The Conservation Commission has recommended the Town Council appoint new applicants Julie Collins-Christenson and Mike Byerly to open alternate positions, and appoint newer alternate member Roger Fillio to a voting position on the Commission.
Fillio told the Commission he is seeking a voting position because “it’s something I feel as being necessary.
“I do have a different view about the Town Common and would like to see spaces utilized more and more available to the Town,” he said. “And the Musquash with no parking, we need to work on that.”
Also seeking reappointment to the Commission are Gene Harrington, as a full member; and Mike Speltz, as an alternate.
Collins-Christenson and Byerly interviewed with the Council at its Dec. 21 meeting, answering questions related to the amount of open space in Londonderry, and whether or not they think the Commission should purchase more land.
Both candidates admitted at the Commission’s recent meeting they have never attended a meeting, and neither has a complete understanding of all the Commission’s duties and responsibilities.
Councilor Tom Freda, who frequently argues that the Town has enough open space and that the Commission has invested too much money in purchasing protected properties, said during the interviews he thinks “we’re shirking our responsibility when we say we’ll just pass (the cost of purchasing more open space) onto the taxpayer.”
Both candidates emphasized the importance of open space in answering the Council’s question – Christenson said she would have to consider any new purchases individually, and get a sense for what most residents want.
With a sooner-than-expected resignation from member Paul Nickerson due to a move out of town, the Commission recommended the appointment of both new applicants.
Before Nickerson resigned, the Council had made a motion to appoint Christenson before tabling the vote when Fillio requested he be appointed a voting member. The Council’s motion did not include reappointing Harrington.
Member Mike Considine announced he will not be seeking reappointment to his position on the Commission due to frustration with some members of the Town Council.
“I’m just not going to put myself through it anymore. I won’t be seeking reappointment,” he said.
The Commission recommended the Council reappoint Harrington and Speltz to their positions, appoint Fillio to Considine’s open full-member position and bring on Christenson in Fillio’s open alternate positions.
The Council tabled a vote on the appointments Monday night, Jan. 4, due to the absence of Councilors Joe Green and Jim Butler.