Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 1, 2009

Tomorrow’s Court

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 10:50 pm

See linked below our Complaint to be heard tomorrow in Washington County Superior Court (@9:30) and Chariho’s response.


Two items of note (for now), both in the documents from Chariho:


See footnote 3 for item 25 on pdf page 14. He suggests that we filed the paperwork on Christmas Eve because (using a quote from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas) my “heart was two sizes too small.”


Let me give you an insight into the mind of this person, Jon Anderson, and the school because they are supporting this.


My attorney went to Mr. Anderson that week and asked him to accept the subpoena specifically so we did NOT have to serve anyone on Christmas Eve.  He acknowledged this and accepted the request.  But now he accuses me of being malicious.  It probably doesn’t matter to the court whether I serve papers on Christmas eve or not, or if my heart is two sizes either way, but now that you know the real story, it does paint the attorney with a certain agenda now doesn’t it (and Mr. Ricci and Holly Eaves who also know this).

That’s your tax dollars at work (on a side note, there is another lawsuit going on against Chariho where Mr. Anderson has shown similar tactics – but I digress – for now).



The second item of note is numbers 14 and 15 on pdf page 13.

14 says I entered the executive session. It is immediately followed by 15 stating that Deb Carney said, “We cannot hold the meeting.”


I would also note that this quote is the only statement that exists in quotes in the “unofficial” minutes (which are attached to Gorhams paperwork). I haven’t scoured the entire document but I don’t notice any other quotes. Since Mrs. Carney did not ask that that phrase be included in quotes, it raises even more suspicion.


I was at the meeting and I spoke with Mrs. Carney. I agree with her assessment that the quote is “misleading.” 


The minutes are still in “unofficial” form.  The first version had several motions missing.  Mrs. Carney watched the video and asked them to be included.  However, when the new draft was produced, it had the new quote (above) and it is also referenced in Mr. Anderson’s paperwork submitted to the court.  She noticed it at the meeting (because they were not given it in advance) and asked for it to be corrected.  


Here is what I recall from that meeting. 


The meeting was to discuss contract negotiation strategies, etc., for the teacher’s contract. We went into ES


Andy McQ sat next to Holly Eaves and said she had been appointed to chair (I later found this to be a story in itself which will be posted later). Some discussion ensued and my presence was brought up.


McQ asked Jon Anderson what they could do about me not leaving. Jon Anderson began discussing me.  Deb Carney said, “we can’t discuss him in this meeting, I’m leaving.”


JA said, ‘this isn’t an executive session because there is a member of the public present.’


We all got up and left the room.


Now does this sound anything like what JA wrote in his motion to the court?  They made it sound like I disrupted the meeting and Carney objected.


They misquote Mrs. Carney – she objected to it and it may be resolved at a future meeting.  However, in the meantime, Mr. Anderson uses that quote in his Motion to the court.  Is that fabricating evidence?


I guess that’s for another day.  We will see what tomorrow brings.


Felkner Motion



Chariho Objection




  1. Throw as much crap as you can at the wall(court) and see what sticks. This appears to be Andersons plan, after my quick read.

    Comment by RS — January 1, 2009 @ 11:50 pm | Reply

  2. Obviously the AG’s office doesn’t agree with him on the open meetings violation, or they would not be investigating.

    Comment by RS — January 1, 2009 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  3. So Mrs. Carney objected to discussing the issue of Mr. Felkner in Executive Session, and Mr. Anderson is misrepresenting that objection to the court? I’d say the guy is skating on thin ice assuming Mrs. Carney is ready in the wings to set the record straight as to her objection. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Anderson will perjure himself at the hearing.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 3:28 am | Reply

  4. I don’t know how anyone can read the Hopkinton Town Charter and then claim the Charter forbids serving on the Town Council and the School Committee? The Charter specifically allows for elected town officials to also serve on school district “boards or commissions”. Am I missing something? Could a judge read the charter any other way than what is written? Besides, Hopkinton’s solicitor has weighed in, and she clearly disagrees with Mr. Anderson’s legal opinion. Wouldn’t the court find her opinion as well as the position of the Hopkinton Town Council to be of greater weight than Chariho’s solicitor? I certainly hope so.

