"When the emperor has no clothes, we want to be the one standing up saying: 'The emperor has no clothes," Landry said.
Townofandover.com may sound like an official government site, but one click shows you it's not. It's the brainchild of Landry and Rigby, and they hope it starts a revolution of sorts.
A Little Curiosity
In 2012, the state passed a law allowing towns to bypass collective bargaining for town employee health insurance, and Landry -- a private sector employee benefits broker -- said it made him wonder why the town gives employees better benefits than private companies give theirs. He said the town human resources director told him it was due to having lower salaries.
So Landry -- who had never had an interest in politics or town government before -- filed a Freedom Of Information Act request for all town employee salaries and benefits.
"There is a tremendous lack of transparency in this town," Landry said.
Later in 2012, Landry reached out to Rigby, a former Finance Committee member who had written an article about unfunded liabilities.
"He's been on the inside, he knows how things work in town," Landry said of Rigby. He enlisted Rigby to help him put the FOIA information to good use.
In March of this year, Landry and Rigby launched TownofAndover.com, a compilation of the town finance data and perspective from Landry and Rigby.
"Let's put all this information out there," Landry said. "We wanted to start getting this information out there so residents could see it."
Rigby -- who served on the Finance Committee from 2010 to 2012 -- said the site is aimed at spotlighting a "lack of control and foresight in the budget process."
"The feedback has been very supportive from all fronts, except possibly the unions," Rigby said. "Residents couldn't believe the salaries when published and opening up the covers on benefits and retirement benefits was a shocker to most people."
From Web to Warrant
At Town Meeting this year, Landry proposed an amendment to the budget that he said would save the town $1.1 million on employee health insurance. That amendment was voted down, but only by an 87-vote majority.
Landry said that vote reaffirmed two things: that the town budget is rubber-stamped at Town Meeting and that gathering the support of a handful of voters can sway the direction of the town's finances.
TownofAndover.com -- funded by Landry and Rigby -- has about 200 subscribers to the site's email list. And the site's creators hope it will translate into a grassroots movement rallying supporters to speak with their votes.
"Our numbers have grown steadily, and we are approaching the threshold that we can field enough people at Town Meeting to make substantive changes and get the town back on a fiscally responsive road," Rigby said.
"If we can put together a voting block of people to hold the town accountable for all this reckless spending," Landry said.
You can read the duo's perspectives on capital projects, pensions, town health insurance and more.