Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 27, 2008

More in the Sun

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 8:09 pm

Chariho bond’s burden on Hopkinton is unfair

In order to survive, Hopkinton resi­dents have learned to be very critical of wasteful spending and unnecessary taxation. During this time, our town has slipped into having the fourth high­est property tax burden in Rhode Island and Charlestown the third lowest.
Hopkinton’s roads, town hall and offices are crumbling. More and more residents are forced to endure unrealis­tic school committee budgets and decreasing household revenue. Unfortunately, indifferent elected offi­cials label opposing views as anti-edu­cation. At one recent recorded public meeting, officials laughed at Hopkinton’s unemployed residents. I bet they are not laughing anymore now that Rhode Island has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
The resentment and the funding inequities between the towns have been
festering since we regionalized. Now Hopkinton has become one the poorest towns in the state and pays more than 78 percent of its budget to the school. In contrast, Charlestown’s portion is 60 percent.
Before the voters Nov. 4 are three school bonds. If passed, we will perpet­uate the Chariho Act taxing scheme that penalizes a poorer town and forces more families into poverty. Even with the tri-town tinkering, the Chariho 2010 Fact Sheet shows Hopkinton tax­payers will pay 62 percent more than the Charlestown taxpayer. Remember, this will be on top of yearly school and town budget increases, and bonds do not count toward the state’s tax cap.
I have more concerns. Why has the school committee been silent on the fact that crucial language was deleted from section 4 of the bond legislation? Are
they aware or concerned the taxpayer protection used in previous bonds is missing? Now it is subject to thin air.
This leads to another big poverty pro­ducer. If the three bonds pass, will the taxpayers end up paying the entire $38.769 million? The 2010 Fact Sheet shows the total cost to the taxpayers will be just over $17 million because the state will pay the remaining $21.707 million. However, for the first time we have a bond vote that does not state it is subject to the then-current reimbursement rate pursuant to the general laws. Perhaps the missing explanations as to the implications of allowing the projects to go forward if the state gives us no money is the answer.
Sylvia K. Thompson Hopkinton Town Councilor Hopkinton



  1. The Rag finally mentioned Mrs. Thompson excellent presentation on Chariho’s budgeting games. Unlike Chariho’s alleged “fact sheet”, they didn’t provide many details of Mrs. Thompson facts, but they did give readers information on where to find the presentation on Hopkinton’s town website. Here’s the article:

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

  2. A couple of comments to The Rag article. The one from Richmond resident was nice to see:

    Thanks Hopkinton wrote on Oct 28, 2008 4:30 PM:

    ” Thank you Hopkinton! I live in Richmond and I am surrounded buy people that seem to enjoy paying the highest tax rate they can. We saw a large increase in our taxes here in Richmond due in part by the Chariho School District over taxing us and Vision appraisal telling us our land is made of gold ledge. I do not understand how the majority of the voters in my town including my town council can endorse the Chariho Budget. These are the same people that Endorsed and voted for Richmond to go over the 5% cap to 8.3% back in June at our town financial meeting. It makes no scene to support a Rouge Chariho School District, that is over taxing us year after year! I will be Voting NO on the bond AGAIN! how many times must I vote on this bond, I thought NO met NO the first time! I want to thank all those people In Hopkinton that Vote no the last time, Please help the rest of us in Richmond that are outnumbered by McMillionares and Vote NO again and Veto that bond! I wish my Town Council was as intelligent as Hopkinton’s ”

    Acknwledge Surplus wrote on Oct 28, 2008 3:42 PM:

    ” Good for Sylvia!

    A few years ago taxpayers (mostly Hopkinton) attempted to reduce Chariho’s budget by around $2 million. After Ricci threatened program cuts, taxpayers (mostly Charlestown and Richmond) fearfully put the money back into the budget. A few years later, because Chariho doesn’t quickly report actual spending, we learned that Chariho had a surplus far exceeding the $2 million.

    If Ricci thinks a $2 to $3 million surplus is good, then it should be acknowledged in his budgets and taxpayers should decide if they want to keep their income or give it to Chariho to keep in the bank. Stop padding budget items and give us an accurate budget so we can make informed decisions. “

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 28, 2008 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  3. Was that Ricci or was Pini still at the helm then? Also, wasn’t the school committee just as much to blame as the administration?

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 28, 2008 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

  4. Pini was at the helm, but the same practice, evidenced by Sylvia Thompson’s extensive research, is still practiced in our current budgetary practice.

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 28, 2008 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  5. Was Mr. Ricci the assistant? If so, I assume he knew as much as Mr. Pini.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 29, 2008 @ 12:53 am | Reply

  6. Mr. Ricci was the assistant, he probably did know as much as Mr. Pini but carried very little influence to do much of anything and I’m not trying to say he would have changed anything.

    Comment by CharihoParent — October 29, 2008 @ 5:03 am | Reply

  7. We know it wouldn’t have changed things because the game of huge, unbudgeted surplus continues to be played. Mr. Ricci a lot of things, but not a dummy. He learned well at Pini’s knees.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 29, 2008 @ 9:54 am | Reply

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