Court orders Warren to pay its $400K school district tab

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A Judge ordered the Town of Warren to pay the Bristol Warren Regional School District more than $400,000 after the town refused to fully fund the Joint Finance Committee's approved budget last year.

Superior Court Judge Luis Matos ordered Warren to pay $416,229, plus interest, after the town level-funded its contributions to schools for fiscal 2014. School committee Chairman Paul Silva said he was satisfied with the judge’s ruling.

“The town owes the money. I’m very pleased with the outcome. I wish it didn’t take so long to come,” Mr. Silva said.

Legally, Mr. Silva said, “If the town doesn’t pay the money it’s supposed to, they have to pay it with interest.”

Under the law, statutory interest is set at 12 percent, while the enabling legislation that creates the regionalized school district uses a computation to set that interest rate. It is unclear how the interest rate would be assessed.

In Warren, Town Council President Christopher Stanley had a differing view.

“It’s devastating,” he said. “We don’t necessarily agree with the court, but certainly we are going to abide by the court ruling.”

The decision came soon after Warren filed a separate lawsuit against the Bristol Warren Regional School District, contending that since 2011, the school funding formula has been incorrectly calculated. In Mr. Stanley’s view, Warren is being overcharged $2 million on this year’s school bill alone, a cost he has said the town simply cannot bear.

Although he said he recognizes the need to fund the schools, Mr. Stanley blames the school department for wasteful spending. He also blames the Town of Bristol, whose representation on the Joint Finance Committee outweighs that of Warren, in part for Warren’s financial woes.

“Let the state come in and take over the town,” he said of having state auditors examine the town’s finances. “It will lead to one place — the schools. Then they’ll start going over the school’s books.”

The Warren Town Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 9, when Mr. Stanley will present his suggestions on what the town will have to cut in order to pay its share of the school bill. Included among his suggestions are cuts to parks and recreation and to the town’s dumping facility.

“The town we woke up to this morning is far different that the town we’ll wake up to on July 1,” Mr. Stanley said. “We are in dire straits. I’m sick to my stomach. We don’t have the capacity to generate revenue.”

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warrenres

If we need to make cuts shouldn't we start at the town dump? Do we really need to have the dump open all day during the week? Wouldn't it make more sense to have it open just on Saturday so people who work for a living and pay taxes in this town can use it? Do we need a full time employee manning this place Monday - Friday? Someone please name another town that shares this practice.

Sunday, April 6, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

ha ha Ha Ha HA HA !!!!!

Open your wallet and grab your ankles Warren!!!

I know...why don't you spend more money you don't have on lawyers for an appeal?

It looks like Warren will be on a fiscal diet.

Mr. Stanley is sick to his stomach, but "I'm as happy as a little girl"!

---JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED---

Sunday, April 6, 2014 | Report this
lost_in_translation

Who didn't think this REPUBLICAN was lying? Did you really believe Captain Corruption Chris Stanley, a REPUBLICAN, was the one who could save Warren from 60 years of DEMOCRAT mismanagement?

Check the books at BCWA? NO public comment welcome.

Sure Warren, the petulant little child with no money, no new business, who can only keep whining about how they cannot keep up with "rich' Bristol. Resorting to using crazy tricks and arrogant fantasy in letters to the local paper to survive.

Maybe Warren should not exist because they are a financial disaster. Merge every municipal department, not just water and schools, and stop paying for municipal department heads that are not needed. With property taxes and car taxes higher than Barrington what are the solutions?

Open ALL the municipal books and see this collapse as an opportunity.

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

Barrington opted out of the original regional school district with warren and bristol - they were no fools!

let warren merge with barrington - as a bristol tax payer i'm tired of carrying warrens load - let them go belly-up like central falls - yeah, sure, we'll have to pay a little more but warrens debt will be spread out over the entire state - it won't matter much to bristol or barrington in the long run

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
StillBroke

My collection day is Friday. Like most people, I work Monday to Friday. I leave my house at 7:30 and return around 5:30 to 5:45. I do my yard work and house work on weekends.

This past weekend, I spent 7 hours raking my yard. I have 6 lawn and leaf bags filled mostly with dry, dead grass and some leaves. They will have to sit waiting to be picked up until Friday.

Knowing there is a storm with heavy rain and high wind coming tonight and tomorrow morning, I called the town yard to ask if they could please come pick up these bags so they wouldn't blow all over the place.

John Massed told me that if I was so concerned, I should bring the bags to the transfer station myself. I thanked Mr. Massed for his suggestion and told him I worked until 5:00pm and got home after 5:30, long after the transfer station closed for the day. He responded that if I was so concerned, I should leave work early and bring the bags to the transfer station myself.

I asked if there was really nothing he could do and he replied again that if I was so concerned, I should bring the bags to the transfer station myself.

He wasn't rude about it, he just kept repeating the same answer over and over.

What good does it do to keep the transfer station open when most residents are working? They really need to look at whether the transfer station is meeting the needs of the taxpayer.

