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Monday, February 27, 2012

Pelham town manager to be considered for Pennichuck board

NASHUA – The Pennichuck Corp., recently acquired by the city of Nashua, could be adding another member to its board of directors.

Members of the Nashua Board of Aldermen this week will consider the appointment of Pelham Town Manager Tom Gaydos as a member to the board of directors of the city-owned utility.

The recommendation is scheduled to go before alderman at a meeting Tuesday night.

Aldermen’s President Brian McCarthy, who also serves as chairman of the Merrimack Valley Regional Water District, will nominate Gaydos, also a water district member, at the meeting. Gaydos would be the 11th member.

Gaydos has sat on the water district board for many years, McCarthy said. The Board of Aldermen will likely refer the matter to a subcommittee for a recommendation before it goes to a full board for final approval.

“Tom has been around the process of acquiring the utility for quite a while with the water district,” McCarthy said Saturday afternoon. “He’ll be an important voice for the district on the (Pennichuck board).”

Currently, 10 members make up the board of the utility, including Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau and a range of professionals from across the state.

Board membership could see more changes over the coming months. The board could grow to as many as 13 members, and Lozeau will have to give up her seat on the board after six months.

City officials completed the $200 million purchase of the company last month after more than 10 years of negotiations. In doing so, they secured control over the city’s water rates and protection of the watershed that supplies the city’s drinking water.

In the purchase, the city acquired three utility companies, including Pennichuck Water Works, the source of the city’s drinking water, Pennichuck East and Pittsfield Aqueduct. The city will also own two other Pennichuck companies, Pennichuck Water Service Corp. and the Southwood Corp., a real-estate subsidiary.

Most company workers will remain in place, but the company’s independent board of directors will be responsible to one stockholder, the city of Nashua.

The utility board, which meets on the fourth Friday of each month, held its second meeting Friday.

Board members didn’t make any significant decisions at the meeting, they said Saturday. Instead, they spent most of the two-hour session continuing to address the company’s structure and finances.

“There’s so much we need to get up to speed on,” board member Elizabeth Dunn said Saturday.

The board did address an ongoing lawsuit against the company and the Nashua Telegraph at the nonpublic segment of Friday’s meeting, according to Lozeau.

Earlier this month, a union representing the majority of the company’s employees filed a lawsuit against The Telegraph looking to block their salaries from becoming public.

The two sides argued their case Feb. 14 before a superior court judge, but the judge has not yet issued a ruling.

Lozeau and other board members declined to comment on Friday’s nonpublic discussion on the matter.

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or