Governor, Executive Council Pay Visit to Londonderry

Governor Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council brought their regular meeting to Londonderry last week.
Town Manager Kevin Smith introduced the Londonderry High School a capella group Rising Harmony, composed of Erin Conti, Rachel Hansen, Stephanie Conti and Cailey Blatchford, who sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Amazing Grace.”

He also spoke briefly to extol the advantages of Londonderry, calling it “a great town to live in and a great town to raise a family in.” Smith grew up in Londonderry and lives in Litchfield.
Smith said that with 24,000 residents, Londonderry is the 10th largest town in the state by population, according to the 2010 census, and has almost 700 employees between the town and school district and a combined budget of almost $110 million.
“We have a great mix of land use between industrial, commercial, residential and recreational,” he said. “On the industrial side, some of that is located around the Exit 5 interchange off of Interstate 93, but a lot of it is also located around the airport area. In fact, 75 percent of the Manchester-Boston airport, including the terminal itself, is located in Londonderry.”
Smith used the meeting to push for the currently unfunded Pettengill Road project, which he said would open up about 1,000 acres of industrial land and would lead to 10,000 to 15,000 jobs.
“We have great commercial use in town, which extends along the Route 102 corridor from the border of Hudson to the border of Derry,” he added. “We also have a lot of residential use in town, which includes the Woodmont Commons PUD (Planned Unit Development), a project going in that will be a mix of commercial and residential use.”
Smith said that at build-out over 20 years, Woodmont would be a $1 billion development.
“About 15 percent of the land in Londonderry is conservation or open space use,” he added. “The residents love it and use it quite frequently. Last but not least, Londonderry is probably best known for two things, the Londonderry High Marching Lancers band that has performed at the Summer Olympics in China and at the last two inaugural parades, which leads me to the next thing Londonderry is known for, and that is its apple orchards. We have five working orchards here in town and President Obama has visited Mack’s Apples orchard twice.”
“Go pick the apples, but pay for them too,” the governor added.
Londonderry High School teacher and coach Peter Willis received a commendation from the governor for his service to the community. Hassan said Willis had come to Londonderry as an educator in 1986 and has an extensive knowledge of history and social studies, as well as a natural ability to convey knowledge in a way that engages students, teachers and the administration. She said he takes a personal interest in his students and focuses on what the students have the ability to learn and do. Willis also mentors teachers new to the district and takes a leadership role on the missions and expectation standards committee, as well as coaching the volleyball team.
Also recognized was General William N. Reddel of the National Guard, stationed in Londonderry. He received the Legion of Merit Award from Brigadier General Carolyn Protzmann.
“Congress authorized the award in 1942; it is awarded for exceptional service and achievement while performing duties in a key position of responsibility, and is not authorized for presentation to civilian personnel,” she said. “The Legion of Merit is sixth in order precedence of military awards.”
With all military in the room standing at attention, Protzmann noted Reddel’s “vision and major changes in National Guard priorities.
“He has educated congressional delegations, governors and senior military officials on the importance of National Guard relevance with both federal and domestic cyber missions,” she said. “Through the deployment cycle support program developed by the New Hampshire National Guard, in partnership with local, state and national organizations, New Hampshire veterans and their families are supported during and after deployment.”
Protzmann said collaboration helped veterans with suicide prevention, mental health care, unemployment and homelessness.
After General Protzmann pinned the award on Reddel , he said that he has been a resident of Londonderry for 28 years and both of his children had been in the marching band.
“It’s a great town to live in,” Reddel said.
He noted that due to the partial federal government shutdown, half of his staff was furloughed. “But we’ll get through this,” Reddel said.
Hassan said Reddel did his job with courtesy and professionalism and kindness, “when everything around you is dysfunctional.”
Following the Londonderry recognitions, the governor and executive council proceeded to address a lengthy agenda of items facing the state.

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