Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 25, 2008

Follow-up on meeting

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 8:58 pm

 

Ousted Chariho official enlists lawyer to challenge school committee

By Victoria Goff

 

 


The Sun Staff

WOOD RIVER JCT. — A Chariho Regional School Committee member who was ousted by colleagues last week has enlisted an attorney to challenge whether the com­mittee had the authority to dismiss him.

The School Committee voted 6-3-1 to disqualify William J. Felkner, 45, “from participat­ing in School Committee meet­ings” last week after Chariho Solicitor Jon M. Anderson issued an oral opinion that Felkner was no longer a mem­ber of the committee since he became a newly elected mem­ber of the Hopkinton Town Council a day earlier.

The committee also decided that Felkner was disqualified until a ruling from the state Board of Elections or court said otherwise.

Felkner, of Ashaway, has two years left in his School Committee term since joining the board in 2006. The com­mittee includes representa­tives from each of the three Chariho towns: Charlestown, four members; Hopkinton, four members; and Richmond, three members.

Felkner said Monday that he has hired North Scituate­based attorney Nicholas Gor­ham, the House Minority Whip who lost his seat in this month’s election.

“It’s a dangerous precedent that a legislative body can start removing its own mem­bers,” Gorham said.
He said he has not “seen anything in the Chariho Act [the district’s governing docu­ment] that gives the School Committee the authority to remove a member.”

Gorham also said that, although he has not reviewed the meeting’s agenda yet, he was told “this removal wasn’t even on the agenda… Certainly the public should know if they’re going to do something like that. Certainly Mr. Felkner should know. There are some real procedural issues to begin with that have to be carefully examined.”

Felkner and Gorham said they plan to address the School Committee at an upcoming meeting on the matter.

“I think we should have an open discussion in public about some of the issues that they’ve tried to raise,” Gorham said. “I just want to appeal to common sense.”

“Common sense” is what Chariho Superintendent Barry J. Ricci said led him to assume that Felkner was not going to retain his seat on the School Committee after being elected to the council — the reason why he said he did not send Felkner a pack­et of documents pertaining to the meeting’s agenda.

When Felkner contacted Ricci prior to the meeting about not receiving the pack­et, Ricci said he chose not to respond. He did not offer specifics on why.

Felkner’s status on the School Committee was not a listed agenda item. Discussion on the matter began during the commit­tee’s “Call to Order” in public before the executive session, which was scheduled a half­hour earlier than the regular session open to the public.

“From a common sense and practical point of view, how could you ever anticipate the need to put an agenda item to remove someone who would not be there,” Ricci said.

Asked why Felkner was not placed on the agenda, given that Felkner indicated he planned to attend when he inquired about his com­mittee packet, Ricci replied: “The agenda was already published and posted. It was much too late to change the agenda. They [the Hopkinton Town Council] weren’t sworn in until Monday night [the day before the committee met]. He could have chosen not to be sworn in to the council on Monday night, then he would have been a member of the School Committee.”

William G. Day, of Wyoming, who handled the matter during his final hour as committee chairman, said he contacted the district solicitor, Anderson, about the legality of Felkner serving on the school board and Hopkinton council simulta­neously, after it had “been mentioned to me by a couple of individuals that Felkner planned to continue to serve.”

The first time Day said he heard Anderson’s opinion was at the meeting. Anderson, who does not typi­cally attend committee meet­ings, was already expected to be present for a listed agenda item, Ricci said.
When Day was asked why he didn’t contact Felkner prior to the meeting, he replied: “Mr. Felkner is a very difficult individual to speak to.” Day cited a phone message that he said Felkner left three to four months ago, in which he accused Felkner of being “very crude” and “very unprofessional.”

Felkner did not speak to the committee during the hour-long debate about whether he should remain on the school board, except to say he did not think the com­mittee had the authority to remove him. When Day told Felkner he could sit in the audience, Felkner refused.

“We gave him every oppor­tunity to sit in the audience,” Day said about the commit­tee discussion, noting Felkner could have addressed the committee during the public forum and could have weighed in on agenda items as a member of the public.

When Felkner refused to leave the meeting, Day asked a police officer to “escort Mr. Felkner.” The officer told Felkner that he could not stay at the meeting.

“That wasn’t my call,” Day said. “That was the police officer’s call. I haven’t talked to the officer or the chief as to what was the reasoning for asking the gentleman to leave.”

Richmond Police Chief Raymond A. Driscoll did not return a phone message before press time.
Anderson said he deter­mined his opinion by collec­tively interpreting the Chariho Act, the Hopkinton Town Charter, common law known as the “Doctrine of Incompatibility” and case law from Georgia and Washington.

The Chariho Act and Hopkinton Town Charter do not explicitly state that a town councilor cannot serve on the School Committee.

However, Anderson told the committee that the Hopkinton Town Charter prohibits a person from hold­ing more than one elected town office concurrently. It also says: “Members on boards or commissions that act as representation of the Town of Hopkinton in regards to the School District shall not disallow that elec­tor from serving on another board, committee or commis­sion in Town government.”

The charter defines mem­bers of the council and School Committee as elected offi­cials.

Anderson said the two offices would be “incompati­ble,” offering the example of a councilor voting on a ballot question for his or her town to withdraw from the school district, while the councilor served on the school commit­tee.

Felkner contacted Ethics, Elections boards

Before William J. Felkner appeared at the Hopkinton Town Council and Chariho Regional School Committee meetings last week, he said he contacted two state agencies on holding dual offices.
Steven Cross, chief of investigations for the state Ethics Commission, said he never issued an “official advisory opinion” to Felkner, but acknowledged he did speak with him prior to last week’s School Committee meeting.

He said he told Felkner that, in the past, the commission has “had advisory opinions that when the question is strictly, ‘I’m on the town council, can I run for another office and can I keep both offices,’ we have said with cautionary language, yes, you can do that.”

However, Cross noted that the advice was based on the state code of ethics; it did not address the town charter.

 

 

 

At this point, Cross said, “There’s nothing here to be handled by the ethics board.”

Robert Kando, executive director of the state Board of Elections, said the board would issue an opinion only if it received a formal complaint that specifies the alleged violation of state law and facts supporting the accusation.

Kando said he has spoken with Felkner over the past two weeks and told him, “I didn’t know of anything in state law that allowed it or dis­allowed it. If he had any questions, he should contact his attorney.”
Felkner said last week that he wants to serve on the School Committee and Hopkinton Town Council in order to implement school choice, a system in which a guardian chooses a school for his or her child, regardless of location.

Advertisements

77 Comments »

  1. From the article, I sense some backsliding on Day’s part.

    Comment by RS — November 25, 2008 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  2. Backsliding? I think it’s outright lies on Bill Day’s part and on Barry Ricci’s part. Both of them are hoping not too many people know what happened at the SC meeting. By Barry Ricci not returning calls and/or emails from Bill Felkner tells me that it was a setup on his part. Didn’t he learn yet that one should never assume?

