Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 7, 2009


Filed under: Budget — Editor @ 9:06 am

Voting is taking place today on the Chariho Bond.  Vote early – vote often – vote NO!



  1. You got that right Bill F.

    Comment by Mike — April 7, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  2. Hi!
    I vote a little after 4 P.M., or around that time. Less than 300 voted in Hopkinton at that point. I voted no but then a number of people do not know of the vote, I am sure. I voted no.
    I received the sad news of Bill losing the case today. He is an interesting public figure and an unusual one. He is above average among local personalities in multiple ways. I am sure he will be filling us in. Need to locate the ruling if I can on the Internet. I saw him last night at town council meeting. Haven’t talked with him today.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 7, 2009 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  3. I was only #292 at 5:20ish.

    Comment by ARRRR — April 7, 2009 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

  4. Hi!
    The polls close at 8 P.M.,you need to vote in town of residence.Richmond at the Arnold Fire Station in Carolina the other two towns their town halls. The vote is not universally known locally.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 7, 2009 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  5. Hi!
    Check out decision on Felkner matter at ,.
    Hope this works!

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 7, 2009 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  6. Doing better than Richmond, 6PMish was only 200 some voters.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 7, 2009 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  7. I voted around 5:30 and my count was 321.

    Comment by RS — April 7, 2009 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  8. Forgot to mention, that was Hopkinton.

    Comment by RS — April 7, 2009 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  9. Richmond at 249 at 7:10.

    Comment by david — April 7, 2009 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

  10. Unless the school employees, family, and friends got lazy, I think the low turnout bodes poorly for the budget being rejected. Chariho probably can come up with a few hundred votes from employees alone…never mind their family and friends. Plus, Hopkinton and Richmond have more reason for frugality, so even if Charlestown turns out more, they aren’t as likely to be voting to reject.

    Oh, well, cool thing about voting is we get what we deserve.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 7, 2009 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  11. These are the numbers:

    526 yes
    527 No

    Budget rejected by 1 vote.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 7, 2009 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  12. Who says your vote doesn’t matter!

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 7, 2009 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

  13. One vote…that’s amazing. Earlier today I made a call urging a couple to vote. They didn’t even know about it. I just called them now and found out they didn’t vote…they “forgot”. I told them it passed by one vote. Then I told them the truth. I suspect when Chariho cuts $2,000 from the budget and makes us vote again, these two will show up to vote.

    I’d like to see this as a victory for common sense, but the margin couldn’t have been smaller and the turnout was pathetic. What do you think Chariho sycophants will now do? They’ll make a token cut or two, energize and mobilize more of their vast employee/family/friend network and overwhelm us like they’ve done in the past on budgets and bonds. A victory for change? Yes. But short lived? Probably.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 7, 2009 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

  14. I always wondered what would have happened if FL could have revoted 8 yrs ago, or MN this year.

    Should be easier to motivate both sides next time.

    the next vote can’t happen for 4-8 weeks, so maybe we’ll have a better clue from the statehouse by then. School funding was on the agenda at the statehouse today.

    We need the Hopkinton seat filled asap.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 7, 2009 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  15. I can’t express how happy I am that this was defeated but I’m already hearing rumors of the CSC already thinking they’ll invoke the Carulo Act.

    I saw on The Westerly Sun website where one person that must be from Charlestown say something the affect that Charlestown is being held hostage by Hopkinto. I say, thank goodness Hopkinton came through on this one.

    What’s the next step, a minor change in the budget? The CSC take another $10,000 from the surplus and have us vote again? More trying to sweep things under the rug?

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 8, 2009 @ 4:45 am | Reply

  16. If CHARIHO can invoke the Carulo Act, then perhaps the REST of the state districts will also do the same. THEN we can all see how crazy that act is in its use! Imagine, all of the districts crying “foul” the voters are asking us to spend less money, and we (the districts) “need” more.

    Comment by Dorothy — April 8, 2009 @ 7:24 am | Reply

  17. It will be at least a month before a revote can happen, by then we may have a better sense of the GA’s direction on school funding. This will fundamentally sway voting next time. Maybe the CSC will take the opportunity to draw up a real list of potential cuts to offset funding decreases.

    Carulo has a nice ring to it … I’d love to hear what an outside auditor has to say, go carulo go.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 8, 2009 @ 7:46 am | Reply

  18. Although Richmond is now 50 – 0 on approving any Chariho spending measure, this may have been the closest they’ve come to demanding Chariho act responsibly in their histroy. With a one vote margin, I personally want to thank Gene, CP, and David for any influence they had on Richmond voters who voted no. As for the rest who once again marched to the polls like good little Chariho sheeple….I’m not going to say it…I’m not going to say it….

    I agree with Gene on Carulo. I don’t trust Rhode Island corrupt judiciary to make the correct ruling in the end, but since it is almost inevitable that Chariho will get what they want, it would be nice to have Carulo employed with an outside audit resulting. Since we know they run huge surpluses every year, maybe the publicity from that alone would wake up a few dozen more voters.

    By the way, did Booby tell us Chariho is applying over $3,000,000 of the surplus tot he Building Committee? I’ll click back in a minute to confirm, but if I’m remembering correctly, why the heck would the Building Committee need $3,000,000 more than what they were already given with the bond?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  19. Ah, I see…Booby is such a dunce that even when throwing out figures in the thousands and millions he includes the cents column. It wasn’t over $3,000,000, it was over $30,000.00.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 8:14 am | Reply

  20. CR, you had better thank me! … The wife and I convinced our daughter to go vote, she wasn’t going to go when we first told her. What a lesson for her, her vote did matter! LOL

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 8, 2009 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  21. The Richmond vote was closer due to voters getting “the other side of the story”. Richmonders are entirely reasonable people. The challenge is for both sides to be hear. Based on the vote there is still more work to do, we will keep at it.

    I feel that focusing on the town contribution numbers while hiding the surplus in the budget summary AND claiming reduced budget is NOT being straight with people. This issue resonated with people I talked to …

    For the record, this changes next year, Carney proposed adding the surplus as a separate line item, although the name was changed to something like “undesignated fund balance”.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 8, 2009 @ 8:37 am | Reply

  22. I’m not sure the situation in Richmond (I forgot to ask), but I had yet another real estate agent tell me today that selling homes in Hopkinton is near impossible because of the high taxes. So even if you don’t care about the families who can’t afford more taxes because you can, you may not know it, but if you have hopes of increasing your home equity and selling your home someday, Chariho could be killing your dream.

    Charlestown is fat and happy because they pay among the lowest taxes in the state, regardless of how irresponsibly Chariho spends. The majority there could care less about Hopkinton and Richmond families. In the age of Obama, they aren’t embracing the concept of fairness…in fact, they like it this way. Charlestown voters may not be idiots, but they are worthy of a derogative label…I’m open to suggestions?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  23. Must have been divine providence (not Providence) CP. You got the outcome you had hoped for, and your daughter learned a valuable lesson all at the same time. I’m thrilled with the vote results, but I was also thrilled when the bond was defeated…the first time…

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  24. CR, you have a way with the obvious, why would anyone new to the area not love Charlestown or Westerly’s tax rates, they’re great.

    Richmond is similarly dead with home sales. Not sure there has been any in the last few months. Building permits are also nonexistent, even for upgrades.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 8, 2009 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  25. It’s not so obvious Gene. Yes, Westerly and Charlestown have long held a significant tax advantage…that’s the obvious part…but the impact on home sales hasn’t always been so obvious.

