Speltz Clarifies Comments About FedEx Development

Citing the development of land near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and the proposed FedEx development in the area, Town Council Chairman Tom Dolan expressed concern Monday night about a quote from Mike Speltz in the Londonderry Times.

Speltz, speaking as a member of the Master Plan Implementation Committee at its recent meeting, had said the part-time jobs anticipated for FedEx were “not the jobs that we want in our industrial park.”

Monday night, Speltz, who is also a member of the town’s Conservation Commission, responded to the Town Council that he was trying to make a point in the context of the zoning audit and concerning how the Town wants development to proceed around the airport. He said he was trying to illustrate that the train is leaving the station and it’s time to act.

And he noted that as a matter of record, he voted for the FedEx site plan when it was before the Conservation Commission.

“I regret the fact that in trying to make the point that development was proceeding rapidly, (it) was taken that the town was against FedEx,” he said. “Obviously if I voted for the site plan, that is not the case. At the same time I think we want to achieve the vision that is laid out in the Master Plan.

“I will say that FedEx to their credit has been one of the first large companies to step forward to break the ice, if you will, as we have several businesses in the pipeline that we’re encouraging to move forward and submit their plans to the Planning Board,” Dolan said.

Dolan said he spoke with Speltz after reading his comments in the Londonderry Times. “He and I had a discussion about making sure that those comments are from a private citizen in a special context,” he said. “In that context, Mike was not speaking for the town in any official way. The Council, I can say without reservation, is behind what FedEx is doing and the types of jobs they are providing, and we are looking forward to a longstanding relationship with that business as they develop that property.”

Councilor Tom Freda said the Council and prior Councils have made it “priority number one” to try to bring jobs and development into the town and he was disappointed that a comment by a resident could be construed as speaking for the town when the business involved was a significant one.

Councilor Joe Green said that in his role as liaison to the Master Plan Implementation Committee, he would remind people that the Master Plan is not something that will be implemented “word for word, picture by picture.”

In other business Monday night:

• The Council recognized Helen Conti as she retired from the Elder Affairs Committee after having served on it since its inception in 2003, and commended her for her “selfless dedication of time and energy to the community.”

• Matthew Morin of Lazy Dog Beer Shoppe on Buttrick Road gave a brief presentation on his business.

• The Nevins walking trail release of easement rights hearing was postponed until after the Council hears from the state Attorney General’s Office on the matter.

• A motion to amend the zoning ordinance as relating to a rezoning due to a lot line adjustment at 562 Mammoth Road was approved unanimously.

• Police Chief William Hart and Fire Chief Darren O’Brien honored their respective department’s dispatchers as part of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, which runs from April 8 to April 14.

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