7-1-2013 News

The Manchester School District’s breach of contract case against the Hooksett School Board goes to Hillsborough County Superior Court, today.  Manchester filed a petition with the court several months ago asking for an injunction to prevent Hooksett from allowing public high school kids to attend high schools in other communities.  The contract between the two requires all public high school students in Hooksett to attend Manchester High Schools, except for those granted waivers on a case by case basis.  The Hooksett Board has granted over seventy waivers as long as they have written permission from the school district they wish to attend, can prove an ability to transport the student, and the ability to pay any tuition deferential between what the town will pay and what the school charges.  Manchester sued stating that granting almost half the incoming freshman class waivers violates the case by case basis rule.  More importantly, Manchester contends that Hooksett violated state law by not requiring petitioning parents to prove a manifest educational hardship before granting a waiver and by exceeding the number of children who can be reassigned.  Manchester stands to lose some six hundred thousand dollars in tuition revenue if it loses today.  If Hooksett loses, they’ll either have to withdraw the waivers or pay Manchester anyway.  We’re headed to court straight after the show to watch it all go down.  We might even wear reindeer antlers.  We’ll have more on this during the show.

Dr. Debra Livingston is on the job today as Manchester’s Superintendent of Schools.  Livingston was elected by the Board of School Committee just a few short weeks ago, following not one, but two nationwide searches launched to replace Dr. Thomas J. Brennan, Jr.  In an interview last Thursday, Brennan said the school district was more about the adults who worked in the buildings than it was about the kids they were supposed to teach.  Livingston comes to the city from the Fall Mountain School District, near Claremont, a tiny district with a student population about the size of West High School.  She made the cut in the district’s search because of the years she spent in a Texas school district that had over thirty seven thousand students.  She was elected on the first pubic ballot by a unanimous vote with Ward 11’s Jason Cooper and Ward 2’s Debra Gagnon-Langton absent.

The news continues after this.

AMR’s proposal for Manchester’s ambulance contract should be thrown out.  That’s what I, your humble host, wrote in a post to “Oh My BLOG!” published Saturday just before Midnight.  In that extensive article, which took me a whole lot longer to research and write than it will take you to read, I exposed what I believe to have been a deliberate attempt by AMR to withhold information that would have disqualified their bid and a willing blind eye turned by fire officials and Alderman at Large Dan O’Neil to appease the union representing Manchester’s firefighters who support AMR because it is a unionized shop.  The contract controversy arose after Girard at Large received a letter from Harold Shaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, to O’Neil and Fire Chief James Burkush charging that the committee was being manipulated in favor of AMR competitor American Ambulance.  When that proved not to be true, the investigation began.  We’ll have more on this during the show.

P S N H says your power production rates are going down by almost ten percent today.  The Public Utilities Commission approved their request for a rate decrease last week.  The average residential customer will see their rates drop by about four and a half bucks.  We have their full press release posted with this newscast at girard at large dot com.

The Merrimack Rotary Club had its annual Changing of the Gavel dinner last week to welcome its new leadership. The new officers are Andy Steeves, Steve Russell, Phil DeGregorio, Maureen Mooney, Jane Hoover and Paul Belfiore.  There were several new board members and awards given as well.  Their press release with all the details and a photo of the handsome crew is available with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

That’s News from our own backyard, Girard at Large Hour ___ is just 30 seconds away!