Chariho School Parents’ Forum

March 11, 2009

LTE in Sun

Felkner case is about the issues, not personalities


  The issue of dual office holding is a serious one; it has significant im­plications for fair and responsible government. The matter of William Felkner holding a seat on both the Chariho School Committee and the Hopkinton Town Council will be set­tled by our judicial system. This is where it should be settled.
  In my role as chairperson of the Chariho School Committee, I am at­tempting to bring, establish and fos­ter a culture of respect and fairness where problems can be solved open­ly, honestly, and free of emotion.
  Although I am sure that the three Hopkinton Town Councilors who wrote a letter to the editor in the
March 4 edition of The Sun believe they are correct in supporting Mr. Felkner in his case regarding dual of­fice holding, the use of derogatory and divisive language to attack the Chariho School Committee on this matter is unnecessary and counter­productive. These councilors are try­ing to confuse the issue with dra­matic and unfounded personal claims. As these councilors have themselves stated, let the courts do their work!
  Regardless of decisions that come down from the courts, we must be willing to work on the educational is­sues that face the Chariho Regional School District. It is well known
that the environment may be less than harmonious at times (some­times democracy is messy), but the single most important role of the School Committee is to provide the best possible education at the lowest possible cost for the children of Charlestown, Richmond and Hop­kinton. As chairperson, I will work to keep our committee focused and working to do just that. I look for­ward to a decision on this issue so we can focus on the present and the fu­ture of our children.
  Holly Eaves Chariho School Committee chair Charlestown

PS. I was surprised to see the headline Seniors could lose free lunch. I’ll post my response after they print it.

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8 Comments »

  1. Actions speak louder than words. Ms. Eaves participated in the erroneous use of parlimentary tricks to shut Mr. Felkner down when he objected to the status quo and repeatedly exposed Chariho’s unwillingness to operate openly and honestly. She also supported impediments put in the way of Mr. Felkner’s access to Chariho information. Hardly a “culture of respect and fairness”.

    Anyone paying attention, and I’ve watched just about every meeting (those which were available) over the last couple of years, can attest to the extremes the School Committee has gone to to silence Mr. Felkner. From the mistreatment of parents testifying about RYSE’s faults to the refusal of Mr. Ricci to provide information, the School Committee has colluded to operate as secretly as possible. The Hopkinton Town Council was too nice in their description of the School Committee’s behavior.

    If Ms. Eaves was truly interested in delivering the best education at the lowest cost, she would have been on Mr. Felkner’s side instead of standing in his way. Chariho delivers terrible academic outcomes at costs among the highest in the country. How can Ms. Serra possibly claim her interest is in the students? Does she think we all live in Richmond? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) 🙂

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 11, 2009 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  2. I read The Rag article on the seniors free lunch program. If I have this correctly Hopkinton has about 21 seniors who participate with an average of around 10 lunches per day. They also have speakers from time-to-time, but since most of the participants have been doing this for years the coordinator has trouble finding topics that haven’t already been addressed. I would guess these speakers are free for the most part, so the only real expense is getting the meal purchased and prepared.

    Hopkinton currently spends $46,000 to run the meals program. With an average of 10 meals per day, 52 weeks per year, 5 days per week, this means Hopkinton is providing 2,600 meals per year. We are basically paying $17.70 per meal.

    Now the Hopkinton Town Council questions the value of this program, and judging by the comments following The Rag’s article, crazy people are up in arms. I commend the Town Council for exploring less expensive ways of delivering the same or comparable services. I have a suggestion myself.

    How about a lunch choice program? Instead of the government spending $17.70 per meal we instead offer lunch vouchers to the seniors to be used at local businesses.

    How many seniors from Hope Valley are unable to participate in the program because of distance? Many seniors can’t drive or don’t want to drive. If a voucher system were in place, Ashaway seniors could find a local eatery close to them, and Hope Valley seniors could do the same. On top of that, instead of expanding government by having to pay a government employee, we would be supporting local businesses.

    I’m betting Hopkinton could coordinate with local businesses and probably get lunch served to seniors for $6 or $7 dollars per head. Instead of an inflexible program with a limited menu, seniors from every corner of Hopkinton would be able to get a free meal…we could more than double the amount of seniors eating free meals and still save money while also helping local businesses.

    In typical fashion The Rag goes for the emotional and attempts to portray Hopkinton’s Town Council as heartless. The Rag has the capability to do the math, and should have reported the cost and how wasting money doesn’t help anyone, including taxpaying seniors. Then again they’re probably all journalists so maybe math skills elude them?

    I knew that “for the kids” is an effective strategy for mobilizing the ignorant to support any amount of school spending regardless of how ineffective and wasteful. I hadn’t realized that spending money on seniors elicits the same brain dead response. Is anyone else tired of the propaganda? Hopkinton seniors can get more for less…what could possibly be wrong with that?

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2009 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  3. The seniors use the arguement “we’re entitled to it” more than the “for the seniors” line.

