Publisher's Note ó November 25, 2004

November 25, 2004

By Jody Reese

Turkeys Needed

The New Hampshire Food Bank needs turkeys.

They have requests for more than 7,000 turkeys but had only collected about 4,000 by the end of last week. Please, if you can, please buy two turkeys this year and drop one off at the food bank at 62 West Brook St. For more information the food bank can be reached at 669-9725.

Parking, again

Last week the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to hold off on increasing city garage parking fees from $65 per month to $70.

However, the board did approve a hefty increase in the snow emergency tow fine, from $85 to $115. That rate will increase another $10 next year to bring the total fine to $125. The argument for raising the fine was that tow companiesí costs were increasing. Instead, the board should have considered an overhaul of the snow emergency system.  A citywide parking ban is a huge burden. City government should look at other options, such as towing autos to streets where the snow has been cleared, rather than to a lot miles away.

The truth behind the tax rate

This year property taxes rose nearly 6 percent, mostly because the state cut back on Manchester education aid.

In the upcoming city elections (next year), that will become a big issue, with challengers claiming that taxes have risen too high too fast. In reality, Manchester has done an admirable job of balancing keeping taxes low and spending, parking problems aside. City government negotiated a contract with surrounding towns that use city schools that has those communities, rightly, paying into improving the school buildings and grounds. City departments have kept spending level and not increased their staffs. City government has an excellent bond rating, meaning it can borrow money at a reduced cost. No one likes to pay taxes, but then again no one likes street crime and bad schools. It costs money to run a city.

Chandler, again

Republicans state legislators (with help from Manchester Republican state representatives ) reelected house speaker Gene Chandler for a third term last week after it had been revealed that he took money from lobbiests, used it for personal expenses and never reported it.

The Attorney Generalís office is investigating to see if that broke any laws. If it didnít, it should have. How can our legislators be independent if they can take money from lobbiests and use it to buy a new car?  Chandler should not have been reelected.

óJody Reese

2004 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH