Manchester Ward 5 School Committeeman Jeremy Dobson’s house is up for sale. According to a local Realtor, Dobson listed his home at 16 Huntington Avenue for sale on October 8, 2021. According to the Multiple Listing Service, it went under agreement on October 12, 2021. The property is currently listed in the MLS as “pending.”
After receiving information regarding Dobson’s intention to leave not just Ward 5 but Manchester itself, Girard at Large confirmed that Dobson closed on a home at 515 Old Coach Road in New Boston on September 17, 2021. According to records on file with the town, the property was listed for sale on July 7, 2021, about one week before the city’s candidate filing period for the 2021 election opened.
Dobson ran unopposed for reelection after former School Committeewoman Lisa Freeman had her name removed from the ballot because she and her family decided to sell their home prior to the election. While Dobson claims to still be living at the Ward 5 property, sources say his wife and children are living in their New Boston home and that Dobson intends to follow as soon as the pending sale closes. Girard at-Large has learned that Dobson’s children are no longer enrolled in Manchester’s schools. Expect a letter of resignation in the near future.
The situation has many in Manchester upset given that it appears as if Dobson never had any intention of serving a second term.
“Why run if you have no intention of serving,” asked Freeman, who is now chair of the Manchester Republican Committee. “Did he run to prevent someone Democrats didn’t want from winning the election,” Freeman wondered, noting that her name was removed from the ballot after the filing period closed. If Dobson hadn’t been on the ballot, Freeman would have been unopposed for the seat.
No doubt, that would have been unacceptable to the state and local Democrat parties which targeted her for defeat in 2019. She lost the seat by just 14 votes after a fierce barrage of negative ads launched at her by city and statewide Democratic Party organizations.
Intentions notwithstanding, the Ward 5 seat will soon be vacated, leaving it up to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to appoint a replacement.
Normally, the ward alderman would nominate a candidate for the board’s approval. However, that “norm” was derailed when Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh nominated retired teacher Ken Roy to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ward 12 School Committeewoman Kelly Thomas.
That nomination created a contest for former State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, who was nominated by Ward 12 Alderman Keith Hirschmann. Gonzalez won the seat with seven votes to Roy’s five.
Gonzalez won election to the seat convincingly over Roy in the November 2nd election.
Ward 5 Alderman Tony Sapienza, who broke with board tradition to vote for Roy against Gonzalez, will likely nominate a replacement for Dobson. Speculation centers on Kathy Staub, the former at-Large Committeewoman defeated by Richard Girard in 2015. Staub, a Ward 5 resident, was defeated by Freeman in 2017 for the seat.
Expect at-Large Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur to nominate someone for the seat, especially if Sapienza intends to nominate Staub.