Ted Siefer's City Hall: While visions of budget battles danced in their heads
In addition, department heads may have to grapple with a spike in retirement costs; 2015 is the last year in the current contracts for city unions, and it's the last year in which employees can take advantage of a $13,000 payout for retiring. Those costs will have to be absorbed within departmental budgets.
Gatsas said it's too early to get into the mechanics of how he'll make the numbers work. "We're in the second day," he said on Wednesday.
Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen may have set a new record for brevity. With the holiday break a few weeks away and a new board, albeit with only a couple different faces, to be seated in January, the aldermen have been reluctant to take on new or thorny matters.
Greazzo accuses Levasseur of going beyond the bounds of the charter in his inquiries about the Manchester Dog Park, which Greazzo founded. Levasseur seems to have taken the strategy of running out the clock; he has said he would meet with the mayor, who was charged with reviewing the allegations, in January - after Greazzo is out of office.
Perhaps the most notable thing about Tuesday's discussion was that Levasseur uncharacteristically kept his mouth shut.
But he insisted there was no merit to Greazzo's claims. "It's just sour grapes by an elected official I had great respect for, who had some kind of meltdown," he said.
This may be readily apparent to some, but there is not a direct correlation between being an elected official and having good ideas. As the aldermen learned on Tuesday, you don't even have to be of voting age to propose - and execute - projects that benefit the public.
The students conducted a survey that showed close to 50 percent of Manchester households are not prepared for a severe winter storm. The pamphlet contains a host of tips, such as having a gallon of water per person and nonperishable food to last three days, along with a list of emergency agencies and resources.
As the mayor put it, "Sometimes great ideas don't have to come from elected officials. Sometimes they come from students, and they're ideas that we need."
Ted Siefer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tbsreporter.
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