    I bought my home knowing full well about the tax differences, but having seen my taxes nearly double in a few short years, the difference has turned from unpleasant to intolerable according to many real estate agents. When I’m told that many buyers won’t even look at Hopkinton homes due to taxes, then the problem has reached a point of absurdity.

    Hopkinton people, and probably some in Richmond too, who mindlessly support Chariho because they can afford the tax increases could very well be unaware of the long term implications for their home’s value. Wouldn’t you agree with this not so obvious truth?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  26. Another pool of potential Chariho support who are missing the big pictures are renters who figure their landlords pay the taxes, not them, so why not support any level of spending. Having been a landlord, renters should be made aware that increases in property taxes are passed along to them whenever possible. Renter do pay taxes in a roundabout manner. I hope they pay attention to this not so obvious truth when they vote.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  27. The problem with blogs is that what you write sometimes dosen’t say what you meant to say.

    I agree with you, the property value aspect is not obvious.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 8, 2009 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  28. I know what you’re saying Gene. I learned this lesson a long time ago when email first came into existence. I emailed a co-worker about something or other, whatever I wrote had her in tears. It took a 2 second conversation for her to understand that what I said wasn’t what she thought I had said. I’m not so sure there is any way around this miscommunication issue other than knowing someone well enough which can minimize confusion over tone and substance.

    So you see, when I call Richmond voters “idiots” it may not be as bad as it sounds…yeah, right 😉

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  29. #25,

    I spoke with a Richmond resident today and he said he will sell as soon as he can. I told him one of his neighbors off of Route 112 has been trying to sell his house for three years and the prospective buyers will meet the price until they see the taxes (implications)and then can’t sell. Also spoken to a co worker who can’t sell his home in Narragansett for the same reason. When they have to pay $6,000 a year in property tax ($500 a month which 15 years ago was rent not taxes) they haven’t been able to sell your correct Curious Resident. Its get out now or lose your home to a Tax Sale. No equity.

    Its been noted your not we’ll liked on this site. Nobody want to deal with the truth, glad to know you do. Are you Jack Nicholson from A FEW GOOD MEN, ‘You can’t handle the truth.’

    The Perfect Storm is here lets commend the General Equalivency challenged Member of the Richmond Committee and the blow hard aren’t I wonderful member from Charlestown Committee member to take this Tri Town Ship down.

    Comment by Mike — April 8, 2009 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  30. Regarding #18:

    Wasn’t Mr Ricci asking for that money to build a new RYSE building? (which was defeated by the voters)

    I do hope that the voters vote THAT project down if the stimulus money is given to CHARIHO! We need to look at the aging infrastructure in all three towns, in the elementary schools BEFORE we even THINK of a new RYSE building. Hopkinton has had portable classrooms for MORE then 15 years…a lot longer then any of the portable classrooms being used for the RYSE students. Ashaway also!.

    Charlestown and Richmond also need upgrades, which should put their needs way ahead of a new RYSE building!

    Comment by Dorothy — April 8, 2009 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  31. What I find quite interesting about the vote is the increasing support from Richmond for accountability. The usual 2:1 ratio has vanished. Way to go Richmond. Keep pressing for change. Thanks to those in Charlestown, as well. I would remind those who blame Hopkinton that this vote is by majority. There were plenty of NO votes from Richmond and even Charlestown that decided the outcome.

    On another matter (Vouchers), article from the WSJ:

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 8, 2009 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  32. Lois,

    I have spoken to my fair share of voters from the other two towns in the past six months. Some in Richmond who are fed up as well and those in Charlestown who are totally out of it didn’t appreciate or follow the burden of Richmond and Hopkinton taxpayers when you mentioned what they and you paid for comparable properties. They were flabbergasted. The ***expletive etc followed. Though they may be duped by their school committee lamb ‘rubber stamp members’ I am proud of Councilors Thompson, Buck, Capalpo and Felkner of Hopkinton.

    As we many have learned from the secretive society of Chariho is a article in the Westerly Sun on Thursday March 14, 1996, Page 7 authored by Mark Reynolds, under the heading of Pini’s internal memo called for Ure’s removal and a side by side article entitled Ure: auditing process is not a rubber stamp also authored by Sun Journalist, Mark Reynolds.

    Pini’s internal memo called for Ure’s removal

    Wood River Junction-After Georgia Ure publicy lambasted financial practices in the Chariho Regional School District last month, an internal memo mentioning her removal from the district’s audit subcommittee was written by Superintendent John Pini and sent to the school committee.

    In the internal memo, Pini advised the committee to ask the Hope Valley businesswomen to appear and substantiate a verbal attack she unleased on the districts financial practices at a Feb 5 Hopkinton Town Council Meeting.

    “I would also suggest,” wrote Pini, “that her actions make it clear that she is exceeding her role as a subcommittee member and, that if she insists in pursuing that avenue, she should be removed.”

    Though Pini claims the memo was never intended for the public, and the School Committee is not currently planning to oust Ure, the fact that the memo was actually written riled Chariho critics in the aftermath of Tuesday’s meeting between Ure and the School Committee.

    Ure’s supporters say she should be able to speak wtih impunity. the supereintendent says Ure is entiled to free speech as a private citizen but isn’t entilted to address issues not concerning district auditing as a member of the subcommittee.

    On Tuesday night, when Ure pursued her previous staments-this time in front of the School Committee-she said she was merely doing her job.

    “I feel that I am here tonight because I have been wrongly accused, “Ure said, reading a prepared statement. “I’m having my freedom of speech threatened, I am called to the table and the structure of the audit subcommittee is being put in jeopardy with reorganization. This is all improper.

    “You have a choice,” she said,”a rubber stamp and business as usual or me. I am not a rubber stamp.”

    On Tuesday night, Jackie Kenyon, a former School Committee member, said the memo is “appalling.”

    Robert Barron, chariman of the audit subcommittee, argued that Ure’s observations on budget development could even be considered as part of internal controls and were totally warranted.

    “If you decide to remove Georgia from this subconnittee for the discussion that she had with the Hopkinton Town Council,” said Barron, “this implies there is not any independence between this committee and the audit subcommittee.”

    During Tuesday’s Session with the committee, Ure criticized the district administration for: budgeting without a fixed asset inventory, failing the zero-base budget, investing short-term “surplus” while Hopkinton borrows. sluggishness in pursing owed debts, and unsound bidding procedures.

    Administrators and Schoool Committee members responded, claiming the district has procured an inventory for its most sustaintial material assets, and that it doesn’t zero-base budget.

    Business Manager Ronald DiFabio said the district temporairly invests the town’s payments, even in the millions of dolars, in order to increase revenue. Even though one occasion the district circumvented prevailing wages, James Wilkenson, a district auditor, descibed the distric’s bidding procedures as ‘excellent.”

    Thursday March 14, 1996 page 7, Authored by Mark Reynolds, Under the heading of Pini’s internal memo called for Ure’s removal.

    Comment by james hirst — April 8, 2009 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  33. The article posted by Lois reinforces my earlier views the educational system in the US is all about the money. Period. It’s not about the children, the teaching, the learning, the development of our children’s minds, etc. It is a business, about the bottom line, controlled by specal interest, and should be dealt with as such. Exactly the reason for the protectionist attitude of many SC members who are too closely aligned with those special (or self) interest.

