, Derry, New Hampshire

March 21, 2013

Derry welcomes three new councilors

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Three’s hopefully a charm for the town’s newest trio.

Mark Osborne, Tom Cardon and Al Dimmock have been officially sworn in as Derry’s new town councilors and are ready to get to work.

Osborne and Cardon won their seats in last week’s election, beating incumbents Joel Olbricht and David Milz, respectively.

Dimmock earned his seat, too, but he ran unopposed for the District 4 spot after longtime councilor Brian Chirichiello decided not to seek another term.

Osborne, the youngest of the three at 35, said winning a spot on the council will bring fresh ideas to the group.

“It will be a lot of work but I’m excited,” he said.

Cardon, 61, has run for Town Council before. Three years ago, he narrowly missed winning the District 2 seat over Milz by a single vote. The time was right to try again, he said.

“I had a lot of support from the voters in District 2 in 2010,” he said. “After going door to door to 99 houses, I realized it was the right decision.”

Cardon said getting out and talking to residents gave him insight on just how much people are concerned about property taxes.

“I talked to several people who said they would be eventually forced out of their houses because of their taxes,” he said.

As a teacher, Cardon said, he would always do his homework when it came to Town Council work. He said he thinks the new group will mesh well.

“I think the most important thing we do is move forward with a positive, resident-friendly council,” he said.

At 75, Dimmock is the elder statesman of the group He rarely misses a Town Council meeting and is a regular fixture at the microphone during public forums. He, too, has run for Town Council before.

“I’m there to be the voice of the people,” he said. “I’ve been fighting (for the people) all these years and I now hope to do it at a different level.”

After being sworn in Monday, Dimmock said he received a lot of information to go over before his first official meeting on March 26. That included details on who works in what town office and what the various departments spend.

He said serving three years at his age will be enough.

“I’ll do one term and that’s it,” he said.

Council Chairman Brad Benson said both Olbricht and Milz made positive contributions to the council. It’s now time to move ahead, he said.

“They worked hard and I felt they did a good job,” Benson said. “With that said, change is always good and I hope the new council will continue to move Derry forward.”

As councilors prepare for the busy budget season ahead, Benson said, there are other key areas to focus on.

“My belief is that there are two very distinct areas,” he said. “First and foremost is to continue our work with the school and with Pinkerton to try to resolve the tax burden that all residents and businesses are feeling and will feel. Secondly is to continue to redevelop the town-owned property.”

Benson said having three new faces will give the council a fresh perspective on issues that matter most.

“I look forward to working with the new council and hope that we will continue on the path the previous council set,” he said.

Osborne said the current councilors have welcomed the “freshmen” contingent.

“They have been polite and kind and welcoming,” he said. “I think we’re off to a good start.”