12-10-2013 News

Turns out last night’s meeting between the Hooksett School Board, the Pinkerton Academy Board of Trustees and the school boards from Pinkerton’s sending communities wasn’t all it was advertised to be.  Turns out there wasn’t a quorum of the Pinkerton board present and there weren’t a whole lot of folks there from the sending communities.  While the two boards failed to agree to terms, the Hooksett School Board voted to continue negotiations in the hopes of striking gold by their meeting on December seventeenth.  John Lyscars and David Pearl were opposed.  The remaining three agreed that Pinkerton’s willingness to delay, by one year, the requirement that ninety percent of Hooksett’s incoming freshmen attend the school warranted continued discussion.  But, even that ten percent number is in question.  According to Pearl, there was confusion about what the ten percent meant and how to calculate it.  After the meeting, Lyscars said he really didn’t see the logic in the ten percent proposal as it merely quote “simply adds another year before Hooksett gets bent over.”  End quote.  Pearl believes the negotiation team and the school board have failed the town’s children and Lyscars sounded a familiar theme saying the majority cannot be trusted to make decisions for all Hooksett children while blinded by their self interests.  Both called called for tuition contract negotiations to end with Pinkerton, leaving the door open to a Memorandum of Understanding with the school, so that parents of the town’s eighth graders can get about the business of choosing their child’s high school for the fall, something the board’s majority has prevented while it tries to determine the town’s options.

It’s official, the negotiations between the Manchester Board of School Committee and the unions representing the teachers and support staff  have crashed and burned.  Ward 10 Committeeman Dr. John Avard, chairman of the negotiations committee, notified the board last night that they had been unable to come to a compromise and suggested the committee be dissolved.  In an interview with Girard at Large in September, Avard hinted a deal could be done before the November elections.  On the heels of that announcement, at-Large Committeeman David Wihby asked Mayor Ted Gatsas if he could take over and try to salvage a deal before the budget process, which is expected to be troubled, begins.  Gatsas said he was willing if Superintendent Debra Livingston was willing to work with him.  She said “I am” and he said okay.  Then the board that voted to take the negotiations out of the mayor’s hands by forming a committee, which did settle contracts with the unions representing the directors and coordinators, principals and paraprofessionals, and spending some sixty thousand dollars in the process, unanimously voted to re-empower the mayor to negotiate on behalf of the board.  My how things come full circle!  We’ll have more on the meeting during the show.

In other school related news, Assistant Superintendent David Ryan told Girard at Large last night that Dr. Althea Sheaff, the woman we reported will start the standards development process with a two day workshop for those who’ll work on them is donating her time to the district free of charge.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Now we know why Second District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster doesn’t do many town hall meetings with her constituents; she’s really bad at geography and apparently doesn’t recognize that a bill entitled House Resolution doesn’t start in the Senate.  At a recent event called to discuss Middle Eastern issues, Kuster fielded a written question on the scandal in Benghazi, referencing House Resolution Thirty Six which calls for the establishment of a select committee to investigate.  Kuster said she was unfamiliar with the legislation, saying it wasn’t before the House and must be a senate bill.  She then said that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Middle East, and not Libya which isn’t, according to Kuster, in the Middle East.  That didn’t go over too well with several in the crowd who called her out on that.  An unidentified staff aide intervened on the congresswoman’s behalf to say they were going stick to the format and only answer written inquiries and prevailed on everybody to be respectful.  We have the amazing minute and a half video of the debacle linked to this news read at Girard at Large dot com.  Trust me when I tell you, the expression on her face said all you need to know.  Wonder if Manchester State Rep. Peter Sullivan‘s got any smart remarks about Annie Kuster being an empty suit like GOP Marilinda Garcia, who he basically called an empty suit.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!