Superior Court sides with city on school charter amendment dispute

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Handwriting on the wall inside the Manchester School District offices. Photo/Carol Robidoux

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Monday, Hillsborough County Superior Court North Judge David A. Anderson sided with the City of Manchester over the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office regarding a procedural dispute regarding pending amendments to the Manchester City Charter.

Recently, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office challenged the legality of the amendments, which would give greater autonomy from the city to the Manchester School District and Manchester Board of School Committee, and change the name of the governing body to Manchester School Board.

Ward 3 Alderman and State Representative Pat Long, who introduced legislation to create the original School Charter Commission that helped craft the proposed charter amendments, expressed concern on Tuesday that the Attorney General’s Office would try to challenge the ruling before the deadline for a challenge on Thursday, but was pleased with the decision for now.

“I think the decision was awesome, I think the decision made clear where the Mayor and Aldermen have their authority,” said Long. “It’s ready for the ballot. The people know what it’s all about and will respond accordingly.”

According to City Clerk Matt Normand, the charter question will be on the ballot, with draft ballots being sent to the printers on Wednesday and final drafts being sent out on Friday.

A full copy of the decision can be found below.