12-30-2013 News

Good morning everyone!  It’s ___ and ____ degrees, be sure to stay tuned for Al Kaprielian’s weather forecast!

Hooksett town officials took issue with information given during a recent installment of our Real Estate Review.  Town Planner Jo Ann Duffy and Town Councilor Don Winterton took issue with the characterization of Hooksett as a quote unquote “high tax town” with a tax rate rivaling Goffstown.  Duffy sent a list of New Hampshire communities with their tax rates showing Hooksett was more than three dollars and sixty cents per thousand lower that G-Town.  While it was slightly less than Merrimack’s tax rate, Hooksett was higher than Manchester, Bedford, Litchfield, Londonderry and Auburn whose tax rates ranged from nineteen dollars and ten cents per thousand to twenty two dollars and sixty seven cents.  Hooksett’s tax rate stands at twenty three dollars and forty eight cents.  Winterton said that the town had done well to manage its budget given its growth and the demands on the taxpayer.  We’ve linked to the list Duffy sent with the tax rates around the state.  It’s got a lot of great data including the tax base and a complete break out of the tax municipal, local education, state education and county tax rates as well as total taxes raised.  It’s great data.

Of course, one doesn’t have to wonder how the actions of the Hooksett School Board will affect their taxes.  Hooksett residents are discovering the financial impact of the school board’s breach of contract actions against Manchester and decision to enter into a long term contract with Pinkerton Academy.  Those actions have resulted in nearly two point four million dollars in new spending that will push the school tax rate up approximately ten percent.  A special meeting of the school board has been called for January second at four in the Cawley Middle School media center to look for cuts requested by the town’s Budget Committee, which has asked for a one percent reduction in spending.  School Board Clerk John Lyscars is questioning how the meeting came about asserting he wasn’t notified of the meeting and it’s not posted on the board’s Web site.  Budget Committee Member Marc Miville said the issue was clouded because it being wrongly reported as a joint meeting between the two boards in the newspaper.  Meanwhile, Board Vice-Chair David Pearl sent an email to Board Chair Trisha Korkosz demanding she explain comments to that same newspaper claiming she didn’t address the opt out issues with Pinkerton because of the snowstorm.  If that’s true, he asked, why was the public input session extended and why wasn’t it mentioned during the discussions on the two motions made to deal with it?  Somehow, we doubt Korkosz will answer.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications is accepting registrations for its winter session.  The six-week session runs on Wednesday evenings from Jan. 15 to Feb. 19.  All ages from middle schoolers to retirees are welcome to participate.  Class offerings include News Writing, Advanced Social Media, The Basics of Photoshop, Broadcasting and the First Amendment.  For descriptions of each course and the lowdown on whose teaching them, visit Loeb School dot org that’s Loeb School dot org or call 6 2 7 0 0 0 5, that’s 6 2 7 0 0 0 5.

Is someone trying to oust the clerk of the Manchester Board of School Committee?  Suzanne Sears has held the post for thirteen years, but is on the way out.  At its last meeting of the term, the board acted to approve a new job description that all but disqualified Sears from the position.  Girard at Large has learned a phone poll conducted last week authorized Ward 5 School Committeeman Ted Rokas to review applications for the post along with district H R personnel to narrow the field of candidates presented to the board for election.  The poll must be ratified by the new board, which is odd since five members of that board can’t attest to their predecessor’s vote.  Girard at Large has also learned that someone waved a magic wand to extend Sears’ contract through January tenth so she can clerk the board’s first meeting of the term and produce the minutes, which the new clerk won’t be able to do.  The scuttlebutt is that the job will go to a current member of the City Clerk’s Office.  Stay tuned…

That’s News from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!