Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 26, 2008

Letters in the Sun

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 10:21 am

Here are some of the letters seen in the Westerly Sun.  If someone has other they can cut and paste in an email to me I will be happy to post them.

 

Bury the Chariho bond for good


RIP is a familiar gravestone inscription frequently displayed on Halloween decorations.
May this election season also be the time that we finally bury the Chariho building projects.
During the past year, the referendum vampire has periodically risen from the grave threatening the life’s blood of our town. Although its appearance has changed with time, its victims remain the same — hard-working tax­payers intent on making ends meet, buying what they need, and not spend­ing beyond their means.
I was taught, if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. In this economy, most of us are struggling to pay to keep a roof over our head, fuel in our fur­nace, food on our table, and medical care for our family.
If we think twice before filling up the gas tank in our cars, we need not think long or hard to know we cannot afford our current taxes. How can we bear the additional burden created by the approval of one or more of a $12 million, $3 million and nearly $2 million projects?
Rhode Island is nearly bankrupt, the U.S. government is bailing out Wall Street, and those of us on Main Street will be paying for state and federal financial mistakes for years to come.
Vampires have a long and colorful history. We don’t need garlic or stakes driven through the heart to prevent us from bleeding to death in taxpayer debt.
Just Vote “No” on the Chariho High School, R.Y.S.E. School, and Chariho Middle School projects.
On Nov. 4, may they, at last, Rest In Peace!
Georgia Ure Hopkinton

How are we supposed to afford a Chariho bond?


Voters who vote “No” on the Chariho bond are not always refusing students a “better school.”
It is important to take a “no” vote for what it is this year: survival. One let­ter to The Sun recently noted that less than three tanks full of gas would pay for a year’s additional taxes.
Consider the following: • Rhode Island is number one in unemployment, and the jobless rate may well increase to 11 percent!
• Foreclosures have increased 71 percent from last year.
• Homeless shelters are turning away clients already.
• Food distribution centers and soup
kitchens are running low on food to give to the needy, and those who are newly impoverished.
• Hospitals and health care centers are finding fewer paying patients who can afford needed and necessary health care and medicine.
Parents and taxpayers have a duty to attempt to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, clothing on the backs of all, and heat for their homes. This week’s paycheck may be the last for a long time for many faced with layoffs and outright job loss as multi­ple companies scale down, close down or become merged.
Schools in other communities are
being closed, bus service curtailed, and teachers are being terminated due to a lack of money.
Why are we, in the face of escalating economic distress looking to spend even more?
Even a partial tank of gas may mean the difference between food on the table tonight, a bit of oil to heat the house, or enough gas in the car to get to work if you have a job.
Don’t judge those who find it neces­sary to vote “No” for the Chariho bond. This is not the time to consider any bond!
Dorothy Gardiner Hope Valley

Chariho needs to decide future before passing bond


Election day is fast approaching. This letter has some thoughts about the three proposed Chariho District bonds that will be on the ballot in the Chariho towns. If approved, they would pay for work at the Richmond campus of the Chariho District to pro­vide additional space in the high and middle schools and to replace tempo­rary RYSE classrooms with perma­nent structures.
A single bond covering essentially this work was proposed in November 2007. Charlestown and Richmond approved the bond, but it was rejected in Hopkinton, which led to a torrent of criticism of Hopkinton and a demand for a revote.
What appears on the Nov. 4, 2008 ballot are the same projects as in 2007, but with each project now fund­ed by its own bond.
In the uproar following Hopkinton’s rejection of the 2007 bond, the Hopkinton Council cited the fact that the education tax rate in Hopkinton and Richmond has for years been well over twice the rate in Charlestown and expressed the view that the rate needs to be equalized throughout the district.
That apparently spooked the Charlestown Council, who reacted in
December 2007 by creating an Ad Hoc Committee to assess whether Charlestown should stay in Chariho, and if not, to recommend the best withdrawal scenario.
The Ad Hoc Committee quickly went to work, and in August met with their council to discuss their first report. It was a 74-page document that exam­ined a dozen options ranging from “do nothing” to “complete withdrawal.” It was a thorough examination.
From their findings: “As a result of our analyses, we recommend to the Town Council that Charlestown with­draw from the District and build facil­ities to educate our pre-K-12 students within Charlestown. It is our unani­mous belief that this is the best edu­cational and economic solution for the long-term health of Charlestown, and we present a preliminary plan and timeline to bring about this withdraw­al and construction.”
The Charlestown Council has not voted on this recommendation, and in the upcoming election only one incum­bent councilor is seeking re-election. Nobody knows what a new council will do, but the recommendation clearly is a serious one from serious people.
Let’s think about what the 2008 pro­posed bonds are for. The high and mid­dle
schools are crowded. Charlestown has about 30 percent of the Chariho students. If they left, it would be much less crowded. We might well want a bond for work there, but it would be different work. And the RYSE build­ings are adequate; changing them is a financial matter that has no function­al urgency.
The current plans are for a three­town district, but Charlestown over the years has voted to withdraw, then voted to stay, and currently has a rec­ommendation from a study committee created by the council to withdraw.
Simple prudence says don’t author­ize any bond under these uncertain circumstances until we know more. If any of these bonds are approved, that’s a 20-year lock-in, and we don’t know enough right now to plan ahead even two years. In these troubled times, particularly, on the basis of the information at hand. we can’t afford to commit millions of dollars over a 20­year period The only sensible thing to do is reject all three Chariho bonds, wait until Chariho District membership is cleared up, and then make appropri­ate proposals.
Thurman Silks Hopkinton City

 

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83 Comments »

  1. same crap from the same people……dont they have anything different to ever say??? doesnt matter the situation……they will ALWAYS find a reason to say no……

    Comment by REPEAT — October 26, 2008 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  2. Out of fairness to both sides of the issue, you’ve seem to have conveniently forgotten Mr. Petit’s “Letter to the Editor so I’ll post it right here for everyone:

