MANCHESTER (July 24, 2009) – Mayor Frank Guinta praised Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge James O’Neill for dismissing the case brought forth by the Board of Aldermen regarding the legality of the spending cap. The judge ruled that a meeting that the City Solicitor had with the Alderman was a violation of the New Hampshire Right to Know Law (RSA 91-A) and that litigation was not properly before the court.
“It is gratifying that Judge O’Neill recognized what I and so many others understood, that the Aldermen’s action was taken behind closed doors and with no public input,” Guinta said. “I felt this was a clear violation of the Right to Know Law but, more importantly, a clear subversion of the ability of Manchester residents to vote on a spending cap.”
In addition to the RSA 91-A violation, the judge found the action by the alderman at the illegal meeting was based on mere “consensus.” The judge ruled that, “consensus, to pursue litigation by some of the aldermen, in an unnoticed consultation with legal counsel, is not sufficient to bring this action on behalf of Manchester’s governing body, the (Board of Mayor and Aldermen).”
“Up to this point, the actions by the Aldermen have been to subvert the voter’s ability to decide on this important issue,” Guinta said. “Moving forward, I hope the Aldermen that have done everything in their power to derail a spending cap now allow the people decide on Election Day.”