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 25, 2008 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  3. Oh man, what has “common sense” come to …

    To me, common sense says the day after the election, maybe someone should call Bill to see if he’s going to resign his seat.Then surprise, he’s not, then make your concerns known.

    And last I knen, you don’t even have to talk to him, email and mail still work.

    If this is the type of common sense the admin and some of the SC uses to make decisions, they aren’t qualified and should all resign.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — November 25, 2008 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  4. One key question is when did Mr. Day contact Mr. Anderson? If, as Mr. Ricci says, they had no idea Mr. Felkner planned on remaining on the School Committee until he showed up, then why did Mr. Day contact the attorney?

    Even if we assumed Mr. Ricci is not lying, are we to believe Mr. Anderson did all his research on Tuesday leading up to the meeting? That’s an awful lot of case law analysis for one day. I’d like to see Mr. Day on a witness stand testifying to when he contacted Mr. Anderson.

    This is the slippery slope Mr. Felkner warned about when Mr. Ricci was given carte blanche assess to the attorney at his whim. We pay a hefty price for the solicitor and as predicted Mr. Ricci is using the attorney for his own purposes rather than the good of the children and our community. We know of one parent he unilaterally chose to fight…we know from the amount spent on legal expenses there are likely many more.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 26, 2008 @ 3:15 am | Reply

  5. Did Mr Day contact the attorney, or did Mr Ricci contact the attorney? Mr Felkner did not get his packet at the normal time, and this was planned, I am sure. Mr. Day just is not smart enough to contact an attorney on his own, and the SC members (AP, BD, speaking with others) were buzzing prior to the meeting, so this (Mr. Felkner attending the meeting)was no surprise to many on the SC.

    Also, if I recall correctly, the attorney was well prepared, as noted, had notes prepared, and probably was contacted by Mr. Ricci, not Mr. Day. Of course, Mr. Ricci could have called Mr. Day to tell him to call the attroney, but since Ricci can call the attorney at any time he wishes, there would have been no reason to do that.

    Since Mr. Felkner had called requesting his packet some time PRIOR to the meeting, there was time to plan:

    1. To add to the agenda
    2. To cancel the meeting

    WHEN did Mr. Felkner contact Ricci requesting his packet, and
    WHEN are the packets supposed to be sent to the SC members? It remains to be seen what length of time existed prior to final publication of the meeting agenda, which never had the question of Mr. Felkner serving on the SC.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — November 26, 2008 @ 9:06 am | Reply

  6. So when you don’t know what to do you choose to break the law? They could have adjourned, but they had a plan and went forward with it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 26, 2008 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  7. Dorothy,
    Bill Flekner has the answers to the following questions already posted:

    WHEN did Mr. Felkner contact Ricci requesting his packet

    (BF said in a post that he emailed BR on the Saturday and Monday prior to the meeting),

    and

    WHEN are the packets supposed to be sent to the SC members?
    (BF said in that same post that the he should have had the packet on Saturday)

    So BR, at the least, assumed BF was no longer on the school committee.

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 26, 2008 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  8. Hi!
    Any lawyer can easily see case law permitting multiple office holding in other states. The late Frank Turek in Stonington, Connecticut; served on the Board of Education in that town and State Representative in Connecticut years back for example. Local area people involved in politics and political junkies would know better, the Turek example is in out local region. Another is Andy Maynard now Connecticut State Senator from Stonington and several other times that was Warden of the Borough not Town of Stonington. He completed his term as Warden, and did not run when his term came up the following borough election year.That is just one example of out of state perspective. Politically speaking, Bill Felkner’s adversaries saw a chance to get him politically and moved. That does not mean they will be successful.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 26, 2008 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  9. Hi!
    It is other towns not times in #8,. I would be concerned how prepared this lawyer was for the school committee on this and his advice to them. He may prevail but it would appear his case is weak. Clearly some arguments such as multilple office holding can easily be deflected and answered. Also I am not sure the Board of Elections has standing in the matter, as the role assigned to them, is election wise, to ascertain election procedures not whether one can hold two elected positions at one time. There is however a law prohibiting filing for more than one local or state office in the same election that was passed in 2005,. However Bill’s elections were in 2006 (school committee) and 2008 (town council),.
    I am not sure if Bill Felkner will or can sue both the school committee as a body and individually its members, but since this is a civil rights type issue it is possible or probable he could. I assume Mr. Ricci or other staff people are likely to be legally accountable for their actions or inactions.
    I am not an attorney and lawyers will give you different opinions on the same situation. However I believe this matter will be precedent setting. I assume a possible but not necessarily a probable legal point is the topic of conspiracy to deny Mr. Felkner his civil rights to hold an office. This does not take in account the Town of Hopkinton’s interest also, in the case as an entity, a municipality, and denying them representation.
    Correct me if I am wrong but the Chariho Act does NOT give the school committee the right to judge the the qualifications of its members? Legislative bodies such as state legislatures and U. S. Congress have that power to judge membership in their bodies. If you have a section of the Chariho Act that says that please advise.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 26, 2008 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  10. The letter sent me by the AG’s office appears to state they will not become involved in any reperesentation violations issues, they only appear to want information regarding the open meeting violation, and only how I as a citizen was aggrieved.

    Comment by RS — November 26, 2008 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  11. Hi!
    A citizen can be aggrieved by not having it posted for public comment and observation. It appears to be possibly multiple violations on this matter of that meeting. Mr. Felkner, himself, certainly has the right to defend his membership and have it discussed in public.
    Mr. Day comment in the press about Mr. Felkner is interesting in regards to Mr. Felkner being hard to work with. Mr. Day has been known for years to have a strong personality and not easy to work with.
    The legal issue raised by the school board attorney is interesting about Mr. Felkner’s participating on the board. Tie votes are not commonplace on the committee as I understand it,this although the vote on Mr. Felkner was close,. I need to check but does the Chariho Act or Robert’s Rules of Order allow Mr. Day to order the school committee clerk not to count Mr. Felkner’s votes that evening?
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 26, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  12. I agree with you Scott, the AG’s request is just more middle of the road we don’t want to take a stand on the issue because its not popular, its not an election year, and we receive PAC money from ??(not you), and we are not really for open government, and etc, etc.
    Fortunately we will always have the courts if need be. I wonder if the few of us on this forum are the only ones upset by this injustice, or if we are just the vocal ones about it.
    Anyone have a short list of attorneys who specialize in these type cases???

    Comment by RS — November 26, 2008 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

  13. Hi!
    It will be interesting and precedent setting as it is interesting to note the attorney for the school committee apparently could not cite previous examples in Rhode Island among elected officeholders. Years ago I recall an Exeter Town Councilman who if I remember correctly was Town Sergeant and Town Councilman at the same time as well as West Greenwich Town Council member(s) being Town Moderator and a Town Council member at the same time. If laws have been changed what laws or rulings changed them? I would like citations of laws or court cases.
    Since the school committee legal counsel avoided Connecticut examples either intentionally or unitentionally, that clearly would contradict his logic. I already gave the Turek example and remember state legislatures make mandates local officials must follow!
    Years ago in 1999 there was Hirst v. Chariho School Committee, where the school committee which I recall Bill Day was on at the time, extended the contract in private of then Supt. John Pini. The (un)official ruling was the school committee violated the law but it was not wilfull according to the AG’s Dept.. They however where put on notice if it was done again it would be considered wilfull. This is not necessarily the same issue but I have fought the good fight at Chariho more than once.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 26, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  14. NH also allows dual office holding, at least for town and state. Why go to the midwest for case law and ignore sister new england states?

