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City of Manchester Launches Redesigned Government Website

Published: 07/07/2020 3:20 PM

ManchesterNH.gov refresh based on traffic analytics and simplified site structure

Manchester, N.H. -- Today, the City of Manchester announced it will soon launch a new version of ManchesterNH.gov, the City’s official website. The new website will go live on July 20, 2020, but residents can view the updated site now at test.manchesternh.gov.

“The website refresh demonstrates the City of Manchester’s ongoing commitment to make it easier for residents to find information, engage with online services and learn what is happening across our city,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “This new website helps to increase accessibility, offers a clean layout and improves upon our pre-existing search functionality -- creating a better way for the public to access digital services.”

The website has simplified the home page, and uses a data-driven approach to offer easier access to the most-visited pages. In addition, the entire site is fully responsive, making it easier for residents to access information on a smartphone or tablet. 

“The goal of this redesign is to help users find information quickly and efficiently and to make navigating the site more intuitive,” added Greg Duval, Web Services Administrator, Information Systems.

Residents who wish to view the updated website before it goes live can visit test.manchesternh.gov prior to July 20. Any questions or feedback can be emailed to webmaster@manchesternh.gov.


Mayor Craig Announces Diversity and Cultural Competency Training Grant for City Employees

Published: 06/28/2020 8:36 AM

Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced the City of Manchester applied for and received a $20,000 grant from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation to institute a Diversity and Cultural Competency Program for representatives from all city departments.

“Our City employees serve one of the most diverse communities in the state, and it is critical that all our staff is equipped with the tools to assist individuals of all backgrounds,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “This program will create a network of city employees able to design and deliver quality cultural competency programs for all city staff. I want to thank the Bean Foundation for making this possible.”

“The Bean Foundation is committed to cultural diversity and equity and considers this to be a valuable investment in the City of Manchester and its citizens,” added Maria Mongan, Board Chair of the Bean Foundation.

This training was originally suggested by the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council, which serves as a link between city government and the Manchester community to enhance engagement, strengthen relationships, and ensure all residents feel welcomed, respected, and accepted. The Council was formally announced at the Mayor’s State of the City Address earlier this year.

“This is a really important step in the right direction from the Mayor's office and the City of Manchester. I am very excited to see that the Council is already making an impact and bringing the positive changes we need to see happening in our city,” said Arnold Mikolo, the Chair of the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council.

The cultural competency training is facilitated by New Hampshire Health and Equity Partnership and the Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center.


Mayor, Health Department Announce Timeline for Re-opening of City Buildings

Published: 06/12/2020 3:07 PM

MANCHESTER, NH - Ahead of the June 15th expiration of the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order, Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Health Department have announced a timeline for the re-opening of city buildings and in-person city services.

Masks will be required for all public-facing employees and highly recommended for all members of the public entering city buildings. To better protect employees and citizens, the City of Manchester has installed barriers, where social distancing is not possible in all public-facing departments, will increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitation of common surfaces, and will have masks and hand sanitizer available for use, for visitors of City Hall and other city buildings.

While city departments are beginning to offer in-person services, it is still strongly encouraged for residents to complete as many services online or by appointment as possible, and limit the number of individuals entering city buildings to only those needed to complete the service. 

To that end, starting next week, online processing fees will be waived for all online services, including services offered by the Tax Collector and City Clerk’s Offices, and additional accommodations will be made for individuals who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the immunocompromised or elderly.

In addition to reopening city buildings for in-person services, the Parks and Recreation Department also announced the reopening of playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer mini-pitches and the Derryfield Fit Lot by Friday, June 19.

The timeline for re-opening of city buildings is as follows:

Opening for in-person services on MONDAY, JUNE 15th (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm):

  • Department of Public Works (475 Valley St)
  • Environmental Protection Division (300 Winston St)
  • Info Systems (100 Merrimack St)
  • Office of Youth Services (1528 Elm St)
  • Water Works (281 Lincoln St)
  • Welfare (1528 Elm St)

Opening for curbside service on MONDAY, JUNE 22nd (Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm):

  • Manchester City Library (405 Pine St)

Opening for in-person services on MONDAY, JUNE 22nd (Hours TBD):

  • Assessor’s Office (City Hall)
  • City Clerk (City Hall)
  • City Solicitor  (City Hall)
  • Finance Department (City Hall)
  • Human Resources (City Hall)
  • Mayor's Office (City Hall)
  • Parking (City Hall)
  • Planning and Community Development (City Hall)
  • Tax Collector’s Office (City Hall)

City of Manchester Welcomes Restaurants to Expand Outdoor Seating

Published: 05/13/2020 12:04 PM

Phase 1 guidelines in response to the Governor’s Stay at Home 2.0 Order

Today, the City of Manchester announced the opportunity for restaurants to safely open outdoor seating on May 18, 2020, including expanding service to sidewalks and privately-owned outdoor parking lots. Additionally, restaurants with existing sidewalk encumbrance permits can extend food service in front of adjacent businesses with the written permission of that property owner.

