Chariho mega-bond challenged by Hopkinton and Richmond Town Councils

On Monday of this week, a majority of the Hopkinton Town Council, members Hirst, Burns, and Geary, expressed their concern for the proposed $150 million dollar bond being proposed by the Chariho school district. The push for the bond came about fairly quickly, with little school committee discussion, in an attempt to meet a February 15th deadline – despite the district having years to come up with a game plan.

The Richmond Town Council followed with a discussion on Tuesday night. Four councilors expressed their concern for the size and lack of details in the plan; a resolution was passed 3-2 expressing the town council’s formal objection to the bond with members Sheehan, Colasante, and Trimmer voting in alignment with their verbal expressed objections.

According to the school district, these objections will not stop their stage 2 application for the bond and a town-wide vote is anticipated for May 7th.

Both Town Council meetings had significant attendance from the public. With those opposed expressing their concern regarding affordability. Those supporting the bond viewed it as a once in an generation opportunity for “free” money from the state.

The Chariho Forgotten Taxpayers President, Louise Dinsmore, was in attendance and spoke at both meetings. This issue will clearly be a topic of discussion over the next 3 months in the lead-up to the vote. Preceding this bond vote will be the annual budget request increase from the school district – they continue to claim that they need more money despite a steady decrease, but significant, decrease in enrollment over the last 20 years – by almost 1,000 students.

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