Larry Budreau wants to set the record straight.
In a recent Town Council meeting, Budreau, who is Acting Town Administrator, explained why he supported the recent Employee Recognition Luncheon, and why it was necessary to close the Municipal Center for two hours.
Budreau made reference to a recent Letter to the Editor by resident and former Town Councilor Janet Fairbanks, in which she expressed dismay over the money spent on the party and the closing of the Municipal Center during a time when people run errands on their lunch hours. Fairbanks observed that she saw several residents disappointed not to be able to conduct business that day.
“I was disappointed and felt bad for the town employees,” Budreau said in response to the letter.
Budreau explained that the Employee Recognition Luncheon was started in 1999 under former Town Administrator Carol Granfield. It isn’t just a “holiday party,” he emphasized, but a chance to recognize employees for their service, especially during milestone years.
Closing the Municipal Center was inevitable if the party was to include all 150 employees, Budreau said. “It is an inconvenience each year, despite our best efforts,” he said. He added that extensive efforts were made to publicize the closing, which took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 6.
“To the few people who showed up expecting us to be open, I apologize,” Budreau said.
He read from his remarks on that day, including the following: “We come together from all areas of this municipal government to celebrate each other’s contributions.” He said town employees’ service often goes unnoticed.
Budreau honored the following:
• The Town Council, which he lauded for delivering an FY 14 budget that maintained an “excellent level of service” with a zero percent increase;
• The volunteers who run the Planning Board, Zoning Board, Trustees of Trust Funds, Supervisors of the Checklist, the town’s two public libraries, the Town Moderator, Highway Safety Committee, Conservation Commission, Heritage Commission, Derry Housing Authority, Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee, representatives to the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and the Rockingham Economic Development Corporation Loan Committee.
“Grassroots volunteerism,” Budreau wrote, “shaped this community and continues to do so.”
• State-of-the-art and highly regarded Police and Fire departments who “stand ready 24-7 to protect the lives, safety and property of Derry residents, property owners and visitors.”
• Public works employees who provide infrastructure management that enhances the quality of lives every day.
• Human Services for providing “comprehensive, compassionate and fiscally prudent assistance to citizens in need.”
• Public Health, for being ready to mobilize a regional network during public health emergencies.
• Code Enforcement, in conjunction with Fire Prevention, for ensuring the conformance and safety of buildings, to preserve lives, safety and property values and help neighbors get along.
• Derry Community Television, providing a variety of local interest programming.
• Administrators, including the Town Clerk, Information Technology, Finance, Assessing, Tax Collector, Human Resources, Planning and Administration.
The following employees were recognized for service:
• Five years, Robert Corwin, police, Kerrin Harrison, tax collector’s office; Florent Martineau, Department of Public Works (DPW) – Parks; Shawn O’Donaghue, Paul Parella and Adam Petkus, police; Jacqueline Plunkett, DPW-Water; Paul Raiche, Public Health; Timothy St. Gelais, DPW-Wastewater;
• Ten years, Christopher Belvin, Ryan Bump, James Hoffman, Thomas Porter, Chief George Klauber, fire; Christine Carlson, Benjamin Doyle, Scott Tompkins, police;
• Fifteen years, Joseph Agrusso, DPW-Wastewater; John Campbell, DPW-Transfer Station; Jason Hall, Gregory Mattson,
William Rutherford, Derek Tunberg, fire; Joel Jackson, police; John Lahey, DPW-Parks; Deborah Pratt, DPW;
• Twenty years, Richard Fisher, fire; Deborah Mailloux, DPW-Recreation; Kennedy Richard, Frank Stoncius, police; and
• Twenty-five years, Joyce Chadwell, Daniel Komenda, Christina Power, police; Susan Conroy, Assessing; and William Sheedy, fire.