Chariho School Parents’ Forum

August 10, 2009

Westerly Sun commentaries

Filed under: Hopkinton,Hopkinton Town Council,Police — Editor @ 11:17 pm

Sylvia sent me the text of her piece and I will post mine below. Most disturbing to me was that the Westerly Sun called and asked that we send in essays debating the pension system. I even spoke with Sylvia around July 30 and she asked me about the data I was using. I explained that I found the other regs that increased the contribution rate and reduced the starting salary  and had updated the website. But she ignored that and wrote the following:

________________

July 20, 2009 the Hopkinton Town Council ratified a new 3-year contract with the International Brotherhood of Police, Local 498. Prior to this, Town Manager, Bill DiLibero and Council President Tom Buck spent many meetings and hours with union representatives. Each time they reported their progress, the council found we needed more information.

What was the total increase in salary for each officer after the yearly step increases, longevity and raises were factored in? Why in 1999 did a council incorporate the compounded COLA provision? Would this item lead to excessive pension payouts that the town could not afford? How could we get rid of it?

For years, residents have relayed serious concerns about the compounded COLA. Even a day before our July 20thmeeting, it was reported in a local internet blog, this provision would provide $178,924 in an annual pension to a just retired 27-year town police officer when his retirement reaches its 28th year.

Earlier in July the blog reported officers that began employment at age 24, retired at 44, would get an annual pension of $75,000 and after 34 years of retirement, escalate to $198,925. Also it was claimed the police are only required to contribute 1% of their salary each year toward their pensions requiring the town to “…come up with the balance needed to meet the defined benefit”.

July 20 was the first time we had the police contract on the agenda for public discussion. I expected a crowd of concerned residents. Not a single comment or question.

Fortunately for all our sakes, the information in the blog was wrong. The data that follows was taken from town payrolls, RIGL, and a review of provisions of forty RI police department contracts.

An actual 2009 retired 20-year officer’s pension will be just under $31,100 not $75,000. The annual pension amount 34 years into retirement will be $82,487 not $198,925.

The just retired 27-year officer’s beginning annual pension will be just under $32,929 and 28 years into retirement will be $73,143 not $178,924. Also, pursuant to numerous RI pension laws, Hopkinton Police Officers are required to contribute 9% annually to their pension not 1%. The town’s contribution changes year to year and is currently at 18.43%. Also, the town stops paying into the pension when the officer retires.

The financial data reported on the blog was incorrect because pursuant to the RI Laws, the base annual pension is 50% of the highest salary, (derived from weekly salary, longevity, and holidays), not 100% and should not have included over time.

Bottom line, Hopkinton is one of only 4 communities that will pay dramatically less in pension payments than the other 36 cities and towns because they opted to foot the bill for retiree’s health insurance. The 1999 council did not and instead opted for the compounded COLA.

Currently, the cost for a family health care plan is around $15,000 per year. Do the math. Hopkinton could never afford to pay $15,000 per year, per retiree for years.

The agreement reached by the members of the council, in attendance at the July 20 meeting has a long list of subtle changes that will allow the town flexibility in managing the staff scheduling and will insure more control over spending. Due to language added, the police will not receive a raise this year. They will receive 1% next year and 2% the final year.

Steps were reduced, but not eliminated. Longevity was folded into the first year’s hourly wage, but is eliminated in year 2. They will increase their share of health care from 10% to 14% by the third year.

There are many other changes that were detailed page by page by Council President Tom Buck. Nothing was hidden and all was explained. The video of this meeting is not yet posted on the Town’s website (www.hopkintonri.org). However, consider picking up a copy of the contract at the town hall and watch the video when it’s posted to hear about all the changes.

Is it everything we wanted? No. Did the Town’s labor attorney, Dan Kinder assist during negotiations? Yes. Is statewide pension reform desperately needed? Yes. We also know our town’s contract developed over time and can’t be totally reversed overnight, but a little patience and hard work did equal progress.

______________

Here is the one I submitted:

Unemployment is at a 25 year high. Rhode Island was among the first in the recession and economists predict we will be among the last ones out. During these tough economic times public sector contracts continue to pay double-digit raises and provide benefits that will bankrupt our towns in the coming decades. The recently signed Hopkinton police contract is a perfect example.

The HPD contract, like most other public sector contracts, rewards seniority rather than performance. While the yearly “raises” have been kept low, the underlying “Step” increases combine to make a real “raise” as high as 16% per year – this at a time when we have asked every other employee in Hopkinton to accept a 2% raise.

