6-20-2013 News

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas sent a warning shot across the bow of neighboring communities offering to accept Hooksett high school kids, especially those doing so at a discount to their actual per pupil cost.  Gatsas said the district maybe should take up the matter of interference with the city’s tuition contract with its legal counsel at the school board’s next meeting and enjoin those districts who are luring kids away from Manchester with the cut rate deals.  He said the city was expecting all tuition revenue from Hoosett as if their full student body was attending Manchester high schools this fall.  He warned Hooksett could be paying for the kids that they’ve allowed to go elsewhere if the city wins its court case against the town, which is scheduled for July first.  Gatsas also raised questions over the proposed high rise development to house college students at the current location of the Pearl Street Parking Lot.  Gatsas said he’d spoken with representatives of three colleges in town and could get no clarity as to whether they were interested in the project.  He also said he’d told the developer what he thought the value of the lot would be well before Assessor Chairman Robert Gagne announced the number at Monday’s meeting of the Lands and Buildings committee where Aldermen directed city staff to develop a letter of intent with the developer.  Gatsas, a former commercial realtor, seemed unimpressed with the developer’s claim that the numbers Gagne presented were the first time he’s heard them.  Gatsas was in studio yesterday where he discussed these and several other issues and you can get the archive of that interview at Girard at Large dot com

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the terrorist killed in a gun battle with police in Massachusetts after the Boston Marathon Bombing was listed as a victim of gun violence by the anti-gun group that came to Concord to push for tighter gun controls earlier in the week.  In a sharply worded statement, New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Jennifer Horn condemned the group, founded and funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for including Tsarnev and demanded state Democrats denounce the out of state group’s comments and end their ties to it.  She said Bloomberg’s group was waging a vicious smear campaign against law abiding Granite State gun owners.

The news continues after this.

The Manchester Charter Commission met last night to finalize its report following the acceptance of its proposed changes by state officials.  However, it did so without Vice-Chairman Rich Girard, yeah, that’s me, who resigned from the commission yesterday.  In a letter to Commission Chairman Jerome Duval, Girard said that lax procedures and poor management had led the commission to submit a report to the state that didn’t actually reflect what the commission did.  Girard said that among the errors made by the commission was one involving the health benefits available to the aldermen and school board members.  Girard pointed to the meeting minutes of April tenth as proof that the action the commission took simply increased the stipends for members of both boards, but failed to eliminate the benefits.  Girard said he could no longer be part of a body that made a mockery of any rational process and refused to be associated with a document that he believed left the city vulnerable to a legal challenge.  I’ll have more on that this morning.

Girard at large has continued to investigate the mysterious actions surrounding the pending ambulance contract in Manchester.  Christopher Stawasz of American Medical Response, in an interview yesterday, said the company didn’t list their contract terminations and walk aways in Massachusetts because they weren’t done under adverse circumstances and had nothing to do with the company’s performance under the contract or the quality of its care.  They were amicable and mutually agreed to partings, said Stawasz, whose claims were confirmed by Manchester, NH Fire Chief James Burkush.  David Lang, President of the New Hampshire Professional Firefighters’ Association defended the letter sent by his International Union’s president saying it didn’t actually accuse American Ambulance of including a letter to him in its bid packet, but questioned why the letter was even written in the first place.  He said the union is concerned that American Ambulance is the tip of the spear, my words not his, of its multi-national paret company Falck, which he firmly believes is interested in the privatization of fire departments because it owns private firefighting companies.  We’ll have more on this during the show.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour___ is just 30 seconds away