    As to Mr. Anderson’s reference to the Grinch, maybe he’s buddy-buddy with Rhode Island judges, but if I were a judge and I saw nonsense about the Grinch in such a serious issue, I would ask myself why Mr. Anderson is taking needless pot shots in court documents? I wouldn’t be very happy about it. With any luck, Mr. Anderson’s Grinch commentary will shrink the judge’s heart a little bit when it comes to assessing Mr. Anderson’s credibility.

    Good luck with the hearing Mr. Felkner. Hopefully it will be a positive step towards reestablishing Hopkinton’s full representation on the School Committee.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 4:02 am | Reply

  5. I noticed Anderson didn’t use any of the examples( duality of office) found in MA. Wonder why???? Oh yeah we know why.

    Comment by RS — January 2, 2009 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  6. Mr. Anderson was given orders to come up with a legal basis for ousting Mr. Felkner. Clearly he didn’t give the School Committee a complete picture. Noting that Massachusetts has several elected politicians holding two offices would have been important if he had actually been looking to give a honest legal advice.

    Did anyone else notice how many times Mr. Anderson attempts to provide cover to the majority of School Committee members in the document he filed? Throughout he specifies that they were acting on his advice when they ousted Mr. Felkner. I hope when this is settled the majority who voted to violate Mr. Felkner’s civil rights and deny Hopkinton full representation are made to a pay a price. If they get away with it with no penalty, they will do be likely to try more nonsense going forward. It needs to stop and fining them each a few thousand dollars would go a long way.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  7. TRO issued to reinstate Felkner due to violation of OMA.

    Chariho solicitor to contact AG to inquire if that office wishes to involve itself.

    Most still to be decided, next court date 1/15.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — January 2, 2009 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  8. The issue is not up to the solicitor or the council, it is up to the people of Hopkinton. They new that BF already was a committee member and they still elected him in the council position.

    On a personal note, whatever the judge decides, I would hope that Bill would choose one or the other. My concern is the amount of travel he does for his business and his ability to be present at the meetings. He alone has to make the decision on whether he can do all 3.

    Comment by Lois Buck — January 2, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  9. Additionally, committee members and council members are members of subcommittees and liaison’s with other committees and boards. They don’t just attend the 2 meetings a month that each group has.

    Comment by Lois Buck — January 2, 2009 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  10. I agree with you in theory Mrs. Buck, but having Mr. Felkner attend 70% of School Committee meetings is a lot more beneficial to the community than having Mr. Petit there 100% of the time. Look how easily the School Committee trampled on the rights of Hopkinton when they ousted our representative…without someone with Mr. Felkner’s personality, they would have gotten away with it.

    I voted for Mr. Felkner for the Town Council thinking he would remain on the School Committee. If he leaves the School Committee we have to count on the Town Council to appoint someone similarly inclined to fight for transparency and responsible budgeting. Frankly, Hopkinton’s Town Council failed us with the appointment of Mr. Preuhs. He quickly teamed up with Mr. Petit and the rest of Mr. Ricci’s puppets. I acknowledge the make-up of the Town Council has changed, will they promise to find someone like Mr. Felkner to fill the seat?

    Mr. Vecchio seems to be made of the right stuff, but there needs to be at least one Hopkinton School Committee member willing to stick his/her neck out and speak forcibly for change. Mr. Vecchio has been on the right side of the issues, but thus far he has been more like Mr. Abbott and follows rather than leads. I have no problem with this, but Mr. Felkner was a leader for change, and without someone like him leading the charge I’m afraid the School Committee majority will be able to successfully cocoon themselves from public scrutiny like they did before Mr. Felkner appeared on the scene.

    Ms. Carney is good, but she is Charlestown’s representative and there are sure to be times when her responsibilities as Charlestown’s representative will conflict with what is best for Hopkinton families, i.e., any kind of tax equity issues.