    On a basic level, isn’t this situation about this simple: 1. BF checked as best he could that it was ok, he never misrepresented his intentions; 2. With no clear case law and no indication that BF was going to resign, they did not perform due diligence.Regardless of the outcome, they bear the responsibility for the fiasco.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — November 26, 2008 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

  15. The attorney had to go far away for case law because he was not looking to provide an objective legal opinion. Obviously he was given the task of legally justifying what Mr. Ricci and Mr. Day had decided they wanted to do. The whole fiasco was planned. Only a fool would argue otherwise.

    Mr. Ricci claims it was “common sense” to assume Mr. Felkner wouldn’t be keeping both seats, but although the Ethics Commission and Board of Election didn’t rule in an official manner, they both seem to lack the “common sense” to immediately recommend to Mr. Felkner that he couldn’t hold both positions. Mr. Ricci’s common sense seems not as common as he would want us to believe.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 26, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  16. What do these quotes have in common?

    1. “I did not tell a lie”. (R. Nixon)
    2. “I did not have sex with that woman”. (W. Clinton)
    3. “From a common sense and practical point of view, how could you ever anticipate the need to put an agenda item to remove someone who would not be there”. (B. Ricci)

    Comment by Gene Daniell — November 27, 2008 @ 7:53 am | Reply

  17. G. Gordon Liddy was involved in them all?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 27, 2008 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  18. Happy Thanksgiving…turkey’s in the oven!

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 27, 2008 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  19. Mr. Day who has been alleged to have a General Equivalency Degree and not even a high school diploma in charge of a $50,000,000 plus budget should scare the daylights out of any towns.

    Another being allegation of allegedly threatening the life of the Charlestown School Committee Chairman, Amy Stedman which led to her resignation and was to be pursued by the Charlestown Town Council (first time councilor John Craig) is another.

    Mr. Day is alleged another time after embarrassing himself on the Richmond Town Council over a issue that extended for approximately a year in Richmond when he tried alledgedly to walk out of a council meeting and said no quorum existed when the meeting already was called because he didn’t like the democrat who was going to be appointed to the council. Being a long time Richmond resident Bill applied for an opening on the Chariho School Board and was voted on by a 2-1 vote with Mr. Oppenheimer opposed which explains the disdain by Mr. Day for Mr. Oppenheimer.

    Maybe the knucklehead James Hirst if he comes acrossed it in his so called ‘research’ will report on it or verify its truthfulness, I doubt it. He has reported some good stuff to his credit,but as mentioned above I would assume he will curl up in a ball and not report it if he finds anything. Lets see if there is anything by anyone else.

    Comment by Phil K — November 27, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  20. My only personal experiences with Mr. Day have been in his capacity as a sport’s official. He not only was a terrible official, he was arrogant to boot. I’ve heard people with an inferiority complex are prone to be bullies. Billy-boob exemplifies a bully in old age.

    I have no knowledge of Billy-boob’s political history, but the description of his behavior is keeping with what we have witnessed during his tenure as School Committee chairman. If anyone doubts the School Committee’s lack of judgment, appointing Billy-boob chairman proves they have are sorely lacking. Mr. Ricci’s, a man lacking a proper educational background, is further proof of the School Committee’s ineptness.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 27, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  21. Phil,

    I’m more than a little disappointed you feel that people from time to time just recite numbers, not pie in the sky numbers but ‘facts’ would make one a knucklehead.

    Regarding ‘part of your arguement’ I can only offer you page one of two articles , regarding a couple of your points. When I get to the the other pages you and other bloggers will have to or can take stock in the article(s). If you need that to make one of many points if I come acrossed or yet to you also can do your own research. Its called time and money.

    Phil, This may address one of your concerns regarding Mr. Day, Westerly Sun, Authored by Matt Sheley, Thursday April 10, 1997, Headline CHAIRMAN SAYS THREATS FORCED HER TO RESIGN. THE OTHER ARTICLE ON THE SAME PAGE, TOWN VOWS TO DEAL WITH HARRASSMENT by Ken Coia, The Sun (again this only the first page of two) on both articles. Hopefully this appeases you Mr. Phil in regards to your allegations or lends a final stamp on the improprieties of this alleged town servent/serpant.

    CHARIMAN SAYS THREATS FORCED HER TO RESIGN, BY MATT SHELEY, THE SUN, THURSDAY APRIL 10, 1997.

    WOOD RIVER JUNCTION-President Amny Stedman of Charlestown says she resigned from the Chariho School Committee before Tuesdays meeting because of verbal and physical threats by Richmond Committee member William Day.
    “Bill Day threatened my life,” Stedman comented. “He walked right up to me and pointed his finger an inch from my face and said “Mrs. Stedman, you dug your own grave, you decide what you’re going to put in there.”

    While Day does not deny confronting Stedman during a recess following Stedman during a recess following an hour and 45 minute executive session, he does not agree with Stedman’sassessment of the situation.

    “I stongly object to the situation that I was in her face,” Day said. “We had a discussion continued from the executive session.

    “HE WALKED RIGHT UP TO ME AND POINTED HIS FINGER AN INCH FROM MY FACE AND, SAID, ‘mRS. STEMAN, YOU DUG YOUR OWN GRAVE, YOU DECIDE WHAT YOU’R GOING TO PUT IN THERE.”
    AMY STEDMAN
    CHARIHO CHAIRMAN

    She was seated at the table. I was standing erect and upright and the table was between me and her the whole time . . . I MAY/may have made a gesture with my hand.”

    A few members of the committee were in the room at the time and confirmed an exchange between Day and Stedman.

    “I saw Mr. Day point his finger,” Hopkinton committee member Lois Russell said. “I heard him make some comment about Mr. Stedman digging a hole, but I’m not sure if I heard him say anything about a grave.”
    At the moment, Stedman does not consider herself a member of the committee and has no intention of returning.

    “People have been calling me up and to reconsider my move,” Stedman siadd. “People have said I should take a brief recess from the school committee. My actions taken last (rest of article on another page).

    IS THIS WHAT YOU ARE REFERRING TO PHIL ? There is a second page but I think this wets your appetite doesn’t it.

    I will file your possibly second concern, on same page, thurday April 10, 1997, article entitled TOWN VOWS TO DEAL WITH HARRASSMENT, by Ken Coia, The Sun. (Again only page 1 of two)

    Charlestown-The Town Council vowed to swiftly deal with the harrassment that caused resident Amy Stedman to resign as chariman of the Chariho School Committee.

