Two Derry Select Board veterans won’t seek

By Bruce Frauman
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing

During a sparsely attended Candidates’ Night forum held on Monday, Feb. 17, both Londonderry Select Board members who are up for re-election in March said they have chosen not to run again.

Board member Bob Forbes explains why he had decided not to run for another term. Photos courtesy or GNAT TV

Bob Forbes said that at this time in his life, he has other things going on and would prefer not to be sit on the board. Forbes said he had been on the board for nine years, left the board but was then appointed to fill the position opened up by Will Reed’s resignation in 2016. He said he ran again for a two-year term in 2018 to help Taylor Prouty get up to speed and to see through the completion of the town’s salt and sand shed.

Jim Ameden said he had been on the fence the whole year about whether to seek re-election, but finally believes he is ready to move on. Ameden began serving on the board in 2003 and had taken a year off following a family emergency. He told the meeting that he understands that both he and Forbes leaving the same year leaves a big hole.

Board member George Mora, who was running the meeting, said that now that there is a “strong, functioning board,” she is “in terror” of getting new blood on the board that will change that dynamic. Ameden said that two board members at a time have left the board in the past, but not with the experience that he and Forbes have brought.

Town Clerk Kelly Pajala, front row right, tells the meeting that Lister Julie Adams and Collector of Delinquent Taxes Joan Dayton will not seek re-election

Labeau and Town Clerk Kelly Pajala said other elected officials choosing to leave their positions are Lister Julie Adams and Delinquent Tax Collector Joan Dayton. Article 3 on the Town Meeting warning asks if the voters shall “authorize the Selectboard to appoint a collector of delinquent taxes.” If passed, Pajala said, the board will be asked to appoint Labeau, to keep tax collections “in house.”

Labeau and Pajala both said they will be running again for their positions’ three-year terms. Labeau said she is happy with the treasurer position and hopes others are happy with her. She said she started as treasurer in 2016. Pajala said that after eight years as clerk, “we actually have things on track and chugging along the way I had hoped for and I hope people will trust me to be in the office again.”

No other candidates attended the meeting, though Labeau and Pajala thought the rest of the incumbents would likely run for reelection. Candidates’ Night was placed on the Select Board agenda and the board let it run as an informal meeting as it had been in previous years.

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