Chariho School Parents’ Forum

December 18, 2008

Budget Schedule

Filed under: Budget — Editor @ 11:45 am

h/t to Gene for providing this schedule.

2009-2010 Budget Information

January 3 Budget Workshop (8:00 AM)-CTC
January 8 Budget Workshop (6:00 PM)-Middle School Library
January 15 Budget Workshop (6:00 PM)-Middle School Library
January 29 Budget Workshop (6:00 PM)-Middle School Library
February 10 Budget Approval at School Committee Meeting
March 3 Annual Regional School District Meeting (Public Hearing on Budget)
March 10 Budget Adoption at School Committee Meeting
April 7 Budget Referendum
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December 11, 2008

Let Parents Choose

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 9:21 pm

While we watch the video examples of the dictatorial attitude that naturally follows when there is a monopoly, I thought it would be a good time to ask for your involvement in the school choice movement.

The Alliance for School Choice, represented locally by my friends at the RI Scholarship Alliance, have started a campaign to collect 10,000 signatures from people who support school choice, either through vouchers or tax credits.

If you support choice, please take the time to sign up for this campaign by clicking HERE.  I have – and since this is RI, I did it twice, and once for my dead grandfather (kidding).

You can find a lot of information on the site also.

Dec 9 part 6

Don’t forget, you can find all related letters, vidoes, etc on the “Nov 18” category link on the right.

Dec 9 part 5

Chris Anderson, partner with Nick Gorham, reads the case Chariho has used to remove me, showing that it was an apples-to-oranges comparisson because the general assembly was given the authority to remove someone through the RI Constitution, the Chariho Act does not give the SC the authority.

J Anderson says that this has happened since before the RI Constitution, and Gorham says we still had the Kings Charter.

 

Dec 9 part 4

Gorham answering whether or not they have the authority to put me back on the Committee he says, “of that I am absolutely sure.”

J Anderson contends that if Hopkinton were to vote to withdraw, that would create a conflict (or the incompatibility) that requires my removal.  Gorham points out that this is strictly supposition, and we don’t run or lives on fears of what might happen.

Furthermore, as someone pointed out to me recently, withdraw is more than a vote from the school committee and town council.  It is spelled out in the Chariho Act (which you can find on the Chariho Links page on the right).

Towards the end of this clip, Holly Eaves tries to shorten the debate and says, “we are not a court.”  Gorham correctly responds, “you are not a court, thats why we are here.”

You see, the Committe did act as the court (both judge and jury) on Nov 18th.

Dec 9 part 3

Gorham comments on Chariho attorney’s comments –  1) can a motion be made, 2) what “conflict” creates the “incompatibility”, 3) does “no mean no”, 4) can we just let Felkner sit there, and 5) if you return him it will damage our case.

Dont forget, you can see all related letters, videos, etc on this meeting and the Nov 18 meeting by clicking on the Nov 18 category link on the right.

Dec 9 part 2

In part 2, Andy Polouski asks if the attorney knows of any other person that has held two elected seats (as if personal experience sets law).  Gorham says he does not.  AP also says that the Committee cant vote on the issue and that it must be put on the Jan meeting – essentially, AP establishes the Committee’s intent – and as you will see in the other videos, his ‘plan’ actually does come true.  I wonder if Deb Carney was in on those strategy sessions or if AP just happened to guess what was going to happen.

DC also refutes the Chariho attorney on the Bailey v Burns case – and she points out that the Chariho Act does not give the Committee the authority to remove me and that if it was on the agenda for Nov 18th she would have studied and been prepared to correct the attorney – she also points out that on Nov 18 the issue was not on the agenda, but we voted on it – but now that it is on the agenda, we can’t vote on it.  DC makes a motion to put me back on.

Holly Eaves says that she agrees with AP, we allowed them to speak and that the Gorham letter is on the agenda but the act of recending our vote wasn’t on the agenda – so wasn’t going to accept this motion until the next meeting.’

So AP asks the Chariho attorney if he thinks they could vote on it – you can guess on his ‘legal opinion’ (isn’t this the same school that refused to allow me to speak with the attorney when the NEA filed a complaint against me?)

Dec 9 meeting

In part one, attorney Gorham requests the Committee to reinstate me until we get a decision from the courts. He also challenged them to present any issue that my presence would endanger.

Many thanks go out to HTC member Sylvia Thompson again for taping this section of the meeting (hows that for a elected representative to promote transparency!).  The full meeting was aired last night and will be again Friday at noon (although, check to be sure).

There are 6 parts to the video – will post them as YouTube finishes the uploads.

