"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Important Dates: Budget and Warrant Hearing February 5th. Candidates Night March 1st.

The first is this Thursday at 7pm Town Hall. It is the 2015 Budget/Roads/Warrant public hearing.
The latest draft of the Town Warrant can be found here on the Town website. Of particular interest is the Moultonboro Police Dept. Union contract. Note that the numbers are blank on Article 6 until the agreement is finalized. Article 10 is an unusual one in that it is asking the Legislative body to ratify 21 ordinances that were adopted by the Selectmen over the years. The explanation on the warrant is as follows:  "The vagueness of the statute(s) with respect to whether it is the legislative or governing body which is authorized to adopt ordinance on behalf of “the Town” is such that the SelectBoard erred in adopting the above ordinances. The cure to this error is for the Town Meeting to now ratify those adoptions."  How this "error" was discovered is equally vague. Town ordinances can be found here. Some of these ordinances go back to the 1970's so I question the interpretation of Town Counsel of the necessity to "ratify" these ordinances in 2015. Nonetheless, it does assure final closure that all are now proper.
A "draft" of a petitioned warrant article was submitted to the BoS on January 22nd. ( The video of that brief public portion can be found here.)  Per the draft minutes of the meeting: "Joe Cormier asked for a few minutes and spoke to BroadBand. He also presented to the Selectmen a draft citizens petition relative to eliminating the position of Town Administrator effective May 1, 2015 and transferring the duties of the position to the Board of Selectmen. " 

The second date per the flyer below is the annual "Meet the Candidates Night" moderated by Town Moderator Jerry Hopkins. A snow date has been set for March 8th.


Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Regarding the petition to eliminate the TA job title ... note ... not the elimination of the TA!

Let me begin by stating that I hold no personal animus towards the TA. I feel he is very knowledgeable, and understands municipal functions very well. I did have the opportunity to, personally, interact with the TA while part of the Broadband Workgroup.

Even as a neophyte observer to MoBo "politics", it is clear, there is acrimony in MoBo, that may be attributed to the TA, rightfully or wrongfully.

Enough said, from me, about the TA.

The petition to eliminate the job title may be viewed as a progression to provide more citizen input to MoBo governance.

It is not my petition, but I have signed it, and support it.

The petition, as a warrant article at the town meeting will have floor motions to amend. I, for one, do not want the BoS further burdened with more work. Spread the load to other qualified citizens volunteers.

We'll have two new Select Persons, come meeting day. One of them, if elected, may have years of town administration experience as well.

I'd like to see a statutory Official Budget Committee, that, by law, comes up with the town budget,instead of the BoS. NH law allows up to 12 people on an Official Budget Committee. Why not let our taxpayers work with the Town Dept. heads, directly ... no hidden agendas.

The present ABC is advisory, only, and has no legal authority.

This may be a compromise to those that do not want SB-2, but would like more citizen input, without being at the annual town meeting.

Presuming the fifty (50) petition signatories have at least twenty five (25) registered voters, the petition will be a 2015 Warrant Article. Those of us that show-up and vote will decide the fate of this petition.


Eric Taussig said...

As a supplement to Joe's commentary above regarding the Petitioned Warrant Article regarding the elimination of the Town Administrator's position, I thought it would be useful if the blog readership had the explanation for this Article (provided to signers), along with the actual language of the Article.

It should also be mentioned that the BoS was provided with a draft copy of the Article at their last meeting prior to the statutory deadline to allow them to take some action before the petition was actually filed.

"Explanation of Reasons for the Petition to Eliminate the position of Town Administrator (TA).

Last year after the unsuccessful attempt to remove two members of the Planning Board and a variety of other actions inspired by the TA that in the opinion of many residents exceeded his authority and totally lacked transparency, a petition with in excess of 85 signatures was submitted to the Board of Selectmen requesting that the TA’s contract not be renewed. Despite the fact that there was an election pending, the Select Board totally ignored the petition and without any discussion and public input whatsoever in a lame duck session, voted to renew the contract before the newly elected Select Board was even seated.

As the Selectmen totally ignored last year’s petition, we are requesting that you and your fellow registered voting residents sign and circulate the attached petition that would result in a warrant article to be voted on by residents to eliminate the position of Town Administrator, effective May 1, 2015. The reason for the delay after the warrant article is voted on is to allow for a short transition period to enable the Select Board to efficiently assume the responsibilities of the Town Administrator as the result of the vote on the warrant article won’t be known until the Town meeting."


The undersigned hereby petition the Town of Moultonborough to eliminate the position of Town Administrator and to transfer the duties of the position to the elected Board of Selectmen. For transition purposes only, this change shall take effect on May 1, 2015. Nothing contained herein shall authorize the Board of Selectmen to increase the salary of the Town Administrator prior to May 1, 2015, nor to provide severance payments and/or to amend the existing agreement (if any) with the incumbent Town Administrator."

Anonymous said...

