DERRY — Councilor Mark Osborne was elected chairman of the town council Tuesday night after Councilor Michael Fairbanks decided to step down from the position.
Osborne, who abstained, was elected by a unanimous vote of 6-0.
Also at the meeting, new councilors Joshua Bourdon and David Fischer were sworn in by Town Clerk Denise Neale. Councilor Al Dimmock was elected council chairman pro tem.
Before handing over the reins to Osborne, Fairbanks took a moment to thank the town and council for helping him over the past year he served as chairman. Fairbanks then said it was time to step down.
“I really feel that the town council chair should rotate every year,” Fairbanks said.
Acting Administrator Larry Budreau alertly switched the nameplates after Osborne and Fairbanks changed seats.
Speaking for the first time as chairman, Osborne thanked Fairbanks for assuming the role during the past year. It was a period that saw a divided council, with Osborne joining councilors Al Dimmock and Thomas Cardon in frequently opposing former Councilors Brad Benson and Neil Wetherbee on issues.
“Last year, depending on who you talk to, was a time of transition and for other folks, a time of insurrection,” Osborne said, as he directed his comments to Fairbanks. “Either way, I’m just convinced that we couldn’t have got half the stuff done last year without your civility, without your leadership and without your consistent open-door policy. So I thank you, and this community thanks you, and this council thanks you.”
Fairbanks in turn thanked Osborne as the audience later applauded.
During this coming year, Osborne said he would try to do the best job he could while being open to suggestions.
“There is no pride in fulfilling this role, and I’m not too prideful to take suggestions,” he said.
Osborne said the council will tackle major projects such as the hiring of a new town administrator and passing a local blight ordinance.