Oh, holy cow, it was anything but a silent night
Greazzo had alleged Levasseur had used his status as an alderman to get an agent at Aspen Insurance, the MDPA's broker, to tell him that there was a lapse in its liability insurance. The MDPA was required to get coverage under the agreement it signed with the city to use public land for the dog park. In fact, Greazzo insisted, there was never a lapse and he submitted documents showing that the MDPA had coverage since 2010.
The agent is the only person who could've said definitively whether she felt pressured to share information with Levasseur because he's an alderman and whether she told him there was a lapse. But, according to Chiesa, the MDPA would not authorize the agent to release information about its account.
Chiesa further notes that the status of the MDPA's insurance was not confidential or private, since MDPA was not a person, but a nonprofit in a binding agreement with the city.
Let's hope that the two let sleeping dogs lie, although it seems unlikely that we've heard the last about this issue.
Later in the evening, as the snow piled up outside, Gatsas nearly brought down the gavel again - again in response to some heated words from Levasseur.
Levasseur accused the mayor of singling out the chief. "To sit here and berate the chief," he said. "You should see the way you go after this guy all the time. It's getting sickening."
But Ward 2 Alderman Ron Ludwig said that the needs facing department heads could be seen plainly on the streets.
"Hairdressers being knocked off and robbed. . (And) with all due respect to highway workers, this was the worst plowing job I've ever seen. We lost 24 mailboxes. It's a good thing they weren't kids," Ludwig said. "We're doing a lot of things where we're just rolling the dice."
Fortunately, Tuesday's meeting ended on a brighter note. There was even something of a Christmas miracle, when Levasseur had kinds words for Deputy City Solicitor Tom Arnold, who more than once has been on the receiving end of the alderman's harangues. Levasseur praised him for winning an arbitrator's ruling that upheld the firing of Stephen Coco, the former police sergeant accused in a hit-and-run.
Then he invited the aldermen to stand and wish the public a merry Christmas.
Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @tbsreporter.
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