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.
An interesting "editorial" appeared the other day in the ever-thinning Nashua paper. The editorial accused former Gate City Ward 4 Alderman Marc Plamondon of being racist and, believe it or not, his being contemptuous of folks living in the Tree Streets area. Marc's comments regarding all-night parking on some of the city's narrowest streets were right on.
Calling Marc "racist and anti-Tree Streets" is like calling the Pope anti-Catholic. Musings suggests this ill-informed rookie editorial writer should do his homework before lambasting one of the best aldermen Ward 4 and our city has seen in quite a few years.Some of the present-day aldermen should take a page from Plamondon's playbook. For example, the Ward 3 alderman, Diane Sheehan, who feels she deserves a promotion to an at-large position. She should follow Marc's example of serving quietly and efficiently rather than taking it out on the Veterans of Foreign Wars of our great city.
Speaking of the upcoming race for alderman-at-large, it looks like it could be a crowded field. Fiscally conservative incumbents Dave Deane and Mark Cookson, along with union favorite Brian McCarthy are up for re-election.
Looks like the trio will be opposed by liberal big-spender Sheehan, fiscal conservative Ward 9 Alderman Dan Moriarty, one of the bright new aldermen who votes for the citizens rather than the special interests and big spenders.
Also giving consideration to running, heaven forbid, is former at-large alderman Paula Johnson, who doesn't distinguish herself with her many city government conspiracy theories.
Is the mayor thinking of running for a third term? If so, she had best listen to her "friends" in City Hall and adjacent businesses who are questioning (behind her back of course) her decisions and actions over the past couple of months.
Since this is report card time in our city schools, here are some grades Musings feels our mayor has earned.
When it comes to explaining the huge raises for a few select department heads who toe the line, she gets an "A" for effort. When it comes to raises for those who don't, she gets an "F" for forgetting.
When it comes to satisfying those who question her budget, especially the ridiculous expenditure for the ill-advised $156,000 Citi-Stat program (which very few care for and even understand) she gets a "D" for doubtful.
When it comes to giving raises for the Citi-Stat employees, she gets another "A" for annoying.
When it comes to adequately explaining the downtown street and sidewalks project, she gets a "C" for cunning. The program has been going on for too much time and it has cost downtown merchants thousands and thousands of dollars in lost sales.
And folks this wasn't even sent out to bid.
However, when it comes to ribbon cuttings, attendance at forums on women's rights and Board of Education meetings instead of aldermanic meetings, she gets another "A" for attendance. But, when she chooses schools' business over important city business, she fails.
The 2014 budget charade continues.
Moriarty, a fiscal conservative who knows figures, said recently that it took him "a couple of hours" to figure out the mayor's budget as to what items went up or down compared to last year. Don't we have a city CFO and a Citi-Stat staff, along with the mayor, who are capable of doing this?
Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess deserves an "A" for persistence in his attempt to equalize raises for city employees. His statement that raises given to some highly paid city employees are based on who they are rather than fairness, consistency and the value they bring to the city, bears repeating.
No one, especially an alderman, should accept a double standard when they vote for a budget where raises are given for anything but merit … rather than showing up for work on time.
Congratulations to the Class of 2013 at Nashua North and South, Bishop Guertin, Academy of Notre Dame, Adult Learning Center, Nashua Christian High School and all area high schools and colleges. You are the future of our great nation. Use your education to make our city, state and country the envy of the world.
Remember ... if you have a subject, complaint or praise about what our city officials are up to or you have a suggestion for "kudos," email them to email@example.com. Musings would love to hear from you.