Charter Commission set to review AG concerns over competing laws

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School charter commission from March 10 in-person meeting. Screenshot/MPTS

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Manchester School District Charter Commission is set to meet on Wednesday afternoon after confusion between two conflicting state laws over the commission’s proposed amendments to the city charter.

Last week, Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Chong Yen sent a letter to Manchester School District Charter Commission Chairman Michael Lopez indicating that the Commission’s recommended amendments to the city charter would need to be resent to the Attorney General’s Office for further review.

Those recommendations were received by the Attorney General’s Office on June 5.  However, a piece of legislation specifically relating to the Charter Commission that became law last year requires the commission to submit “recommendations for a procedure” on a ballot question for proposed amendments to the city charter in November 2020.

This new law superseded an existing law for proposed amendments for municipal charters, requiring the Commission to submit the “procedure” in addition to to the proposed amendments.

Lopez declined to comment for this story.

The new law does not specify a deadline for the wording of any amendments to be approved and finalized before heading to the ballot in November. The existing law indicates a Sept. 4 deadline for the amendment to go before voters as they head to the polls on the first Tuesday in November. However, legally the ballot question would be presented as a special municipal election rather than part of state and federal elections and add and additional ballot for voters.

About Andrew Sylvia 1728 Articles
Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and license to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.