Former Alderman Joyce Craig Launches Second Bid For Manchester Mayor

Mar 16, 2017

Credit joycecraig.org

Former Manchester Alderman Joyce Craig is making another bid for mayor of the state's largest city.

The Democrat announced her candidacy Thursday.

Craig first ran for mayor in 2015, losing by just 64 votes to Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

Speaking NHPR's Morning Edition, Craig says she would bring a new approach to some of the issues facing the city.

“On the opioid epidemic, we have a number of service providers in the city that need to work better together to provide the services the residents of Manchester need,” she said. “So that’s something that a strong leader in Manchester who knows what’s going on could do.”

Craig was particularly critical of the recent budget proposal put forth by Gatsas, claiming that it would lead to fewer police officers and firefighters, and could even lead to some fire stations closing. She says that's because his budget doesn't fund severance pay.

"So the departments themselves will have to fund retirements. On the police side, that's about $500,000. So in order for them allocate that money to retirements, they're going to have to hold vacancies, which means there will be less police officers on the street. Same thing with firemen."

"This is information I got from the fire chief and the police chief," she added.

Gatsas has proposed spending $1.5 million to pave Elm Street, but Craig says that's not enough.

"I believe we should be leveraging that money to do something to address the need of parking in the Millyard, or redevelopment along the riverwalk," she said.

With regard to the national debate over illegal immigration and s0-called sanctuary cities, Craig said, "I believe it's a federal issue in terms of immigration law. From a local level, I don't see any reason why the Manchester police should be doing anything than what they're doing today."

Craig said she doesn't believe local police should be checking immigration status. 

Gatsas hasn't yet announced whether he plans to seek a fifth term this fall.

The Republican ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor last year.