But the most egregious item in the new contract, which was also passed in the previous three contracts, is the pension.

People that do not work for the state, or town, normally receive pensions that define how much money will be deposited into an account for the employee to draw from during retirement. These are called defined contribution plans.

Public sector pensions are defined benefitplans and they pay out more money for longer periods of time than defined contributions plans. The difference between the average private sector plan and the Hopkinton Police Department’s plan is shocking.

A Hopkinton police officer may retire after only 20 years (as young as 44) and will receive a percentage of their salary increasing at a rate of 3% compounded annually. As Einstein said compound interest is “the most powerful force in the universe.”

As an example, an officer leaving the force after 20 years, with a $70,000 salary, would receive $1,665,139 over the next thirty years. The amount paid by the town could be even more as people continue to live longer.

In a defined contribution plan, using the same employee terms, the maximum amount the town would be responsible for is $80,830, half of the accumulated $161,660 retirement pool. I know we all appreciate our police department, but giving them a pension that pays 10 times that of the private sector is too much.

There was a day when these employees received low salaries so the pensions balanced the deal. Today, the average Hopkinton police officer makes nearly $70,000 while the average Hopkinton income is closer to $47,000.

The Westerly Sun reported the Hopkinton council’s defense of the contract on two points: (1) they claimed “not to alter police pensions because of future pension reforms the state may make,” and, (2) that the town couldn’t change the pension because they “didn’t know what (they) wanted to trade off for something that huge.”

First of all, the council has more faith in Smith Hill than I do. The lawsuits filed by the unions in opposition to the current moderate reforms do not bode well for future more significant reforms.

Secondly, regarding the question of what we have that is “huge” enough to exchange for true pension reform – I can save the council time and say that we don’t have anything. Just because councils of the past made outrageous mistakes doesn’t mean we have to be bound by them.

There are currently 18 people eligible for, or already receiving, the HPD pension. Using the figure above as an average, the town of Hopkinton could reduce its liabilitycosts by over $27 million by simply ending the current program and providing a pension equivalent to those provided in the private market. Why are we mortgaging our children’s future for a select group of employees?

Town councils and school committees can continue to nibble at the edges of contract reform, but drastic measures are needed. It is time to treat public sector employees the same as private sector employees – no better, no worse.

_____________________

As an aside, if I used the $32,929 figure (Sylvia says  this is the accurate starting salary), that would make the 30 liability for the taxpayers $28,198,995. The difference between that and the 30 liability of a defined contribution plan would be $25,289,087.  

In my commentary I said it would be $27m.   Again, Sylvia knew I had updated the information because I told her about a week before she submitted her essay. But she ignored the question and decided to attack me instead.

Even though the Sun asked us to debate the pensions, Sylvia said she wrote the oped on the old data because it came out before a town council meeting.  But for those reading the paper it makes it look like I lied in my essay.

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57 Comments »

  1. In RI and especially Hopelesskinton, there is no unemployment, no budget crisis, no pension libility problems, no undue burden on the taxpayer, only a utoipia of great schools, low taxes and happy workers.
    I think we may have some of the newly approved medical marijuana dispensaries in use in our area. Keep on puff’n.

    Comment by RS — August 11, 2009 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  2. Hi!
    Facts are important in debate and discussion also legal limitations. I find it interesting about the immediate need for a study concerning transportation of children out of their home towns. A Chariho Act change is needed and regardless of the sentiments of the towns on this, it is NOT legally possible at this time. to do that. I think the district should focus on what is legally permissible. If they think it should be changed a Chariho Act change should be permitted to the voters.
    I think we should have a Chariho Act committee instead of the Tri-Town Town Council working on the Chariho Act changes. While I think town councils members should have an interest in it, a Chariho Act Committee is better able to focus on that and do the research and preparation on them.
    Bill, to what extent is the R.I. League of Cities & Towns been used as a resource by the present Hopkinton Town Council?
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 11, 2009 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  3. Isn’t there already a Chariho Act Committee? I also firmly believe that the Tri-Council is only making suggestions and not trying to a Chariho Act Revision Committee. The discussions have to start somewhere, why not there? These are open meetings, anyone can and should attend that has an interest.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 11, 2009 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  4. ENOUGH ALREADY WITH THE STUPID STUDY SCOTT BILL!!!!!!!! IT AIN’T HAPPENING AND ITS A WASTE OF $$ SINCE NOTHING GETS DONE WITH THE RESULTS ANYWAY. TYPICAL POLITICIAN WINDBAG

    Comment by enough — August 11, 2009 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  5. Scott … Wouldn’t you want to know whether something was worth doing before you changed the Chariho Act?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 11, 2009 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  6. nah, he doesnt read anything. just talks..talks…talks. enough hot air to fill a hot air balloon.