    Stedman, whom the council appointed to fill a vacancy on the commitee, assumed the charimanship in November. At Tuesday’s committee meeting-exactly one year after her appointment-she abruptly resigned and walked out of the meeting.
    At a council agenda meeting workshop Wednesday, Council Presdient Charles Beck said Stedman has had difficulty with committee memberes from othe towns since she took over the helm.

    “She has been verbally harrassed to the point wher she feels she can no longer be chairperson,” Beck said. “(Some committee members) have made her job extremely difficult.”

    The news outraged Councilor John Craig.

    “It’s time to make this public,” Craig said. “I don’t think it’s right for our town to be picked on by other towns.”

    Craig proposed calling a meeting among the three district towns and televising School Committee meetings on cable. (Blogger note come and gone in recent 2008 bloggings)

    “I think these meetings need to be exposed, he said.

    The council did not discuss the harrassement in detail, but Stedman, in an interview, said She has had difficulty with Richmond school committee members Stephanie Robert and William Day (see related story, Thursday April 10, 1997, Authored by Matt Sheley).During a recess in a school committee meeting, Day, Stedman said, pointed at her face as he made what she considered to be a death threat.

    At its meeting Monday, the council will propse some action to delaing with the School Committee members would boycott meetings.

    Beck was relectant to talk about the matter this morning. “We certainly have optoons,” he said, . . . (again their is a second page). I don’t have it in front of me but will ‘research it out if a blogger finds the need’.

    Hopefully this answers some of your questions Phil K.

    Comment by James Hirst — November 27, 2008 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  22. I would imagine most SC meetings are conducted in a similar manner as the one we have witnessed on tape. I would think a person could study up on the open meeting laws, and Robert’s Rules, and be a monthly pita for the SC, especially if taping the event so there is a record. Of course getting the AG’s office to act is altogether another story, I’m sure they would spin the person taping the meeting and filing the complaint as the problem, and try to threaten them with filing false/frivolous complaints.
    Just with my limited knowledge of meeting conduct, there were many instances of improper meeting rules and open meeting laws violations. It’s as if the SC members want to play politics, but don’t grasp a fundamental understanding of how they are supposed to “play”, and do as they wish. Maybe its time for regular tapings of the meetings and review for inconsistencies in the procedures. Of course the RPD might view this as a disruption of the meeting and escort us from the building.

    Comment by RS — November 27, 2008 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  23. Great research again Mr. James Hirst. I think people like Mr. Day depend on short memories.

    So now we know this isn’t the first time Billy-boob has engaged in harassment of School Committee representatives from the other towns. Apparently it works great as Billy-boob became chairman and Ms. Stedman is a faded memory. No wonder Billy-boob acts as if he is omnipotent…he may be omnipotent. Then again, Mr. Felkner seems to be made of tough stuff so hopefully Bill-boob has finally met his match?

    I am buoyed to read Charlestown’s Town Council spoke out in defense of their School Committee member. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if our Town Council will defend Hopkinton citizens’ right to choose our own School Committee representative?

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

  24. Luck of the Draw James Hirst, I would assume assume you’ve pulled your last rabbit out of its/your *** regarding the above commentary

    Comment by Phil — November 27, 2008 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  25. Phil,

    Plan on doing any heavy lifting yourself/researching tirds like Billy?.

    The information you squak about is a matter of public record in Richmond Town Hall. Bill Day is and has been our Richmond problem for 30 years.

    Comment by Mike — November 27, 2008 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  26. While I haven’t been a Richmond resident for that long of a period of time I’ve been told and have seen how much of a problem Bill Day is. I’ve heard him run his mouth off more than once at SC meetings where he makes a total idiot out of himself. I’m not impressed with him at all.

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 27, 2008 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  27. How odd, didn’t Day say he didn’t call BF because he left nasty messages for BD? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — November 27, 2008 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  28. Hi!
    I have not talked to my brother about these postings, but he is defintely a “star” compared to his critic(s),. My brother and I don’t necessarily agree, but he brings more thought and deliberation to the table than most. He takes the iniative to do his homework., and he is not in office!
    We have a school committee of eleven members, ten if you accept the school committee’s opinion of a vacancy, and that with disgarding Bill Felkner’s vote. We will he how they progress but they may be reprimanded by a judge for their actions.
    Bill Day’s through the years been known for his public statements. He has a hard time dealing with different thoughts of view.
    I don’t think because someone only has a GED somehow has nothing to contribute. Education is only one aspect of a person. Perhaps the best known GED in America is Ruth Minner who is stepping down as Governor of Delaware. Those with a GED or no high school diploma should not so easily dismissed in the public square of ideas and debate.
    Mr. Day has for years been involved in politics and community activities. He has LESS EXCUSE for his deportment and knowledge of local issues than most. Consider the fact he is or has been a Town Moderator, Town Council Member, Fire Official, Youth Sports Official, and a GOP Town Chairman, through the DECADES. Only Andy Polouski and him on the school committee have many decades of political and community involvement. The main point should be thus: How can someone with the political/community resume of Mr. Day conduct himself like he does? Of course, experience is not necessarily always a plus!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 28, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  29. Having not graduated from High School should not disqualify a person from participating in politics, but when you combine the lack of education with Billy-boobs demeanor and positions, it’s fair to wonder if his failure to graduate High School contributes to his ineptitudes?

    On another topic, came across an opinion piece on Charter schools which I thought was interesting:

    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/nov/14/rethinking-our-schools/

    “Charters are the biggest bargain in public education because they pay for their own construction. Compare the $8 million Imagine spent to build its South Vero campus with the $20 million the district allocates for elementary schools or the $46 million it’s earmarked for a middle school off 66th Avenue (up from an earlier $35 million estimate).

    Charters have every incentive to economize because they work with their own money. The conservation ethic extends to operational budgets, which tightly control administrative overhead while stretching instructional dollars through innovation.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 28, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  30. Uh I dunno, maybe because to BD it is all about Bill Day! At least that is what opponents of BF claim about BF.
    So lets see, BF has tried to bring tranparency and openness to the SC process, and Bill Day has brought us ……… (this is where is supporters can take over) ????

    Comment by RS — November 28, 2008 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  31. Hi!
    1.Those with academic credentials often dismiss people who don’t have the same credentials as themselves, and of course that attitude seems to be with the individual. That type of “prejudice” is still in vogue to a great extent today, even among college graduates among each other, but graduates of “less prestigious” colleges and universities do OK.
    Through the years our part of the state or sections of it, have been ridiculed by outsiders, but I think we have many positives.
    2. Getting back to Bill Felkner matter. It will be based on law or what a judge or judges interpret to be. I assume it will be decided entirely in state courts not federal. It appears the case could go in any direction. I am more interested in precedent, which for the most part seems lacking at this point. Using the Hopkinton Town Charter to block Bill from keeping his seat may be a stretch and appears the charter would not prohibit it, the Chariho Act, I understand does not address it, and the Doctrine of Compatability stated by the school committee lawyer, seems to be easily dismissed depending if you are SELECTIVELY using other states laws to bolster your case. Nearby Connecticut is an easy way to rebut it, with other states easily probably could help you with that perspective.
    Relish the thought of Bill Day being on the stand of a courtroom, having to explain his actions and conduct. The judge will have no interest in local politics, the most unpolitical forum you can have. This may go all the way to the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Defintely a decision that will be referred to in the future.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 29, 2008 @ 10:35 am | Reply

  32. I feel for the residents of Richmond if BD were to speak publicly in a court room. I’m sure he is not representative of the average citizen of Richmond, and only a poor substitute for embarassement.

