Almost two years to the day after he was arrested by Alton Police Chief Ryan Heath at the direction of the Alton Board of Selectmen, Jeffrey T. Clay has been arrested again. The reason for the arrest hasn’t changed, either. He criticized actions of the board during its public input session. For the crime of offending them with his words, he was arrested and charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of resisting arrest. In two thousand fifteen, a judge threw two disorderly conduct charges filed against Clay out of court, giving them something of a civics lesson in the process. Clay then sued the board, winning more than forty thousand dollars in a settlement with the town.
In a fascinating post on his blog, Clay says he wasn’t disorderly and didn’t resist arrest. Quote:
I had only just begun my comments when Cyndee Johnson, chairman of the selectmen board, began yelling at me that comments were restricted to agenda items only.
Clay went on to say his comments were related to agenda items, saying he was on the agenda, and that because Johnson didn’t like his opening comments, she quote
never gave me time to meld my comments with the agenda before ordering me removed by Alton’s police officers.
Clay accused Alton officials of ongoing harassment and intimidation, sharing that during the recent deliberative session, he was handcuffed and removed from the meeting by after the meeting was over. Clay believed it was because he pointed out the incompetence of the town’s attorney regarding warrant articles. He wrote that Heath readily threw him in handcuffs, but told him he was being detained, not arrested. Heath released him once outside the building.
Alton has yet to post video of the meeting, but you can bet we’ll share it with you once it does. In posting a link Clay’s blog post with the story, we’d like to offer Alton’s Board of Selectmen and Police Department a bit of advice. Drop the charges and cut Clay a check before you get embarrassed in court again and rack up the legal fees for yet another lawsuit you will lose, as you should.
Governor Chris Sununu announced the hiring of former Manchester Youth Services Director Marty Boldin to serve as the Governor’s Policy Advisor on Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. Boldin will work directly with James Vara, Sununu’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health, to address the state’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid crisis and help those suffering with substance use disorders. Sununu said Boldin will help bring a renewed emphasis on recovery programs and ensure that available funds are reaching programs quickly and are yielding positive results.
Boldin has extensive clinical experience in substance abuse treatment, prevention, intervention, and supervision. Most recently, he served on the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery and chaired the Commission’s Recovery Task Force.
On a related note, the State Senate passed Senate Bill 1 9 6, which increases funding for the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund.
Bill sponsor and Senate Finance Committee Chair Gary Daniels, Republican from Milford, praised the vote, saying it was important to provide more dollars for substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in the state.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The New Hampshire Senate was in session yesterday and it looks like the majority continues to do the people’s work. The Senate approved S B 4 4, which prohibits the state from requiring the implementation of the Common Core national standards in schools. After passage, bill sponsor and District Twelve Senator Kevin Avard, Republican from Nashua, issued a statement saying, quote:
This is about local control and allowing schools and school districts to decide what curriculum is best for their students based on their individual needs.
The Senate also approved S B 4 3, also sponsored by Avard, which gives parents the opportunity to opt their children in to taking non-academic surveys or questionnaires in school. Avard said the bill gives parents the ability to be the gatekeepers for their children, protecting them from surveys that have little to do with the education they are receiving by requiring students share private information. Quote:
This bill, while following Federal guidelines, protects parental rights by prohibiting schools from collecting private personal information about students without written consent from their parents or legal guardians. Passing this bill shows we will continue to always put our children first.
The Senate also struck a victory for those looking for more educational opportunities, approving S B 8, its version of the so called Croydon Bill. The bill allows school districts to assign a child to another public or private school if there is no public school for the child’s grade in the child’s resident district. Bill nonresponse, District Eight Senator Ruth Ward Republican from Stoddard who represents Croydon, issued a statement following passage saying the issue has been a long standing problem for the town. Said Ward, quote:
…this bill is one step closer to allowing parents and local school boards to choose the education that best fits the needs of their students. We should always strive to give parents the ability to make decisions allowing their children to succeed in the best possible educational environment suited to their individual needs.
Governor Chris Sununu also issued a statement after the senate approved both senate bills eight and forty four, applauding the senate for quote
passing legislation that further promotes and protects local control in public education through providing parents greater choice and flexibility and empowering local school boards to make the best decisions for their communities.
Sununu encouraged members of the House to embrace this legislation, saying he looked forward to signing these important bills into law.
Now here’s the sixty four thousand dollar question: Did District Sixteen Senator Scott McGilvary, Democrat from Hooksett, vote against the bills because the teacher union he leads, the N E A New Hampshire is opposed to them or did he abstain and leave his constituents without representation? Either way, the guy just shouldn’t be there. The conflict of interest is clear.
The answer, by the way, is that McGilvary voted his union’s position on all of the aforementioned bills. A quelle surprise…
That’s NEWS from our own backyard. Girard at Large hour ___ is next!