Jul. 1—Former Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan announced his candidacy Thursday for an at large seat on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, saying the time has come for "real change."
Goonan, the city's outspoken former fire chief and emergency management director, retired April 30 after 36 years with the department.
"I spent the last 20 years working with city leadership to help improve Manchester's public services," said Goonan in a statement. "What I learned from that time is we need real change in our Aldermanic Board. Some individuals have spent decades on the board, and it's time for change. Instead of allowing politics to get in the way of fixing problems, I intend to bring political civility and common sense to the Board of Aldermen so we can spend our time working together for a better Manchester."
Goonan, currently a police officer in Auburn, said if elected he will focus on working with city departments, state agencies and local organizations in finding sustainable long-term solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Queen City.
He hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. The late Daniel Goonan entered the world of city politics upon retiring from the police department after 20 years, serving on the planning board and as an alderman.
"I love Manchester, and I know how much potential we have," Goonan said. "To sit on the sidelines would be a disservice to the people I have helped protect in my over 36 year career as a firefighter and law enforcement officer."
Goonan, a city native, joined the Manchester Fire Department when he was 21. He became chief in 2016.
Goonan has championed the Safe Station program with Christopher Hickey, Manchester's emergency medical services officer, and former Mayor Ted Gatsas. The program lets anyone who wants help with a substance use disorder walk into a fire station any time of the day or night, and be connected with treatment.
In 2019, Goonan was named to an advisory committee of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
His advocacy for people with substance-use disorders and those experiencing homelessness has sparked political spats with city aldermen and Gov. Chris Sununu.
Alongside Mayor Joyce Craig and other city officials, Goonan has asked the state to take greater responsibility for New Hampshire's homeless population, and pushed for more funding for programs like Safe Station.
Goonan said if elected, he will make sure local officials explore every solution to the city's problems, "not just the ones that might be politically popular."
"Just like responding to an emergency call, I know we must face our problems together," Goonan said. "It's my goal to present a new and fresh vision for our city."
Goonan joins what looks to be a crowded field for two alderman at large seats on the board.
Longtime incumbents Dan O'Neil and Joe Kelly Levasseur are up for reelection this fall.
June Trisciani and former Ward 6 alderman Elizabeth Moreau have both announced their candidacies for at large seats as well.
Trisciani is vice chair of the planning board, and spent several years teaching at the high school and post-secondary levels before working for various software companies in sales, engineering, and operational positions. In 2008, Trisciani became a small business owner and opened a successful Interior Design firm, j. ellen Design, LLC.
Moreau served on the board for three years as the alderman for Ward 6 before resigning last fall after moving to Ward 1. She is an Army veteran, a former immigration officer, Realtor, and current Hillsborough register of probate.
The two-week window for candidates to file papers to run for office in the 2021 Manchester municipal election opens later this month.
Declarations of Candidacy will be accepted at the City Clerk's Office at City Hall when the 2021 municipal filing period opens at 8 a.m. on July 12. The filing period runs through 5 p.m. on July 23.