, Derry, New Hampshire

March 6, 2014

Face of Derry Town Council to change

Incumbents Benson and Wetherbee are stepping down

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — After serving two terms on the Town Council, two incumbents are stepping down to make way for new faces to join the group.

Incumbent Town Councilors Brad Benson and Neil Wetherbee are not seeking third terms, paving the way for voters to choose two new councilors to fill the available Councilor-at-Large and District 3 positions, respectively.

Joshua Bourdon is running unopposed for Benson’s seat. Marc Flattes and David Fischer will square off in the election March 11, hoping to win the District 3 spot.

For Benson, the past year has been difficult at times, with long meetings and not always a lot of business being accomplished.

“We spend every meeting allocating too much time to public forum, rather than conducting the business of the town,” Benson said in an email to the Derry News. “It has truly been a life lesson in patience and politics.”

Wetherbee agreed meetings run long, but with “virtually nothing substantive accomplished.”

Both men said they are proud of some of the work the group accomplished during their tenure.

“It’s difficult to walk away because I still believe in this community and I still think there’s work left to be done,” Wetherbee said. “I’ve gained a lot of great experience being on the council for the past six years.”

Benson said he is most proud of how, under his and Wetherbee’s leadership, the staff was treated with respect.

Benson had served as chairman and Wetherbee as vice chairman for several years. Michael Fairbanks is the current chairman.

“We worked hard to make the council the business side of running a town,” Benson said. “In my opinion, the morale of the staff had never been better and I thoroughly enjoyed the relationships I developed with all I had contact with. I will miss that.”

In addition to electing two new councilors, voters will choose three new Derry Public Library trustees and a Trustee of the Trust Fund. Other contested races are Supervisors of the Checklist for two open positions.

Incumbents Dorothy Wiley and Phyllis Howard hope to earn more time as Derry Public Library trustees and go up against M. Jackie Dempsey, Lynn Mann, James Thomas and Christina Mentus for two open positions for three years.

Kelly Mahony and Joel Olbricht are running for the sole three-year Trustee of the Trust Fund job. Aimee Huntemann and Ed Ciancio, both incumbents, are running uncontested for two open Taylor Library trustee positions for three years.

Incumbents Renee and Lorraine Routhier seek more time as Supervisors of the Checklist, running against Janet Bhagat and Peg Mullins for two open positions.

Incumbent town moderator Margie Ives is running again for another two-year term.

She encouraged everyone to get out and vote during a recent candidate forum held at the Derry cable studio.

She said her job entails a lot of details all year long to keep the voting procedures straightforward and correct in town. She said she gets the biggest thrill when election day arrives and she sees the process in action.

Polls are open in Derry on March 11 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Districts 1 and 3 vote at Pinkerton Academy; District 2 cast ballots at Calvary Bible Church, and District 4 heads to Gilbert H. Hood Middle School.