Well last night’s meeting of the Manchester Board of School Committee was more eventful than the agenda foretold, but is anyone surprised by that? Predictably, the board made an issue of the already budgeted city service contracts with the city’s public works department for both building maintenance and parks and recreation. They seem to think the Board of Aldermen will let them skate on paying about one hundred seventy five thousand dollars in fees the district will owe the city for use of various athletic facilities, including the hockey rinks and golf course. Superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston announced she was not going to implement the redistricting plan created by her predecessor Tom Brennan. Parents previously notified of changes will be notified that there will be no changes. Instead, she said she will develop her own plan and bring it forward seven months from now in March. And, she raised eyebrows when, despite the pending policy discussion on Common Core at the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, she said that alignment of the district to Common Core is proceeding full speed ahead. Later in the meeting, Common Core came to the forefront of the discussion with Ward 9 Committeeman Arthur Beaudry raising questions about how the C & I meeting will be handled. He suggested there be open dialogue with those concerned, saying he’s having difficulty separating fact from fiction. Committee Chair Sarah Ambrogi shut that idea down pretty hard saying she thought that board members had all the information they needed to have a discussion and make decisions and rather than receive more input, which she argued wouldn’t solve Beaudry’s issue, they should quote un quote dig in and do their homework instead. The Board also wrestled with questions over student discipline, parking they may no longer have at the headquarters because they spent the money needed to buy spaces on something else, and Ward 11 member Jason Cooper’s surprise announcement that because he’s moving out of the ward, today, the thirteenth will be his last day as a member of the board. In other school news: West High’s condemned bleachers will be replaced before school starts, Livingston’s going to be bringing recommendations forward to implement the school district’s audit and it looks like we’re in for some kind of work shop session next week. A ten cent increase in the price of a hot lunch and a nickle increase in the price of a carton of milk touched off a firestorm and was tabled, too. Oh my HEAD! Oh, and did I mention there was a one point two million dollar surplus in the salary line for last year’s budget and that the district spent four hundred twenty thousand dollars on legal fees?
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Goffstown officials are refusing to disclose the addresses and contact information for members of the Planned Pinardhood ad hoc committee. Assistant town manager and economic development coordinator Derek Horne has told Girard at Large that, according to legal advice they’ve received, disclosing that information would be an invasion of privacy. Horne was unable to answer how disclosure of address and contact information would invade the privacy of people who volunteered to serve on a publicly appointed board created by the governing body charged with conducting work on the public’s behalf and subject, by their own admission, to the Right To Know Law. He said he hadn’t asked the attorney that question. He also said that he’d need permission from the Board of Selectmen to release the legal opinion to Girard at Large, which we’re hoping they gave last night.
Hooksett police arrested a woman for a second time in a week. Seems when sixty six year old Jeanie Dufresne gets drunk she gets lonely and calls 9 1 1 to chat. She was released on personal recognizance bail last week for calling 9 1 1 for non emergency purposes. This time, she was taken to the Merrimack County Jail for violating bail conditions, resisting arrest, and once again misusing emergency services. Its kinda sad, actually.
Walter A. Stiles, the former Ward 2 state rep. who led the charge to renovate Manchester’s Historic City Hall passed away last Thursday at the age of ninety one. Stiles, a Marine in World War 2, would parade down Elm Street in the uniform he wore while in the service during patriotic parades. He was Manchester through and trough. He loved this city almost as much as he loved his wife Janet, his family and this country. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Goodwin Funeral Home on Chestnut St. The funeral will be held at 10 a m on Thursday at Brookside Congregational Church on Elm St. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to the Webster House and/or New Horizons for N.H.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away.
Walter A. Stiles will be missed, we are losing our WW2 veterans at an ever increasing number. Sadly, with them go the stories of their adventures, the small things that amused soldiers and sailors while they were coping, also are the stories of horror and hardship. The ages are consuming that point of history that is no longer an interest to the younger generations. Today’s younger generations can’t name the years that WW2 was fought, never mind the thearters of operation. Therefore, I salute Walter A. Stiles and thank him for his service, as said when the boys came home to port after WW2: WELL DONE!