01-20-2014 News

Just when you didn’t think things could become more interesting on the Hooksett School Board, they do.  Board Clerk John Lyscars, who was stripped of his district email account by the board, is requesting its reinstatement.  In several unanswered emails, Lyscars has asked Superintendent Charles P. Littlefield to direct district personnel to reinstate his email account saying the board’s action to strip him of his district email forces violations of the state’s Right to Know Law.  Any email sent to and from a board member over the district’s server is subject to the Right to Know Law.  Those sent to and from a board member’s private account, including those relative to public matters, are not so clearly covered and much less easily accessed.Lyscars to Littlefield re email reinstatementLyscars to Littlefield re email reinstatment 2Lyscars to Littlefield re email reinstatement 3

In addition to requesting the reinstatement of his email account, Lyscars is also questioning why the only representatives present at the board’s high school informational session on November twenty fifth were from Pinkerton Academy.  Lyscars referred to meeting minutes recounting Board Chair Trisha Korkosz‘s answer to resident Darlene Mandh‘s question as to  why there weren’t representatives from the satellite schools.  The minutes report Korkosz saying quote “they were the only ones who showed interest.  No one was invited.  We did not extend an invitation to any of the school districts.”  End quote.  Of course, one would expect the Hooksett School Board to not extend an invitation to the high schools their constituents would choose from on a high school informational night.  Anyway, Littlefield confirmed that no schools were invited and declined to speculate as to why folks from Pinkerton decided to show up when no others did.  Lyscars to Littlefield re HS info session communications

Finally, if the state Department of Education was unaware of what was happening on the Hooksett School Board, they now are.  Town resident, Lyscars critic and longtime proponent of a tuition contract with Pinkerton Tom Parnell sent an email to the Hooksett School Board and D O E Commissioner Virginia Barry asking them to investigate whether or not Lyscars had violated the Oath of Office.  State law says that violation of the oath can result in dismissal of the offending office holder.  Somehow, Lyscars got a hold of the email that was sent to the board, but not to him and, despite Parnell’s sentence in the email demanding that Lyscars not contact him should he come into possession of the email, Lyscars sent an email in reply.  What followed between the two can only be described as amusing with Parnell complaining to the board and the Commissioner that Lyscars is contacting him and Lyscars using his protests as an opportunity to provide list of questionable actions taken by the board or Littlefield and urge the commissioner to watch the meetings herself.  Parnell v Lyscars email chain to HSB and Comm of Ed

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets tomorrow night.  The agenda has a couple of eye openers on it.  Various departments have submitted ideas for new or increased revenues that aren’t subject to the city’s cap on tax revenues.  The big revenue idea comes from Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard who estimates that a Pay As You Throw trash collection system would raise approximately three and one half million dollars for the city.  That’s not a new idea, but given what the city’s facing financially, it just might have new life.  Sheppard’s letter also referenced potential revenue from the creation of storm water utility.  We’re not sure if it’s a typo, but he listed the capital cost at seven hundred fifty million dollars.  Finance Officer Bill Sanders suggested some whopping increases in downtown parking fees.  Sanders projected an increase of six hundred thousand dollars in parking revenue, a  projected fifteen percent decrease in the number of leased parking spots notwithstanding, not sure how that helps downtown.  He also suggested the city charge thirty bucks for resident parking permits that allow residents in certain areas to park free of charge at meters.   Those permits are currently free of charge.  Human Resource Officer Jane Gile suggested increasing the application fee for police officers from twenty five to fifty dollars makes some sense given the firefighter application is fifty bucks.

Right to Know New Hampshire is blowing the whistle on a bill they say will drastically limit citizen’s access to government contract information and increase the cost of obtaining it.  House Bill six eighty five, which originally increased citizen access to government contract information, was retained by the House last year and so radically amended its original purpose is gone.  Because it was retained, it won’t go through committee again and receive public input.  Therefore, Right to Know New Hampshire is alerting the public to the bill and urging them to contact legislators and ask them to kill it.  We’ve linked to their report on the bill so you can take a look.  It’s scheduled for a vote before the full House on Wednesday, so there’s no time to delay!

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