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January 30, 2014

Derry Town Council races are wide open

Benson, Wetherbee will

DERRY — Two incumbent town councilors are calling it quits after six years on the job.

Brad Benson and Neil Wetherbee both said they would not seek for another term for the open Councilor-at-Large and District 3 Council positions, respectively, after serving two terms each.

With the filing period now open for town and school district offices, both say their names will not be on the list.

They cite the lack of current council leadership and a general lack of progress on important town issues as reasons why they won't run again.

"There are a number of things that factored into my decision-making process," Wetherbee said, "but probably first and foremost is both the caustic environment of the current council, combined with the lack of leadership and progress over the past year."

Wetherbee said he is proud of many things the Town Council accomplished in past years, including overcoming personal differences with past groups and doing what was right for the community.

Now, he said, it's too difficult to focus on key issues like economic development, the tax rate and even just trying to get along.

For Benson, it's a lot of the same. He cited disappointment with council leadership and no vision in sight.

"We have not done what we were elected to do which is move this community forward," he said. "We were making progress at bringing the community together and now we are farther apart than ever."

With both Benson and Wetherbee off the list, the field remains open for anyone wanting to run for those open Town Council seats.

Candidates can file for both town and school office in Derry and Londonderry through Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

In addition to the two open three-year Town Council positions, Derry town openings include town moderator for two years and library trustee spots for both Derry Public and Taylor libraries.

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