Tempers flare at Derry town meeting
DERRY- Tempers flare at a town meeting in Derry as town administrators look to make big cuts to meet budget. It could mean more than a dozen vital positions would be eliminated.
More than 200 people attended the council meeting Tuesday. According to town councilor Mark Osborne, the majority of residents have said they want the tax rate lowered, so in order to do that the town is looking to make cuts.
They're proposing to cut 17 municipal positions which would shut down a fire station and cut one million dollars out of the road maintenance budget.
At the meeting, former town councilor Neil Wetherbee was speaking out against the cuts and went over his alotted time of three minutes to speak. The chair person asked Wetherbee to stop speaking multiple times. Wetherbee continue speaking which prompted an outburst by Osborne who yelled, "What the hell is wrong with you?" Osborne stands by his comments.
"The chair person is a very decent fellow, and said approximately 8 times ‘Mr. Wetherbee your time is up.' Mr. Wetherbee did not want to abide by the council rules, he continued to speak continued to obstruct, and was taking time away from other residents and I felt that I needed to step in," Osborne said.
The proposed cuts would eliminate multiple positions from the fire department. Firefighter Anthony Derosa would be the first to be laid-off.
"I have a child coming in six months so for me it's very important to look out for the best interest of my family. But this is like my second family so it's really tough to make that decision whether or not you need to jump ship before or try to ride out the storm and see what happens," Derosa said.
If there were cuts to manpower in the department, the Hampstead Road Fire Station would be shut down.