Craig's partisan start: A note of cautionEDITORIAL
January 08. 2018 8:48PM
We will give brand-new Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig the benefit of the doubt on her first week in office.
Craig drew criticism from Republican officials for shutting them out of committee chairmanships, as City Hall reporter Paul Feely documented Sunday. She was well within her authority to name political allies to the posts, but we hope it does not lead to Washington-style dysfunction at City Hall.
Two years ago, Alderman Dan O’Neil was upset that then-Mayor Ted Gatsas broke a tie in naming Pat Long as chairman. This year, Craig broke a tie in O’Neil’s favor, after first giving aldermen a chance to break the deadlock on their own.
Then as now, Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur wanted the mayor to let the board choose its own chair. But the mayor’s job includes breaking ties. Craig’s action here was appropriate, and O’Neil gets the gavel he sought two years ago.
We’ve never taken much stock in Manchester’s official fiction of holding nonpartisan elections. Political factions exist, whether or not they are labeled on the ballot.
Craig did not choose any Republicans to chair aldermanic or school board committees. We hope she is willing to work with her GOP colleagues over the next two years.