An interesting and long meeting at the Hooksett School Board last night as another thirty seven thousand dollars fell to the budget knife. The school board has now acted to remove over four hundred thousand dollars in the budget proposed by Superintendent Charles P. Littlefield, who asked for one point three million dollars more than the current year. Another budget session is scheduled for this afternoon at four in the Media Center of the Cawley Middle School.
In other business, the board voted to allow the six families whose children weren’t chosen in the lottery for Bow High School to ask Bow to let them attend on their own. Amy Boilard and David Pearl were opposed. Given a recent email sent by Bow Superintendent Dean Cascadden to Hooksett school officials, it is unlikely the exceptions will be made. Bow made ten slots available for incoming Hooksett freshmen this year and Cascadden expressed concern given their numbers that more could be accepted. He said that the earliest Bow’s school board would be able to consider any requests would be December fourth, which is after the deadline to report numbers to Manchester.
Speaking of Manchester, the Hooksett School Board also voted in favor of Manchester Ward Seven School Committeeman Ross Terrio’s suggestion that the two districts extend the current tuition agreement for one year at cost plus ten percent and deep sixed the Manchester board’s proposed five year agreement which would set tuition at cost plus ten percent or twelve thousand dollars per student plus two percent and include a hundred and seventy one thousand dollars in annual capital costs. Expect them to eventually get around to sending a counter proposal. The meeting adjourned at quarter to eleven, leaving consideration of a renewed contract offer from Pinkerton Academy for tonight’s meeting.
Manchester Police Chief David Mara announced yesterday that a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) will soon be in the city to examine all aspects of the Manchester Police Department’s policies, procedures, management, operations and support services. The assessors arrive on December seventh. The assessment will be the seventh re-accreditation since the department was first accredited in nineteen ninety. A team of two assessors, composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies around the nation, will once again verify nationally recognized, state of the art standards which the department has maintained for over two decades as part of this voluntary process. Mara said achieving and maintaining national accreditation is quote “a highly established accomplishment and recognition of professionalism for Law Enforcement agencies. The Manchester Police Department is extremely proud to be placed in such high regard within the law enforcement field.” End quote. Assessors will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and others where compliance can be verified. Assessors report to the Commission, which makes final determination on re-accreditation. The department must comply with 4 7 7 standards in order to gain accredited status.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Several committees of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen met last night and it’s clear the aldermen have entered holiday mode. At the Committee on Bills on Second Reading, the zoning change that would allow about thirty five acres of to be transformed into hundreds of units of high density rental housing was passed literally without any question asked or discussion had. The changes proposed by Ward Twelve Alderman Keith Hirschmann to the city’s ordinance governing the licensing of video poker machines did get one question. It was from Alderman at-Large Dan O’Neil who said quote “can someone remind me what were doing here?” I’m thinking that question could apply to lots of things involving the board. Anyway, that ordinance was approved by the committee, too.
The Committee on Public Safety, Health and Traffic approved a proposed ordinance banning glass bottles in city parks during concerts or other sponsored events approved by the city. This was done in wake of the riots in Keene following their annual pumpkin festival.
The committee also received and filed a request from the Polaris Charter School to provide some sort of protective barrier between their playground and the corner of Kelly and Cartier streets. There have been three accidents there in the past year, one of them serious enough to knock a car through their fencing and into their playground. Ward Three Alderman Patrick Long seemed particularly opposed to providing relief, fearing it would set precedent. School representatives asked for bollards along the curb-line, similar to those at Beech Street School, as stage one of a two stage barrier system to protect the playground. In an email to parents who petitioned the committee on the matter, Ward Twelve Alderman Keith Hirschmann basically told parents they weren’t a city school and therefore the city had no obligation to help and that they should go to the state to see if they can get help there. Don’t worry, we’ll post the email so you can read it for yourself.
Will Candia ever see an end to the Crime Wave that’s battered it for countless months now? Listeners of this show are, no doubt, familiar with the Lock It or Lose It pleas of the Candia Police Department as a rash of thefts from cars continues to be reported. In addition to that, Candia’s finest issued seventy nine motor vehicle warnings last month and seven summonses. Plus they arrested a whopping ten folks between October seventeenth and November thirteenth. Obviously, given their ever shifting reporting periods, they’re desperate to hide what’s happening in their tiny town! Drug, assault, unlawful possession and transportation of alcohol, disobeying a police officer and protective custody for alcoholism are among the offenses that had folks hauled away in cuffs. Just when you think things are taking a turn for the better, we get a report like this. At least the Zombie Apocalypse has been beaten back. Stay strong, little Candia. Stay strong!
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.