Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 12, 2009

Jan 13 meeting

Filed under: meeting notice — Editor @ 11:02 am

Here is the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.   For the record, the “resignation” mentioned is their interpretation of when I was sworn onto the Town Council.


Jan 13 2009 7:00pm
Middle School Library

School Committee

6:00 PM (Executive Session) 7:00 PM (Regular Session) at Chariho Middle School Library
Note: Individuals requesting special accommodations must call (401) 364-7575 forty-eight hours prior to meeting date.
Any changes in this agenda will be posted on the school district’s website (, in the Chariho Administration Building, and in the Chariho Middle School at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting. Individuals requesting special notice of the revised agenda must call (401) 364-7575 to make arrangements for same.

I. Meeting Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance/Silent Meditation

II. Executive Session (42-46-5(a)(8) – for the purpose of conducting student disciplinary hearings; any students to be discussed have been so notified.

III. Closing/Sealing of Executive Session Minutes

IV. Disclosure of Executive Session Votes

V. Recognition

VI. Public Forum

VII. Business (N=New Item; P=Previously Discussed; @=May Require Action)
A. Acceptance of the Resignation of William Felkner from Chariho School Committee (N)@
B. Discussion of School Committee Member Duties (N)@
C. Permission to Post Chariho Act (N)@
D. Discussion with SRO (N)@
E. Approval of Donation of Playground to be Located at Richmond School (N)@
F. Approval of Middle School and High School Elective Courses (N)@
G. Transfer of Surplus for Hope Valley Masonry Project (N)@
H. Adoption of 2009-2010 School Calendar (N)@
I. Discussion of R.Y.S.E. School Name (N)@
J. Permission to Submit State Homeland Security Grant (N)@

VIII. Reports
A. Subcommittee Reports
B. Superintendent’s Report

IX. School Committee Requests for Future Agenda Items or Legal Opinions

X. Consent Agenda Items
A. Minutes
B. Transfers
C. Bills
D. Budget Summary
E. Treasurer’s Report
F. Personnel Actions
G. Permission to Issue Bids/Request Quotes
H. Permission to Award Contracts
I. Home Instruction
J. Grants
K. Donations


July 16, 2008

July 15 SC meeting

Filed under: meeting notice — Editor @ 4:33 pm

The meetings are not currently televised.  Here is the agenda for last night’s meeting. 


April 7, 2008

Tuesday’s meeting

Filed under: meeting notice — Editor @ 10:19 pm

There is a School Committee meeting tomorrow night.  There are several interesting agenda items.  You can find the public agenda at the Chariho website (see link on right).

Item D

Approval to submit legislation authorizing referendum on building plan (moving forward with a new vote on the bond). 

this is expecially important considering a phone call I just got from Mr. Scott Hirst who said that the Hopkin Town Council will be telling the local legislators that they do not want the bond going forward.  In our packet, there is a letter from Senator Breene that says the legislation must be prepared by the town’s bond council. 

So can we assume (someone with more history please help me out here) that if the Hopkinton Town Council does not want the bond going forward, it can simply refuse to allow its bond council to write the legislation.  Or is the bond council employed by the three towns collectively and would Hopkinton have veto power?  We can assume Richmond is supportive as this agenda item originated with a Hopkinton resolution.  Not sure where Charlestown sits.

There is also an item for my request to support the Govenor’s initiative to make contracts more transparent.  An item on Hopkinton’s request to change the payment schedule (this deserves more attention than I can give it right now, please feel free to expand).  And a discussion to support House Bill 7108 which would not allow health care providers a monopoly through contract provision (this shows the connection between unions, specifically the AFL-CIO and Blue Cross Blue Shield – google Frank Montanaro for both).

Test scores and a few other items will also be discussed. 

March 10, 2008

March 10 School Committee meeting

Filed under: meeting notice — Editor @ 6:27 pm

Tuesday’s meeting will have a motion to approve the budget, a discussion on executive session votes and a statement from the Committee regarding my actions.  Starts at 7 at the Middle School library.

February 13, 2008

Feb 12 meeting

Filed under: meeting notice,Unions — Editor @ 10:58 am

The meeting will be aired tonight (channel 18) at 8 and on Friday at 12 noon.  During the public forum I tried to outline the details on the NEA complaint filed at LRB.  It turns out there has been a hearing and the school’s attorney has been in discussions with the NEA – but I have never been contacted nor presented with any information. 

I outlined the numerous attempts  I have made to find out what I did wrong.  I have asked the NEA and they refused.  I have asked the school and they too have refused – up until last night. 

What I tried to show was that the NEA is using your money to  file frivolous claims – but Superintendent Ricci blamed me for this problem.  Neither has given proof to the allegations. 

During the public forum – when we got to the deal offered by the NEA, the school board went into recess because they feel the information is confidential.  Hopefully the camera kept rolling.  Here is an outline of the information presented.  I will post documentation next week (a deadline is occupying my time right now).

