax bill. By the way, if you call that mess at Exit 3 a tax base, then you are as stupid as the finance wiz and banker on your TC that claim they have “the best budget in the state”……not counting the 400k shortfall.

    Comment by are u blind? — May 19, 2008 @ 8:06 am | Reply

  245. Chariho has been taken a couple million in excess money from us the last few years. Instead of putting it in their pockets they can spend the excess on repairs. If you exclude the unnecessary bond expenses like the track and landscaping then the millions should be enough to get everything done within a few years. During that time employee contracts will expire and Chariho can negotiate concessions which put Chariho employees more in line with the salaries and benefits of those in the real world. This should cut spending. Put it all together and spending should be flat for the next few years with significant decreases as contracts expire and are renegotiated. Once Chariho has followed this model we can then consider them on the right path and if still needed we can vote on a bond again.

    Comment by Real Question — May 19, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Reply

  246. Yes I am aware of the buildings and the possibility of the movie studio. I hope they will continue to move in this direction and not just stop there. Lets hope it all works out for them and it does help the burden of the families. Hopefully, Richmond will also move in that directions. I am not 5, the name calling really is not necessary. I am assuming you are an adult.

    THE FACT…the annual spending will only increase if they do not get this bond. They have to make these repairs and they have to pay for it so they will have to place the repairs in the budget. THE FACT…You and I will continuet to pay the highest %.

    Comment by richmondparent — May 19, 2008 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  247. They have to landscape? They have to fix the track with tax money? They have to build a maintenance building? I’m sure there are other equally foolish spending in the bond proposal.

    THE FACT…the annual budget has millions in excess. Without any bond we have millions which can be dedicated to maintenance. With respoonsible employee contracts we should be able to decrease budgets in a few years. THE FACT…Richmond and Hopkinton will always pay the highest % as long as there is no tax equity for the district. Nothing we do with our tax base will change this FACT.

    Comment by Real Question — May 19, 2008 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  248. You can not build building with the surplus. Its not enough!

    Comment by richmondparent — May 19, 2008 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  249. If you’re talking about expansion then we are back to the fifth and sixth grade issue. We shouldn’t spend millions building at the middle or high schools when the 500 – 600 kids should be moved into elementary. Most of all we shouldn’t spend millions on anything until we either have tax equity or a proven resolve that Charlestown and Richmond are going to join Hopkinton in demanding responsible spending, contracts, and employee to student ratios.

    Comment by Real Question — May 19, 2008 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  250. oh no elizabeth…..this is the big one…..im coming to join ya

    Comment by fred sanford — May 19, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  251. Hi!
    I understand it was incorrect about Carol Blanchette was going to attend the meeting Saturday. I want to make that correction, see #222.
    The issue about Chariho has numerous people to blame. However without debating tax equalization or withdrawal of town or towns from the district let’s assume the status quo will remain. The assessable bases of rIchmond and Hopkinton will never come near that of Charlestown certainly not in the forseeable future. Charlestown will also appear to be one of the lowest tax towns in Rhode Island and have the lowest student enrollment of the district.
    THE REAL QUESTION is what are WE going to do with the facts as THEY ARE? I suspect we will essentially go along the road with the same problems. Of course this may change, but is it likely? The SOS group the anti withdrawal group in Charlestown fought hard to keep Charlestown in the district but never articulated how to address the fiscal disparities between the three towns.
    On another topic There is a Wood River Anthology a play by Yvette Nachimas-Baeu which is based on an Oral History of Hope Valley, part of the Depot Square Project and Langworthy Library. This will be performed at the Chariho Middle School Auditorium at 7 PM on Tuesday, June 3RD, by Chariho students. Tickets are free and available at the door.
    Students will be portraying a number of local area residents most still alive including but limited to Georgia Ure, Hope Andrews,Fred Kenney,Paula Dove Jennings, John Wilcox and others.This is based on oral histories of 12 people who lived in Hope Valley in the early 1900’s through the late 1940’s. I got my information for this information from a poster and a program on it.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 19, 2008 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  252. Does anyone have a report from Saturday’s meeting? The Journal wrote about it last week but I haven’t seen anything since?

