Chariho School Parents’ Forum

February 17, 2009

March 9th – a big day.

Filed under: Dec 8 meeting — Editor @ 11:49 pm

[UPDATE] the SLRB hearing has been moved to March 19 (kinda kills the title, huh?)


March 9th is really big on two counts.  First it is our court date – as Gorham put it, a historic case and unique to our nation.



Speaking of which, at this evening’s HTC meeting, Sylvia, Tom and Barbara said they had been called by town residents asking them to have the solicitor write to the court supporting our fight against Chariho.  The thought was that since Richmond and Charlestowndid so that Hopkinton should too. 


Our solicitor said she had been providing Gorham information when he requests it, and did write originally, but that there was nothing more to be said. The court shouldn’t care how many people chime in, just what is said.


Later, during the public forum, Dot Gardner expressed the same wishes but touched on the “public opinion” aspect.


As far as writing to the court.  First of all, today was the deadline so it’s moot. And while I sincerely appreciate those of you and Dot asking, the reality is that the court doesn’t care (or at least they shouldn’t).  They should simply look at the law not be swayed by public opinion. And as our solicitor said, Gorham has covered everything and there isn’t more to be said.


That being said, I do think the court is influenced by the public on certain high profile cases. This case is high profile on a legal sense because of the historic nature, but not in the public opinion profile. Besides, its too late anyway.


I still believe this is really a whistle blower case, where Chariho is retaliating against me (and they do have a history of such actions), then for the RTC and CTC to jump on the pile only weakens their standing and implicates them to similar concerns.


But the court of public opinion is another thing.  Since the Sun and Times have both written articles when Charlestown and Richmondsubmitted their briefs or took their votes, it could be useful to have citizens or even council members write to the paper. As Scott Bill Hirst did. If it did come from council members, or better yet the council, a letter could always be sent to the court as an FYI.


I didn’t speak on this during this evening’s meeting because I didn’t want to put anyone on the spot by asking for someone to write a letter.  But I do appreciate the efforts. And to repeat, we have enough money for the current out of pocket expenses.


And speaking of our “fight against the machine,” and the other reason March 9th is a good day to take the day off and enjoy our government at work. The State Labor Relations Board will be hearing the East Providence School Committee case in a public session. 



And in anticipation of that hearing, I will be on Helen Glover (920 AM) tomorrow some time between 8:30 and 9 and on John Depetro (630 AM and 99.7 FM) Thursday between 7:15 and 7:45, speaking about a press release we put out today questioning the State Labor Relations Board why it turned down the school’s complaint but upheld the unions?



Depetro has also asked about the Chariho case so that might come up too.


You can find the press release HERE, and if you have an opinion on the topic, feel free to call in.



  1. Bill … is the oral argument open to the public? Is there any educated guess how long it takes to get a decision after the court date?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — February 18, 2009 @ 12:43 am | Reply

  2. The Rag made sure to report on the opinions of the Richmond Town Council and the Charlestown Town Council, but I don’t recall seeing anything reported on the scathing opinion letter written by the Hopkinton solicitor. Apparently our local media has taken sides.

    I agree this is all about Mr. Felkner’s propensity to blow the whistle. You would think the local media would be extremely supportive of a person who attempts to open up the blinds and let in the sunshine. You’d be wrong.

    I don’t have any great faith in our legal system, but at the very least I do hope they ignore the blathering of the media and follow the law.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 18, 2009 @ 9:19 am | Reply

  3. yes, the hearing is open to the public. upon completion of the hearings, they “deliberate” the testimony (transcribed), submitted evidence, etc. and issue a decision. The minutes are very sparse and we are trying to track down the exact process – but it seems that the decision to take the case is in exec session and the deliberation after the hearing.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — February 18, 2009 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  4. Hi!
    I assume a correction will be made that the accurate numbers per town will be corrected in court documents? There may be another mistake? Not sure?
    The Chariho School Committee has a first as far as I know:
    Consider this, not one member of the present school committee in their current term was elected in the “normal way” with competition in the usual sense with them listed on the ballot and not have competition listed on the ballot:
    Charlestown: Deborah Carney, elected as write-in for single seat in 2008,. No candidate on ballot.
    Andrew Polouski, elected as sole candidate on ballot for three openings in 2006. Andrew McQuaide and Holly Eaves elected as write-ins, same year.
    Richmond: Terri Serra, elected unopposed in 2006, but listed on ballot.
    Bill Day, sole candidate listed on ballot for two openings in 2008,. Michelle Cole elected as write-in.
    Hopkinton: George Abbott elected in 2006 as sole candidate listed on ballot,for three openings. Bill Felkner and Bob Petit elected as write-ins.
    Richard Vecchio elected to school committee being on the ballot unopposed. However Ron Preuhs, outgoing member after failing to make the ballot, mounted a write-in campaign.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — February 20, 2009 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

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