In advance of Governor Sununu's State of the State address, we check in with four mayors on how their communities are faring: on education, the local economy, and the addiction crisis. And we ask what they'd like to hear from the Governor.
Jeff Feingold, editor of the New Hamsphire Business Review
- Joyce Craig, Mayor of Manchester and a former alderman.
- Paul Grenier, Mayor of Berlin.
- Anthony Giunta, Mayor of Franklin.
- Karen Weston, Mayor of Dover; she also owns a grocery store in the city, Janetos Market. It's been in her family for decades.
- Population: 10,413 (2016)
- Located along the Androscoggin River on the edge of the White Mountains and less than 60 miles (100 km) from Quebec, the former paper mill town, has a large population of French Canadian descent.
- Key Issues/Concerns: downtown redevelopment, lagging growth, tourism development, including outdoor activities. See NHPR's coverage of efforts to reinvigorate the region's economy with ATV tourism.
- Population: 31,153 (2016)
- The downtown area reflects the city's mill heritage. It is located between the mountains and the ocean -- an hour from Boston, Portland, the White Mountains and Lake Winnipesauke. The city bills itself as "the affordable seacoast."
- Key Issues/Concerns: property taxes, education, aging infrastructure, and affordable housing.
- Population: 8,447 (2016)
- Franklin’s motto is “The Three Rivers City." Beginning in 2015, with the assistance of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the NH Cooperative Extension Service, and PlanNH, the city embarked on a comprehensive effort to rebuild and revitalize its downtown.
- Key Issues/Concerns: City officials had their hopes set on the Northern Pass Project (rejected by the Site Evaluation Committee in early February), described by Mayor Frank Giunta as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for the city's economic future.
- Population: 110,506 (2016)
- Once the home of the world’s largest textile manufacturing complex along the Merrimack River, the city's revitalized mill buildings are now central to downtown development -- housing businesses, apartments, restaurants, and college facilities affiliated with UNH and SNHU.
- Key Issues/Concerns: opioid crisis, funding for city schools, expanding retail opportunities downtown, development of passenger rail.