    Comment by RS — April 8, 2009 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  34. Lois and other concerned voters,

    URE: Auditing process is not a rubber stamp By Mark Reynolds

    Hope Valley- Georgia Ure says the the three towns of Chraiho School District represent a hear, a liver and kidneys- and Chariho needs all three to survive.

    In the past two months, Hopkinton’s representive onthe audit subcmmittee has incensed members of the district’s School Committee and administration with an argument that Chariho’s unhealthy financial practices are infecting its vital organs.

    The former teacher turned businesswomenis hoping her recent financial diagnosis will be part of the cure.

    Despite an internal memo sent to the committee that claims Ure is out of line, the budget hawks observations resonated in Chariho once again Tuesday night. Ure says efficient eductation is essential to democracy.

    “I’m more than happy to give my opinions,”she says.
    “The auditing committee is a watchdog over the process and I don’t think it’s meant to be a rubber stamp.”

    “I think education is the most important service that a town or a government can do for its people, ” she says. “That’s why I would like to see it done as good as it can be possibly can be.”

    The outspoken critic, known for an assertive, sometimes even abrasive style, has taught school in all three towns of the Chariho Regional School District: Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton.

    Ure claims the districts administration and School Committee tried to intimidate the audit subcommittee into obebience by putting her on trial Tuesday.

    Robert Hardiman, the committee chair, says the meeting was called so the committee could learn Ure’s observations firsthand.

    In the wake of her appearance, Ure is concerned about statements concerning district procedures made by Ronald DiFabio, the district’s business manager. Though DiFabio claimes to have saved the district thousands by circumventing prevailing wages on one particular painting job and though an auditor has district’s auditing policy as excelllent,” Ure says the practice raises concerns about fairness in hiring, workers’ comensation claims, and insurance.

    Ure also says the district’s use of suprluses is an issues. Right now , the district invests some payments before spending in order to raise invome.

    Ure says when the income raised creates a surplus, the money is disbursed among three towns evenly at 33 percent.
    This is unfair, argues Ure, because debt-ridden Hopkinton makes its original payment to the district at 38 percednt, according to Chariho Act student population dictates.

    Blogger Note: Something for all tri town councilors and ALL SC members to get around. Thursday, March 14, 1996 Page 7, Authored by March Reynolds.

    Comment by james hirst — April 8, 2009 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  35. Mark Reynolds not March Obviously.


    Comment by james hirst — April 8, 2009 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  36. Thanks Mike for the kind words. My family loves me, so I’m happy 🙂 Being liked by local politicians and Chariho sycophants isn’t high on my list of priorities.

    I feel good about myself because I know my minimal efforts are on behalf of the tri-town communities “lesser” families…those unable to afford alternative education options and on the brink of financial distress. These families are not the majority, but they do need a voice in the process. The fact local politicians notice me enough to dislike me tells me I’m being heard. The way I look at it, I call the Chariho status quo defenders “idiots” and they spit on families and children…I’d rather be me.

    Once again Mr. James Hirst provides historical evidence that Chariho has been playing the same budget games for decades. Ricci learned at Pini’s knee, so it is not surprising that tactics have changed little. We can “talk” nice and delude ourselves into thinking this time it will be different, but until we convince enough of our fellow citizens that Chariho can’t be allowed to continue spending a fortune while delivering failing educational outcomes, then talking nice is for idiots. If we can multiply Gene, David, and even CP by three, maybe the tide will begin to turn. But time is always on Chariho’s side and they know it…wearing down opposition is one of the few things they do well.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  37. Mike,

    Nice to hear a new voice, more the merrier.

    CR is liked, his opinions are most always valid and regularly, er, um, “loud” or “boisterous”.

    My point is only that “Richmond idiots” should really be “chariho supporting idiots”, as there’s lots of Richmonders that just haven’t been informed. When in possession of the facts, the vote was better this time. I feel strongly that a new Richmonder looking to become informed probably won’t appreciate “Richmond idiots”, while “chariho idiots” wouldn’t be personal to them.

    I got a pile of emails from richmonders who almost didn’t vote, I bet next time we’ll get more help due to this close vote. The only way this budget passes is with real cuts, and I don’t mean K-8 field trips. Which, BTW, I should thank Chariho for proposing, went over real well with parents, helped Ricci’s credibility ever so much. Hopefully we keep getting the meatballs to hit over the fence.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 8, 2009 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

  38. The problem with “Chariho idiots” is that I don’t really consider Charlestown voters idiots for approving spending that costs them 1/3 less than Richmond and Hopkinton. Yes, it is still wasteful, but without the same financial incentive I don’t expect as much out of them as I do with voters in Hopkinton and Richmond. Richmond and Hopkinton voters really do impoverish our poorer neighbors when we approve dishonest and irresponsible budgets and bonds. The same can’t be said for Charlestown, or at least not nearly to the same extent.

    And to be fair, I did group the slight Hopkinton majority in with the large Richmond majority when the re-voted bond passed. I’m not sure if I called them all idiots, but if not, I’m certain I used insulting language when speaking about them.

    I know and respect a Hopkinton couple with children at Chariho and they vote to support every Chariho spending proposal. They are college educated, yet they are dumb as rocks as it pertains to education spending. No matter what the facts show, they equate money with “caring”. Don’t even mention school choice. In their minds, if we aren’t pouring money into the Chariho cesspool, then we don’t care about “the children”.

    I’m guessing they are not alone with this misguided notion about school funding. All the logic in the world sometimes cannot sway the people out there who think with their emotions. It doesn’t matter if it works…it only matters that we’re trying. I finally told the wife they should move to Richmond with the other idiots. We’ve chosen not to discuss Chariho since. They still like me 😉

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 8, 2009 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  39. “They are college educated” … Now that, in my mind, pretty much says it all right there. So many of our colleges (I won’t say all) brainwash the students with a liberal/socialist agenda. Then it takes many years of real world living for them realize that what they were taught in college isn’t quite right.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 9, 2009 @ 4:23 am | Reply

  40. Gene,
    CR is liked? Pushing the bar up a bit aren’t you? (laughing)

    Believe it or not, there’s a lot of things that CR says that are right and I agree with and I’d give him a passing grade of about 97. When it comes to tact and diplomacy, I’m sorry but he fails miserably on that score. And it’s so much fun tweaking his knickers that I love being the devil’s advocate against him, as you can see, he’s not quite sure where I stand on some issues. What’s the old saying, “Keep ’em guessing”?

    When it comes to Lois, we may disagree at times but I feel that her and I come away with a mutual respect, her arguements for her position are well stated and I can understand where she’s coming from. Lois has always kept herself above the fray and has treated everyone with respect. I give Lois a lot of credit for reaching out to Mrs Eaves and Mrs Carney and talking with them, trying to understand their positions. I know Mrs Carney better than I do Mrs Eaves but they are both good people, just different views on some things.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 9, 2009 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  41. I can’t say I reach out to them. I just grab an ear when I can. I haven’t had the opportunity lately.

    And I wouldn’t call people idiots unless they are informed. Most people are uninformed and too trusting of government in all its forms.

