Manchester’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen held a public hearing last night to receive input on the 2 0 1 7 budget proposed by Mayor Ted Gatsas. To some surprise, only three members of the public came forward to speak on the three hundred five million dollar proposal. Of that total, Gatsas proposed to spend roughly one hundred sixty two point seven million dollars on the schools, a one percent increase over the current budget, and about one hundred forty three point eight million on the rest of the city, approximately a one point one million dollar decrease over the current appropriation.
West Side resident Rick Chretien, who is also the assistant principal at Weston Elementary School and Vice President of the Association of Manchester Principals asked the board to fund the needs budget proposed by school Superintendent Debra Livingston. A lifelong resident of the city, Chretien said he considered himself “a customer” and that he believed the city has a great future, but that because “the outside world plays out in our schools,” there have been a lot of stressors on the system. He said things have changed in the last eight years need to be accounted for. He asked the board to open dialogues with school officials and work more closely with them to look at the” whys and the whats” behind the district’s needs.
Citizens for Manchester Schools President Jim O’Connell took another bite at the budget apple, reiterating his frustration with the process. Said O’Connell, quote:
“I think this is a nonsense exercise. We’re here to talk about a budget that no one knows what the consequences are… The reason why the room is empty behind me is because nobody knows.”
As Ward Four resident Nick Want took to the microphone, he assured the board that his comments weren’t derived “from pillow talk” with his wife, Ward Four School Committee Member Leslie Want. As a businessman, he praised the virtues of good schools and said that funding the schools so called needs budget would have a minimal impact on the tax rate and a positive impact on property values and public perceptions.
You can catch their comments in more detail in the Live Blog Forum section of Oh My BLOG! at Girard at Large dot com. We’ve linked to it from this news read for your convenience.
While we’re on the topic of budgets, the Derry Town Council is hosting a budget workshop tomorrow night. The meeting begins at six and will be held in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Center. We’ve linked to the agenda from the news read.
New Hampshire’s unemployment rate continues to head in a good direction. The New Hampshire Department of Employment Security released the unemployment rate for last month. It has dropped to two point six percent. In response to the data, N H House Majority Leader Dick Hinch, Republican from Merrimack, released a statement saying it was another encouraging sign for the state’s economy, claiming it was an indication that quote “responsible Republican leadership in Concord is producing meaningful results.” End quote.
Despite the good news, Hinch said there is still work to done to sustain a positive economic trajectory and ensure the state has the tools it needs to attract new jobs. Hinch hinted at additional business tax cuts to further spur economic activity and sharpen the state’s competitive edge.
News from our own back yard continues after this.
Michael J. Iacopino, the attorney for lowlife, dirt bag vote thief Carl Robert Gibson has moved to dismiss the state’s voter suppression charges from court. Gibson sent out a fake press release during a special election for state rep. claiming that Republican Yvonne Dean Bailey had dropped out of the race. Apparently, Iacopino believes impersonating a candidate to disseminate false information is protected by First and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitutiona as well as Part 1, Article 22, of the New Hampshire Constitution, which also protects free speech. Said Iacopino quote:
“Although the content of Mr. Gibson’s speech is alleged to have been false or misleading, such alleged falsity, does not in and of itself, take Mr. Gibson’s purported speech out of the realm of protected speech,”
During the arguments, our very own Ed Naile filed a twenty page amicus brief (attachments not included) detailing Gibson’s history of voter fraud. I’m sure we’ll get all the details this morning. We’ve linked to the article explaining it all in the Concord Patch for your info.
Click here for Naile’s summary of the hearing.
The Manchester Police Department discovered a skimming device in a St. Mary’s Bank A T M located at 200 McGregor Street, their headquarters, on Sunday. An alert citizen noticed a suspicious white sedan pull up to the A T M as soon as she completed her transaction and notified the police immediately after watching one of the sedan’s occupants tamper with it. Officer Andrew Choi responded and confirmed the A T M had been tampered with. Detective Neil Penttinen disabled the device, which utilized a pin hole camera to read PIN numbers. The skimmer also had batteries and a SIM card to record card numbers and account information. St. Mary’s management was notified. It remains unknown whether or not anyone’s information was stolen. So, if you’ve used an A T M at that location, you might want to check your accounts.
Susan Sparks, a forty six year old Manchester woman, drove herself to the Elliot at River’s Edge yesterday afternoon while under the influence of heroin. Sparks, who drove with her 11-year-old son in the car, was transported to the Elliot Hospital after she grew agitated and combative. The boy was eventually released to his grandmother. Sparks was arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Aggravated D W I and released on one thousand dollars personal recognizance bail. She’s scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on April 22.
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!