Chariho School Parents’ Forum

September 22, 2007

Recap

We are getting a lot of new visitors and I don’t want the info to get lost in the pile – here is a recap of relevant posts.

Here is the Sept 11 meeting where I was told I may not ask about the arrests without board approval.

Here is a Hopkinton Town Council member’s response to the claim made by Chariho that the HTC “endorsed” Campus 2010.

Here is some info put out by the NEA about the current state of affairs in the contract.

Here is an analysis of the current contract (correcting the NEA) – with links to the actual contracts.

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September 15, 2007

Clarification on the “endorse Campus 2010” debate

Filed under: bond,Campus 2010 flyer — Editor @ 11:25 am

In a previous post titled, “Your Tax Dollars at Work,” I brought up two concerns I have with the flyer being produced and distributed by the Chariho Building Committee (aka – your tax dollars).

The first issue is the fact that, by law, this brochure MUST NOT attempt to influence the vote – it is only allowed to supply “information.”  As stated previously, I’ll let you decide if the flyer is biased – read the flyer here.

The other issue was about the claim that town councils (Richmond, Charlestown and Hopkinton) have “endorsed Campus 2010, with fourteen of fifteen councilors voting “YES”.” (emphasis theirs)

My memory said that that wasn’t exactly correct.   Councilor Buck has posted more details.

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I believe we need to clarify some issues that have been stated concerning the endorsement of the campus 2010 plan.

You are correct Mr. Petit that the Hopkinton Town Council did approve the 2010 plan to move forward for the voters to approve or disapprove this bond. This was not an endorsement; it was an effort to move it forward for the voters to make the final decision.

During the tri-town omnibus meeting, I was the one to propose all capital improvements at Chariho be split 3 ways equally. My reason for this was that this was the area of the district that all three towns use equally. It should not be based on enrollment. If you have one or a hundred kids in school, you still need a roof, you still need fire suppression, etc… Also, to point out, to my recollection, this is not the first time this was proposed, but the first time all 3 town councils agreed.

I also recommended to the school committee and the building committee that we split the bond in three sections, the RYSE building, the middle school additions, and the high school and campus upgrades. This way the voters could vote for all or certain sections of the bond. But, as usual, Chariho has the all or nothing attitude. We have tried to pass bonds 3 times before with no success. I was looking for innovative ways to give this bond the option of passing in whole or in part.

Speaking for myself, I had a number of questions regarding the spending of these monies. At that time, I would not have voted for this plan, but I felt that it should not be left up to a few elected officials to say yes or no, as it should be up to the voters of the 3 towns to decide on its merits.

So, I guess your statement, Mr. Petit, and the one at the bottom of the flyer stating the bond was endorsed is partially correct. But, being at that meeting, you knew there were reservations by myself and other town councilors.

I believe I had stated that it is up to the building committee to inform the voters, and they should have the final vote. One of my concerns at that time was of thousands of dollars for the middle school stage curtain which had a small tear. Instead of fixing, it was listed as replacement. Also, the approximately $750,000 for a maintenance building (shed). This was the initial draft and I am under the impression that this has changed, since the beginning.

Our representatives from Hopkinton have not come to a town meeting to keep us abreast of the changes or the current status of this building plan. I further understand that the building committee is suppose to be putting on another update for the town councils. I urge the voters to come to this meeting and get themselves informed as they are the ones who will ultimately foot the bill.

Thomas E. Buck
Hopkinton Town Council

Comment by Thomas Buck, Hopkinton Town Council — September 15, 2007 @ 9:32 am |

First – here is the schedule for the building committee presentations Councilor Buck mentioned.

Oct 1, 6:30 pm Charlestown Elementary
Oct 11, 6:30 pm Ashaway Elementary
Oct 24, 7:00 pm Hope Valley Elementary
Oct 27, 10:00 am Chariho High School
Oct 30, 7:00 pm Charlestown Town Hall
Nov 1, 7:00 pm Richmond Elementary

Now a quick note on the 3-way split.  Putting aside the concern expressed by Councilor Buck, there another issue to consider.

If you notice in the “facts only” flyer, the contribution per town is as follows.  Richmond .39 cents, Hopkinton .32 cents and Charlestown .12 cents.

The reason for the difference is because Charlestown has a much larger tax base.  For ease of numbers, lets say that Richmond has $1.5M of taxable property, Hopkinton has $1M and Charlestown has $5M.   The dispersed debt responsibility in Charlestown produces a smaller individual contribution.

I assume that without the 3-way split, the disparity between Charlestown and the rest would be even larger.

We (Richmond & Hopkinton) are holding Charlestown back.  Imagine if you lived in Charlestown and wanted a brand new school – latest and greatest gadgets.  And why not, with a tax base that large, you could afford it.

But Charlestown can’t do that as a district (which is necessary to get matching funds) without bankrupting R & H. 

In my opinion, this is one of the reasons our Elementary Schools are falling apart while our budget is breaking our backs.   This fighting among individual towns also helps to keep a third party in control.