Members of the Honorable Board.

For the record, my name is Richard Girard.

    Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to address the lawsuit filed by Alderman Levasseur against Rich Girardmyself and the city over Right to Know requests.

    In short, what has been filed with the court is not true and I wanted to appear before you to set the record straight.

    In the court filing, Alderman Levasseur claims I requested quote “all emails containing Levasseur’s name or email address.”  End quote.

    In fact, I made two requests of the city.  First on November nineteenth, in an email to City Clerk Normand and City Solicitor Clark, I asked for quote “any and all email communications between Alderman Levasseur and Gary Hamer, Heidi Hamer, Jon Hopwood, Dave Bigelow, Bill Barry and any member of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and or city staff regarding the Manchester Dog Park from June 1, 2013 to the present.”  End quote.

    That request clearly isn’t what was claimed.  Even though the law requires the city to comply with such a request within five days or to otherwise advise of when or if it will be fulfilled, I’m actually still waiting for the city to provide that information.  From a conversation I had yesterday with Assistant Solicitor Arnold, I understand that the emails they’re now refusing to release pending the outcome of the case are not the ones I requested; rather, they are the ones requested by former Alderman Greazzo during the Board’s November nineteenth meeting.

    As to the information I did receive two weeks ago, it was not from a request originally made by me.  On January sixth, I sent an email requesting quote “materials assembled in response to the Union Leader’s Right to Know Request.”  End quote.  In addition, I requested quote “whatever emails have been sent and received between the identified personnel and Alderman Levasseur since that request was made.  The intended scope of this request is to remain as defined by the Union Leader reporter’s original request.”  End quote.

    No doubt you are well aware; such requests are reported by the City Clerk to the Board.  The Union Leader’s request was reported to the board last August twenty third.  Interestingly, the Union Leader’s initial request was itself a copycat request asking for the information from a Right to Know request made by Alderman Levasseur himself on July thirty first.

    So, in closing, I thought you should know that: First, I did not ask for any all emails to and from Alderman Levasseur; second, the information I did receive had been largely assembled in response to two prior requests started by Alderman Levasseur; third, the narrowly defined request I made back in November, which was triggered by, and relevant to, public business pending before the board and those responsible for raising it, still has not been fulfilled and I would ask this board to direct the staff to provide the long overdue information; finally, given these facts, I question how anything I asked for could have conceivably consumed any staff time, let alone the forty hours alleged in the law suit.

    Inasmuch as I understand you’re looking to develop policies regarding how the city handles Right to Know requests, I thought it important to go on the record with the facts and not let your discussions and decisions be framed by yet another set of falsehoods.

    Thank you for your time.