Sep 23, 2015 8:21 PM
DERRY- After months of battling over the budget, the people of Derry will have the opportunity to vote and decide what cuts will be made, but may not be the end of the fight.
At the beginning of Wednesday’s special meeting, Councilor Al Dimmock, who was sitting in as chair, asked that there be no outbursts saying, “I don’t want to ask anyone to leave.” This, after four people were kicked out last week.
This meeting had a much different outcome. In a surprising turn of events, the council was unanimous in voting to schedule a special election for Oct. 13.
“I’m happy that they voted that and the people will have their say,” said Brian Chirichiello, a Derry resident who is active in the petition process.
The council is appealing a Superior Court judge’s ruling to hold a special budget vote, after residents petitioned them over massive cuts made in the spring meant to lower taxes.
Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the council to submit all of their paperwork by 10am Thursday.
“It’s basically saying no more stalling, they understand the importance of getting this done in a timely fashion,” Chirichiello said.
Councilor Mark Osborne says their decisions were never meant as stalling tactics.
“I know full darn well that if the superior court had not ruled the way it did, they would certainly be exercising their right to an appeal,” Osborne said.
For now, it’s scheduled for residents to head to the polls to vote yes or no on eight budget items, including positions in the police and fire departments and whether or not to keep a recently closed fire station shut down.
“My big focus and my big concern is that the charter of this town was followed, I believe it was tonight and I believe the voters in the end will get their say,” said Councilor Josh Bourdon.
If the council wins the appeal, there will be no vote.
“And now, like everyone, we’re just going to have to wait and see what these judges do,” Osborne said.
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