Questions Asked of the Charter Commission
The answers to these questions are rather long which is why they are not directly part of the FAQ Page.
Question:
I have searched through the minutes, but I cannot find an explaination for the high signature thresholds for petitions/referrendum. (500/1250). This seems much higher then other towns. Londonderry uses 1%/5% of the previous registered voters, for example. If you beleive this high threshold is necessary, you will need to get some info out the the public.
Answer...
Question:
I have searched through the minutes, but I cannot find an explaination for the high signature thresholds for petitions/referrendum. (500/1250). This seems much higher then other towns. Londonderry uses 1%/5% of the previous registered voters, for example. If you beleive this high threshold is necessary, you will need to get some info out the the public.
Answer...
Question:
I am on the fence but leaning against the charter. No one has come out and specifically differentiated it from the current form of governance. Where is the benefit to Merrimack citizens?
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Question:
How will the new charter stop the nonsense I saw at the DS on Tuesday and Wednesday? 134 people changed what two elected bodies and a highly skilled team of administrators spent MONTHS working over. That is fact.
In my view (and this is not secret to you guys, I wrote to the CC three times), the DS is the absolute NO 1 problem with our form of gov't.
Yes, the Charter corrects a lot of other evils. How does it fix this mess?
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Question:
What is wrong with the current form that requires correcting. Your commission did not specifically address this, however a number did say there was nothing wrong with it.
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Question:
Voters can no longer place a petitioned warrant article on the ballot with 25 signatures unless it is an article that appropriates money. Other petitioned articles will require a much heavier investment in signatures and time.
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Question:
Zoning articles will be approved or disapproved by the Councilors; our present automatic ability to approve or disapprove zoning articles as part of the ballot will be lost. Since the Planning Board is appointed by the Councilors, it seems dangerous to allow the output of the Planning Board to be approved by the people who have appointed them! This new arrangement may be satisfactory with the present makeup of the two boards, but an opportunity for future malfeasance will be created.
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Question:
If money is available, land can be purchased by the Councilors without consent of the voters. Several years ago voters turned down a proposal to allow the Selectmen to purchase land, indicating their reluctance to allow this power to rest with the governing board.
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Question:
The Municipal Budget Committee will be discontinued. Our current Board of Selectmen have acted to keep expenses down, but voters will no longer get assurance from an independent body that the Town budget and appropriation articles are prudent expenditures.
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Question:
The criterion for bond purchases will be increased from 60% to 2/3. Some years ago the Legislature recognized that approval of bond issues came to a halt in towns that implemented the SB2 form of government. They therefore reduced the classical 2/3 requirement to 60% so as to allow a more reasonable opportunity to use this method of funding major municipal investments. Merrimack town government has had only one bond issue approved in the 9 years of SB2 governance, showing that 60% does not lead to wild spending by the voters. The arbitrary increase to 67% is unjustified.
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