“Our goal is to be as flexible as possible in helping our restaurants maximize their seating capacity while still meeting social distancing requirements,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted normal operation of our vibrant restaurant community, the City is committed to working with our restaurants to ensure they’re able to open up safely. It’s required us to be creative and think differently to make sure we’re doing whatever we can to support our local economy.”

“As restaurants and hospitality businesses begin to reopen and ramp up operations, providing them tools and options to adapt to the Stay-at-Home order and other public health restrictions is critical to their recovery. The City expanding outdoor dining space options for restaurants through the use of private parking lots and additional sidewalk space is a positive step,” said Mike Skelton, President & CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber. “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the City on developing the guidance on how restaurants can utilize these new options and the ongoing discussions of adding additional options and flexibility as the public health situation improves.”

As New Hampshire continues to reopen, the City of Manchester is looking at other opportunities to assist local restaurants and businesses in the Central Business District increase outdoor space for dining and shopping. Ideas under consideration include expanding seating to parking spaces and partial closure of Elm Street on weekends, while at the same time adhering to social and physical distancing requirements.

Restaurants should contact the Manchester City Clerk’s Office at cityclerk@manchesternh.gov with any questions or to submit outdoor seating proposals.

City of Manchester's Phase 1 Restauraunt Re-Opening Guidance


City Leaders Announce Manchester Takeout Day

Published: 05/06/2020 11:35 AM

Today, Mayor Joyce Craig, in partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber and Intown Manchester announced Manchester Takeout Day, scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2020. 

“On May 14, we’re asking people — if they can — to order take-out, get curbside pick-up or delivery from one of the many local restaurants in Manchester,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The COVID-19 pandemic has halted normal operation of our vibrant restaurant community and as a result, they are struggling. Manchester Takeout Day presents a great opportunity for all of us to show support for our friends in the restaurant industry while enjoying a meal from your favorite local restaurant."

“I am excited and impressed to have come across so many examples of businesses and organizations finding ways to adapt, prepare, and plan for what’s next – even when we’re not sure yet what this ‘next normal, looks like. Our restaurant community’s perseverance is inspiring as they make fundamental changes to every aspect of their business,” said Michael Skelton, President & CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber. “I know that people of Manchester will rally around and support our eateries as they re-open, and a great way to kick-off this effort is to order takeout on Manchester Takeout Day, Thursday, May 14th. Let’s show up for them as they have served us and our community time and time again.”

“For all of the times you’ve gone to your favorite dining spot, and are treated like royalty, now is the time you can really show your appreciation,” said Sara Beaudry, Intown Manchester Executive Director. “May 14 is Manchester Takeout Day and it’s a way you can give back to local restaurants when they could use a boost. We are in this together and your support will go a long way.”  


Local Response Plans to Prevent 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Published: 03/02/2020 4:18 PM

While there have been no known cases of suspected or confirmed illness among residents who live within Manchester to-date, the City of Manchester Health Department (MHD), the Fire Department (MFD) and Mayor Joyce Craig, are jointly activating the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to support ongoing planning and coordination of prevention efforts to address the potential threat of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The EOC provides a mechanism for more efficient and effective communication among key stakeholders, including but not limited to elected officials, healthcare leadership, and emergency responders. Daily communication and coordination is also occurring with the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) to ensure alignment with state plans and dissemination of pertinent information from the federal level.

In addition, MHD, MFD, and partners have been working to create plans and build community capacity to respond to large-scale, infectious disease outbreaks since 9/11. These plans and infrastructure are serving as the foundation of our local prevention efforts and response to COVID-19, if warranted. We are communicating with health care partners to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information to guide clinical decision-making for their patients, as well as the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Manchester School District, and local businesses. Lastly, we are working with NH DHHS daily to continuously monitor the situation in NH and proactively implement public health prevention measures based upon the best available science and in accordance with state law.

The following are steps that the public can take to help prevent COVID-19, as well as influenza and other respiratory illnesses, in general:

  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water, especially before eating;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and throw tissues in the trash after you use them;
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that may be contaminated, such as shared dining areas and doorknobs;
  • If you get sick, stay home from work, school, or daycare until your fever has been gone for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines;
  • Adhere to all travel advisories issued at a federal level; and
  • It is NOT necessary to bulk purchase face masks and other supplies for your home.

