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This new law superseded an existing law for proposed amendments for municipal charters, requiring the Commission to submit the “procedure” in addition to to the proposed amendments.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