Reorganization continues as building department shifted
The shift is just the beginning of what’s likely to be a long series of changes being made to the way Londonderry manages its municipal resources, town officials said.
On Friday afternoon, acting Town Manager Bill Hart publicly announced his plans, sharing a letter sent to council Chairman John Farrell earlier this month.
Hart said the shift would allow Community Development Director Andre Garron to fully direct his attention to planning and economic development.
Additionally, the plan would benefit taxpayers, as it would reduce Garron’s annual salary from $99,842 to $93,293, Hart said in a written statement.
The plans won’t affect the salary of the town’s current building inspector and health officer.
“The primary goal is twofold: setting goals for economic development in Londonderry and streamlining the focus of the office of Planning and Economic Development,” Hart said. “This will streamline the operation of town government overall, with both short- and long-term benefits to taxpayers.”
Hart, who is the town’s police chief, has been serving as acting town manager since mid-June, when longtime town manager David Caron announced his leave of absence.
Citing a family illness, Caron, who had been employed as Londonderry town manager for nearly 11 years, took what was initially a temporary leave. However, in the days to follow, the town’s mismanagement of its impact fees was revealed, and Caron submitted his resignation.
The town is now accepting applications for a permanent replacement for Caron, and applications will continue to be accepted until the end of this month.
Last month, Hart announced the first step of the town’s re-organization, with the elimination of the assistant town manager position. The shift resulted in a reduced salary for Finance Director Susan Hickey, who previously held dual positions. Hickey’s salary went from $120,231 to $109,523.
On Friday afternoon, Farrell referred all inquiries to Hart.
Hart said the council wouldn’t be holding a public hearing on the matter, since the town charter ultimately gives the town manager the authority to manage personnel and make any organizational decisions.
He noted that the Town Council had previously tasked him with seeking ways the town could run more efficiently.
Hart’s letter to Farrell outlined further plans for reorganization, with Garron to oversee a detailed, five-year plan to grow Londonderry’s commercial/industrial revenue base. Many of these initiatives are targeted to begin as soon as this coming fall.
“The ultimate goal for this plan will be to enhance economic development in the town by 3 million dollars annually,” Hart said.
Further initiatives include an outreach plan with existing businesses, an annual review and evaluation of all existing town ordinances, and a better implementation of the town’s master plan.
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