Quote: “We have to be very careful what we do at the polls.” That’s what Renee Routhier, Chairman of the Derry Supervisors of the Checklist told the Lawrence Eagle Tribune after firing ballot clerk Ruth Provencal for saying “God bless you” to voters as they left the polls in the September primary. Routhier claims saying “God bless you” constitutes “electioneering” which is defined as acting quote “in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office.” Provencal was informed of her termination on October thirtieth and didn’t take it lying down. She informed Derry Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores, who has taken the matter up with Secretary of State Bill Gardner. She’s not the only one either. Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League has waded into the controversy, sending a sharply worded letter to Gardner requesting to know just how saying “God bless you” is electioneering. In the letter, Donahue also asked whether or not any voter complained about Provencal and if so wanted to know how hearing “God bless you” influenced their vote. He referred to her firing for violation of the electioneering statute as quote “borderline insanity.” We’ve linked to the Eagle Tribune’s story, which was brought to our attention by an audience member on Facebook and uploaded a copy of Donahue’s letter for your review.
Well the bids are in for the Timberlane Regional School District’s request for professional public relations services. As listeners of this show know, the Timberlane Regional School District School Board voted, over the objections of member Donna Green, to hire P R help rather than be truthful and transparent with its taxpayers and parents several weeks ago. Now that the bids have been opened, reminder, the Community Relations Committee didn’t open them at the publicly announced meeting, they opened them more than a day early without public notice, Green is raising questions about whether or not the fix is in and whether or not it’s another inside job. Four bids from bidders in four different states were received. The low bid came from the Southeastern Regional Education Service Center, also known as SERESC, located in Bedford. It was more than twenty thousand dollars lower than the next lowest bidder. Among the things raising red flags for Green, is that SERESC’s Executive Director is former Timberlane Superintendent Richard LaSalle, Timberlane’s current Superintendent Earl Megalo Metzler, is one of the executive directors of the organization and, you’ll love this one, the P R person SERESC has proposed to do the work is Gretchen Grosky, wife of Timberlane Budget Committee Chairman Jason Grosky. While the bid has yet to be awarded, Green writes on a blog post, to which we’ve linked from this newscast, that she can smell Grosky’s nameplate being printed.
Just so you know, Green’s husband Arthur, a member of the budget committee, has again been forced to file Right to Know Requests with the district given its failure to provide requested information. In an email to Metzler obtained by Girard at Large, Green writes quote: “I am extremely disappointed that I am obliged to resume Right to Know requests for information that I need to execute my duties on Budget Committee.” End quote. We’re not sure how we’re going to do it, but we’ll publish all of Green’s unanswered requests for information, along with his Right to Know Request on Girard at Large dot com.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
A Candia Crime Wave for real! Police in Candia are warning residents not to leave valuable items in their cars and to lock their vehicles. Late last week, several cars were gone through in the Chester Turnpike and Hemlock Drive areas. As the investigation is ongoing, police are asking anyone with information about the break ins to contact them.
The Merrimack Police Department is reminding folks that their Winter Parking Ban begins this Saturday night, the fifteenth and, as a result, cars are not allowed to park on the any street in Merrimack between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 am. This is to help the Highway Department with keeping the streets clean during bad weather. Police will begin issuing paperwork, read that as tickets, starting on the 15th so keep your cars off the street!
The annual Veterans’ Day Parade will be held tomorrow morning and will step off from the corner of Webster and Elm streets at ten thirty. This parade will cause the closure of Elm St. from Webster to Granite starting at ten fifteen. The parade will stop in front of City Hall at eleven to pay tribute, then proceed to Veterans Park for ceremonies honoring the day. Stay tuned to the Girard at Large Web site for the list of street closures.
Finally this morning, we share this tidbit of election news. In a message sent to Girard at Large late last night Ed Naile, Chairman of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers and anchor of our weekly A Question of Voter Fraud segment writes quote: “Congratulations to Illinois resident, and Dartmouth student!! He is the new Grafton County Register of Probate. Other out of state students wrote in Mick’s name and there you have it. Obviously, someone like me who lives in Hillsborough County, NH couldn’t be elected to this esteemed position. That would be illegal. Good luck Mick you deserve the honor of making N H election officials look like fools and crooks.” End quote. Nope, nothing to see here in the Granite State’s elections. Oh My HEAD!
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.