The bulk of the Town Council meeting on Monday, May 1, focused on the town’s efforts to fill vacant spots on the town Zoning Board and Planning Board, interviewing four applicants about their expertise and what they would bring to the boards.
Roger Fillio was first to be interviewed. Fillio is currently serving on the Heritage Commission and, if elected, would have to leave his seat on the commission.
Fillio was looking to join the Planning Board because he feels that if you want to change laws and make a difference in town, you need to be where change is needed. He also brought up his concern over traffic problems and his desire to advocate for fixing these issues.
Councilor John Farrell mentioned that traffic has always been a major point of concern on the Planning Board, but that the board must follow a strict set of regulations and rules, making achieving solutions complicated.
Fillio then noted that he had spent thirty five years in the military is very accustomed to following rules.
Councilor Joe Green asked Fillio several questions, including what he would bring to the Planning Board, how he would achieve solutions and what his vision for Londonderry’s future was, to which Fillio told him that we would follow the rules, but still seek out what the public needs, all in an effort to help Londonderry grow. Councilor Ted Combes asked if Fillio had any real estate experience, to which Fillio mention he was a real estate agent for several years.
Recent resident Brendan O’Brien was next to be interviewed, seeking a spot on the Zoning Board. His family moved to Londonderry three years ago and has practiced law in New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, specializing in litigation and insurance defense work.
Farrell asked O’Brien what he thought about the direction of Londonderry, to which he approved of its direction, but also noted that it also “has a lot of opportunity for the future”. He wants to preserve the character of Londonderry. Green asked O’Brien how he would achieve change on the Planning Board, to which he said that he would need to look at existing laws and address issues on a case-by-case basis. He also recognized the consequences of haphazardly removing laws.
Another new member to the community, Peter Commerford, was the third resident interviewed, he was also seeking a spot of the Planning Board. Commerford has lived in Londonderry for two months, grew up in the construction trade and is currently employed as an electrical engineer.
Green asked Commerford what his vision for the town would be in the next five to ten years. Commerford admitted he doesn’t have much experience with the town, but believes the town is in good shape. Green also asked how he would address issues, with Commerford noting he too would view each issue on a case-by-case basis, asking as many questions as he could. He has had experience dealing with Planning Board in the past, particularly site easements concerning nearby road.
The final interviewee was Kris Kenney, also applying for an open position on the Planning Board. He has lived in Londonderry for six years, originally moving here for the school system, but growing to admire the town for its blend of nature and commerce.
Farrell asked Kenney how he felt about local speed limits and whether he was more concerned with town ascetics or planning, to which Kenney noted he was more concerned with planning. Green asked him what he would bring to the Planning Board, which Kenney responded to by noting his experience as a purchasing agent and construction experience. He was also very comfortable with the direction of Londonderry and would like to see the community come closer together.
After all interviews were completed, the council unanimously voted O’Brian on to the Zoning Board.
Kenney was not appointed to the Planning Board, the two vacant seats instead were given to Fillio and Commerford by a vote of four to one.
However, because Fillio’s seat on the Heritage Commission was vacant, the seat was offered to Kenney, who elected to go up for the position. The council unanimously voted him into the seat.