With the discussion of the ABC in recent days, it is timely I think to revisit how they got here in the first place.The ABC began it's journey at the 2007 Town Meeting with the following warrant article seeking to form a statutory budget committee: ( from 2007 Town Meeting Minutes)
To see if the Town shall establish an elected municipal budget committee in accordance with NH
RSA – Title 32, Chapter 3. The budget committee shall consist of five (5) members elected at-large, one (1) member of the governing body of the municipality and one (1) member of the school board. If adopted, the Moderator shall appoint members to serve until the next annual meeting, as provided in RSA 669:17. (The vote on this Article shall be by paper ballot; the Polls shall remain open and ballots accepted for at least one hour.)
A motion was made by Chris Shipp and seconded by Richard Plaisted.
After discussion a motion was made by Richard Buckler and seconded by Kathy Erving to amend the article to read:
To see if the moderator will appoint 5 registered voters to a committee to study the effects of a municipal budget committee on the Town of Moultonborough. The committee shall report to the Board of Selectmen by November 1, 2007. The selectmen shall make the report public and available to all residents.
The amendment was voted in the affirmative by a hand vote.
Yes 200 No 126
The article as amended was voted on in the affirmative by a majority voice vote. "
The amended article that was finally approved led to a study process and the Budget Committee Study Group submitted it's report to the BoS in September 2007 recommending an advisory budget committee.
A contentious pubic hearing was held in January 2008 with a decision to move forward with a committee until at least 2009 Town meeting at which time the work of the ABC would be evaluated to determine if it would continue.
In June of 2008, a working group comprised of BoS and School Board members Ed Charest, Jim Gray, Laurie Whitley, Kathy Garry ,Town Administrator Carter Terenzini and School Superintendent Mike Lancor presented the frame work of the Advisory Budget Committee (ABC). The Committee was to be made up of five residents, one from the Board of Selectmen, one from the School Board, and three members appointed at large by the Selectmen and School Board.
The ABC held it's first meeting on September 4th, 2008.