Third-Party Reviewer Issue Goes to Town Manager

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for a third party reviewer was back at the Town Council Monday night.
As previously reported by the Londonderry Times, the Planning Board was concerned about the Council’s direction to seek two third-party reviewers.

Councilor Tom Dolan asked for a discussion on whether the Council would have multiple third-party reviewers rather than just one. The Council had previously turned down the Planning Board’s earlier recommendation for a sole third-party reviewer.
Council Chairman John Farrell said he had been in discussion with town attorney Mike Ramsdell concerning the town charter, “and the feedback I received was that this was a staff issue and comes under the purview of the Town Manager, so if the Town Manager wants to seek an RFP and wants to have more than one vendor and work with their staff and the Planning Board, then it is his purview and he can run daily operations the way he sees fit.”
Farrell said he was favorable to multiple vendors and that a proper RFP should be put together with pricing.
After Councilor Jim Butler expressed concerns about where the RFP would be advertised, Farrell directed him to work with Town Manager Kevin Smith to see that it gets in the right trade journals.
Councilor Tom Freda asked about the Planning Board having input in distributing projects, and Smith said his intention was to amend the language so that projects would be determined by planning staff in conjunction with the town manager.
“The Planning Board had a chance to review the RFP, and the ultimate conclusion was to put it in the hands of the Town Council to decide how to move forward with it,” Smith said.
He said a change has been made to the RFP concerning conflict of interest for engineers that do business in town. “This was language that was suggested by Attorney Ramsdell because he felt that the current language would prevent a number of engineers from applying for the RFP,” Smith said.