Laconia will write policy for how concession privileges will be awarded

LACONIA — In the wake of a recent miscommunication between the School District and the local Kiwanis Club over high school football game concessions, the Policy Subcommittee of the board will set the parameters that govern how school concessions and fundraisers are handled in the future.

The discussion triggered some dissension between a normally unified board about whether or not the district should even have a policy or whether concessions and fund-raising should be handled at the school level. No formal vote was taken.

Chair Joe Cormier said he worried that if the board gets involved in the concessions at the new Bank of New Hampshire Stadium then it could start a spiraling that leads to board involvement in every field or facility use, that are typically made by the building supervisors who are the principals.

As it stands now, there is no clear policy about who makes the decisions.

This ambiguity is what partially created the controversy that arose when the administration awarded the concession stand at home football games to Laconia Youth Football in exchange for a pledge of a $10,000 donation to the capital project to raise money for construction of the stadium

Traditionally the high school's Key Club — the youth arm of the Kiwanis Club — has manned the concession booth that generates income for the club's activities.

The dust-up stemmed from an apparent break down in communications between the administration and the Key Club advisers who are teachers. Although the decision was made during the peak of the capital campaign in the spring, it was allegedly not conveyed to the Kiwanians until two weeks before the football home opener and stadium dedication.

Outraged and feeling blind-sided, the Kiwanians appeared en mass at a School Board meeting to complain about both the lack of process and the lack of communication between the district and their organization.

Last night, Policy Subcommittee Chair Chris Guilmett said that after Superintendent Terri Forsten calls a few other districts to see how they handle concessions and facilities, the committee will create a policy that that delineates who makes the decisions in the hope that the full School Board will endorse it.

Other members of the Policy Subcommittee are Stacie Sirois and Beth Arsenault.