MANCHESTER - The Manchester Republican Committee called on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to follow the clear intent of the law and the will of the voters by placing the spending cap question on the November ballot.
Dozens of volunteers from all political parties worked for countless hours to gather over four thousand signatures necessary to place the question on the ballot. By law, the aldermen must now send the question to the voters. If the voters approve the question, the aldermen will have to vote by a two-thirds majority to pass a budget that grows faster than the rate of inflation. Eight democrats on the board yesterday voted not to place the question on the presidential election ballot on November 4, 2008. Instead they pushed for a special election to be held in the dead of winter at a cost of approximately $40,000. This was a blatant attempt to engineer a low-turnout election in the hopes that the question would be defeated.
"Those eight aldermen do not represent the people of this city. They represent those who would benefit by quickly growing the city budget. They would have us return to the sorry days of Bob Baines and his 18.6% budget increase in 2005," said Keith Murphy, first vice-chair of the MRC. "What we saw Tuesday night was an arrogant abuse of power of the sort that should never happen in a democracy."
"Anyone not outraged by eight aldermen trampling on the rights of the people is simply not paying attention," added Will Infantine, MRC chair. "The voters aren't fools, aldermen. They are paying attention, and they know what you're up to. Next year they'll have an opportunity to correct your mistakes."
The spending cap effort has been underway since April of 2008. The MRC endorsed the spending cap petition in July, after the non-partisan New Hampshire Advantage Coalition reached the necessary number of signatures. The City Democrats have not endorsed the effort, but has instead worked to block the spending cap through maneuvers of this sort. The four thousand signatures on the spending cap petition represent nearly equal numbers of registered Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
"The City Democrats have clearly proven that they do not represent the taxpayers of Manchester, and any Democrat who signed that petition or intends to vote for the question should ask themselves if that committee or the MRC really represent their interests," added Infantine.
Aldermen Mark Roy, Jim Roy, Russ Ouellette, George Smith, Dan O'Neil, Mike Lopez, Bill Shea, and Betsi DeVries all voted to waste $40,000 by sending the question to a special election.