November 17, 2010

Administrator, Council formulate 2011 to-do list

Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- Although initial goal-setting discussions for the new town administrator are under way, councilors have tabled a final narrowing of first-year objectives until the completion of a forthcoming economic development report.
The Moving Derry Forward Committee’s yearlong charge comes to an end Thursday, after which the group will forward an economic development report to the council within the next month, said Town Administrator John Anderson.
And Anderson said he hopes the group’s report will help inform his own direction.
“I didn’t want to be too specifi
c until that report came down because I think they will be fairly specific in where they want to go,” Anderson said at Tuesday’s council meeting.
But in a report to the council, Anderson did lay out a loose timeline of goals proposed for his first year, naming economic development as his “major focus.”
In his proposal, Anderson said he plans to complete Route 28 TIF District road improvements by October 2011 and put together an economic development team with a defined purpose by February 2011.
Councilor Kevin Coyle said he’d hoped to see more specificity about how the town will bring new businesses into the TIF District.
“It’s nice that we’re going to do the TIF road improvements, but we have to pay for those and we need to be recruiting businesses in that area to be building buildings for those road improvements
 to be paid for,” Coyle said. “If not, they will come out of our general fund and I think you missed that.”
Anderson said he expects a more defined plan to come out of the Moving Derry Forward report.
Council Chair Brad Benson said he wanted to see the goal include a timeline for when revenue would be coming in to pay for the TIF improvements. Further, Anderson said he would strive to define the next major economic development project after the TIF project, improve the safety of municipal parking lots and look into acquiring conservation land in west Derry.
He also set a tentative October 2011 timeline for completion of the bike path and a resolution to the senior center issue.
Beyond the first year, Anderson highlighted goals of improving the transfer station, studying public safety systems
 and working to include Londonderry in development plans.
But councilors expressed some concern about putting too much on Anderson’s plate for the first year, given that his job performance will be evaluated
 by his ability to complete the first-year objectives.
“I think we as a council need to clarify this and thin this list out a little bit, saying, OK, these are only his first two goals. He’s hopefully going to be here many years to finish things up,” said Councilor David Milz. “But I think it behooves us to set certain dates on things for when we would like to see them accomplished, and when they are done we’ll be adding more.”
The council agreed Tuesday to table a final decision to await the Moving Derry Forward report. In the meantime, councilors will rate individual goals to help establish a priority list.

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