Manchester candidates release proposals on economic development and opioid crisisBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
October 10. 2017 11:30PM
MANCHESTER — Two candidates for municipal office in Manchester have released details on proposals they plan to bring forward if elected next month — one dealing with economic development, the other with the city’s opioid crisis.
Mayoral candidate Joyce Craig released two new policy plans Tuesday, addressing economic development and city management in Manchester. Last week Craig released the first policy plan of her 2017 campaign, promising “transparency” if elected to the Queen City’s corner office.
“Today I released two plans to address economic development and city management in Manchester,” said Craig in a statement. “We must make Manchester an ideal place to live, work, start a business, and raise a family. Our city has missed opportunities for development due to mismanagement over the past 8 years. My goal is to improve city administration and ensure that we are working proactively to help our city grow, while respecting the tax cap.”
In her economic development plan, Craig proposes establishing a Mayor’s Business and Economic Development Council to create a plan for long and short term economic growth, instituting matching grant programs to support small local businesses, advocating for the riverwalk project and working with private rail service to extend a proposed line from Nashua and Bedford to Manchester’s millyard.
In her city management plan, Craig promises to present a budget to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that respects the tax cap, set citywide goals to improve education and public safety, and develop a long-term infrastructure improvement plan to prioritize infrastructure projects.
The full plans can be found at http://joycecraig.org/plans/.
Incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas released his full 12-point plan last week, available online at https://www.tedgatsas.com/plan. On Tuesday, Gatsas campaign manager Ross Berry called on Craig to release details of her plan in full.
“Joyce Craig has released yet another incomplete plan where she fails to address real challenges facing the city such as the opioid (epidemic),” said Berry in a statement. “What is even more incredible is that most of her proposed ideas are things Mayor Gatsas currently does or has already accomplished. Mayor Gatsas has already released his full plan which is easily accessible at www.tedgatsas.com/plan and Craig should release her entire plan immediately as voters deserve to know what her real agenda is before election day.”
Craig’s policy announcement followed a mailer sent out by Ward 2 candidate for alderman Bob O’Sullivan, who proposes a plan to do away with what he calls the “revive and release” policy — where first responders administer Narcan to overdose victims, who then go on their way — sometimes to overdose again.
O’Sullivan calls his plan the 30-60-90 plan. Under his proposal, the first time someone is revived with Narcan following an overdose the individual would spend 30 days in jail. The second time would result in a 60-day sentence, the third 90 days behind bars.
“There are city services available to help the addicted recover and live sober, productive lives,” said O’Sullivan. “These short time-out periods would offer an opportunity to get sober, help families seek treatment, gain a desire for recovery and most importantly, help saves lives.”
Alderman At Large Joseph Kelly Levasseur called the proposal “bold.”
“Finally, a potential politician with some guts to do something about the opioid crisis,” wrote Levasseur in an email. “Hugging them to death is not the way to go — incarcerate them to try and save lives, revive and release hasn’t worked.”