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Author Topic: Meeting Minutes, Public Hearing, Charter Commission - 4/12/2010  (Read 774 times)
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« on: July 24, 2010, 08:45:55 AM »

Looks like I missed posting these back in April.

Charter Commission Meeting Minutes
April 12, 2010

Meeting was held in the Moose Hill Council Chambers. 268B Mammoth Road, Londonderry.
In Attendance:
Chairman Brian Farmer, Vice-Chair Cris Navarro, Secretary Lara McIntyre, Commissioners Al
Baldasaro, Marty Bove, Chris Paul, Deb Paul, Kathy Wagner, Steve Young


Meeting was called to order by Chairman Farmer at 7:07pm.

Pledge of Allegiance was led by Dale Larie, a Boy Scout with Troop 1910, who is working on his
Communication and Citizenship of the Community badges. Chairman Farmer followed the
Pledge with a moment of silence for the men & women serving in our military both at home
and abroad.

Old Business:
Discussion of Adoption of Rules for Charter Commission Meetings. Chairman Farmer could not
find the briefer set of rules that he thought he had. Commission agrees to keep the format of
the meetings civil, have the Chair run the meeting, have the Vice-Chair keep an eye on
members who may want to bring something up and that a motion can be made to overrule the
Chair if need be.

Public Hearing:
Commissioner Bove makes a motion to open the public hearing. Motion seconded by Commissioner
Baldarsaro. Motion to open hearing passed 9-0 at 7:19pm

Pauline Caron, 369 Mammoth Road, asks if someone from the Commission could explain how things will
change if SB2 is adopted. Chairman Farmer explains that if the Commission makes a recommendation
to make a change, and if the voters adopt it in March 2011, it will do away with the Saturday Town
Meeting. The Budgetary Town Meeting will be replaced by the Deliberative Session, which will occur
before the Town Meeting on Tuesdays. The Budget Committee will still serve as an advisory committee
like they currently do. The change, if adopted, would not occur until Spring 2012. Ms. Caron asks if part
of the charter will be deleted? Chairman Farmer replies that we’d just be making changes to the
charter, not deleting.

Martin Srugis, 17 Wimbledon Drive, says that if you can get more people to vote on budget issues, then
the official ballot is the way to go. He questions the quorum – if it is too low, it would be just like town
meeting with a small number making changes to the budget, but if too high, people may be discouraged
to attend. Commissioner Baldasaro explains that the deliberative session will be much like the town
meeting, but makes the point that it will be done before it goes to the voters, and that the voters will
have the chance to vote for it.

Jay Hooley, 25 Yellowstone Drive, speaks in favor of SB2. He says a majority of people do want change,
according to how the vote went to establishing the Charter Commission in the first place. Mr. Hooley
says the Commission should strongly consider some type of quorum.

John Curran, 6 Faye Lane, echoes his support for SB2. He said as a history major in college, he’s sad to
see Town Meeting go, but that this is the way towns of our size are going. He did some research on
NPR, looking at both sides of the issue. Mr. Curran asks the Commission to consider the cost - maybe
it’s more cost effective to have all of the voting done on one day (ballots are already being printed for
Tuesday), as opposed to having to pay staff to attend the Saturday budgetary meeting. With 3000
voters coming on Tuesday election vs. 300 who came out for the Saturday meeting, Mr. Curran believes
you should give more people the opportunity to have a voice in town government.

Tom Freda, 30 Buckingham Drive, urges the Commission to adopt SB2. He says the votes on the past
Tuesday election made it clear it’s what the voters want.

Reed Page Clark, 79 Stonehenge Road, doesn’t believe going into a booth, not having heard both sides
of the issue, is the way to go. He is worried about uninformed people going into a booth and casting a
vote. He reminds that the Commission that, although only 318 voters were at the Saturday town
meeting, $142,000 was taken out of the budget after much discussion out of the $25 million budget.
Mr. Clark says it is necessary to express your views, remembers a time when they used to have 1500-
2000 people at both town meetings.

Pauline Caron, 369 Mammoth Road, asks if the Commission knew how many towns went SB2.
Commissioner Baldsaro says that after SB2 passed in 1995 and as of February 2009, 65 towns have
adopted SB2. He says that only 3 towns went SB2 and then changed back to town meeting. Chairman
Farmer also mentions that there have been numerous school systems that have also changed to SB2.

Pauline Caron, 369 Mammoth Road, asks if the Commission knew how many towns went SB2.
Commissioner Baldsaro says that after SB2 passed in 1995 and as of February 2009, 65 towns have
adopted SB2. He says that only 3 towns went SB2 and then changed back to town meeting. Chairman
Farmer also mentions that there have been numerous school systems that have also changed to SB2.

Bove makes motion to close the public meeting. Commissioner D. Paul seconds. Motion
passed 9-0.

Charter Commission Discussion
The Commission discusses different topics they would like to see addressed in future meetings.
Commissioner Young recommends having Sue Hickey & Peter Curro come in to give information on a
default budget, what makes it up, how it can be used, modified, etc. Commissioner Bove asks how the
budget will be voted upon – will it be all in one lump sum, or individually voted upon. Chairman Farmer
& Commissioner Wagner suggest having Dave Caron & Nate Greenberg come in as well to discuss the
difference between an approved budget versus a default budget. Commissioner Baldasaro asks if the
Commission could get someone from the DRA and/or Secretary of State’s office to come in to talk about
how SB2 has affected towns on the state level.

Chairman Farmer reminds the Commission that a draft report is due August 26, final report on October
26. He also reminds the Commission that a minority report is an option as well if the Commission is not
in complete agreement. Chairman Farmer says that that the Commission will need to talk about the
quorum issue and also the cost of town meeting. Commissioner C. Paul asks if the Commission can
discuss how the deliberative session will work.

Chairman Farmer sees the need for more meetings and at least one more hearing – probably between
the draft and final report. Commissioners are in agreement. Vice-Chair Navarro says the Commission
should have another hearing before the draft comes out, possibly in July. Reed Page Clark, 79
Stonehenge Road, asks if there was a lot of discussion / promotion for this hearing. Chairman Farmer
says it was well advertised and the word went out. Mr. Clark thinks that people did not know enough
about what was going to take place during the hearing.

Schedule of Meetings
Chairman Farmer asks Commissioners if Mondays work for everyone. Vice-Chair Navarro says the
Commission only as three months and suggests meeting every other week. The Commissioners agree.
Next meetings will be April 26, May 10 and May 24. Commissioner Wagner says that the meetings
should remain open and that the public are welcome to make comments. Commissioner Bove points
out that the Commission will only have eight meetings until August 9th. Commissioner Wagner says the
Commission should have a goal of having the report drafted by August 9th so any further changes can be
made by August 23rd.

Approval of Minutes
Commissioner Wagner makes motion to adopt minutes from March 29, 2010 meeting. Motion
seconded by Vice-Chair Navarro. Motion passed 7-0 (Commissioners Baldasaro & Bove abstained).

Other Business

Commissioner Wagner makes a motion to adjourn. Motion seconded by Commissioner Baldasaro.
Motion to adjourn passed 9-0 at 8:47pm.

Next Meeting: Monday, April 26, 2010 at 7:00pm.

Glenn Douglas
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