Several Town Council members teased Town Manager Kevin Smith when he walked up to the dais Monday night. “Kevin, we love your new hairstyle,” they said.
Bald was beautiful that evening, as several firefighters, the Chief of Police and the Londonderry Town Manager appeared with shaved heads at the Town Council meeting.
The shaved heads were a tribute to and fund-raiser for Firefighter Zach O’Brien, the son of Fire Chief Darren O’Brien. The younger O’Brien has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and Smith said several town employees shaved their heads in solidarity.
O’Brien, 22, was diagnosed in February. He is a third-generation firefighter, with his father and both grandfathers in the profession.
A mass “shaving” was held at the Central Fire Station earlier that day.
“They have raised well over $10,000 with the support of the community,” Smith said. He also sported a T-shirt in support of O’Brien.
Council Chair John Farrell honored first responders with a moment of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance, and also with a proclamation in honor of National Police Week. Farrell said the Council wanted to honor the “service and sacrifice” of those who were killed in the line of duty. He said 900,000 people are serving as sworn officers across the country, and these men and women suffer 60 assaults each year.
“The ultimate sacrifice,” he said, “is being killed in the line of duty.”
National Police Week is May 15 to 21, Farrell said, and he exhorted Londonderry residents to honor those who “keep our town, visitors and employees safe.”
Councilor Tom Dolan added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two Manchester officers who were shot this week.” It is a reminder of the danger these people face every day, Dolan said, adding, “This is very appropriate.”
In other business:
• The Council unanimously approved a Special Election to approve a collective bargaining agreement between the town and the AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), a union of middle-management employees.
Smith said the meeting is being held in accordance with RSA 31:A to approve the changes in the contract.
The meeting will be held the same day as the New Hampshire Primary and was approved by the Council, 5-0.