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Your Turn NH -- Mayor Ted Gatsas: Serving as Manchester's mayor has been an eight-year honor

By MAYOR TED GATSAS
December 30. 2017 10:07PM
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



When I first took my oath of office on Jan. 5, 2010, the perception of Manchester was that we were destined to underachieve. At the time, I asked everyone to place those preconceived notions in the rearview mirror and, instead, asked the citizens of Manchester to "imagine the possibilities," and to "imagine what we can accomplish if we work together as one community with the same objective."

This was just the beginning of my tenure as mayor, but it was also the beginning of a series of great achievements and successes for our beloved Queen City.

Today, our city is undergoing a renaissance and is revered by communities across the state and the region. Our Millyard is booming, commercial occupancy rates are at an all-time high, people are making their homes downtown, and businesses are expanding in Manchester because of our favorable economic climate. This happened because we dared to imagine the possibilities.

In my tenure as mayor we have increased educational opportunity for our students. Our fourth-graders now participate in the FIRST Jr. Steam Ahead program, beginning their experience with robotics that will open doors for them that they never realized possible. For our at-risk students we brought City Year to our elementary schools so they can receive the mentorship they deserve to stay in school and on track.

And finally, the opportunity I am most proud of bringing forward is the Manchester School of Technology (MST). MST is preparing our students to be workforce ready on graduation day and changing the trajectory of our students' lives. These opportunities exist within the Manchester School District because we were able to imagine the possibilities.

Throughout my tenure we have invested in our parks and green spaces, paved hundreds of miles of roads, fixed our bridges, and built the Manchester Municipal Complex, which houses our Department of Public Works, Central Fleet Maintenance, and the Manchester Police Department. This investment in our infrastructure will last for generations to come. If we continue to invest, and imagine the possibilities, we will maintain our high quality of life.

All of this success, and much more, were not accomplished on my own, and I would like to offer thanks to the many people who helped make it happen.

First, to the citizens of Manchester; thank you for placing your faith in me to serve as your mayor for the past eight years. Thank you for your relentless belief in our city, recognizing that our best days are always ahead of us, and daring to imagine the possibilities.

To the city department heads, I asked and expected a lot of you. I continually challenged you to do more with less, justify every dollar of your budget many times over, and make city services more efficient. In return you gave to me and the citizens of Manchester 110 percent of yourself. Your dedication to our city will continue to propel us forward.

I would also like to thank the reporters and editors of this publication. Every day you challenged me, my staff, and city leaders to do better by sharing more. Your mission, as said by the great Daniel Webster, "there is nothing so powerful as truth," is a constant reminder that success relies on the citizens' confidence in their government. Your reporting is important both to ensuring confidence in government and the success of our city.

Nothing would be possible without the love and support of my wonderful family. They have celebrated in my triumphs and lifted me up when I needed it most. Thank you for always being there when I needed you and when I thought I didn't.

And finally, to my staff, Samantha Piatt, Carrie Perry, and Vicki Ferraro, who have given eight years of their professional career to public service, thank you will never be enough. You have given so much of yourselves to this city. You have rightly earned the respect of your peers because of your professionalism and exceptional abilities. As a team we achieved great success for which you should each be proud. We leave our service to the Queen City as family, and I look forward to learning about your accomplishments in your future endeavors.

In closing, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the beloved Queen City. It has been my life's honor to serve as her mayor. I wish the best of luck, and many successes, to the next administration.

Godspeed.

Ted Gatsas concludes his fourth term as mayor of Manchester on Tuesday.


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