Taxpayer Ray Young has filed a complaint with the city clerks office about Alderman Ludwig not abstaining on the teachers contract even though salaries and benefits are enjoyed by his household. Solicitor Thomas Clark gave him advice not to vote on the agreement.
It is my understanding the Mayor will take up the complaint.
That came from an email sent by Ward Twelve Alderman Keith Hirschmann to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen last night as public discontent continues to foment in wake of the board’s decision to reconsider the contract with the Manchester Education Association and allow three of its members to vote despite clear language in the city charter prohibiting their participation because of a defined conflict of interest.
A city official shall have a financial interest in the affairs of immediate family members
and goes on to say quote
No city official shall participate in the decision-making process of any matter in which the official or a member of the official’s immediate family has a direct personal or financial interest.
Immediate family is defined as a spouse, child, child’s spouse, step child and step child’s spouse.
Ward Two Alderman Ron Ludwig’s wife is a teacher. Also voting in violation of the charter were Ward Nine Alderman Barbara Shaw and Ward Eleven Alderman Normand Gamache, both of whom have daughters who teach in the district.
In addition to this complaint, Girard at Large has learned that Robert Tarr, a candidate for alderman at-Large will file a similar complaint with the Office of the City Clerk today. Not only will Tarr lodge a formal complaint against all three aldermen who voted despite their conflict of interest, he will also file a complaint against Ward Three Alderman Patrick Long for making a motion to reconsider the union contract without prior public notice. By not advising the public within a given time period to respond in public session to his motion, Tarr argues that Long violated the charter as well.
Once it is officially filed, we will release the letter, which, interestingly, cites the first section of the Standards of Conduct chapter, which reads quote
Honest government, ethical conduct, the avoidance of conflicts of interest and public perception of ethical and honest conduct of public affairs are essential. This code is adopted to further these purposes.
Might be nice to get some of that, huh? Anyway, under the charter, such complaints quote “shall be referred to the mayor who shall review the allegation with the official or officials involved” end quote and the process goes from there.
We haven’t heard the last of this one, folks. Of this, you can be sure.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Roughly three hundred people attended the candle light vigil and memorial walk in honor of slain Manchester native Denise Robert last night. Organized by neighborhood resident Kristen Cottle, who will be our guest this morning, the candle lit parade proceeded from Brookside Congregational Church to the spot where Robert was gunned down. There, her brother Joe, representing the family which was still occupied greeting countless mourners at her wake just blocks away, laid flowers on the spot where she lain.
Prior to the walk, Cottle gave a moving tribute to a woman she didn’t know, urging the neighbors assembled not to let an evil act define their neighborhood and to reclaim it by living as they had before the shooting. Robert’s brother Joe thanked Cottle and those gathered for their remembrance of his sister and urged neighbors to get involved with a neighborhood watch and to look out for each other. Brookside Pastor Dawn Berry urged the crowd not to let Robert’s life be defined by the tragedy.
Her funeral Mass will be held this morning at Ste. Marie Parish on the West Side at ten o’clock. Bishop Peter Libasci, who attended the vigil walk as a neighborhood resident, will preside.
By the way, since announcing a seventeen thousand five hundred dollar reward for information that leads to the capture and conviction of the person or people who murdered Denise Robert, the Attorney General’s Office has reported receiving more than forty tips.
A reminder that law enforcement officials are urging members of the public to come forward with any information, regardless of how inconsequential you think it may be. What you think means nothing could mean everything. Police have asked those with security cameras anywhere in the city to review their footage from Sunday night around the time of the shooting (8:40-8:50 PM) in the hopes that clues can be found, especially if there’s anything out of the ordinary involving a pickup truck. Call what you think you know or find into the Manchester Police Department at 6 6 8 8 7 1 1 or anonymously to Manchester Crimeline at 6 2 4 40 40.
The technology infrastructure at the New Boston Central School was revamped, top-to-bottom, with the assistance of the Tech Team from the neighboring Goffstown School District over the summer. An important advantage gained in the upgrade is the sharing of resources and support between the districts and improved economies of scale. In a press release, the district said the students in New Boston will benefit by making their transition between the districts smoother, and giving them uninterrupted access to their work from the elementary grades when they move on to the middle and high schools they attend in Goffstown.
Today is the deadline for mayoral candidate Joyce Craig to accept Mayor Ted Gatsas‘ invitation to debate. Last week, Craig said in a Twitter post that she’d always been willing to debate, so long as all five candidates were present. Gatsas called her on the statement, offering the hour of his weekly interview on Girard at Large on September ninth. Craig balked. Rival Patrick Arnold seized on the invitation saying he was good to go regardless of whether or not Craig attended. Gatsas said the offer to debate would expire today and would debate only if all five candidates attended, just as Craig demanded in her challenge. So, Joyce, it’s your call.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next