, Derry, New Hampshire

June 20, 2013

Letter: New council signals new day for Derry

Derry News

---- — To the editor:

Hopefully your faithful readers are not going to be subjected for the next three years to the latest histrionics displayed by Mike Gendron in his most recent letter to the editor whenever our newly elected town councilors do not vote on an issue the way Mike would like them to.

To refer to Town Councilor Mark Osborne as “Benedict Arnold” smacks of McCarthyism, or at the very least sandbox behavior. Just how has Mark Osborne betrayed the people who elected him to office? Mark has done exactly what he campaigned to do, to represent the citizens of Derry and not special interest groups.

Is Mike really that naive that he thinks that the 93 percent of Derry citizens that do not come out to vote are relatively satisfied? Perhaps they do not vote because they feel disenfranchised by their local government.

Kudos to all three new town councilors who had the courage to run for their newly elected office. To put yourself and your family in the public arena takes courage. In the 28 years I have resided in Derry, I do not recall Mike Gendron ever having stepped up to the plate and run for any elected town office. That Town Councilor Al Dimmock ran unopposed does not make him any less a victor, and whatever the percentage of Derry’s population was that voted for Tom Cardon does not matter. Tom won, fair and square.

According to Mike, people who come out to speak publicly at Town Council meetings are simply making “noise,” and some councilors actually have the audacity to act upon that “noise.” That is what a good public official does, listens to his constituents, and if he or she agrees with what is being said, the official will act upon it. That is why we have public hearings, to have public input. To assume citizens that do not come out and speak publicly at town meetings are satisfied is either arrogant or ignorant.

The citizens of Derry have ponied up their hard-earned money for many years to fund economic development in downtown Derry, and we have not seen a good return on our investment. Would you continue to buy stocks in a company that consistently gave you poor returns, or would you sell that stock and invest your money elsewhere?

I agree that Mike Gendron has given of his time to Derry through volunteerism, and I commend him for that, but to refer to the new town councilors as “extremists” because they do not support Mike Gendron’s agenda and that of the good old boys, simply smacks of sour grapes.

The bottom line is that there is a new Town Council in Derry, one which represents its citizens. Having read Mike Gendron’s letter, it is obvious that not everyone is happy with letting go of the old regime and embracing democracy and all that democracy represents. To paraphrase the common sentiment voiced by the “fictitious throng of angry constituents,” it’s a new day for Derry.

Janet Fairbanks