In an interesting development, some Derry residents are unhappy about Town Councilors proposed budget cuts, and filed eight petitions last July to overturn them. After the Councilors refused, they then raised $10,000 to hire an attorney and three of them filed suit and took the Councilors to court. The citizens calling themselves Derry Residents United want to have the Council’s controversial budget cuts reversed or put to a special election. The Derry Town Charter allows for a referendum petition and a special election (Section 3.3) to be held. If the Councilors fail to repeal the protested measure, a special election needs to occur not less than thirty of more than 60 days after the Council vote.
The budget cuts are for eight firefighter positions, closing a fire station and using it for storage and cutting the Fire Department's overtime budget by $436,000.
The lower court in September ruled that Derry must hold a special election by the end of September and that the Councilors violated the charter by rejecting the petition and refusing to hold a special election. The Town Council appealed the ruling to the NH Supreme court who denied the appeal. The special election will be held October 13th.
In kind of a " reverse" intimidation effect, residents who support the cuts did not turn out to the Council meetings due to the and vocal crowd that were against the cuts.
In this article in the Union Leader, Americans For Prosperity have taken an interest in this development and are working with several Derry residents, including Councilor Mark Osborne who contacted them, presumably on the side of keeping the budget cuts.
The current tax rate for Derry is $29.42.