Well, it’s Election Day in the towns tomorrow and a number of hotly contested and consequential votes are on tap.
In Hooksett, Warrant Article 3 has captured everybody’s attention. That’s the question on whether or not the town should enter into a long term, ten year contract with Pinkerton Academy that guarantees the town will be financially responsible for a minimum number of students, but won’t determine that minimum until after the third year.
Organizers in favor of the question have deployed scare tactics on multiple fronts. For parents concerned about where their kids might be able to go high school, this is the quote un quote “last chance” they have for a deal with Pinkerton, as if the school with declining enrollment will somehow not allow Hooksett to send students that will provide them bring them with the revenues needed to support their infrastructure.
For taxpayers concerned about cost, this contract will bring quote unquote “financial stability” to the town and guard against future tax increases, as if tuition won’t go up because declining enrollments will somehow not be assigned to the town on a per pupil basis as required by the contract.
And, to those who want choices for their kids, proponents say approving this contract is the only way to have a system that doesn’t rely on Manchester, because somehow, having only one school system that can take all of their kids would deprive students of their other choices.
In the Timberlane Regional School District, the anonymous assaults from the nameless administrators of various social media sites against Donna Green seemed to have stopped after our Right to Know inquiry which discovered that School Board Member Rob Collins was responsible for requesting information about legal fees, which was then used to smear Green.
However, a new controversy erupted as Green posted a blog urging voters to examine whether or not their school board representatives could be truly independent. In the blog, she notes several elected officials whose spouses or other family members work for the district and notes her election opponent is married to a district teacher.
In an related matter, the crowd that’s been torturing Green over her use of the Right to Know Law are also, interestingly, championing the bill proposed by Manchester Democratic State Rep. Patrick Long and co-sponsored by Hooksett Republican State Rep David Hess that would allow districts to assess labor costs for Right to Know requests in advance of their being fulfilled. Seems they get that if this bill becomes law, it will cut down on people’s ability to file requests, which, in the Timberlane Regional School District, is exactly what they want to see and they aren’t the only ones, that’s for sure.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
In Windham, things have gotten really ugly as Board of Selectman Vice Chairman Al Letizio, Jr. has accused school board candidate Tom Murray of lying about an endorsement from State Rep. Mary Griffin, the town’s, beloved and revered ninety two year old political grandmother. He contacted Griffin and wrote on his Facebook page quote “Mary was with me yesterday when she saw this flyer for the first time and she was astonished to see it. She told me she did not write it and did not authorize it to be written. She went on to explain that this picture was taken at Tom Murray’s request when he was interviewed for her cable show, interviews she conducted with all School Board candidates. Although she told me that the image of her signature which appears on the flyer is her signature, she did not place it there and wonders where the signature was taken from. Mary told me that she respects and supports all the candidates running for School Board equally. She was disturbed and unhappy to see this flyer with a her likeness and the likeness of her signature applied to words she never wrote or authorized to be written. She was going to ask Tom Murray to stop using it immediately and wants all Windham residents to know that.
In reply, Murray fired back quote “I’ve attached once again a copy of Representative Mary Griffin’s letter of support with her original signature. Your gross misrepresentation of the facts has severely damaged my candidacy for School Board, and my reputation as a business owner in this community. The First Amendment does not provide you with a right to slander and libel my character with statements that you know are not true.” He had more to say about it, of course, and so will Kimberly Morin who broke the story later this morning in Politically Buzed.
In Goffstown tomorrow, voters will weigh in in whether or not they want to replace their town administrator with a town manager and totally change their form of government because former selectman Scott Gross and twenty five folks signed a petition said it should be done. The town’s selectmen aren’t so sure. Voters will also weigh in on whether or not to change zoning laws to require three acres of land before multi unit developments can be built in current “R2” zones. Click here for our interview with the authors of the Citizens Petition Warrant Article.
The draft of a letter the Manchester School Board may send home to advise parents of their legal rights to refuse assessments for their kids has hit a snag: It’s called being drafted by an administration that really doesn’t want to do it.
Yes, the drafted the letter, but parents would be hard pressed given what they wrote to refuse to have their kids participate. I mean, after all, who doesn’t want to know if their kids are learning or doesn’t want their kids to participate in a test that’s designed to help the district better teach them make sure their curriculum is aligned to standards?
Well one parent isn’t interested. Her name is Stephanie Burnes and she’s penned a letter parents can use to refuse their children’s participation. She paints a less rosy picture of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, noting they’re a National test and part of the Common Core National Standards among other things. We’ve published her letter and will deal with the school district’s letter this morning.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large Hour ___ is next!