Oh, it’s going to be a busy, busy Monday, today. Here’s some of what’s in the news.
Expect there to be a large and determined turnout for this morning’s public hearing on the Hillsborough County Budget. The normally sleepy affair, of which almost nobody takes notice, is expected to draw a crowd as Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, a Republican and Ward Three State Representative Patrick Long, a Democrat, continue their push to get the county to fund a drug court. Long, a member of the County Delegation’s Executive Committee, which will host the public hearing on the proposed budget, asked the committee to include four hundred forty three thousand eight hundred dollars several weeks ago. His request was defeated on a relatively close vote. Both he and Gatsas have lobbied legislators in the one hundred twenty three member delegation intensely since.
As shared in a recent interview here on Girard at Large, Gatsas intends to present not just testimony on the need for a drug court, but also on the budget savings compared to the current system of handling addicts who commit crime to feed their habit and data that shows those who’ve gone through the alternate court system being proposed are significantly less likely to return to drug use, which means they’re much less likely to be breaking into peoples’ houses and cars to find the cash or stash they need to feed their habit. Click here for Long’s interview on the drug court.
In an unprecedented move, Gatsas has secured the agreement of dozens of local businesses to provide jobs to those who go through drug court, which includes rigorous treatment, drug testing and other supervision, so that they have a chance to return to society as productive members. Gatsas more than hinted that several mothers will be present to share the stories of their children’s addictions, particularly to heroin, to impress upon the delegation that this isn’t just a street person problem and that the path to heroin addiction often times results from addiction to opioid narcotic prescription pain killers that are given in wake of surgery, accident or other injury. The public hearing will take place this morning at 10 in the Bouchard Building at the Goffstown County Complex located at three twenty nine Mast Road in Goffstown. The public is, of course, invited and welcomed to attend.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Derry Town Council meets in special session tonight to consider eight petition questions that town residents garnered signatures for. The upshot is that, if adopted by the council, it will effectively overturn the budget cuts they enacted just a few short weeks ago. If the council doesn’t act in accordance with the petitions’ requests, they will be forced by the town’s charter to order the questions to ballot in a special election, which means any changes to the budget won’t take place until after the fiscal year gets underway.
Looks like Republican legislative leaders in the New Hampshire House and Senate are going to blink in light of the threat from Her Highness The Governmess Margaret Wood Hassan to veto the budget that is up for a vote before the General Court. House Speaker Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse announced mid Friday afternoon that they will do as the governor has demanded and put forward a continuing resolution to fund state government operations until a deal can be worked out with Her Highness on the budget.
The Manchester School Board meets tonight. On the agenda is the proposed contract with the Manchester Education Association. Interesting to note that the contract on the agenda contained information not released to the media, despite our requests for updated documents. Seems that the signing bonus we were told was done away with wasn’t. Entry level teachers will receive a year end bonus of three and one half percent of their entry level salary. This is on top of the seven point three percent increase in the district’s base salary, which actually provides a more than seven percent increase for every teacher who has not maxed out their annual step pay increases. Those who have get a five percent pay hike in the contract’s first year, then get an additional step in later years. Also not included in the material given to the media was a schedule of salary increases for teachers who take on various supervisory duties, ranging anywhere from ten percent of their pay to a whopping thirty three percent.
On tonight’s agenda, Superintendent Debra Livingston will present her recommended budget allocations now that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen has determined their appropriation. A quick look at what’s on the agenda makes one wonder. That’s all I have time to say here. She’s also seeking permission to hire an attorney to negotiate a tuition contract with the Hooksett School Board, which frankly, we just don’t understand.
There are a whole slew of policy changes effecting everything from home schoolers, to kids in need of service dogs, to field trips; plus there’s a proposed agreement with the Manchester Housing Authority to use the Bishop O’Neil Youth Center as a Pre-School and more on just how to hire folks so we can keep the Office of Civil Rights at bay. It’s gonna be an interesting night. Blog along live with us in our Live Blog Forum under the Oh My BLOG! tab at Girard at Large dot com!
That’s news from our onw backyard Girard at Large hour ___ is next.