Oct 13, 2015 7:55 PM
DERRY- The budget battle in Derry comes down to a vote by the people. There was a huge turnout at the polls Tuesday as residents cast their votes on whether or not to overturn the town council’s budget.
The vote will decide the outcome of a long, hard fought battle on both sides. This past spring, the majority of the Town Council voted for massive budget cuts to lower taxes. It sparked outrage among some residents, and after gathering hundreds of signatures and taking the town to court, they won the right to have the people vote on the budget.
“People of Derry are so passionate about so many things, and we come together on so many issues,” said Derry resident Audrey Martens.
Voters are deciding on eight petitions, including town positions and a recently shut down fire station. Voting yes on any petition will overturn the cut, a no vote will keep the budget the way it is.
Those supporting the “no” vote say they’re happy with the budget because it promises lower taxes.
“This is the first time the four councilors have actually fulfilled their promise,” said Mike Gill.
“This election has to be instructive as to whether or not this community is pro-taxpayer or pro-tax, and then residents can either stay or accordingly,” said Town Councilor Mark Osborne.
With the largest voter turnout in the last decade, win or lose, residents say they’re happy to see the community getting out to vote.
“This is phenomenal. If nothing else, this hopefully ended voted apathy in Derry, and it brought it to the attention of a lot of people who normally say, ‘Well my vote doesn’t matter’, you can very well see that it is going to matter,” said Jenna Paradise, one of the residents who petitioned the council.
The results aren’t expected until late Tuesday or early Wednesday because of the high volume of ballots that need to be hand-counted.
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