MAYOR JOYCE CRAIG signed a letter with 12 of her counterparts across New Hampshire asking the Senate to add the local aid to the state budget.
The letter sent to the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee last Wednesday Gary Danielsasks the authors of the Senate budget to restore the distribution of income between cities and municipalities.
“Over the past decade, New Hampshire state budget decisions have resulted in significant loss of revenue for local governments, adding to property tax hikes and delays in making necessary infrastructure improvements,” the mayors wrote. “As mayors, we understand the difficulties associated with balancing a budget. There are always competing priorities, limited resources, and the need to reinvest in growth. This applies at both state and local levels and underscores the importance of partnership in the form of revenue sharing and state aid grants. “
The mayors wrote that the lack of revenue sharing is a heavy burden on municipalities and local taxpayers.
“This burden is unsustainable and puts a strain on granite stators in retirement, especially with steady incomes, young people buying their first homes, and the ability of municipalities to invest in infrastructure,” wrote the mayors.
In the letter, the state’s 13 mayors estimate that cities and towns have lost a total of $ 160 million since 2011 through cuts in room and meal tax allocations and $ 164 million since 2009 through loss of direct revenue sharing.
The letter is signed by the mayor of Berlin next to Craig Paul Grenier, Claremonts Charlene Lovett, Concord’s Jim Bouley, Dovers Bob Carrier, interim Franklin Mayor Olivia Zink, Keene Mayor George Hansel, Great Laconia Andrew Hosmer, Great Lebanon Tim McNamara, Mayor of Nashua Jim Donchess, Mayor of Portsmouth Rick Becksted, Mayor of Rochester Caroline McCarley and Somersworth Dana Hilliard.
Ethics update from the school board
Members of the school board’s policy committee recommend updates to the school board’s ethics policy.
Updates include excellence and equity, the appropriate channels for addressing internal school problems, and guidelines for debate during school council meetings.
They also emphasize the importance of adhering to the oath of office and school board rules, and complying with the city charter and all local, state, and federal school board laws and guidelines.
According to the updates, board members must:
• Respect the confidentiality of information, regardless of whether it is privileged by law, kept confidential or disclosed in private sessions.
• Present personal criticism to the superintendent, not district staff, the public, or “unnecessarily” at a board meeting.
• Assist in the nomination and employment of qualified personnel who best meet the needs of the diverse populations of the district and insist on regular and impartial evaluation of all personnel;
• Participate in debates and make independent decisions while respecting the full advice of the board of directors and the freedom of expression of different opinions and ideas.
As per the language of the proposal, a board member’s failure to comply with the updated Ethics Policy, including breaches of the Right to Know, NH RSA 91-A, city law, or any local, state or federal law, may result in consequences that include impeachment .
Board member Jim O’Connell asked questions on this last point and asked who would be responsible for removing an elected official from the board.
“If someone breaks the oath, they have to petition the Supreme Court that can lead to dismissal,” said the Manchester District Attorney Kathryn Cox Pelletier. “It needs to be determined whether or not they breached the breach of confidentiality. There would be a petition to the court to dismiss the person and the court can respond to that petition. “
O’Connell said he supported the policy, but removing someone from the board should require breaking a “very high barrier”.
“Elections are serious business,” said O’Connell. “In practice it is democracy. I fully support efforts to ensure that we are confidential and that people are obeying the law. I understand the frustration of other board members in the past that people who played with it quickly and easily and made it seemingly without sanction, but my strong wish here is that we have a law if any member of our board’s behavior rises to the level at which confidentiality was clearly breached. This can be examined, decided and resolved in court according to state law. “
“I don’t think it should be the place for the other board members to decide or judge whether or not that person should be removed,” said O’Connell.
The Policy Committee unanimously voted for the full Board of Directors to recommend the update. Committee member Kind Beaudry was absent.
The school district received news from the New Hampshire School Boards Association last week that the Manchester Board of School Committee had been elected School Board of 2021.
This year’s awards ceremony will take place on Saturday 5th June at the Double Tree Hilton in downtown Manchester.
Subsidies for NH airports
The New Hampshire Congressional Delegation announced last week that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted US $ 2,740,000 federal grants to support infrastructure, operations and safety at Pease, Lebanon and Manchester airports. The federal funds were awarded as part of the agency’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport will receive US $ 230,000 for the reconfiguration of Taxiway H and the rehabilitation of Taxiway A.
“These two grants will help the airport improve our security and provide first-class service to our guests,” said the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport Director Ted kitchens in a statement.
“The continued support of the federal government will be vital to ensure that safety-enhancing projects are implemented, especially as the recovery in passenger demand accelerates in the region and in the country. We thank Senator (Jeanne) Shaheen and the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation for their continued support to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. “
Cleaning up the neighborhood
Mayor Craig, Public Works Official and Manchester School District announced that the city will hold an Earth Day cleanup on Saturday April 24th.
Residents are invited to participate in the cleanup in locations across the city. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., public work teams are stationed at four primary schools
• Jewett Street School, 130 S Jewett St.
• Northwest Elementary School, 300 Youville St.
• Smyth Road School, 245 Bruce Road
• Beech Street School, 333 Beech St.
Each location has cleaning supplies, including garbage bags and gloves, and acts as a drop-off point for any collected materials.
Same day registrations are welcome, but volunteers, organizations and companies interested in participating can pre-register for the neighborhood cleanup at atmanchesternh.gov.
Paul Feely is the Town Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and the Sunday News. Reach him at [email protected].