Charter Commission Background

In the 1700's, the term "Town Charter" referred to a document conveying tracts of land to a certain town or township.  Thanks to the information prepared by the Merrimack Heritage Commission, we learned that the Town has two such "land" charters dating back to 1746 and 1750.

On April 13, 2004, voters of Merrimack passed Article 19 which read as follows:

Article 19:  Shall the Town vote to request that the Board of Selectmen vote to determine that a Municipal Charter may be necessary and provide for the establishment of a Charter Commission pursuant to RSA Chapter 49-B, and to further provide that any proposed Municipal Charter be placed before the voters for ratification or rejection at the Annual Town Election in 2006? (This is an advisory article.) (Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 4-1-0)

The Town's legal council determined that the above vote was not binding and on April 12, 2005, the voters of Merrimack passed Article 25 which read as follows:

Article 25:  Shall a Charter Commission be established for the purpose of revising a Municipal Charter or establishing a new Municipal Charter?

On April 27, 2005, two attorneys from the Local Government Center conducted a workshop on the charter commission process based on their publication entitled " The Municipal Charter Process for Towns".

On June 21, 2005, a general election was held and 851 Merrimack voters elected the nine residents from a field of 27 candidates.  Those nine residents have begun the process outlined by this timeline as prescribed by law.