Setting the Record Straight
Debora B. Pignatelli, Executive Councilor, District 5www.debpignatelli.com
The governor is playing politics with important appointments to state agencies and boards.
Instead of consulting with the Executive Council, he is choosing people he knows cannot be confirmed because they are not good fits, and then blames the Democrats on the Council for failing to confirm them.
I am not going to sit quietly while the governor and his nominees distort what is happening.
The most recent examples of his appointments to the Board of Education and the Office of State Licensure Certification – both with very important responsibilities. In those two cases, the nominees were African American men. They were prepared for various positions in state government such as the governor’s GOFERR Commission or others that would have taken advantage of their business backgrounds, just not the positions at hand. I offered to help one of the nominees if he wanted to explore possibilities.
We Democrats have proposed using Representatives Hall for our meetings and public hearings, but have been denied because of COVID. We all know that gatherings are being postponed or even canceled. It is ironic that I am one who has been criticized for the delay in scheduling a public hearing on a nomination. My efforts in earlier years on the Council are the reason why we have public hearings at all on nominations to lead our state agencies and significant boards. They never happened prior to 2005 when I initiated the practice in order to shed light on the nomination process and invite public input.
I strongly recommended other highly qualified African American candidates to the governor for service on the Board of Education. It is in his hands. I am hopeful, but not optimistic that the governor will act. I have advised the governor of other excellent nominees for open positions that could easily be confirmed unanimously by the Council. I don’t even know their political affiliation. I understand other Councilors have done the same.
The governor never responds, never consults, and goes on his merry way nominating people who are not good fits and cannot get the needed votes of Councilors who are doing their jobs well. I am going to have to get another telephone line to field all the calls that I am getting in opposition to this Governor’s inappropriate nominations! The calls and emails from knowledgeable people keep arriving in large numbers. In my 10 years of experience on the Council with other governors, I hadn’t seen this ineffective approach in choosing leaders of our state agencies and important boards and commissions. This governor is departing from past practices in a way that is not at all productive for our State.
I hope the Press will tell both sides of the story and even ask the governor why he is going so far off track.
Next round – March 15 – 8PM – hosted by CNN
Due to concerns over the coronavirus, there will be no live audience.
Once again, this event was held in the NCC gym. Since it was conducted on a Saturday, we just had to attend.
It appeared as though attendance was similar to that for Joe Biden, roughly 1,000 people. It was hard to know exactly because Pete had a much simpler configuration – a stage at the front and a small area for ADA folks. Every one else stood. I’ve got to say that we had a much better view than for the Biden event.
Mayor Pete was introduced by Alderman-At-Large Ben Clemons. To me, Pete started a bit rehearsed, but the more he got into it, the more impromptu and inspirational he became. In general, he comes across as very smart and very articulate. He covered many elements of his platform equally, not focusing on a handful like others.
His approach to questions was different than the others we’d attended. Rather than calling on people in the audience, his staff collected questions on slips of paper while folks were in line waiting for the doors to open and put them in a fishbowl to be picked at random by Alderman Clemons.
Like the others, he spoke for about 30 minutes and focused on questions for maybe another 15 minutes. After the formal event, like the others, he remained available for handshaking, selfies and the like.
We’re hoping to get a few more events in before the primary. Photos below.
The accolades just keep coming!!
In August 2019, WalletHub (a personal finance web site) ranked Nashua 13th Best Run City in the nation. In 2018, WalletHub rated Nashua as the 9th best-run city in the US. In December, WalletHub rated Nashua is the 8th safest city in the country!
“Being repeatedly recognized by WalletHub and Money Magazine, as well as receiving a AAA bond rating from the Fitch and S&P, shows off the effectiveness and efficiency of Nashua’s city government,” Mayor Jim Donchess said.
In ranking Nashua near the top this year, WalletHub compared 150 of the country’s most populated cities in six categories (182 cities in total): Financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure and pollution. In making the rankings, other factors and an overall quality of services score was also given.
For quality of city services, Nashua ranks 18th. For total budget per capita, Nashua ranks 30th. Furthermore, the city ranks 51st for financial stability, 113th for education, 69th for health, first for safety, and 28th for the economy.
“The city of Nashua runs on teamwork,” Donchess said. “Dedicated, passionate, hard-working city employees come together every day to make sure Nashua is a safe, welcoming, happy place for residents and visitors.”
My wife and I had a second opportunity to attend a Presidential Town Hall on Sunday Dec 8. This one was for Joe Biden, with an introduction from Annie Kuster and an endorsement from John Kerry.
This event drew much more attention than the one we’d attended prior. It was held in the NCC gym to a full house.
Annie truly provided only an introduction. John spoke off of the podium for about 30 minutes, taking no questions. Joe spoke for less time, then fielded 4-5 questions from the audience.
The theme of the town hall was the value of Joe Biden’s experience and his concerns around the state of America’s “moral compass”. Climate change was probably the single most discussed topic, though immigration, the electoral college and America’s standing in the world were also discussed at some length. A great experience! Photos below – they’re not the best as we sat behind the podium, but you’ll get a feel for the crowd just the same.
I’ll start off this brief post by stating that NDCC does not endorse any particular Presidential candidate.
This town hall was held on Sunday Oct 27, so your webmaster and his wife were able to attend. One of the best things about living is NH is the incredible access that we have to the candidates.
This town hall was conducted in the atrium at NCC for about an hour. There were maybe 100 people in attendance. Many were very into two of Tom’s signature issues – climate change and impeachment.
Tom looks exactly as he does on those TV ads – down to the belt. He took a number of questions during the formal meeting and stayed well after for brief questions and photos. I was one of those who stayed, asked a question, and shook his hand. I wouldn’t say that he disclosed anything new, but having him state his positions in person has a different impact than a TV ad.
I will continue to post articles on various Town Halls as I am able to attend them.
This was the 2nd straight convention that my wife and I attended – and we’re glad we did. Both times, in my opinion, the biggest excitement was outside the SNHU Arena, though there was plenty of activity all around from 7AM well into the afternoon. If you think of the event as an elaborate Democratic pep rally, you’ll be pretty close to understanding the day.
Outside, from 7AM, there were groups of supporters for almost every candidate and cause positioned somewhere on the front lawn holding signs and chanting a slogan. It was packed and loud, but under control.
Tickets are available for sale, but if you have a connection to a candidate, they often provide tickets, as was the case with us. We were part of the Warren delegation. The event was Sold Out, though some of the higher sections of the arena had open seats.
Once inside, the aisles are surrounded by vendors selling Democratic wares (I bought a button) and booths representing local politicians, organizations and causes.
The event started at around 9:15 with Ray Buckley, NH Democratic Chairman. Each NH county (and Nashua specifically) had a delegation in the front of the arena marked by an identification sign similar to what you might envision on TV. I am not sure how much actual business is done on the convention floor – certainly none during the hours that we were there.
Each “major” presidential candidate (mostly those to be involved in the 3rd debate) had a section of supporters grouped together and got about ten minutes to speak. In between, our elected officers in Washington all had roughly equal time along with some local dignitaries. Made for a long day as it went well into the afternoon.
These are some scenes from outside the Arena before the convention officially started. Sorry if I missed your favorite candidate.
We were sitting pretty far in the back, but this what the convention floor looked like.
And the following photo was provided by the local Tulsi 2020 campaign.
16% voted during the Nov 5 municipal local elections.