Manchester, NH – Today in front of Manchester Fire’s Station 8, the Queen City’s two firefighter unions weighed into the contentious race for Mayor with their endorsement of former Alderman Joyce Craig.
“Manchester is in desperate need of a new vision for our city and its fire department. Over Mayor Gatsas’ tenure, staffing at the department has been reduced while the city has experienced a continuous increase in call volume and hazardous situations. As a 31 year veteran of the department, I am increasingly alarmed by the dangers and long term effects our firefighters face as they perform their mission to protect life and property. Simply stated we need a change and it must originate from the top,” said James Michael, President of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820.
“Our members pride themselves on their effective and efficient answering of every call, to every home and every business in need. We see firsthand the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in running our city, most recently through Mayor Ted Gatsas’ tall tale of saving Station 9 in his underfunded budget. As a lifelong resident of our city, I can say that smoke and mirrors does not result in a clear vision for our community. It is time that a change come to City Hall, and today we announce that Joyce is our choice as the next Mayor of Manchester,” said Jeff Duval, President of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 856.
“I am proud to receive the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association. Our firefighters risk their lives to respond to an increasing amount of emergency calls and hazardous situations with outstanding professionalism and dedication. I also want to thank our firefighters for their leadership and service implementing the Safe Station program. They have opened their doors to more than 2,000 people seeking help for substance use disorder. I look forward to working with our public safety officials to address our challenges and move Manchester forward,” said Joyce Craig, Candidate for Mayor of Manchester.
Joyce Craig is running against the current Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas. This election rematch is shaping up to be a very tight race.
The firefighters have not held anything back when talking about the failed leadership of Mayor Gatsas. In his campaign announcement, Gatsas proclaimed he “saved a fire station from closing,” The firefighters quickly tamped that out in their statement.
“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. 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. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures,” said the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement.
“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 firefighters added.
Be sure to follow the NH Labor News for more updates on the Manchester Mayoral Race.