    Comment by wiiiiiinnnndddd — August 12, 2009 @ 11:09 am | Reply

  7. Hi!
    I believe the suggestion came from the school committee chair. Logically a Chariho Act Revision Committee can spend more time on that issue than the Tri Town Town Council and individual Town Councils.
    In response to #3 and #4: I suggest you “enough”, know what you are talking about. This is not the management study which you clearly thinks this refers to apparently. This is the Chariho Act Revision Committee.
    BTW Bill please fill us in on the status of the Chariho management study which is a separate issue.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 12, 2009 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  8. Gene,
    I think officials need to be better informed generally. I think it is absurd about the busing issue. It is NOT permitted by the Chariho Act unless it is changed to send children in elementary schools to another elementary school in another town. This traditionally is done by the voters. Regardless of the merits it is NOT legally possible.
    Take Charlestown School for example which is not geographically centered in Charlestown. In fact a short distance from the Charlestown-Richmond line in the northern part of Charlestown. While maybe a few students may be able to access it from Richmond would it be practical and receive community support.
    It would appear that Hope Valley Elementary School with close proximity to parts of Richmond are closer.
    First before any studies are done permission from the voters should be obtained, to change the Chariho Act if they seriously want to do it. I will not endorse the change at this time.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 12, 2009 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  9. Scott,

    Actually, no, original request came from RTC, just a cost saving thought, consider Richmond school is very full and some Richmond students live closer Charlestown and Hope Valley.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 12, 2009 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  10. Scott,

    That’s crazy, what would you tell the voters … There might be a savings, maybe not, let’s change the Chariho Act before we know?

    Likely the students effected would be leaving Richmond, geography doesn’t lend itself to the reverse and the RTC is the one asking. I don’t see the problem. Are you saying that Hopkinton would object to a few kids on the other side of the river going to Hope Valley?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 12, 2009 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  11. It would make sense since some of the buses going to Richmond Elementary School go right pass HV Elementary. I believe you’re correct, Gene, when you say it first came from the RTC. I also believe that this is ONLY suggestion from the Tri-Town Council and they realize that it would have to go before the voters. One more time SBH jumps on something when he’s the one that isn’t fully informed.

    Two times in less than a week, SBH. Rather dismal record.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 12, 2009 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  12. Hi!
    In response whether it makes sense or not the language in the Chariho Act would need to be removed. Some facts are already known. While they may need further study, for procedural reasons but voters need to pass on this.
    Gene, thanks for signing your name!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 13, 2009 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  13. Scott,

    My issue is looking at all ideas that reduce cost and it makes sense then go to the voters.

    Your issue is the bigger picture of erasing town lines for elementary schools.

    I can envision several instances where allowing some movement would be helpful. The kid(s) that move between towns while in elementary school, assuming space is ok and parents want it, why not, etc.

    Why have it not allowed if parent and admin agree?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 13, 2009 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  14. Crazy and SBH??? he raided the surplus, caused a 19% tax increase. what else would you expect?? glad his record “speaks for itself”

    Comment by already — August 13, 2009 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  15. Gene,
    ALL citizens need to be involved in Chariho Act changes. I do not agree necessarily in erasing school lines concerning elementary schools but before a study is done it should be put to a vote.
    I think a Chariho Act committee needs to be organized and I understand is dormant and not disbanded (?), to delve in the issues more thoroughly than a “Super Council” can be involved in. nOt that a “Super Council” can discuss them.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 13, 2009 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  16. By ALL do you me, the 5% that vote??

    You know as well as I do that any plan supported by the TCs and CSC has a overwhelming chance at passage.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 13, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  17. To put to a vote before checking into the feasibility seems ludicrous to me. It makes much more sense to see what financial savings could be obtained by doing this first and then if it makes sense, put it to a vote. How can anyone be able to support if they do not know the facts and figures beforehand?