    The best way to help Hopkinton’s children is to back school bond

    At the Chariho School Committee meet­ing on Oct. 14, the school committee approved a transfer of $450,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance (surplus) to the Capital Reserve Fund. This amount was on top of the original $100,000 that was budgeted for the Hope Valley brick repointing project and the $150,000 that the committee already transferred from within the Capital Reserve Fund. In addi­tion to approximately $3,000,000 being spent on capital improvement projects throughout the district, a total of $700,000 is being spent on the Hope Valley Elementary School.
    That $700,000 is not a bad chunk of money for a town council that complains about equalization, about the lack of money being spent on building maintenance, and about not using our surplus. Had the school committee listened to the Hopkinton Town Council and spent our entire surplus last year, we would be asking for an additional $200,000 from all three towns for this proj­ect. How would that be fair to the towns of Richmond and Charlestown?
    This building is in Hopkinton where most councilors and the other regular naysayers encouraged the defeat of the last bond and wanted us to use up our surplus. They felt that the school committee could come to them if there were an emergency and just ask for the money.
    Well, this was an emergency! Would you have given us the money, or would the school be closed? If we had not acted when and how we did, the Hopkinton Town Building Inspector would not have allowed Hope Valley School to open in September. He also told us if the winds hit 35 mph or higher, Hope Valley School would need to be evacuated.
    This is the shape the buildings are in that we send our children to each and every day. We have to worry about heat at the high school, the water at Richmond School, the roof at Ashaway School, and the trailers that house our children in the RYSE pro­gram. These bonds would fix the high school campus and free up money to be spent on the elementary schools. So when is it time to fix these buildings and know that our children are safe? The answer is now!
    Hopkinton councilors asked that each town pay in equal thirds for this building project and that voters have an opportunity to vote for each component of the project. They were given what they asked for, but now that’s not good enough. Now they com­plain about tax equalization, the need for a new high school, the need to fix elementary schools, and on and on.
    If the Hopkinton Town Council felt strongly about tax equalization, they would stop talking and act. Stop all the talk and do something! After the last bond, coun­cilors said that they were working on a new plan. I asked to see what information the ad hoc committees of each town had for plans on either building their own schools or bringing back the 5th- and 6th-graders to the elementary schools. The only town that sent any information was the Town of Charlestown. It leads me to believe that one of two things happened here.
    • Hopkinton has no plan and just keeps putting up this smoke screen to hide the real truth from voters, which is that we need to pass this bond now, OR • You violated the Freedom of Information Act and just didn’t provide the information that was requested.
    Either way, you have misled the taxpay­ers and ignored the children of Hopkinton. You have sat there and talked the past two years about what should be done, but have done nothing to correct the situation except to continually say this bond is no good. Well Hopkinton, I say it is good and the only right way to correct these problems is to join me and vote “Yes” for the three Chariho bonds on Nov. 4.
    Let’s fix these buildings and send our children to schools where they can be proud! Let’s fix these buildings and send our children to schools that meet all cur­rent safety codes! I ask the Hopkinton councilors who continue to encourage the defeat of Chariho bonds: Why would you want anything less for the children of Hopkinton, Charlestown, and Richmond?
    Bob Petit Hopkinton Chariho School Committee

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 26, 2008 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  3. Kind of reminds you of the Chariho School Committee. No matter how often we ask them to spend responsibly, they negotiate terrible contracts and add more employees. No matter how often we ask them for transparent budgets they still hide millions in surplus. No matter how we insist RYSE share real costs and educational outcomes, Chariho stonewalls. Funny how Chariho’s malfeasance seems to be connected to the rejection of bonds. Not enough, but some people obviously are paying attention.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2008 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  4. Mr. Petit remains an ignoramus. The Chariho School Committee is responsible for maintaining Chariho infrastructure, not the Hopkinton Town Council. If he and his colleagues had done their jobs there wouldn’t be a need for “emergency” repairs. If the idiot wants to assign the cost of maintaining Hope Valley School to Hopkinton, then it would be reasonable to claim that money spent at the High School, Middle School, and RYSE is really money being spent on behalf of Richmond.

    Mr. Petit’s mindset is the reason tax inequities exist. He may lie and tell us otherwise, but his parochial attitude is the reason why the district dysfunctionally taxes by town rather than by household. If there are to be distinct lines drawn for determining education funding and spending, then why don’t we allow each town to spend its money at whatever schools they choose?

    Mr. Petit continues blathering. He thinks we wanted Chariho to spend the surplus. What we really wanted was for Chariho to stop taking money they don’t need from families who desperately need it. Prior to the Hope Valley project the School Committee couldn’t identify any “emergency” expense which had ever approached $750,000. Considering recent surpluses have exceeded $2,000,000, Mr. Petit’s position is absurd. One $750,000 “emergency” in 50 years and he thinks it justifies millions in surplus every year. What a fool.

    Mr. Petit then asks where is Hopkinton’s plan? Can a person be more obtuse? The plan is to reject bonds until Charlestown cedes tax equity or removes itself and its huge tax advantages. Too many Hopkinton families cannot keep up with Charlestown’s families’ ability to absorb ever increasing spending at Chariho. Enrollment delines while spending increases. As long as Charlestown is paying bottom dollar, they will throw money at Chariho without worry, and for every dollar a Charlestown household throws Chariho’s way, a Hopkinton household is forces to throw two dollars and fifty cents. This is not sustainable for many of our families. This isn’t just about the re-vote. The need to vote no is also driven by the $50,000,000 fed to Chariho beast every year.

    I ask Mr. Petit how he can ignore the children of Hopkinton? Children depend on families to meet their daily needs. While education is important, ecomonic well being in the home is more important. Mr. Petit would have children starve if their starvation ensured his family and friends a great paying job with crazy benefits. Does anyone really believe a guy who has no concern for Hopkinton families really cares about children? He’s a fraud.

    There…now we’ve heard “both sides”.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2008 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  5. While Mrs. Ure and Mrs. Gardiner make valid points about the economy, we should reject the re-vote even if we are all millionaires. Chariho is dysfuntionally managed and financed. The people who run the joint seem to think their mission is to enrich as many adults as possible. Running a school is the means to their ends. We know this because they ignore terrible educational outcomes, but this never seems to bother them too much. But, if you dare to threaten their revenue stream, all hell breaks loose.

    Mr. Silks comments about tax equity are much more solid. Unlike the vagaries of economic conditions, tax inequity is here to stay if any of the re-voted bond elements pass.

    The day tax equity exists; reasonable contracts have been negotiated; spending is transparent; and parents are put back in control of education; on that day I will support a bond targeted to real needs. Until then, none of us should ever consider giving Chariho more money. They don’t need it. They can’t be trusted spending it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  6. Not “forgotten” CP. No one sent it to me. Thanks for posting. We always enjoy hearing from BP.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 26, 2008 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

  7. Yes, BP always has something useless to share. Though come to think of it, his letter is very instructive as each and every claim he makes is easily refuted. He reminds of all of why we shouldn’t trust the current Chariho hierarchy to educate our children and handle the community’s money responsibly.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2008 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  8. Funny how only side gets to you, Mr. Felkner. Totally unbalanced, here’s another one that “No one sent it to me”.

