Town Council, Budget Committee Differ on Town Treasurer Article

The Town Council voted to recommend that voters approve a charter change this March, which would change the Treasurer position from an elected position to an appointed one during its Jan. 12 meeting.
Current Town Treasurer, Kathy Wagner, and Finance Director, Justin Campo, are both supporting the proposed change, saying that currently there are no background checks done on those who are candidates for office, which would be different if the position was an appointed one, and there are also concerns about someone being elected who has no experience.
Wagner argued that she didn’t think there was a need to campaign in support of the warrant article last year.
“That was my bad for not showing up and defending my position on this,” said Wagner.
Wagner also argued that since they have grown as a town and over $100 million goes through the town’s finances between the school district and the town, combined with what she described as a tough election process, she thinks it makes sense to go with the appointed position.
“It’s just time,” she said.
State Rep., Kristine Perez, who is a resident of Londonderry, pointed out during the public hearing portion of the meeting that last year voters rejected the warrant article.
Resident, Dan Bouchard, who said he voted against it last time, asked if they thought about what they are looking for in terms of qualifications.
Campo said ideally they would look for someone with an accounting or finance background “that has experience in governmental accounting,” explaining that there is a difference between government and corporate finance.
Bouchard suggested they put the qualification online, which the Town Council agreed with.
Former Town Councilor, Deb Paul, said she is against it, and if they do background checks, then they should be made public “so that the people can see that and look at it.”
Richard Bielinski Jr., who once served in the Treasurer role, said he thinks someone without a background in finance or accounting could do the position.
“An honest person is an honest person,” he said.
Town Councilor, Ron Dunn, was the one person on the Town Council to vote against recommending the warrant article, saying he thinks it should be up to the voters who they pick for the position.
At the Budget Committee meeting, the Committee voted 4-3 to not recommend the article. Budget Committee Chair, Patrick Cassidy, Committee member, Kate Burbidge, and Vice Chair, Joseph Gagnon, voted in support of the article.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter