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March 04. 2013 5:28PM

Arnold's rant: Where is his city budget plan?

Apparently Manchester Alderman Patrick Arnold has stopped creating secret political action committees long enough to comment on the city budget. Good for him. Now if only he would stop keeping his full views on city spending and taxation secret too.

Arnold is running for Mayor Ted Gatsas' job this year. Last week, while Gatsas vacationed, Arnold attacked Gatsas' budget proposal as "smoke and mirrors" and "budgetary fiction." He said, ironically, "you can tell it's an election year" because of Gatsas' budget numbers. It is ironic because Gatsas always presents budgets that are under the spending cap, but Arnold does not always throw a public fit about them. Why do so now? Well, you know, it's an election year.

Arnold lobbed a lot of hyperbole at the vacationing mayor. He did not lob a lot of facts. For instance, he complained that Gatsas' budget "guarantees personnel and service reductions," implying that it reduces spending. It increases city spending by 2.16 percent, just under the spending cap.

Presumably, Arnold would advocate a bigger-spending budget. But he was not bold enough to say how much more he would spend or how high he thinks taxes should be raised. Last year Arnold said he would vote to override the spending cap. Would he do so this year? Does he think the cap, which he clearly finds inconvenient, should be abolished?

Last month the state Attorney General's Office ruled that Arnold formed a political action committee to advocate for the defeat of Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, last year, but did not report it, which is illegal. It seems that Arnold enjoys keeping secrets from the voters. We wonder why.


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