Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 18, 2008

“I’ve been thrown out of better places than this!”

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 10:18 pm

I really wanted to say the above quote as I was being escorted out,,, but I didn’t.

Here is a brief write-up that Gene Daniels was kind enough to post under the comments.  I’m going over my notes now and will post when I get them deciphered. 

“”There was quite a debate, the SC soliciter, Anderson, gave his opinion that BF could not sit without making all votes subject to litigation. McQuaid positioned it as better to deal with one suit from BF than many suits from others. Then SC “disqualified” him until such time as the matter is adjudicated. George fought hard for BF.

Once BF was disqualified, Day asked him to leave the table, BF refused. McQuaid led the charge to have the police remove a “member of the public” from the table. (editors note: I refused because I do not think the school committee, nor Bill Day, have the authority to make this decision)

BF was not allowed to speak, the supporters of BF spoke strongly to the issue of Hopkinton’s voters being disenfranchised. (editors note: Richard Vecchio showed up for work and tried to postpone votes until we got it figured out – lost the motion but Hopkinton made a good pick – tough first day especially never being on an elected seat before.  George tried hard too, tough to do next to Andy P making all those bodily function sounds.  Deborah Carney was a superstar.  She made the point that she may disagree with the attorney or not, but this shouldn’t be arbitrarily decided – it was “disenfranchising Hopkinton voters” – especially when it wasn’t even on the agenda – superstar I tell ya’  Charlestown should be proud).  (Barbara C, Tom B, Sylvia T, Dorothy G, Jim L, and some people I didn’t know (Gene D) showed up.  Thank you for the support.  As you can see, its not fun.

I’ll post my notes when cleaned up.

[UPDATE] – Anderson warned of litigation because if a vote was taken and the committee had an illegal member, the vote would not be valid and someone could file a suit. Not sure what scenario would create damages but I will concede his scenario as plausible.

When I spoke with an attorney today, he said that if a vote was taken and the School Committee denied Hopkinton equal representation then they would be opening themselves up to the same issue.  My guy told me to stress that if they do this, this could be an outcome. 

But, as Gene points out, I didn’t have an opportunity to speak.



  1. I commend President Elect Buck and Councilors Thompson and Capalbo and townspeople Gardiner and JL for attending (your are the ones of the silent majority). Now we know that the school committee is feeling brazen after the bond vote. The Town can go back to the voters of approval and show then their wrongs. I personally hope that Mr. Felkner will put the screws to this fool committee to the highest and sue the daylights out of it. He can possibly then make a charitable contribution if he choses to the ‘on the hot site, speech impetered embarrassment of a Supt.

    Comment by Marie — November 18, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  2. I will be speaking with my attorney tomorrow, and may need more information from you Mr. Felkner. If this is the case, may you be contacted about this or have you been advised to not comment??

    Comment by RS — November 18, 2008 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  3. If a Hopkinton seat does open up (I’m rooting for Mr. Petit to slink off), then I want to remind eveyone that RS has put himself forward. Imagine a Hopkinton contingent of Mr. Felkner, RS, Mr. Vecchio(?) and Mr. Abbott. Still not a majority, but they would no longer have the votes to shut down debate with a “move to motion” (if they remember it takes 2/3).

    From a purely logical perspective, it makes sense that any action they take which forcibly excludes one of Hopkinton’s duly elected representatives would be invalidated. I’m sure the School Committee lawyer is like the rest and barks on Mr. Ricci’s command.

    Did they happen to discuss Mr. Ricci lying to a parent this evening? Perhaps they want to make the issue go away while they have Mr. Felkner on the sidelines?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2008 @ 2:24 am | Reply

  4. FYI…Holly Eaves is chairwoman, and Mr. Petit is vice chair.

    Deb Carney supported Bill Felkner. Bob Petit did not.

    Comment by Lois Buck — November 19, 2008 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  5. So if the TC gets to fill the vacancy, then what would transpire if they chose BF???

    Comment by RS — November 19, 2008 @ 10:36 am | Reply

  6. Seems strange to me that they would just remove Mr Felkner. Why not (if they had a doubt) CANCEL THE MEETING, ask for a determination by an APPROPRIATE legal expert, who is not paid for and used by the CHARIHO SC. This event never had to happen. Shame on CHARIHO!

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 19, 2008 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  7. Last night was a long meeting. Tom and I left after 10:30.
    Yes, the parent’s issues were discussed in great detail. If you can look at the Cox video that would give more and detailed information. It seems that Chariho is back pedaling (appealing the RIDE ruling which was in the parents favor – which is still on-going) to give the parents more information more clearly explained. Step in the right direction for all special needs parents and children.

