Merrimack: The polling place traffic jam that forced change

Merrimack: The polling place traffic jam that forced change

The town of Merrimack is reminding its residents it now has three Polling Places to handle election traffic.  Voters who have moved within the town may not vote where they last voted and they are urged to contact the Town Clerk’s Office with any questions at 4 2 4 3 6 5 1.  The polling places are James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, Merrimack Middle School and St. John Neumann Church.  We’ve posted the town’s notice along with the streets served by each polling location at Girard at Large dot com and linked to it from this news read.

GPD: Winter Parking Ban on the horizon

GPD: Winter Parking Ban on the horizon

The Goffstown Police Department announced that the annual winter parking ban will start on November 15th and continue through April 15th.  The parking ban will be in effect between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m.   The department said it will strictly enforce the ban, so expect a ticket on your windshield if you violate it, except if weather conditions are favorable during the first week of the ban, in which case you may see a written warning instead.  During snow removal operations, vehicles may be removed at the owners’ expense.  Any questions abut the winter parking ban should be addressed to Goffstown P D at 4 9 7 4 8 5 8.

Meetings to be live streamed

Meetings to be live streamed

The town of Derry has announced it will now live stream meetings and events from its community television station so folks can watch on their computers, phones and tablets.  We’ve linked to their live stream link from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Look for the icon that says Live Stream D T V Channel when visiting their Web site.

By the way, the town ignored our Right to Know request to release pending union contracts before the town council voted last night.

Auburn: Town Hall improvements eyed

Auburn: Town Hall improvements eyed

The Auburn Board of Selectmen wants to improve the front entrance to Town Hall.  According to a press release, the needed improvements were noticed while repairs were being made to the railings and some stair boards last month.  The roof does not fully cover the front stairs from the weather and that its slope drops rain, snow and ice onto the stairs and walkway.

The selectmen engaged a design firm for initial concepts, which resulted in two initial designs, we’ve linked to from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.  The selectmen are asking residents to email any suggestions, comments or other input to town admin @ town of auburn n h dot com.  The board will be discussing the designs and resident comments at their meeting on November 7th.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Shaw: Residents hammer traffic plan

Shaw: Residents hammer traffic plan

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s meeting last night was short, but not without controversy.  Multiple residents from the South End expressed their manifest displeasure with the board for its decision to make President Road a one way street.  Residents from Beech Hill Ave. came forward to dispute claims from Ward Nine Alderman Barbara Shaw that they were “okay” with the increased traffic caused by the move.  Residents testified that traffic was a hazard in the neighborhood, claiming to have pictures and videos of vehicles speeding, running stop signs, ignoring bus stops and almost hitting children.  They say they’ve called the police department for help on multiple occasions to no avail.

Residents from the Connecting Road neighborhood expressed their exasperation with the traffic now careening through their streets which are so narrow that cars parked along the road cut the street down to one lane.

Sullivan: Open the traffic gates

Sullivan: Open the traffic gates

Residents from South Beech Street, including State Rep. Victoria Sullivan, complained of cars not just being backed up the hill on South Beech, but backing down the hill once they discover they can’t turn onto President Road.  Sullivan called for all gates to be eliminated, saying, as did others, that cars continue to reach the gates and have to back up and turn around because they can’t get through.

Judge Brown: Community help requested

Judge Brown: Community help requested

Also at last night’s meeting, Mayor Ted Gatsas announced that Drug Court will begin operating in Hillsborough County’s Northern District in two weeks.  He said he met with Judge Ken Brown, who will oversee the court, and he’s asked for the city and community to come forward with service projects, such as clean ups and graffiti removal so they can keep drug court participants productive and busy.

Gatsas: Drug court to start

Gatsas: Drug court to start

Gatsas said there was also a need to find participants jobs and asked businesses to give drug court enrollees a second chance.  To that end, he suggested the city essentially ignore the question on its applications regarding criminal convictions for applicants under the drug court’s supervision.  That got some push back from at-Large Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur who opposed the idea of creating a special class of applicants that would have preferential treatment in the application process over those who also have criminal records, or even those who don’t.  Gatsas said the move wasn’t intended to give anyone an advantage, but was meant to ensure their participation in the drug court wasn’t an obstacle.

Gives utilization report

Gives utilization report

Finally, the board also got a report on its health insurance utilization.  There is good news in the numbers, but it largely comes from a twenty seven percent decline in the number of employees with high dollar claims, though they did say the city’s wellness efforts are making progress in reducing costs.  This year’s trend, compared to last year’s exceptional experience, however is headed only in one direction and that is up!

That’s news from our own backyard!  Girard at Large hour ___ is next