Secretary of State Bill Gardner and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald announced that State Senator Betty Laskey, Democrat from Nashua, and State Rep. Neal Kurk, Republican from Weare, dismissed their bogus lawsuit they brought to block the release of publicly available voter information. Gardner filed pleadings opposing the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, yesterday arguing that the state’s Right-to Know law, required release of the marked voter checklists maintained in the State Archives. The plaintiffs’ dismissal conceded that was correct.
In a letter to MacDonald, which we’ve uploaded with this news read at Girard at Large dot com, Gardner wrote he will provide the President’s Commission on Election Integrity, of which he is a member, electronic copies of marked voter checklists for each municipality archived in his office as required by state law. That means the commission, which has asked for publicly available voter information, will receive names, addresses, party affiliation, whether or not they voted and whether or not they voted by absentee ballot in the elections provided. Both Gardner and MacDonald have maintained that multiple state laws make that information public and, therefore, subject to the Right to Know law.
In making the announcement, Gardner blasted the New Hampshire Chapter of the A C L U saying their lawsuit quote
“only served to unnecessarily undermine voter confidence and frustrate the positive and trustworthy impression our Office tries to give the voters of New Hampshire.”
Oh, yes class. We will discuss.
Here’s a story you don’t get every day. Candidly, we’re afraid to mention it lest someone get any bright ideas, but here goes…
The Manchester Police Department announced the arrest of fifty year old Spiro Paras of York, Maine. Seems he had quite the unauthorized collection of sewer grates in the bed of his truck. Paras’ truck first came to the attention of Sergeant John Cunningham, on Friday night when he saw the it illegally parked in an alley way south of Laurel St. at the corner of Maple at seven twenty. He asked two men outside of the truck to move it, and they did, driving off.
About ten minutes later, dispatch radioed a complaint about a suspicious vehicle in the area of Laurel and Maple streets. The description matched the vehicle Cunningham had move along ten minutes earlier. The dispatcher also relayed that it may have been involved in stealing several sewer grates that had been placed on the sidewalk due to road construction. It took until nine o’clock, but Cunningham located the truck parked in front of eight seventy five Elm Street. It had five grates in the bed. Case closed. Paras was released on one thousand dollars cash bail and is scheduled to appear in Manchester District Court on September 8th. He was charged with unauthorized taking.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
“Now knowing the controversy that arose from my decision, I stand by my decision at that time as I clearly believed it was warranted , but in the future will not vote for any contract submitted by a department or group in which a family member is employed.
That’s what Manchester Alderman Barbara Shaw , Democrat from Ward Nine, had to say in a Facebook comment she published yesterday. The comment was made under a post published by resident Lisa Gravel, the lady who electrified the city with a public appearance criticizing the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in July for its failure to follow the city charter. She singled out aldermen Ron Ludwig, Democrat from Ward Two, and Normand Gamache, Democrat from Ward Eleven, for voting to support a fact finders report on union firefighter contract demands, despite having a clear conflict of interest as defined by the charter. She also condemned the entire board for its failure to enforce those conflict of interest provisions, also as required by the charter, by allowing the pair to vote. Both Ludwig and Gamache have sons who are union firefighters.
In September, 2 0 1 5, Shaw voted for the teachers union contract vetoed by Mayor Ted Gatsas, as did Ludwig and Gamache. The contract covered Shaw’s daughter, Gamache’s daughter and Ludwig’s wife. The Manchester City Charter specifically prohibits aldermen or school board members from participating on any issue, including voting on contracts, in which an immediate family member has a personal or financial interest. Immediate family members are defined as spouses, children, step children and spouses of children and step children. Shaw refused to vote on the contract in August, 2 0 1 5, complaining bitterly that the charter forbade it, as did Ludwig. Then, in September, while she acknowledged that she had a conflict of interest under the charter, she decided she didn’t have one in reality and voted for the contract, as did Ludwig. We will discuss, again.
Gravel’s post, by the way, was urging Manchester residents to show up at the August fifteenth meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and and demand the board follow the charter and refer the complaint she filed against Ludwig and Gamache, with one hundred twenty seven signatures, to the Conduct Board. The complaint is on the agenda, as we’ve previously reported. The meeting starts at seven in the Aldemranic Chambers at City Hall. Click here to sign the letter.
The Public Higher Education Study Committee, charged with studying many aspects of higher education, is seeking public input regarding experiences in New Hampshire’s higher education system. Specifically, the request seeks to answer this question, quote:
Does attending a public or private institution of higher education provide increased critical thinking skills, personal or professional development, ability to repay student loan debt, advanced knowledge and/or adequate career related skills?
In making the request, District Seventeen State Senator John Reagan, Republican from Deerfield and Chairman of the committee, said the committee is quote:
“looking for individual experiences that will illustrate the quality of the education they received in our state. These individual stories will be an integral part of our work to ensure the $86 million in taxpayer dollars that is spent on higher education are providing an adequate return on investment that will not only support the needs of our state’s workforce but ensure our students will obtain good paying jobs and are able excel in their careers.”
Input from those who have attended public or private institutions for higher learning are welcome for comparison purposes. We’ve published the address, phone number and email information you can use to send your stories along with this news read at Girard at large dot com.
Submit written submissions to 53 Mount Delight, Deerfield, NH 03037 or you can contact Senator John Reagan at 603-463-5945 or [email protected]
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!