Republican Chris Sununu was sworn in yesterday as New Hampshire’s eighty second governor. Sununu, who spoke extemporaneously from notes and not from a prepared text, identified substance abuse as the state’s biggest issue, saying it infiltrates everything. He called for aggressive programs in schools to combat the problem and said bringing parents into the discussion so they know what to look for and how to talk to their kids was essential. He called for more treatment and recovery services, particularly for women and praised emergency responders for the work they do every day.
Asserting the responsibility of government to protect vulnerable children, Sununu decried what he called the “critical failures” of the Division of Children, Youth and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services and challenged the General Court to act without delay to address employee case loads and the regulatory frameworks that are supposed to make sure kids are safe.
He made a very aggressive play for school choice saying every parent should have the opportunity to choose where their kid’s go to school, regardless of their income. He said teachers should have freedom to do what works in their classrooms and that employers should be engaged to develop programs that enabled high school graduates to go into the workforce. Nothing, he said, should be done without first engaging parents, the community and teachers.
Citing the need for high quality jobs, Sununu said he would call on one hundred out of state employers in one hundred days in an attempt to lure them to the state. He said business taxes needed to be lowered and emphasized that the state had to roll back regulations, saying New Hampshire had way too many for a small state. He called for a ninety day moratorium on the adoption of any new rules and regulations, announcing the stated needed to figure out what it was doing and why.
Other items of note included his announcing support for Right to Work legislation he said would tell everyone that New Hampshire was open for business. He said student debt and health care costs needed to be addressed. And he discussed the need for long term energy planning and policies, asserting the state’s high energy costs have resulted from the failure to develop them to this point, damaging the economy. He staked out positions in favor of Northern Pass, which would being eleven hundred megawatts of clean, renewable energy into the state, more natural gas supply, and a better renewable energy portfolio. He cautioned the projects needed to be done in a way that met our specific needs, not those of the providers.
Sununu called for bi-partisanship, pledging earnestly to work with leaders in both parties, and urged everyone in state government to focus on two words, if nothing else: Ccustomer service. Start with the individual citizen or business or student in the classroom in mind, said Sununu, and reverse engineer the systems that will provide for their needs, rather than figuring out how to stuff them into the current way of doing things. If they work together with a focus on issues and provide good customer service, he said New Hampshire could once again be a shining example to the rest of the country. “Let’s get it done,” he ended.
Oh, an interesting trivia point, for those of you who like such things. Sununu used a Greek Orthodox New Testament bible printed in 1 9 1 3 to honor his great-great-grandfather. Former Governor John H. Sununu, an avid collector, came across it in a collection of old books.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Granny’s Gone Wild in Hooksett. Eighty Seven year old Beatrice Yergeau of Manchester was arrested in Hooksett yesterday on charges of Disobeying an Officer, Reckless Driving and Period of Lighting; Headlights Required. Hooksett Police Officer Carpentier pulled Yergeau’s vehicle over while traveling on West River Road without headlights on at about five thirty. Apparently, she was pretty ticked off about it, causing Carpentier to call for back up. Officer Minihan came to the scene. Shortly after Yergeau opened her car door to speak with Minihan she put the vehicle in drive and drove off, pinning Minihan with the door and dragging her a short distance. Minihan was able to free herself from the vehicle and run to the passenger side where she was able to reach in and put the vehicle in park. Yergeau is scheduled to appear in Hooksett District Court on February 10th.
Manchester Police are looking for two men who burglarized a home on Belgrade Street on the East Side near Candia Road and shot at the homeowner as he gave chase. At about 7: 20 yesterday morning, M P D responded to the scene and was told by the homeowner that two armed, masked men had entered his home minutes before he arrived home from work. The place was ransacked, but his two children, who were home at the time, were not injured. The burglars ran when he went into the house and he took off after them. That’s when one of the men fired at least one gunshot as they continued running toward Candia Road. One suspect was described as an African American male and the other appeared to be of Hispanic descent. Any neighbor in the area who may have seen something or anyone with any knowledge of the incident is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 6 6 8 8 7 1 1.
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas will be joined by several former mayors, city officials, department heads and city staff to pay respects to former Mayor Emile Beaulieu in an official moment of silence outside City Hall as his funeral procession pauses en route to St. Joseph Cathedral. Beaulieu, who served two non consecutive terms in the eighties, passed away on December 30th at the age of eighty five. The gathering is scheduled for nine thirty this morning and the public is welcomed to attend.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!