, Derry, New Hampshire

May 30, 2013

Letter: Reckless conduct huts Derry's image and progress

Derry News

---- — To the editor:

Are we really going to have to put up with three years of this “theater of the absurd,” insufferable grandstanding and reckless behavior from our newly elected town councilors?

Their recent hacking away at the town budget has undone years of hard work and made Derry look “bush-league” once again. To promote a personal agenda through blatant generalizations and references to some fictitious throng of angry constituents is truly disingenuous.

Are they referring to the whopping 6 percent of registered voters that thought they were voting for George Washington, but got Benedict Arnold? Or the overwhelming 1 percent of Derry that voted for the other two, one unopposed? Hardly a mandate!

What about the other 93 percent who think things aren’t all that bad in Derry and are relatively satisfied with the goods and services provided to them for their tax dollar? What about the thousands who love attending the Farmers Market? What about the people who enjoy what the new TIF district has to offer? What about the vast majority of residents who feel safe living in Derry thanks to an efficient and well-run police and fire department? Do they represent these citizens as well?

What makes these new councilors think that they know better than the educated professionals we have hired to manage our town, keep our citizens safe and improve the place we all call home? Hasty and rash motions at Town Council meetings without consulting department heads or doing the required due diligence necessary PRIOR to a meeting is the epitome of irresponsibility and negligence. It’s micromanaging at its worst.

Part of the problem is the public forum that these councilors are apparently addicted to. To allow the same six chronically angry to set the town agenda by parading up to the podium each meeting is completely counterproductive and misrepresentative.

Whatever is said in public forum is simply “noise” because no one is held accountable for anything said there. More frightening is that some councilors immediately act upon this “noise.” Does what is said in the forum count more than what the rest of Derry’s citizens have to say? Must satisfied citizens slog downtown, kneel before you and declare that they are content with the way things are?

I’ve worked hard to try to make Derry a better place through my volunteer work with the Arts Council, Derryfest, Derry’s Got Talent and the Downtown Committee. I’ve always volunteered for things that are positive and shine Derry in a positive light. But it looks like anything good and enjoyable in this town is now a target for machete-wielders. By all means, let’s not promote economic development just because past attempts weren’t home runs. I know that’s what the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison should have done. This is what happens when common sense Derry citizens don’t get out and vote. You end up with extremists who set Derry back decades.

Michael Gendron