The attorney representing Ward 12 School Committeewoman- Elect Connie Van Houten in her lawsuit against the Manchester School District withheld information from Girard at Large during an interview conducted last week and thanks to the diligent efforts of Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy we now know why things didn’t seem right.  Attorney John Skinner told me that he really didn’t have an explanation for why it took the Sheriff’s office so long to deliver the service writs associated with Van Houten’s lawsuit and speculated it could be because the service writs were brought directly to the Sheriff’s office rather than sent through the mail.  Hardy told Girard at Large yesterday that he was bothered by the discrepancies between his system logs and the attorney’s statement about when he dropped the writs at his office, so he personally met with the intake staff at his Manchester office over the matter.  Hardy says they remember the writs being dropped off around October twenty eighth or ninth as claimed by Skinner because there was an insufficient number of attested service copies for the Sheriff to deliver.  Hardy says his staff documented calls to Skinner on October thirtieth and November first advising him of the issue and requesting additional attested service copies for delivery.  Those additional copies didn’t arrive at the Sheriff’s Office until, you guessed it, Election Day.  The finally completed service package was logged into the Sheriff’s system on November sixth and delivered on the seventh, which, of course, is what led to the news media’s discovery of Van Houten’s lawsuit.  In my interview with Skinner a week ago today, he went out of his way to tell me how Van Houten wanted this law suit in the public record before the election.  Too bad he didn’t go out of his way to tell me that his failure to deliver a proper number of attested service writs was the reason why the school district, city and therefore the  public could not have known about the lawsuit before the election.  That’s not the kind of thing you forget.  So, now we’re faced with questions of intent.  If it really was an oversight and if they really wanted it to be a matter of public record before the election, why did Attorney Skinner not remedy the situation well before Election Day, forget that no statement announcing the lawsuit, like the one they issued last Friday after our inquiry, had been issued?  Here’s the sum total of the correspondence that followed my original phone conversation with Skinner on Friday the 8th.  from Skinner in reply to our inquiry re Van Houten suitSkinner Press-Release re Van Houten suit-11-08-13to Skinner re unanswered questions about suit filingto Skinner re Sheriff’s documented timeline

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Denbow strikes back; Phil Denbow that is of the Hooksett School Board.  In a bizarre move at last night’s meeting of the board, Denbow distributed a printout of material he says his wife found somewhere on social media.  He claimed the material came from a non public meeting the board had to discuss tuition contract negotiation matters.  He was intentionally vague and circumspect in his presentation and did not reveal the content of the social media post during the public meeting because he says he was trying not to further divulge the non-public content.  He motioned that the matter be referred to the board’s attorney for an investigation, which passed three to one with Board Vice-Chair David Pearl opposed and Board Clerk John Lyscars absent.  During discussion on the motion, Pearl got Denbow to state that it was a post published by Lyscars and stated that the material used was public record and also noted that Lyscars has often published a variety of scenarios dealing with possible tuition contract options.  Upon arrival later in the meeting, Pearl had the board’s clerk read back the motion that had been acted on in Lyscars’ absence and gave Lyscars a copy of the social media post.  Lyscars stated everything he posted was a matter of public record and denied disclosing any non-public material.  Pearl also questioned Denbow about why his wife would recognize non-public material if she’d not been given that material herself. Denbow’s reply?   She  thought the details were so specific, it had to be inside knowledge she was reading in the post.   We’ve got the video of this whole weird thing linked with this newscast at Girard at Large.  And, yes, we’ve filed a Right to Know request.  Whatever it is, it ain’t public no more!  NOTE:  FOLLOWING THE BROADCAST, SUPERINTENDENT LITTLEFIELD RELEASED THIS DOCUMENT IN RESPONSE TO OUR RIGHT TO KNOW REQUEST.

Now that the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen has given its blessings to X V M Skate‘s efforts to overhaul the Adam Curtis Skate Park across Maple Street from the J F K Coliseum, organizers have begun the process of raising funds and set a two thousand fourteen ribbon cutting date.  While financial commitments are being secured, X V M Skate leader Jim DeStefano says no money will be collected until the minimum threshold to do even the most basic renovations has been pledged.  The group presented multiple options to the board saying that fundraising would determine which one went forward.  Friends of XMVskate