Councilor appointed

After a little drama on whether Alex Walczyk was eligible for the position, the Hooksett Town Council voted to appoint him Councilor at-Large to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Adam Jennings.  Walczyk will serve until June of next year, assuming he’s not elected to the position next May.   

Questions arose over whether or not Walczyk had lived in town for the past year and was, therefore eligible for the position, as his name wasn’t on the voter checklist.  (Hm, I thought being a registered voter was required for the position…Anyway…) Councilors voted to confirm his eligibility, determining he’d lived in town since nineteen seventy nine.  Following that, his name was placed into nomination along with resident Tom Keach and former Hooksett School Board Member John Lyscars.  A divided board gave Walczyk four votes.  Lyscars and Keach each received two. 
 

Free upgrade!

Attention Manchester residents!  If you frequently have more recyclables than fit in your blue cart, the city will swap out your existing sixty five gallon cart for the larger ninety five gallon one at no charge.  All you need to do is contact the recycling collection contractor, Pinard Waste Systems.  We’ve got the contact information with this news read at Girard at Large dot com.  Email [email protected] or call (603) 413-6799.  For fastest service, send an email with “upgrade my blue cart” in the subject line.  Remember to include your address in the email. 

 

Sununu: Eats Berry of the Biennium at bill signing

Among the four bills signed by Governor Christopher Sununu yesterday was House Bill 2 6 2 declaring the “common blackberry” the “Berry of the Biennium.”  The move created confusion in the industry.  While some hailed it as one that would draw attention to the fruit and encourage folks to give it a try, others worried that the government designation would prevent it from being harvested as it was now government protected.  We’ll see if we can’t get clarification on the legislation’s intent. 

 

Keno-garten bill takes another step

In other business under the State House Dome, conferees from the House and Senate agreed to changes on Senate Bill 1 9 1, the so called Keno-garten Bill that would increase state funding for kindergarten by using revenues from the legalization of Keno gambling, not to be confused with casino gambling.   

Bradley: Brokers another compromise.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley’s suggestion that the bill be amended to guarantee a minimum funding increase of eleven hundred dollars per student starting in the 2 0 1 8 – 2 0 1 9 school year was approved by the committee.  Funding could be higher if revenues from the bingo type game are sufficient.   The funding increase would be capped at eighteen hundred dollars per student, which would be considered full funding under the state’s current adequacy funding formula.  The legislation would require the eleven hundred dollar minimum to be paid to communities even if revenues from Keno are insufficient to pay for it. 

Following the vote, Governor Sununu issued a statement saying, quote: 

…full-day kindergarten is one step further in becoming a reality for every community and family across New Hampshire.  This is not a time for partisan politics, we need to get this done.  I’m very confident that members of both parties can come together over the next week to get this legislation to my desk.

Gatsas: Nailed it

The changes agreed to by the Committee on Conference must now be ratified by both the House and the Senate.  If so, the kindergarten money won’t flow unit Fiscal Nineteen.  That means that Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas was right when he said kindergarten funding wasn’t going to happen in the coming fiscal year.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Green: Raises conflict of interest questions

Well, it looks like our good friend, Superintendent Emperor Earl Metzler has struck again.  In a post to her blog, Timberlane Regional School Board Member Donna Green calls Metzler out for hiring Tom Geary as S A U 5 5’s Business Operations Coordinator.  S A U 5 5 includes the Timberlane Regional and Hampstead school districts.  Green believes the hire is improper because, up until the elections this past March, Geary was a member of the Timberlane Budget Committee.

The job posting advertised a salary range of seventy to ninety thousand dollars and required: 

  1. A degree in Accounting or Business Administration
  2. Minimum 5 years experience in Accounting or Finance with at least one year of supervisory experience
  3. Experience in physical plant operation and project management preferred
  4. Certification or the ability to be certified as a N H School Business Administrator
  5. Such alternatives to the above as the Superintendent finds appropriate and acceptable

Metzler: At it again

That got us thinking about whether or not he met the basic qualifications for the job, so we sent Emperor Metzler a request for Geary’s resume.  Here’s what we got in return.  Quote:

Please see the attached, specifically #5 in the qualifications. We do not post resumes or applications. Also Board policy BBBH identifies the positions that the Board votes on. This position clearly is not one of them. The Board Chair of the SAU and the Hampstead Board Chair were involved in the process of hiring this candidate based on the specific needs of both districts. It is not required that they participate but they were included.
We tried again, noting his request answered questions we didn’t ask.
 
This time,  Assistant Emperor Catherine Belcher wrote back saying, quote:  

Nothing to see here…

This office is in receipt of your RTK request regarding the release of a candidate’s resume and we offer the following response:

The document requested is a pre-employment document gathered by the District during its hiring process.  Such documentation falls under the “internal personnel practices” categorical exemption set forth in RSA 91-A:5,IV.  In Clay v. City of Dover, the court wrote the following:

“The information provided by the applicants to the superintendent search committee was gathered in the course of the hiring process, a process that was internal to the search committee and conducted on behalf of the superintendent’s employer. . . Because the completed rubric forms pertain to “internal personnel practices,” they are exempt from disclosure under the Right-to-Know Law.”

Accordingly, because the document you requested is a categorically exempt record pertaining to the “internal personal practices” of the District as a hiring entity, it will not be disclosed.

This office considers your right-to-know request closed.

 We tried again, but you know how that worked out.  We will discuss.
 
That’s NEWS from our own backyard!  Girard at Large hour ___ is next!