Town calender has noted a meeting this coming week on Wednesday, Ferurary 4th at 3pm in the town hall regarding the proposed gym on the Taylor propery. Is this a presentation by the UNH professors on the final report?

Anonymous said...

Eliminating the TA is about the most ridiculous thing I have heard. Let's take a full time, 40+ hour a week job and distribute it to a bunch of possibly under qualified volunteers. I believe the reasoning behind one of selectmen not running for re-election is time (or lack thereof), and I feel he has been one of the best we have had and am very sorry to see him go. Having a BOS with no one to carry out their directives will not make things better!

Be careful what you wish for said...

Hopefully, any petition to eliminate the position of TA will be soundly defeated in March. How can a town the size of Moultonboro, especially in the summer, work as well without a full-time administrator?

The suggested alternative is unconvincing. Select board members may have day jobs while volunteers come and go with limited accountability. Can the town find a better TA? Maybe, maybe not.

It will be interesting to hear if the town’s departments agree that the position should go.

For a Non-Political Town Administrator said...

Perhaps commentators 4 and 5 ought to read the reasons for the petition. If I read what Joe and Eric said, the BoS still has time to address this problem by declining to renew the current TA's contract before the Town Meeting. I suspect that both of those proponents would be delighted to campaign against the article if the BoS would just learn to read tea leaves.

Anonymous said...

I don't think town meeting has the authority to bind the selectmen like this. They are obligated to manage the prudential affairs of the town in a manner they see fit. The slectmen need to make a decision on the current TA and then whichever way it goes, just move on. In reality, whoever the TA is its the selectmen that run the town. If they do their job and direct the staff rather then be led by them, perhaps we can all just get along. Getting a board that will take ownership is what is needed.

Amendments? said...

what kind of amendments will be proposed? Mr. Cormier was adamant in the video that there would be at least 4. You can't alter the warrant article to the extent that the original is unrecognizable. The basic premise is to eliminate the TA position.

Just Curios said...

What happens if the BoS renews Carter's contract as they did last year and this article passes?

Taxpayers Unite said...

We have a $ 7 million dollar man for A T.A. His behind the scene scheming nearly shoved sidewalks thru, we were saved by just one vote. The other $ 6,000,000 is on line for the gym. The TA manipulation on that may shove that thru also, unless we can get a turn-out at town meeting. He never takes NO for an answer and is sure he knows what is right for us. This is why he has to go.
Some projects we are discussing may have merit, if done in the proper scope and scale. This is not possible here, until the grandiose and garish leaves town.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

1) "For transition purposes only, this change shall take effect on May 1, 2015.

2) Nothing contained herein shall authorize the Board of Selectmen to increase the salary of the Town Administrator prior to May 1, 2015,

3) nor to provide severance payments

4) and/or to amend the existing agreement

5) ... transfer the duties of the position to the elected Board of Selectmen ...

I never said four (4) amendments ... but ...

I mentioned an Official Budget Committee, which would put budgetary formulation in the hands of the taxpayers. I believe there are many qualified citizens that could provide service. Worse case would be to use the previous budget, similar to an SB-2 default budget, and modify.

I don't believe Gruber's statement is correct. Maybe I'm wrong!


I never even mentioned a $130,000+ "unburdened" salary (probably @ $200,000+ "burdened") for a town of less than 4,000 residents. The summer folks don't try to control the town ... they can't vote.

"I don't think town meeting has the authority to bind the selectmen like this"

The legislative body does have the authority, and the governing body is subservient. There are few exceptions. This is not one them.

"You can't alter the warrant article to the extent that the original is unrecognizable."

I stated in front of the BoS, what they already know, that the core of a warrant article cannot be altered; amendments to severance,effective date etc. do not change the core article.

I never mentioned it is a criminal offense, under NH law, for BoS to alter a petitioned article (except typos etc).

If the petition did not specify an effective date, it would be effective that Saturday of the town meeting.

If the present contract allows for renewals/extensions, etc. the present BoS have till March 10th, till a new BoS, a 40% replacement, comes into being. March 14th will be the floor fight at the town meeting, if it comes to that.

If the present BoS wants to avoid probable ugly situations at the warrant public hearings, not to mention town meeting, and the contract allows, they should be doing some soul searching.

Maybe the TA would like to retire and the BoS could utilize the "Prudential Affairs Doctrine" to factor an accommodation.

What makes anyone think it'll be all over soon?

How about a statutory "special town meeting" every month, instead of an annual meeting. There is no statutory limit to the number of meetings. There are fifty (50) signatures on the petition, and more could be had. All it legally takes is 50 to mandate a "special town meeting". The operative word is mandate. The BoS are legally required to call the warrant.

Read # 9 again ... got summer on your mind! All of you that expect to be at the annual town meeting should bone-up on a previous post.

We could have even more fun and start debating pertinent case law.


See ya at the meetings!

PS: Those of you that got the Jan./Feb. Town and City magazine of the NH Municipal Association where the 16 points article comes from, has errata on page 12 (#7). The blog has a corrected copy. The NH Municipal Association sent me an email, thanking me for pointing out the substantial error.

