E-mails Show Robert Jean’s Interest in Board Appointment

A former Derry Planning Board alternate tried twice to be reappointed to the board, according to a series of e-mails.

The Nutfield News submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Derry administrative office requesting copies of all e-mails regarding appointments to the Planning Board after Robert Jean was denied reappointment to the board in the April 7 Town Council meeting, as previously reported by this newspaper.

Assistant Town Administrator Larry Budreau provided copies of the e-mails between the candidates for the boards, Planning Board Chair David Granese, Executive Secretary Sheila Bodenrader, Planning Assistant Elizabeth Robidoux and Town Clerk Denise Neale.

In the FOIA request, the Nutfield News learned that Jean made his first attempt to be nominated for the full-time position being vacated by Ann Alongi with a letter of interest dated Feb. 3. Alongi resigned Feb. 12 due to a move to California. Fellow alternate Lori Davison was appointed to Alongi’s open slot, and Jean reapplied for the alternate position being vacated by Davison on March 25.

Executive Secretary Sheila Bodenrader responded to Jean’s second request by writing to Planning Board Chairman David Granese on March 25. Bodenrader acknowledged that Davison’s move to the full-time slot left an alternate opening, and she told Granese that she would put Jean’s nomination on the Council agenda for April 7.

Planning Assistant Elizabeth Robidoux wrote to Jean and told him that his not being appointed was an oversight, and that an alternate position was still open. She said she would send an e-mail to Bodenrader and Town Clerk Denise Neale stating that Jean was interested in Davison’s open seat.

But in the April 7 Town Council meeting, when Jean’s name was put forward, four Councilors voted against him: Mark Osborne, David Fischer, Al Dimmock and Chairman Tom Cardon.

Jean wrote to Planning Director George Sioras and Robidoux, “Last night’s Council meeting was interesting. I am very disappointed. I enjoyed being part of the board.” He asked if he should return some Planning Board materials he had been given in anticipation of his reappointment.

Jean was appointed as an alternate in January 2015 and served for three months.

He is a 15-year resident of Derry, holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s in Economics and Finance, and is enrolled in a Master’s program with a concentration in Corporate Finance at Southern New Hampshire University.

Asked for copies of e-mails between Councilors, Budreau said he was not aware of any e-mails discussing this matter.