September 20, 2007 – Pete Gingras (NEA) leakscomplaint to Chris Keegan @ Westerly Sun (complaint is signed and dated Sept/21/07).

Sept 21 – NEA files complaint with Labor Relations Board (LRB)

Sept 28 – I asked LRB – they said, per NEA’s “request” it be placed in abeyance “pending issues being resolved.”

Sept 28 – I asked Pete Gingras for explanation – he said he had, “no intention to provide disclosures of my proofs.”

Oct 11 – Pete contacts Barry Ricci – he has “concerns” that I would tell the public and that he believes I have “no intent to resolve the issue.” .

Oct 11 – Pete contacts LRB – refuses to give me info – threatens “additional charges.”


Jan 22 –  Terri Serra asks for a disclaimer

Jan 23 –   Letter from SC asking for disclaimer

Jan 31 – Ricci to Westerly Sun – “Felkner’s website may cost district money”

****  Why not NEA cost the district money

Feb 1 – Ricci confirms that NEA has provided information – I still have not seen anything.

Feb 7 –  Ricci refuses to allow me to speak with lawyer saying the case is against the school committee and not me.

Feb 7 – conversation with LRB – Robyn Golden – \ – NEA pulled complaint from abeyance – had a hearing – LRB asked school attorney if I would be present – the attorney never answered LRB.

Feb 12 – NEA offers a deal – sent via email on 2/1/08  – This email was a reply to a previous email but we were not given the other information.

Here it is verbatim – bold items are my comments.


Andrew [school solicitor] if the School Committee chair (whose wife and son are employees at the school – thus NEA members) is willing to agree;

1)      Felkner, via his blog, has never been authorized to speak on behalf of the Committee:

2)      The Committee requested a disclaimer, to be placed on his bog, at it January 2008 meeting; [note that he asked in past tense that the SC do something in the past – which Terri Serra did]

3)      The Committee agrees to bargain only through chosen representatives of the Association

4)      Felkener is a Giants fan 

We’d be willing to withdraw.

One of the above items is a throwaway.

Pete Gingras


 If #4 isn’t a better example of what the NEA thinks about spending your money – I don’t know what is.  This is a game to them.  They force union members to pay dues – dues financed by taxes.  And they use that money to play these games.  The NEA has all the power and control of our schools – we must take it back.  Public sector employees should be treated the same as private sector employees – no better, no worse.

January 22, 2008

Einey, Meanie, Miney Mo

Filed under: meeting notice — Editor @ 2:44 pm

This evening is chock full of good meetings to attend. 

The Hopkinton Town Council will be meeting for the first time since the Omnibus meeting.  I suspect an equalized tax structure and splitting the bond will be discussed. 

No need to waste too much cyber-ink repeating my stance on the issue – splitting the bond is a good idea, but in my opinion, if a town wants the taxes equalized (and for the entire budget, not just the bond) they will not even consider a bond until that is done. 

Some may think that we should take the bond now and get an equalized funding formula later, but anyone who thinks that that is possible has no understanding of Chariho history. 

 Another meeting taking place this evening, of course, is the school board.  The updated Chariho Act is on the agenda.  The board received a letter recently from Mary Botelle who points out that the Act is still a mess (my word).   I have yet to meet this woman but I must say I am impressed with her understanding of legal issues. 

Also on the agenda is the bond.  Nothing more to add here.

And Terri Serra has requested that this blog be put on the agenda for discussion: “School Committee Position Regarding the Chariho Parent’s Forum” 

Finally, the governor will be presenting the State of the State speech up at the State House – I will be there.   Enjoy

November 27, 2007

School Committee meeting – Nov 27

Filed under: meeting notice — Editor @ 11:02 pm

This evening’s meeting will be aired on Channel 18 tomorrow night (Nov 28, 8pm) and Friday noon.

Of particular interest was the discussion over the email from Superintendent Ricci to the Town Council presidents.  Notice how debate is stifled by a motion made by Andrew McQuaide.  Actually, it was quite a masterful use of Roberts Rules, especially for someone so new to this.   

I also brought up the quote from Bill Day where he said opponents of the bond had “lied” and I gave him an opportunity to identify the individuals and specific “lies.” 

Finally, Holly Eaves brought up some health inspection concerns.  I will try to find more info.

Try to catch the broadcast – will post details later.

November 18, 2007

Councilperson Capalbo reports from meeting

Filed under: bond,meeting notice — Editor @ 10:41 pm

From Barbara Capalbo:

George Abbott told me about this ‘meeting’ – I didn’t receive an invitation either – but if it’s on, I’m game! Told George I’d meet him there. We would either be told to leave or sit quietly in the back. Mr. Ricci ran the ‘Superintendent’s Meeting’ (which he has been known to call occasionally, I learned from Mr. Ricci) joined by the ‘invitees’ – Mr. Cordone, Mrs. Kenney, Mr. Reddish, Mr. Oppenheimer, Mr. Craig, Mr. Poulouski and Mr. Day. The other eight of us sat quiet as mice (almost) in the back – that would be Maria Armental from Projo, Emily Dupuis from the Westerly Sun, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Brown (I actually don’t know her, so I could be wrong), myself, Mr. Abbott and Mrs. Dolan.