    As we see within our local, state, and federal governments (Considering the shape of our economy, we’ve failed here.), we need to make the best choice of representation, but we need to stay informed, challenge them whenever it is warranted, and lift up their efforts whenever they go above and beyond the call of duty. Those public officials who cannot take the heat should consider a different way to aid their community.

    I agree with CP’s assessment of university life, it is very much a social agenda, rather than an arena for free-thinkers. Plus, I would rather not choose the liberal, moderate or conservative labels because they are used so much now that they have literally polarized our country.

    I was discussing the vote with some people yesterday, and one of the things that came up was that now that it was rejected, they would choose to cut from sports or from advanced programs. This would sadden me as they are “for the children.” But, this will not surprise me. In the end, it will be blamed on Hopkinton, even though the vote is by majority, and we will yet again be chastised.

    My hope for the continued use of this forum is that it inform the uninformed and trusting voters of the tritown communities. Then, at least, the votes would be easier to swallow. Maybe this is the definition of transparency?

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 9, 2009 @ 9:52 am | Reply

  42. If the CSC takes the position of cutting sports, advanced programs, K-8 field trips, I double my efforts to get that budget rejected as well.

    Chariho has yet to present the budget in sufficient detail and description for those of us on the outside to constructively “help” them. I asked, never got anything. So they get to figure it out. If they want to start providing more detail, there will be plenty of us to help.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 9, 2009 @ 10:15 am | Reply


    Again, this is the link for the RI law referencing maintenance of effort. As recurring expenses increase, the maintenance of effort amount goes with it. So, we, as taxpayers, have to fork it over.

    Applying surplus money may be a good or bad short term choice (depending on your perspective) to ease the pain of the taxpayer, it will not ease our pain down the road if surplus funds disappear and the communities have to pick up the difference through their tax dollars.

    And who will get hit the hardest then? Hopkinton and Richmond.

    What are the long term prospects if the country remains in a recession into 2011?

    How long will it take the communities to recover after that?

    The decision to apply $2.25 million to the budget to level fund (the actual budget increase is around 4%) may likely be a poor, long term choice. I suspect the long term effect has not even been considered by our budget creators. Does it feel like a game of Russian Roulette?

    And let us not forget the effect the bond expense is going to have on Richmond and Hopkinton, as well.

    So, maintenance of effort continues to grow, surplus could run out, bond principal and interest expense kicks in, and don’t forget the housing market stinks for communities that have high taxes. This should concern us all.

    “For the children” means food, clothing, and shelter. Let’s give our kids the best education we can, but let’s not forget the necessities of life come first. This is my message to the school committee, when they make the hard choices in the next few weeks.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 9, 2009 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  44. Ref#42: Help….forget about it, why do you think BF was ousted? The SC doesn’t want the public to know what is going on in “their” empire with the tax payers money. Openness is not on the agenda. SC egomaniacs and buffoons live in a narcissistic world that doesn’t include needing help from anyone.

    Comment by RS — April 9, 2009 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  45. Gene, you are right, the CSC and administration has a history of keeping this information secret. The $2 million cut made a few years back was requested because even then specifics were kept secret.

    What is laughable, they cry, “well give us specifics,” but they won’t give specific numbers for us to do so. So, all we have is the bottom line that we continue to post $2 million plus surpluses year after year.

    I agree with you, if cutting those programs is the choice they make, then I will double my efforts as well.

    And Gene, I want to thank you for the time you have sacrificed from your family to attend the many workshops and meetings, and the time you take to inform us of the goings on with the CSC. (Your family should be thanked as well, as they make the sacrifices with you.) You have taken the time to inform yourself. I can only hope that others will follow.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 9, 2009 @ 10:31 am | Reply

  46. The decision of where to cut a school budget has already been made in the larger sense. The SC will go through the motions of acting like they are facing tough decisions and try to determine where to make cuts, but rest assured the cuts will come from school activities and programs, not from any labor contracts or benefits and salaries of the NEA lackies.

    Comment by RS — April 9, 2009 @ 10:32 am | Reply

  47. Same game, different year. When Mr. Scott Hirst and others led efforts to cut the Chariho budget $2,000,000, Chariho immediately began cutting in areas which hurt the children the most. The School Committee and the administration wouldn’t provide any budget details. Here we are a few years later and we know they all lied. The surplus that year was far above the amount cut, and all the threats of cuts were used for one reason, to get the “idiot” voters to head to the polls and give Chariho whatever they demand.

    We now have Chariho running millions in surplus year after year. Because of the maintenance of effort law, they are getting nervous and want to get the surplus on the books so it can be considered as part of the “effort”.

    Details will not be forthcoming. I asked and asked last year about one line item which had a increase in spending by a couple of thousand dollars. To this day not one person has even tried to explain why this budget item increased as it did. This has been going on for years, and as long as Chariho can depend upon the idiots to head to the polls when things get tough, then it will never stop.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 9, 2009 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  48. Gene,
    By the way, at last year’s budget workshops, Tom had gotten a hold of one of the budget binders that the SC members get to work from. It was very different from the one the councils get. They reluctantly let him keep it, but Tom fought to retain it because it had his notes in it.

    My understanding was that Bob Petit, at the time, said to Tom that he couldn’t understand why the budget info to the councilors was not the same, either.

    Until there is full disclosure, what “help” can we give? So, the question is, do they really want it?

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 9, 2009 @ 10:41 am | Reply

  49. I missed the CSC meeting that was aired last night on cable. Do they show it again? I’ve been told to watch especially the part where the CSC voted on the administrative contracts/wages. I was told that I’ll get very upset with the CSC on this one. Now I’m curious because that’s about all of the information that I have.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 9, 2009 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  50. Lois,
    ref #41: That has been my one fear as well since that’s where they said they would cut the last time. Also, I’ve seen that threat not only from this school committee but from other school committees. As Gene said, then we have to redouble our efforts to get the next referendum defeated as well.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 9, 2009 @ 10:49 am | Reply

  51. #49

    I understand they approved all admin contracts without a dollar number. They are tied to teacher pay, which isn’t set and an index which isn’t set. It’s like signing a blank check, hard to believe.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 9, 2009 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  52. Gene,
    WHAT? That’s ridiculous! We’re suppose to trust these people on the CSC with our money on that one? There’s no way in hell I’ll approve a budget until I know what those numbers are.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 9, 2009 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  53. I thought you folks have lived in RI most of your life. I have only been here for 15 years and I do not find any of this hard to believe.


    All these words are synonymous in the Ocean state. I have never lived in IL, but the same goes there….you only need to look around without blinders on to see this going on. Trying to be everyones friend and buddy is not going to get things changed, it takes a hard line. Do you think the unions care about your community, your tax bill, or even your childrens education(they do only if it appears they will be replaced as a provider of educaiton, i.e. vouchers – why do you think the current administraion is so cozy with the NEA……they are pro big government indoctrination…oops I mean education.) The union has one goal…$$$ MONEY $$.

    Comment by RS — April 9, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  54. RS,
    I haven’t lived in RI most of my life, I was born and brought up and lived most of my life in MA. Have only lived in RI the last 12 yrs.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 9, 2009 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  55. It’s not hard to understand that all these things actually occur, and the conditions that allow them to occur. But we can still be simultaneously amazed that it happens.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 9, 2009 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  56. So I’m helping my sick grandmom for a few days in ME and one of her neighbors stopped by, he’s a selectman. Enevitably we got talking about schools and regionalization.

    He says ME did a lot of school regionalization a few years ago and the price went up.

