By Chris Paul
The Town Council officially named Town Planner, Kellie Caron, as the Assistant Town Manager/Economic Development Director during the Monday night, Dec. 5, meeting.
Caron, who grew up in Londonderry, is the fourth person to hold the position as Town Planner in just over ten-years and she will be taking on a position that was held by two staff members in previous years. She has served in that role since July of this year.
Since the former Assistant Town Manger, Lisa Drabik, left her post to move on to become the Human Resource Director in Manchester. Town Manager, Mike Malagutti, has been covering much of the responsibilities of the assistant position, as well as many of the duties of the Economic Development Director.
Malaguti explained during the meeting that Caron, before coming to Londonderry, has served in several different planning, zoning, and land-use capacities as well as being a Town Planner for the state and other communities.
“Kellie hit the ground running, proving herself as a serious, competent professional, who represents my approach to municipal management.” He added, “She has the right approach to economic development, which is to apply common sense to facilitate, not hinder development, but also to enforce our regulations to ensure the impacts of development on the community are minimized.”
He added the two roles Caron will be holding have been coupled because of the immediate need to fill both, saying that the Economic Development Director position has not been filled since 2013, when Kevin Smith was hired as Town Manager and also took on that role. He explained by having someone assume that role, it will signal to the outside world, that Londonderry is focused on economic development.
Malaguti also gave a brief background of Caron’s link to the community, saying she was born and raised in town and is a graduate of Londonderry High School, where she also played basketball and went to Plymouth State University, where she earned a degree in Environmental Planning. He added she served as head coach to the girls’ basketball team in Londonderry and was a member of the Conservation Commission. She is also expected to earn a MBA in Public Administration early next year.
The Town Council voted unanimously to move forward with the appointment, effective immediately.
Directly following that appointment, the Council also voted to designate the role of Economic Development Director as the Department Head of the Planning and Economic Development Department.