Many people who live in NH still do not understand the importance of attending town meetings. Town meetings/deliberative sessions and votes in SB2 towns are where the BULK of your taxes are raised and money is spent.
Starting in January, towns will commence their annual meetings.
These meetings will run anytime from January – June so you should check your town’s website for dates, times, locations.
Some of you will attend deliberative sessions and vote by show of hands, other times you will vote by paper ballot, and yet other times you will do both. It just depends on whether your town has adopted SB2 ballot voting for their town and school meetings.
Several things may be on the ballot without an explanation of how they got there. So we’ve put together this list of things to watch for. It is by no means all inclusive… (Please note some of the articles have not been updated for formatting yet, but are still readable.)
10 THINGS TO WATCH FOR AT UPCOMING TOWN MEETINGS
1) Efforts to repeal current SB2 law, or block new proposals for the adoption of SB2 for town or school meetings.
2) Efforts to repeal / override current tax caps or reject proposals for new tax caps.
3) Efforts to pass resolutions for ‘community rights’ under guise of restoring local control (CELDF.org)
4) Efforts to pass resolutions to reject CNHT’s “The Pledge” against broad-based taxes. (promoted by “fair” tax orgs)
5) Anything that increases spending and raises taxes that you did not petition for. Check your town’s website for a copy of their ‘master plan’ to see what the RPCs have ‘suggested’ to be on the ballot. These issues may have been discussed at ‘listening sessions’ that you had no idea took place, and the planning board may already be predisposed to adoption.
6) Zoning changes (mixed use and/or commercial, overtaking rural areas) that do not make sense and would change the function and character of your town, or warrant articles that would not require amendments regarding zoning regulations to be placed on the ballot.
7) Abuse of Eminent Domain: the attempt to take property rights, or any effort of government to take ownership of private property, water wells, etc.
8) Efforts to make certain positions ‘appointed’ not ‘elected’ especially zoning and planning board members. Keeping these as elected positions means it is less easy for board members to rubber stamp the ideas submitted by unelected Regional Planners.
9) Attempts to block citizen-petitioned warrant articles that are valid voter concerns and were submitted properly. These warrant articles are separate from the town’s or school’s, but are articles submitted by request of the people. [See this file Page 15 for rules for submission of warrant articles: Warrant Article Rules]
10) Be wary of pre-election disinformation campaigns sent via robocalls or mysterious, unmarked flyers. Especially beware of, and report any calls for voting a certain way using school email lists or phone trees, or town officials recommending candidates or positions from their seat on town or school boards. See the sections on Electioneering and Compelled Speech.
CNHT TIP: If you see “The planning board/zoning board/selectmen/town council recommends a YES/NO vote on this item” on the ballot under any item, PLEASE do your due diligence and check it out. A recommendation from a town board does NOT mean it is good for YOU or the taxpayers in general. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Remember, Right to Know, and RECORD Law Section 91-A:2 (d) provides that: “Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras, and videotape equipment, at such meetings.”