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- Bus lease is questioned
BY JOSEPH S. SIEGEL FOR THE SUN CHRONICLE
Friday, March 26, 2010 2:17 AM EDT
SEEKONK - Selectmen will consult with the town's legal counsel after a lease for school buses, which had been signed by the school department, was called into question by a town resident.
Arthur Foulkes, who has his own program on Cable 9, appeared at Wednesday's selectmen meeting and told the board about funds that were appropriated by the school department in 2008 for the lease of school buses.
Foulkes said $320,000 had been spent without the approval of town meeting voters, and condemned what he described as "reckless behavior" by the school department.
Town Administrator Michael Carroll had consulted with the school department's finance director about the transaction, and told Foulkes the school department did not do anything inappropriate, noting they acted "properly and legally."
Selectman Robert Richardson suggested Foulkes approach the school committee with his concerns. "I'm not going to the school department for anything," Foulkes said, telling the board he was looking for "impartiality."
Selectman Dave Parker believed Foulkes had definitive questions and recommended seeking the advice of town counsel on the matter.
"We owe him an answer," Parker said.
School Committee Chairman Fran Creamer told the board the questions they had about the bus lease could have been answered if they had called her up to the podium to speak.
Creamer called for the board to "open lines of communication" with the school committee.
Selectman John Whelan acknowledged that the board's relationship with the school committee was "severely fractured."
Fractured? Fractured is an understatement. The past months have been a very eye opening experiance. For those of you who have found the behavior of the BOS peculiar then I have the sad duty to tell my fellow taxpayers that it is far worse than that.
I have no confidence that the BOS has any genuine interest in showing any type of leadership or honor. Respect and trust is something to be earned...it is not a given. So let me be clear and just maybe it will sink in with the BOS. You are not above any of us. You are not any better than the average taxpayer...if anything you serve at our will. How you treat the school system in this town and how you have acted towards this school committee is a disgrace.
You should be embarrassed but I doubt my statements will have much impact because you seem to be quite content slurping on Arthur Folke's Kool-Aid.
I will hold you accountable for your actions. When you say something or act in a manner unbefitting of your position I will call you out on it. I am still learning to play the game but when a Selectman states, "up yours" on a school committee request for an agenda on a bi-board meeting then maybe...just maybe..that might be a reason that things are so fractured. Grow up and do the job that you were elected to do and you can start by putting the Town- the whole Town (not Schools vs. Town)- ahead of your own egotistical needs.
Next we will talk about those busses...