Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas released a thirteen point plan to combat the heroin epidemic yesterday at a meeting of the Special Committee on Alcohol, Other Drugs and Youth Services. He said the plan, which he hinted was on the way in his regular interview last week, was developed in conjunction with Police Chief Nick Willard, Fire Chief Jim Burkush and Health Director Tim Soucy, among others. There are thirteen objectives the mayor wants to accomplish in the next sixty days.
The proposal comes on the heels of Gatsas asking Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to declare a Public Health Emergency to step up the state’s response to the growing crisis. Rather than delve into the details, many of which will be familiar to what we’ve already heard, we’ll simply wait for tomorrow’s interview with His Honor so he can explain it to you himself. In the meantime, we’ll see if we can obtain a copy of it in writing and publish it to Girard at Large dot com. Gatsas Heroin Plan
Ward One Alderman and mayoral candidate Joyce Craig didn’t seemed impressed with the mayor’s plan, by the way. She heckled him over not including the continued expansion of Medicaid given the testimony heard at last weeks drug forum about there being a need for more money to fund treatment. Gatsas basically said it was a state issue and not his call to make. Craig wants him to lobby for its continuation and said she was going to look for a resolution from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in support of its continuation.
The special committee heard from several folks in addition to the mayor last night. Among them was Jack Wozmak, the state’s so called Drug Czar. He doesn’t like the title, just so you know. Says it misrepresents what he’s actually there to do. He gave about a half hour presentation on his efforts to corral the spiraling epidemic. In doing so, he praised the city’s school district for its prevention programs and the city in general for its efforts. Of note, he said he was talking to Department of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry about embedding drug prevention programs into curricula across the state, rather than having it be just a topic dealt with individually.
Mayor Gatsas also had a request before the Committee on Traffic and Public Safety to install video cameras at the city’s senior center. Turns out that the interim management team noticed, among many other items, there’s no security there for the seniors and he’d like to change that. A series of recommendations from the interim management team will be presented at tonight’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. We’ll do what we can to publish them today.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The incumbent mayor, welfare commissioner, aldermen and school board members in Manchester had until July thirty first to file their second quarter financial reports to reflect any and all expenses and receipts from the beginning of March until the end of June. All those who filed were posted to the city’s Web site yesterday.
The only notable filing came from Mayor Ted Gatsas who reported raising more than a whopping two hundred fifty two thousand dollars for his reelection campaign. The only other incumbent reporting any donations was Ward Ten Alderman Bill Barry, who raised just over twenty four hundred bucks. Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig reported no receipts or expenditures as an incumbent. Look for her to release what she’s raised and spent in her mayoral bid sometime between the fifth and fourteenth of September when campaign committees are required to make their first financial report.
In a press release yesterday, Gatsas said his campaign set a fund raising record and said he was quote “truly humbled by the positive sentiment that my contributors have passed on to me with regards to the quality of life in the city and the positive effect my leadership has had on the city for the past six years.” He had more to say about the campaign in general, and we’ve linked to his statement and to the story we wrote separately regarding the filing, including those who didn’t file.
In a follow up to a story we discussed on the air yesterday, we received an email from Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston who said she was quote “working on” our request for copies of the administrator contracts voted on by the school board’s Coordination Committee last week. We asked for the contracts and were basically told we couldn’t have them. We had something to say about that on the air yesterday and who knows, maybe someone was listening. Anyway, as soon as we get them, we’ll post them.
One of the notable things to come from last night’s Republican Presidential Forum was former New York Governor George Pataki, who is pro-Choice and has avoided social issues as if he were allergic to them, saying Planned Parenthood quote “has a horrific disregard for basic human life. They should be defunded.”
Unfortunately, every Democrat in the United States Senate disagreed, blocking Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul’s bill to strip them of funding. Interestingly, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, also from Kentucky, was one of just two Republicans to vote to block the bill from a vote.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal announced he’d terminated the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s presidential campaign issued a statement noting he’d defunded Planned Parenthood in two thousand eleven and proposed, as a state rep., a bill that banned trafficking in aborted baby parts.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now