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Request for special meeting stirs tensions in Hooksett

HOOKSETT — Two school board members are at odds over the chairman’s request for a special meeting.

Chairman Trisha Korkosz has called for a meeting on Oct. 22 to establish a format for the public forum on the city’s high school situation. The forum is scheduled for Oct. 29. Both meetings will be at Cawley Middle School.

While board member David Pearl said he was ready to discuss the forum at the last board meeting, Korkosz said that with fellow board member Phil Denbow not attending, it was important to have the special meeting because the issue is so important.

“I think the majority of the board believes that the start of our presentation on why an anchor school and satellite schools is important. The whole board needs to be involved, it’s our business what we are doing, and I think we have to give it the proper amount of attention. And I think when you free up time to discuss one item, you come up with more positive input,” Korkosz said.

The district is currently in negotiations with Pinkerton Academy in Derry to replace Manchester as the district’s main sending school starting next year. The district is also working on several memorandums of understanding with potential satellite schools to establish agreements for students who don’t want to attend Pinkerton. Any agreement with Pinkerton will have to be approved by voters in a warrant article in March, and Korkosz has previously said it is very important that the board engage the community so they know how important it is that the contract pass.

Pearl disagreed, and said the board’s time would be better spent addressing other concerns, like establishing a policy for how students who wish to attend schools other than Pinkerton will be assigned.

“I said let’s do this now, because as things are, there will only be a week until the public forum and that is not enough time to set up format. I made a motion to use the same format as our successful 2012 public forum, but I was voted down,” Pearl said.

Pearl said the format has been on the agenda for weeks, but like many agenda items, it has been getting pushed down the line.

“(John Lyscars and my) motions are voted down without discussion, and we are starting to build up our agenda, that is a problem. This board is an abomination, and I am embarrassed to sit on this board. I don’t think there is any will of some board members to work with others, and I have no faith in how the chair is running our meetings. It is what it is.”

However, Korkosz said that the agenda is growing because some board members have a tendency to add discussions of immaterial issues to the agenda.

“I think there are a number of agenda items at the bottom of our agenda that don’t focus on the business of the school district, our budget or the high school plan, and as we have time we will address issues on the bottom of the agenda. But on the forefront of what we need to do is address our budget and the high school plan.”

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