, Derry, New Hampshire

March 14, 2013

Londonderry voters say yes to more school safety

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — Voters agreed Tuesday to spend more money to tighten school security and to add a new school resource officer.

Only 1,527 of the town’s 15,940 registered voters — about 9.5 percent — came out to vote for not only town and school budgets, but also town and school district elected officials.

The turnout was lower than some expected.

“I predicted 1,650,” Town Councilor Joe Green said. “With the rain starting to fall, I thought I might not make it.”

In one of only two contested races, incumbent town clerk/tax collector Meg Seymour easily beat challenger Patti Hanley Maccabe, 1,223-584.

Incumbents John Farrell and Tom Dolan both earned three-year terms on the Town Council in their uncontested race.

In a contested two-year Budget Committee race, Gary Vermilion beat Glenn Douglas, 762-705. Ted Combes and Mark Aronson won the two open three-year Budget Committee jobs.

Kathy Wagner ran uncontested for another term as town treasurer. Pauline Caron, Robert Collins and John Curran were all elected Leach Library trustees for three-year terms.

Voters OK’d the town’s $27.5 million operating budget, 1,421-577, and approved spending $101,000 to add the additional school resource officer, 1,051-961.

Other articles approved included spending $710,000 for an already established capital reserve fund to buy ambulances, fire trucks and fire equipment, 1,152-846; $100,000 for Cable Access Center support, 1,196-784; and a $2.6 million plan for sewer systems to be funded through user fees at no cost to taxpayers, 1,523-465.

Voters also approved a citizens petition article calling for $227,000 to pave a one-mile portion of the town’ rail trail system, 1,062-966.

On the school side, voters approved a $66 million budget and also OK’d a $170,000 spending plan to upgrade the district’s school security systems, 1,197-837. A $4.5 million plan to pay for renovations and construction of buildings in the district, if and when they are needed, also passed, 1,147-876.

A citizens petition asking voters to spend $8,500 to fund an official high school varsity ski team was narrowly approved, 1,030-1019.

That made ski team member Keegan Krawic happy. The Londonderry High junior hoped the article would pass.

“(It’s great) after all this time and effort,” he said.

Ski team coach Chelsea Hunnewell said the money would help with financial support for coaching, travel expenses and competition costs.

“We’ve been racing for seven years,” she said. “The kids really put everything into it.”

All school district offices were uncontested. John Laferriere earned another School Board term. Mary Wing Soares was re-elected as school district clerk. Also re-elected were John Conley as school district treasurer and Robert Sauer as school district moderator. All school offices are for three years.