Out of the slumbering depths of obscurity, the Manchester City Republican Committee has suddenly awakened! Party Chair Tammy Simmons issued a press release yesterday demanding that Ward Two Alderman Ron Ludwig and Ward Eleven Alderman Normand Gamache quote “follow the City Charter and declare a conflict of interest.”
Simmons issued the statement after it became known that a recent fact finder’s report suggesting the Board of Mayor and Aldermen give the unions representing the city’s firefighters and supervisors the same contract it gave to the unions representing the city’s police officers and supervisors had been added to the agenda of tonight’s special meeting, which was called to finalize the city budget.
Simmons said that because Ludwig and Gamache have sons working for the department, and the charter clearly prohibits aldermen from voting on contracts that affect immediately family members, they should abstain from any discussion or votes on the fact finder’s report or any contract negotiations with these unions.
Said Simmons quote:
The citizens of Manchester deserve to know that their elected aldermen are acting in the best interest of the city without personal gain…If Aldermen Ludwig and Gamache choose to participate…in these discussions, this will continue the deeply troubling trend of corruption and cronyism of Democrats on the Board of Aldermen.
Despite the clear language of the charter, which disqualifies aldermen from voting on matters that directly affect immediate family members personally or financially, both Ludwig and Gamache voted on the teachers contract, despite having immediate family members covered by it and on prior contracts involving the fire unions to which their sons belong.
There is no money to fund the contract sought by the fire unions in the proposed budget. If a budget isn’t passed tonight, the budget proposed by Mayor Ted Gatsas, will become the city’s budget by default, unless Gatsas vetoes what passes. If that happens, and the veto isn’t overridden, then the aldermen have until the end of the month to pass a budget.
The Manchester Board of School Committee met last night and it was sort of a tedious meeting. Of interest, the board accepted revised numbers from Manchester Public Health Director Tim Soucy for school nursing services. Several weeks ago, the board cut Soucy’s budget by five percent, or about one hundred ten thousand dollars. Thanks to the finalization of retirement and health insurance numbers, Soucy was able to remove fifty three thousand dollars from the more than two point two million dollar budget. On a motion by at-Large Committee Member Rich Girard, the board voted to restore the remaining fifty seven thousand dollars in cuts to ensure a full complement of nurses will serve the district’s children.
The board also defeated a motion to require the school district place all pre-school students in quote “brick and mortar buildings.” That motion was made by Ward Ten Committee Member John Avard who was upset with administration plans to use two portable classrooms at Weston Elementary School for pre-school kids this fall. Despite not having visited the site, Avard complained the portables were unsuitable and unsafe for students and he wanted them inside the building. That commentary came despite a detailed explanation of why the portables were well suited for preschool use from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Christine Martin and Weston Principal Liz MacDonald.
District Nine State Senator Andy Sanborn, Republican from Bedford, and Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, announced this morning that he will run for Congress in the First District. We’ve linked to the video he released to make the announcement from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Public Works officials in Manchester will hold several public meetings on the Elm Street Rehabilitation Project tomorrow in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall. The sessions will be held at ten, Noon three and six. The material presented at each session will be the same. The purpose of the meetings is to inform the public about how the project will unfold over the summer, answer questions, address concerns and take suggestions. The ambitious one point five million dollar project to reconstruct Elm Street from Webster Street to Queen City Ave. was proposed by Mayor Ted Gatsas in February. At the time, Gatsas said Elm Street’s rehabilitation would help spur economic development in the downtown by showing the city had pride in its main thoroughfare.
The filing period to fill the state rep. vacancy in Rockingham County District Four, which includes the towns of Auburn, Chester and Sandown, is open until the end of the day Friday. The vacancy was created by the recent passing of Representative William Polewarczyk, Republican from Chester. So far, Republicans James E. Devine and James F. Headd, both of Auburn, have filed their candidacies. Libertarian James D. Jarvis of Sandown also filed. The primary will be held on August 8th and the general election will be held on September 26th.
The latest crime stats our out in the town of Candia and police there are coming under scrutiny in wake of the report. While the Candia Police Department is reporting there were a whopping two hundred thirty two motor vehicle warnings last month, they’re also reporting they only issued nine motor vehicle summonses, causing people to wonder whether or not the department’s operating by some sort of catch and release policy that has residents worried about their on-road safety. People are also beginning to wonder whether or not Candia’s cops are spending too much time in the town’s forests as only two arrests were made: One for Driving Under the Influence and another on an outstanding warrant from the Derry Police Department charging Simple Assault. When asked for comment about the whereabouts of his officers, Police Chief Mike McGillen said they were trying to solve the age old question of whether a sound is made if a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody there to hear it. He declined further comment saying it was an undercover operation.
Tickets are now available for the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Picnic on Saturday, July 8th. The coalition will again host the annual affair at the Henry J. Sweeney American Legion Post Number Two in Manchester. C N H T is one of our state’s strongest advocates for integrity in state and local government. As a true grassroots organization, they rely on support from regular people like you and me for their financial survival. The barbecue will feature candidates for state, local and federal offices alongside information tables from various groups on a range of issues confronting the state and nation and include various raffles and giveaways. For additional details, or to get your tickets, visit picnic dot girard at large dot com, that’s picnic dot girard at large dot com. And, don’t be surprised when you see my smiling face on the page. I, your Humble Host, am the emcee of the event and am looking forward to seeing you there!
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!