Derry public works director to serve as town administrator
DERRY — With Town Administrator John Anderson on paid leave pending a criminal investigation and acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau scheduled to take vacation during the last week of August, the town could be down to a third-string town administrator for a little over a week.
Recently, the Town Council approved the appointment of Public Works Director Michael Fowler as the acting town administrator from Aug. 27 through Sept. 4.
The Town Council voted to place Anderson on paid leave on July 12 pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. The council also appointed Budreau, the assistant town administrator, to serve as acting administrator in his place.
“Should Mr. Anderson not be able to resume his duties by then, you won’t need to have a special meeting,” said Budreau. “I’ve carefully framed the motion so that if Mr. Anderson is back, the motion will become moot.”
Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores asked why Fowler was the pick to serve as the acting administrator during Budreau’s vacation and not Police Chief Ed Garone.
“Over the years, it has always been Chief Garone,” she said. “I was wondering why he wasn’t considered.”
Although appointing Garone the acting administrator had been the practice at one point in time, Budreau said that hasn’t been the case for the past eight years.
For the most part, Budreau has been the acting administrator while the town administrator has been off.
“Many of the roles for these short-term stints have been signing some documents and making some decisions about purchases,” he said. “It seemed to make the best sense to have someone in (the municipal center) doing it. It has been John Anderson’s practice that if he and I were both out, we would ask Mike Fowler. It’s just a matter of physical proximity and nothing other than that.”
Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks noted that there will be a council meeting during the time Budreau is on vacation.