The March 12 election is near, and this year, many races are unopposed. Candidates for both School District and Town seats were asked why they chose to seek public office and whether they had ideas about why so few candidates filed. Two three-year seats are open on the Town Council. Incumbents Tom Dolan and John Farrell are seeking reelection and were the only ones to file for those seats. Farrell responded, “I’m running because we’re doing good work on a good Town Council.
We’ve got a lot of work ahead and we do good work together. I think people are very busy today and as long as people have their trash picked up, their kids are safe in school,thepoliceandfire come and the town services are provided, then people are satisfied with the job the elected officials are doing.” Dolan did not respond to requests for comment. Two three-year seats are open on the Budget Committee. Mark Aronson and Ted Combes are seeking those posts.
“I want to give back to the town,” Aronson said. “Because of downshifting, I’m hoping that I can come up with creative ideas. As a business owner I have experience that I can bring and do the most good. I think people don’t run because people are discouraged, and I think apathy plays a big part in it.”
Combes responded, “I grew up in this town and I think I can bring knowledge, as I have an MBA in finance. I have leadership skills that were developed as an Eagle Scout.”
A two-year seat is also open on the Budget Committee, and is sought by Gary Vermillion and Glenn Douglas. Vermillion chose to run after seeing a notice of committee openings. “I think it’s my civic responsibility to represent the taxpayers,” he said. “The key moment was the downshifting (of state costs to the local level).” Douglas said, “when the Budget Committee position became open, I asked a few questions of the Town Council and got no response.
If I was on the Budget Committee, I would get answers. The Budget Committee needs to do a better job getting information to the taxpayers. I’ve been following Londonderry since 2001 nothing is changing, just where I’ll be sitting.” Town Clerk/Tax Collector Meg Seymour is being challenged for her seat by Patti Hanley Maccabe. The post is for three years.
Seymour said, “I’ve enjoyed working with the residents of the Town of Londonderry. The job is very rewarding. I love the interaction with the community and the challenges it brings.”
Maccabe said, “My first interest in running is to be there for the town. I want to get more people involved with voting, and I’m very involved with grant writing so that I’d liketofindwaysofraising money without putting it on the taxpayer.”
Kathy Wagner is running unopposed to retain the position of Town Treasurer for three years. “I’m running because I enjoy serving the community and being involved in the community,” she said. “I think no one else ran because they are happy with the jobs people are doing. It takes stamina to put yourself out there. It’s tough on people and I think there’s some apathy.”
Three seats are open as Trustees of the Leach Library, each for three years. Running are Pauline Caron, Robert Collins and John Curran. “I have been a trustee for nine years and I like being a trustee,” Caron said. Collins noted he has been a trustee on and off for 20 years and it has been enjoyable. “People don’t run, I think, because some people don’t feel like they can make a difference,” he said.
Curran did not return a request for comment. The single open seat as Trustee of the Trust Funds for a three-year term attracted no candidates. All School District seats are uncontested. One three-year seat is open on the Londonderry School Board. Incumbent John Laferriere is seeking reelection. “I’m not one to complain and do nothing,” Laferriere said. “I’m trying to do my part. Education is very important and is the basis for our future and is the most easily attacked. I’m trying to make sure we’re giving the best education possible. I also think that we’re so lucky in the United States that everyone can get an education there are many countries where that isn’t so.
“I think people don’t run because in a bad economy there are many pressures pulling at people and some are working two jobs,” he added. “It’s tough to be able to put in the time commitment.” A three-year term as School District Clerk is sought by Mary Wing Soares. “I decided to run because I am the school district secretary and the job of School District Clerk isn’t far removed, so I know I can do the job,” she said.
School District Moderator, a three-year term, is sought by Robert Saur. “I’ve been assistant moderator for the town and school district for six or seven years and when John Michels took ill, I decided to run,” he said. “I think people don’t run because people don’t understand what the positions are all about and the importance of the position and the relationship to running the town.” A three-year term as School District Treasurer is sought by John Conley, who did not return a request for comment.