Three vie for open Town Council seats

·6 min read

Feb. 24—LONDONDERRY — Three candidates on the town ballot are vying for a pair of open Town Council seats.

Incumbent Councilor John Farrell, Chad Franz and former councilor Edward Combes hope to come out on top following the March 8 election.

Polls are open at Londonderry High School from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to elect both town and school district officials. Voters will also consider proposed budgets and lists of warrant articles.

Name: Edward Combes

Age: 35

Occupation: Project manager in natural gas

Education: Master of Business Administration degree from Southern New Hampshire University; undergraduate degree from Suffolk University

Elected experience: Town Council, 2017-2020; Budget Committee, 2014

Why are you seeking a term on the Londonderry Town Council?

To serve the people of Londonderry, to put my work experience in construction and my past experiences as town councilor to good work for our budgets and for ideas moving forward.

What do you see as Londonderry's top challenges and what would you propose to do to address those challenges?

The challenges that I see are coming up with new revenue streams to offset residential tax burden and, secondly, maintaining costs moving forward.

What makes Londonderry special to you? Why are you the right candidate for the job?

Londonderry is home for me. I grew up in Londonderry and was born here. I am an Eagle Scout from Troop 521. I played recreational soccer and was in the marching band and this is where I am having my kids grow up. Londonderry is in a real special spot with it being about an hour to Boston, an hour to the beach, an hour to the mountains, 10 minutes to the Manchester airport and wonderful stores and restaurants within Londonderry and nearby.

I feel I am the right candidate for Town Council because a lot of the position is being a steward for town facilities.

With my 10 years construction management and managing multi-million-dollar budgets I know how to run buildings and maintain them. I also see the position of Town Council needs to adapt and work more with town staff to create new ideas for real estate development for companies to come to Londonderry. With my construction management and real estate development background I feel I would be very well suited for this.

"Experience matters" when working across departments, understanding the budget process, and looking at the overall picture. As your town councilor, I will not just represent myself, but will serve as a good steward for the townspeople, police department, fire department, public works, and business owners while keeping the budget in check.

Name: John Farrell

Age: 61

Occupation: Software sales

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration

Elected experience: 12 years Town Council; 11 years Planning Board

Why are you seeking a term on the Londonderry Town Council?

I love Londonderry. My wife, Sherry, and I raised our family here and our girls want to live, work and have families in Londonderry. My goal every day is to help protect this great community and make it the best place to live in New Hampshire.

What do you see as Londonderry's top two challenges and what would you propose to do to address those challenges?

We need to address the PFOA issue and hold the offenders accountable. Additionally, we need to keep taxes low, by growing our commercial tax base. While at the same time protecting/preserving our town's character and our residential areas.

What makes Londonderry special to you? Why are you the right candidate for the job?

Sherry and I got married here almost 30 years ago. Sherry moved here with her parents over 50 years ago and we met here when I was visiting a friend who lived in town. Londonderry is our home. It provides the convenience of being near Manchester and Boston with the beauty of our great state of New Hampshire and that small town feel. I often joke that we live where many people hope to vacation someday. I want to continue to serve the community I love. I will strive to always have an open mind and believe that together we can continue to strengthen the community. I love Londonderry and will do anything to protect it.

Name: Chad Franz

Age: 38

Occupation: Recruiting team leader in the medial staffing field

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, general studies, concentration in essentials of human services from Southern New Hampshire University

Elected experience: Budget Committee, one term, two years as chairman

Why are you seeking a term on the Londonderry Town Council?

I have immensely enjoyed serving on the Londonderry Budget Committee. I was encouraged by many to consider taking my experience, manner of collaborative problem solving and communication abilities to run for the open Town Council position. After discussion, my wife, family, friends and community members, I know I will be the right fit for this position. If elected, I will use my expertise and working relationships on the Budget Committee as a bridge to transition to a successful Town Council member. I will be an impactful steward and advocate for the residents of our town. As a Town Council member, I will bring our community together while supporting residents and town staff.

What do you see as Londonderry's top challenges and what would you propose to do to address those challenges?

We have a concentration of seniors on fixed incomes living in our beautiful town with its numerous 55-plus communities. However, not just seniors but community members are wondering about their ability to afford living in Londonderry. Two of the biggest concerns facing the community are rising taxes and unhealthy drinking water. We need to do whatever it takes to sustain healthy water for residents in all areas of town. We shall hold those who created this water situation accountable and utilize state and federal resources to make this happen. We must ensure wise and mindful spending on tax revenue, while maintaining the services needed and work within our state and federal legislators to lessen our total tax impact.

What makes Londonderry special to you? Why are you the right candidate for the job?

Londonderry is home to me, my family and friends. The people and community is the foremost reason why I chose to live here, raise my family and why I want to serve this town as a member of the Council. This makes Londonderry a pleasant and comfortable place to live and raise a family. Everything a family needs to prosper is close to where we live, grocery stores, employment, schools, government services, entertainment, recreation and medical care.

As a Marine veteran, I have an instilled passion and engrained abilities to serve my country and community. I enjoy collaborating with others to resolve complex problems in a positive and mutually beneficial way. I will continue to work transparently to solve issues and address concerns.

Decision by decision, I will ensure public resources and our tax dollars are wisely used to meet the needs of town residents, for now and into the future. I will work tirelessly to preserve Londonderry's charming feel and high-quality community and governmental services. I will continue to meet with residents to keep their interests at the forefront and be the steward and advocate we need.