Neil Wetherbee, A Wellspring of Inconsistency - Granite Grok

Neil Wetherbee, A Wellspring of Inconsistency

Weil Wetherbee (Derry Ink News)

Longtime Derry Democrat voter, and sudden “Republican,” Neil Wetherbee, now running for state representative in a special election, said he opposes two people from one household serving on the same local public board.

He said this on social media on January 28th of this year when opposing the candidacy of Micheal Layon when Layon and his wife Erica Layon both ran for a seat on the Derry Cooperative School Board.

Wetherbee has changed his tune completely without explanation in the mere span of less than a year’s time.

On August 17, 2021, in his position as a Derry Town Councilor, Wetherbee voted for the appointment of Angel Fontaine to the Taylor Public Library Board of Trustees to fill a recently vacated slot. Elections for these positions will be held in March of 2022.

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I also applied for the appointment to the Taylor Public Library Board of Trustees but was not selected by the Derry Town Council. Acting as chairman for the August 17 meeting, Councilor Brian Chirichello commented that he wanted to appoint “new blood” to the board. No other information about trustee appointments was given to the public.

Angel Fontaine resides in the same household as current Taylor Library Trustee Ray Fontaine and shares the same last name. A reasonable person would conclude they are married or are in a close familial relation-and that they probably share opinions on many issues.

Mr. Fontaine is also employed as the head Children’s Librarian at the other public library in Derry, The Derry Public Library.

I cannot say exactly why Mr. Wetherbee has opposite criteria for who should serve on different local public boards. It’s most likely about ideology and sharing the same opinions that Mr. Wetherbee already holds.

Mr. Wetherbee and Mr. Fontaine both support drag performer storytimes at local public libraries, something that has been a controversial issue in our town in recent months after the Taylor Library director scheduled and then canceled a drag performer storytime for children.

Mr. Wetherbee has implied that not agreeing with drag performer storytimes is an attack on libraries. Mr. Fontaine has reportedly said he would like to bring the drag performer who was formerly slated to read to children back to Taylor Library.

Mr. Fontaine stated in the June 14, 2021, Taylor Public Library Trustee meeting minutes that he thinks libraries are the appropriate place to hold drag performer storytime events for children and would have welcomed an offer to host a drag performer show at the Taylor Library if he had been asked.


Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien is serving her third term as a state representative from Derry and was twice elected to the Derry Public Library Board of Trustees.