Letter: When facts are not attacks!

Posted

To the editor:

Mrs. Lauria, I’ve lived in town for nearly 50 years; have graduated from BHS along with my wife and three children. I’ll never give up fighting for what this town has stood for well before you ever thought of moving here. 

Your “Please stop the attacks” message is simply anti-first amendment. Maybe I missed the “no inflammatory speech allowed” section of the first amendment in my 8th grade civics class at Peck Junior High School. Maybe you should try a stint in Singapore to see if you like their “free speech code."

Heaven’s to Betsy, I didn’t know the truth hurt this much. 

Mrs. Lauria, along with her new “team” are ardent supporters of every school budget increase and expenditure, regardless of its current and long-term damage to the taxpayers of the town. 

Oh, I heard the “government planner” tell the crowd that he takes this seriously. What’s he going to say, “Of course I won’t talk to my wife about any of this while we’re enjoying our shrimp cocktail and glass of Chardonnay?”

Mrs. Lauria, I actually ran for and won a seat on the school committee for four years. I have first-hand knowledge. You’ve stated that it is “rare for the school committee to meet with the committee on appropriations.” Not true. There are many meetings and communications between the two groups over a period of several months each year. The new government planner stated he wanted to have even more meetings between the two committees, if you’ve read his recent proposals (but he’s now prohibited from doing so based on the initial solicitor’s confidential assessment). And if he cannot meet with the school committee now, then how effective can he be as a member of the committee on appropriations? Seriously!

You may recall that the superintendent had to recuse himself from negotiating union contracts a few years ago as his wife was (and still is a Barrington school teacher) due to a ruling from the R.I. Board of Ethics. Specifically, the new team should ask the commission if Mr. COA is allowed to have any input/vote on any school committee budget, not just mere attendance at COA/school committee meetings? If Mr. COA has to vote to cut the municipal vs. school committee, can he avoid the appearance of impropriety? What exactly is it that he can/cannot participate in or vote on regarding school committee matters?

I know, I know, they’ve done so much for Barrington… so many committees and so much time given, but with so few results. It reminds me of Hillary when she equated her “air time travel” with that of an amazing accomplishment. Thankfully, their full-throated support of the “nanny state” school start time measure has thus far failed miserably. 

They are on record as being opposed to those of us who do support the schools, but not an unaffordable, unbalanced government that supports an oppressive tax plan. Have you driven on our roads lately? Maybe they can afford Rumstick Road taxes, but not everyone can! 

On Oct. 29, 1941, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a speech to Harrow School, said, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.” Nor will I, Mrs. Lauria. I will not call your editorial about me “inflammatory”. I simply call it free speech and will defend your right to say whatever you choose, as preposterous as it may sound. 

Sadly, the other candidates for the committee on appropriations, who actually articulated viable strategies for reducing taxes while sustaining a quality education system, were all rejected for the three candidates whose sole goal was to control the committee on appropriations and do the bidding of the school committee. We are now left with a single committee on appropriations member who cannot participate in 100 percent of all meetings and decisions. Facts are stubborn things they say and you certainly seem to embrace only those that support your goals.

By the way Mrs. Lauria, I’ve just begun!

Scott Fuller

Barrington

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Ken Block

While I can respect passion in politics, I (and a great many others) completely reject scorched earth politics. It is a tactic unbecoming to almost everyone, and is certainly way out of place in a small town like Barrington.

Scott Fuller is engaged in an incendiary attack against Scott and Megan Douglas. Rather than engage in a mature conversation (something that every one of us should endeavor to do as a model for our children), Mr. Fuller's language fairly screams off of the page.

Mr. Fuller is making unsubstantiated claims that the Douglases are somehow violating Rhode Island State Law by holding positions on the school committee (Megan) and the Committee on Appropriations (Scott). In fact, Mr. Fuller in his latest diatribe even refers to Rhode Island General Law Title 36 ethics laws as the place where an alleged violation has occurred.

Rhode Island General Law 36-14-5 is the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees. Exactly where in this law are the Douglases in violation by each holding a separate elected office in which neither has anything to gain financially from their positions or other employment?

If Mr. Fuller cannot specifically state which aspect of 36-14-5 has been violated, he really ought to shut down this outrageous series of attacks and rethink his basic approach to public service.

In the likely event that Mr. Fuller has not actually read the Code of Ethics, I am posting a link to it here: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE36/36-14/36-14-5.HTM

We all live in a small town and should endeavor to have cordial relations with everyone.

If Mr. Fuller decides that continued invective is somehow the right way to go, and decides to continue pressing his what I believe are baseless claims of ethics violations on the part of the Douglases, I point him to RI General Law 36-14-5(k), which in its entirety is as follows:

(k) No person shall knowingly and willfully make a false or frivolous complaint under this chapter.

Ken Block

Barrington

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