District Six State Senator Sam Cataldo, Republican from Farmington, announced he will not seek reelection. Cataldo, a retired nuclear engineer and Air Force veteran, is serving his second term in the senate. Prior to being elected to the senate, he served four terms in the House. In a statement released yesterday, Cataldo said that it has been a pleasure to serve his constituents in Alton, Barnstead, Farmington, Gilmanton, New Durham and Rochester and he hopes to continue serving the citizens of New Hampshire in other capacities during his retirement.
A little closer to home, State Representative JR Hoell, Republican from Dunbarton, has announced he will seek the G O P nomination in Senate District Sixteen. Incumbent Senator David Boutin, Republican from Hooksett, announced he will not seek a sixth term. Hoell is serving his third term in the House, is married with four children, owns a business and is a mechanical engineer. In a statement announcing his candidacy, Hoell said he would work to cut taxes, improve transparency and fight for everyday hard working people who embrace traditional New Hampshire values of frugality, common sense and accountability.
Said Hoell, quote:
“In an environment today, where so many politicians are spending people out of their homes, laying excessive regulations on them and just disregarding what people want, my focus has and will always be to fight for the values of everyday people. Citizens are looking for a Senator who they know will keep government in check and to make New Hampshire a better place to live, work and play, and I will be that Senator.”
Hooksett Town Councilor Don Winterton is expected to announce his candidacy for the seat tomorrow. He’ll get his day started right here on Girard at Large with an early morning interview. District Sixteen includes Dunbarton, Bow, Hooksett, Candia and Manchester wards One, Two and Twelve.
The Manchester School District’s Twenty First Century Community Learning Centers program has been awarded a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Education to continue after school programming in three Manchester schools for another five years. The grant provides two-hundred forty-three thousand seven hundred fifty dollars to after school programs at the Beech Street, Northwest, and Henry Wilson elementary schools. The programs serve over two-thousand students each year across all grades.
The Hooksett Police Department is looking for a white van that thieves used to get away after stealing many items including fishing rods and reels and a Crosman air rifle from a merchandise trailer at Bass Pro Shop on May ninth. The vehicle is a Chevy Astro Van and has a distinct area of chipped paint on the hood and the passenger side headlight was out at the time of the theft. The department is asking anyone with information about the vehicle, suspect, or incident please call Officer Christopher Buker at 6 2 4 1 5 6 0 extension 4 0 5. We’ve posted a picture of the van taken by security cameras with this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Manchester School Board voted to create a subcommittee to search for its next superintendent of schools at its meeting last night. Vice Chairman Arthur Beaudry said he believed a committee could find a permanent replacement by October first, Superintendent Debra Livingston’s last day on the job. Beaudry named Ward Two Committee Member Debra Langton chair and appointed himself, Lisa Freeman from Ward Five, Ross Terrio from Ward Seven and Kate Desrochers from Ward Eleven. Both Terrio and Desrochers declined the appointment, saying they won’t have enough time to serve. Ward Six Committee Member Dan Bergeron and at-Large Committee Member Rich Girard volunteered to serve after Beaudry asked who was interested. Ward Twelve Committee Member Connie Van Houten asked what somebody has to do to get on a committee, complaining that she, again, hadn’t been chosen for a special committee.
Also last night, Mayor Ted Gatsas told the administration that he will no longer accept handouts and information they give to the board during the meeting. The mayor said that it was unfair to the board to not have time to prepare and think of questions and it was not fair to the public who should be able to see the documents being discussed.
Gatsas’ comments came during a discussion over the budget after Livingston handed out a chart with possible reductions in the budget to allocate more money to special education expenses. Even though the Board of Aldermen funded the superintendent’s so called “needs budget,” overruns in special education tuition and transportation costs left a shortfall in the budget that still needs to be addressed.
Livingston again recommended cuts in school supplies, text books, building maintenance and technology. She also recommended not filling six vacant high school teaching positions and laying off three employees in the district office. Those layoffs accounted for two hundred ten thousand dollars, which was well less than half of the half a million dollars Livingston said would be cut during previous budget discussions, leading Gatsas to question where the other staff cuts went. Livingston said she decided not to make additional cuts because the aldermen increased the district’s funding. She also said that these proposed cuts were just a place for the board to start amidst questions over priorities and opposition to cuts in supplies, textbooks and maintenance expressed by Gatsas and Girard.
A key moment in the discussion came when Gatsas, referencing the additional funds provided by the aldermen, asked the administration quote “What pockets did that two point five million fall into?” Gatsas said he was having a tough time following the numbers. He wasn’t the only one…
In other business, the board referred a proposed ethics policy back to committee. Seems like a whole bunch of members looked at it is a proposed gag rule rather than an ethics policy. We’ll keep you up to date.
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!