Credit Nashua Alderman-at-large Dan Moriarty for continuing to be a voice for fiscal sanity crying in the wilderness that is often Nashua politics. Whether or not he succeeds in stopping the latest assault on a city spending cap, Moriarty is right to make the effort.
The Superior Court may not agree with Moriarty, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court has held that wronged citizens have no right to even challenge such misconduct in court. But it is pretty clear that Mayor Jim Donchess and the aldermanic board moved sewer spending offline for one reason: so they could blow through the spending cap by about $9 million.
This could have been done, no doubt, by a specific vote to override the cap, but apparently the majority of aldermen did not want to be counted on that one.
They do want to spend taxpayer money, however. They are considering buying a prime downtown business location (Alec's Shoes) and making it an arts center. Nice idea, if you have the money. Of course, if you remove the property from the tax rolls, that will have to be made up somewhere.
That savings won't come from another big project, the plan to spend $48 million on a new public works facility. Expect that price tag to go up, too. The school board wants to relocate there as well.
In the understatement of the month, former Alderman Paula Johnson said she thinks the plan is "a little bit outrageous."
And in perhaps the best prediction of the summer, Johnson said this complex will become the "Taj Mahal of Nashua."