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Mar 9, 2016 8:01 PM

Derry voters choose new councilors after dramatic year battling the budget

DERRY- Some new faces are coming to the Derry Town Council after voters had their voices heard at the polls for Town Meeting this week.

It was a year full of drama, of residents getting kicked out of meetings and arguments spilling out into the parking lot.

Fast forward to October, when the lines were out the door at the polls for a special vote that the people won after petitioning the council over the budget. The record-breaking turnout overturned all of the budget items. Back then, voters vowed there would be big changes in the council as some of the members were up for re-election this week.

Mark Osborne chose not to run. Council Chairman Tom Cardon and Al Dimmock both lost their races.

“One was 100, and the other was 69 votes, so you can see the ‘Yes vote’ people came out yesterday,” said councilor-elect Brian Chirichiello.

The turnout Tuesday was higher than normal but nothing close what they saw in October. Chirichiello beat out Dimmock in District Four, a seat he previously held for nine years. He was one of the residents who led the lawsuit against the town. Businessman Jim Morgan donated to the cause; he beat out three opponents for Osborne’s open seat. Charlie Foote beat Cardon in District Two.

“There was no transparency, and there was a real lack of communication between what some councilors wanted and what other councilors wanted,” Morgan said.

The budget will be another big hurdle this year as this new council looks to lower taxes without slashing services.

“You manage a $40 million budget by getting in there and looking at what you can do differently, like increasing the tax bases, bringing more businesses into Derry,” Morgan said.

“Keep the services that we want but also try to lower taxes for our citizens. If we can do both, and I think we can, we’ll be successful,” Chirichiello said.

The new councilors will be sworn in Friday.

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