    Also, he doesn’t believe it’s legal in ME to be on a school board when a family member is employed by the district.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 9, 2009 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  57. I’ve lived here 98% of my life. Been disgusted with it for most of my adult life. The last couple I’ve been totally disgusted. And yet, we keep electing them in. Now that is truly idiotic.

    I wish I could go to the RI Tea Party. I committed to something long before. It would have been a good thing for my children as well. It is high time that we challenge the state and federal legislators because their stupidity has put us in this mess. And if it means we begin locally, with school and town budgets, then so be it.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 9, 2009 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  58. Gene, sorry to hear about your sick grandmom. Hope she feels better soon.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 9, 2009 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  59. I plan to be at the RI Tea Pary, but as for the legistlators, it is spring recess(April 13-17). The best that can be hoped for is coverage by the media, the chance for a show of disgust at Smith Hill will unfortunately fall on empty corridors.

    Comment by RS — April 9, 2009 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

  60. Wonder what price tag is associated with this……if I want my child’s education modeled after a communist system, then I would move to a communist country.

    It just never ends.

    Comment by RS — April 10, 2009 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  61. The China trip is being partially funded by the Freeman Foundation. The original Freeman lived in Asia much of his life. He was also a founder of troubled AIG. His son started the foundation to improve understandings between Asis and the U.S. Sounds like a boondoggle trip for the administrators. I can’t imagine the Chinese educational system is any worse than the communist system we currently have in the U.S.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 10, 2009 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  62. I thought the Chinese system is very capitalistic. Performance matters, you get tracked as high as you can achieve.

    Maybe they will learn something!

    Comment by Gene Daniell — April 10, 2009 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  63. CR and RS,
    Why does the district remain fractured? Because no one wants to really make this a true district. Everyone wants to have their own town controls. As one of your own former has said, it’s about time we start acting like a school district. Until we get rid of the parochial thinking around here, absolutely nothing will change with Chariho. It will continue with the same problems that we have today, that we’ve had for the last 50 years, Just look at James Hirst has posted, what was going on then still goes on today. Nothing has changed, nothing will change.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 10, 2009 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  64. I don’t know why it is difficult to understand? When one community’s families pay two and half times less for the same school, there is no way to ever share the same interests. “True districts” have each family paying equal taxes.

    Charlestown can seek the very best or they can ignore wasteful incompetence because they can afford the very best and tolerate wasteful incompetence and still pay less than Hopkinton and Richmond currently pay. There will always be a disconnect between what Hopkinton requires and what Charlestown requires.

    I didn’t create this situation, those who voted for the bond did it, but this is the reality

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 10, 2009 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  65. Chariho Parent #63. It was posted a long time ago on the votes and articles that have been written regarding those votes many years ago (50 years or so). If Charlestown left years ago or at any time through the past 50 years to their benefit they would have. The aid received by the Richmond and Hopkinton voters lets the voters of Charlestown children bask in the aid that has been provided to the other two towns. Yes this has been ‘spun’ one way or the other.

    I won’t banter with one town or the other. I believe it was noted on the late 60’s or 70’s show Dragnet, ‘Just the facts mam.’ If I can engage the person of this sight to open or create sites, 1958, 1959, etc and fill in with duly noted authors and articles, regarding votes, and how the district was created etc I will do so. Then again it doesn’t fall on this site obligation to do so. We all have a personal obligation to do own own looking and research. I also can create a site personally, yet it would be great if we had it in one place.

    I commend the Chariho School Parents’ Forum and the work of William Felkner on his attempts for openness, accountablity, decency and truthfulness.

    Comment by james hirst — April 10, 2009 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  66. I would rather be a district(one tax base) than act like one. Too much acting has been going on for far too long.

    As for the Chinese educational and capitalist systems, my monthly visists there make me gald to live in the USA.

    Comment by RS — April 10, 2009 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  67. That my point, one tax base, each person’s vote counts equally, etc, etc, etc. Not until Charlestown taxpayers feel the pinch the same as Richmond and Hopkinton taxpayers will anything even begin to change. Not until votes are majority rule, will things begin to change. They are tied hand in hand as with so much of the fracture by town. I truly wish that last week’s budget referendum only had one tally instead of it being reported by town because I can’t see what good comes of out pointing fingers to any one community for it’s supposed defeat. I believe this was probably the closest that Richmond voters ever came to rejecting anything from Chariho which only helped the overall rejection of the budget. A lot of credit has to go Gene for getting involved and informing the voters of Richmond.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 11, 2009 @ 4:37 am | Reply

  68. I posted on opkinton speaks about the ticket quota in Hopkinton. Didn’t know where else to discuss the topic.

    Comment by RS — April 11, 2009 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  69. Unbelievable. I’m taking the liberty of posting the ProJo link here:

    Hopkinton police have now been given orders to increase their revenue generation by issuing more traffic tickets. Even the Rhode Island Police Academy doesn’t agree with this technique. Shame on the Town Council for going along with this. As RS notes, this quota is being instituted because the Municipal Court, which was brought to Hopkinton by Dilibero with promises of reducing costs, is actually costing the town money. Now we’re going to have the Hopkinton police running around town looking for reasons to pull over and fine law abiding citizens. We asked for this police state by authorizing a ridiculously large police force.

    I am very disappointed with the Town Council for approving of this plan. Rather than being courageous and abolishing the Municipal Court and cutting the police department by at least half, they now have the police harassing the community. Good work.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 11, 2009 @ 10:35 am | Reply

  70. The article indicates the Town Council discussed the quota and/or approved of it. Was this done in secret or was this at a public meeting. There is no reason to hide something like this behind closed doors so I hope the Town Council admitted in public that they approve of the quotas. At least then they can be held accountable for this decision.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 11, 2009 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  71. In reading ProJo’s article, Hopkinton’s police chief blames an underperforming officer who isn’t giving out enough or any tickets. Considering Hopkinton Police Department have manning far above a reasonable amount, maybe we should reward officers who aren’t tripping over themselves to issue tickets? If the chief’s comments are true, maybe we should give the lazy officer a raise?

    The chief also said the quota policy is the only recourse since the police contract and Rhode Island law doesn’t let the town take disciplinary action against this specific officer. How sad is it that we all have worry about hyper-policing because contracts and laws don’t allow a normal employer/employee relationship where an underperforming employee would be disciplined. Instead the entire town of Hopkinton gets disciplined by an intensification of the police state.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 11, 2009 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  72. I’m a graduate of a liberal college with kids in the Chariho school system who has voted against every single bond issue or increase in the school budget since I moved here 9 years ago. If there has been a decrease in enrollment and a yearly surplus of money we ought to be voting on decreasing the budget not increasing it every year. The cuts that need to be made are not in school sports but in the salaries on the front page of Friday’s Westerly Sun. The most recent defeat of the school budget shows that every vote does count especially when the majority of people don’t bother to vote. We need to get more people voting the next time because you know those people who are going to benefit will be mobilizing. I agree with the person who commented on the union, NEA, largely unions have outlasted their usefulness in this country and now stay in business for their own sake not for any benefit for their members. I work in a “closed shop” job, where you have no choice and the dues are deducted from your pay. In order to be considered disaffiliated you can sign a document but still have the dues taken out of your pay every week. We need more people like Bill Felkner asking questions and I hope we can elect a replacement to CSC ASAP., concerned parent & voter

    Comment by Chariho parent college educated — April 11, 2009 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  73. The police behavior of some many stops or tickets has been going on since the 70’s and the state police do it to. Both Town and state people have confided that to the taxpayers over the years.