    Tom and I also stayed for the budget format discussion and the request that the councils receive the same 09-10 budget information lay-out as the school board. This will allow us all to be on the same page when we discuss line items with them. Last year our smaller copy had no relationship to their larger version. A number of school board members(thank you to them)tried to help us get acclimated to the right pages when we attended their budget meetings.

    There will be a new school budget format (via the state) which will be far more detailed than prior years so cannot be in good relationship to the past budgets. But moving forward should help us look at line items – actual and budget – with more precision.

    Thanks to everyone who attended. Dot Gardiner was tenacious with her camera.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — November 19, 2008 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  8. It was an obvious power play Dorothy, the SC knew since the night of Nov 4 that BF was elected to the TC. They had 14 days notice to work on this issue but clearly waited until the meeting which usually has poor attendance, and tried to keep the process secretive. Your much too nice in simply shaming Chariho…..more is involved than a simple administrative matter.

    PS..Does anyone know the time of day the officer would not allow BF to return to the meeting as a pubblic citizen?? An approximation is fine.

    Comment by RS — November 19, 2008 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  9. Note to RS:

    As Mr. Felkner was led OUT OF THE DOOR by the officer, he (Mr. Felkner) asked to return as a private citizen. The officer refused to allow Mr. Felkner the right to return to sit with the public. I left just after, and noted the patrol car parked in front of the entrance. (Waiting for someone to return, or just guarding the entrance?)

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 19, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  10. By the way, credit goes to sylvia Thompson for the camera. She brought the camera, she took most of the video, while sitting in the front row. I took just a bit in the back of the room. Because I was walking around the images will be less then perfect, as I have never used this camera before.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 19, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  11. I believe a large part of this was to remove Mr. Felkner while Mr. Ricci’s costly deceit in regard to nis lying to parents was on the agenda. Mr. Ricci’s lies are in black and white in an email. The parent requested School Committee discussions to occur in front of the public. The only way to minimize the damage to Mr. Ricci was to neutralize Mr. Felkner..even if just for this meeting.

    Hopkinton was disenfranchised last night. We were denied a voice on all matters which ensued after the unethical removal of Mr. Felkner. Every vote taken and every issue discussed should be dealt with again with Mr. Felkner present.

    Clearly the action of last night were choreographed. I’m not big on jail, but I’ll be disappointted if we don’t have a redistribution of wealth resulting from the behavior of the School Cmmittee, lawyer, and Mr. Ricci.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2008 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  12. Once again, Mr. Felkner, it’s all about you. It’s ALWAYS about you. To heck with the other members of the council, to heck with public education, to heck with the kids, to heck with anybody who doesn’t agree with your distorted view of reality lockstep. It is clear you bask in publicity, ANY kind of publicity, and your interest in serving the students of Chariho extends only so far as it strokes your considerable ego.

    Do us all a favor. Get out.

    Comment by Gabriel Corrigan — November 19, 2008 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

  13. It’s about us…the people who elected Mr. Felkner as our representative. That’s how democracy works Mr. Corrigan. Mr. Felkner has consistently been the voice advocating for the community. You don’t have to like it…you can even ask him to “get out”, but when our representative is denied the opportunity to do the job we elected him to do, then every person, whether happy with Mr. Felkner or not, should be outraged. We do not live in a police state.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2008 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  14. What about what the voters of Hopkinton want Gabriel Corrigan???

    Does our voice not count???

    The voters in Hopkinton elected BF to more than 1 office, what have you done lately???

    Comment by RS — November 19, 2008 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  15. I wonder if Chariho can get another election on Mr. Felkner like they did with the bond? Maybe we can vote for his seat every few months until they get the result they want?

    Isn’t Gabriel God’s messenger angel who foretold the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus? I don’t know if the angel Gabriel had a last name though?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 19, 2008 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  16. Its funny how people who don’t agree with BF (who operates inside the parameters of the system) want him to go away. They complain of his style, tactics, whatever you want to call it, but when push comes to shove, they don’t mind using tactics and a style that is shady, underhanded, possibly illeagal, and disenfranchises a whole town of voters.

    Pathetic…..and whats more disturbing is the citizens of the town that elected these people think it just fine for these practices to take place, and these are the people responsible for educating our children. They honestly have to wonder why we want something more for our kids. Take a look in the mirror SC, Chariho admin, and supporters of this system……..YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

    Comment by RS — November 19, 2008 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  17. RS, Bill Day called the police at 7:05. Thrown out about 7:30.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — November 19, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

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