Fire Chief Expected to be Appointed This Week

A Town Council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Moose Hill conference room at Town Hall. Council meetings are usually held on Mondays. The agenda includes the appointment of a Fire Chief, as well as an update on the search for a new town manager.

Since the retirement of fire chief Kevin MacCaffrie in March 2013, Londonderry Fire Battalion Chief Darren O’Brien has been acting chief. The position has not been advertised. According to Human Resources Director Donna Pratt, “sometimes positions are not advertised because of promotions from within the department.”

Police Chief William Hart was appointed Acting Town Manager on June 18, 2012 when David Caron went on medical-related leave. At the July 9, 2012, Town Council meeting, chairman John Farrell announced that Caron, who was not present, was resigning for health-related reasons, with his last day of work July 20, 2012.

The town has been attempting to hire Caron’s replacement, first in February 2013, when the Town Council’s top choice took a job in Massachusetts, and more recently, when a new town manager was expected to be in place July

1. Hart did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the agenda items and whether a town manager candidate had been singled out. No replacement has been named yet for the elder affairs director post, which became vacant when Stacy Thrall left town employment in early May. That hiring matter is not included on the agenda.

Also on the agenda is the creation of a TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) district to help pay for the proposed Pettengill Road extension. “A TIF is a financing tool that uses the increased property values because of the road to pay for the road,” explained Geographic Information Systems manager and town planner Jon Vogl.

“The district would be set up around the area of the airport and would use monies from increased property values to help pay for the road. Suppose for example a property pays $1 million in property taxes and the road goes in, and now they’re paying $1.5 million because of increased property value. The extra $500,000 would be dedicated to paying off the road.”

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