    Comment by Dragnet — April 12, 2009 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  74. After finding out about the quota I have strictly adhered to the 25 MPH speed limit through Ashaway. I’d now like the police to add a new quota. Please start ticketing the idiots who insist on driving practically in my backseat as I crawl through Ashaway. Maybe there’s more money to be made in tailgating tickets than speeding tickets?

    I mentioned the quota thing to a Hopkinton acquaintance this weekend. She said it is no big secret that the chief has an employee he’d like to see gone. This person said the officer being harassed is actually one of the good ones, and the effort to drive him out is motivated by something other then his lack of ticket writing.

    Since I’m not “connected”, I have no idea what the truth is about the quota situation. I do know public figures who have taken on the Hopkinton Police Department in any way have a habit of ending up with legal trouble. Mr. Mauti and the Matson family come immediately to mind. Is there a Hopkinton police officer out there who has made his chief unhappy in some way?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 12, 2009 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  75. It’s not really a quota, it’s a bail out for the municipal court.

    Comment by RS — April 12, 2009 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  76. Maybe it’s a twofer?

    Why would the chief go after one of his own in the newspaper? How often do we hear public officials tell us they have to meet in secret to discuss personnel issues, yet here we have the chief airing his dirty laundry in The Rag.

    We know The Rag has carried his water in the past with harassment of Mr. Mauti and the Matsons. The chief is sly as a fox as he pretends he wants to protect the name of the police officer. While I don’t know one police officer from another, my acquaintance knew immediately who the chief was targeting with his quota.

    I think there is a desire to save face with the Municipal Court debacle, but I have to believe the chief wouldn’t have gone after one of his own unless he really meant it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 12, 2009 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

  77. CR & RS, my understanding is the municipal court is now saving us money. Please note, this I was informed over a month ago.

    Second, I do not condone quota systems. But, every police department has one. We all know this. They are verbal.

    Third, I don’t see people too concerned driving through town, as the residents of SK and Charlestown are. You recall, I stated I lived in Charlestown. Well, Hopkinton does not compare. You could not drive down Route 1 going much faster than 1 mph when I lived there. Then an officer would pull up behind you and almost tailgate you all the way to Westerly. Talk about intimidating.

    We live off Route 3, and our road seems to be a drag strip. I’ve shouted at people to slow down quite often. I’ve seen the way people drive down Route 3. I know people who have lost children to injury or death on these roads. Cars have been struck and flipped over because Route 3 has been a race track of sorts to some. Bicyclists have been hit, too! If “1” traffic ticket per shift per officer is going to slow people down, then yippee!

    If it is true, that an officer is not pulling his weight, and someone gets injured or worse, this person should be tried and fired. If it is true, that an officer is not doing his job, then as a taxpayer, I’d be deeply concerned that this person is stealing my tax dollars. If this officer is being harassed, as some in the community feel is true, then I believe the truth will come out, as well. Justice will be served.

    Fourth, again I say I don’t condone “quota” systems, but “1” stop a day for each officer is not going to bring a major windfall of cash into the town of Hopkinton. It certainly is not intimidating, either. Think about it.

    I was thinking. What if, Lt. Baruti said that drivers are not adhering to the posted speed limit and that he wanted the patrol officers to make their presence more apparent. And if the drivers are exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph, please pull them over. Now, mind you, he doesn’t give an actual ticket quota. I bet you that they’d exceed “1” ticket per day per officer. What do you think?

    I’ll be honest, when I saw the Projo article, I almost had to pick my jaw up off the floor. But, then I started to think about the impact of “1” ticket. Then I had to stop and think about why an officer would put it in writing to begin with. At first glance, the whole issue did seem rather condemning, but having given it thought, I’m not so sure it is.

    I’m sure you guys will not agree with me. You’ve stated your opinion regarding the police in the past. I hope you’ll understand my observations. I look forward to a rational discussion.

    By the way, hope your Easter Sunday/Passover was blessed.

    (P.S. This is again my opinion. If you want to be mad, you can be mad at me. I’m just trying to rationalize this.)

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 13, 2009 @ 1:15 am | Reply

  78. Never mad Lois, I just go by the trust but verify motto. An “understanding” that the court is saving us money should be easily verifed by open records, but I do not know the process in Hopkinton whereby I can obtain this data. All I have seen is the budget for revenues and expenditures. Not an actual spending/cost ledger of the municipal court.

    If you’re concerned with safety, a pullover or stop quota could be implemented without a ticket quota. their is a huge difference. I stand by my opinion this is a revenue enhancement scheme at the expense of the taxpaying citizens to a police department that is the 2nd single greatest cost to our town and quite possibly larger than many sized towns departments(bloated).

    I did a quick search for traffic deaths in Hopkinton, and just couldn’t find all the carnage on our highways. Not saying its doesn’t happen, but I don’t think its an epedemic to be solved by ticket quotas.

    Comment by RS — April 13, 2009 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  79. This is the type of openness I am talking about.

    Comment by RS — April 13, 2009 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  80. We do agree on one thing, unnecessary police should be fired. You believe this is measured by tickets written, but I think it is measured by history. Hopkinton doesn’t need a ticket-writing brigade. We don’t need 16 police employees…we probably don’t need 6. We are surrounded by examples of rural communities very similar to Hopkinton who have no problems with much, much less police enforcement. In the words of RS, I’ve heard nothing about carnage in their streets.

    RS is 100% right when he notes effective traffic control doesn’t require ticketing. In fact, one of those speed measuring devices is probably as good at slowing traffic as random traffic stops. Plus the measuring device doesn’t insist on overtime.

    Sorry, but I’ve seen the belly of the beast at it pertains to police Our freedoms and liberties seem to decrease exponentially as police staffing increases. While there are people who enter policing with honorable intent, I doubt there are many who leave that way. Just once I’d like to hear of a police officer step forward and tell us about what he/she has experienced. Serpicos are too few. When the Hopkinton police were persecuting Mr. Mauti and the Matsons, uninvolved police officer must have known, yet they covered it up.

    I urge everyone to read the Westerly police transcripts from the Mauti case. If you have an inherent trust of police officers the transcripts should make you think twice. It is obvious these officers knew what happened, even if in theory, yet they did their best to hide a crime because it was committed by one of their own.

    I know it will not change. I know every public officials who has threatened cuts to the Hopkinton police has ended up in legal trouble or out of the public eye. I certainly wouldn’t take on the poloice, but from behind the relative safety of my anonymity, and having no power other than a big mouth, I can speak the truth. Quatas or not, Hopkinton has far too many police employees and spends other people’s money for their own Chariho-type employment vehicle.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 10:22 am | Reply

  81. The Projo story about traffic tickets is disturbing for a number of obvious reasons, and the discrepancies in the statements by the town manager and the lieutenant on the one hand and the police chief on the other need to be explained.

    But I’m also concerned with some comments here responding to that story that express disappointment with the Town Council for approval of this policy.

    The article didn’t indicate any discussion or approval of the plan by the Town Council. What it did was report that a police lieutenant said that the town manager and some members of the Town Council “are very dissatisfied with our numbers.” The town manager, according to the story, essentially confirmed the lieutenants statement when he said that he and some council members were concerned about a “lack of activity” by the police in general.

