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Gate City Musings: Oh boy, another tax hike

October 21. 2012 11:21PM

Editor's Note: Gate City Musings, a column on City Hall happenings and other Nashua items, is published every other Monday. It is written by a veteran political observer whose identity is known to the editors but who wishes to remain anonymous, and breathing.


Oh boy, another tax increase and - according to 'Mother Mayor' - it isn't that much. Wonder if the two aspiring mayors, also known as 'the large aldermen,' agree. Since the average homeowner in Nashua is already paying more than $5,200 a year in property taxes, Musings wonders if we are going to hear from the aldermanic fiscal conservatives and the 'wannabee mayors.'

Of course, when more than $4 million in 'surplus' is used to reduce the tax rate rather than to pay off the $200 million-plus debt the city incurred in purchasing Pennichuck Water Works, does it really make our city fathers and mothers look good? But wait, where is the 'surplus' coming from? Oh, from taxes and funds borrowed but not spent on vital city projects ... and yes, folks, there is more. Now our friends in City Hall want to buy three lots near our landfill for city expansion purposes and pay for it by using Pennichuck bond issue money.

Make sense? Musings thinks our mayor and aldermanic friends may have been smoking something other than corn silk. But then, that's called 'creative financing.'

Where are our city treasurer and CFO on this issue, marching in lock-step to the big spenders?

Also, one wonders why the big move is to buy land near the landfill for a public works complex. Or is it just to make more land available at the present public works garage for the expansion of Conway Skating Arena, which is a private enterprise?

Wonders never cease in City Hall.

The ongoing debate as to whether members of the Board of Aldermen can be civil or better yet polite appears to be over. Now, when an alderman or alderwoman misbehaves, all they have to say is, 'I'm sorry.' Our fair city government may be the only governmental body in the United States that found it necessary to float a fine if its members don't act like ladies and gentlemen.

Perhaps if we had more leadership from Aldermanic Prexy 'Big Mac,' city government would not have been held to such ridicule. Has anyone thought of term limits for the board? Maybe such a change in our city charter is in order. What do you think, mayoral wannabees?

Some would say that lack of civility in the aldermanic chambers is really nothing new, for there once was a time a few years ago when it was vogue for aldermen to insult each other as well as the mayor and city department heads. And, come to think of it, members of the public weren't exempt.

Back then, if a member of the public spoke out of turn, the offending party was told to 'shut up' or be thrown out of the aldermanic chambers. But that was a different era with a much different cast of characters who had egos as large as Mt. Washington.

Seriously, with the upcoming state and federal elections right around the corner, let's hope Nashuans turn out at the polls. Whether you are a fan of Obama or Romney, Ovide or Maggs or Charlie or Annie, your vote will count. And don't forget the dedicated state and county political candidates, most of whom deserve your support.

Interesting that this year's state election has generated much more support from the unions. If you are a fireman, policeman or teacher, then you're in. Fact is that only 16 percent of the New Hampshire work force are union members and a sizable number don't march in lock-step.

As for the constitutional amendments, an old friend once told Musings that if you don't understand the amendments on the ballot, vote no. Good advice for this year.

A tip of the hat to our friends at the Nashua Salvation Army for yet another successful 'AppleFest' at Sullivan Farm, the only farm in our city. Funds raised will go to assist those families who need help at Christmas. The key person who has guided this event for the past five years and, hopefully, for another five, is Tom Jenkins, the former president of the Nashua Lions Club and the Nashua Republican City Committee, who has turned his recent efforts to assist the needy in our city via the 'Army' and at Nashua Community College for those students who need scholarships. Good job, TJ.

Comments, complaints, or subjects or people Gate City Musings should look into, email subject: Gate City Musings.

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