The Monday night Town Council meeting was noticeably shorter than previous meetings, mainly because the public hearing set for that night had to be put off until next week due to new information that has yet to be divulged. See story page 1 of the Londonderry Times.
Two matters that were discussed that evening were how, at a recent Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting, the meeting went on far longer than the Town Council thought it should. There was also some discussion about public comment and how to handle it through various boards.
Council vice-chairman John Farrell mentioned that he was quite distressed at the length of the latest ZBA meeting and had citizens contacting him on the matter.
He told fellow council members that he thought it was bad for the board to have a meeting go beyond 1:30 a.m. given that people have jobs and can’t be expected to stay at meeting until all hours.
He mentioned that he attended the meeting and felt that it was rushed given the long agenda, with the chair even cutting speakers off at times.
Farrell suggested that the meetings be split into two, that way the meetings wouldn’t feel rushed and the public could speak without fear of being cut off mid-sentence.
“People have to pay their lawyers to sit around for four hours in some cases,” Farrell said.
The matter was given to town staff to look into.
Town Council Chair Tom Dolan brought up that he had put together some thoughts on how to better run the town’s land use board meetings.
He said he took information given to the town over the summer by the state who had visited Londonderry and offered suggestions on conducting public meetings.
He asked fellow councilors to read what he had put together and give him feedback.
There was also a presentation given by Fire Chief Darren O’Brien, who gave an update on some added things the department was doing to inform the public about what the new renovations for Central Fire Station would look like.
O’Brien announced the creation of a website that was put up on their town website for the public to view so they can have more information on what exactly the renovations would look like. The website is called londonderryfirereno.com.
There are multiple videos posted about what the project is and a tour of the current fires station given by both Fire Chief Darren O’Brien and Battalion Chief Kevin Zins. In this tour, they highlight the places that need the most work and how these renovations would help the town of Londonderry in the long run. The website also outlines the tax impact on the residents, the timeline of the project, and the cost of the renovations overall.
There is also a space for the public to contact “The Project Team” and voice their opinions.
O’Brien also hoped to include a Facebook page with the information sometime in the coming weeks to further expand their audience and get the word out on why Londonderry needs to vote for the fire station.
The vote will need to be accepted by at least 60% of voters to pass in the upcoming March election.
If the voters choose to vote for the renovations, the project is expected to be completed sometime in late July or early August of 2019.