To the Editor:
Around two and half years ago, I randomly picked up an edition of Green Energy Times while waiting for my child to be seen by her pediatrician. We had just had our second child, my first term as a Town Councilor was coming to an end, I had just suffered an election defeat to the Governor’s Council, and I was content and ready to retire from politics. Then I saw it. A newspaper about energy efficiency from my home state of Vermont. I began to thumb through the paper until an article about Montpelier becoming a net-zero community caught my eye.
I live in Derry, the fourth largest community of New Hampshire, and we have an extremely high tax rate. The people in our community (like most) aren’t willing to give up their services but want a lower tax rate. This is a conundrum that has left me, and many others puzzled. Then it hits me. Why don’t we emulate Montpelier? From there, I created the Net-Zero Task Force with a goal of becoming a net-zero community by 2025. I and others worked tirelessly to be able to get the committee off the ground before I left office. The members of the non-partisan council were very supportive and encouraged our efforts. It was that hope of making a real difference that inspired me to run for re-election and see how far we could go.
To date, we’ve opened a large solar field at our transfer station [editor note: see article on page 10], which may not sound like a huge deal to Vermonters and others in New England, but it is in New Hampshire. We have plans to add on once we prove it makes fiscal sense. We were awarded honorable mention at the 2018 United State Conference of Mayors. I’m so hopeful that in future years we can continue to be creative and smart about how we combat our high tax rate through energy efficiency solutions.
Lastly, I wanted to say thank you. I truly believe that it was your paper that inspired me to remain in office, to create the net-zero committee, and to remain hopeful that we can make a difference in the lives of the 34,000 residents of Derry.
Josh Bourdon, Derry, NH Town Councilor at Large