” I win, I win you stinky little boy!” That’s just some of what Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur, allegedly fifty two years of age, had to say to me after the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen declined to refer Ward 10 Alderman Phil Grezzo‘s complaints regarding Levasseur’s actions to the Conduct Committee. We won’t know if it’s a complete victory for Levasseur until Mayor Ted Gatsas completes an investigation though. During the debate on the matter , Ward 3 Alderman Patrick Long questioned whether or not Greazzo was bringing the complaint under the wrong section of the charter. Instead of convening the committee under section nine point oh three, he thought the matter should be referred to the mayor under section eight point one five. So, after failing to get a second to his motion to refer the matter to the Conduct Committee, Greazzo invoked the section which doesn’t require a vote of the board. That visibly upset Levasseur who made some terse remarks about the move. Stay tuned, this isn’t done yet. Before the meeting the Committee on Accounts spent about half an hour questioning Greazzo and Assistant City Solicitor Tom Arnold about the Manchester Dog Park Association and the citizen request to terminate its contract. The committee ultimately voted to authorize the Solicitor to confirm with the association’s insurance agent or provider that the association had the required amount of coverage and that there had been no lapse. The level of detail and scrutiny in their questioning has us wondering about something Greazzo said during the debate at the board. If they’re so willing to investigate the evidently unfounded allegations against a dog park built and maintained free of charge by the association for the benefit of the citizens of Manchester, why are they not willing to investigate the actual actions of a member of the board to ensure its integrity?
Also last night, the aldermen learned that the Welfare Department is projecting a deficit of nearly three hundred thousand dollars. Welfare Commissioner Paul Martineau said there’s been an influx of out of towners who live like gypsies working the system. He said his hands were tied by the law which requires him to render assistance when people say they just arrived and are homeless. Aldermen Long and Joyce Craig of Ward 1 asked Martineau if he could provide statistics on how many folks came to town homeless. He said they didn’t keep that information but would go back through their records to provide it. Martineau’s salary also survived a challenge by Levasseur whose motion to cut it to eighty thousand dollars was defeated. Martineau said he’d have a problem with it being cut because his position is part of the classification system. He argued it should be changed for everyone, not just him. Those first changes may be coming, by the way as Mayor Gatsas brought forward an item to change amount of money granted in pay raises upon promotions.
One more thing about last night’s meeting, the aldermen deep sixed the proposed student housing development on the Pearl Street Parking Lot, but left the door open for the developer to work with the new economic development director. We’ve linked to our live blogs of last night’s meetings of the accounts committee and Board of Mayor and Aldermen so you can see how it all unfolded.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce President and C E O Robin Comstock has announced her resignation effective this February. Comstock’s held the post for thirteen years. In response to our inquiry as to why she was resigning, we were emailed quote I am at a place where I am anxious to explore new chapters and I cannot do that while serving in this current role as it requires me to be present.” We’ve posted this announcement with this news read.
Big dust ups at the Hooksett School Board last night. While I can’t get to all our spies sent along and need more detail on some of what was in my email box, I can say that a deal with Pinkerton is dead, at least for this year. Seems Pinkerton doesn’t much like the language in the Memorandums of Understanding that allows those schools to deny entry to undesirable students. There may also have been issues over the number of kids that could go elsewhere. We still need some clarification on that. The Board also, on a three to two vote, recommended a nearly 8 percent increase in spending, which Superintendent Charles P. Littlefield said simply maintained the status quo which now, thanks to their collective genius, is costing them about twenty percent more for high school. Fireworks broke out after the meeting and we’ll have to get to that in a segment because there’s just not enough time in this newscast to let you know what happened, but it’s good.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.