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City charter vote: Don't forget it

November 05. 2012 6:44PM

Manchester voters elect nine members to the city charter commission today. Those nine people will be tasked with amending the city's charter, which is essentially the city's constitution. It's the document that lays out the operational structure of the city government.

Why does the city have a school board that sets school policies but is dependent on the aldermen for money? Because it's in the charter. Why does the city have two at-large aldermen and school-board members who are elected citywide and do not represent a specific ward? Because it's in the charter. Why is the city welfare commissioner elected rather than appointed? Because it's in the charter.

The charter commission can amend these and other charter provisions. Among the issues that probably will be discussed by the next commission: employee contracts, whether the school system should be a department rather than a separate entity run by the school board, whether we should have at-large aldermen and school-board members, and what kinds of boards and commissions the city should have to help run departments.

The New Hampshire Union Leader endorses seven candidates for the commission. We include in this list B.J. Perry, whom we should have had in our list of endorsed candidates last week. Our seven candidates are:

Skip Ashooh, Tom De Blois, Rich Girard, Will Infantine, B.J. Perry, Tammy Simmons and Dave Wihby.

When you vote in Manchester today, please don't forget to vote for charter commission members. It is your city. Take charge of it.

Local Editorial Manchester

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