    All citizens need to be involved? How can you make such a statement when hardly anyone shows up at CSC meetings, never mind any other kind of committee meetings? How can you make such a statement when some of the towns stuggle to get people to show up at the district public hearing on the budget? Heck, you can’t even get a substantial voter turnout for the budget. Too many voters don’t get involved the way they should.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 13, 2009 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  18. Hi!
    Voter turnout varies but is small. You are correct generally speaking that support of Town Councils and the Chariho School Committee has a better chance of passage. It is the time to research and do the thoroughness of act changes, I am concerned about. You can spend some time examining act changes.
    While general philosophical views can be exchanged in other meetings of school committees, town councils, or omnibus meetings,, I think it is preferable to have an act committee to really look at these changes.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 13, 2009 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  19. In my opinion, no harm, no foul, when you have multiple eyes and heads examing any issue. The town councils may see something that a Chariho Act committee doesn’t see. If all agree then it’s even better chance that it could get approved and it be based on fact and findings rather than the pure emotion of “no in my town”.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 13, 2009 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  20. Hi!
    The biggest challenge I see for Chariho and other school districts is state aid. That impacts cities, towns, and schools more than anything else. Add to that mandates,budget caps, and the “maintainence of effort” from the state creates serious problems.
    It is absurd that Rhode Island is the ONLY STATE in the U.S., not to have a dependable state aid formula for education, and adding to that the state can “pass the buck” when it feels it has fiscal problems but the local municipalities have to pick up the slack.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 14, 2009 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  21. So you admit that the finances are one of the biggest challenges yet you are opposed to the Tri-Town Council looking at ways of possibly being able to save money within the school district. We know the dismal track record that the administration and it’s cronies have for reducing the budget so why not let the Tri-Town Council come up with suggestions that could possibly be put before the voters? Scott, you’re a tangled web of contradictions on this.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 14, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  22. Scott Bill,

    You are one of the few that will step forward. These (mail) mal contents should provide any numbers to support it’s members. Look forward to supporting you, Felkner and Abbott. The Thompson is losing her luster or is it bluster fast? The last Hopkinton melt down she was president. I guess its only a coincidence with her thinking Estrogen V Testorone. You go Girl (Sylvia) Aound 86 when you killed HOPKINTON A FIRST TIME!

    Comment by Ta Douche — August 19, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  23. I usually don’t comment about Hopkinton’s local politics but I had to laugh at the above diatribe. Complain about Sylvia Thompson in 86 but what SBH being on the council after then and the Hopkinton taxpayers being hit with double digit tax increases for two consecutive years? SBH’s track record isn’t much better when it comes to that.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 19, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

  24. Hi!
    I of course find it of interest that Beverly Kenney is omitted and she served with me during my last term on the town council and as VP, which was Democratically controlled. I also remember when I moved to cut 2 million dollars from the budget at Chariho months after I was defeated in 2004 and Hopkinton Town Council members did nothing while I did it, and they were the ones that won the election! That budget cut was far more interesting when at another meeting according to press accounts Stephanie Brown would not give the amount they needed to run the schools as that would be all they would get!
    I may not be perfect but I think I can hold my own!
    BTW I understand the management study is dead? However we have too many people that don’t know the answers, and many who don’t seem interested in finding them.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 20, 2009 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  25. Any info to support your arguement chariho parrot/parent (comment 23). I’m sure your dying to explain chapter and verse to support your arguement. Please educate all of us.

    Comment by Ta Douche — August 20, 2009 @ 9:27 pm | Reply

  26. Ta Douche, I’ve argued this point with SBH over and over again, read through the blog, you’ll find it.

    Also, read through the blog, you’ll see where Mr. Felkner has previously asked to stop the insults. In the future, if you can use my chosen name you will be ignored, at least by me. Your name lends itself to comments but I’ve chosen to restrain from using any of them, I hope you can do likewise.

    Also, your post sounds familiar and with a tone that reminds me of a poster who has been absent for some time. Makes one wonder.

    Scott,
    I don’t blame you only, it was the entire council’s fault, not just one person. But, you being a part of the council then and being the Hopkinton Town Council “Legend” that you are, you have to own up to your share of the blame. Here’s the curious part for me, SBH, why didn’t you propose to reduce a proportionate amount in when you were on the town council so the taxpayers in your community wouldn’t have to face double digit tax increases?