    Support students, get out and vote yes on Chariho Bond
    The Nov. 4 vote is quickly approaching.
    Voting “Yes” and approving the $25 mil­lion Chariho bond referendum sends the right message to our children. The stu­dents of Chariho need the support of all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and Chariho alumni.
    There are people that will vote against this bond. These people typically do not care about Chariho and the children it educates.
    Some of these people will argue that this is not true, they are just waiting for the right plan.
    Let’s get this straight; there is no right plan or the right time for these people. These people voted against the $99 million referendum that would have solved all of our problems. They voted against the $56 million plan and last year’s $25 million plan. These people want something for nothing.
    Trust me, if I were to win $150 million in Powerball, I would proudly donate the $25 million. Sadly, I am not winning Powerball and some of our brick buildings (Hope Valley) are literally falling down.
    The last time we passed a referendum was over 20 years ago.
    Pride is defined as a feeling of pleasure because of something achieved or owned. Take pride in Chariho because we all own a piece of it. Let’s beat the naysayers and give hope to our children. A good school system is the backbone of a strong com­munity.
    This $25 million plan is different from last year’s because it gives you choices. I have talked to many people throughout the community that feel bad they did not vote last year. Please do not make the same mistake twice. Trust me, if we vote this down we stand to lose. The 56 percent state reimbursement will most likely come off the table. We can’t continue to kiss our money away in rented portable class­rooms. Most importantly, we can’t afford to keep neglecting these schools.
    Scott Merritt Hope Valley

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 27, 2008 @ 4:24 am | Reply

  9. Here’s is yet another one, both of these appeared Tuesday Oct 21, 2008 in The Westerly Sun:

    Chariho Building Committee spells out three-part referendum vote
    The Chariho Building Committee, a group of tri-town volunteers, has put forth a con­certed effort to accomplish the goals set forth and agreed upon by the Chariho town councils to (1) create additional space, (2) elimi­nate portable trailer classrooms, (3) improve the main campus, and (4) plan for a bond between $15,000,000 and $25,000,000.
    The second Campus 2010 vote on Nov. 4, provides Chariho voters the opportunity to make substan­tial long-term improvements to the main campus on Switch Road. This vote has been split into three questions.
    We hope that the following will provide you with the information that you need to make an informed decision.
    The Chariho High School and Campus portion of this project will be the 1st of three questions. At a projected net cost of $12,179,088 after state aid, this component will create 15,000 square feet of new space at the High School. Included will be a new library, new agricultural sci­ences classrooms and greenhouse, new general classrooms, an expanded kitchen, and renovated band and chorus rooms allowing for the removal of a portable class­room.
    Also, major systems, such as those involving heat, ventilation, and communication will be upgraded or replaced resulting in a significant decline in energy usage. Locker rooms and bath­rooms will be renovated and the track will be refurbished. Also important, the removal of the maintenance building and fuel tank from the courtyard will allow it to once again be used by stu­dents. After completion, our stu­dents will attend a safer, more secure school with adequate mod­ern learning space in full compli­ance with fire and ADA require­ments.
    The R.Y.S.E. (Reaching Youth through Support and Education) School component of Campus 2010 has a projected net cost to taxpayers of $3,035,114 after state aid, and will be the 2nd of the three questions.
    This element of the project will allow for the building of a perma­nent facility to replace a portable, temporary, trailer-type classroom structure. The new 12,000 square foot building will be the same size as the existing facility and will continue to house the alternative learning and the clinical day pro­grams, exclusively for Chariho students. The projected cost is $152,000 per year, considerably less than the current lease pay­ments of $220,000 per year. Passage of this question will result in an estimated savings for taxpayers of $68,000 per year.
    The Chariho Middle School por­tion of the project will be present­ed as the 3rd question.
    At a net cost of $1,847,037 after state aid, this element will pro­vide for three new classrooms to replace older trailer-type portable classrooms. In addition, renova­tions will also address ventilation problems and auditorium air con­ditioning.
    To encourage passage, the Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton town councils have agreed to split the cost of this project in three equal shares; it will cost each town approximately $5,687,080 over the life of a 20­year bond.
    Costs will not be allocated based upon enrollment. Passage of these proposals will allow the District to focus its annual capital improvement budget on the criti­cal and significant infrastructure needs of the elementary schools.
    The Building Committee hopes that this information will assist voters in making a well- informed decision on Nov. 4.
    Additional information is avail­able at (web address was here but had to remove to get this to post).

    Gregory R. Kenney, Chairperson, Chariho Building Committee

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 27, 2008 @ 4:28 am | Reply

  10. Found this one in The Westerly Sun Thursday October 23, 2008 issue:

    Hopkinton residents need to help Chariho

    Dear Hopkinton Residents: I am a newcomer to Hopkinton and an educator, privileged to continue my teach­ing career at Chariho Middle School.
    I love living and teaching here, but remain perplexed about the refusal of my town to support the Chariho Regional School District building referendum to be voted on for the third time on Nov. 4.
    I suspect the property tax increase is the main reason these very conservative struc­tural improvements to the high school cam­pus keep being refused by the voters in my town. But, if you do the math, you will see that the property tax increase for a house valued at $300,000 will be less than $90 a year. That’s about two tanks of gas at today’s prices. Students deserve to hear from the community, “Yes”, you are worth two tanks of gas!
    Hopkinton, please vote “Yes” this time! Sooner or later the proposed projects must be done, and later at a higher price than sooner because they will have to be paid out of the operating budget. Waiting will cost you more in tax money because costs con­tinue to rise, but the big expense to you comes because no state reimbursements are available to expenditures coming from the operating budget.
    With more than half of the proposed proj­ects qualifying for a 60 percent state reim­bursement rate, a “Yes” vote seems like a no-brainer to me. The savings to the regu­lar operating budget of the district of almost $300,000, currently being paid annually in rental fees for temporary class­rooms, also supports a “Yes” vote.
    All of the proposed renovations and con­struction are much needed to give Chariho students the best possible place to learn what they need to face the future and be successful in this rapidly changing world.
    I urge you to vote “Yes” on all three pro­posals. I am hoping that the third time is a charm and that the Chariho community comes together to pass this referendum.
    Etta Zasloff Hope Valley

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 27, 2008 @ 4:31 am | Reply

  11. Chariho apologists never address the issues which concern so many in Hopkinton. It’s as if they think children only need a Chariho education and nothing else matters. Give us more and everything will be fine they tell us.

    How about for once we wait for Chariho to deliver “for the children?” I’d like to ask Chariho to teach all our children at least to the minimal levels of proficiency. I want to ask Chariho to negotiate employee contract which no longer exceed the average income of the citizens paying the bills. I want to ask Chariho to give parents of Special Education children the options they once had. Go ahead and keep RYSE but give parent the choices they once had.

    The community is always asked to give to Chariho “for the children”. When is Chariho going to reciprocate?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2008 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  12. At least Ms. Zasloff and Mr. Kenney acknowledge their connections to Chariho. Mr. Merritt is, or was, the wrestling coach at Chariho. I assume he receives payment for his coaching. Not sure if he is also a teacher, but often coaches are teachers.

    Predictably, most Chariho apologists have a self-interested reason for ignoring Chariho’s failure to educate our children at a reasonable cost. They are short on facts, but boy, they really, really, want us to keep pumping more money into their golden goose. Perhaps if they spent any time trying to fix the many problems at Chariho they might earn a bit of credibility.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  13. CR, sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me. What about yourself? Why don’t you spend more time trying to fix the many problems at Chariho and earn yourself a bit of credibility instead of just complaining about it on some blog?

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 27, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  14. I don’t work at Chariho. I have a job. Much of the income from my job is then pumped into Chariho so they can do their job. If I don’t do my job well they will fire me and bring in someone who can do it well.

    Mr. Ricci and many of his administrative colleagues earn well in excess of $100,000. They shouldn’t need me to direct them. If they can’t do it, we should fire them.

