Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 13, 2008

HTC presentation online

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 10:33 pm

A video of the Hopkinton Town Council meeting and the presentation is online (about half way through recording).



  1. The Rag reports today that the masonry project at Hope Valley School has soared from an estimated cost of $100,000 to the latest estimate of $700,000. For some reason the article did not provide any details of why the cost has increased by such a large amount.

    Predictably The Rag then uses the unfortunate circumstances at Hope Valley School to excuse the huge surpluses Chariho extracts from local families every year. They also use the article to allow School Committee members to criticize Hopkinton’s Town Council. Did The Rag publish details on Mrs. Thompson recent presentation? Or, as I suspect, does The Rag limit its in depth reporting to issues which might put Chariho in a more positive light?

    Richmond School Committee member Ms. Jennings claims the masonry project justifies the astronomical surplus at Chariho. She wants us to believe that this kind of “emergency” is a common occuance. This flies in the face of a past School Committee meeting where none of the members could recall any “emergencies” costing hundreds of thousands of dollars…never mind the millions Chariho keeps in surplus. Ms. Jennings also disregards the fact that the towns carry surpluses and Chariho could petition the towns for emergency funds as needed. Since no one recalls anything like this happening over the last 50 years, I don’t think having the School Committee request additional money from the community is too big of a burden.

    Mr. Cicchetti uses the Hope Valley School problem to plead for passage of the bond. He too ignores the fact that an “emergency” of this scale has probably never arisen before. Mr. Cicchetti also disregards the reality that this “emergency” can be directly linked to Chariho’s failure to properly maintain infrastructure, especially the Elementary Schools. Rather than calling for passage of the re-voted bond, the community would be better served by Chariho changing its ways and properly budgeting for facilities maintenance. Of course, this should mean less money for contracts and a reduction in the absurd employee to student ratio.

    Ms. Serra tops them all as she admits the money being spent really “pains” her because the money is being spent on Hopkinton infrastructure. I’ll give her an ‘A’ for honesty, but an ‘F’ for integrity. She should have voted against spending at Hope Valley School if she has a problem with the project. I think it is instructive to us all to hear a Charlestown School Committee member express pain because money is being spent on a Hopkinton school. Is this nonsense what we want for another 20 years?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 16, 2008 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  2. I recently heard the argument that we should pass a bond because the money wasted with the bond is cheaper than letting Charlestown leave.

    Fortunately I was able to convince the person expounding this view that they were misguided. A little history helps. Charlestown has tried before to intimidate Hopkinton to pass a bond with threats of withdrawing. Have they left? No. Of course they haven’t left. I’m highly doubtful they will ever walk away from the current tax scheme. Sure, there are Charlestownians who want to improve the schools and can afford to double their taxes, but I don’t think they are anywhere near the majority.

    Charlestown has more reason to want to stay with us then we have to want to stay with them. If they leave their taxes will certainly double. If they leave it is arguable if our taxes will go up…I believe we can see tax decreases if we make good choices.

    Keep in mind the school infrastructure is already in place. If Charlestown actually made good on its repetitive threat, we’d still have the infrastructure.

    What about the budget? With Charlestown gone Hopkinton control would go from 1/3 to 1/2. When Hopkinton rose up a few years ago to reduce the budget by $2,000,000, Chariho was able to overcome the will of Hopkinton by calling upon Charlestown voters. With Charlestown gone, tolerance for foolish spending, outrageous contracts, and hidden costs will be halved. Perhaps Richmond will even come around as the economy sinks deeper?

    The upside for Hopkinton is much greater if we reject the re-voted bonds. I predict Charlestown is all bluster and won’t leave (historically proven). If they leave, Hopkinton is greatly empowered to correct all the mistakes currently being tolerated and sometimes encouraged.

    Voting for any re-voted bond element in fear of Charlestown withdrawal is foolhardy in my opinion. By comparison to Charlestown, Hopkinton families are much more likely to demand accountability, transparency, and positive educational results. I can’t wait for Charlestown to leave…if only they mean it this time…

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 19, 2008 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

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