    Mr. Felkner needs to be involved so he can keep us informed. Attendance at every meeting would be nice, but the greatest value Mr. Felkner brings to the table is transparency. Who would do this if Mr. Felkner isn’t there? Mr. Abbott comes here sometimes, but he doesn’t seem inclined to run a blog. Mr. Petit wasn’t honest when he posted here so even if he was willing to communicate with the public, who could trust him? If Mr. Felkner leaves who will hold Chariho to account? I have no doubt they’d love Mr. Felkner gone because when, and if, he goes, things will go back to the old days when they operated with little fear of public knowledge.

    so what happens when there is no one left t

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

  11. Regarding Post #7, is that the word from the hearing? Hopkinton is to have back it’s full representation due to the School Committee’s violation of the Open Meetings Act? Did the judge comment on any of the underlying issues? Anything to stop the School Committee from putting it on the agenda and doing the same thing to Hopkinton all over again?

    Hopefully the School Committee majority will now recognize they’ve been receiving bad legal advice and will not attempt to oust Mr. Felkner again based on the advice of a lawyer who has failed them and the community once already with his opinion on Open Meetings law. I hope the court will now rule on Civil Right’s violations as well as the abuse of power of individual School Committee members.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

  12. I tend to agree with you CR. I would rather see 100% attendance, but the reality of the situation is expecting 100% is probably utopian thinking.

    Comment by RS — January 2, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  13. Hey RS, should Mr. Felkner ultimately give up his School Committee seat are you still receptive to throwing your hat into the ring?

    You certainly seem like the type to speak up and keep the public informed. From personal experience, it can be a lot easier to speak your mind from behind a keyboard versus from behind a microphone.

    I’d like to see Mr. Felkner stay on the School Committee, but if we can get someone of the same caliber and with similar viewpoints, it might create less public concern if Mr. Felkner gave way in the end.

    First and foremost, this School Committee needs to pay a price for their undemocratic actions. At the very least they need a judicial rebuke…I’d like to see much more happen, but we live in Rhode Island where corruption is the order of the day so a rebuke may be the best we can hope for. After that I’d like to see Mr. Felkner take steps towards giving Hopkinton families education options.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  14. Hi!
    I won’t rule out applying for the seat but it may not be likely because of my involvement with the Ashaway Fire District, schedule wise which now meets third Tuesdays. We need two of three attending of the Fire Commissioners and I am one of those two without exception. I realize the school committee usually meets second and fourth Tuesdays but third Tuesday meetings do happen during the year. I had a good shot at appointment when Preuhs was appointed. The problem with school committee appointments are unknowns who are appointed.
    That all said, I want Bill to stay on the school committee and town council if he wishes. I am curious if Charlestown weighing in on the Felkner issue will be mentioned in court today? I assume by now, a verdict has been rendered or some type of action done?

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — January 2, 2009 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  15. I think it is a bit premature to begin soliciting names for a position yet to be vacated. However I would not rule out investigating the prospects of a school committee seat.

    Comment by RS — January 2, 2009 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  16. Well since the media is in cahoots with Mr. Ricci, they will probably keep up their attacks on Mr. Felkner and this could impact any future reelection attempts. It would be great to have someone similarly disposed waiting in the wings should the media’s campaign to influence public opinion be successful.

    I noticed Chariho’s solicitor referenced the Chariho Times in his court papers. Mr. Anderson claims Mr. Felkner’s decision to serve on both the Town Council and School Committee was “a surprise to the community” because Chariho Times’ Galen McGovern wrote “As a result of Felkner’s victory, someone will have to be appointed to his school board seat”.

    How convenient that the Chariho Times once again says exactly what Mr. Ricci wants them to say. Wouldn’t this blog be a better gauge of community expectations than the opinion of one newspaper reporter? Of course, Mr. Anderson doesn’t like what we have to say here so he can uses the Chariho Times as a barometer of community sentiment.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

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