On Nov. 7, Manchester faces an important decision in the race for mayor, with a chance to move our city in a new direction and build a stronger Manchester.
I’ve talked with residents in every ward across the city — and I consistently hear that it’s time for a change. Better schools. Safer neighborhoods. Smarter use of our tax dollars.
We are a great city, and we can achieve all this and more. But it takes new leadership.
As a lifelong resident of Manchester and mother of three children who have attended our public schools, I understand the challenges our city is facing. As a businesswoman and former alderman, I have the managerial experience and knowledge of city government to help bring about change. And as a marathon runner, I know the strength and perseverance it takes to achieve any goal.
I’ve released detailed plans about how we can build a better Manchester. You can read my plans on my website at joycecraig.org. More than ever, Manchester needs a leader who has the vision and energy to make the most of our city’s opportunities, while being honest about the challenges we still face.
Manchester needs effective city management to protect taxpayers. For the past eight years, we’ve seen the mayor’s mismanagement result in lost revenue and costly financial mistakes. Mayor Gatsas’s inability to manage existing school contracts forced neighboring towns to leave our school district, which cost our city more than $15 million in revenue.
And while some students don’t even have math books, Mayor Gatsas spent $1.3 million of our hard-earned tax dollars on mostly cosmetic renovations to his personal office and City Hall. He even spent more than $600 from taxpayers on a new desk chair for himself.
After eight years, we pay more in taxes because of Mayor Gatsas’s wasteful spending and mismanagement of revenue.
Under my leadership, I’ll restore professionalism to the mayor’s office, with a focus on serving all the people in our city. Under my leadership, the fire chief will not have to go to the press to stop a fire station from closing. Under my leadership, the police chief will not have to go to the attorney general’s office because the city solicitor’s office is failing to prosecute domestic violence cases. And under my leadership, the county attorney’s office will not be the one to notify parents about a rape at a city school, two years after the assault occurred.
As mayor, I’ll work to grow our economy through innovative partnerships that bring new jobs and opportunities. I’ll fight to improve our public schools so we can attract and retain families and businesses. And I’ll make smarter, more responsible decisions that reflect our city’s priorities, keep our neighborhoods safe, combat the opioid crisis, and protect city services — while presenting a budget under the tax cap and always protecting your hard-earned tax dollars.
I’ll set an example of what leadership should be. I’ll build consensus. Our government will be transparent and inclusive. I’ll end the pay-to-play culture at City Hall. I’ll advocate for our city and our taxpayers in Concord and with our federal delegation. And it won’t matter who gets credit for ideas or what political party they belong to.
Manchester is a great city, but to make the most of our opportunities we need a new mayor. To build a stronger Manchester, we need a mayor with the vision, energy and management skills to make a difference for every resident. I’m running for mayor because I believe our city can and must do better for our residents. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7, because we need change at City Hall to build a stronger Manchester.
Joyce Craig is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.