Contract input

Filed under: contract negotiations — Editor @ 12:17 pm

There is a meeting scheduled for 10:00 on Saturday for the school committee to hear input from the public on what they would like to see in the upcoming contract negotiations. 

We are opening our home for the Christmas Stroll so I won’t be there – but I have sent my request to the committee several times – and recently to the new chair.

1) hold the contract negotiation meetings in open sessions – there is no law against it, it was always done years ago (until the unions took control) and as we see in East PRovidence, it is very much appreciated by the taxpayers.
2) stop the seniority system – you can see at www.transparencytrain.orgthat Chariho gives its teachers AVERAGE raises for each of the first 10 years of 10.8%.  AVERAGE!  Implement a merit based system like those working in the private sector.

In other words, stop the madness

December 10, 2008

From the Westerly Sun

Filed under: Nov 18 meeting (where I was removed from office) — Editor @ 7:53 pm

Felkner heads for high court

■ The Chariho School Committee refused to reinstate Felkner Tuesday.

 

By Victoria Goff

The Sun Staff

WOOD RIVER JCT. — A Chariho Regional School Committee member recently ousted by colleagues plans to challenge his peers’ decision before the state’s highest court.

At issue is whether William J. Felkner of Ashaway can continue to serve on the School Committee since he became a member of the Hopkinton Town Council last month. Felkner began his four-year School Committee term in 2006.

 

Last month the committee disqualified Felkner from participating in its meetings, after Chariho Solicitor Jon M. Anderson said Felkner vacated his committee seat when he was sworn in to the council. The committee said its judgment would stand unless the state Board of Elections or a court rules oth­erwise.

 

After the School Com­mittee refused to reinstate Felkner on Tuesday, Felk­ner’s attorney Nicholas Gorham said his client has no choice but to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Gorham agreed with Anderson on resolving the matter through a court rul­ing, but he compared the committee’s dismissal of Felkner to jailing a crimi­nal suspect until proven innocent.

 

“The hardest thing to do in a legislative body is to admit that you made a mistake and to change it, but tonight I really truly believe that is the best thing you can do,” said Gorham, a longtime state representative from Coventry. “Just change one part of your decision, which is to let him serve.”

 

Committeewoman Deborah Carney, of Charlestown, told colleagues she disagreed with their removal of Felkner, calling it a violation of his civil rights and a “very bad precedent.” She asked the committee to con­sider reinstating Felkner.

However, Anderson con­tended the committee could not rule on the matter until its next meeting.

 

He said that, under Robert’s Rules of Order, a two-thirds majority vote would be required for the committee to immediately reconsider the ouster. A committee member who voted in the majority to dis­miss Felkner would need to make the motion.

 

If not, any committee member could request a “motion to rescind a vote” to be listed on the next meet­ing’s agenda, as long as the member “specifically explains at this meeting what the motion will be.”

 

Committeeman William G. Day, of Wyoming — chairman at the time of Felkner’s removal — asked Chairwoman Holly M. Eaves to “support our solic­itor” and rule Carney’s motion out of order, though he also suggested placing it on the next meeting agen­da.

 

Eaves, of Charlestown, agreed, saying it would give members time to think about a “murky” issue.

 

“It’s OK to vote on an item that’s not on the agenda, but it’s not OK to vote on an item on the agenda” now, Carney challenged.

 

Carney, like Hopkinton officials, has accused the committee of violating the state’s Open Meetings Act because the discussion and vote to remove Felkner was not listed on the commit­tee’s agenda last month. Anderson claimed it was not a violation because Felkner disrupted the meeting when he refused to leave the com­mittee table, where he was seated in another member’s chair.

 

(The state Attorney General’s office is investi­gating an open meetings complaint filed by an unnamed resident, accord­ing to a department spokesman.) After a brief recess Tuesday, Carney challenged Eaves’ ruling to deny imme­diate consideration of her motion to restore Felkner to the committee.

 

Two committee members, Richard A. Vecchio and George M. Abbott, both of Hopkinton, sided with Carney, while the others supported Eaves, who abstained. Committeewoman Terri Serra, of Wyoming, was absent.

 

As she did at the last meeting, Hopkinton Councilor Sylvia K. Thompson videotaped the committee’s hour-long dis­cussion of Felkner. Two other Hopkinton councilors, Thomas E. Buck and Barbara A. Capalbo, and Hopkinton Town Sergeant Elaine J. Morgan, in uni­form, watched with others in the audience.

 

vgoff@thewesterlysun.com

I also noticed that someone posting a comment on the WS website is not a fan of vouchers. But I will agree with them, vouchers are on my “agenda” but I would assume my children will be grandfathered out of a future program so I don’t think it could be called a “personal” agenda

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