    Comment by CharihoParent — March 13, 2009 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  4. Yes I’ve heard the “entitled” argument from seniors. It’s even used in the article by one senior. I’ve vowed to myself to never feel entitled to anything other than what I’ve earned.

    That said, there are some people incapable of meeting their own needs through no fault of their own. I don’t have a problem with government providing a safety net for this small percentage of people. I simply do not see why we should throw money at seniors with little concern for waste or inefficiency. There certainly seems to be plenty of room for improvement with the Hopkinton senior program. To criticize this council for wanting to explore the best way to spend is wrong. They should be lauded for taking their responsibilities to all citizens seriously.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2009 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  5. CR, I can’t argue that point. I’m in 100% agreement with you. I wish the Richmond Senior Center Association also felt this way. I can’t wait to see what happens at this year’s Richmond FTM. They usually come out with the “We’re entitled to it” line at that meeting. That goes right up my…. well, you know. I don’t mind helping them since many of them do need the fellowship with the group but don’t tell me that you’re entitled to my hard earned money. I feel that the Senior Center Association’s director isn’t any too upfront, open and/or honest with the taxpayers in Richmond. I like that the TC did last year in restricting where they can spend the money taxpayers are giving to them. I hope they restrict a greater percentage this year.

    Comment by CharihoParent — March 13, 2009 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  6. Think about how much government debt we’ve accrued since FDR’s New Deal. Not just seniors, but all of us have agreed to far more government spending then we can ever pay back. Generations to come will be paying for our folly (if our society survives). Who of us is “entitled” to anything more?

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2009 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  7. Quote:

    “…..but the single most important role of the School Committee is to provide the best possible education at the lowest possible cost for the children of Charlestown, Richmond and Hop­kinton.”

    If thats what they call success, hopefully they will never be my surgeon, dentist, the pilot flying my plane, my broker, and the SC representing my children.

    Comment by RS — March 13, 2009 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  8. It’s official…the Chariho School Committee has now taken over full parental responsibility for our children. Oh, with one caveat, they do the parenting and we pay the bills.

    At the School Committee meeting Ms. Carney proposed an amendment to the budget eliminating one social worker position saving $90,000. The usual “for the children” propaganda, led by Booby Petit and baby Andy, was the chorus. You see, without a legion of social workers, we are all doomed. Ms. Carney, Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Vecchio voted to approved the amendment…our children’s new parents voted the amendment down.

    Next Ms. Carney proposed an amendment to eliminate an Asst. Principal position saving $38,000. Suprisingly Ms. Eaves supported this amendment along with the Ms. Carney, Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Vecchio. The rest of our children’s parents voted the amendment down.

    Mr. Vecchio then took his turn. It was a pleasure hearing him speak up forcefully for us real parents. He started with an amendment to eliminate a Dean of Students at the Middle School. A Chariho employee stood up and told us all how our dear children would be irrevocably harmed if we had one less $90,000 part-time employee roaming the halls. Ms. Carney, Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Vecchio voted to approve. Our children’s new parents…well, you know.

    Mr. Vecchio then asked for the elimination of a psychologist, but somehow it ended up quickly becoming a $24,000 subsidy paid to the Tri-Town Task Force on drug abuse. I’m not sure if Mr. Vecchio misspoke about the psychologist or was diverted.

    Families would be well served if we got rid of all but one psychologist at Chariho. That psychologist could do screening of identified students with referrals to outside psychologists paid for with parents’ insurance or government agencies other than a local school system.

    Back to the Tri-Town Task Force…parade of school employees and other Chariho sycophants, such as Ms. Dolan, told the School Committee the children are doomed if their drug addicitons are not dealt with by the government parents at the school. Once again, the three sane School Committee members voted to remove funding for the Task Force with the others predicting the end of humanity if Chariho didn’t foot the bill for our drug addicted children.

    Mr. Reddish, one of the biggest fools in Richmond as evidenced by his election to a leadership position by the citizen fools, said he could tell our kids are addicted because he sees parent “yelling at their kids in the grocery store”. He assumes this is because the parents lost their jobs which obviously leads to drug addicted children…I guess. Besides, it only costs $0.05 per day. After shaking my head at his poor math skills, Mr. Dumbass later stated $0.05 per day per child.

    Mr. Vecchio then addressed the many who claim every position at Chariho is vital to the well-being of children. Mr. Vecchio conceded the common sense notion that children are served by every employee in the budget. Who doesn’t understand this? In fact, Chariho could add another $50,000,000 worth of employees who also could service our children. The point isn’t that an army of employees don’t provide something, the point is that what they provide should not be taxpayer’s responsibility.

    I’m confident Chariho’s budget will pass as usual. Richmond’s voting history pretty much assures us that increasing spending at Chariho will not be rejected, but I think it is important for the School Committee to know they may be able to play the voting majority for fools, but there are some of us who resent them taking over the role of parents and acting as a social services organization rather than an educational institution.

    By the way, Gene spoke up for the minority of us disgusted with the level of Chariho spending. He did a good job, although I’m sure his opinion went in one ear and out the other with most of the School Committee.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 16, 2009 @ 11:00 am | Reply


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