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Author Topic: Is a Deliberative Session Quorum Constitutional?  (Read 1070 times)
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GDouglas
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« on: July 20, 2010, 12:45:44 PM »

From the 7/12/2010 Charter Commission Meeting:

David Scanlan, the Deputy Secretary of State, appears before the Charter Commission. He does
work on charter and SB2 issues for the Secretary of State’s Office, though doesn’t claim to be
an expert on either one. He says that the state reviews the proposals that towns make to
ensure it follows state laws / statutes. He says that the DRA also follows proposals made by
towns. Then, both agencies look over the proposal together, may make recommendations,
okays the proposals, or give some ideas if there are a couple of flaws, etc. They try to make the
process go as smooth as possible.


Chairman Farmer asks Mr. Scanlan about quorums – are we able to recommend whether to
have one or not? Mr. Scanlan says there are not too many towns that have a minimum amount
of voters. He wonders if it’s constitutional. He says it is a good question for the AG’s office. He
does say that you do have to follow the town’s charter. Commissioner Baldasaro points out
that he’s spoken to some constitutionalists, and they say that a quorum is a way for
government to take over the people. Mr. Scanlan agrees, and says that town government is
supposed to be run by people. Commissioner Young, as a member of the School Board that
does have a quorum, asks if quorum is really unconstitutional. Mr. Scanlan says he’s not sure,
he’s not a lawyer.


Interesting conversation at the meeting.

Questions:
Is the Londonderry School District quorum unconstitutional?
Will the School Board ask the question?
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Glenn Douglas
GDouglas
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 06:22:40 AM »

From this weeks Londonderry Times:

'And when contacted by the Londonderry Times about the legality of a quorum, New Hampshire Deputy Attorney General Bud Fitch said a mechanism to preclude voters from having the right to make changes, such as by instituting a quorum, deprives them of their rights.'
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Glenn Douglas
bmahan
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 10:27:24 AM »

Wouldn't this impact the quorum requirement for the school deliberative session?
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GDouglas
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 12:18:28 PM »

Wouldn't this impact the quorum requirement for the school deliberative session?

Yes, I beleive it does have implications for the School deliberative. The complete Time article is here



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Glenn Douglas
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 10:54:44 PM »

According to the Town Attorney at tonight's Charter Commission meeting, a quorum cannot be set for the town deliberative session. The Attorney did not research the School District Charter, but did say that any quorum would be 'inconsistent' with the law.
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Glenn Douglas
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