This is a developing situation that will require the public to check in frequently for the most current information.

  • A 24/7 phone line (603-271-4496) has been established by NH DHHS to answer questions from health care providers and the public.
  • Please visit the NH DHHS’s COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates and information regarding the situation within NH. A City of Manchester webpage is also under development.
  • Please visit the following links for a Situation Summary and FAQs regarding COVID-19 at an international/federal level as of this media release.

Mayor Craig Announces Free Bus Service

Published: 12/11/2019 8:07 AM

Mayor Joyce Craig and the Manchester Transit Authority (MTA) are pleased to announce that through December 31, all stops along Route 8 will be offered free of charge.

Mayor Craig and MTA Director Mike Whitten began this offering during the holiday season last year, and are pleased to be able to offer it for a second time.

"Downtown Manchester, the businesses along South Willow Street and the Mall of New Hampshire are all great places to do holiday shopping. By making travel free on Route 8, we’re hoping to give people using public transportation to shop or go to work a stress-free experience for the holidays,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “I’d like to thank Director Mike Whitten for working with my office to offer free travel along this route for the second year in a row.”

“MTA is thrilled to again offer free transportation on Route 8, our most popular route in the entire MTA system,” said Director Mike Whitten, MTA. “This is a great opportunity to thank our passengers who ride the buses throughout the year and to also invite new members of the community who perhaps haven’t ridden a bus recently to come and check it out for free. Thank you to Mayor Craig and the City of Manchester for partnering with us again to bring back this very popular event.”

MTA Route 8 makes six regular loop stops -- the Downtown Manchester Doubletree Hotel, Michaels/Burlington Coat Factory Plaza on South Willow Street, Walmart on Gold Street, the Mall of New Hampshire, South Willow Street and Weston Road, and Downtown Manchester. For a full list of route stops and times, visit the MTA website.

15 Little Libraries Scheduled to be Installed Across Manchester

Published: 10/31/2019 12:00 PM

Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced a partnership with Girls at Work, Inc. to install fifteen miniature libraries across the community. Built by Girls at Work, Inc. volunteering during the Granite United Way’s Day of Caring, these little libraries are scheduled to be installed in parks, near schools, and at City Hall.

Made possible through support from Girls at Work, the Manchester Parks and Recreation Division and Manchester City Library, the fifteen little libraries will be a shared resource aimed to encourage and inspire a love of reading and community engagement. 

“This will be a wonderful resource to children across our city, and I’m thrilled to be involved in this project,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “I want to thank Girls at Work, the Parks and Recreation Division and the Library for their partnership and support for this effort. By making books accessible to children and students across Manchester, we are able to continue promoting early literacy to our young learners.”

“Girls at Work was extremely excited to partner with the City of Manchester on Granite United Way Day of Caring. We had the opportunity to teach volunteers from Acadia Insurance, Parkland Medical Center, St. Mary's Bank, Sheehan Phinney Bass and Green and City Year how to build little libraries that will be displayed around the city,” said Elaine Hamel, Founder and Program Director, Girls at Work, Inc. “It's really fun to see the bonding happen with adults in an unfamiliar environment working toward a common goal of building for others. Thanks to everyone who came together to make it happen, and thanks to Granite United Way Day of Caring for bringing so many volunteers together to invest their time in our community.”

“The Manchester City Library supports literacy efforts in our community which is why we are proud to be partnering with Girls at Work, the City Parks and Recreation Division and the Mayor’s Office to support the installation of little libraries around our city,” said Denise van Zanten, Director, Manchester City Library.  “Little libraries play an integral role in communities by promoting literacy and providing access to materials for all ages.  We look forward to expanding our literacy efforts with our little library community partners.”

Reading is such an integral part of life so the Parks and Recreation Division is glad to be part of this tremendous group effort. Having free reading material available in parks and public places is a great way to encourage people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and expand their minds at the same time,” said Janet Horvath, Recreation and Enterprise Manager, Parks and Recreation Division. “Thanks go to our partners, Mayor Craig and her staff, Girls At Work and the City Library.  We can’t wait to see you outdoors enjoying the parks and reading!”

Over the next few days, the Manchester Parks and Recreation Division will install four little libraries at Livingston Park, Rock Rimmon Park, Sheridan Emmett Park, and Manchester City Hall. The remaining eleven libraries are scheduled to be installed in spring 2020.


Mayor Craig Announces Second Annual ‘Halloween at City Hall’

Published: 10/15/2019 10:56 AM

Today, Mayor Joyce Craig announced she will host the Second Annual ‘Halloween at City Hall’ event on October 31st. From 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., students, parents and children are invited to come to City Hall to pick out a free book from the Bookmobile, meet the Mayor, grab a treat and show off their costumes.

