Gate City Musings: When will the tax hikes end?
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.
Well folks, when it rains it pours ... especially when it comes to tax increases.
The Gate City's beleaguered taxpayers, thanks to the mayor and Board of Aldermen, take it on the chin once again.
Seems every time you turn around in our fair city our "friend" in City Hall wants to take more of our hard-earned dollars and shove them in the city coffers.
Now we have another increase of 15 percent in our sewer rates being proposed by "Mayor Taxes" and yet another rate increase of almost 1 percent in our water rates on top of a whopping 12 percent increase just 4 years ago. Wasn't the mayor the one who claimed to be the taxpayers' friend when she ran for office?
Isn't the mayor the politician who promised a lowering of our water rates when the city purchased Pennichuck and said the operating costs of running Pennichuck Water Works would be less under city ownership? Musings wonders when it will end.
Certain mayoral and aldermanic candidates are already lining up a compendium of tax increases put forth on our electorate during the last six years of this administration. In addition, we now have a list of the city's elementary schools that our friends on the Board of Education and our school superintendent feel need major multi-million dollar renovations in the next few years.
It's only money folks, yours and mine!
A little birdie in City Hall tells Musings there appears to be a breaking of the wall of silence put on city employees by the mayor. It's no secret the aldermen are forbidden to talk with city department heads and employees without expressed permission by the mayor. However that doesn't prevent them from talking among themselves.
The recent departure of a key city department head caused a few heads to turn when the mayor was referred to by this ex-employee as a "dictator."
On another subject, does anybody wonder why no one really listens when former alderman Paula Johnson spouts off?
As one of her former alderman "comrades" said in the aldermanic chambers the other day, she's been doing this for years and no one really cares a wit.
With good weather there's been a litany of strange goings-on in or near the Gate City. Take the gent who got angry at a clerk at the state motor vehicle office adjacent to the turnpike on Broad Street. He started throwing chairs and caused $1,500 of property damage before he was subdued by one of Nashua's finest. Suffice to say he spent the night in jail.
Then, in nearby Hudson, a customer posing as a Hudson policeman, wearing sunglasses and an open-neck jacket, swindled a bunch of supermarket gift cards from a trusting clerk to be used, he said, in a police fundraiser to raise awareness of drugs. Then in a not-so-bold move he stupidly used one of the gift cards to buy energy drinks and cigarettes. A photo of the gift card swindler is being circulated.
While those who celebrated the ground-breaking for the new Cotton Mill Square project being developed by local builder John Stabile, several of the uninvited guests, including a couple of City Hall big wigs, were overheard at MT's eatery saying it was the deal of a lifetime. When you get a $26 million project with spending only $2 million of your own money, it's certainly a coup of major proportions, one former City Hall wag said.
Attempting to add some humor to the festivities, Stabile said early on he had lost hope in the project and that with all the social programs he had to use, he should have become a Democrat.
Kudos to the Greater Nashua Humane Society whose 200 volunteers were honored by the mayor's Volunteer Recognition Committee with the Gate City Light Award with thanks for what they do to assist this most worthwhile organization.
Kudos also to Samantha Russo of Nashua on being crowned Miss New Hampshire this year. A 2008 graduate of Nashua High School North, she took home top prize of $13,000 and a tiara at the 54th annual scholarship program event. Another feather in Nashua's cap!
The new Miss N.H. follows in a long line of bright, well-educated Nashua young women who have won this title.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Musings would love to hear from you.