Here are the stories we read on the air this morning in our top of the hour newscast.
The fix was in for the budget revisions proposed by Ward 1 Alderman Joyce Craig and Ward 3 Alderman Patrick Long last night as the votes of some aldermen surprised this political watcher. On an eleven to three vote, the board voted to adopt a school district budget of nearly one hundred fifty seven million dollars, using surplus revenues from the current budget to boost the total for schools by a cool million bucks. Opposing the increase were Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo and Ward 4 Alderman Jim Roy who argued that increasing funding after the teachers union declared impasse at the bargaining table sends the wrong message to both the teachers, who would seemingly be rewarded for their failure to cooperate with the city on the cost saving restructuring of benefit plans, and to the other unions who did cooperate. Also opposed was Ward 6 Alderman Garth Corriveau who said he couldn’t bring himself to support another budget that he believed failed to meet the need and amounted to little more than a “band aid on a bullet hole.”
The night saw a number of interesting parliamentary moves, with Ward 12 Alderman and mayoral candidate Patrick Arnold joining Greazzo in opposing the use of this year’s surplus revenues which enabled the extra money going to the schools and opposing the prepayment of retirement expenses which freed up three quarters of a million dollars to be spent under the cap in next year’s budget.. Corriveau would join Arnold and Greazzo in voting against adopting the city side of the budget, which saw severance accounts funded to the tune of some one point five million dollars thanks to the surpluses.
In other business last night, after heavy questioning, the board unanimously approved the contract agreed to by the school district’s paraprofessionals’ union and the school board. However, in an odd twist, they refused to suspend their rules and adopt the contract last night which will reduce the net projected first year savings by almost one hundred thousand dollars or twenty percent of the total.
The Board approved the next phase of the Parking Demand Study commissioned for the Amoskeag Millyard. Seems there’s demand for a five hundred car garage and they need to figure out how it will be financed, etc, etc, etc. Arnold, Greazzo and Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur were opposed. Levasseur and Arnold also opposed the granting of a thirty five thousand dollar loan to keep the X O Restaurant on Elm Street afloat after a long debate that got ugly at times.
Hey, did you know that Manchester has about thirteen thousand registered dogs and that the cops are about to start tracking down the owners of about two thousand dogs whose owners have failed to license them this year?
The news continues after this.
Why was a Pembroke man shot by Manchester police on Monday? Might have something to do with him driving through a police cruiser in an attempt to run two of them over while ignoring their guns drawn and pointed at him command to stop. A press release from Hillsborough County Patricia LaFrance detailing the “reads like it’s from a movie” details of the crime, chase and conclusion is available at Girard at Large dot com.
Republicans in the state senate are digging in their heels on the question of expanding Medicaid. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley issued a statement saying “The bipartisan commission proposed by the Senate Finance Committee will have the time and resources necessary to study what expansion will mean for the state taxpayers, patients and providers. And it will seek to answer two fundamental questions: Should New Hampshire expand Medicaid? And, if so, how?” Bradley argued that before the state expands the Medicaid program, which already consumes a whopping twenty seven percent of the state’s general fund spending, it ought to have those questions answered. Ya’ think? View the Release here.
The friends and family of Amanda Beauchamp, a 25 year old Manchester mom with two children under 2 will host a Spaghetti benefit dinner for her tonight at St. Raphs. She’s losing a battle with cancer and is trying raise funds to help take care of her kids. Details are available on our site here.