“I’m excited we’re able to host Halloween at City Hall again this year,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “With support from the Manchester School District and Manchester City Library, the Bookmobile will be here to hand out free books everyone that stops by.”

Weather permitting, the event is scheduled to take place in City Hall Plaza, 900 Elm Street. In case of poor weather, Halloween at City Hall will be held in the Aldermanic Chambers inside City Hall.

Trick-or-treating in the City of Manchester is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

One Book One Manchester 2019

Published: 09/24/2019 9:34 AM

The City of Manchester, New Hampshire will once again be participating in a community-wide reading program.  The book selection for the 2019 One Book One Manchester read is KooKooLand by Gloria Norris. “In the tradition of The Glass Castle and With or Without You, KooKooLand is a bracingly funny and chilling true crime memoir about a girl’s gutsy journey to escape her charismatic yet cruel father’s reign -- an unforgettable story of violence, love and ultimately, triumph.”

“I’m excited this year’s selection for One Book One Manchester is by Queen City native, Gloria Norris,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The ability to have residents from across Manchester come together and read the same story is incredibly powerful and will not only strengthen our literary community, but highlight a story of resilience based in our community.”

The community-wide read includes several book discussion groups and programs related to the book’s themes of adverse childhood experiences, mental illness, substance abuse and incarceration, as well as hope and resilience, which Norris discovered through the power of education. Students in the Building Literary Community class at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College have created a discussion guide, and are available to lead book discussions. To reserve a time with them, send an e-mail to obom@nec.edu. For a full list of events and where to find a copy of the book, please visit our Facebook page @1BOOK1MHT or sign up for updates at our website.

Ms. Norris, a Manchester native, screenwriter and film producer, will appear on November 14th at 6 pm at Manchester Community College, 1066 Front Street, Manchester NH to discuss and sign copies of her memoir. As part of her visit, Ms. Norris will meet with students at her alma mater, Central High School, where she will also be conducting a master class in writing. Local colleges have also arranged time with her to speak with various classes in media, film, and communication. On November 13th, at 3 pm, Gloria Norris will return to Elmwood Gardens, the Manchester neighborhood where she grew up to speak with the current residents.

Last year’s One Book One Manchester featured internationally renowned writer Mohsin Hamid, whose visit to the city helped to launch the program, which is gaining further visibility with the appearance of Ms. Norris.

A consortium of Manchester cultural and educational institutions, along with local businesses and non-profits, have banded together to make One Book One Manchester 2019 possible. These organizations include:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Dismas Home of New Hampshire, Inc.
  • New England College, including the Institute of Art and Design  
  • Manchester City Library
  • Manchester Community College
  • Manchester School District
  • Saint Anselm College
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • The Bookery Manchester
  • University of New Hampshire at Manchester


We are proud to be supported by the following sponsors:
Gold Level: Digital Federal Credit Union, The Humanities Division and the Institute of Art and Design at New England College
Silver Level: Heather Staples Lavoie
Bronze Level: The English Department at Manchester Community College, Manchester City Library Foundation, Manchester Community College


ABOUT KooKooLand

KooKooLand was listed as one of National Public Radio’s Great Reads of 2016. 

Gloria Norris’s KooKooLand is a memoir written on the edge of a knife blade. Chilling, intensely moving, and darkly funny, it cuts to the heart and soul of a troubled American family, and announces the arrival of a startlingly original voice.” – Simon & Schuster

“Heartbreaking and darkly humorous… an intelligent and bracing memoir” –Kirkus Reviews

“Manchester, get ready for your close-up. It arrives in a gritty new memoir by Gloria Norris, a California screenwriter and film producer who grew up in Elmwood Garden, in Manchester’s South End — “the projects,” or, as her sister put it, “poor people housing.” – Jennifer Graham, The Hippo Press

“Although many vibrant characters populate this chilling memoir, Norris’ recreation of her early 1960s nine-year-old self is spot on treat and a terror.  A tumble through tumultuous time, in which the heroine inexplicably, beautifully lands on her feet.” –Booklist

“Dad's a petty criminal whose insults land like punches to the psyche. Mom's an enabler who endures her husband's shenanigans with the help of highballs. Yet their daughter Gloria—blessed with Huck Finn's rough-hewn decency and Scout Finch's sassy aplomb—survives, triumphs, and, in KooKooLand, bears witness to an amazing if challenging childhood. Norris's memoir made me laugh, made me cringe, broke my heart, and reaffirmed my optimism. I loved this book!"  —Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of She's Come Undone.

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