Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 2, 2009

Success!!!

At least for now.

I will let the reporters disseminate the information using the proper legal ease, etc., but essentially, we asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order(or more) to reverse Chariho’s actions of removing me from the Committee.  The judge agreed that an OMA violation occurred and issued that temporary restraining order until the issue can be addressed in the proper manner. She also asked the Attorney Generals Office to participate (which we presume will be at the next meeting – Jan 13 – and I assume this is ackn0wledgement that only the AG has the authority to decide on my status, but that’s just my opinion).

So I’m back on… for now. 

I fully expect them to put my ouster first on the agenda on Jan 13th (the next available meeting). There is a meeting tomorrow morning for the budget but I cant see how they could place it there at such a late notice.

If, and more likely when, they do take the vote, then we address the questions – 1) do they have the authority to remove me, 2) is there a viable argument that I should be removed.

[UPDATE] ProJo blog already has it up.

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19 Comments »

  1. Hi!
    Just read. Congratulations at this point. I do not know what type of standing the AG has on you serving on both bodies but clearly the open meetings and records is in his purview. The bigger question is will the other side be “humbled” by any of this?
    Did Charlestown Town Council’s vote come into play in the court proceedings? Also did the precedent which I believe exists of formal resignations from the school committee to accept another elected office come into testimony or documentation?
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — January 2, 2009 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  2. Lets hope that the genuis of Forrey wasn’t part of charlestowns genuis.

    Comment by Brad — January 2, 2009 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  3. Hi!
    I may not agree with Forrester and Charlene on Chariho issues but they are capable people.
    On this matter Dick Hosp not thinking Charlestown should get involved in this Felkner matter appears to be the most astute of the Charlestown Town Council. I assume Forrey is Forrester Safford.
    Well Bill Felkner, some people in the Chariho establishment may not sleep well tonight! With tongue in cheek, I say a week ago the school committee/establishment was probably feasting on turkey, today they were served “crow”! Congratulations, again!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — January 2, 2009 @ 5:49 pm | Reply

  4. All the conversations were held in chambers with counsel, only. But there was a media questioning of the lawyers aferward (Projo, Sum, Times).
    The AG has standing to bring eligibility issues to superior court.

    Only meaningful exchange was the scope of the court’s decision, which was solely the OMA prior notice of vote issue.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — January 2, 2009 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  5. So now the court has ruled there is an OMA violation will the AG’s office do anything about it?

    I don’t know how this could be construed to be anything but a willful violation. Fines should be in order. I’d start with Billy-boob since the ringleader, Mr. Ricci, is a behind-the-scenes puppet master and is an expert at keeping his head off the chopping block. Take out his head puppet and work your way down.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  6. Definitely the correct call.

    Comment by david — January 2, 2009 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  7. Scott,
    Did you ever get any clarification from the Board of Elections in regards to Holly Eaves and the write-in ballots? I’m rather curious.

    Comment by CharihoParent — January 2, 2009 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  8. Yeah, but I read that WE PAY THE FINES! Even if Ricci gets nailed, it comes out of Chariho. How does that help us?

    Comment by James Hobler — January 2, 2009 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  9. Its called accountability, if you don’t like the fact your elected reps violated the law and then had to pay a fine for it, then do not vote them into office. If you only cared as much about the value the our children and the taxpayers receive from the $50+ million dollar budget as you do the potential $5,000 fine, then we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    You are correct, WE PAY THE FINES! So I guess we should just forget about OMA violations and the denial of an entire towns representational rights, and just let the SC continue operating the way they see fit. Is this what you mean because that is the way I read it.

    Comment by RS — January 2, 2009 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

  10. I hope you are wrong and the individual School Committee members pay the fines, but even if we pay the fines, at least Richmond and Charlestown will feel the sting for electing incompetent School Committee members.

    Sorry to say the citizens do have some degree of responsibility for allowing the school to be administered by a bunch of idiots. Perhaps voters will pay greater attention if they have to pay for their mistakes. Certainly Mr. Felkner shouldn’t be paying for having his civil rights violated.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 2, 2009 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  11. This is the wording from the statutes:

    . In addition, the court may impose a civil fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) against a public body or any of its members found to have committed a willful or knowing violation of this chapter.

    So I guess it is up to the court if the body or the members are levied a civil fine. The question remains whether the SC members are protected or are liable. I think the solicitor should be on the hook for the fine, and any SC member who elected to proceed against the OMA concerns.

