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Five ousted Nashua aldermen say goodbye to board

Union Leader Correspondent

December 20. 2013 6:22PM

NASHUA — On Monday, five members of the Board of Aldermen will say farewell, starting a new era in city politics.

In recent days, some of those five ousted incumbents — Barbara Pressly, Mike Tabacsko, Arthur Craffey, Kathy Vitale and Mark Cookson — have publicly said their goodbyes while also wishing the remaining board good luck in the new year.

"I wish you all well in your new endeavors, and I feel like I am in a mood of transition," Pressly told her colleagues on the Planning and Economic Development Committee.

Pressly and Cookson, both aldermen-at-large, lost their seats in the November election to ward aldermen Daniel Moriarty and Diane Sheehan.

Pressly said she will likely continue participating in city meetings as a member of the public. Pressly said she may even be more inclined to speak up now that she can talk as a resident as opposed to an elected official.

"It is going to be an interesting ride for ... the next Board of Aldermen coming in," agreed Craffey, who lost his Ward 4 seat to state Rep. Pamela Brown.

The public asked for change, and that is what they received, said Craffey, maintaining the new board will face many challenges in the upcoming months.

"There are a whole bunch of issues that are quite controversial and could impact taxpayers," said Craffey, mentioning the city's proposed spending cap change and the cadillac tax levied on health insurance companies.

Alderman Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja, who is keeping her Ward 8 seat, thanked all of the outgoing aldermen for their dedication, commitment and time on the board.

"I know each of you will be watching what we do, and we may even hear from you," she told the committee.

"It has been a pleasure serving with all of you, and good luck to everyone as we go on our other paths," said Tabacsko, who lost his Ward 5 seat to Michael Soucy.

Alderman Kathy Vitale, Ward 1, also said her goodbyes, adding she has enjoyed serving on the Planning and Economic Development Committee throughout her time as an alderman. Vitale's position is being filled by newcomer Sean McGuinness.

The other two newcomers — David Schoneman and Ken Siegel — will fill the Ward 3 and Ward 9 seats respectively. Incumbents for both of those positions — Moriarty and Sheehan — are now filling alderman-at-large roles.

Monday is the last Board of Aldermen meeting with the existing board members. The inauguration ceremony for the new board takes place on Jan. 5. Alderman-at-Large David Deane will serve as the new board president.

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