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

hey i've got an idea to lighten the mood...

how about a chris stanley caption contest for the photo to this story?

i'll start everyone off with a couple...

1. "hey, relax, we only need to raise taxes this much..."

2. "don't worry, we only need to cut this much from the budget..."

3. "wow, whatta grindah at warren house of pizzah..."

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

Mr.Tats -

I'm not an "administrator for the school dept" or a JFC member - I'm a tax-paying resident of Bristol who humps it to work every day, who is TIRED of supporting Warren and who NEVER supported the regional school district in the first place. It's nothing but welfare for Warren. The original plan for the "region" was Bristol, Warren AND Barrington. Barrington had the good sense and foresight NOT to sign on. Unfortunately, regionalization has only HURT Bristol!

Bristol needs to cut the cord NOW!

Bristol will NOT go down when Warren goes down. Other than the school district,we are not tied at the hip.

Stop whining and crying and take a look at what Warren can do to dig ITSELF out of its own pile of excrement and stop looking south for help.

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

"why such deep concern when we pay for only what we are supposed to pay for! (No Extra’s)"

Well Mr. Tats, in this case you didn't even pay what you were supposed to pay! You tried to screw Bristol by "level funding"! You didn't like the budget from the JFC and the council decided to short change the district and the people of Bristol in the process - and you accuse me of trying to hurt my neighbors. You sir, are a hypocrite. Nice try Warren, but you lost - now PAY UP!

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
klynch26

As a member of the School Committee, I urge John Tats to show where we have not cut spending every year in effort to help the taxpayer. But Warren doesn't want to cut anything. They just want the school district to keep cutting so a Warren doesn't have to. Our teachers took 3 zeros in the last contract, Warren gave their employees a raise. We hold a 2% surplus to hold our bond rating. That is what good businesses do. If Warren doesn't do the same that is your problem not ours. Mr Stanley praised us for our budget at one meeting in open session then slams us to the press for reckless spending in another. We live within our budget every year and try our best to only cut when it doesn't effect kids. Unfortunately, this issue will played out in the courts with the taxpayers of Bristol and a Warren footing the bill.

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
cooterbfd

Karen, unfortunately, you will NEVER get them to admit any wrongdoing on their part. I went to the State and towns websites to check budgets, and this is what I come up with;

Warren, in 2001 had a $7.67 mil school budget, and a $7.61 Muni budget. By 2013-14, schools were $11.68 mil, and Muni was $14.52 mil, for a WHOPPING 91% INCREASE, as opposed to 52% for schools. Even if you take out the debt service, Muni increased 65%!!!!

Bristol in 2001 had a $12.62 mil school budget and a $13.80 mil Muni budget. By 2013-14 schools were $22.04 mil and muni was $20.99 mil. OUR school budget went up 74% (!!!!!) vs. only 52% for muni, and that 52% INCLUDES DEBT SERVICE!!!!

This proves that Stanley's only job is to get Bristol to balance Warren's budget on Bristol's back!!!

I said it before and I'll say it again. PUT AWAY THE HOOVER FLAGS WARREN, we aren't buying it.

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Report this
cooterbfd

As an aside, the school department budget increased from a little over $40 mil to $53 mil over the same period, INCLUDING it's debt service!!!! That is approximately a 33% increase in total budget.

I believe that they are doing a FAR BETTER JOB at controlling their costs than either town is.

Numbers don't lie, but Stanley DOES!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

Mr. Tats -

Now you're making sense! Yes, dissolve the regional school district now!

I've got a great idea for saving both towns some money - GET RID OF THE SCHOOL BUSES. Just think of the dollars savings!

Let the kids walk to school (good exercise - after all most kids are obese), let parents take their kids, let the parents carpool or several parents could hire a small van. Huge savings here. School buses only burp noxious fumes and tie up traffic with their ridiculous bus monitors (stop traffic, watch one kid get on the bus, look this way, look that way, look up look down, do it again at the next house)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | Report this
metacomment

First, towns need to stop paying for busing children to private schools. That's a scam created by RI Legislators who send their kids to private and parochial schools.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | Report this
StillBroke

Don't forget that the parents of children who go to parochial and/or private schools also pay taxes. They relieve the towns of the burden (and the cost) of educating their children by paying to send them to a parochial or private school. I think it is cheaper for the district to bus these kids than to educate them. I seem to remember the superintendent panicking when St. Elizabeth's closed a few years back. If we stop paying to bus these kids, there are bound to be several (maybe many) who end up in BWRS schools.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | Report this
metacomment

Sounds like you're in favor for more welfare for the rich.

It's not up to the taxpayers to pay for their transportation if they don't want to go to our schools.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

here's another money saver -

LET'S GET RID OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

what a ridiculous, social engineering concept

let people live where THEY can afford to live

i'd love to live on poppasquash point but guess what...

affordable housing only lowers property values, which decreases the tax base and is a drain on services (police, fire, rescue, schools)

Thursday, April 10, 2014 | Report this

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