    Instead of trying to convince voters to spend millions more on a failing system, Mr. Merritt and Ms. Zasloff should be demanding Mr. Ricci and crew perform at high levels. They should also tell their union to negotiate reasonable contracts which don’t impoverish the community at the expense of children. They are part of the system and are better placed to improve education. The fact they choose to put additional burden on the community while ignoring the real problems at Chariho says it all.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2008 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  15. Somethings are so broken they can’t be fixed, and I feel we may have one of these broken items on our hands.

    Comment by RS — October 27, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  16. The “why don’t you do more than just complain” is the age old adage when an organization knows they have a stranglehold on you and they can’t dispute the complaints with facts. Instead of providing facts which lead to learning, they simply throw out insults and acuusations beacause they cannot debate their position on facts and logic, because then the educated person would see through the ploy. Watching Mr. Felkner go through this process should be more than enough for the less than idle minded to figure out jumping in the pool and swimming with leeches isn’t going to make them not suck the life out of you.
    Instead of standing on the tracks and blocking the transparency train, why don’t those of you who accuse the fiscally responsible of just “complaining” allow the negotiations process and any process associated with the Chariho system to be open?
    Don’t worry we don’t expect an answer because there isn’t a good reason why, only more banter to deflect the issues. Tanparency would aleviate almost every discuccion we have on this blog, but of course it would open up many new ones, mainly the corruptness, inefficiency, and fiscal irresponsibility of the Chariho system.

    Comment by RS — October 27, 2008 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  17. Free market competition would turn Chariho around in a few years. They have the resources. Most of the teachers are capable. They lack the will to do it.

    The current unstated mission of Chariho is to enrich as many adults as they can get under their umbrella. When budgets are rubber stamped by the voters…why should they change? When irresponsible budgeting is forgiven by the passage of compensatng bonds…why should they change? When the leadership demonstrates continuing incompetence yet is rewarded with a salary more than double that of the average taxpayer…why shoud they change? When the incompetent leader is allowed to surround himself with staffing costing us millions more…why should they change?

    This Psychologically 101. The community tells Chariho through our willingness to fund failure that failure is exceptable. There are no consequences. Failure is easy and Chariho predictably takes the easier path because we clear the way for them. We must reject the latest bond gambit and we must demand fically responsible contracts and budgets. Most importantly, Chariho needs to feel the heat through competition and/or community revolt.

    Chariho can be fixed, but it won’t be easy. If Chariho is unwilling to do the hard work, then we must step up and make the hard choices for them. We start by rejecting the re-voted bond elements. Do we have the will?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2008 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  18. RS, once again, you’re a bit off the mark. I find it rather curious that when you or CR throw out darts that is plenty fine but as soon as some throws a dart at you, then it’s a bad thing, shame on them for doing that mentality. What have either of you done to change the mentality at Chariho besides complain on this blog? While I don’t always agree with Georgia Ure, Dorothy Gardiner and a few others, I at least seem them on occasion doing something by arguing their positions at school committee meetings and/or district financial meetings. Granted it’s frustrating fighting against the entrenched group there but they are trying do something, when was the last time either of you spoke up against what is going on at a school committee meeting or a district budget hearing?

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 27, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  19. I’ve spent countless hours doing research that I then put here (and in the past on Hopkinton Speaks) for the whole world to see. In the past couple of days RS has contacted officials for clarification on reimbursement rates and put the information here in the public domain.

    Just because we aren’t in front of Chariho with picket signs doesn’t mean we aren’t involved in trying to enact change. Mr. Felkner, Mr. Abbott, Mrs. Capalbo and many others partipate here. We also know from comments made at School Committee meetings that most, if not all, School Committee members monitor this website.

    It is naive to think attending meetings is the only, or even the best, way to advocate our positions. While the status quo remains, does anyone have any doubt that Chariho apologists are unaware of the opposition to business as usual. If anyone does think this way, they are clueless.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2008 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  20. I could never do enough to satisfy you CP….I will be voting NO on November 4th, and I know this won’t satisfy you either, but oh well.

    PS.. I will also not for any pro bond politicians…..we will see if time tells how and what we are doing.

    Comment by RS — October 27, 2008 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  21. I notice the “What is wrong with transparency and open negotiations” question went unanswered again, just as it has in the past. The only thing I can figure is the word isn’t in the “OFFICIAL LACKEY BLINDER BRIGADE” dictionary.

    Comment by RS — October 27, 2008 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

  22. RS, not answered this time because it’s been answered many times in the past and you seem to have a reading comprehension problem. I’ll answer that question again so that it just might get through that thick skull you seem to have, there’s nothing wrong with transparency and open negotiations, as a matter of fact, I have even stated that I don’t want the administration nor the school committee doing the negotiations since they are totally unqualified to do it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  23. Once again, negative insults when the poster can’t argue on the merits.

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  24. CP jabbing at BF(
    1.”Funny how only side gets to you, Mr. Felkner. Totally unbalanced, here’s another one that “No one sent it to me”.”
    2. “Out of fairness to both sides of the issue, you’ve seem to have conveniently forgotten Mr. Petit’s “Letter to the Editor so I’ll post it right here for everyone:”

    Instead of saying here are a couple of letters Mr. Felkner, could you post them…Thank you. CP has to come out swinging, both statements are negative and accusatory.
    Why are you so angry at those of us who only want what you claim you are for…..Tranparency and Openness in government.
    I still stand by my earlier beliefs, you are a CHARIHO NEA TROLL, little angry person.

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  25. CP is welcome to post anything in the comments section he/she would like. It is his/her name on it, not mine. I have only censored CP when it was vulgar. If CP wants me to post something he/she will email it to me so I know who to blame if it’s inaccurate.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 28, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  26. RS, as I’ve stated in the pass, I don’t like BF’s tactics, they are antagonistic and creat a volatile environment. I see injutice in presenting only side and don’t toletate it well. As you get your dander up about things, so do I.

    CHARIHO NEA TROLL… That’s a laugh.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  27. Who besides BF has brought any attention to the ways of Chariho? I define antagonistic and volatile as the NEA having a stranglehold on the taxpayers with the ability to strike, and the taxpayers having no resourse except to put our faith in the school committee, which has done a superb job(by your account) and not so good job by most fiscally responsible taxpayers.
    It is funny how easy it is to pick out a troll. They claim one thing(adamantly I might add), but all their post reveal an entirely different creature. Here’s a laugh for you. The funny thing about trolls, you don’t even need bait to catch them, just let them talk and they disclose their nature all by themselves.
    Look like the NEA sent a poodle as a guard dog.

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  28. Hey CP, you could start your own blog about the greatness of Chariho and the NEA, surely they would give you seed money, then you could be as unbiased as you wish. You could even allow trolls and give awards for the nastiest troll.

