Bourdon, Fischer win Derry Council seats
DERRY -; In the only contested Town Council race Tuesday, David Fischer defeated Marc Flattes to win the District 3 seat.Fischer garnered 227 votes, 34 percent, to Flattes 140 votes, 21 percent, according to election results. The District 3 seat was held by Neil Wetherbee.In the other council race, Joshua Bourdon ran unopposed to win the at-large seat held previously by Brad Benson. Bourdon received 925 votes.Both council seats carry three-year terms.Bourdon and Fischer are joining a council that has frequently been divided in recent votes. Wetherbee and Benson typically voted in opposition to a contingent of councilors: Al Dimmock, Mark Osborne and Thomas Cardon.Reached by phone Wednesday, Bourdon said he is grateful for the victory and thanked voters for their support.“It';s a very surreal thing for me; now the real works begins,” Bourdon said.As for the division on the council, Bourdon said he believes by focusing on what the councilors agree on, he can help find a common ground.“I want to build a consensus with the councilors,” he said. “I want to be the guy who bridges the gap and tries to put an end to the fighting.”Some of his other priorities include hiring the next town administrator and helping lower taxes.In the past 10 years, the number of students enrolled in local schools has been decreasing while property taxes have been on the rise, according to officials.“We have to look at taxes,” Bourdon said. “We have to do all we can do to get them down and make it more attractive for businesses to come here. We have a great town and a great location. We have great schools and there is no reason why we can';t excel.Before the election, Fischer, discussed his priorities as a councilor and what course Derry should take. He said the town should focus on how it allocates resources, and its top priority should be fiscal responsibility.“My main concern is not that we are equal to other towns but more importantly that we are fiscally responsible,” Fischer said. “That means we want to pay our employees a competitive wage, and we want to look at what those services are.”He said he looks forward to helping hire the next town administrator and working with councilors on the budget-planning process.Fischer also said by focusing more on common goals than they have in the past, councilors can become more productive.“I think that it is very important that we practice good listening skills with each other,” Fischer said. “I do think it';s healthy to have different points of view, as long as we all commit to common goals. And I think that those common goals are focused on making sure that we deliver the best possible services to the community, coupled with fiscal responsibility.”The lack of high-profile races did little to draw the attention of voters this year and was partly responsible for a light turnout at the polls, according to officials.A total of 1,257 of Derry';s approximately 20,000 registered voters, about 6.5 percent, cast ballots, according to the results provided by Town Clerk Denise Neale.“There isn';t even a contested school board race,” Neale said.In other contests, Margaret Ives ran unopposed to claim the town moderator post, receiving 1035 votes.Results for the Derry Public Library trustees race are as follows: Dorothy Wiley, with 564 votes; Lynne S. Mann, 489; Phyllis D. Howard, 412; Christina Mentus, 404; James Thomas, 379; and M. “Jackie” Dempsey, 283.In the race for Trustee of the Trust Funds: Joel Olbricht earned 610 votes to defeat Kelly Mahony, who received 477 votes.In the Supervisor of the Checklist race, which carries a six-year term, Renee Routhier garnered 720 votes to defeat Janet Bhagat, who earned 346 votes.Vying for Supervisor of the Checklist, which carries a four-;year term to fill a vacancy was Lorraine Routhier, who earned 561 votes to defeat Peg Mullins, with 491 votes.And for the Trustee of the Taylor Public Library, Aimee Hunemann earned 809 votes to defeat Edward Ciancio, who received 735 votes.For School Board , incumbents Dan McKenna and Wendy Smith were unopposed to each win three-year terms. McKenna received 915 votes while Smith earned 848 votes.And voters approved the Derry Cooperative School District budget of $80,539,896 for 2014-15 by a vote of 915-234.The budget is approximately $1.4 million less than this year';s budget of $81,903,690.