No one was allowed to comment or talk at all except ‘invitees’. This was OK with me. I realize most of you won’t believe this but Mr. Cordone spoke up for Hopkinton. He informed the group that he spoke for himself not the council since the majority of the council were against the bond and he could not/would not speak for councillors not present. He also stated that we (everyone) has the right of individual vote and he would not speak against Hopkinton’s vote or anyone else’s.

Vin continued his discussion thinking this ‘meeting’ was about the reasons for the bond failure and how we should move forward. He had numbers concerning the tax revision issue and presented it so that the three councils could begin the discussion to solve the problem – money, taxes, equalization. Charlestown’s Mr. Craig was not going to discuss this issue. Richmond’s Mr. Oppenheimer said this was an on-going issue for decades and he had been on both sides of the question.

Then they got to brass tacks – how the bond failed because of ‘lies’, misinformation, ‘certain’ people – this took Mr. Craig, Mr. Day, Mr. Poulouski, Mr. Oppenheimer and Mr. Reddish some time to vent (there were no specifics). All present spoke to the cost of the bond versus the cost within the operating budget and the town 5% budget cap. Hopkinton raised taxes 1.8% this year and we only have two small bonds which were included in the 1.8% – we weren’t even close to the 5 and 1/4% allowed this year.

Then the creme de la creme of the meeting was Mr. Reddish informing Mr. Cordone that he should ‘control his council better’ – I almost gagged – I thought this was illegal controlling elected officials points of view to keep a pleasant council (also probably an open meeting violation), but then Mr. Craig actually had the audacity to concur. It was a Kodak moment.

Mr. Ricci retrieved the conversation by changing the direction to bring up the bond again – Mr. Oppenheimer wanted the ‘re-do’ as did all others present (in fairness to Mr. Cordone, I’m not sure he agreed). They do not want to change the bond, split the bond, review the bond. They want to ‘meet’ to annihilate the misinformation, lies, and ‘certain people’ to find the truth so that they can re-vote the bond and it can be endorsed 100% by all members of the councils. Because this is the best bond to fix all the problems at the main campus and they need to get the reimbursement monies (probably good for 3 years) and otherwise it will all have to go into the operating capital budget (the elementary schools were called ‘landscaping’, the high school was more crucial, therefore the elementaries won’t get any money at all).

Mr. Ricci and the group proposed an immediate meeting (Dec 4th) of all three town councils (15 people), the entire school board (12 people + administration) and finance committees, the public is invited and encouraged to attend, persons can ask to write in and put themselves on the agenda to speak their minds – to or at – all present to correct all the misinformation presented before the bond vote.

Can you say ‘auto-de-fe’?

The Omnibus meeting is in January when, hopefully, people are calmer and blessed with the holiday season. Perhaps the Chariho Act Revision committee will have met and begun the process of equalizing taxes; and perhaps the school board will have received a letter from a council or two asking to keep the next 5th graders ’08-’09 in their own elementary schools.

Or not.


auto-de-fe” – The phrase auto de fe refers to the ritual of public penance of condemned heretics and apostates that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their punishment (that is, after the trial).

I had to look it up.

Unfortunately, I will be in DC from Monday to Wed that week.  But everyone knows what I want.  I don’t believe any of it is not achievable.  And I know that if we don’t get it now, we won’t for the life of the bond.

1. bring back 5th & 6th.  2. stop RYSE social services  3. tax equalization  4. pull labor contracts in line with private sector pay (the contract has not been approved by the board yet)  5. budget maintenance

Or they could solve all our problems and grant parental choice – let our $13k walk out the door with our children and we will take responsibility.   Might have to settle the investments and cut liability but it could be done.

September 25, 2007

Board meeting on ch. 18 Wednesday @ 8PM, Friday @ noon

Filed under: contract negotiations,meeting notice,MGT — Editor @ 11:32 pm

Just a reminder to watch the board meeting on Wed or Friday.   During the public forum – Richmond updated on the water situation and its moving forward.

Pete Gingras brought up the complaint that he filed at the Labor Relations Board – he said I should “cease and desist” in my activities.  Since I’m not doing anything wrong, I’ll continue to do what I do.

The business section was non-eventful until MGTFirst were brief discussions of Young Adolescent month (Oct), mentoring program and the Salt report.  Salt reported that we should improve opportunities for high achieving students.  Also a good outline of the portfolios if you have been wondering.  Its a mandate from RIDE (at least this is our interpretation of that mandate – there are different approaches in diff districts).

The MGT study ran into another roadblock.  There seems to be some confusion on the bids.  It said we were getting a discount for doing business with them in the past.  But the bid offered was the same as it was before MGT knew about the other study.   The Johnstown bid was for $125k, so the $105 could be seen as a discounted rate, but they didn’t frame it well if that’s the case.  Either way, its back out for clarification.