01-17-2014 News

Trouble’s brewing in Goffstown over the participation of Planning Board Chairman John Hikel’s in the proposed rezoning of Mast Road.  Former Selectman Scott Gross filed a Right to Know request with the town wanting to know if there are records proving that Hikel received a copy of the town’s Code of Conduct, authorization to contact the town’s attorney on matters of conflict of interest, and proof that Hikel spoke with the town’s attorney.  Seems Gross and others think that Hikel shouldn’t have participated in the public hearing because he owns property in the affected area and expressed a favorable opinion of the initiative in advance.  Hikel answered the concerns raised in the meeting by noting he’d spoken with the town’s attorney who assured him he didn’t have a conflict of interest.  In his request to the town, Gross says that’s a no-no as only the board itself could authorize contact with legal counsel.  In an email to Girard at Large, Hikel said his contact with the town’s attorney was authorized by Planning and Zoning Administrator Brian Rose, acting in his official capacity as Town Administrator Susan Desruisseaux‘s subordinate.  Hikel told Girard at-Large he simply spoke with the town’s attorney and did not have his opinion in writing.  Meanwhile, questions have arisen over the town’s efforts to notify those affected by the zoning change.  It appears as if some Mast Road residents received letters notifying them of the change, while others did not.  Questions over whether or not some abutters were notified by mail have also arisen.  Finally, there is a question as to whether or not those who received letters got the same letter.  We’ll keep you up to date as things unfold.  We’ve posted Gross’s letter with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

In Hooksett, a warrant article to establish a committee to consider withdrawing Hooksett from School Administrative Unit 15, which also includes the towns of Auburn and Candia, will be on the ballot this March.  If it passes, the committee would study all options and create a plan for Hooksett and the other towns and submit it findings to the state.  If the committee recommends withdrawal and the state agrees to put it on the ballot, a warrant to withdrawal would go on the ballot in two thousand fifteen.  If that passed, Hooksett would be separated in one year.  Hooksett currently pays approximately six hundred thousand dollars a year to support the SAU’s administration.  It’s last attempt to leave the SAU was rejected by the State Department of Education which refused to allow it to go to ballot.  Meanwhile, Hooksett voters will see the excellent handiwork of its school board when they get a gander at its budget.  It’s up two million bucks over last year, a whopping seven percent, thanks to their expert handling of the tuition contract with Manchester and their inking of a contract with Pinkerton Academy.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The Manchester Police Department will be hosting an entry-level police exam on Saturday March twenty second.  The deadline for applications is March 18th.  For further information or an application visit manchester n h dot gov backslash jobs or manchester p d dot com and follow the links.  Questions may be directed to Officer Carl Accorto at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2.

The New Hampshire Police Cadet Training Academy is currently accepting applications for the two thousand fourteen session.  The academy affords youth ages fourteen to twenty the opportunity to experience life as a police recruit.  The weekend long academy will take place at the New Hampshire Technical Institute campus in Concord in late June.  We’ve posted the details with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

Republicans in the New Hampshire State Senate have issued a statement saying they want the unanticipated fifteen million dollar surplus from last year’s budget to be put in the state’s nearly depleted Rainy Day Fund.  Budget writers had expected a fifty seven million dollar surplus when passing the last budget.  They state got seventy two million instead.  Noting that state Treasurer Catherine Provencher strongly recommended the legislature use that unexpected surplus to rebuild the state’s insufficient financial reserve, Senate Republicans said they wanted to do just that.  Governor Margaret Wood Hassan and Democrats in the State House have suggested spending that money on more stuff, of course.  We’ve attached Treasurer Provencher’s presentation regarding the state’s Rainy Day Fund to the legislature to this news read at Girard at Lare dot com.  At roughly nine million dollars, the state has about the same amount of money in its R D F as the city of Manchester, whose budget is less than ten percent the size of the state’s.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now!