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December 26, 2013

Derry's top stories for the year 2013

Derry loses leader, elects new councilors

(Continued)

Assistant Town Administrator Larry Budreau served as acting town administrator in Anderson’s absence. He was the only person authorized by the Town Council to speak about Anderson. He continues to serve while councilors debate how to search for a permanent administrator.

Anderson is due in court in January.

New faces join Town Council

Three new councilors joined the Derry Town Council in 2013, giving the group a divide when it came to many issues on the table at meetings.

Newcomers Tom Cardon, Al Dimmock and Mark Osborne, along with Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks often became the majority voice when it came to voting on issues like selling downtown property.

Osborne and Cardon beat out incumbents Joel Olbricht and David Milz, respectively. Dimmock ran unopposed for the District 4 seat.

Many council meetings grew heated with exchanges between the freshmen councilors and the established senior members Brad Benson, Neil Wetherbee and Phyllis Katsakiores.

Councilor’s giftirks many

A departing councilor’s goodbye gift did not sit well with many residents.

After serving nine years on the council, Brian Chirichiello stepped down this year and received his town-issued iPad as his farewell gift instead of the traditional rocking chair that was awarded in past years.

Former councilor Janet Fairbanks called for Chrichiello to return his gift, saying it’s town property and not something that should be awarded as a farewell gift.

“This is another example of blatant disregard and disrespect for the citizens of Derry by our local town government,” Fairbanks said earlier this year.

The Town Council approved the purchase of 10 iPads last year for councilors to use. The move was designed to cut down on the stacks of paper that traditionally make up meeting agendas and information booklets prior to meetings, and to save time for administrative staff.

When Chirichiello decided not to seek re-election, then-Town Administrator John Anderson said the former councilor asked if he could keep his iPad in lieu of receiving a chair. Chirichiello agreed to pay the difference in price between the chair and the iPad.

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