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  29. RS, get things straight, they are both antagonistic and volatile. As I’ve said numnerous times, I have no tolerance for the NEA or for that matter, the AFT. I totally agree with you about the stranglehold that not only the teacher unions have but all the public employee unions in this state. Also, please do a bit of research, I don’t deny that there are problems with Chariho, I’ve stated that numerous times.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

  30. I have only two comments today:

    The first from the owner of a company where I worked and made a mistake on a project. “Don’t make any excuses, just GET IT RIGHT”! (And I did, and that was the end of THAT error)

    The second from my own sense of what is right…”Those who pay, say”. By that I mean that if I am paying for a service, and item, or education, I should have the ability to demand the quality I am paying for.

    Right now, CHARIHO is unable to correct any errors and “GET IT RIGHT”, and certainly is NOT delivering the quality of education that I expect for the money I and all other taxpayers are paying for.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — October 28, 2008 @ 3:12 pm | Reply

  31. CP calls Mr. Felkner antagonistic and volatile because Mr. Felkner represents the views that CP himself says he agrees with. I can’t figure out how CP defines antagonistic and volatile?

    CP seems to confuse opposition with antagonism and volatility. To my knowledge, Mr. Felkner does nothing behind a curtain. Would CP prefer Mr. Felkner advocate for the community in closed meetings and behind sealed minutes? Is making his opinions public the problem?

    The entire School Committee fraudulently employed a parlimentary ploy to silence Mr. Felkner. Is this antagonistic? Volatile?

    Mr. Felkner puts items on an agenda and invites parents and citizens to participate in School Committee discussions. The School Committee then refuses to allow these citizens to speak or cuts them off when they disagree with Chariho policy. Is this antagonist? Volatile?

    Has the School Committtee started taping their meetings again? I used to watch them regularly, and it was plain as the nose on my face that the majority went to great lengths to keep Mr. Felkner from presenting his perspectives to the public. Is this antagonistic? Volatile?

    CP often claims to be on the same side with those blaming the unions and the mismanagement at Chariho for many of the problems. Yet when push comes to shove, CP attacks those who fight for change. This disconnect between what CP claims to want versus the rhetoric he uses, makes it easy to suspect he isn’t who he claims to be. If someone quacks like an NEA lackey…then it is reasonable to assume they are an NEA lackey.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

  32. I can’t really speak on BF’s style, I haven’t been to a school committee meeting(watched him get shut out on TV though) where he has spoken. Have any of you posting here??
    The one FACT I do know is whatever style has been used in the past hasn’t worked very well, proven by the state of affairs at Chariho. Who wants to attack that statement, and please lets use facts so it is considered a debate, not feel good brigade troll feeding feelings. I would honestly love to go to a committee meeting and debate the pencil necks, but why waste my time and be shut out on procedural grounds.

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

  33. Mr. Felkner is on the School Committee and can’t speak his mind without a vote to “move the motion”. That is when he can get an issue in the public portion of a meeting. Many times they hide in closed meetings and continue hiding behind sealed minutes. If a School Committee member can’t get a fair hearing, why would an average citizen waste their time trying. If your at a meeting to praise Chariho they’ll let you drone on endlessly, but if you have anything negative to say, expect to be shut down pretty quickly.

    I watched almost every School Committee meeting back when they were available on cable. The biggest mouths were Mr. Day and Mr. Polouski…they are quite loud and definitely antagonistic. Mr. Felkner asks and brings up uncomfortable questions. He doesn’t hesitate to call them as he sees them and it leaves the rest of the Chariho apologists squirming in their seats.

    As I said, if you find disagreeing with the status quo to be antagonistic and volatile, then yes, Mr. Felkner qualifies. But if you believe Chariho needs to have business as usual challenged, then Mr. Felkner is on the side of the community because he’s the only one who consistently seeks transparency, accountability, and responsibility from Chariho.

    Being in the minority despite constant attacks from the statist majority requires a backbone of steel. Mr. Felkner always refuses to bend to the the pressure. If CP wants to call it antagonistic and volatile, so be it. Sure beats the heck out of cowardly capitulation such as we’ve seen with Mr. Petit and Mr. Preuhs.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  34. CR, I have never said bucking the status quo is what is antagonistic and/or volatile, it’s the methods that are employed are what’s antgonistic and volatile. I haven’t seen anything from BF to try to build cooperation on the school committee but rather see him as going after people when they disagree with his position. I very much liken him to Charlestown’s Mr. Mageau, both have some very good ideas but rather than attempt to foster goodwill and cooperation amongst the others, they prefer to fight then cry foul.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  35. RS, I have been to a few school committee meetings and have walked away totally frustrated because of the setup of the meeting agenda. I don’t know how Hopkinton sets up their agenda for Town Council meetings but being one to frequently attend Richmond Town Council meetings, we (the citizens) are allowed to speak at TC meetings. Also, the public forum portion of the meeting is at the end of the meeting, not at the beginning where you don’t know what they will do yet. The public should be given adequate time to speak on every item that a vote is called for and be given adequate time to speak. After all, we are the one’s paying the bill.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  36. I just watched some video of Mr. Mageau(convicted of assault), and I just don’t see him and BF being “liken”. I still can’t help but wonder who is pulling your strings. Amazing you could watch BF at the committee meetings, and watch this video, and say they are the same…amazing!
    I hope someone else watches and gives me a reality check on wether I am off base.

    http://www.charlestowncitizens.org/news/videos/mageau.html

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  37. I’ve seen the video before and have passed it on to others. As you complain about certain web site being pro teacher’s union, that web site was set up by a group that was anti-Mageau, definite skewed perspective. From what I know, Mr. Mageau is against their current proposed $5.5 million bond because of the financial times. Mr. Mageau has proposed to set up a type of trust fund that the town employees would contribute to while working to be able to pay for their health care after they retire that would not cost the town anything. These are just two examples of good ideas that he’s had but due to he antagonistic ways, the two women on the council shut down to his ideas. He fails to foster co-operation. That’s the similiarity between BF and Mageau. It’s not the shouting at meetings, it’s the overall methods.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  38. CP is talking craziness. He must be in someone’s pocket to compare Mr. Felkner to Mr. Mageau. Mr. Day and Mr. Polouski have Mageau-like tendency, but I’ve watched numerous School Committee meeting and have never seen Mr. Felkner act anyway other than professional.

    Mr. Felkner represents the community like nobody’s business. Unlike just about everyone else, he has no fear of Mr. Ricci and if he is being lied to he won’t back down in deference. He is inevitably polite, and considering the treatment he receives, that is quite an accomplishment.

    CP apparently wants Mr. Felkner to join Mr. Petit in giving in to the Chariho way of doing business. Mr. Petit has no problem “cooperating” because he joins the rest in protecting Chariho from the consequences of failure. Protestations to the contrary, CP supports the status quo at Chariho and attacks Mr. Felkner for being a solitary voice looking to change the culture. CP anger has an origin and it the more he says, the more his origins seem like they have an office in the NEA’s headquarters. What else explains the obvious lies?

