By James Niedzinski
---- — LONDONDERRY — “Business is good. Life is better” is the slogan for the town’s Community Development Department, but director Andre Garron apparently has found life is better elsewhere.
Garron announced his resignation last week; his official resignation date is Oct. 12. Garron said he accepted an economic development position at the University of New Hampshire Extension Service.
Garron sent an email to Stacy Thrall, chairman of the Elder Affairs Committee, about his resignation and the search for affordable senior housing in Londonderry. Garron announced his resignation to Thrall and other town officials last week.
Previously, Garron has helped the committee by trying to find a location for senior housing, she said.
“He has always been very good and very helpful to us,” Thrall said. “He has always advocated our cause.”
Garron, who has been in the position since 1999, said it was time to move on to greener pastures.
“A better position presented itself, and there is a bigger opportunity there,” he said.
Garron recently had his salary reduced when Acting Town Manager William Hart moved the Building Department from the office of Community Development to the town manager’s office. That reduced Garron’s annual salary from $99,842 to $93,294.
Hart said earlier this year the move was to streamline the operation of town government, and it would benefit the town in the long run.
Garron said his resignation had nothing to do with his salary reduction. There was just a better position somewhere else.
He said the town is in good hands and he wishes town officials the best of luck.
“He had a strong work ethic and town presence,” Hart said. “He is an outstanding human being, and I will miss him as a friend.”
Other town officials also said Garron brought a lot to the community.
“I wish him all the best,” said Tom Dolan, vice chairman of the Town Council. “He has brought a lot of good businesses to Londonderry and has done a fantastic job.”
Garron said his new job is similar to the one in town but will be on a broader and wider scale.
UNH Extension received about 20 qualified applicants, according to Charles French, economic development program leader.
Garron was well qualified, well liked and is a good fit for the new position, he said.
“We are excited to have him on board,” French said.
The Town Council is also continuing their search for a permanent Town Manager to replace Hart.
Town Councilors submitted their top 10 choices for the position earlier this week. More than 60 people have applied for the position and the Town Council will continue the review applications later this month.
Currently, the Town Council has not yet decided on an interim or acting Community Development director to replace Garron, Town Councilor Tom Freda said.
However, Freda stated Cynthia May, the town planner, may take on more responsibilities due to Garron’s resignation, though it’s too early to tell. Town officials were only notified last week and there have been no recommendations for an interim position or a permanent replacement, Town Council chairman John Farrell said.