Town Council to meet

The Hooksett Town Council will meet on Thursday night starting at six o’clock in the Council Chambers at Town HallOn the agenda are new contracts for the town’s firefighters and police officers.  The council will also be asked to approve the establishment of a special taxing district up by Exit Ten on Interstate 9 3.  If imposed, businesses between exits Ten and Eleven would pay an additional property tax for cost of the town extending sewer service.  A similar tax was levied for infrastructure work to facilitate business development several years ago.  We’ve linked to the agenda.

Vargas: Budget goes to aldermen tomorrow night

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen will also meet this week.  Starting at its regular meeting tomorrow night, the board will begin hearing from departments regarding the budget proposed by Mayor Ted Gatsas.  Up first, of course, is the Manchester School District.  The board agenda contains the same budget presentation Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas gave to the Manchester Board of School Committee, which at its meeting last week, voted to enact his recommendations to bring the budget within the funding allocated by Gatsas. 

Gatsas: Budget criticized

On Wednesday night, the board will meet in special session to hear from several departments, including what’s known as The Big 3 on the city side of the budget:  Police, Fire and Public Works.  In letters to the board, all three departments complain their budget does not contain severance funding.  Severance is the parting gift comprised of unused sick and vacation time and retirement incentives the city gives to retiring employees.  It averages about thirty five thousand dollars per retiree.   Public Works expects severance payouts of at least three hundred thousand dollars, as does the Fire Department.  The Police Department says it could cost it more than four hundred thousand and didn’t include the additional ten thousand dollar incentive negotiated into the contracts Gatsas vetoed.

Sheppard: Budget has gaps

Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard wrote the budget doesn’t include money for the step, longevity and cost of living pay raises granted by the board this year.  He also disclosed that they received a bill from the Fire Department for more than twenty five thousand dollars to pay their share of the extended warranty purchased to cover new communication system.  Add that to a one hundred thousand dollar shortfall in their fuel line, and there’s trouble in Public Works.

Goonan: Severance a problem

Fire Chief Dan Goonan said the Fire Department’s share of the one hundred fifty thousand dollar annual warranty payment was over fifty one thousand dollars, and it’s not in his budget.  He wrote that he’s starting about fifty thousand dollars short of what he asked for, not including the projected severance expenses.

The other departments before the board on Wednesday include Fleet Management, Tax, Welfare and Health, which is asking for two hundred thousand dollars to maintain four grant funded positions.

Capano: Didn’t count contractual payment

Gatsas was required by the charter to bring in a budget that conformed to the tax cap.  Rather than lay people off, he proposed eliminating the severance account and forcing departments to absorb those costs in their budget, which may mean vacancies are left in departments over time.  We’ve linked to the agenda with the departments’ letters to the board from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Gardner: Can’t do that

The towns of Londonderry, Litchfield and Derry will go to the polls tomorrow.  They canceled last Tuesday’s scheduled elections because of the snow storm.  Controversy continues to swirl around those communities delaying elections with critics, not the least of which is Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the state’s top election official, saying the law applied only to town meeting towns, not those towns that cast ballots under SB 2.

Breaking the Silence 

BeBOLD Bedford is calling ALL members of the Bedford Community to join them for their 2nd Annual “Breaking the Silence” Drug and Alcohol Awareness Event at the Bedford Presbyterian Church on Sunday, April 2nd from 6-8pm.


Like last year’s successful event, this 2nd Annual “Break the Silence” event is designed to encourage families and friends to talk openly about the current dangers of drug and alcohol use


said Bedford Presbyterian Pastor John Sawyer

Organizers say the format will be similar to last year’s, but the breakout session topics will be different so that new, additional information will be shared.


  • “It’s Never Too Soon To Start The Conversation”2nd-6th Graders & their Parents learn how to talk about drugs and alcohol as a family and with friends. Led by BPD Officer, Danielle Nightingale, McKelvie Principal, Mike Fournier and McKelvie Guidance Counselor, Jodi Parsons
  • “STRAIGHT TALK”an interactive workshop for Youth (7th-12th Grade) on drug and alcohol prevention led by the BeBOLD Straight Talk Team
  • “YOU’VE BEEN SERVED-The Social Liability of Hosting a Party”led by Bedford Police Chief, John Bryfonski. 

For more information regarding this event, please contact Pastor Sawyer at j sawyer at bedford presbyterian dot org or 4 7 2 5 8 4 1.

For additional information on BeBOLD, please visit at be bold bedford dot org.

Police Exam: Final week to apply

The Manchester Police Department will host its next entry-level police exam on Saturday, April 1st at the New Hampshire Police Academy in Concord.  The application process continues to be open, but will close this Friday, March 24th.  Information and an application can be obtained by visiting manchester p d dot com.  Those interested are asked to contact Officer Carl Accorto in the Training Division with any questions at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2.

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

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