, Derry, New Hampshire


April 30, 2014

Town historian office space raises concerns

Town Council holds special meeting to discuss tiny space

DERRY — Town historian Richard Holmes tiny office was the subject of debate at a special Town Council meeting last week.

The town's historian spends only seven hours a week in his tiny office at the municipal center, but some town councilors raised some concerns about his use of that first-floor space.

In a nonpublic meeting April 24, councilors met to discuss Holmes' office location, a space the town approved for the historian in 2012.

For Holmes, the concerns came as a surprise as he only found out about the meeting the day after it was held.

"I'm disappointed that the Town Council chose not to come see me (prior to the executive session)," he said. "I'm always available."

But Town Council Chairman Mark Osborne said Holmes will keep his space and he is happy to have him there.

"The space is going to stay as it is," Osborne said Monday.

He said the nonpublic meeting was held as a fact-finding mission, so councilors could be educated on Holmes' position and just what the historian does at the municipal center.

Osborne said he wanted to get the background on Holmes, whether he was a paid staff member, what work he did at the municipal center office, and how he became the official history expert in Derry.

The council chairman admitted he didn't know the history behind Holmes' job and wanted to get the right information.

"It was fair to at least look into," he said. "It was a good opportunity to get some questions answered. I just needed information."

Holmes was named Derry's town historian in 2012 when the Town Council approved the position and made Holmes' unpaid appointment official.

He took up space in the first floor office that was previously used by Town Clerk Denise Neale and her staff.

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