LONDONDERRY — Local Rotarians met with a town leader last week to talk economic development and community.
Town Manager Kevin Smith visited the Londonderry Rotary Club meeting at the Coach Stop and told club members he was happy to be settling into his new job.
Smith, formerly a Republican gubernatorial candidate, said the opportunity was a good one.
“When one door closes, another door opens,” he said.
After his unsuccessful run for the top job in Concord, he said, it was time to come back to his hometown and start a new chapter.
Smith, his wife, and parents all have deep roots in Londonderry.
“It’s great to be back and seeing the residents of Londonderry now as town manager,” he said.
Coming into the job had some challenges, Smith told Rotarians. The Town Council wanted someone to take economic development prospects by the horn, he said, and that’s what he is very interested in his new position.
“That’s something the Town Council stressed to me they wanted the next town manager to do,” he said.
Smith said economic development is something Londonderry needs, although there are still two sides to the coin when it comes to what residents want.
Some want Londonderry to remain as rural and untouched as possible; others want to see growth to help bring taxes down.
“Both viewpoints are valid,” Smith said.
But with two major projects in the works, growth is coming to Londonderry.
Smith gave details on the massive Woodmont Commons project and also the town’s hopes for the Pettengill Road area in North Londonderry near the airport.
Town officials are working hard to maintain that balance between progress and green space, he said.
Although Woodmont will no doubt bring more people and traffic to town, Smith said the planning phase took several years and things will be handled throughout the planning process as site plans are submitted.