    Comment by RS — November 29, 2008 @ 10:49 am | Reply

  33. Hi!
    My brother BTW graduated with an Associate’s Degree High Honors in paralegal studies from CCRI. While not a lawyer he is pretty good. He does not need his big brother defending him Phil but I thought I would do it anyway. Add to the fact he holds a Master’s in Health Education and gaduated Cum Laude from Rhode Island College and before going to Rhode Island College graduated with his first Assocites Degree with Honors from then then RIJC later CCRI,. I trust my brother won’t be mad at “tooting his horn”. In addition he has been committed to the sport of running and been involved in coaching including Chariho.
    Jack Kemp, an interesting politician uses or has used the line that goes something like this:”No one cares what you know until they know that you care”,. That is probably not an exact quote. We have people that going around making statements about being for children and education but they are missing something often. The same could be said the same about those who always worry about taxes. I could elaborate on this but for the time being, I won’t.
    In closing, I do not want to seem to contradict what I stated earlier about education. It is only one part of a person.
    We have a number of community leaders and volunteers, not well educated in an academic sense but they bring “much to the table” in community value.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 29, 2008 @ 10:55 am | Reply

  34. Hi!
    The Westerly Sun http://www.thewesterlysun.com , has noted the Hopkinton Town Council will be discussing the Felkner situation tonight at there first December regular meeting. RS, BTW, was mentioned in the article done by Vickie Goff in yesrerday’s Sun.
    I am not sure how much will be private in executive session and how much will be public.
    The Hopkinton Town Council has standing as they need to decide if there is indeed a vacancy as only THEY CAN FILL A SCHOOL COMMITTEE VACANCY. I do not know what they will be advised. I am NOT convinced a vacancy exists at this point.
    The Hopkinton Town Council will be meeting at 7 P.M., at the Hopkinton Historical Association Meetinghouse across from Hopkinton Town Hall. Since this an unusual situation and legal precedents appear hard to get, the Felkner situation will be a yardstick in the future.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 1, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  35. Hi All,
    Went to the town council meeting expecting to hear about the school board situation. They didn’t talk about it. I asked during public forum and was told it would be discussed in executive session. I tried to make the point Hopkinton is without one of our representatives on the school board. I’d like it to be Bill but whoever it is we need the situation resolved quickly. Tom Buck said it was a legal matter. This is true but it doesn’t change the fact we are minus a Hopkinton voice on the board.

    Scott Bill Hirst said the town council is the body who fills vacancies. This is a great point. The council should at least tell us if they think there is a vacancy? Bill was away on business and Bev Kenney wasn’t there either. Wish I had more to share but that’s it.

    Comment by Jim L. — December 1, 2008 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

  36. Thanks for the report Jim, I was planning to go to the meeting, but the agenda didn’t reflect anything on the SC seat, so figured it wouldn’t be discussed. I get the feeling the TC is letting BF carry the ball on his nickel, and are waiting to see what happens with his suit. Too bad they won’t make a stand one way or the other. I would at least like to see them acknowledge the situation pro or con. I have yet to receive any response on my email to the TC.

    Comment by RS — December 1, 2008 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  37. I thought I read in the Sun the SC situation was on the agenda. Maybe not but that’s why I went. Guess we’ll have to keep waiting. If Hopkinton does win in court then they should invalidate any votes which happened without Bill F. there.

    Comment by Jim L. — December 2, 2008 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  38. I only checked the agenda on the Hopkinton TC website…

    Comment by RS — December 2, 2008 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  39. Hi!
    I said some other things too. But I recall I didn’t say about both Forrester Safford and Greg Avedesian actually was their submitting letters of resignation, which I believe they did, when they where elected to the Charlestown Town Council back in 2004. They both had two years left on their school committee terms.
    We need to forget the personalities and look at this legally and precedurally the best way we can. There defintely is precedent for school committees members elected to town council to resign, but no precedent I have seen automatically throughs them off the school committee, if elected to another office and they don’t formally submit a resignation for school committee.
    I am not impressed by what I have seen from their attorney on this, and i said or alluded to that. One of which I noted last night by his omitting examples of dual officeholding from nearby Connecticut. I did mention I recall saying this could go either way.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 2, 2008 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  40. There was lots of discussion at the Richmond Town Council meeting about the Chariho financial situation, especially what happens if the State cuts aid this year. I suspect more involvement.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 2, 2008 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  41. AND, I wonder what will happen to the state funding for the bond? Recall, we were expecting a substantial amount from the state…..think it will be cut along with everything else?

    Comment by Dorothy — December 3, 2008 @ 5:29 am | Reply

  42. The Rag reports the minutes from the executive meeting were sealed. This indicates to me that Hopkinton is going to be litigating the issue. How else could they justify sealing the minutes if they voted not to litigate? The whole reason for secrecy would go away if the Hopkinton Town Council had decided not to prtect our interests. I hope they move quickly.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 3, 2008 @ 11:35 am | Reply

  43. Hi!
    Curious Resident, that may be the case in your #49 post but I would not read too much into into it as far as litigation for the town. But the town clearly has an interest.ONLY the Hopkinton Town Council can fill a school committee vacancy.
    The REAL QUESTION at this point for the Hopkinton Town Council is this: Do they believe a vacancy exists on the Chariho School Committee because of Bill Felkner’s election and swearing-in of Mr. Felkner to the Hopkinton Town Council?
    Personally I realize this is an unique situation and I find it interesting how the Chariho attorney is handing this situation. Perhaps he handling the best he can. I am NOT impressed however on using non Rhode Island situations as they can be easily rebutted and in court that is not good.
    It will be interesting if state or federal court venue will be used. I would prefer the federal option in United States District Court, District of Rhode Island, but Rhode Island courts may not necessarily handle it differently. For judges to throw out elections results or elected officials unless there is a real strong legal basis for it is not common when the results are clear.
    I suppose the adversaries of Mr. Felkner are hoping to fill the vacancy. I am not ruling out myself applying for a potential school committee vacancy of Mr. Felkner but Tuesday evenings I busy myself as a Member of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Ashaway Fire District on the Third Tuesdays. Since the school committee meets most of the time on the Second and Fourth Tuesdays that may not be a problem.
    I assume Mr. Preuhs probably may have his eye on Mr. Felkner’s seat as a way to get back on the committee. I hope Lois Buck, Dot Gardiner, Jim Labrosse, and others who bring some interest in our schools may also look at it. I do not know if my brother Jim, would be a possibility: He is an educated person, Chariho grad, who never lost interest in students who graduated after he left Chariho, serving in coaching capacities, but a person who does not have blind loyalty, and who would bring intelligience, drive, and do his “homework”, and can see “more than one side”.As a postal employee his political activity is restricted but he probably could hold the office by appointment. Years ago the late Loren Andrews was elected to the school committee when it was non partisan and served on both the Hopkinton and Chariho School Committees. Mr.Andrews was Hope Valley Postmaster at the time.
    Obviously at this point from my perspective this is a moot point until it is decided their is a vacancy.Also the fact that a person might get it, (a Felkner school committee vacancy), who would be essentially a “yes person” to the Chariho establishment.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 3, 2008 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  44. Well Mr. Hirst, either the Town Council is about to go forward with litigation or they sealed minutes improperly?

