A Reshuffled Deck
Tonight’s the night that the newly elected school committee takes up the torch, and I heard rumors that it might vote on an arbitrated teacher contract. So far they’ve elected a new chairman, Jan Bergandy and a new vice chairwoman, Sally Black.
Having attended these meetings for a year or so, I’ll say that it’s nice to see several members of Tiverton Citizens for Change in attendance, some of whom are newly elected town officials themselves.
I was just about to note that Superintendent Rearick so expected the renewal of the committee’s lawyer’s appointment that he didn’t prepare any sort of spiel, when Carol Herrmann suggested that they put the position out to bid.
And it goes out to bid! Amazing that simple matters of good government can seem like refreshing reform.
ADDENDUM (7:29 p.m.)
Superintendent Rearick just argued in favor of approving the arbitrator’s teacher contract award.
Leonard Wright moved to table on the grounds that the two new committee members need more time to get up to speed. Negative reaction from some teachers.
Newly elected budget committee member Tom Parker (and TCC member) read a letter suggesting that likely decreases in state aid to Tiverton and the economic crisis will undermine “assumptions made throughout the contract.”
He suggested that the committee put the contract away until money matters are more settled and to confer with all relevant town committees and boards.
ADDENDUM 7:36 p.m.:
Deb Pallasch, who was (thankfully) denied in her run for school committee, spoke in favor of the contract.
ADDENDUM 7:42 p.m.:
Former Budget Committee Chairman Chris Cotta just protested the pressure of public groups on public representatives.
The contract approval (or denial) is tabled/continued to the next meeting, to give the new members a chance to ask questions and so on.
“Leonard Wright moved to table on the grounds that the two new committee members need more time to get up to speed. Negative reaction from some teachers.”
‘Cause the last thing we want is for everyone to be informed and up to speed on these matters.
“Former Budget Committee Chairman Chris Cotta just protested the pressure of public groups on public representatives.”
‘Cause the last thing we want (eww!) is to have the public communicating with public officials.
BTW, TCC engages in deceptive and possibly illegal nontransparent financial reporting. Yup, TCC is either dumb or devious, take your pick: Friends have just informed me that the TCC (Tiverton Citizens for Change) appears to be filing false or misleading reports to the State Board of Elections about its contributors and/or expenses. I have just been investigating the truth behind their reporting. It could be they are naïve about the requirements for filing, but I hope someone investigates this further. Remember, this is an organization which has cried out for “more transparency in Tiverton government”, has accused current councilors and the School Committee of acting in secrecy. The TCC has been pointing fingers at everyone else. Now we see they are lacking in transparency about their PAC’s finances. In addition, they have been arrogantly suggesting to anyone who will listen that only they understand the finances of our town, we long time residents are incompetent, and we should turn everything over to them. Should we when they cannot properly and accurately report their PAC’s expenses and contributions? The TCC is supposed to file reports with the RI State Board of Elections on how much it has raised or spent since it formed on August 14th. The State has online the August 14th documents which form the TCC. On Oct 7th, 2008, the TCC was to report their initial fundraising and expenses. If individuals give more than $100 to the TCC, this has to be reported. Contributions in kind and monetary contributions under $100 can be reported in aggregate. The TCC did NOT file a report on October 7th. Instead, it filed a request to be exempt from reporting until the end of 2008. Explicit in that request is the promise – the legal requirement- that the TCC will not raise… Read more »
Here’s the response that I made to the above in the email thread in which Richard Joslin originally wrote the above: Richard, Alright. It really isn’t my place to comment, inasmuch as I have no involvement in and limited knowledge of the group’s filings, but you’re getting so ridiculous that I have to offer a few points. First: For all your hours of perusing campaign filings, tonight, you somehow failed to notice something that I observed within minutes: The online filings with the BOE are all mixed up. Go here: http://www.ricampaignfinance.com/RIPublic/Filings.aspx. Search for Tiverton Citizens for Change. As you’ve noticed, if you click on the “view” for the CF-5 and then click on “CF-5, Affidavit for Annual Filing Exemption,” you get a mostly-blank, typed document. If you click “view scanned doc,” you actually get our “amendment of organization” from October 30. Now, if you go back and click “view” after “2008 28 Days before the election” and then click the first link, you get a similarly typed and blank document. But if you click “view scanned doc” here, you get (you guessed it) the handwritten filing of the CF-5. Furthermore, if you read the documentation, it is entirely appropriate to file a CF-5 in anticipation of having low donations and expenditures, the only requirement being that you begin filing the regular reports if you exceed that amount. So, whether the past-due filing is a matter of schedule, a matter of misfiling, or even a matter of more BOE glitches, I don’t know. Second, nobody is trying to deceive anybody. You’ve already made it clear that you know of every single expenditure that TCC made (advertisements, postcards, etc.). All issues will be resolved, albeit perhaps not on your 11 p.m. – midnight schedule. Third, it is in very poor taste of… Read more »
Hey, Richard, can we tap into your investigative and analytic skills by having you look at the filings and activity of the Poverty Institute and the other supposed 501c3 organizations affiliated with Rhode Island College?