Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said yesterday on Girard at Large that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a deal to sell the old Manchester Police Station to Tranquility Holdings, L L C. While Gatsas was unaware of the proposed use, he believed it would be a commercial one. This is the second deal with Tranquility, which backed out of a prior agreement last month. In this deal, Tranquility will put down a thirty thousand dollar, non refundable deposit. They will also pay more than a hundred thousand dollars less than the prior agreement. The city will have to maintain the building through the winter as the closing isn’t scheduled until the end of March. The deal drew a sharp rebuke from Ward Five Alderman Ed Osborne, who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting due to illness.
In an interview with Girard at Large, Osborne said that deal was about the dumbest thing he’d seen in his more than two decades as an alderman. He said the three quarters of a million dollar asking price was way too low. Given all the city has to do to the building to make it available for private ownership, he said it would be lucky to come out money ahead on the sale. Osborne, who didn’t support selling the building, even when it was thought the city could get triple the current agreed to price, said it was wasting an opportunity to save money for the taxpayer. “We have departments paying rent all over the city” said Osborne. “We should do what we need to move them into the old police station. We also need the archive and storage space. That building is part of Manchester and its history and should continue to be used by the city.” He concluded.
The Hooksett School Board voted to approve a budget at its meeting on Tuesday night after hours of debate that was, at times, intense. The board cut over seven hundred fifty thousand dollars out of the budget proposed by Superintendent Charles Littlefield, which increased spending by one point three million dollars. Most of what was cut were proposed new positions, including a new high school facilitator at more than one hundred six thousand dollars. There were also reductions made to two tuition line items. The budget now goes to the Budget Committee. We’ve posted a list of the cuts with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
The board also voted to review a tuition proposal from Pinkerton Academy that contained two things the board said it would not entertain: A minimum required number of students and a term longer than five years. Board Member David Pearl asked the board to vote on whether or not it would even discuss a contract that contained a minimum number of students required to attend the Derry high school given its prior decisions not to commit a minimum number of students. Only John Lyscars joined Pearl in opposing the review. While opposed to a minimum student commitment, Board Member James Sullivan told Girard at Large that he voted to proceed with the review to see what other items in the contract needed to be changed. A special meeting of the board has been called for Monday night to continue the review of the proposed Pinkerton contract. Girard at Large has also learned that there will be at least one and possibly two counter proposals to the terms proposed by Manchester offered at that meeting.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Sandown Selectman Cindy Buco sent a scathing email to Timberlane Regional School District Superintendent Earl Metzler in response to an email Metzler asked Sandown Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell to forward to the Sandown Board of Selectmen. Sandown is one of four communities that comprise the Timberlane Regional School District. In his email to Blaisdell, Metzler trashes Budget Committee Member Arthur Green, who represents Sandown, writing quote
“Lynne – Same old same old with our friends. Our Budget Committee has committed to a process to review the budget and has stuck to it. The complaining continues because if it does not go my way I will demand documents that either we don’t have or we have not produced yet. Then make it a RTK request and complain that they are not being honored. I even moved Bud Com to let AG make his presentation (which concluded with very offensive remarks). They (Bud Com) were pushing that presentation out to December because it interfered with the agenda that they ALL agreed to. Please share with your B O S. Please watch the last meeting…it will become even more clear how ill prepared and misinformed a certain member is. Thanks, Earl”
In reply, Buco hammered Metzler for his unprofessional conduct saying, among other things, quote:
“Can you please explain why you wanted this shared with the Board? It is not very clear to me. It seems that you are frustrated in the email but I am not sure if you are expecting the BOS to address this in some manner.
“I try to attend meetings when possible to keep abreast of the activities of both the School Board and the Budget Committee but when I can’t I do watch the Vimeo recordings. My observations are not very pleasing however. I am actually quite offended with the lack of respect that is shown to the Elected Officials and I have to tell you that I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism that you are portraying in this email. Being a Superintendent of the Timberlane School District I expect much more.
“I am now going to ask that you stop addressing the Elected Officials with disrespect and when information is requested that you provide it timely and with the respect an Employee of the District should show to an Elected Official. There should not be a need for a Right to Know request because you should honor the law and provide information to the Officials as it is required of you and your staff. It is outright insulting that you charge these individuals who are also Taxpayers for this public information, to do a job they were elected to do.
“The information that is required for the Bud Com Member to fulfil their duties should have already provided to them freely and openly and should not even need to be asked for. The information requested is available as the District has a very robust accounting system and reports should be able to be accessed very quickly and easily. If this is not the case I would be more than happy to take a trip to the office to review the system with Mr. Stokinger and have him walk me through why these documents are either difficult to access or not available.
“I would like to see you work together with the Elected Officials of Sandown in a more cooperative manner and anything I can do to help facilitate that I am more than happy to assist. If that is your intention by sending the email than please let’s move forward in a professional manner respecting each other.”
After filing a Right to Know request with Blaisdell, Girard at Lage obtained more than thirty similar emails sent by Metzler to Blaisdell trashing Green, fellow budget committee member Cathy Gorman also of Sandown, and School Board member Donna Green, Arthur Green’s wife and Metzler’s primary nemesis. You can bet we’ll be sharing those emails real soon.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.