Quote: “We’re going to continue to move this forward. We’re going to find a way to get this done.” That’s what Manchester’s Republican Mayor Ted Gatsas said last night after the Hillsborough County Delegation shot down the request of
Manchester’s Ward Three Democratic State Representative Patrick Long to fund a drug court in county’s Northern District. The drug court would provide an alternative sentencing and oversight program for drug addicted criminals who’ve seen, time and again, the inside of the county jail. Gatsas singled out Republican State Reps. Tammy Simmons of Ward Ten and Joe Lachance of Ward One and Democrats Long and Tim Smith of Ward Ten for their support in a close vote. The request went down by just five votes on a forty four to thirty nine tally. While most Manchester reps voted in favor, some voted against, including Ward Nine Republican Victoria Sullivan and Ward Twelve Republican Dick Marston, whose own daughter died as a result of a drug overdose.
Those against funding the drug court included Weare Republican Neal Kurk, who said it was an issue for the state to undertake, not the county, which is interesting given he’s Chairman of the House Finance Committee. That opinion was shared by several very powerful legislators, including House Speaker Shawn Jasper, Republican from Hudson and House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan Republican from Brookline. Former Speaker and Leader of the House Republican Majority Caucus Bill O’Brien of Mont Vernon also opposed the funding. Kurk disputed that the drug court would save money.
Not helping the case was the move by Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig to set aside one hundred twenty thousand dollars in the city’s budget to help fund the court. That provided fodder for Kurk who used the board’s rejection of Craig’s motion to question why the county should fund it if the city wasn’t willing to, the legal realities that it could not notwithstanding. House Judiciary Chairman Robert Rowe, a Republican from Amherst and retired judge, underscored the problem with Craig’s attempt to provide funding for the court by isolating it as a city problem, not one that belonged to the county. Moreover, while he was aware of how drug courts had been used and been successful both inside and outside the state, he believed it was something that should be funded by the state.
Obviously, we’ll hear from Mayor Gatsas about this during his weekly interview. We may also hear from Representative Long.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The campaign for mayor continue to ramp up on the Queen City. Incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas announced a summer long, citywide Talk with Ted Tour. The tour is a series of ten informal community meetings held throughout the city. The first one is tonight at the Alpine Club in Ward Eleven on the city’s West Side. It starts at five fifteen. The public is welcomed to attend. We’ve published the entire schedule at Girard at Large dot com and linked to it from this news read.
Mayoral candidate Joyce Craig announced an interesting endorsement in her bid to unseat Gatsas. Emily’s List, a liberal, national PAC that only supports women candidates who support abortion, announced it will support her campaign. Muthoni Wambu Kraal, Senior Director of State and Local Campaigns at EMILY’s List said quote “ We know Joyce will be the problem-solver and strong leader to move Manchester forward. The EMILY’s List community – now more than three million members strong – is proud to support her historic campaign to be the first woman mayor of Manchester.”
Historical Note: The first historic campaign to be the first woman mayor of Manchester was in nineteen eighty nine, when Ward 6 Democratic Alderman Leona Dyskstra came within about fifty votes of unseating incumbent Democratic Mayor Emile Beaulieu in a hotly contested primary.
Looks like New Hampshire can expect another G O P presidential hopeful to file in the First in the Nation Primary. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to throw his hat into the ring at an event scheduled in New Orleans later today. He’s expected to speak at about a quarter to five Central Time for those who’d like to catch it on C-Span. His wife is scheduled to introduce him about five minutes beforehand.
Here’s something you don’t hear in our neck of the woods very often. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Hillsborough County until 11:00 o’clock yesterday evening. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected and potentially severe, with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain in the forecast. Don’t know if any of that actually happened, but we thought we’d share. What the Weather Service probably didn’t know is that all the hot air causing the concern was coming from the meeting of the Hillsborough County Delegation during the debate on the drug court.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.