Board reverses public works parkway vote

NASHUA – Though the vote wasn’t unexpected, it still irked two residents in the audience.

The board of aldermen Tuesday, on the recommendation of Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, reversed a vote by the board of public works to kill the Broad Street Parkway.

Earlier this month, the public works board – which the mayor chairs – voted 4-1 against the parkway in largely a symbolic vote.

Under city charter, the board must vote on whether to recommend any road project.

Aldermen in September voted 10-5 to approve the bond. Parkway supporter Ward 2 Alderman Richard LaRose, who was hospitalized, used a new state law to cast his vote over the telephone.

The motion to reverse the public works board vote passed by 9-4. Unlike the vote to approve the bond, only a simple majority of the board of aldermen was needed.

Voting to reverse the vote were Aldermen-at-Large Steve Bolton, Brian McCarthy, Ben Clemons and Fred Teeboom, and ward Aldermen LaRose, Michael Tamposi, Jr., Mike Tabacsko, Marc Plamondon and Jeff Cox.

Voting to uphold the public works vote were Alderman-at-Large David Deane and ward Aldermen Paul Chasse, Jr., Dick Flynn and Dave MacLaughlin.

Alderman-at-Large Lori Wilshire, a parkway supporter, and Ward 1 Alderman Mark Cookson, a parkway opponent, were absent.

The issue wasn’t on the regular agenda, but came up in board communications, as Lozeau requested the vote in a letter to the board of aldermen.

Communications are taken up before the period for public comment on action items, which irked two residents who attended the meeting to speak against reversing the vote.

“It’s too late now. The votes are in,” said Bob Burgess of 32 Bates Drive.

Burgess likened the proposal for a cross-city roadway to Boston’s Big Dig, saying it will put a strain on Nashua taxpayers.

Daniel Richardson, a former alderman who lives at 70 Berkley St., said he had hoped to speak before the vote. Richardson still offered his opinion, praising the four public works board members who opposed the parkway.

“They’ve got their ear to the ground. They’re listening to what people want and don’t want,” Richardson said.

He criticized aldermen who support the parkway for listening to developers, not citizens.

Later in the meeting, LaRose responded to Richardson’s comments that aldermen who support the parkway don’t care about the city or its residents.

“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” LaRose said.

All aldermen care about the city, even those who don’t agree with Richardson on a particular issue, LaRose said.