    Your not off base RS. CP is off kilter.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  39. Its quite one thing to skew data presented by a certain group to make the date fit your beliefs, but to equate this to an anti-Mageau group making the video to fit their agenda is ludicrous. These are not just snippets taken out of context(the full videos are on the site), the actions are those of Mr. Mageau, unless you have proof he was coerced or tricked into these actions, or the anti-Mageau group altered the video, then your comparison is more of a reach than I can make with you.
    I stand by my statement, there is no comparison…poor choice on your part to try and equate the two people. This is further proof of your poor judgement and more validity as to why you are quick to jump to baseless attacks and lack the necessary skills to debate on merit and fact. If you wish to attempt to redeem your foolish statements, pony up some solid proof of BF’s actions equating to Mr. Mageau. Good luck in your attempt.
    I am actually starting to feel sorry for you…..if you can imagine that. Maybe thats your tactic, the Stockholm syndrome.

    Comment by RS — October 28, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  40. LOL

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  41. Interesting debate.

    Just to answer CP’s public forum question about HTC meetings, they have 2. One is at the beginning to allow those that have to get home early because of children or work to air their questions or comments and not have to wait around to the end. There is a second at the end so people may have another opportunity to speak.

    The meetings are online, although I haven’t seen one since they’ve been off cable, but that was the way I remember it.

    Additionally, they allow discussion during the meetings as long as the discussion is about an agenda item.

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 28, 2008 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  42. The online versions of the meetings are very convenient. I can’t make out of the visuals, but the words are the important part anyway and I can hear fine.

    Hopkinton is very fair to the public from what I’ve seen. They allow public participation all the way through the meeting. Councilors speak their mind and then the public gets a turn.

    If the School Committee was half as accomodating as the Hopkinton Town Council, they’d probably pee their pants in fear.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  43. CR and RS, you’ve both missed the point once again. I’m not talking about the actions of Mageau at the meetings, I’m saying they both do nothing to foster cooperation within their respective governing bodies. Fighting is a rather loose term that I used, Mageau verbally fights, OK sometimes physically fights by batting away video cameras, while BF does it in a much quieter way. One question I would like to ask BF is how often does he approach members of the school committee to try to build upon his ideas before putting them out at a meeting?

    Mr. Day and Mr. Polouski can’t even be compared to Mr. Mageau, at Mr. Mageau occasionally comes up with intelligent ideas, I’ve yet to see that from either of them.

    Ah yes, RS say “lets use facts so it is considered a debate”, so what does CR do, once again comes out with a barb saying that I “must be in someone’s pocket” when that accusation is way off base again. What happenned to using facts when, in fact, CR has NO facts to back up so many of his accusations?

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 4:59 am | Reply

  44. CP, in the beginning I tried to work with them often. As a matter of fact, Giancarlo and I had a long discussion on passing the bond and had worked out a plan – which he told the board but it went nowhere.

    I tried to work with Bob several times also – but as shown with the MGT study, is not reliable for support.

    Holly Eaves and I used to talk a lot too, but then I saw an abrupt change after the last contract negotiations (which she has now positioned herself to direct those negotiations as well as become chair).

    When Bill Day and Andy P told me that “I should come to West Bakery and chat with them on Saturday mornings” – I DID

    So yes, I have reached out often. What has been the response? Making rules to restrict information from me and as we saw last night – also from parents.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 29, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  45. I see CP, cooperate and graduate is your motto, hasn’t it been proven time and time again this doesn’t work. This is the Chariho philosphy, and the reason 2/3 of our children do not meet proficiency. I think the caressing and massaging and tiptoeing around the tough issues and questions hasn’t made any change in the Chariho system. These problems we face haven’t existed since BF has been a committee member, they have been persistent since my time here(8yrs)and long before(someone else will have to fill in the timeline), so I don’t think your way, the NEA’s way, the previous school committee’s way, or the ways of the taxpayers previous to BF has done any good at all. If so, then show us where the fiscal restraint has been applied, or shows us the improvements in the Chariho educational ratings. I think we have played nice with the “children” of the committee long enough, it’s time for some action, so if a few feathers get ruffled, and feelings get a little hurt so be it, if the children benefit. Everybody always says its for the children, so if this is true, put our feelings,ego,and petty differences aside and lets roll up the sleeves and get it done! NO EXCUSES!

    Ok, go ahead with the excuses now.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  46. What CP fails to acknowledge is that coopertation is a 2-way street. Why doesn’t he call other members antagonistic and volatile because they don’t come to Mr. Felkner for approval before putting forth their agenda? CP denies being connected to Chariho, and who can say for sure, but it is a common tactic of left wing nuts (read: NEA) to want to hold opponents to standards above and beyond the standards they have for those they support.

    Thus, Trent Lott gets condemned and steps down from leadership for saying nice things about Strom Thurmond at a retirement bash. Yet Robert Byrd was a KKK leader and has used the ‘N’ word is recent years and liberals don’t say a word. He is “venerable”.

    Mark Foley getw driven from his Rep. seat for inappropriate email with House pages. Barney Frank has sex with a House page and still holds his seat decades laters.

    There are countless example of leftist hypocritical smnearing. CP is engaging in classic leftist nonsense. Smear those you oppose while ignoring much worse behavior by those you support. Mr. Felkner is no more antagonistic and volatile then anyone else on he school committee. His crime is he dares to question the status quo.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 29, 2008 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  47. I never said cooperation isn’t a two-way street, that’s a given that no one can deny. I’ve spoken with a couple of school committee members trying to also get them to listen and be open minded about ideas from others, not only Mr. Felkner’s ideas. Unfortunatly, new blood doesn’t seem to want to run for the school committee seats, evident with the upcoming elections, so we continue to remain stagnant. I’ve spoken with Deb Jennings numerous times about school issues and her feelings of frustration being on the school committee so I’m well aware that there’s problems there. I’m also frustrated with many of the things I see with Chariho but the frustrations are not only with the administration and the school committee. I’m frustrated with Charlestown threats to leave the school district, I’m frustrated with Hopkinton’s stonewalling on getting repairs done to the school building in a timely fashion. I don’t want to continue to have “emergency repairs” when the fund balance account (some call this the surplus) is getting low. I’ve seen Hopkinton get it’s fund balance account down too low only to have to increase it’s taxes by 18% and I believe 10% or 11% the following year. If we think Chariho’s budget is too big now what are we going to do if that has to be done?

    CR, funny how you say that I’m smearing but I don’t throw out the acqusations about others the way you do. You try to pin me as being a leftiest, which is funny because I just had a conversation with someone who said I’m conservative. You’ve said that I’m connected to Chariho. You’ve said that I’m connected to the NEA. So who’s really attempting to do the smearing here? You come up with all sorts of allegations that you can’t prove, you have no factual base to stand on.

    BF, thanks for answering the question I asked. I would have liked it to have been more than just “in the beginning” though. But can also understand how if you got no where to begin with you also felt frustration in trying to get a dfferent idea through to them. Something needs to change here and I’m not sure how we, the citizens/taxpayers/voters of the district can get things through to the school committee.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  48. Mr. Felkner has gotten things through to the School Committee and administration. He’s the first one I recall in a long time who has spoken up on behalf of the community. Getting through to them and getting them to change are two different things. They refuse to change their ways.

