Last week, there was a public hearing in the NH House Municipal and County Government Committee on Senate Bill 52, to restore the spending cap for Nashua, which was struck down by a judge, as well as to protect caps for other towns and cities.
The prime bill sponsor, Nashua Senator Kevin Avard, testified that “They [citizens of Nashua] voted for this [spending cap] by a referendum and were outraged that it has not been enforced as of late.”
In response, Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess testified:
The people are not outraged by whatever the Senator, my friend Senator Avard, suggested, that the people are outraged. The people are not outraged.
Those who have run based on the platform you have heard, including my friend Senator Avard and my friend Fred Teeboom, they’ve run for the board of aldermen, they’ve lost based on this platform. Those who run based on this platform have all lost, actually.
So, according to Donchess, even though the spending cap was passed in a referendum by Nashua voters and it was never repealed, the cap should not be restored because those who are fighting to restore it, former Nashua alderman Fred Teeboom and Senator Kevin Avard, lost the last time they ran for alderman.
However, Mayor Donchess did not mention that former Nashua Alderman-at-Large Dan Moriarty has been fighting as hard as anyone to get SB52 passed and Moriarty won his last race for alderman. I am awarding Donchess “Four Pinocchios” for this blatant omission.
Donchess goes on to say:
Another thing I wanted to point out is that all the budgets have passed with the so-called supermajority. I mean the budgets have been passing with more than 10 votes, in fact usually 12, 13, 14, 15, so a supermajority is already passing these budgets.
So, because the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen vote in lockstep, then the citizens of Nashua don’t need no stinkin’ spending cap.
This is the same mayor that lavishes money on a boondoggle Performing Arts Center and other wasteful projects while allowing a multitude of failures in City Hall. For him, the job of mayor is not about doing what is best for the city residents. In his testimony, he made it clear that it is about political power. The Mayor and the Board of Aldermen hold the political power and the rest of Nashua’s citizens are out of luck.
Nashua Alderman and State Rep Jan Schmidt registered her opposition to SB52 for the House public hearing, as well as Nashua Rep Laura Telerski. For the Senate public hearing, in addition to Schmidt and Telerski, Alderman and State Rep Patricia Klee and Nashua Rep Latha Mangipudi registered their opposition to the bill.
In spite of the efforts of the Mayor and Aldermen Schmidt and Klee and State Reps Telerski and Mangipudi to kill the bill, the NH House Municipal and County Government Committee voted 10-9 to recommend that SB52 Ought to Pass.
SB52 now goes to the full NH House for a vote in June. Contact your state reps and ask them to vote Ought to Pass on SB52 to protect the spending cap for Nashua as well as for other New Hampshire towns and cities.