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 21, 2009 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  27. Hi!
    If I remember correctly, the state aid was cut back that year. When the Westerly Library reopens I will go back over The Sun so I can be better assured than now. I do believe I may advised against going into the fund balance but want to be sure. That vote was for all the voters to make.
    You cannot really say any town council in Chariho totally responsible for the tax rate as they have no institutional control over the school budget. Unless you believe that town (general) government needs to
    “cut to threads” general government, is the virtually the only way for the towns to stay under the cap.
    The Rhode Island General Assembly mandates programs without funding, then insists on budget caps, can cut back state aid from the previous year or what they think they can afford, put the local cities and towns in a “mess” because of this action or more correctly perhaps inaction, and to boot the oNLY state in the nation without a dependable state aid formula for education!
    Take regionalization for example. A number of pols have talked about regionalization but what have they done to bolster it and encourage it as well as be fair? It is interesting that Davies Vo-Tech a regional facility for Vo-Tech students is totally funded by the state but they (the state), do not do this for other parts of Rhode Island. I can understand Central Falls an community with a very low median income and impoverished to be supported by the state like they are but schools such as Davies?
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 21, 2009 @ 11:11 am | Reply

  28. Hi!
    If you noticed in The Sun http://www.thewesterlysun.com , the Manager Selection Committee in Richmond does not know or is not in agreement in whether there manager will be full or part time. In the least this should have benn decided before you got into the selection process. Richmond like other towns have adopted their budget for fiscal year 2009-2010; so that issue really should have been decided before now.
    Virtually all town managers are full time. West Greenwich is an exception. The point for this is: The Richmond Town Council clearly fumbled on an very important issue and should have given direction to their selection committee whether the position would be full or part time. I hope the Richmond Town Council remembers this when they try to lecture/influence the other two town councils. If they want to have credibility they need to be better prepared!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 22, 2009 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  29. Scott, mind Hopkinton’s own business, not Richmond’s business. You don’t know all of the facts behind the story. Certainly the Westerly Sun loves to sensationalize things and it’s not the entire story behind this. The Richmond Town Council appointed the committee, the committee was to meet and appoint their officers. At that time, the committee was to select dates to schedule a workshop with the town council to get their charge. The committee decided that they only had a few questions that needed to be answered, the part-time, full-time issue was one of the questions. The council liaison for the committee is taking the questions back to the town council to be discussed at the next town council meeting. Isn’t this much easier than have a full fledged workshop with the town council? Talk about blowing a story all out of proportion and some sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

    Also, their is money set aside in the Richmond budget for a Town Manager. But then again, you were NOT at any public hearing for the Richmond budget or at Richmond’s Financial Town Meeting to know this fact. One other point, SBH, this is the first time around in Richmond in appointing a Town Manager, mistakes are bound to be made, rather than try to chastise Richmond, you should be more willing to help out, as Charlestown has down. Shame on anyone in Hopkinton that would rather throw stones than help a neighboring community that is coming to gripes with something is brand new to them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 22, 2009 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  30. Scott,

    It was our first meeting that could have been over after the officer election, but we decided to chat for a while.

    As you can well appreciate, it is difficult to give justice to a two hour discussion in a few paragraphs.

    Your characterizations of Richmond’s goverence are an inappropriate extrapolation based on the information you have before you.

    Be assured that Richmond will have a lively discussion for this selection process that will be prudently executed.

    We have needs and budget constraints. Richmond’s tax dollars will be spent
    wisely.

    I would encourage you to refrain from wild speculation before the determination of fact.

    From the article, you would have noticed that I am the Chairperson, clearly you know where to find me for questions.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 22, 2009 @ 3:56 pm | Reply

  31. Hi!
    I think enough non Hopkinton residents stick their noses in our business including non residents in this discussion group. I really don’t have a problem with Gene. I think the “leadership” (i.e. Richmond Town Council), of Richmond before lecturing others on Chariho and certainly in some instances, on other topics, should be better prepared! All town mangers are full time except a rare exception. It would be absurd really to suggest, the intent of Richmond voters was a “full time” manager when they vote to change to a manager form of government. I don’t recall the difference was ever discussed in the move to that change!
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 24, 2009 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  32. Hi!
    To clarify #31, I mean it was clear intent of a full time manager when Richmond voters voted for the change! I think Paul Michaud, should have been more seriously considered for appointment to that manager selection committee. Not only is he currently head of one of the poltical parties in Richmond (Republican), he is well versed in government, served on town councils in both East Greenwich and Richmond.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 24, 2009 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  33. Scott,
    Once again, you’re wrong. The intent of the charter does not state whether the Town Manager is either full time or part time. Go to Wyoming Hardware, ask Councilor Osborne whether or not it the intent was to say a full time manager. It as clearly stated at a public hearing that the town manager position could be either part time or full time and that it was up to the council how the position was to be filled. The intent of the Town Charter was to have a strong Town Council and a weak Town Manager. The Town Council has the final say. As you know, I’m a resident, taxpayer and voter in the town and voted for the Town Charter knowing this. I also know that the town is not cash rich, same as Hopkinton, and that possibly to start by having a part time Town Manager may be a good thing.

