The complete, official results from Manchester’s city primary election are in and little changed, except that Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig can no longer claim to have beaten Mayor Ted Gatsas in his home ward, Ward 2, in the mayoral primary. After all the votes were tallied, they tied with five hundred fifty four votes.
In a statement released on election night, Craig crowed about quote “beating him outright in his home ward,” though she lost ten of the city’s twelve wards. The only other ward Craig won was her own. Of the total ballots cast, Gatsas received forty two point two percent of the vote, Craig carried thirty seven percent and Patrick Arnold fifteen point one percent. Jawed Alibaba Shaikh and Glenn Ouellette mopped up the remaining five or so percent.
Gatsas wasted no time in taking the fight to Craig, releasing a letter he e- and snail mailed congratulating her and challenging her to a town hall forum in each of the city’s twelve wards. In making the invitation, Gatsas wrote quote:
“It is important that we give the taxpayers of Manchester as much opportunity as possible to hear from the individuals that want to lead the city.”
Gatsas, noting there’s only seven weeks until the November third general election, urged a quick reply, saying his campaign staff was compiling a list of possible meeting sites and eager to work out the details of dates, times, places and ground rules with her campaign staff.
In seeking her comment to the mayor’s offer, Girard at Large made Craig aware that, during an on air interview yesterday, Gatsas said he would gladly debate her on this radio show and extended the offer. Shockingly, we have yet to hear back from Craig on either matter and predict she will not only not reply to the debate invitation because she apparently does not value this audience, but also will not accept the mayor’s town hall meeting offer, despite having said she’d “always been willing to debate.”
One final note. Girard at Large has learned that Craig, who continues to blast the mayor over fund raising, will attend a fund raiser hosted for her by lobbyists in Concord on Sunday. Sources say the invitations went out around the beginning of September, well before Tuesday’s primary.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The skulduggery in Sandown over its efforts to study the feasibility of withdrawing from the Timberlane Regional School District has taken its toll and caused strife in the town. At its most recent meeting, the Sandown Board of Selectmen voted to terminate the withdrawal feasibility committee it appointed to study the town’s options four months ago, despite its being within two months of completing its work. Seems the scare tactics of Timberlane Regional School Board member Rob Collins were causing concern in town.
Collins has taken to social media, among other venues, to suggest that the study could lead to Sandown’s expulsion from the district at a cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers. Panicky selectmen trying to quell the disquiet voted three to two to terminate the committee, which was chaired by Selectman Cindy Buco, who was displaced by Collins as Chair of the school district’s withdrawal committee. Timberlane School Board Chair Nancy Steenson appointed Collins chair after Buco’s co-Chair Kelly Ward, also from Sandown, stepped down from the position. Both were elected by the committee because Steenson said it wasn’t a committee of the board and that she had no authority to appoint a chair. That, of course, changed after Ward stepped down and Steenson, who, among others like Collins, wanting to seize control of the committee, did exactly what she said she had no authority to do and appointed Collins the chair.
Meanwhile the Timberlane Regional School District has filed a lawsuit against Josh Horns, the man who represents Danville on the Timberlane Regional School District Budget Committee and also serves as a Danville selectman. Seems Superintendent Earl Metzler doesn’t think the law allows him to serve in both positions concurrently. The town disagrees, so now we go to court. The scuttlebutt around town is that this is a preemptive strike at the soon to be school board candidacy of Dr. Kim Farah who has said she will challenge Steenson in the coming election. Farah is also a selectman in Danville.
Some news notes from around the state. The only veto overridden by the General Court yesterday seems to have been on the budget. The compromise went through and, Habemus Budgetam! we have a budget! However, we don’t have protection against continued voter fraud, parental notification of sexual material in schools, the right not to have a pistol permit or be subjected to Common Core and standardized testing. Those vetoes were sustained on party-line votes.
The Manchester School District announced what some of us suspected was going to be an inside job hand off in the naming of Polly Golden as the new principal at the Henry Wilson Elementary School. Until her appointment as principal, Golden had served as Director of Federal Projects and Continuing Development since two thousand and twelve. Feedback we got from parents who attended the community meeting leads us to conclude they won’t be thrilled with that decision.
There have been a number of overnight thefts from unlocked vehicles and residential burglaries where homes were entered through unlocked doors in Merrimack. Police say the incidents occurred in the Ravencroft, Bedford Rd, Ministerial Dr., Cabot Rd., and Cathy St. neighborhoods. Responding officers got a partial Massachusetts license plate of “3 K H” on a silver Honda fleeing the scene with several male subjects, who also fled on foot when the officers arrived. If you have any information, please contact the Merrimack Police Department at 4 2 4 3 7 7 4. In the meantime police are cautioning residents to secure doors and windows, lock vehicles and report any suspicious activity immediately.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!