Planned Pinardhood hit an unplanned speed bump as Goffstown Planning Board Chairman John Hikel, a member of the ad hoc committee overseeing the development of the area’s master plan, secured the that board’s unanimous support on a motion that effectively removed the existing residential areas from the planning effort. Hikel said his motion was designed to refocus the effort on the development of the commercial industrial corridor along Mast Road and avoid certain defeat at the polls in March when town voters will have the final say. Reiterating what he’s said in interviews here on Girard at Large, Hikel said the narrower focus was the only thing he’d consider supporting, noting that was supposed to be the original focus of the planning effort which, he said, had wandered far off that original mission. Hikel’s motion seemed to mollify neighborhood opponents of the plan who’ve hammered the ad hoc committee and the town’s selectmen with their concerns. They would rather the whole plan simply be stopped and the grant paid back. That’s not going to happen. The committee’s work is far from done, however as the Community Plan part of this effort goes to the Planning Board on September twelfth. The so called SMART code, which governs zoning and building regulations, will be work shopped by the ad hoc committee over a yet to be determined schedule of meetings which is likely to start after they’ve finished the Community Plan. Their next meeting is at Town Hall on the twentieth.
Meanwhile, ad hoc committee member Tony Marts, who very vocally supported Hikel’s move last night, sent a letter to more than a hundred people yesterday defending his motives and participation on the Planned Pinardhood ad hoc committee. Questions have been raised by several in town regarding Marts’ participation on the committee given his past significant involvement in development projects and the potential windfall he might experience in that business if the proposed changes passed. In lashing out at what he mockingly referred to as news organizations, Marts stated he’d always been opposed to the expanded scope of the project and claimed that nobody bothered to contact him about the facts of his thirty plus years of community involvement. Which brings us to another point in this story and that’s the town’s refusal to release the contact information for those serving on the committee. As reported yesterday, town officials have refused to release that information to Girard at Large claiming it would be an invasion of committee members’ privacy. We’ve posted that legal opinion as well as Marts’ more than interesting letter with this news cast at Girard at Large dot com. You can bet there’s more on this story during this morning’s show.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
What happens if the legislature puts a stop to the implementation of Common Core by the state board and department of education? That’s what Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas asked School Superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston at Monday’s meeting of the Board of School Committee. “I don’t know,” was the reply. Gatsas asked the question during a discussion the board stumbled into on the topic. Earlier in the meeting, Livingston said the district was busily working to align its curriculum to the Common Core’s so called standards. We’ve noted regularly that the district’s moving in a direction that has yet to actually be adopted by the state, the desires of the education folks notwithstanding. We’ll ask Gatsas what was going through his mind when he asked the question later in the show. Our informative series on the topic continues tomorrow with Jonathan Butcher of the Goldwater Institute in Arizona.
A Manchester man has hit the jackpot, literally. Richard Higgins went down to Bunny’s Superette on Webster Street and bought a ticket in the Lucky For Life game. He won. While the prize is valued at three hundred and sixty five thousand dollars, the press release from the Lottery said he’d get a thousand bucks a day for life. Let’s hope he lives a long one! Bunny’s seems to have a lucky shine to it, by the way. It sold a million dollar Powerball winner in May and another in June. It also sold a thirty thousand dollar winner in the Megabucks Plus game.
Finally this morning, We send our congratulations to Steve and Christine Duffley on the occasion of their twenty fifth wedding anniversary which came and went yesterday. We got an email from their son, our Number One Fan, Christopher Duffley during yesterday’s show, which, of course, we didn’t see until afterwards. Christine, by the way is running for the school board in Ward 12. So our congrats to the Duffley’s with our thanks to our Number One Fan for sharing that great news!