    You are not supposed to seal minutes because you are uncomfortable sharing your position with the public. The minutes should only be sealed if it protects the town’s interests in regard to a matter to be litigated. If the town is not litigating the School Committee situation, then they should not be sealing minutes.

    In fact, when the issue is resolved, I would expect the minutes to be unsealed as keeping them sealed will no longer serve a public purpose. I know we’ve gotten used to the School Committee abusing open meeting laws, but I expect more from Hopkinton’s Town Council and I have no reason to think they are hiding behind closed doors needlessly.

    If we get to the point where the Town Council appoints a School Committee member, I encourage them to appoint Mr. Felkner. In fact, all three towns should try to have a Town Council member sitting on the School Committee. Considering Chariho consumes 60% to 80% of our tax monies, each town having a Town Councilor looking over Mr. Ricci’s shoulder is an excellent idea.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 3, 2008 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  45. Even better than having TC members on the SC would be amend the Chariho act to require approval of the TCs in some manner.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 3, 2008 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  46. Hi!
    It will be interesting how this plays out. It is unpredictable, but I assume it is unlikely that the Hopkinton Town Council would appoint him, if a judge rules he cannot stay, even if he could be “appointed” to his own vacated seat, if indeed it was vacated. Although court rulings can be appealed, this may take months to resolve.
    BTW a little known fact the school committee in Providence is ALL APPOINTED, (the only one in Rhode Island), and does not have to face election.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 3, 2008 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  47. Hi!
    Three Hopkinton women, Barbara Capalbo,”Midje” Morgan and Elaine Morgan, all elected Hopkinton officials made The Providence Journal http://www.projo.com today.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 3, 2008 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  48. I’ve always found it curious there is more desire and competition to serve on the Town Councils than on the School Committee considering Chariho far and away exceeds the spending of all three municipal budgets combined.

    There seemingly is more cache attached to being a councilor. Even the public seems much more concerned about town issues than school issues. I don’t know why there is this disconnect, but citizens regularly go after town officials over taxes while giving Chariho a free pass to spend until their heart’s content.

    Our current Hopkinton Town Council has shown comparative restraint. I’d still like to see a government entity actually shrink spending (a pie-in-the-sky dream), but at least this group hasn’t given us any dramatic spending increases. Richmond has significantly grown their budget in recent years…mostly in the Police Department…so Town Councils aren’t necessarily more responsible than School Committees.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 3, 2008 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  49. CR,
    The Richmond Town Council did not grow their budget with the Police Department, the voters did since the voters wanted it, the voters approved at the Richmond FTM.

    The citizens of the towns like the rest of Rhode Island regularly don’t pay attention for whatever reason the choose to come up with. Gene is a rarity in waking up and paying attention as to what is going on. I would encourage Gene to become more involved with the town now that he’s more aware of things. There’s many issues in Richmond that need to be paid attention.

    Gene, how many citizens of Richmond would say there wer at last night’s TC meeting and how many of them stayed for the entire meeting? I encourage to attend more of them and I’m sure you’ll start to notice that’s it’s a limited few who attend on a fairly regular basis.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 3, 2008 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  50. Thanks for your confidence in me Scott but I’m not even sure I can afford to continue living in Hopkinton too much longer. Not sure if I can do it but like others I am looking into ways to get out of my home town.

    My work schedule interferes with any chance to serve on a board or committee which meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays. Pretty much rules everything out. There’s plenty of good people available as you listed. Don’t forget RS who said he’d make time for the Chariho board if it came to it.

    I’m still rooting for Hopkinton to keep Bill on the board. He’s been a Godsend. He’s raised awareness. I’d hate to see him off the board because I’m afraid we’d go back to being in the dark about so much of what goes on at Chariho.

    While I’m here I’ll throw in a plug for Gene and David to run for the school board from Richmond the next election. I had a chance to meet with Deb Carney while serving on the Hopkinton ad hoc group. Deb is very impressive. She was worried about Charlestown keeping their tax advantage. I am stongly in favor of equal taxes but she was honest and forthright. We agreed to disagree. If she uses her skills to help control Chariho budgets she may see less demand for equal taxes.

    Comment by Jim L. — December 3, 2008 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

  51. I assume, like Hopkinton, it is the Richmond Town Council who puts together budgets for voter approval? As has been discussed, voter apathy is tough to get around and government grows by leaps and bounds as voters ignorantly go along until the point where they are personally overburdened. As Richmond never seems to reach the point of having a majority of voters overburdened by taxes, just about anything goes…Chariho is case and point.

    Just because Richmond voters are good little sheep doesn’t change the reality of significant increases in Richmond spending. Richmond appears to be following Hopkinton’s lead as we are #1 and #2 in police spending as a percentage of our municipal budgets. Imagine that…our two little towns leading the state…are we hotbeds of crime down here in southern Rhode Island? Or are we a bunch of scaredy-cats needing a cop at every corner? Oh, well, they’re here and can arrest anyone who speaks up so it is what it is, but let’s not pretend Richmond’s Town Council is thrifty by any means.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 3, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  52. CR, let’s agree to disagree on that one. I find the Richmond Town Council to be very frugal. There isn’t much of any fat in the Richmond budget. Copy on every corner? Hard to do when there’s at most 3 or 4 cruisers on duty during the day, 2 on each shift during the night. That isn’t exactly a whole lot of officers on the street. The reason residents wanted the extra overnight shift was because when needed, state police usually took approximatly 30 minutes or so to respond.

    When there isn’t much fat in a budget, which looks like is pretty much the same thing in Hopkinton, of course the police department will take a high percentage since they are the biggest department in the town.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 3, 2008 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  53. Can’t blame me for the 3rd shift in Richmond, I tried to fight that one when I lived there. I’m sure if the data was poured over, the 3rd shift would be deemed unjustifiable as a crime fighting tool. As a response tool, sure its better than waiting for the State Police, but then you are admitting the police is nothing more than a reactionary, after the crime, processing secratary. I would think most of the voters think they got a super duper crime fighting unit around the clock for their town……..sorry to bust the bubble, but I bet a steak dinner the crime rate hasn’t decreased in Richmond during the 3rd shift since its enactment.

