Londonderry Schools Deliberative Session 2011

Full Length On-Demand Video of the 2011 Deliberative Session

With a room capacity of about 650 the Londonderry High School Cafeteria was set up with 500 chairs at 7pm Friday night. With lines forming from the entrance reaching down the ramp to the west side of the school the order was given to set up more chairs.

Justin Foster and Josh Villars Student Directors

Published and distributed with the written permission of Londonderry Schools. LHS TV Production student directors Justin Foster and Josh Villars.

With long lines the start was delayed and began with people still in line and streaming in.  Presentations began and at 7:56pm it was noted that the cable show broadcast on LEO21 was indicating 465 voters were in attendance at the meeting so far.

Quorum Issues related to the Charter

A brief explanation on the issue of the lawsuit by 3 voters was given by the moderator and that the charter was valid with the existing requirement for a quorum.

The Moderator John Michals explained in detail how the quorum works, including the fact that at anytime the vote is taken it would require 500 voters to vote.  “The majority would need to vote in the affirmative on a amendment for it to take affect.  He indicated as moderator he would assume that a quorum was present (once the 500 had been checked in) unless challenged and a quorum count was requested.”

By 8:11pm that number of voters had jumped to 480 as the lines of voters checking in began to thin.  Occasionally during the evening a bubble of voters would arrive, one set came as the father daughter dance wrapped up at the nearby Matthew Thornton School.

At 8:50 while presentations were still going on it was announced that we had reached 500 voters that had checked in.  It too was clear that many were walking out, even at this point including some of the petitioners that had challenged the quorum.

The majority in attendance were less worried about possible further cuts than they were those cuts the school board had made to the budget.

Proposing an amendment, Bob Speiegelman stood at them microphone, made it, and was given instructions to provide it to the moderator in writing.  At the same time a quorum count was requested by Mike Brown.  by having voters tear off paper ballot “A” and place it in a box, the Moderators determined that 446 were still in attendance.  Short of the 500 required quorum.

Following that the board continued with the script through the rest of the articles.  All were moved on to the ballot voting on March 8th 2011, where all voters will be able to vote in the booth or by absentee ballot.

Still photos by Keith Tharp

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