To the Manchester Board of School Committee: Wake up and vote ‘yes on redistricting

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Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.

The following editorial is an open letter directed at the Board of the Manchester School District as they vote on the recommendation by the Committee on Redistricting Agenda at the April 19 Board of School Committee meeting at 7 p.m., to be aired on TV22 Government Access Station.

If you want to solve the real problems facing Manchester’s School District, tonight is your chance to finally move our school forward through redistricting, instead of waiting another 17 years.

If, once again you vote “no” on the same recommendations and start anew again in 2018 to make it an 18th year of failing to get the job done (not the first time), all those tax dollars will again be wasted that could have really gone into much-needed but missing educational programs in the middle schools  – like a nurse required in every school, the RSOs needed, or a full class curriculum in math, and a health curriculum within the middle schools.

Your “yes” votes in the past could have prevented our chronic overcrowding in classrooms for all these years, but you continued to vote “no” on what were the right recommendations. You voted “no” for political reasons that are not in the best interests of educating our children within our school system.

Your work need not be lost Wednesday night. Simply vote to do the right thing on the superintendent’s Phase One plan, which will move redistricting forward. It’s not very hard. Just vote “yes” for once, and let’s start solving this long overdue and costly problem that you as elected Board Members have the power to solve. All other New Hampshire school districts get to solve this same problem once every 10 years. yet we can’t after eight elections or 17 years of trying; we can not get it done right on the 17th time.

A “yes” Wednesday night is what you should do, so that you can finally set a solid foundation for our district, and put the problem under your belt, and then move the MSD forward so you can tackle the next pressing school district problems facing you.

Let us put this redistricting problem to bed, once and for all, while saving those tax dollars to educate our children. Tax dollars are not pennies, and are not meant to be continually thrown away while our educational resources are so scarce.

Do you have what it takes to get this done on the 17th try? A foundation may not be made in a day, but 17 years of trying to get that foundation going is too long, and your reluctance to take action continues wasting our education dollars.

Your “yes” vote tonight is the key to  finally solving the problems in this district that keep resurfacing, year after year, and without it you have useless PIECES of nothing to show for your efforts over the past 17 years gone by. We are a struggling district. You should be making this your one and only GOAL tonight, to start solving this badly needed part of the puzzle and to get it done, once and for all.

The solution is resting on your shoulders. It’s a problem that has been overshadowing everything else, and holding back every one of our children attending the Manchester School District. It’s also been the problem keeping you from moving forward to the tackle the rest of the problems that are facing you as a board.

Until you vote “yes,” those 22 school buildings will remain just four walls standing on empty promises to our students. It will be left for you to solve once again, giving you a senseless 18th try at getting it done.

As our elected School Board members, you are the ones who have the power to actually solve what’s been a real problem in this district. No one else can do it.

But if you vote “no” for the 17th year again, you will be responsible for another $100,000 a year in wasted tax dollars – multiplied by 17 years, which is $1.7 million – and we’ve gotten nothing for it, except a school district that is weaker each year.

It was Thomas Edison who said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.” Well, the hard work has already been done for the last 17 straight years, costing us $1.7 million of wasted educational tax dollars that our children did not get for your political reasons. Shame on you – and you know who you are – so if the shoe fits, wear it in silence.

It’s not that our Board members are lazy or that you are incapable; it’s that some of you look at the district and shake your heads; you politicize the school system instead of doing the right thing for the district. Other school systems redistrict once every 10 years and get it right the first time –putting politics aside.

But many of you fantasize about million dollar contracts that take us no where – except reducing the teaching staff, without a savings, nor adequately allowing our MSD to solve its major problems or create more million dollar school programs that we cannot afford without hurting those existing school programs that take away the money from their successes.

You debate for hours whether athletic programs are officially elite, when you could be putting down a solid foundation for the MSD, yet you forget to solve the very problems that would allow the glue to solidify the foundation we need to move the district forward.

Instead of doing something for the children, you do all for your political groups of the special interests that exist throughout Manchester.

All those things you want for the children in their best interests can be realized to adequately educate every one of them, if you just set aside the politics once and for all and say “no” to the special interests that are not the majority in this district, and not in the best interest of Manchester schools.

But the road to excellence means nothing, if you don’t believe in voting “yes” after 17 years of voting “no” to redistrict the Manchester School District. Start building the Manchester School District and solve its crippling problems that you as a Board alone have the power to change.

Put your HEARTS into it and get the job done.

Your goals can finely take shape the minute you enter a “yes” vote tonight to move this long overdue district problem forward, and let the Superintendent do his job, without the injection first of the politics.

Never has there been such a powerful time as now in this election year to do the right thing. 

With a yes vote you can build that bridge to a better future for our children.

Residents, call your school board members and ask them to vote “yes” and make redistricting happen.

My name is Glenn RJ Ouellette and I am a candidate for Mayor in 2017. I have a one-hour live weekly Public Access TV Show on TV23 on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. and it repeats on  Saturday nights at 8 p.m.Monday at 9 a.m. and Tuesday at 1 p.m. I have been a resident of Manchester since August of 1986. I have been active on the local issues since 2000 and have been right on the issues, because I use common sense in coming to a conclusion of what is best for Manchester. I can be reached at

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Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!