It’s Election Day in towns throughout the region as a number of hotly contested races and controversial ballot questions, they’re called warrant articles, finally get their day before the voters.
In Hooksett, voters will decide whether or not to return Trisha The Gavel Korkosz to office for another three years or replace her with any one of a long list of challengers, including, but not limited to Town Council Chair Jim Sullivan and former Town Councilor and Budget Committee member Jason “still has his effing esophagus” Hyde. Incumbent Phil Dumbo Denbow faces former long term board member Joanne McHugh for a one year term and Town Councilor Todd Lizotte squares off against Yvonne Preston for a two year term. Three will be elected for a three year term and the board expands from it’s current five members to seven. Also running for three year terms are Amy Boilard, Mike Berry and Jack Sweeney. Becky Berk, who is on the ballot, has said she will not serve if elected and has asked voters not to vote for her. Warrant Article 3 asking the town to ratify the school board’s contract with Pinkerton Academy will be decided today as well. The article has been marred by the dissemination of flagrantly false information by the school board’s Warrant Article Committee, chaired by Denbow and charges of electioneering as school district staff has used school facilities and personnel to send flyers with the false information home. Superintendent Charles Littlefield admitted he authorized the flier’s emailing to parents, by the way. He said he did it at the Warrant Article Committee’s request, but we’re still waiting for proof they acted as the public body they are to make the request. Speaking of Chucky the Super, Warrant Article 9 asks voters to establish a committee to evaluate whether or not the town should remain part of S A U Fifteen.
In Goffstown all eyes will be on the race for Planning Board as those in the town’s political power structure seek to oust incumbent Chairman John Hikel and Mark Warden. Retiring Selectman Phil D’Avanza suddenly announced his candidacy as the filing period came to a close as did former Planning Board Chairman Attorney Jim Raymond. It’s been a bitterly personal campaign, particularly against Hikel, as unfounded allegations have been made about conflicts of interest and code of conduct violations by former Selectman Scott Gross and local political hack Pam Manney, among others. Girard at Large took heat from this crew for exposing a surprise retirement party for D’Avanza the town was supporting by allowing paid town staff, including Planning Director Brian Rose and Town Administrator Sue Desrussieux to send emails soliciting employes to purchase tickets for the event and using town offices and employees to sell them. State Representative John Burt clashes with Budget Committee Chairman Peter Georgantas for the Board of Selectmen seat vacated by D’Avanza. Burt announced his candidacy before D’Avanza announced his retirement. The same group opposing Hikel and Warden is opposing Burt, a former member of the Budget committee supporting Georgantas.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Bedford voters will speak as to whether they want to be colonized as invaders Matt Philips and Arron Day are on the ballot for town council and school board respectively. The pair has been accused of all sorts of untrue things by Bedford political power broker Bill Greiner, a one time Town Councilor with development interests in town. Yesterday, we reported that nationally acclaimed investigative reporter Ben Swann of the Truth in Media Project announced a Right to Know Request made of the town involving Greiner. Today, we get to tell you that Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe, whose investigative reporting has exposed malfeasance by Planned Parenthood, the Obamacare Navigators, and voter fraud nationwide, including right here in New Hampshire has filed a Right to Know Request of his own. While it is similar to the one filed by Swann, O’Keefe names names of those whose communications with Greiner he wants to see. We’ve linked to the article in the Bedford Patch for the details. Also on the ballot in Bedford is a bond for, get this, thirty million dollars, to rebuild the town’s crumbling roads.
Manchester’s School Board meeting last night had some points of interest. The proposed changes to the head lice policy were referred to committee for further review and Ward 9 Committeeman Arthur Beaudry bellyached about hiring an interim principal at Central. Assistant Superintendent David Ryan released the first drafts of the Manchester Academic Standards and said that the English standards had been forwarded to content expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky for review and comment. He said Stotsky would dialogue with the English standards writers beginning at the high school level to help refine the standards. That, my friends, is good news. No word, however, on whether or not they’ve reached out to Dr. James Milgram or any other content expert on the math standards. We’ve got an inquiry in about that, so we’ll let you know. There was some angry discussion about why the district wasn’t spending a projected surplus to lower class sizes in the middle schools. Superintendent Debra Livingston had reasons, of course, not the least of which is that the surplus is merely projected and the teachers didn’t think it was good to break up their classes. She also the district was hiring long term subs to team teach bigger classes at McLaughlin Middle School noting others may follow. The marquee moment of the night, however, came as parents from Highland Goffe’s Falls School, including P T A President Victoria Sullivan, alerted the board to the showing of a “good touch bad touch” video under an assertive speech lesson. The parents were upset that they had no prior notice of the graphic video being shown and asked that the board see to it that they have the option to opt out, all of them noting how the video upset their children. That raised eyebrows as Ward Six’s Robyn Dunphy suggested all videos be reviewed if inappropriate touch content is being shown under a speech heading. Beaudry wondered why the administration wasn’t following board policy on the matter and Livingston said she agreed with the parents and was working with the principal to correct the matter at the school and in the district.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.