    As we see from Richmond and Charlestown votes in recent years, the taxpayers there are happy with the status quo at Chariho. The School Committee members from Charlestown and Richmond actually do reflect the will of the people. When given the chance to send the message to Chariho by rejecting bond and/or budget, these towns instead send votes of confidence to a failed administration.

    Hopkinton has been the only town to really try to hold Chariho accountable. People like CP want to us to capitulate to Chariho even if we are heading in the wrong directions…which we are. What does it mean to “repair” a school when the school doesn’t educate our children. Where are the priorities?

    CP is what he is. His words speak for themselves. His attacking Mr. Felkner as antagonistic and volatile is just the latest nonsensical and illogical attack. I’m sure there will be more.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 29, 2008 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  49. Getting through to the school committee is easy, fire them…..called vote them out of office.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  50. Cant afford to. We are locked in via the contracts and would have to pay as much as 3 years of severance pay ($400,000 in Ricci’s case). That was supposed to be the whole purpose of the Admin Contract Subcommittee.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 29, 2008 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  51. My reference was to fire(vote out of office) the school committee members, I do realize the positions would be unfilled(few running), but the way I see it the seats are basically empty anyway.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  52. RS, explain to me how we’re suppose to fire someone like Bill Day when there’s two seats open in Richmond and only he is running for it. We know that a write-in campaign to unseat him would be futile, especially at this point in time. I fear that we’re stuck with him for another term… and that’s unfortunate for all of us. I know what Den Jennings isn’t running for another seat and she was perhaps the brighest hope that Richmond had on the school committee.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  53. CR, I’m certainly one voter who isn’t happy with the status quo at Chariho. The sad part for Richmond is that there are too many voters with their heads in the sand that don’t pay attention to anything until it’s too late. So let me get this straight, let the schools fall into ever deeper need of repair and that will go a long ways towards bettering their education, you’re making perfect sense there.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  54. Can’t help you with Bill Day, he’s your boy from Richmond…..I moved from there 8 years ago to Hopkinton, my next move is out of RI. I think empty seats on the committee couldn’t be any worse than the lukewarm bodies filling them.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  55. Statement by CP:
    “So let me get this straight, let the schools fall into ever deeper need of repair and that will go a long ways towards bettering their education, you’re making perfect sense there.”

    Could easily be worded this way:
    So let me get this straight, let Chariho’s dismal proficiency record and fiscally irresponsible administraiton fall ever deeper into the abyss and that will go along way toward bettering their education, you’re making perfect sense($cents$) there.”

    I guess it depends wether you are fiscally responsible, and expect a level of performance, as to where you stand……right??

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  56. Repairs should be paid for through the operational budget, not bonds. They can pass budgets with $2,000,000+ hidden surpluses, but they can’t budget for maintentance? Let’s be real.

    The re-voted bonds are being used to allow them room for more payoffs to the employees. With the budget cap, and the inrrastucture needs, they can’t get everything they want through the operational budget. This is precisely what we should be doing…we want them to be forced to get contracts in line with the private sector. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It is time to do things differently. Time to stop the insanity.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 29, 2008 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  57. So the taxpayers are played by Bill Murray in Groundhog Day….the same thing over and over. Except for the performance of Chariho, it seems to keep getting well less proficient over the years, and RYSE appears to keep getting more expensive. So see things have changed, after all.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  58. RS, fiscal responsibilti also includes getting the facilities into proper condition. Protacting out repairs over many years isn’t prudent either.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  59. OK, so since the admin failed to budget for the repairs and upkeep, but not for salaries and other perks, not to mention the slush fund….we the taxpayers must foot a bond to bail out the fiscal responsibleness they have displayed over the years……OK…..got it.

    PS..Don’t give me the crap about, well there wan’t enough left over in the budget for repairs. Any administrator(worth $100k+) would put all the items in the budget neccesary for the operation. I think you might be one of the administrators, because you fumble with your logic as much as they do with the budget.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  60. RS, what happened to “lets use facts so it is considered a debate”?
    Now I’m part of the administration, I could only wish I made as much as they did.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  61. Sigh

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  62. Sigh is right when you can’t stick to what you’ve said.

    I will tell you this, speak to other school committee members, they have a different take on what has transpired.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 30, 2008 @ 4:41 am | Reply

  63. I’ve yet to see anyone defend the fiscal trainwreck you so proudly defend either on this forum, in the newspapers or at any meeting. Give the a link or the data we’ll be happy to read/watch it. Obviously the poodle isn’t able to muster up the facts because he always reverts to diversion tactics…now its “well talk to some of the others they will tell you”. Why don’t they make the case like BF has done, I didn’t have to go seek him out, he made his case in the open(transparency)…if he’s so far off base wouldn’t it be easy to prove it and discredit him…something nobody has done yet.
    Its very simple, the number(budgets, taxes, spending) none of this lies and is available for all to see. Show me where the budgets were limited by any of the towns and Chariho was told sorry we can’t give you this amount of money you will have to do with less. This hasn’t happened. The taxpayers(of Hopkinton) had to step up to the plate and do the job the school committee should have been doing by voting down the bond.
    I am going to start a running count of the times you support Chariho and the times you support fiscal restraint and transparency. I will keep this simple for you by labeling them Trainwreck and Restraint.

    REF post 62: TRAINWRECK (1) RESTRAINT (0)

    Comment by RS — October 30, 2008 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  64. When CP claims he “khows there are problems”, but once again comes out in favor of spending more without any fix of the problems, then it should count as a vote for TRAINWRECK not RESTRAINT. He has the annoying habit of claiming to want Chariho to be fiscally responsible at the same time as he is advocating to take more money from families to give to Chariho. I don’t want any vote fraud. 😉

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  65. RS, it’s not use with either you or CR. You read what you want to read, BF isn’t the saviour that you want to make him out to be.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 30, 2008 @ 11:09 am | Reply

  66. Never said he was anything(unlike yourself calling him many things, mostly negative), but I will now. In my OPINION, BF is nothing more than a school committee member willing to bring some transparency to the process of where our tax dollars go in the Chariho system. He is also a citizen of the State of Rhode Island who is also trying to bring fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability on the state level. Unlike you seem to infer, I do not look upon any politician to be a “saviour” of any kind. All politicians are people like me and you, none are perfect. That being said you go ahead and continue to bow down at the alter of the “GREAT CHARIHO ADMINISTRATION AND THE NEA” and maybe your gods will bestow kindness and sympathy on you, because we all know they will never bestow RESPONSIBILITY, TRANSPARENCY, and ACCOUNTABILITY on the taxpayers.

    P.S. I am willing to read anything you post like I have always done, you just can’t seem to handle anyone commenting on what you post. Unlike the Feel Good Brigade(school committee), you don’t have the ability to silence those of us here, and that my friend is what you have a problem with.