    Why should Paul Michaud be chosen out of any of the others? Just because he’s a Republican that YOU know? I watched the meeting, Paul Michaud made a fool out of himself at that meeting. I’m darn glad that the Town Council did NOT appoint him to the committee. I feel that the council made wise choices in their appointments. Once again, Scott, stay out of things when you don’t know the whole story to it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 24, 2009 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  34. Scott,

    The problem is that you aren’t very familar with Richmond. We have a dedicated staff that works here much due to their “love” of town, trust me, it’s not the money. “Full Time” in Richmond is 30 hr/wk, so the article didn’t fully flesh out the depth of our conversation.

    Again, this was our first meeting, with conversations with Council to follow. For the people who have been to the last several meetings the views of council are rather well know, additionally, our finance cmte chair is on the search cmte so anything to do with budgeting is well know to us. Your inferences, based on the article, are not valid. I do appreciate the thoughts are there may be some Richmonders that have similar interpretations.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — August 24, 2009 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  35. Gene,
    Sorry to say, if they didn’t know, they weren’t paying attention. I was stated rather clearly, I heard it with my own ears.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 24, 2009 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  36. Scott,
    Considering that Gene and I are pretty much the only two Richmond residents that post anything on this blog and you said that you really don’t have a problem in regards to Gene, you must be referring to me. How often do I comment on strictly Hopkinton issues other than the point out someone’s falicy in thinking that you’re the end all to Hopkinton’s problems especially given your previous track record in fiscal mismanagement in Hopkinton? I rarely comment until Richmond is somehow brought into the mix and I stay out because I don’t know the entire story surrounding the issues being discussed when it’s a Hopkinton only issue. You don’t know enough about what’s going on in Richmond so I would hope you keep your nose out of it. You may be Hopkinton’s “Town Historian” and “Town Council Legend” but you’re not Richmond’s by any stretch of anyone’s wild imagination.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 24, 2009 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  37. It appears the boner fest for SBH continues……more love than one can handle.

    Comment by RS — August 24, 2009 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  38. He’s all yours to love and cherish.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 25, 2009 @ 6:46 am | Reply

  39. Hi!
    None of us who don’t hold office only have the “power of influence”. Holding office means something. It does not mean those who are in office know all the answers, they have the power of office.
    Not everything has the same level of importance or urgency. However, a town manager who is the focus of the day to day operation of a town is. Are you suggesting, a budget was approved with no dollar amount in it, without the understanding the postion was to be full time or part time? As I have noted earlier, virtually all of these positions are full time. West Greenwich is the only town that I can think of is the exception.
    Chariho Parent, since I do not know the identity of most of the people here on this blog, and mostly not their town of residence, I would not assume Gene and you, are the only Richmond residents on this blog. I also remind you, Chariho Parent, Richmond has the highest household income of the three Chariho area towns, and still Chariho consumes most of your local property tax dollars. Richmond families are statistically on average wealthier than Charlestown and Hopkinton.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 25, 2009 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  40. Scott,
    You know what you can do with averages. It’s merely a guide. There are many people in Richmond who fall at or below the average. What more could the Finance Board and the Town Council do besides come up with a best guess for a Town Administrator’s salary? Look at Richmond’s website, there’s a line under Contingency for Town Administrator. You have to figure some of the advertising money will come from this line but I would think most of the money allocated there is for the TA’s salary and benefits. Given that we are already into the current fiscal year and that it will be at least sometime in December before the committee could possibly complete their search and then pass their recommendations onto the RTC, it’s not going to be until sometime in the next calendar year before a TA would even start! One more time, Scott, it’s not your business anyway! It’s the business of the residents of Richmond.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 25, 2009 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

  41. Just wondering how many town planned for the $$$$$ the state isn’t sending……

    It’s not like it was should be suprise, I predicted it and I’m definetly not an economist or a politician.

