Incumbent selectmen challenged in PelhamBy ADAM SWIFT
Union Leader Correspondent
March 05. 2014 8:18PM
PELHAM — A contested race for two seats on the Board of Selectmen tops the ballot for Tuesday’s municipal election.
Incumbent board members William McDevitt and Doug Viger are being challenged by political newcomer Paul Moriarty.
Viger works as a senior product specialist for the Mitsubishi heating and air conditioning group of Homan’s Associates of Wilmington, Mass.
He said he’s proud of the job the board has done on issues such as the new central fire station and the updated negotiated union contracts. If he is re-elected, Viger said he would like to focus on stabilizing the town’s tax rate by creating more procedures and templates as the basis of how the town moves forward financially.
McDevitt and his wife, Joyce, moved to Pelham in 1971 and he has served in many appointed and elected positions in town since 1973. He said he is running for re-election because he believes his experience and knowledge will keep benefitting the community.
Moriarty has over a decade of management and financial management experience and is employed at a global environmental nonprofit where he manages daily operations and administration of the budget and the organization’s face-to-face fundraising program.
“I am running for selectman because I want to have a positive impact on the community I live in and because I believe that no candidate for a position in a democracy should run unopposed, which seems commonplace in Pelham,” said Moriarty.
In addition to the selectmen’s race, voters will also be asked to approve the municipal operation budget for the coming year on Tuesday.
The $13,423,831 budget on the ballot is only about $120,000 more than last year’s approved budget of $13,310,525.
Voters also supported an article changing the elderly exemption on property taxes that the town grants to residents who are 80 or older.
The new exemption takes a three-tiered approach, granting up to $33,000 off assessed property values for property owners 64 to 74, $85,000 for those 75 to 79, and capping it at $100,000 off the assessed property value for those 80 and older.
If approved at the ballot box, the 80-year-old owner of a $300,000 home in Pelham would get a $2,287 reduction in their property tax bill rather than the full $7,000 exemption.
Polls are open on Tuesday, March 11, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Pelham High School.