The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be in session tomorrow night and, of course, there will be the requisite committee meetings beforehand. Among the meetings to be held, the Special Committee on Energy Contracts and Related Matters will convene tomorrow night to review proposals from the two remaining bidders from the city’s Request for Proposals to install L E D street lights.
In looking at the agenda, it doesn’t appear as if Committee Chair Bill Shea will get what he wanted when he agreed to hold the meeting. After an epic squabble of the board several weeks ago, Shea agreed to convene the meeting if and only if it was to review the recommendation of the Public Works Department, not to sort through bids and the competing claims of the bidders.
Well, on the agenda, without recommendation are revised bids from Philips North America and Siemens. It looks like this one has become too politically hot to touch for Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard, who despite an onslaught of politically charged questions, comments and posturing, held fast to the department’s recommendation of Philips in the original meeting.
In a last ditch effort in January, Siemens forwarded a new “best and final offer” via email at five P M before that original board meeting, giving Board Chair Dan O’Neil, the primary agitator against Philips, enough to cause chaos and delay the board’s decision. At play here is some pretty intense union politics as Siemens is a union shop, employing members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 4 9 0, and Philips is non-union. We’ve posted the communication to the committee with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
Last week, we told you that the Bow Police Department was warning of an I R S phone scam running through town. Well, today, we get to tell you that it’s running through the state. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Officehas issued a Consumer Alert regarding the phone scams. We’ve published it in full at Girard at large dot com and linked to it from this news read. Suffice it to say, unless you have anything from the I R S in writing, don’t give any personal information over the phone and don’t accede to demands to send money via prepaid cards or wires and don’t believe threats of arrest made over the phone.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The efforts of Timberlane Regional School BoardMember Donna Green to obtain public information have been thwarted yet again. In apost to her blog, Green asks supporters to donate reflective tape to the school district so it can affix it to the file cabinets which house the district’s invoices once they reappear. Seems that, with Business Administrator George Stokinger on vacation, nobody could find the filing cabinets housing legal invoices Green sought to quantify various social media posts on Timberlane associated sites accusing her of costing the district thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Green said the district had more than a day’s notice that she would be by to review the invoices and would bring her own scanner to make whatever copies she needed. She arrived as she said she would, along with Budget Committee Member Cathy Gorman and Atkinson Citizens for Fair Evaluations Chairman Leon Artus only to be told that with Stokinger out, the files could not be found. Apparently, neither could the telephone or email accounts, neither or which were used to notify Green that she’d have to wait until Stokinger returned to get her info. Green will be in court later this week arguing a lawsuit she filed against the district over violations of the Right to Know Law.
In a related, but not related story, Girard at Largefiled a Right to Know Request with Timberlane Superintendent Earl Metzler last Thursday seeking similar information. After we saw a social media post accusing Green of costing the district six thousand five hundred eighty two dollars in unspecified legal fees, “not counting staff time dedicated to responding to seventeen right to know requests from the Greens and associated individuals,” we filed a Right to Know Request asking Metzler for any and all invoices associated with the claims that Green had cost the district legal fees and a Right to Know Request asking for the identities of any and all people who’ve requested information on the legal fees allegedly caused by the Greens. The reason is simple: The numbers had to come from somewhere inside the district offices, which is either disseminating it themselves to the anonymous administrators of the social media pages in question, posting it directly onto the pages itself, or supplying it in response to Right to Know Requests. The only other option is Green’s critics are making it all up.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.