Ted Siefer's City Hall: Mayor's surgery raises questions about running city hall
"Ted will be involved, he just won't have a public schedule at this point," she told me. "He plans to engage with city department heads and leaders."
She added Gatsas will work from home for the time being.
O'Neil continued, "I'm very disappointed in how this whole thing has been handled. I spoke to the mayor Monday night, and there was no indication that he was having major surgery (the next day). I'll give him that maybe he didn't know what that would lead to. But there has been no communication between his office as to what's going on. The board was informed by press release."
O'Neil has been in touch with the City Solicitor's Office in an attempt to figure out what the city charter and state law call for; there's been no determination at this point, he said.
The solicitor is likely to face similar questions when the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets Tuesday.
"He's doing great," she said. "He's moving, he's up and walking. He's got his sense of humor, and he's got his quick wit."
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On its face, the judge's ruling this month in Levasseur v. Girard would seem be a clear rebuke to the alderman. The judge granted the motions from radio host Rich Girard and the city to dismiss the suit brought by Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur, who had asserted that the parties had overstepped the bounds of the state's Right to Know Law by requesting and releasing large volumes of his email. And yet, Levasseur last week was running something of a victory lap.
As Deputy Solicitor Arnold himself put it in an email: "As a general rule, an email that is sent to or from a city email address (i.e. goes through a city server) concerning an official function of the city is a governmental or public record."The implication of the ruling is that the aldermen could set some rules and restrictions on how the city complies with right-to-know requests without running afoul of the law. And it appears that some aldermen have plans to propose as much in the near future, Levasseur among them.
For the sake of his heart, it's probably just as well that the mayor won't be attending Monday's school board meeting. The board will likely engage in some pretty passionate debate about some issues that have been close to his, well, you know.
Gatsas has long advocated such policies, arguing the city's highest paid employees owe more to Manchester than their 40 or so hours a week. Then there's the no-nit policy. The Coordination Committee, somewhat unexpectedly, voted to largely back the recommendation of the city's health authorities to end the district's policy of sending home immediately students found with lice or nits. Instead, the new policy would give nurses and principals more discretion over whether to send a child home - and in allowing the child back into school so long as treatment has begun.
Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @tbsreporter.
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