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March 24. 2013 9:33PM

Gate City Musings: The real story behind the BPW story

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.

Now that the Board of Public Works has agreed to hold meetings in the early evening, which really was much ado about nothing, the truth behind the "controversy" has emerged.

Kudos to the mayor for not getting down in the dirt and engaging with BPW Commissioner Tracy Pappas in this matter. When a commission member chooses to "lobby" in the media rather than cooperating with her fellow members, including the mayor, she tends to lose her credibility. This is especially so when there is a conflict of interest involved.

Seems this commission member has little or no influence on her fellow commissioners, especially with her past allegations that public works employees and members of the public were "partying it up" at all hours of the night in Greeley Park.

Commissioner Pappas lives near the park and although there was absolutely nothing to her allegations, her "interest" in evening meetings was apparently a way to "show up" her fellow board members.

Just last week Pappas voted no on a wonderful measure for a new playground for special needs kids to be located way in the back of Greeley Park. This facility would be geared to autistic children.

One commissioner, who shall remain anonymous, noted the whole controversy was nothing but a publicity stunt to cover up a lackluster performance.

"There was no hue and cry for evening meetings," this member noted.

Commissioner Pappas' lack of support for anything to do with Greeley Park goes back several years, as mentioned before. That's not a good way to run a ship.

Congratulations are in order to The PLUS Company for another successful Wild Irish Breakfast. The attendance was great and most of the "Irish Wits" were actually very funny, including perennial favorite Dan Chan.

Isn't it about time for ex-mayor Bernie Streeter, or "The Blarney Master," as he calls himself, to hang up his spurs? Although he claims not to be as old as Dan Chan, he's getting there and some of his so-called "humor" appears to be recycled.

Musings continues to hear, via the downtown grapevine, that polling has already begun for the next mayoral election. Depending on who you talk to, there may be three very viable candidates.

They include the incumbent mayor, a sitting alderman-at-large who has been campaigning for the corner office for the past three years, and a former alderman-at-large and unsuccessful mayoral candidate with a law office on Main Street. Dark horses may include a sitting ward alderman, a freshman state representative and a downtown businessman who is still boiling over the parking rate increases.

Isn't it about time for city budget-makers to take a long look at the use of city vehicles and by whom, the cost of mileage reimbursements, and the potential of a city motor vehicle pool? Musings is told the city has a very capable transportation director who should be doing more than managing bus schedules.

Since city departments spend a lot more than $50,000 a year in mileage reimbursements alone, which equals a minimum of three new vehicles, why wouldn't a citywide motor pool make sense?

Another note: Interesting to read that the city paid out $1 million for sick and vacation time for employees who retired last year. Isn't it about time the mayor and aldermen take a long look at future union contracts to handle this?

In the private sector if you don't use your sick and vacation time you lose it. Isn't it rather ridiculous for the taxpayers to pay upwards of $75,000 per employee for those who hoard their sick and vacation time?

Kudos also to citizen Howard Coffman for keeping on top of this. He suggested, in all likelihood tongue-in-cheek, that when teachers don't show up for work, they should pay their substitutes out of their own pockets.

How do you feel about this?


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