    But this puts the police chief at odds with the town manager because the chief apparently told the reporter that the policy is aimed at a single officer who does practically no work.

    Clearly this matter needs to be straightened out. When the police chief has one view of a town policy and his superior, the town manager, and the second in command of the police force agrees with the town manager, it sounds like it is time for resolution of the disagreement by the town council and perhaps a review of the policy as well.

    Another disturbing aspect is the fact that both the town manager and the lieutenant apparently told the reporter that some town councilors were dissatisfied or concerned with police performance. I don’t think any of our councilors are overly shy, and if they have an opinion on a town matter they are perfectly capable of expressing it. One of the bugbears of serving on the town council or school committee is having someone else say what your opinion is. They don’t neccesarily get it right.

    It is unfortunate when a newspaper story that describes what some third parties allege some councilors opinion of police department performance is ends up interpreted as a report of an improper action by the town council.

    This council has given me no reason to think they are anything but totally open and aboveboard. I am confident that the town council has not discussed this matter in executive session, which would be a violation of the Open Meeting Law. And if it has been discussed at a council meeting in open session it surely would have come to public notice either by a newspaper story or by people watching the TV broadcast of the meeting.

    But now that this matter has come up, it would be appropriate to let everyone know what “the numbers” are that upset the town manager, the lieutenant, and according to them, some town councilors.

    And surely it makes sense that all town policies should be a matter of public record and their purpose should be expressed clearly enough so that all that are responsible for their implemantation have the same understanding of their purpose. We should all be concerned when any policy impacting the public is marked “Do not forward this e-mail”. What is it that the public should not know?

    Comment by Thurman Silks — April 13, 2009 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  82. I would like to see every police officer write those 20 tickets! Begin with the speeders in the middle of town (Hope Valley and Hokinton City and Ashaway). Move on to the “Handicaped Parking” and ticket those 17 and 19 year old kids and others who park and block those spaces from those who REALLY need the spot. It really disgusts me to see those who really need the space in foul weather having to park, unload their wheelchairs, or walk in with their canes across a lot when a healthy person has stolen their spot and who may be using their grandparents parking permit, or no permit at all. Give them a $100 ticket once or twice and the bad behavior will stop!

    Comment by Dorothy — April 13, 2009 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  83. So if we are really interested in writing parking tickets, why are we paying “police officers” rates of pay and not “meter maid” rates. I’m all for making 80% of our police “meter maids” and adjust their pay accordingly. Great idea, too bad I didn’t come up with it.

    Comment by RS — April 13, 2009 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  84. Good Point, for “Meter Maids”, but I still want a Polic Officer when I need one! If we had parking meters, sure, I would vote for meter maids. I live on a private road. I do not have a public water supply, I have not had any children in school for the past 32 years. The road near my driveway DOES get plowed a few times in the winter, but other then that, the ONLY thing I get for my town tax bill is the police.

    So, there we have it. If I ever need a Police Officer, I would expect speedy, professional service. I would be madder then heck if I could not get a response if I needed it! SO, if we have complaints of poor service, no service, or delayed service for calls, we need to address THAT, not the number of tickets written…or not.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — April 13, 2009 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  85. My father’s son was killed at 12 years old on Route 3 in Hope Valley. “Dead”

    A young lady on her bike, I believe 12, was hit by an 18 wheeler out here on route 3. The driver never knew he hit her. “Dead”

    My husband’s cousin, who was riding a bike, was hit by a truck on Route 3 by Crandall’s field. “Not seriously injured”

    I believe Mr. Matson’s daughter was killed by a driver (not sure the street). “Dead”

    I lived on route 3 in Hope Valley, where a Chariho classmate was struck by a car. “Injured”

    I swore that I would never live on that road again, but the “idiots” now drive down our side street just like they still do currently and from my memories of Route 3.

    Sorry, I have no sympathies of your opinion of this so-called one ticket per shift “quota” system that everybody is screaming about. It just doesn’t do enough.

    The safety of these streets has hit me personally with friends and family, and I will make no apologies for it. Living with my Dad’s sadness was heartbreaking.

    Now, it simply amazes me how people here can turn on the council so quickly. I suspect that those who have fought long and hard with those who side with Chariho’s excessive and hidden spending tactics are foaming at the mouth right now. (ie… Budget distraction.) Plus, the media has an agenda too, ratings.

    Do not let this side-track the Chariho issue here: the new vote on a proposed budget. The committee has probably about 1/2 of its token budget cut gesture in the bussing of 4 students who are bussed out of district. Don’t sit back and think we are going to see any major changes.

    As far as this so-called quota, I trust the council to deal with this issue in time. The news does not have the councils perspective, and they are being hung out to dry by hearsay. Be patient.

    By the way, a quota is a quota no matter how you define it. There is no law against it, but it is bad policy. Look at the distrust the police have now. If it was bad before, it is worse now.

    And as I said, this is not a cash windfall for the town.

    I would expect the officers to perform better than this “internal memo” has indicated.

    And if one officer is doing this, then he is not protecting the public. He should be ashamed of himself.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 13, 2009 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  86. I would also like a police officer when I need one, but they are just too darned heavy to carry around. I’ve stated before the police are reactionary, unless luck shines on them a particular day, they will always show up after most crimes are long over.

    It would be nice if we could count on and expect our police to be charged with the duty to protect us, but sadly this is not the case. Read the cases below, and you will see the courts rule the police have no duty to protect. Of course this is a legal standing, not a moral one. If you think this is make believe, then try winning a suit against the police for failure to protect.

    See, for example, Riss v. City of New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579, 293 NYS2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 860 (N.Y. Ct. of Ap. 1958); Keane v. City of Chicago, 98 Ill. App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1968); Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1983); Calogrides v. City of Mobile, 475 So.2d 560 (S.Ct. A;a. 1985); Morris v. Musser, 478 A.2d 937 (1984); Davidson v. City of Westminster, 32 C.3d 197, 185 Cal.Rptr. 252, 649 P.2d 894 (S.Ct. Cal. 1982); Chapman v. City of Philadelphia, 434 A.2d 753 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1981); Weutrich v. Delia, 155 N.J. Super 324, 326, 382 A.2d 929, 930 (1978); Sapp v. City of Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla.Ct. of Ap. 1977); Simpson’s Food Fair v. Evansville, 272 N.E. 2d 871 (Ind.Ct. of Ap.); Silver v. City of Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (S.Ct. Minn. 1969) and Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 61 (7th Cir. 1982).

    Comment by RS — April 13, 2009 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  87. Disagreeing with the Town Council is not he same as “turning on the council”. In fact, I fully expect the Town Council to listen to the outrage, and it’s just not a few people here, and make the right decision.

    The quota story has statewide legs as ProJo reports the head of the Police Academy and the ACLU has weighed in against quotas. I didn’t catch it, but I understand the issue was also being discussed on the Providence talk shows today.

    Tragically people get killed. We can take reasonable steps to minimize unnatural deaths, but many innocent people have died defending our rights to freedom and liberty and ensure we don’t live in a police state. I don’t want to compare deaths, but I’m betting a lot more people have died defending our freedoms then have died from being hit by a car or truck. So I’m simply not a supporter of hyper-policing because people die. Besides, I’m not even convinced they save many lives since police are inherently reactive. Stopping a few speeders isn’t really going to change much.

