Sep 17, 2015 8:53 PM

Residents kicked out of Derry meeting as town council votes to appeal judge's order over budget cuts

DERRY - Person after person was kicked out or escorted by police out of a special meeting in Derry Thursday. The meeting was scheduled to discuss a judge’s order for a special vote on the budget. There was no public forum on the agenda, four residents were asked to leave as they tried to speak out during the meeting.

Chair Thomas Cardon says there’s no excuse for that kind of behavior.

“The behavior in this meeting tonight was absolutely disgusting,” Cardon said.

Cardon says according to their attorney, they are allowed to appeal the court order to hold a special election by the end of the month. Citing issues of timing, he says it would not comply with election law, but when a town election official tried to correct Cardon, she was told to sit down.

Town election officials emailed the chair Tuesday morning, informing him the Secretary of State’s Office says the judge’s ruling supersedes the election timeline.

“Apparently he’s chosen to ignore that and say they have the right to appeal,” said Judy Strakalais, who is supervisor of the town’s checklist.

The council voting 5-2 to appeal the order, which was won by a group of residents who petitioned massive budget cuts.

The councilors who voted for the cuts maintain they did what they were elected to do: lower taxes.

Many residents are left frustrated, wondering why the council won’t leave it up to a vote by the people.

“They weren’t willing to get any feedback, they weren’t willing to give any feedback,” said Jenna Paradise of Derry.

Cardon telling NH1 News why he chose to appeal after the meeting saying, “Why appeal? Because that’s our legal process, we have the right to appeal,” Cardon said.

When NH1 News asked why not leave it up to a vote by the people, Cardon walked away.

It’s unclear what will happen next, but residents who petitioned the council say they’ll be talking to their lawyers.

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