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE42/42-46/42-46-8.HTM

    Comment by RS — January 3, 2009 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  12. Well that seems pretty clear to me. I’d be interested in any conflicting OMA laws which Mr. Hobler can reference? The court can fine the body and/or individuals. I hope they do both. The entire community needs to experience some pain for the inexcusable actions of the majority of our School Committee members. The School Committee violated the law. Hiding behind an incompetent attorney shouldn’t let them off the hook. Ms. Carney, Mr. Vecchio and Mr. Abbott saw the fallacy of Mr. Anderson’s “opinion”, so obviously it was possible for individual members to do the right thing if they hadn’t been hell bent on squashing Mr. Felkner and maintaining the status quo. I guess they could show the judge the strings Mr. Ricci attached to his puppets…maybe that would work.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 3, 2009 @ 2:41 am | Reply

  13. No, I can’t reference any OMA laws, all I’m telling you is that I have read that we are in the hook for the fines and I think that stinks. Considering that the decision was made in the “line of duty” with the backing of a lawyer, I can’t see how a judge would personally fine them. Does the lawyer have a personal conflict? If not, then all a judge can say is that he is a bone-head and I can’t imagine you can get personally fined for being stupid. I’m not sure that “any of its members” doesn’t mean that the SC doesn’t still cover the cost, if it is assumed they made they decision as part of their duties. And if each of the members got fined for the decision, it could be considerably more than $5000. I don’t like paying for this. What if I did not vote for any of these boobs?

    Comment by James Hobler — January 3, 2009 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  14. OK….first stupidity is no excuse for violating any law…PERIOD. Doesn’t hold water in any court of law. It is nothing more than a feel good excuse.

    Secondly, you seem too wrapped around the axle about $5000. What is the retainer for unlimited legal counsel ?? Counsel of which is mostly to blame for this problem. I doubt the followers on the SC would have voted to execute the rights of BF, and the Hopkinton citizens without the legal hack job presented by Anderson.
    Have you stopped to figure out the percentage of the budget the $5000 constitutes ?? I’ll do the math for you, its 0.0001%.
    I am glad you are worried about the fiscal condition of Chariho, we need more people to be concerned about it. Just keep your eye on the big picture, we receive a 2/3 non proficiency rate for our children for $53+ million dollars. Does this sound like a good value to you ??

    Comment by RS — January 3, 2009 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  15. I can understand your irritation Mr. Hobler, but why worry about a relatively small fine when the “boobs” cost the community millions every year with lousy contracts and unnecessary surpluses? Any fine will be a pittance when measured against the budget fraud.

    Whether you voted for the “boobs” or not, they won the majority of votes and we are all responsible for the result. Maybe next time the community will work harder to find decent candidates. Or maybe we’ll continue to let a bunch of boobs run our schools.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 3, 2009 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  16. Hi!
    I will e-mail a copy to those interested. I just e-mailed to those who may be interested. I will not pursue this.
    In a nutshell, it appears there is no ruling from the Board of Elections of these matters as I was informed that there was no ruling. I was referred to read the law sections 17-8-5 and 17-22-5.2. , as Mr. Kando declined to serve as my attorney. I was the told Boards of Canvassers issues certificates of elections, which I certainly know, but the Charlestown election officials acted on advice from Boards of Elections officials advice.
    This is in answer to Curious Resident, #7,. December 22ND, was the date, I got the e-mail from Mr. Kando. He is Executive Director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — January 3, 2009 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  17. Scott,
    Please email to this name @ aol.com.

    Comment by CharihoParent — January 3, 2009 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  18. You’re right but it seems as though the bigger problem is not that of boobs vs. non-boobs but of anyone willing to run for the School Board at all. I am not surprised that most of the people on the School Board have a conflict of interest. No one else wants to serve on the Board except for those people with a vested interest. The inmates are always happy to run the asylum.

    Comment by James Hobler — January 3, 2009 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  19. Agreed…the problem isn’t just the boobs, but mostly we end up with boobs running for the School Committee. Not sure what can be done. Candidates are plenty for Town Councils, but the government entity spending the most (by far) is treated like the ugly step sister when its time to field candidates.

    If I had the ability to run for office and I wanted to have the most positive impact on the community, I would choose the School Committee over the Town Council. Maybe somebody has an answer for why the School Committee isn’t as attractive to politicians as Town Councils?

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 3, 2009 @ 8:03 pm | Reply


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