    Hopkinton will not see $200k+……and this is just the beginning.

    Comment by RS — August 25, 2009 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  42. Hi!
    I was hard on Richmond as I think they, at least some of the town council, tend to not give enough credit to other officials in the other two towns.
    Rhode Island is its own worse enemy! We do not have a dependable state aid formula for education. This is just one of the drawbacks.
    Two other things:
    1. Around 9 A.M., I was called by a reporter about Ted Kennedy’s death, which was the first time I heard of it.
    2. The Hopkinton Zoning Board of Review sitting as a platting board will consider the Love’s Truck Stop Proposal tonight at 7:00 P.M., at the Ashaway Elementary School, on Hillside Avenue.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 26, 2009 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  43. Scott,
    Only two members of the current RTC were on the previous TC. So your being on hard on the RTC may be a bit off the mark.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 26, 2009 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  44. WHY ON EARTH DID A REPORTER CALL YOU SBH ABOUT TED KENNEDY???? Maybe cuz they KNOW you are home? also, hopkintons per capita income is dragged down by your 50 years of unemployment.

    Comment by why on earth — August 26, 2009 @ 10:41 am | Reply

    • Maybe he’s just practicing to be a democratic liberal by not contributing to the system, I know I’ve reduced my work hours(to avoid AMT) and changed my investment patterns as the tax laws governing investments is punitive. Now if I could only figure out how to get on the dole and get handouts to cover my family……or I could get a government job in RI…..

      ………..Oh yeah, I forgot I have morals and principles….oh well back to work.

      Comment by RS — August 26, 2009 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  45. Hi!
    It was a request to various people for public reaction. I did not know he had died at the time.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 26, 2009 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  46. your press secretary should do a better job keeping you informed before the press bombards you. being the VIP that you are

    Comment by why on earth — August 26, 2009 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  47. VIP.. nah.. But according to someone’s post on Wikipedia, he’s a “Hopkinton Town Council Legend”

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 26, 2009 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

    • It’s so kind you have the time,energy, and caring nuturing nature to lookup your “pal” on the internet.

      Comment by RS — August 26, 2009 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

      • It wasn’t him I was searching for. It’s listed under Hopkinton, RI.

        Comment by CharihoParent — August 26, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

  48. Whats up with the Hopkinton Town Manager’s position? Has it been filled? Is there a search committee?

    Comment by dogdiesel — September 4, 2009 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

  49. Hi!
    There is a search committee but I am not on it. I do not know of the progress. BTW The Richmond Town Council wants full time town manager or at least what they think they need to advertise: See The Chariho Times http://www.charihotimes.com ,.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — September 4, 2009 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  50. SBH-

    DOGDIESEL asked if there was a search committee, not specifically if you were on it. Who gives a crap what youre on. Oh…youre on the fire district legislative body. Way to almost double the fire tax this year. Ashaway should wake up to the highway robbery going on at the social club known as the ashway fire dept. im paying almost 400/year in FIRE TAX???? tax rate went from .51 to .9??? You guys should be ashamed.

    Comment by who? — September 9, 2009 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

  51. Lets talk about the surplus Chariho School has. I know as a taxpayer you all are going to try and snow me and say they do not have much. I heard they have over 3 million. I hope they put that in the bank draw interest and give us tax payer a break. I have lived near the school for 13 years and as a taxpayer all I have done is pay taxes and get nothing from the town. On my tax bill it shows the school gets most of money. I say tax payers stand up and tell them we cannot afford to pay for things the schools does not need. Ex 2 ball fields, tennis court I never see anyone using, a exercise room with equipment . I also want to note at the Ryse school there is no where for parents (the taxpayer to park if they have to pick up a child due to illness or whatever the reason. They got rid of the nurse at Ryse school but was able to do all this new remodeling of the parking lot and build a 2 story library. I am more concerned with children getting an education not beautification of the school. I feel my tax dollar is being wasted it should be for the children education not how good our school looks on the outside. When I was in high school I got an education. The school was not focused on how beautiful it looked but how good of an education the children got. We had no track, no exercise room,only 1 ball feel and definately not a tennis court. You tell me what the children are learning from this. I will it tells them material things or how good they look are more important then a good education. Yes I am a frustrated taxpayer who at 67 still has to work to keep a house I thought would take me into my golden years with ease. Ha what a laugh. Thanks Chariho These are my thoughts and my freedom of speech rights.

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