Manchester elections: Levasseur back on Board of Aldermen
MANCHESTER -- When Mayor Ted Gatsas takes the podium in the Aldermanic Chambers this January, he'll see few new faces on the Board of Aldermen.
There will be only two newcomers. Local business owner Joe Kelly Levasseur was the top vote-getter in the alderman at-large race with 6,824 votes. Levasseur, who served as the Ward 3 Alderman from 2000 to 2002, will be one of two Republicans on a board dominated by Democrats.
Board of School Committee member Tom Katsiantonis moved up to take a seat on the Board of Aldermen, defeating state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, 812-661.
Alderman At-Large Dan O'Neil will remain on the board, earning 6,394 votes, but fellow Alderman At-Large Mike Lopez was defeated with 5,986 votes. State Rep. Will Infantine, who ran with Levasseur as a team, was also defeated with 5,195 votes.
O'Neil and Lopez are both long-time, influential aldermen who took different approaches to this year's tough budget battle. While O'Neil fought against cuts to city services and public safety, Lopez worked to forge a compromise that would preserve some city services, including keeping the West Side library open and maintaining Saturday bus service. This compromise, however, did mean cuts, including layoffs in the Highway and Fire Departments.
Infantine and Levasseur decided to challenge the sitting aldermen together, warning taxpayers of large potential tax increases in the event the mayor and aldermen next year fail to make cuts to the current budget.
Other than the at-large race, incumbents carried the day on the Board of Aldermen. Ward 4 Alderman Jim Roy fought off a challenge from Nick Levasseur, who was backed by the local firefighter union. Roy got 585 votes while Levassuer got 364. Although Roy had served as a Manchester firefighter, the union offered its endorsement to Levasseur for his pledge to preserve public safety jobs. Roy had offered a plan earlier this year that would layoff upper management to pay for entry-level firefighters, a move that was seen as a major factor in the firefighters? endorsement of his opponent.
Ward 6 Alderman Garth Corriveau faced a tough challenge from Zoning Board Chairman Brian Desfosses, but Corriveau took the seat with 837 votes to Desfosses' 789. Corriveau was a strong advocate for public safety and preserving city services, while Desfosses painted himself as an independent who would keep a watchful eye on spending.
In the other Aldermen races, Ward 2 Alderman Ron Ludwig defeated opponent Craig Haynie 921-448; Ward 5 Alderman Ed Osborne defeated newcomer Mike Segal 473-253; Ward 7 Alderman William Shea beat tax cap advocate Lisa Gravel 720-404; Ward 9 Alderman Barbara Shaw beat Timothy Sawyer 695-426; Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo beat local business owner Jane Beaulieu 634-617; Ward 11 Alderman Russ Ouellette defeated newcomer Emily Sandblade 417-278; Ward 12 Alderman Patrick Arnold defeated challenger Mark Nadzan 576-566.