Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas announced the scheduling of six additional dates for the Mayoral Town Hall forums he planned prior to the November Third general election. Gatsas called on challenger Joyce Craig to join him for town hall meetings in each of the city’s twelve wards, but Craig only agreed to six. Gatsas, said he believed it was important for taxpayers in every ward to have the opportunity to hear his vision for the city, ask questions and bring issues to the forefront, even if his opponent won’t join him in all twelve wards.
The mayor added four weeknight events, including one in Ward Five at the Beech Street School on October nineteenth, in Ward Eleven at Gossler Park on the twenty second, in Ward Three in the Aldermanic Chambers on the Twenty Seventh and in Ward Twelve on the twenty ninth at Northwest Elementary. He added two weekend events, one in Ward Seven at Belmont Hall on the twenty fourth and on the thirty first in Ward Six at Moe Joe’s Family Restaurant. We’ll post the complete schedule as it exists today and update it as it changes.
Meanwhile, the Craig campaign officially announced its endorsement by the Manchester Eduction Association, an endorsement we told you about some time ago. In a statement released late last week, M E A President Sue Ellen Hannan said Craig’s quote “long term record of understanding and supporting public education in Manchester is a clear message for all parents, educators and citizens that she is our best hope to move our schools forward.”
The Fiscal Times released its rankings of the top ten cities for start up businesses. Manchester, the only city in the entire Northeast to be chosen, topped the list, beating out the likes of Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio, among others. We’ve linked to the story from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
Oh, and just a brief note, the Manchester School District finally released the information on which board members take the health and dental benefits. At-Large member Kathy Staub, Ward Eight Member Erika Connors and the entire West Side delegation, John Avard from Ward Ten, Kate Desrochers from Ward Eleven and Connie Van Houten from Ward twelve all take the district’s health and dental benefits at a cost to the taxpayer of over seventy one thousand five hundred dollars.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Looks like Timberlane Regional School District Superintendent Earl Metzler has had a change of heart when it comes to communicating information to the district’s budget committee. Last week, we reported that Business Administrator George Stokinger had quarreled with the budget committee over its vote directing him to provide live spreadsheets for their use. Having ignored a similar request made in March, Stokinger said he would take their directive up with the district’s legal counsel, arguing the district is only obligated to supply documents in accordance with the state’s Right to Know Law. That drew a rebuke from committee member Josh Horns of Danville, who reminded Stokinger that committee requests are not Right to Know Requests and are to be fulfilled per state law. On Friday at Noon, just hours after we aired our story, this email came from Metzler’s secretary Cathy Belcher, who we think really runs the place, saying quote:
Hello Board and Budget Committee members,
Dr. Metzler wishes to announce that he will be implementing some changes as it relates to the format of budget information. In an effort to assist the Budget Committee in their budget preparation work, budget information will be made available in Excel spreadsheet form. It is important to note that only district generated spreadsheets/reports will be presented as official district documents; individual work product will not be and all such documents will need to clearly indicate they are unofficial.
Dr. Metzler believes this will help mitigate the reason behind the reluctance to provide the financials in live format in the first place as there has been concern shared by many that individual spreadsheets may be presented as official Timberlane documents in which the information contained within them has not been verified.
He expects the first of such budget information to be posted to both the School Board’s and Budget Committee’s SharePoint sites by end of day today.
And thus, there is joy in Mudville.
The Hooksett Budget Committee recently met and started to get things together for the coming season. Patrick Gosselin was elected Chairman, former school board member David Pearl was elected Vice Chairman and Tabitha Jennings was elected Secretary.
Town Councilor Marc Miville told the group that the council is considering changing the town’s election from May to March day to coincide with school district elections. That will impact the committee’s work given all budgets would have to be done by the end of January if it happens.
The committee voted to have the school budget presented on November nineteenth and will review the current school budget on November twelfth. It also decided to have the school superintendent present the budget approved by the school board to avoid receiving hypothetical, preliminary budget information that somehow never seems to actually materialize.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!