NH News
2:27 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Manchester Mayoral Candidates Gatsas, Arnold Trade Jabs In First Debate

Alderman Patrick Arnold, left, and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, right, square off in a debate at Saint Anselm College Wednesday morning.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Mayor Ted Gatsas and challenger Alderman Patrick Arnold met for their first debate Wednesday morning.

The candidates traded jabs during a discussion about the city’s rise in crime.

Alderman Patrick Arnold repeatedly took Mayor Ted Gatsas to task for what he called a lack of leadership.

Arnold proposes adding three to four police officers a year and expanding the community policing program.

“We wouldn’t wait for the request to come in, we would be responsive to the concerns of the residents, and the concerns of the taxpayers, who say violent crimes have increased annually over the last four years, what are you going to do about it?”

Gatsas fired back, accusing Arnold of politicizing the issue.

He says he meets with Police Chief David Mara twice a week and trusts him to make the best decisions on how to fight crime.

Gatsas, who is seeking his third, two-year term, says his collaborative leadership style led to the completion of the city’s new $43 million municipal complex.

“That was a unanimous vote and it was a vision that I brought forward. And it happened. It happened on time and under budget.”

The candidates also squared off on education and economic development.

They face off in a citywide election on Nov. 5.