DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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August 8, 2013

Smith eager to take Londonderry helm

LONDONDERRY — Kevin Smith will be the new face at Town Hall and he hopes to hit the ground running.

Smith, a former GOP gubernatorial candidate, was named Londonderry’s new town manager last week and begins the job Aug. 15. He will earn a starting salary of $105,000.

Town councilors made it official at a meeting Aug. 1. Earlier speculation led many to believe that Smith would be the top choice.

For Smith, 36, it’s like coming home. That’s why he wanted the job.

“If it were any other town, I wouldn’t have applied for it,” he said. “I have a personal investment in Londonderry. It’s a great privilege to give back.”

Smith has deep roots in Derry. He is a 1995 graduate of Londonderry High School graduate.

Both his parents and his wife’s parents still call Londonderry home.

Smith became active in local and state politics after graduating from the University of New Hampshire at Manchester and served the town as a state representative from 1996 to 1998.

He ran for governor in 2012, losing in the Republican primary to Ovide Lamontagne.

Smith said he still sees teachers he once had in school and also knows of many classmates who have returned home to Londonderry. That’s why becoming the town’s manager means a lot.

“That says a lot about the community,” he said. “It says something about the quality of life.”

Finding the right town manager took time.

The town hasn’t had a permanent town manager since June 2012, when former manager David Caron left the job.

Since then, police Chief William Hart has served in the acting role as manager.

In February, town councilors narrowed their search and picked their top candidate, but that individual decided to take a different position.

Councilors opted to start at the beginning again and readvertised the job. They chose Smith as their top candidate.

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