Score a major victory for the G O P grass roots over its establishment as State Representative Bill O’Brien Republican of Mont Vernon has bested his counter part from Bartlett, Gene Chandler in the race for Speaker of the New Hampshire House. Thanks to our sources in Concord, Girard at Large was the first to report the four vote margin of victory O’Brien gained over Chandler on the first ballot. The tally was one sixteen to one twelve. Chandler asked his supporters to cast one vote for O’Brien following the vote, which they did. Chandler, a former speaker, was backed by Senator Kelly Ayotte and others in an attempt to block O’Brien’s reelection to the post in which he became a lightning rod for Democratic attacks, fearing he would once again be demonized and be a liability to the party in oh sixteen.
O’Brien fought back with statistics showing that conservatives running for the House outperformed those running for the State Senate, governor or any federal office saying quote “Efforts should be spent on attracting strong conservatives to run for statewide office and not on avoiding conservative leadership in the House.” G O P Chair Jennifer Horn issued a statement congratulating O’Brien saying quote “Speaker O’Brien is a proven conservative, a tireless advocate for limited government and an outstanding leader who will stand up for fiscal responsibility in Concord.” Senate President Chuck Morse, Republican from Salem offered his congratulations saying quote “I look forward to working with Speaker O’Brien, along with our Republican and Democratic colleagues, to balance New Hampshire’s budget, improve our economy, and deliver vital state services to those most in need” End quote. While she did not issue a statement that we’re aware of, Ayotte is said to have called O’Brien to offer her congratulations. Right after that, she crawled behind her couch and did her best George Carlin impersonation of the cat that just ran into a sliding glass door. Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Chairman Ed Naile, meanwhile, penned a fabulous OpEd on the media’s coverage of O’Brien’s reelection. We’ve published it to Oh My BLOG! at Girard at Large dot com and linked to it from this newscast.
The Bow School District has said thanks, but no thanks to Hooksett parents whose kids didn’t win the lottery to get one of the ten freshmen seats they made available under their Memorandum of Understanding. In an email sent to Hooskett school officials yesterday, Bow Superintendent Dean Cascadden and School board Chair Robert Louf wrote quote “We have met as a superintendent and board chair this morning to discuss the change in Hooksett’s policy JCB and requests for students not chosen via the lottery to come to Bow for 2014-15. Following our policy on agenda preparation, we are choosing not to put this item on the December Bow School Board agenda. The board met on November 6th and discussed this issue thoroughly. The decision at that time was to keep our number of Hooksett slots at ten for next year. This has not changed.” End quote. They went on to discuss their enrollments and associated considerations, as well as the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding. They also said they were interested in discussing changing the time lines in their agreement to reflect the realities of the process, but that because their capacity decision isn’t going to change, it would be unfair to drag the process out. I guess this takes those who thought it was a good idea to ditch their own policies in the first place off the hook. Now, they can make Bow the bad guys for saying “no” to those six kids. Nice.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen was in session last night and it was an interesting one. The hot potato was the hiring of a negotiator to work with the thirteen city employee bargaining groups whose contracts are about to expire. While a qualified candidate was identified, the requested salary caused the aldermen to balk, even though it was within the published salary range. Seems that the aldermen don’t want to hire someone above entry level, regardless of their qualifications and experience. It also appears as if the individual doesn’t want to take a pay cut to do the job. Whomever he is, he said thanks, but not thanks if he has to do it for twenty grand less than asked for. The aldermen voted to repost the position, advertising only the entry level salary. That’s just penny wise and pound foolish dumb.
Finance Officer Bill Sanders announced that the city’s tax rate had been set by the state on Friday. It’s twenty three dollars and fifty cents per thousand, up three point seven percent over last year and eight cents below what budget writers forecast. Helping the city was more utility property value than expected, a number the state controls, and a surplus that was a million dollars higher than projected. Hurting the city was under performing revenues that caused the city to raise more than a quarter million more in taxes and a larger than expected county property tax bill. Expect your Christmas card from the city in the mail soon.
Also discussed was the city’s bonding downgrade by the Fitch Rating Service. Seems they don’t much like the tax cap or last year’s three point eight million dollar health insurance overrun. And, ignoring what other bond rating agencies have said about the city’s worse than average socioeconomic demographic, they passed the Hackett Hill zoning change onto the next step without any question or discussion. Apparently 35 acres of commercially zoned, job producing land anyway is worse for the city than another one hundred fifty units of high density multi unit housing. Who knew?
Finally, they went into non public session to discuss the police station. We’ll see if we can get the mayor to cough up any info about that later this morning
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.