    How about speed bumps? A lot cheaper and they are always on the job?

    I am disappointed to read Mrs. Gardiner’s response as it is no better than the Chariho status quo defenders looking to the government to take care of them. I hope she’s having a bad day and doesn’t really think she deserves other people’s money via our humungous police department? She could probably take her share of the taxes going to the police department and hire a company that will respond to her immediately should she need help. If Mrs. Gardiner gets the police as her reward for paying taxes, I get nothing that I can think of…while I have a child in the school, I refuse to accept this as the government doing anything for me. I’d gladly take my tax money and get my child a decent education elsewhere. That said, I’m not looking for the government to give me anything…no complaints from me.

    Over the last 30 year or so Hopkinton’s population has grown probably around 20%. The police department has grown 400% or more. We have no more or less crime…our crime rate remains at virtually zilch…we just have more people on the government dole. Add to this the police have been involved in some shady dealings, probably out of boredom, and it isn’t a pretty picture.

    Yes, Chariho remains the elephant in the room, but CP and Booby Petit are right about one thing, our municipal governments also have a responsibility to the community’s families to spend our money efficiently and intelligently. Having 16 police employees in a town like Hopkinton is neither efficient nor intelligent.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

  88. I understand there are conflicting stories on the reason for the quota, but assuming the chief is telling the truth, in doing a search of the quota story I came across a blog where the Hopkinton police officer being targetted is named. Since I’m not a reporter or gossiper, I won’t give the officer’s name, but according to Marilyn Sheldon, the officer being targetted by implementation of the quota is suing the Hopkinton’s chief.

    I realize information from Ms. Sheldon isn’t necessarily reliable, but this is the same officer and situation I was told about by a person other than Ms. Sheldon.

    Once again the Hopkinton Police Department is seemingly involved beyond the scope of normal policing. Does everyone who has disagreements with Hopkinton’s chief end up being targetted by the police?

    Of course it always seems legitimate, like illegal apartments or zoning violations, but why is the chief always in the middle? How come people who annoy me don’t end up with legal problems?

    We know Westerly already paid $100,000 to make the Mauti affair go away for them. Is the town of Hopkinton on the hook for any of these lawsuits?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  89. I am not feeling good, but I have to respond.

    I would say this, just because Dorothy disagrees with you, does not even remotely warrant comparison to the so-called “Chariho status quo defenders,” as has been their label. She has a right to her opinion, as she has earned it. She has always been a fighter for the rights of Hopkinton.

    And as far as discussing “comparing deaths,” the issue was brought up, so I responded. I believe it was RS that searched for proof. I provided it.

    People need to be a little tolerant of the opinions of others. Much of the formation of their opinion is based on experience, just as your mistrust of the police. I am not saying your opinion isn’t warranted. What I am saying is that someone like her, that has always been on the side of the taxpayer, deserves better.

    This is exactly why I try to show everyone respect. I do not know your experience, your distrust. This is your perspective.

    Well, respect mine and Dorothy’s.

    As far as the council, emails accusing them of doing something wrong and comments of the following:

    “Shame on the Town Council for going along with this” See post #69

    “I am very disappointed with the Town Council for approving of this plan. Rather than being courageous and abolishing the Municipal Court and cutting the police department by at least half, they now have the police harassing the community. Good work.” post #69

    I had thought that they had earned your trust, but I guess I was sadly mistaken.

    I, on the other hand, will be patient. And I will certainly not let the media feeding frenzy, who has not earned my trust, try to manipulate this whole issue. I am disappointed in their lack of research in getting the whole story, as it seems evident that the tabloid mentality has ruled their choices.

    In time, level heads will prevail. I trust the council to not act rashly.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 13, 2009 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

  90. I expect people to “always be on our guard,” as the Hopkinton motto states, respectfully, and with all the information before judgement is passed. That is our right as voters and as taxpayers. I certainly would never take that away from them.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 13, 2009 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

  91. Hope you are feeling better soon Lois. Your input is appreciated.

    Comment by RS — April 13, 2009 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  92. Sorry, but it just won’t happen that I’ll agree with everyone 100% of the time. Mrs. Gardiner wrote that she considers the police expense to be the “only thing I get for my town tax bill”. This is the attitude that creates the Chariho beast. Everyone looking to get piece. Maybe she meant something different or maybe I misunderstand her intent, but it seems to me she is saying something I’ve long criticized other for saying and doing.

    Funny how many shy away from talking about the police budget. The department has grown by hundreds of percent while population growth is stagnant. Crime rates are near zilch. Yet most everyone doesn’t seem interested in this discussion unless they want to praise the police department. I can’t help but wonder if it is because there is safety in praise and legal problems in criticisms? If legal problems are the ultimate result of criticism, then I understand why people who are known would be afraid…this is one reason I rely on anonymity.

    The fact is that it is somewhat hypocritical, in my opinion, to carry on about Chariho wasting money when we are afraid to take on the biggest tax burden in our town.

    As for turning on the council, I know what I feel, so while my words may seem harsh, I believe the council can take it and understands when a person is disappointed with one aspect of their performance, but generally happy with the job they’ve been doing. I worried about the Municipal Court and provided copious information comparing policing of rural towns similar to Hopkinton, long before we had this current council. Am I now supposed to pretend I think everything is fine and dandy with a 16 employee (or is it 16 officers) police department because I like the Town Council?

    I’ve been critical of the Hopkinton police spending long before quotas, long before the municipal court, and long before this council. Nothing has changed so my opinion has not changed…why should it?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  93. By the way, I’m not feeling good either. You could save me a doctor bill. What do we have?

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  94. I went back and read #69. I must admit that I made the mistake of believing the media report where a Hopkinton officer said the police department was feeling pressure from the Town Council to increase citations. That will teach me to believe a newspaper and a police officer.

    Although ProJo usually does a more honest job reporting than our local rags, they are wrong as often as they are right, so I apologize if I jumped the gun and the Town Council did not authorize quotas or pressure the police department to issue more tickets. If this Hopkinton officer is quoted correctly, and the Town Council didn’t pressure the police department, then he should be called on the carpet for creating a false public perception (that’s me).

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  95. My little ones have had a round of vomiting which I associated with teething, but maybe something is making its way around.

    Comment by RS — April 13, 2009 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  96. What do they call it when your getting so old your teeth begin to fall out? I think that’s what I have.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  97. Just a stomach ailment. I don’t think it is the flu. I won’t give my symptoms, as Tom always says…”TMI.” I will spare you the details. Ate a banana, so I’m hoping that is good.

    Sorry to hear you are sick as well. I recall your absence some time back, and have always hoped that you are taking care of yourself. Be well!

    Just a reference to a previous comment, Tom thought Mr. Matson’s daughter died from other means. I have always felt for his loss, and I apologize if I was wrong. I say “if” because I am not sure. I did not mean any ill-will, and like RS, I couldn’t find any records to support my belief.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 13, 2009 @ 10:50 pm | Reply

  98. Well you’re no help as I feel feverish and achy. No disgusting stuff yet.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2009 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  99. I’m feeling much better today. Now I can only hope no-one else gets it in the house.

    CR, TMI. Still, hope you get well soon.

    School committee meeting tonight. 7pm Middle School Library.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 14, 2009 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

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