The budget battle in Derry continues as the special meeting called by the three town council members who opposed budget cuts enacted in the current fiscal year got nasty. The unruly crowd assembled in the Derry Town Council Chambers was gaveled to order on several occasions by Council Chairman Thomas Cardon, who ultimately asked those who continued to disrupt the meeting to leave the room. At issue was the majority’s refusal to vote either to adopt citizen petitions that overturn their budget cuts or establish a special election where residents could vote those petitions up or down. Members of the council’s majority, including Cardon, said the letter they received from the attorey they hired to review the petitions left them with several questions they wanted answered. They have not released the firm’s letter pending a resolution of those questions.
Cardon emphasized that the matter before them was significant and serious and that the council wanted to proceed cautiously as the outcome may not only affect this year’s budget, but the budget process for years to come. The council will meet in non public session on July twenty eighth with the attorney’s they hired to advise them on the petitions. Following that meeting, there will likely be another special meeting to decide the petitions’ fate.
In a related story, and to show just how vicious the campaign against the four councilors who backed the cuts in spending and taxes has gotten, Councilor Albert Dimmock in a recent interview with the Lawrence Eagle Tribune, admitted he spent six months in a Connecticut jail on a sexual assault conviction back in the early eighties. That interview came after fliers were posted on buildings around town calling Dimmock a sex offender, alleging he spent a year in jail for the offenses back in nineteen eighty five and questioned whether or not he has the right to be a town councilor or even to vote.
Dimmock disputed the date of the crime, saying he’d lived in Derry for two years before the date given on the flier. According to the Eagle Tribune, Dimmock is not on the sex offender registry in either New Hampshire or Connecticut. He said he’s been a model citizen and better than most since then and said the anonymous fliers show just how low people are going over this budget dispute. He said those involved were cowards playing dirty pool to try and discredit him and his vote on the council. Somehow, I believed him when he said it wasn’t going to work. We’ve linked to the story from this newscast and will have something to say about all of it during this morning’s show.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
In light of recent video showing Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director for Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the dismemberment of aborted babies so their body parts, organs and tissues could be used after the child’s death, Cornerstone Action is calling on New Hampshire’s Attorney General to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if New Hampshire taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is being used for the same purposes.
In a statement released to the press, Cornerstone said quote “New Hampshire currently has little to no regulation on abortion practices or facilities, leaving taxpayers to wonder if their money is being used by an organization trafficking in fetal body parts. In fact this illegal and inhumane practice could already be taking place in the State and at the expense of taxpayers. Cornerstone urges the Attorney General to fully investigate the use of New Hampshire tax dollars by Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers deserve accountability and transparency from every organization doing business with the state.”
Looks like people forgot that there’s a election filing period open in the Queen City. Only four people filed yesterday, which was the fourth day of the filing period. Among the filers were Tim DiVenuti of Ward Four. He’s running for school board. Ward Nine Alderman Barbara Shaw filed for reelection. The filing period closes a week from today on July twenty fourth. Click here for our story on yesterday’s forgotten day of filing!
The audit results for S A U Fifty Five have been released! Why do we care about that? Well, S A U, that stands for School Administrative Unit, Fifty Five includes the Timberlane and Hampstead school districts and employs Earl F. Metzler, II as superintendent. The audit released this week was the audit for fiscal two thousand thirteen. The S A U is now in the fiscal sixteen budget year. The audit was released about two weeks after Timberlane School Board Member Donna Green requested to see it. According to Green in a blog article she posted, the two thousand fourteen audit has still not been completed. Lord only knows when they’ll begin to audit the fiscal year that just ended.
So, what’s the upshot on all of this? Well, um, how exactly are budget committees and school boards supposed to oversee the financial affairs of their districts or S A Us if the financial information they need and the independent reports on how the administration is handling financial affairs are either not completed in a timely manner or withheld from the elected officials? Just a note on this as we close the story out. The two thousand thirteen audit was completed on May sixth, two thousand fourteen and not released until Green requested it. That’s a problem. Of the audit itself, Green writes quote “The auditors state that no Management’s Discussion and Analysis is included in the report to put the financial statements in context. They made the same comment about the district’s report (Timberlane) as well. Why isn’t the SAU providing these statements, which the auditor writes are standard accounting practice and required by the Governmental Standards Accounting Board?”
We can only guess the answer.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!