MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Board of Aldermen will appoint a new member of the Manchester School Board at their next meeting from a pool of four nominees, although that time table became a point of discussion during Tuesday’s meeting.
That discussion came after and during a motion to accept with regret the resignation of Board of School Committee member Nancy Tessier, a motion that passed unanimously.
Tessier, a former elementary school principal, resigned her seat in late August.
Over recent months, Tessier missed several meetings due to issues related to health problems.
Ward 3 Alderman Tim Baines requested that the board convene a special meeting to hear the qualifications of any citizens seeking the appointment.
Baines received support from Ward 10 Alderman Bill Barry, as well as Ward 6 Alderman Elizabeth Moreau, with Moreau adding her support for amending the city’s charter to allow for special elections in circumstances such as these.
Alderman-at-Large Dan O’Neil also voiced support for Baines’ idea, stating that he had not yet gotten time to talk in depth with residents telling him they were interested in the seat.
However, the general consensus of the board stood in opposition to Baines’ idea, with several Aldermen stating the urgency of filling Tessier’s seat as well as the viewpoint those seeking the seat were already approaching Aldermen regarding their candidacy, and Aldermen in return could ask questions of prospective candidates on their own time.
Baines’ motion failed on an 8-6 vote and a motion by Ward 5 Alderman Tony Sapienza to suspend the rules and take an immediate vote on nominees also was defeated on an 8-6 vote.
Following the defeat of those two motions, the Aldermen will now decide on Tessier’s replacement at their next scheduled meeting. Tessier’s term expires in 2019.
Early nominees included former Board of School Committee member Deborah Langton, former Central High School principal John Rist, former Alderman/State Rep and current ex-officio Planning Board member Pat Long.
Ward 8 Alderman John Cataldo also nominated New Hampshire Real Estate Commission attorney Michael Porter later in the meeting.