September 3, 2014
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Why Karen Bachus is a good choice for School Committee

To the Editor:

Karen Bachus is an excellent choice for our Warwick School Committee. Karen works as a child protective investigator for the Department of Children, Youth and Families; she holds degrees in English, education and clinical psychology. She is outspoken, open-minded, a strong advocate and a wonderful person, I believe that she will be a strong voice for our children and schools. She will help correct the budget problems the School Committee has been experiencing over the past few years. Karen has experience working with issues that are important to the residents of Rhode Island and would be a great asset for Warwick schools and our children’s education. On Nov. 6, I hope you will join me and bring positive change to the Warwick School Committee by voting for Karen Bachus.

Representative David A. Bennett, R.N.
District 20 Warwick


Comments
8 comments on this item

"Karen works as a child protective investigator for the Department of Children, Youth and Families; she holds degrees in English, education and clinical psychology. " Thank you Mr. Bennett and I will excuse you for neglecting she also holds a union card, like you. Does that ensure she will have a 90%+ voting record like you on all labor issues, regardless of cost to taxpayers? Voters really need to do their homework and not have someone else hand in the assignment for them.

Representative Bennett also states that the School Committee has had budget problems over that past few years. It should be pointed out that the Warwick School Committee has had a balanced budget for each of the 4 years. The Warwick Schools are running on a budget that is the same as it was in 2008. If only we could say the same about the RI State budget.

This Projo article from January 2012 states that DCYF over spent their budget by $7.8 Million. According to the article, there was no explanation as to why the budget was overspent.

"R.I. House Finance chair testy as DCYF tries to explain overspending"

http://news.providencejournal.com/politics/2012/01/ri-house-finance-chair-testy-as-dcyf-tries-to-explain-overspending.html

This article from Anchor Rising, http://www.anchorrising.com/barnacles/004287.html explains that from 2001-2008, the average salary of employees in DCYF rose 30%. This 30% rise in salaries occurred during a recession.

"In 2001, there were 875.9 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) positions whose salaries totaled $41,667,680, for an average salary of $47,571 per FTE. In 2008, there were 810 FTEs with a total salary component of $49,698,858, for an average of $61,357 per FTE. That's an overall average salary increase of 30% over 7 years."

We need committee members who know how to cut costs while at the same time preserving student enrichment in the schools through valuable classes and activities.

Patrick Maloney

Mr. Maloney, you are correct when you state the School Committee has had a balanced budget for each of the last four years. It is a bit of a red herring in this sense, the Charter says that you must. Section 5-24: "No office, department or agency shall expend any money or incur any liability or enter into any agreement which by its terms involves the expenditure of money during the fiscal year in excess of the amounts appropriated, other than for capital improvements to be financed in whole or in part by the issuance of bonds. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this Charter shall be null and void. " I think the last sentence is telling.

As far as DCYF, I can tell you stories from nearly 20 years ago of field case officers and investigators carrying briefcases with 300 case files. Needless to say it was nearly impossible for one person to handle all those cases. I suppose a novel idea would be to require the big salary desk jockeys to get off their fat rumps and help in the field. No explanation of overspending? Fire the director and chief financial officer.

As far as Ms. Bachus, or any new "fresh" face running for office, it has been the history in this State that the new person is elected and then we find out their families are intertwined in government, employment, or mouth pieces for special interests. Always after the fact. I blame the media and apathetic voters who believe elections are based on campaigns and ads run 3 months before election day. Call me a cynic till proven wrong.

Hi "bendover", I will clarify my statement about the balanced budget. For 2 years prior to my arrival on the School committee, the Committee and schools over spent their budget to the tune on $3.2 Million. They apparently did not follow the Charter. The City covered the $3.2 Million and I vowed to pay the money back when I ran in 2008. The $3.2 Million was paid back over the course of my my first 2 years on the committee. During my time on the committee from 2008 to present, the School Committee has not over spent the budget, has had a balanced budget without the requirement for the city to cover additional school expenses.

I think I have done a good job and would like to be re-elected. If I am not re-elected, I would like to make sure those elected know that they are responsible for educating the children and that they make financially prudent and well informed decisions.

She lost my vote by being endorsed by The Progressive Democrat and Hack Bennett.. 2 votes against Karen.. Thanks for the info..

The previous posters make some good points. As it currently stands all police, fire and municipal employees and the teachers are receiving little if any raises over the next few years. When these contracts expire I predict they will be looking for a sunstantial payback.

As someone who is a member of a state backed union, taxpayers need to answer this question before voting for Ms. Bachus: Will Karen Bachus have the ability to negotiate a fiscally predent contract with the Warwick Teachers Union, focus on the overall affect contract provisions will have on the taxpayers and if necessary play hard ball during negotiations?

I doubt it.

This is the reason why we don't need another union brother or sister sitting on the Warwick School Committee. We already have enough conflicted individuals sitting on the city council with direct relationships to union employees in the city. Councilwoman Travis, Gallucci, DelGuidice, Place and Colantuono. Look what the results have been. City spending has exploded over the last five years, property taxes up, new car tax and $1 BILLION DOLLARS in LIABILITIES.

What's going to happen if the same type of people are elected to the school committee? The same thing!!!!!!

I met Karen Bachus for the first time tonight at the Warwick Senior Center. The Warwick Beacon hosted a "meet the candidates" night. She told me that she is not one of the staff responsible for creating the DCYF budget. I found her to be very passionate about her views and she does seem to really care for the kids and their well being.

I still stand by my statement that the Warwick School committee has not had the budget problems that Mr Bennett alludes and the State needs to learn how to stop spending.and learn how to make cuts.

Patrick Maloney

18 Days after taking her seat, Bachus votes to give supporters a raise. I don't know how she did this when she had not had a full meeting yet, 2 members of the committee didn't know they were in negotiations, and she had not been through a budget cycle yet.

http://www.warwickonline.com/stories/Committee-non-teachers-agree-on-2-year-pact-extension,78762?search_filter=wise+union+raise&town_id=1&sub_type=stories

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