    If you think more police presence makes a town(rural areas were talking about here, not cities) safer, then Exeter should be the biggest bed of criminal activity in the state….they don’t have a police department.

    Comment by RS — December 3, 2008 @ 9:58 pm | Reply

  54. And what is the state police telling Exeter about that one? Get your own police department or pay up for the state police to respond to your calls. I

    CR, I live on one of the state roads in Richmond which aren’t very well lit and have seen people speeding along it, especially at night. When I’ve mentioned it to the chief of police he has had the town police patrolling the area and I’ve personally seen them pull the speeders over when before there was nothing done about it since there were no patrols along this road at night. That’s just one example for which I’m glad that there’s a 3rd shift. I’m sorry but I don’t have your disdain for the police and I’m grateful for their presence.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 3, 2008 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  55. Top ten safest RI cities: Exeter #4, Richmond #8.

    http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ri/crime/

    Care to compare police budgets for the 2 towns(Exeter/Richmond). The underlying theme is do you need to spend what we do for the police budget, or can it be done with less money equally as well?? We could also make the fire departments hired positions, and do away with volunteers at say a few million dollars per year…..does this make it any better and do we get more for “our” money??

    Comment by RS — December 3, 2008 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  56. Attendance at the Richmond TC meeting isn’t so large,there were probably 10 or so in the crowd, most seem to be involved on boards/commissions or elected: Trecker, Valencia, Driver, etc.

    I agree with CP, the Richmond TC has been historically frugal, I can’t speak to the police issue, just don’t know enough. The new TC seems even more concerned about financial issues and they realize how big the Chariho piece is.

    I have to assume that people generally think that the SC deals with educ policy, bus stops, etc., I did. I never imagined that state law sets them up effectively without checks and balances.

    With that said, it makes sense that people would hold TCs accountable for taxes, they should. We have some stupid laws that don’t allow the TCs to exercise oversight.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 4, 2008 @ 12:37 am | Reply

  57. Having lived in Hopkinton when we had nothing but volunteers and part time police…and having spent considerable time in Richmond during those same years…I’ve lived in a town with a huge police presence and in a town with virtually no police presence. Not much difference.

    I’d rather do what dozens of towns in Connecticut do and pay the state police to handle routine traffic patrols and the rare major crime spree. I don’t know how much Richmond has grown since my younger days, but Hopkinton had a population around 6,400 in 1980 and had grown to around 7,900 in 2000. Not sure what those extra 1,500 people could be up to which would require having 16 police officers?

    If someone wants to speed up and down my road at 3 AM, have at it. To spend a small fortune for policing at 3 AM on a Tuesday morning is why we are in such a big mess in this country. We cower in the corner at every “crisis” and we can’t wait to spend other people’s money to make us feel good. Commonsense is dead. Politicians merely have to scare us a little bit and we hand them our wallets. Fools.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 4, 2008 @ 1:26 am | Reply

  58. Small fortune? A bit of an exaggeration. Richmond added one or two extra police officer(s) to it’s force when it started the 3rd shift.

    When hits the road to get to work between 5:30 and 6:00 in the morning they want to be as safe on the road a the day time commuters. So if they want to speed down my road, I hope the police catch them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 4, 2008 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  59. Me thinks you be misinformed about the true cost of 3rd shift, 2 officers can’t cover 7 days a week, nor vacation schedule, nor sick leave, nor reporting to traffic court, etc, etc, plus the dispatcher duties are 3 shifts now, plus more vehicle usage,etc, etc…..bigger slice of pie than it appears on the surface. But hey its your tax money in Richmond, so if it makes you “feel good” then go for it. Just don’t try to justify it on a costs basis……you’ll lose. Like I said show me where crime has been reduced during the 3rd shift since its enactment and I’ll acquiesce.

    Comment by RS — December 4, 2008 @ 10:22 am | Reply

  60. Police staffing is a tough one, I understand the cost issues, but it’s sort of like an insurance policy because you sure want them to show up when you need them. By having police on duty does that deter crooks? How much do you spend on homeland security? You only know when you didn’t do enough.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 4, 2008 @ 10:22 am | Reply

  61. I mostly agree with you in theory Gene, but when is the last time the police prevented a crime, and what percentage of their work prevents crime??? They mostly show up to record and investigate the crime and hope to bring justice to the victims, a very small percentage of their works stops a crime. I suppose if you want to count traffic stops as crime prevention then they are always spot on…..problem is traffic violations are not considered criminal acts.
    I for one choose to self insure against crime, because if a criminal act is brought against me, I will always beat the police to the scene.
    Your neighbors over in Exeter seem to be doing just fine in regards to criminal activity, and without a police department to deter it. I do realize Richmond has somewhat more commercialization than Exeter, but most of the commercial activity doesn’t take place on the 3rd shift.

    Comment by RS — December 4, 2008 @ 10:55 am | Reply

  62. Exactly my point Gene…both Hopkinton and Richmond spent very little on policing in recent history. As RS asks, what has been the impact on crime rates? A while back I did some research (posted on the old Hopkinton website since disappeared) and both communities had crime rates among the lowest in the state. It’s been this way with and without spending millions on policing.

    Numerous towns in Connecticut spend a fraction of what we pay here for policing. They simply pay the state police. They haven’t suffered because of the lack of police. RS is entirely correct. By its nature, law enforcement is reactionary. For the most part they respond to crime…they don’t stop it.

    Again, it is easy to scare people into spending money for unnecessary government. The local police departments are one more example of this fact. Boo.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 4, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  63. …and don’t forget, the police have no legal obligation to protect you,in other words if the police fail to protect the citizens in their jurisdiction, they can’t be held liable.
    Nice huh.

    If you really think your police force is acting in a vacuum(bigger town force so it is entirely independent), then ask for the data on the assistance privide by the State Police to your town….I think you would be suprised. Local PD’s don’t even have crime labs, they use the states. So you could say Richmond needs its own crime lab, forensic investigators, etc if you wanted to, but how many crimes require these services and is it cost effective to have them locally. This is how I view the 3rd shift, is it cost effective to do it locally or can we just have the SP fill in for this period?? I by no means advocate we don’t need any police force at all, I am only referring to the effectiveness of a 3rd shift vs. cost.

    Comment by RS — December 4, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  64. You both make a solid arguement, I haven’t given it much thought. I will agree that traffic stops at 5am for rolling stops (happened to me) isn’t doing much to protect the public.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 4, 2008 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  65. If you showed me where the 3rd shift is cost effective and provides a needed service to the citizens, I would more than support it. The data may very well bear out the 3rd shift is cost effective, but when I lived in Richmond, the numbers did not support this. Maybe today it does.

