November 20, 2008

In and Out of Town Government

Justin Katz

I don't know the rules in Hopkinton, so I can't comment on Bill Felkner's ejection from the Chariho School Committee dais on the grounds that he's also a Hopkinton Town Council member, but it seems to me there must be some laws permitting him to sit in the audience of a public meeting:

Bill Felkner, a member of the Chariho School Committee who was elected to the Hopkinton Town Council, was escorted from the school board meeting last night after a vote that he be removed.

A lawyer for the School Committee, Jon M. Anderson, said Felkner stopped being a committee member when he took the oath of office for the Hopkinton Town Council on Monday night. He said a courtroom, not the Chariho School Committee’s first meeting, was the proper place to decide the dispute.

William Day, in his last few minutes as chairman before Holly Eaves, of Charlestown, was elected to succeed him, polled the other members of the board about whether Felkner should be removed. A majority voted yes.

Richmond police Officer Dan Kelley, who was standing by, was asked to escort Felkner out.

Felkner asked if he could sit in the audience, which included Town Council members from all three Chariho towns, but the officer told him he had to leave the building.

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Welcome to politics in Rhode Island.

Posted by: bobc at November 20, 2008 12:46 PM

there is a video of the meeting up at Felkner's Chariho blog

Posted by: CR at November 20, 2008 1:06 PM

Bill Felkner beat me out for the last seat on the Hopkinton Town Council this past November 4TH,. To check on stories check out The Westerly Sun ,The Chariho Times , and The Providence Journal ,. It would appear multiple open meetings violations may have occurred that night.
Bill Day, the outgoing Chariho School Committee Chair has had problems with other school committee members in the past. Generally speaking interested candidates are lacking for school committee openings in the Chariho Regional School District.
On the ballot this year Richmond had two openings with only Mr. Day a candidate listed on ballot. In Charlestown no candidate was listed on their ballot for their single opening. In Hopkinton only one candidate was listed on the ballot.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at November 20, 2008 5:47 PM
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