Publisher’s Note: We post this testimony given by Ward 7 resident Lisa Gravel to the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday, July 18, 2017
My name is Lisa Gravel and I have been a property owner in Ward 7 for almost 18 years. I have watched many of these Board meeting and been filled with complete disgust.
I watch as you vote on unsustainable contract after unsustainable contract. Giving city employees getting perks I can only dream of. I mean “Fast Day”?? This is a holiday that has not been on the books since the 90’s. So now the cops get this holiday and just as the Firemen, I am sure the rest of the City Unions will lined up to demand it also in their next contract.
And to be clear, I don’t blame the Unions, they are supposed to get goodies for their membership. I blame the Alderman, their job is to protect the tax payers from being bled dry. But my taxes just keep going higher and higher. Year after year I tell myself this Board can’t get any worse. Well congratulations, you have really outdone yourself this year.
We have Alderman Herbert, who appears to be a socialist, that thinks that old people should just sell their homes and move out of the city if they think the taxes are too high.
Alderman Katsiantois that allegedly thinks he does not need to pay his business taxes, but has no problem voting to increase my property taxes.
And last but not least Alderman Ludwig and Alderman Gamache that think taking an oath to the City Charter, does not apply to them when they are voting for contracts for their immediate family members.
The City Charter clearly states regarding (e) Conflict of interest.
“No city official shall participate in the decision-making process of any matter in which the official or a member of the official’s immediate family has a direct personal or financial interest. Any official who believes such an interest exists shall disclose such interest and shall not participate in the matter further. In the event any other official believes an official has a conflict, such conflict shall be disclosed to the city clerk who shall make a record of it. If the official does not believe such a conflict exists, the board of mayor and alderman, or school committee if the official is a member of the school committee, shall make a determination and if it finds a conflict exists, the official shall not participate in the matter further, or the appropriate board may refer the matter to the Conduct Board.”
I am not sure why Aldermen Ludwig and Gamache, whose children work for the Manchester Fire Department, do not think this represents “immediate family members that would have a direct financial interest” in their vote. I also do not understand why the Board itself stood for this. This should have immediately been referred to the Conduct Board.
From what I understand a complaint has already been filed with the Mayor regarding this issue and I myself will be filing a complaint on Friday. If anyone would like to add their name to my complaint please do not hesitate to contact me there is always room for more names, honestly the more the merrier. My phone number is 668-0501 and also I will be in front of City Hall on Thurdsay if you would like to sign my complaint.
I would also like to remind the voters of the City that there are elections this November to replace the members of this Board. I strongly urge you to get out and vote to give this Board an enema, because the majority of them are directly responsible for all of the financial woes issues of this City.