Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 30, 2007

Chariho Act oops

Filed under: Chariho Act — Editor @ 11:41 am

The Providence Journal today reported on the “obvious omissions”in the updated Chariho Act, as pointed out by Mrs. Carney.

Comparing the proposed document with the 1986 version, Carney said she first noticed the deletion of a clause that provided job protection for employees if any member town decides to withdraw.

Reading further, Carney said, she then noticed that sections 16 through 19 had been eliminated.

Section 17 pertains to the admission of other towns into the regional district and section 18 deals with withdrawal and the creation of an entrance, expansion, and exit committee.

I have asked Mr. Ricci to provide me with the response from the attorney.  This attorney is being interviewed to replace John Earle as the Chariho solicitor.

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November 29, 2007

Chariho Act update

Filed under: Chariho Act — Editor @ 5:31 am

Deb Carney, former chair of the Charlestown Town Council sent an email last night expressing concerns about the updated Chariho Act.  Here is her letter.

Good Evening Chariho School Committee Members,

I was watching the School Committee meeting on Channel 18 and I downloaded a copy of the proposed Chariho Act revision from the Chariho website.  After a quick review of the “New Act” versus the Chariho Act of 1986, there are a few HUGE problems.

During the meeting, Barry indicated that this document was, “Not an amendment to the Act.”  He further stated this document was, “A compilation of what was approved,” and that the lawyer was asked to, “Compile one single updated version with all the amendments.  That’s what this is.”  After an initial review, I can tell you, that is NOT what this is.  This is a REWRITE of the Chariho Act. 

This rewrite is evidenced in several areas.  If you note all the “strikeovers” within the document, those are CHANGES from what is in the 1986 Act.  These “strikeovers” have NOT been approved by the voters.

The bigger problem occurs (in the “New Act”) with the OMISSION of sections 16, 17, 18 and 19.  If you reference the 1986 version of the Chariho Act, you will note section 18(1) and 18(2) specifically deal with the process for withdrawal.  In the “New Act”, the process for withdrawal has been ELIMINATED.  This elimination is further evidenced in section 14(2) of the 1986 Act.  Notice in the “New Act” Section 14 (1) has been renumbered to read 13(1), yet the old 14(2) just ceases to exist.  The old Section 14(2) also references withdrawal.  Where did it go?  What happened to Sections 16, 17, 18 and 19?  Why were those sections eliminated?

The second to last paragraph of the “Explanation” on the last page of the new document states, “This Act would compile the legislation affecting the Chariho Regional School District into one uniform Act.”  My interpretation of this statement would be that this document, as it exists, would be the “New Chariho Act” and any language not contained within this document would no longer exist.  Therefore it would be critical that (old) Sections 14(2), 16, 17, 18 and 19 be returned to the Chariho Act.

It was my understanding that this document was to be a compilation of the amendments to the Act that had already been approved by the voters.  That is NOT what this document is.  This is a REWRITE of the Act that eliminates, among other things, the process for withdrawal.  Elimination of this provision was NEVER authorized by the voters.

Did the School Committee authorize a rewrite of the Act or a compilation of previously approved amendments?  After watching the meeting and reviewing the “New Act” I have serious concerns with this document.  I felt the need to share my concerns with the committee so you can all review both versions of the Act (and the amendments that were approved in November 2006) prior to the discussion to be held at your January meeting.

If in fact the School Committee’s motion was to, “Compile one single updated version with all the amendments,” then I respectfully submit that the “New Act” is NOT a compilation of what has been approved by the voters.  I ask that you please not forward this version of the Act to the General Assembly.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this prior to your meeting, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for taking the time to review my concerns.
Deb Carney

[update] Superintendent Ricci has removed the Act update that was located on the Chariho School website pending review from the attorney.