Concord – Today Executive Councilor Chris Sununu issued the following statement on the failure of the Hassan Administration’s Drug Czar to communicate with Manchester officials. In an interview with WMUR yesterday, Mayor Ted Gatsas said that “communication has not been there” from the Hassan Administration on the response to the growing heroin epidemic.
“After watching his interview on WMUR last night, I called Mayor Gatsas to ask him about his comments regarding the lack of communication from the Hassan Administration on combating substance abuse. Mayor Gatsas confirmed that Governor Hassan’s drug czar has failed to meet with him or even pick up the phone and call his office.
“Governor Hassan’s drug czar has been on the job for over six months now, and it is extremely troubling that he has not reached out to the mayor of our state’s largest city. Mayor Gatsas is on the front lines fighting Manchester’s heroin epidemic on a daily basis. The Hassan Administration’s designated substance abuse staffer should be in constant contact with the mayor’s office to offer whatever help he can provide.
“The lack of communication between local officials and Governor Hassan’s drug czar is the latest example of a disappointing pattern of mismanagement on substance abuse issues. I am deeply troubled by this situation and recent revelations that the governor’s office was unaware that New Hampshire is receiving a $12 million federal grant to combat substance abuse. I also believe that the governor made a serious mistake by vetoing the state budget that included an immediate 75% increase in substance abuse funding.
"Lives are on the line, and the Hassan Administration needs to take responsibility for these mistakes and ensure that they don’t happen again. It’s time for the governor’s office to work closely with local officials to ensure the state is doing everything possible to combat this crisis.”
Executive Council District 3 consists of the following cities and towns: Atkinson, Brentwood, Chester, Danville, Derry, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Greenland, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Newton, North Hampton, Nottingham, Pelham, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Salem, Sandown, Seabrook, South Hampton, Stratham, and Windham.