    Comment by RS — October 30, 2008 @ 11:35 am | Reply

  67. RS, I find it rather ironic that you say I can’t handly anyone commenting on what I post. Once again, pot calling the kettle black. You can’t handle anyone disagreeing with your fiscally irresponsible position. As I’ve stated before, BF is not all you paint him to be. You wear blinders and refuse to try to see things from all positions.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 30, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  68. Sigh…very factual.

    Comment by RS — October 30, 2008 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  69. I have sent the following letter to the Times and Sun. I hope they will be published in time:

    Letter to the editor:
    We are at a point where we can demand more for our children and our families. For example, two grades, fifth and sixth, hold the key to the overcrowding issues on the campus. Provide for them and the others will fall into place, including RYSE. This is why I firmly believe, if the Chariho bonds are passed, the fifth and sixth graders will never be returned to a more academically appropriate grade level. Here is my reasoning.

    The fifth and sixth grades will remain in the middle school if we vote to expand the high school and middle school. The elementary schools cannot be nickel and dimed within the budget. To return these grades, a bond for them will also have to pass. Considering our bond track record, is a future elementary bond remotely possible after the passage of these 3 bonds?

    If they are returned to the elementary level, which is socially and academically more appropriate for young adolescents, expansion will not be needed on the Chariho campus. The middle and high schools could be reconfigured within the campus, and there could be room within existing structures for RYSE and ALP, including structured integration for RYSE if it is appropriate. Plus the modulars would be gone.

    Granted the high school needs work, but how pressing is it, when last summer bleachers and lockers became the priority. Repairs and maintenance are a budget issue. I have to remain firm on this.

    Taking a stand is sometimes difficult, but I understand the risks involved with my decision. I am taking a stand for these kids, therefore I am voting NO for all 3 Chariho bonds.

    Lois Buck, resident of Hopkinton
    Spouse of Thomas Buck, Hopkinton Town Council

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 30, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  70. Funny Mrs. Buck mentioned the lockers. I hadn’t thought of it, but when Chariho decides to spend a few hundred thousand of the excess millions, it is very telling they would choose lockers as a priority item. Makes me think the other supposed maintenance issues are not as bad as they claim. Why else would they choose lockers?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2008 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

  71. Mr. Felkner hasn’t saved anything unfortunately. He has brought publicity to many of the heretofore hidden problems at Chariho, but to date there has been no resolution. I am grateful for his efforts, and maybe over time we would have had some success, but “savior”?…He’s no Obama.

    Of course, by comparison to the rest of the clowns on the School Committee, at least he hasn’t hurt the community or our children.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2008 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  72. I know of at least one child BF has saved……his own. He is loyal to his family as opposed to educationally sacrificing his own to appease the conductors on the feel good train. He has also lobbied for the right of all parents to be able to do the same through a voucher system. I find this commendable and noteworthy of someone walk’n the walk, not just talk’n the talk. What has the rest of the feel good brigade done on such a level?? I’m sure there are some great things that have been accomplished, but for the life of me I seem to keep missing the talk from those who have made Chariho great…..maybe I’ve been doing too much walk’n.

    Comment by RS — October 30, 2008 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  73. Must disagree, CR. And im not claiming credit beause Lois probably did triple work I did on it, but the change in the math curriculum can be attributed to my “antagonistic” manner

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 30, 2008 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  74. This is true Mr. Felkner. I’m sure there’s more, but are we really sure the math curriculum has been fixed? I’m not so sure.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to discredit your accomplishments or efforts. If Chariho had listened to half of what you’ve said, they’d be 100% better than they are. The problem isn’t you, it’s them. Calling you antagonistic and volatile is absurd. Frankly, I’m amazed how you maintain control in the face of such idiocy. I’m antagonistic and volatile. CP is antagonistic and volatile. You are measured and reasonable.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  75. Mr. Felkner, Deb Jennings did at least double the work you did also. Funny how that’s not mentioned, either.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 31, 2008 @ 6:55 am | Reply

  76. Have any documented examples CP??

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  77. WOOD RIVER JCT. — Contracts for 11 Chariho Regional School District administrators have been extended through June 30, 2010 without approval from the school committee.
    Approval of the two-year contracts failed in a tie, 5-5 vote Tuesday. Chairman William G. Day of Richmond, Holly Eaves of Charlestown, Terri Serra of Richmond, Ronald Preuhs of Hopkinton and Andrew McQuaide of Charlestown voted to approve the work agreements, while William Felkner of Hopkinton, George Abbott of Hopkinton, Giancarlo Cicchetti of Charlestown, Andrew J. Polouski of Charlestown and Robert Petit of Hopkinton voted against them.
    Deborah Jennings of Richmond was absent.

    She could have changed this vote, not sure how important it would have been.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  78. she may have done 10 times that amount. no arguments. You read malicious intent into every omission don’t you.

    RS, having a tied vote meant we accomplished the goal – NOT approving the contracts. However, Ricci quickly told us that the contracts actually expired a few weeks prior and this was just a formality, the contracts automatically rolled over. So our vote meant nothing.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 31, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Reply

  79. BF, when you work for someone who is willing to grab the glory for what you’ve done, you’ve got that right. I see it as you doing the same thing, omit things so you look better.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 31, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  80. Im from Richmond, and I like Deborah, but where was she before Bill brought the issue to us. I was one of those parents who received his email with the video. I was shocked what was being taught my son. I am happy for everyone who is working on it but it was Bill who got it started.

    Comment by JS — October 31, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  81. I know I’m sounding like a broken record to most here, but I’ll say it again…..If BF is so far off base and what he posts is incorrect information…where is the data to contradict him, and where are all the folks with the information. If what you say is true, it should be easy to contradict him.

    Actually looking back at CP’s last 5 post(60,62,65,75,79), you provided no relevant information for your position. Actually 3 take a swipe at BF.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  82. I am compelled to start a new record of fact. Since CP no longer provides facts, only whining, I had to switch my trainwreck/restraint log to WHINING/FACT LOG.

    WHINING (5)…FACTS (0).

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 11:31 am | Reply

  83. I’m still waiting for confirmation that constructivist math is gone? No one gets any credit until we are sure it is long gone.

    More importantly than who fixed it, is who tolerated it for years? How many children will never recover from the atrocious decision to implement a constructivst curriculum? Considering constructivist math had been tried and failed well before the brain trust at Chariho foisted it upon our children, heads should have rolled over this decision. If nothing else, we should at least require Chariho’s administration to make decent education choices.

    Ms. Jennings is a loser like the rest of them. I still chuckle over her supposed efforts to reduce the budget while at the same time approving all the waste in the budget. Couldn’t seem to make up her mind. She obviously had marching orders to cut the budget, but she couldn’t bring herself to actually propose any cuts. I’m sure she realized the budget was bloated by millions, but didn’t want to publically acknowledge this ongoing reality. At least Mr. Petit made a token, albeit futile, effort to reduce administrators. Good riddance to Ms. Jennings. She can’t be the best Richmond has to offer, can she?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 31, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Reply


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