Ted Siefer's City Hall: Discussion of tax cap override laced with drama
"I want to thank all of the aldermen for their efforts," he said.
Gatsas interjected: "You don't want to thank the mayor?
THERE WAS a first act to Tuesday's drama, and that concerned the DOA tax cap budget proposed by Aldermen Keith Hirschmann and Joe Kelly Levasseur.
One thing that quickly became clear is that Hirschmann, the chief architect of the budget, did his homework. He had ready answers for every cut to every department he proposed, including $1,200 for the Economic Development Office to build a new smartphone app. Hirschmann said he knew someone at Dyn, the Internet technology company in the Millyard, who would be happy to help the city get the app for free.
THE CYNICAL view is that the override happened now because it's an off-year for city elections and voters' memories will fade by November 2015.
"That sense of responsibility, knowing we're going to be new parents, to really balance the budget, that was the challenge before us tonight, to act as responsible adults and to meet our priorities - improving roads and public safety, advancing education. I join with the mayor in saying it's time to move this city forward," he said.
ON TO more important matters: the mystery of City Hall's midnight caller.
The police have been investigating the possibility that someone used a key to enter City Hall and make calls to a couple of aldermen late on June 5.
The recipients of the calls were unnerved by them, not least because a call from the mayor's office near midnight couldn't portend good news.
"They said, 'We voted you in, and we can vote you out,' that type of thing," said one of the aldermen, who did not want to be identified because the official was concerned about being targeted again. "I questioned why the call was coming from City Hall, and he said he had a key. I said I don't believe it."
He described the call as "unusual," but he added, ". I really don't want to say too much."
Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He may be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @tbsreporter.
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