CPI goes up, tax cap to rise

The city of Manchester announced what this budget year’s tax cap will be following yesterday’s release of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Areas.  It’s one point two percent.  While the C P I actually went up by two point one percent, triple what it was last year, the city charter requires a three year average of the C P I be used to determine how much additional tax revenue the city may raise over the prior year.  The  C P I in the first two years of the rolling three year average were point eight and point seven respectively.  What it means in dollars and cents is that the city will be able to increase the amount of money raised in property taxes by almost two and a half million dollars.

Gatsas: The way it works

That doesn’t mean spending will go up by that amount, however.  As Mayor Ted Gatsas explained in his weekly interview on this show yesterday, before spending can increase, revenue losses must first be offset, or paid for by increased tax revenue.  Gatsas said last year’s budget contained one point nine million dollars in fund balance, or surplus, from the prior fiscal year as a revenue in the budget.  He said that’s a onetime revenue that’s come and gone and will have to be offset.  It doesn’t include projected school district revenue losses totaling a million dollars from decreases in state education aide and tuition payments.

Sununu: Surprise appointment delights advocates

Former Republican state rep. and gubernatorial candidate Frank Edelblut of Wilton has been tapped by Governor Chris Sununu to be the state’s next Commissioner of Education.  Sununu made the nomination at yesterday’s meeting of the Governor and Council at the same time he presented Commissioner Virginia Barry’s resignation, effective as of January thirty first. 

The nomination delighted education advocates and reformers who have chaffed against Barry’s relentless efforts to impose the Common Core national standards and its testing regimes on local school districts.  During the primary campaign, Edelblut was a strong voice for choice in education, charter schools and the rollback of federal and state involvement in local school districts.

Edelblut: Soon to be Ed Commish

In nominating Edelblut, Sununu released a statement saying he had quote

the utmost confidence that Frank’s expertise and his unique perspective in the field of education will allow us to train the focus of our efforts on empowering teachers and families, bringing about a stronger, 21st century education system.

Edelblut was, of course, honored saying he was eager to join with Sununu quote

to improve New Hampshire’s education system and to prepare our students as they enter an increasingly competitive American workforce.”

Banfield: Thrilled

Sununu skeptics, like Ann Marie Banfield of Cornerston Action, praised the choice saying Sununu hit a quote home run and that Edelblut quote: 

 would be a HUGE asset and improvement in this state. HE understands the problems plaguing our schools and will work to improve public education in New Hampshire.

In an article published on Girard at Large dot com, Banfield urged parents to quote

thank Sununu on this EXCELLENT choice and encourage their Executive Councilors to accept this nomination.

We’ve got the link.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Dolloff: Details difficulties

The Manchester Board of School Committee’s Sub Committee on Finance met last night.  Among the items on its agenda was a presentation from Dr. Jennifer Dolloff, the district’s Director of Special Services.  Dolloff detailed the causes of projected budget overruns in special education line items, including a dramatic increase in the number of kids in charter schools that require special education services.  Dolloff explained that while the state provides the charter schools directly with the per pupil allotment required by state law for the student, state law also requires local school districts to provide and pay for the special services needed.  She also detailed some of the logistical challenges that come with that requirement.  Seventy seven Manchester children are in a total of ten charter schools in the state and no matter where they are or what they need, the city is on the hook.  We’ll discuss.

Bryfonski: Announces Citizens Police Academy

Bedford Police Chief John Bryfonski announced that the Bedford Police Department is now accepting applications for its 2 0 1 7 Citizens Police Academy.  The academy is designed to provide the citizens of Bedford with a comprehensive perspective of the department’s services.  This program will also provide a more in-depth look into the art and science behind 2 1st century policing and the challenges law enforcement officers face.

BPD: Ride Along’s part of the program

The 10-week program begins on March 2 1st with classes held every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 in the department’s Training Room.  Participants are required to attend a minimum of eight of the 10 scheduled classes.  The academy application is open to Bedford residents 18 and older, as well as local Bedford business owners.  There is no charge.  Applications are available online, we have the link with this news cast at Girard at Large dot com, or at the Bedford Safety Complex.  For additional information, contact Detective Lt. Michael Griswold at 4 7 2 5 1 1 3 extension 3 3 8.  Be sure to ask him to pass your regards onto to Clark W.!

That’s NEWS from our own backyard!  Girard at Large hour ___ is next!

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