, Derry, New Hampshire

March 20, 2014

Two new faces ready to join Derry Town Council

Bourdon, Fischer change makeup of Town Council

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — The Town Council’s newest members were ready to jump in and get to work this week.

Joshua Bourdon and David Fischer both won three-year terms in last week’s election and said they are ready to face the challenge. Their first meeting was scheduled for Tuesday night.

“I’m ecstatic,” the 32-year-old Bourdon said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

He ran unopposed for the Councilor-at-Large position vacated by Brad Benson, who chose not to seek re-election after six years in the post.

Fischer beat Marc Flattes for the District 3 job vacated by Neil Wetherbee, also chose not to seek another term.

Both men were faced this week with an agenda that included more work on the town administrator search and a study of town-owned property.

At the last meeting and their final one as councilors, Benson and Wetherbee both agreed it was wise to wait until a new Town Council was seated to continue the administrator search process.

Both Bourdon and Fischer said that’s a top issue facing the council.

“This is one of the most important decisions the council will make,” Fischer, 62, said during his campaign.

Bourdon said putting the best leadership in place to lead the town is key.

“We need to put a lot of effort into that search,” he said. “It’s really important to get that right.”

Three current councilors offered advice to the newest members.

Councilors Tom Cardon, Mark Osborne and Al Dimmock all won their first terms last year, and all said they wished Bourdon and Fischer well.

“I think the best advice I can give the new councilors is to do your homework as much as you can and stay informed,” Cardon said. “We always have supporting paperwork in front of us, but I like to look at as many sources that I can to make decisions.”

Cardon said he would advise Bourdon and Fischer to pay close attention to upcoming budget details once that process begins.

“I was pretty much overwhelmed by the enormity of it, but once I took it one chapter at a time, it was easier to understand,” he said.

Osborne also welcomed the new duo and said they should not be afraid to ask questions.

“They should feel free to jump right into the fray without feeling the need for an invitation or permission to do so,” he said.

On election night, Dimmock said he went straight to Fischer to offer his support.

“I told him, ‘Congratulations, you’re a councilor,’” Dimmock said.

His words of advice to Bourdon and Fischer included remembering the voters gave their support and that the job is all about keeping Derry’s best interests at heart.

“They’re not there to make friends with me or anyone else,” Dimmock said. “They are there to do what they believe is best.”

Osborne said it’s time to move forward.

“And don’t be afraid to challenge past practices,” Osborne said. “Voters and taxpayers rarely benefit from their elected officials looking backward and clinging to the past.”