Gatsas files paperwork to run again for mayor in 2017By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
July 11. 2017 11:42PM
MANCHESTER — Incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas was among 13 candidates who filed paperwork Tuesday at City Hall to run for office in the 2017 municipal primary election, bringing the total number of candidates through Day 2 of the filing period to 40.
Gatsas’ chief opponent for the corner office, former Ward 1 alderman and school board member Joyce Craig, is expected to make her latest effort to succeed Gatsas official this morning when she and family members head to City Hall to file her paperwork for another mayoral run.
In filing his papers, Gatsas pointed to a decline in crime and businesses and residents moving to the Queen City as reasons for seeking a fifth term.
“I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished during my time as mayor,” said Gatsas in a statement. “In the past two years crime has decreased, we saved a fire station from closing, allocated more money for roads, and the S.T.E.A.M. education program continues to produce great results for students. Over 400 people net moved into Manchester as more people realize what long term city residents have known all along, that Manchester is a great place to live, work, and play. What the city needs now is to continue on the positive work we have done together while also understanding where we can and must do better.”
Craig, who lost to Gatsas in the 2015 mayoral election by 64 votes following a recount, wasted little time in attacking her opponent, issuing a statement saying the city has “stumbled from crisis to crisis” during his tenure in office.
“In just the last two weeks, Mayor Gatsas claimed he didn’t understand the “severity” of a violent crime in a school, claimed he didn’t know that the City Solicitor’s office was failing to prosecute domestic violence cases, and he didn’t realize his budget would result in the closure of fire stations,” said Craig in a statement. “Mayor Gatsas is responsible for effectively managing the city and claiming he doesn’t know what is going on is not an acceptable excuse.”
Members of the city’s two firefighter unions issued a joint statement following Gatsas’ filing, saying the people of Manchester are “tired of Teddy’s tall tales.”
Last month city aldermen approved, 7-6, a fact-finder report recommending a two-year pay increase for Manchester firefighers and supervisors, but Gatsas blocked it with a veto, saying the two-year price tag of the report tops $4 million and would lead to future job losses.
“Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start,” said members of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement. “Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures. Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough.”
The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 19, with the general election scheduled for Nov. 7.
Along with Gatsas, the following candidates all filed paperwork Tuesday to run for office.
Dan O’Neil is seeking reelection to his At Large seat on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Debra Gagnon Langton filed to retain the Ward 2 seat on the school board; she is facing opposition from David Scannell.
Tim Baines, owner and operator of Mint Bistro on Elm Street and son of former Mayor Bob Baines, filed paperwork seeking the Ward 3 alderman seat, taking on incumbent and board chair Pat Long.
Jason Hodgdon is seeking the Ward 4 alderman seat, while Mark Flanders filed papers to run for school board in Ward 4 against Leslie Want. Tony Sapienza is seeking reelection as Ward 5 alderman, while Ethan Moorhouse wants to serve as selectman in Ward 7.
Edward Sapienza filed papers for a run at the Ward 8 alderman’s seat, while William Cerf is running for selectman and Jimmy Lehoux filed papers for the Ward 8 school board slot.
Brian McCoy is running for clerk in Ward 9, and Joel Elber filed papers to run for alderman in Ward 12.
For those interested in running for office, the election filing period ends Friday, July 21, at 5 p.m. The necessary paperwork is available at the Office of the City Clerk in City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza.
For an updated list of candidates who have filed paperwork, visit www.manchesternh.gov/Departments/City-Clerk/Voter-Registration-and-Elections and click on ‘2017 Municipal Candidate Filings.’