They did it to KC’s Rib Shack on purpose. Fewer than 24 hours after Code Enforcement Inspector James Tierney from the Manchester Department of Planning and Community Development inspected the Tiki Bar at KC’s Rib Shack, he sent an email to Health Department counterpart Mary Ellen Tufts telling her quote “I will be sending a notice to the owners to cease any use of the outside area or structure.” End quote. That was on June 27th. As those of you following the story know, that notice didn’t arrive until July 3rd. In an official timeline of events presented to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, D P C D Director Leon LaFreniere wrote that the reason it took eight days between the inspection and the issuance of the Cease and Desist Order was because Tierney hadn’t completed his research on the business and its permits until July 2nd. Before we broke the story of the “smoking email,” we questioned why the city would shut a business down without giving the owner an opportunity to correct the violations, especially since it took eight days to order it closed. Now, we question which employee or employees tried to cover up Tierney’s intentional act to cause this business damage. Did Tierney fail to advise his supervisors of his intent to shut the business down without so much as a conversation with the owners about the alleged violations and what needed to be done to correct them? Or, did the information we received in our Right to Know request catch LaFreniere trying to cover tracks for the obnoxious actions of his vindictive regulators? We’ll see if we can get to the bottom of it and of course will be discussing all the information we released over the weekend during the show.
Meanwhile, as we reported Friday, Mayor Ted Gatsas will meet with the management of Manchester’s permitting and regulatory agencies today. In an interview with Girard at Large Friday, Gatsas said the purpose of the meeting is to figure out how better to coordinate department inspection activities so that something like this doesn’t happen again. One can only hope the mayor will recognize that this was not so much a failure of process between the departments, clearly the emails we published showed they were cooperating, but a failure of the regulators who took it upon themselves to punish a business to make a point, not correct their failures to make the public more safe. How and why rogue inspectors can abuse a business absent the involvement or approval of their management is an issue the mayor and Board of Aldermen need to get to the bottom of.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Now we know why Senator Jeanne Shaheen not only ditched her official duties last week by skipping a historic Quorum Call that required her attendance, but also waited over four days before releasing the reason why she did it. She was at a big party in New York City raising funds for her reelection campaign. Shaheen, who raked in one point four million dollars for her reelection bid last quarter, could have been arrested and brought to the Senate’s meeting, the matter was deemed so serious. She was one of two senators who failed to attend, excusing her absence by saying the Senate was well aware of her position on the issue at hand, which had to do with when senators could use the filibuster. Under pressure from Right to Know Requests filed by New Hampshire Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn, Shaheen’s office finally coughed up her whereabouts. Reacting to the disclosure, Horn said Shaheen clearly wanted to hide the truth of where she was saying that New Hampshire voters would find it quote disgraceful end quote that Shaheen decided to attend a fundraiser with out of state interest groups and lobbyists rather than tend to her official duties as New Hampshire’s senator.
The field is now set for Manchester’s coming elections this fall. Despite saying he would not be a candidate, political gadfly Glenn RJ Ouellette filed yet again for mayor, creating a primary for that seat in September. Other primaries on the September ballot include the race for alderman in wards 2, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and school board in wards 6 and 12. More on this during the show.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away.