    Comment by RS — December 4, 2008 @ 11:32 am | Reply

  66. As Gene said earlier, it’s like an insurance policy.. Damn glad when they are there when you need them. We’ll disagree on this one forever, I’d rather have them there then not there. If I need a police officer during the night fo whatever reason, I don’t want to have to wait 30 minutes or more for the SP to show up.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 4, 2008 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

  67. Sorry to inform you the police will only be there after the crime against you is over….they are reactionary not preventative, unless you are very lucky and the stars are aligned with you that particular day and the moons gravitaitonal pull is aligned, etc, etc. But hey if it makes you “feel good” then spend your money on feely programs.

    Just some advice: criminal agression (if it is ever acted against you) will be over long before your 911 call is finished…..hope you have a backup plan, becuase the criminal’s work is over in 20seconds and the police won’t arrive for at least 2 minutes( best case). For example do you know what your fire departments response time is??? Ask them….they won’t be able to save you….mine is 7 minutes. Better yet pick up the phone and call your PD(not911) and ask what a hypothetical response would be at this moment. You better develop a plan for your families safety that doesn’t rely on the government or outside help, they deserve it, and you’re their protector. Sit around and wait for help and we will all be reading about you in the morning paper.
    Good Luck! Your future rest with fate, mine with planning and preparation.

    Comment by RS — December 4, 2008 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  68. Why not double or triple the current police force? Imagine how much better we’d feel then. Say it again, until you are among those overburdened with taxes, more government is just dovey. For those already overburdened by the feel good crown…tough tookie…find another place to live. Providence has some nice housing projects I hear. Sad when so many care so little.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 4, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  69. Back on subject, a few cops doesn’t compare with the 500+ Chariho empoloyees.

    So I got to thinking … Ricci’s justification for not putting the “resignation” on the agenda was that BF might not take the oath the night before. If that’s the case, why didn’t he send the packet? Does seem you can get away with both arguments! You either plan for him to show or not. If show, then send packet and put conflict seat issue on agenda; if not show, then put resignation on agenda. Not enough wiggle room here.

    The Richmond TC had resignations on the agenda from the two new TCs who were on the EDC. Wouldn’t the SC need a similar action for their expected resignation of BF?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 4, 2008 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

  70. There isn’t any justification. It was known the vote to remove BF from the SC was in play, otherwise the Solicitor would not have reviewed the information. I think we all know the reason why it was not posted on the agenda. It is hard to get a ruling or injunction on a subject you don’t know is coming up, and the SC has a great disdain for the open meeting laws of the State of Rhode Island, and even more disdain for the representaion rights of the citizens of a neighboring town. I’m sure they have equal disdain for the citizens of their own town as well.
    Tranparency and openness is not on the agenda of the Chariho administration or the majority of the SC.

    The question you should be asking is WHY???? If everything is great in the Chariho system, then let it stand on its own merit. When those in power choose to hide information, the citizens should be asking WHY. This isn’t some top secret security related topic which would be compromised if the public knew, its a school system that educates our children…..why is there not transparency and openness. Where are our representatives on this??? Apparently in the pocket of the administration.

    Comment by RS — December 4, 2008 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  71. Excellent observations both RS and Gene.

    Indeed, Mr. Ricci did state he couldn’t include Mr. Felkner’s resignation on the agenda until he took the oath. So why didn’t he send the packet?

    The guy lies regularly and we let him get away with it. He lies to parents. He lies to the some members of the School Committee. He lies to the media. He lies to the community. We sit on our hands.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 5, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  72. All of these comments have given me a lot of satisfaction and relief knowing that the taxpayers are aware of the lies and the extent ricci will go to get what he wants, especially since it comes at your expense! He is using your tax dollars to get away with deceit and unaccountability. I thought the time he told me I was “attractive” (by the way, I knew at that moment he was a liar), he was the Assistant Superintendent and I was in his office on the left side of the administrative building, it was just a joke, but now, in hindsight, I have been told that was a form of sexual harassment! I remember his secretary (very sweet older woman) called out to him, “There is a pretty young lady here to talk with you!”, ricci’s response, “WELL! Send her right in!”, My comment, still standing by the secretary was, “Don’t get your hopes up!”, they laughed and then I went in. So, you can see how I thought his comment in his office later in our conversation, was based on the introduction. However, I did leave thinking how the comment was very unprofessional, but I wanted to be part of the school district, so I shrugged it off. If I had known this blog existed at that time…he may not have been your tax burden today!

    Comment by FORMER BMA — December 5, 2008 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  73. BMA

    watch what you claim even on these blogs. Remember it is in writing. I am not saying it didn’t happen but you are making some pretty strong accusations here. Just be careful.

    Comment by js — December 5, 2008 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  74. As long as you’re speaking the truth, then I wouldn’t worry too much about it BMA. If you are telling the truth, both the secretary and Mr. Ricci would have to perjure themselves or just hope you go away. Mr. Ricci doesn’t seem to hesitate to lie, but is he confident his administrative person would lie for him too?

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 5, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  75. Thank you 73 and 74. I am very touched by your concern. I believe it is my word against his in court. It may very well be the reason I am a ‘Former’ BMA. No one was else was around at that time. I am certain his secretary did not hear anything. It was also when he was an Assistant, and it’s water under the bridge. The secretary was fairly elderly. I think that by now she is retired. She was so nice. In the end it would be my word against his, and if I printed out only half of this blog…I think the courts may think twice. By the way, read what Chancellor Michelle Rhee is doing in Washington D.C. with the school systems. She has fired over 200 teachers and about 18 principals. She also is declaring every school that did not meet the standards would be turned into a charter school. She is amazing. You need an advocate like her. I am thinking of contacting her myself to ask if she could arrange for someone to look into the Chariho School System’s administration. You should try to get a large group to go to the next sc meeting in support of Mr. Felkner. Everything he is doing is for all of you.

    Comment by FORMER BMA — December 5, 2008 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  76. I will admit that it does touch me greatly when people show up to support an issue. I do what I do because I believe in it. But if you remember back in 2006 and early 2007 when the committee would go around the line and tell me why I had to stop writing letters to the paper, or ‘be a team player’ – these were difficult times. Everyone eventually has doubts if its worth it so it really is greatly reassuring when people show up.

    Back then when people showed up it was self serving as I never had the votes to get anything done. This time I think it would be most beneficial because the last vote was close, and we have a different board now. Maybe, just maybe, they will listen to the people paying the bills. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could say, “stop spending my money on this crud” (we could have said the same thing when they blocked me from speaking with the attorney for 7 months when the NEA filed the frivolous complaint). Isn’t it insane we have to pay for our own opposition.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — December 5, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  77. Insanity is a good way to describe School Committee and administrative actions. Too bad so many remain disengaged from even a minimal understanding of Chariho failure to educate our children and respect our community.

    If nothing else, Mr. Felkner has improved public awareness of Chariho issues. Sadly, it still seems to be a small minority who care. How can so many be callous when our children’s futures are at stake? For the live of me I can’t figure out what has happened to my town, state, and country. I can’t help but worry about the mess we will be leaving for our children and grandchildren.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 6, 2008 @ 2:27 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: