No longer can it be said Manchester’s Tax Cap was passed by just a few thousand people on a rainy Tuesday who didn’t understand what they were doing. The still unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show more than twenty nine thousand votes were cast on the charter amendment proposed by Mayor Ted Gatsas to exempt tax revenue generated by tax base growth from the cap. That’s more than double the number of people who voted in two prior elections to approve the cap, and it wasn’t a rainy Tuesday. It was actually quite nice. Voters in wards one, two, three, five and twelve approved of the measure, while those in wards four, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven said uh uh. It was close though, with fourteen thousand nine hundred sixty three opposed and fourteen thousand twenty one in favor. That’s fifty one point seven percent opposed and forty eight point three percent in favor. For those of you uncertain of where all the wards are, the East Side, South End and most of the West Side opposed changing the cap. The North End, downtown and inner city, except Ward Four supported changing it. We’ve posted the results. The vote may pose problems in next year’s elections for Ward Twelve Alderman Keith Hirschmann who supports the cap and Ward Six Alderman Garth Corriveau who opposes it as they are outspoken proponents of a position that’s opposite how their wards voted.
While they only captured one of the top races in the state, that being in the First Congressional District, Republicans did rather well in the state on Tuesday. The G O P grabbed a majority on the Executive Council which saw all incumbents reelected and former Executive Councilor David Wheeler, Republican from Milford, elected to fill the District Five seat vacated by Debra Pignatelli, Democrat from Nashua. Republicans did solidify their hold on the state senate, with Kevin Avard knocking off incumbent Democrat Peggy Gilmour in District Twelve, which runs along the Mass border from Rindge to Nashua. They may also pick up the Laconia area District Seven State Senate Seat occupied by Democrat Andrew Hosmer. Unofficial vote counts have him up by about one hundred thirty votes over Republican Challenger Kathy Lauer Rago out of ninteen thousand cast. The House of Representatives will also change hands with voters electing at least two hundred thirty Republicans according to unofficial results. That means there’s gonna be a battle for Speaker of the House that should prove rather interesting as former Speaker Bill O’Brien of Mont Vernon is seeking a return to the post he held from two thousand ten to two thousand twelve. Republican Leader Gene Chandler of Bartlett, a former Speaker of the House himself, has also declared his candidacy. Bedford Rep. Laurie Sanborn has also thrown her hat into the ring.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
More slight of hand and spiteful politics are at play in the Timberlane Regional School District. School Board Member Donna Green was recently chastised by Board Chair Nancy Steensen for posting false information on her blog about the scheduled bid opening for the Public Relations services the district voted to obtain. Green published the bid opening would take place tonight at six thirty, but Steensen emailed that the bid opening was actually yesterday at three and told Green it would be appreciated if she took the incorrect information off her blog. Green’s reply was to publish the official meeting notice that went out from Superintendent Earl “Megalo” Metzler’s assistant Cathy Belcher which read, and I quote (emphasis in the original): NOTICE OF MEETING The Timberlane Regional School Board’s Community Relations Committee will meet on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Superintendent’s Office, 30 Greenough Road, Plaistow. The agenda will include the opening of public relations bids. The public is welcome to attend. Kate Delfino, Co-Chair Dr. Roxanne Wilson, Co-Chair Community Relations Committee. Green writes in her blog quote: “Not only did Ms. Belcher send out a widely disseminated notice on Nov. 3, but the time and date of Nov. 6 at 6:30 pm was posted in two different places on Timberlane’s website where the Community Relations Committee posts information. (Now gone but I have screen captures.) You would think as a member of the school board I would be extended the courtesy of being told of a change in time and date – as should every member of the public .” End quote. Yeah, one would think. We’ve linked to the post so you can get all the details.
Speaking of informing board members, seems that Timberlane Budget Committee Member Arthur Green’s presentation on the district’s staffing levels has earned him the enmity of Metzler and other administrative staff. Since making that presentation, showing why he believed the district is carrying seventy six positions it doesn’t need, his requests for information have fallen on deaf ears. According to a post on Donna Green’s blog, Arthur Green’s requests for information on enrollment forecasts, budgeted Special Education out of district placements, staffing levels, Adequacy Aide for full time kindergarten and the final report for the oh thirteen oh fourteen school year have gone unanswered. Apparently, they didn’t even tell him to “talk to the hand,” meaning his requests haven’t even been acknowledged. Donna Green ends the blog post, to which we’ve linked, writing quote “We hope the district will change its attitude and understand that it is answerable to the people and their elected representatives who have a right and an obligation to dig deep. People who are proud of their work don’t hide information about it.” End quote.
The town of Merrimack announced taxes are going up, but not by much. The tax rate has been set by the state Department of Revenue Administration and it’s twenty four dollars and nine cents, eighteen cents per thousand, or seven tenths of a percent more than last year. Town spending and the county tax were the primary drivers of the increase. We’ve published their release containing all the details with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com. Meanwhile, the Nutfield News is reporting that the tax rate in the town of Derry dropped by two bucks per thousand. We’ve linked to the details from this newscast as well.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.