Ted Siefer's City Hall: Mayoral debate came down to a question of project financing
Arnold also sought to distinguish himself from Gatsas by stressing that he has a vision for the city. He described a dream he had, 10 years in the future, in which a young couple in the Boston area would contemplate making a trip to Manchester. "They can check out the 'Riverwalk,' and the new five-star restaurant, and while they're there, they decide to check out homes, and they don't even have to read up on Manchester schools, because it's well known they are the very best the state has to offer."
Arnold's latest proposal is for a boardwalk along the Merrimack, much like they have in Providence, R.I. Arnold also wants to hire up to 20 more police officers, more teachers and to beautify downtown.
Gatsas noted that Arnold had voted against a $2.8 million bond for technology upgrades in the schools. Arnold replied that he did so because he felt it was a "Band-Aid" solution.
Arnold: "Band-Aids don't help a broken arm."
What effect the debate will have is, well, debatable. It perhaps didn't help that the organizers, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, didn't allow media outlets to broadcast or record the debate from inside the hall at St. Anselm's Institute of Politics. Instead, the chamber said media could set up in the lobby outside the hall.
He pressed Robin Comstock, the chamber president, to allow him to air the event. "This unfounded excuse to stick us in the lobby is a disservice to the thousands of listeners who would otherwise tune live or visit our archive of the broadcast to hear the chamber ask its questions of the mayoral candidates," Girard wrote in an email to Gemma Waite French, the chamber's marketing director. (Girard posted his entire exchange with the chamber online.)
"Our event, first and foremost, is for our chamber members," she said. "They're open to the public, and we invite the media to attend. We like having media there. (Girard) was invited and chose to not attend."
It's farewell to Peter Capano, the shaggy-haired, ever-friendly chief of the parks division.
"I'm proud of my accomplishments over 26 years," Capano said. "I don't think you'll find anywhere in the city a construction project or sewer or drain . that I didn't have a finger in. I'm proud that my adopted city of Manchester has given me these opportunities."
What's next for Capano? He says he and his wife will remain in Manchester, and he hopes they will be doing some traveling, including trips to Europe.
In the meantime, Capano says he'll be keeping an eye on the city's medians, roads and parks for any problems. "I know the number to call," he said.
Tuesday's aldermen's meeting was a long one and, as is often the case, some of the more significant items passed without discussion or debate.
In the interest of housekeeping, here's a partial rundown.
They also approved grant applications for $40,000 to complete the Rockingham trail and develop a master plan to enhance bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The money would come from the New Hampshire Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program. And just so we're clear, as one of the men who oversee the program explained to me, the grant money is coming from a donor, not the state.