    Comment by Real Question — May 19, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  253. The School Committee could choose to apply the entire amount they’ve collected (aka surplus) from district families toward repairs at Chariho. The repairs would qualify for 60% reimbursement at least through June 30th. Considering the administration has a habit of trying to scare the community into supporting spending, the reimbursement could very well be available after June 30th. The fact that the School Committee and administration decided to leave extra money unspent is proof that the urgency they claim exists isn’t so urgent at all.

    Talk of Hopkinton ever approaching Charlestown’s tax base is pointless. As long as families within the Chariho district are taxed by town then there will always be wide disparities between the financial burden on Hopkinton families versus the burden on Charlestown families. Charlestown demands spending at Chariho which cannot be sustained by Hopkinton’s tax base. Charlestown voters should either stop making demands or accept the fact that Hopkinton has no other choice but to reject bonds. When Hopkinton families are paying $3,000 for every $1,300 spent by Charlestown families something has to give.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 19, 2008 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  254. Hi!
    Thurman Silks has a great letter on the tax differences in the The Sun tonight. Hopefully and I assume will be published in The Chariho Times and The Providence Journal’s South County editionhttp://www.projo.com ,. Mr. Silks letter which I don’t believe can be accessed by Internet but is on the same page as a newspaper editorial on Chariho which can be at http://www.thewesterlysun.com ,.
    Will the detractors of Hopkinton be up to the challenge of a discussion on the issues? Will Mr. Reddish and Mr. Day of Richmond come up with the scenario or have an answer how Richmond will be effectvely deal with a Richmond-Charlestown School District take place?
    Can a lawsuit by Charlestown against Hopkinton succeed when Charlestown refused to accept a compromise years ago that would have had the towns give up veto power for an equalized tax rate on just capital but not operational costs.That was strenously rejected in Charlestown but not the other two towns.
    Posting this at the library the power went off so I redid. Power was off in part of Ashaway but I don’t know how far.
    Thought of the day there are 25 Town Council members in the Chariho region between school committee members and town council members.One Richmond Town Council member has resigned.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 21, 2008 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  255. Hi!
    Richmond spenda more on education in town taxes that either Charlestown or Hopkinton. 82% as I understand it. Only 18% to run general government. Richmond has been the town that spends more on education than any town in the state out of 39 communities. However since our local municipalities in Chariho have fire districts instead of municipal fire depts.,.I am not sure on that but I don’t know if fire districts are included in town statistics for that purpose.
    I assume Richmond generally support school spending because they have a higher household income median wise than the other two towns. Charlestown is blessed with the fourth lowest tax rate in Rhode Island. Hopkinton has neither advantage.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 21, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  256. Hi!
    Clarification: Richmond spends the highest percentage of its local taxes on education concerning its local tax rate. These stats may be skewed as I don’t know how they handle fire protection stats in these stats because some municipalities have fire districts others have municipal fire depts and other serices such as munipal versus private libraries.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 22, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  257. and thats the bottom line cuz scott bill hirst said so….

    Comment by hmm — May 22, 2008 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  258. Those nasty, annoying people from Hopkinton keep foiling all your plans, huh, Joe?

    Comment by Real Question — May 22, 2008 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  259. I don’t know if we work at being nasty and annoying or if it’s in the water? Or maybe anyone who moves to Hopkinton has to sign a document that demands rapt attention and action based on “Never to be Silent and Always on our Guard”?

    Oh, by the way – our average house prices are 5% higher than last year and we are selling our houses 20 days sooner than last year. Via Multiple Listing agents stats for the state. Exeter, Coventry and South Kingstown are up with us. Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond and North Kingstown are down – a lot.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 23, 2008 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  260. Hello to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this blog; this webpage includes amazing and truly good material in favor of visitors.

    Comment by Personal Loans — January 21, 2013 @ 5:46 pm | Reply


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