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Donna Soucy steps up: And away from her commitment

Donna Soucy, in her fourth term on Manchester's Board of School Committee, used that seat as a stepping stone to the state Senate, to which she was elected last fall. There is nothing wrong with that. But apparently she has found that she no longer needs the school board. The stone had already been stepped. Last Monday she resigned her seat.

Soucy cited as a reason for her resignation the pressing demands of being a state senator. Could the demands of serving simultaneously in both positions be any greater than those felt by Mayor Ted Gatsas when he served as a senator and an alderman?

When Frank Guinta was a state representative and an alderman from Manchester, he resigned his House seat after newly elected U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley offered him a job. The same thing? No. More than a month after the election, Guinta was offered a position that required him, under federal law, to resign his House seat. He kept his aldermanic seat. Soucy simply chose to keep other commitments.

Soucy might have given up some other duties so she could continue serving the people of Ward 6. Her position as chief financial officer of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, perhaps. But no, she is keeping the commitment to her party and dropping the commitment to her city constituents. What could say more about her priorities than that?

Soucy resigned abruptly, leaving Ward 6 without representation on the school board during a critical time. The search for a superintendent is under way. The board will have to vote on a replacement for retiring Superintendent Thomas Brennan sometime fairly soon. As Ward 6 Alderman Garth Corriveau said, "It's hard to imagine a more important vote that the school board might be taking this year. I want our Ward 6 represented on that."

The voters of Ward 6 surely want the same thing. It is too bad that Soucy left them without their elected representative during this process.


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