Initially, Town Councilor Neil Wetherbee said holding a public hearing on the contract was a good idea, but agreed the public’s comments should come before contact negotiations begin.
“We give (Budreau) direction on what the contract should be, then we take public input,” he said. “I think the process is backward.”
Town Councilor Mark Osborne agrees public input should be part of the process, prior to the start of negotiations.
“Otherwise, how can the negotiator know if he or she is working toward the goals of the people,” he said, “which then should be the goals of the council in most respects.”
Osborne how the town spends its money should be of top concern for all residents.
“The money belongs to and derives from the people,” he said. “We, on the council, are merely stewards of that treasure.”
Having the public weigh in can only improve the process, he said.
Budreau said the public is always welcome to comment.
“That’s how government works,” he said.
Having public opinion come prior to the negotiation process is a good compromise where town unions are concerned, he said.
“Residents can come and help set the goals,” Budreau said. “Then we’ll go off and do our work.”
Union contracts are posted on the human resources page of the town’s website at derrynh.org.
Derry residents are encouraged to review the agreements and provide input to the town council by calling, emailing or attending the public hearing Oct. 15.