February 21, 2006


Commission members present: Vice Chairman Heather Anderson, Robert Kelley, Tim Tenhave, Peter Batula, David Yakuboff, Finlay Rothhaus, and Lon Woods


Excused: Chairman Tom Mahon, Secretary Fran L’Heureux


Vice Chairman Anderson convened the meeting of the Charter Commission at 7:05 pm in the Finance Conference Room of the Town Hall. 



Vice Chairman Anderson noted that Chairman Mahon and Secretary L’Heureux were attending the Lions Club meeting this evening to discuss the proposed charter with this group.  There will be a meeting with the Board of the Chamber of Commerce on Friday, the meeting with the membership of the Chamber of Commerce will occur about one month from the meeting with the Board.  A meeting will be held with the Senior Citizens on Monday and the Rotary meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 23, 2006 in the morning.  David Yakuboff noted that he thinks that Tom Mahon has set up something with the Exchange Club.


Public Comment

There was no public comment at this time.



Vice Chair – Vice Chair Anderson noted she is working to get the presentations ready for the meeting with civic groups.  She is also working to get the tables ready for the Deliberative Session.  The Commission will not meet again before the Deliberative Session.  The Commission may not meet after the Deliberative Session, either.


Frequently Asked Questions

Heather Anderson noted that she synthesized the answers given by the members.  Tom Mahon, Heather Anderson, and Tim Tenhave reviewed the FAQ document.


Tim Tenhave suggested that a question be added to the FAQ’s.  He suggested that the question of this Charter affecting the School District and the Merrimack Village District be added.  Ms. Anderson commented that the elimination of the Budget Committee, with the passage of this Charter is the only direct effect on the other two entities.


Ms. Anderson noted that these FAQs will be published on the website and used as handouts at meetings.  She is putting together material for the voters’ guide.  The Commission, by consensus, gave permission to publish the FAQs as presented.


Key Messages for Public Awareness Effort

Heather Anderson noted the pamphlet with the key messages will include 5 key points, each of which will be on a panel of the pamphlet by itself.

Robert Kelley noted he has not heard much conversation regarding the Charter.  Lon Woods noted that, in general, interest in an issue can be generated quickly.  Ms. Anderson noted that the population of the town when the number of Selectmen was changed from 3 to 5 was 14,000.  She felt it was an appropriate time for the number of members of the governing board be changed to 7 since the population of the town has doubled to 28,000.  Mr. Woods noted that the Charter is the next logical step in the growing up process of the town.  Tim Tenhave noted that the vote is 5 weeks away.  The generation of interest in this issue can be built up quickly after the Deliberative Session.


Sign Ups for Various Engagement(s)

Heather Anderson noted that these sign ups will occur at the end of the meeting.



January 24, 2006 and January 31, 2006 – A motion was made by Lon Woods and seconded by Tim Tenhave to accept the minutes of January 24, 2006 and January 31, 2006 as printed.  The motion passed 7-0-0.


Other Business

Future Meetings – The Commission decided that it is not necessary to have another meeting.  If one becomes necessary, Tom and/or Heather will be in touch.


Questions from the Press

There were no questions from the press at this time.


Public Comment

There were no comments from the public at this time.


Comments from the Commissioners

There were no comments from the Commissioners at this time.



A motion was made by Lon Woods and seconded by Tim Tenhave to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 PM.  The motion passed unanimously.



Respectfully submitted,

Rita Carlton, Recording Secretary