Dime A Dozen said...

Town of Bedford recently had to replace their T A. They had 72 applicants for the job.
We have had to play defense for too many years...against the inane, and the insane. Hope the BOS gets the message this time, and steps up to the plate.

If Not Now, WHEN ? said...

Anon, Posted at 5:01 PM.. Spend a couple of years attending meetings, and reading the many meeting minutes, and you will see it does NOT work as you think...The TA spoon-feeds just what he wants to the BOS, and can elicit responses from them that look like cast in stone proclamations. As the BOS maintains, they do not have time for all the minutia, and all the TA's goals are hidden in minutia. For this town to get back on track, the number one goal must be a new T A.

Eric Taussig said...

I can't speak for Joe Cormier but I suspect that he would agree that if the Select Board declines to renew the Town Administer's contract both he and I would campaign against adoption of this article.

That being said, the readers of the Blog should review the TA's contract that is found on the Blog in an entry on September 26, 2013. See:


Moultonboro Blogger said...

I know there are a lot of strong feelings regarding the TA and the petition ( both pro and con). I only posted the info on the petition because it is local news and important for people to be aware of. Questions/opinions about the petition can be expressed at the Feb 5th public hearing for the warrant (or directly to the lead petitioners.) As to the contract itself or any other info regarding this matter, it is a personnel issue and as a selectman, I cannot comment on it. I posted what was given to us in public and the video is available for viewing on the town website.

A Volunteer said...

The last petition presented to the Select Board and signed by just under 200 petitioners was very clear.

"When citizens find that his conduct and values and actions do not reflect positively on our community, they are left with no recourse, but to appeal to the body that made the decision to employ Mr. Terenzini. The undersigned citizens bring this petition to you, with a firm faith that a change will make for a better future. We wish Mr. Terenzini no ill will, but we must respectfully request that you do not renew his employment contract at its expiration. We do not take this action lightly, but we firmly believe that a change is necessary so that our town leadership can once again move forward in a positive manner that better reflects our values.

Over the past five years, Mr. Terenzini's actions have created animosity and divisiveness both in and out of town hall and as such, we have lost confidence in his ability to properly represent the citizens of Moultonboro. The citizens, in signing this petition, are making a clear, fair, request for a more harmonious future for Moultonboro, requiring a new Town Administrator that exhibits natural leadership skills, and values matching those exemplified by our many long term volunteers."

Many were reluctant to sign either petition for fear of retribution but agree that a new Town Administrator would be best for the town. The Selectmen should take this into consideration when making their decision.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought of what happens if the contract is not renewed? He can work without a contract can't he?

Anonymous said...

Assuming the article passes and the Board then allows him to work without a contract as an employee at will, it will create a major problem that will likely result in a lawsuit to require the Board to adhere to the intent of the article which seems to me quite clear.

I would hope that the Board finally gets the message that the voters have NO CONFIDENCE in the current TA.

Richard Saunders said...

It disappoints me that there are people in this community that would jeopardize the best interests of the town to further their own vindictive agenda. Anyone who thinks it is a good idea to eliminate the position of Town Administrator needs a reality check. The idea is so absurd that it insults the intelligence of the people who are advocating for it.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

"It disappoints me"
You'll get over it.

"jeopardize the best interests of the town"
Such as?

"their own vindictive agenda"
What agenda? Transparency in governance?

" Anyone who thinks it is a good idea to eliminate the position of Town Administrator needs a reality check. "
Are you a physician?

"The idea is so absurd"
Another pearl of wisdom!

"it insults the intelligence of the people who are advocating for it."
HUH ...they're the same people, or didn't you proofread your moral precept!

Did you mean "opposing" not "advocating" ... not exactly an English major ... huh!

"Richard Saunders" ... cute ... you madam ... are no Ben Franklin :)


Busy Body said...

Mr. Cormier, I agree with Mr. Saunders sentiments. For the record, "her" choice of words was correct. I believe it is you that misread the statement.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

"For the record, "her" choice of words was correct."

Why ... because you say it is?

Sisterhood is so wonderful, especially in MoBo. Kind-a-like the blind leading the blind.

Well, please explain what :

"The idea is so absurd that it insults the intelligence of the people who are advocating for it."

... means to you.

So, the people advocating, want to insult their own intelligence. Must be masochists ... huh.

Please Explain:

"The idea"...

"...insults the intelligence...

"... of the people ..."

" ... who are advocating for ..."


I'll help, and grant you that SOME of the people have intelligence, albeit limited.

Here is the toughie ... bestow upon us your stance, of the syntax and diction of "advocating" and "it" in the aforementioned sentence.

No offense intended, but ... I could, personally, care less if your knickers got ruffled.

Do you, also, believe SHE is Ben Franklin? You do know what a pseudonym is ... ?

You probably think "Richard Saunders" actually wrote the quip ... huh.

There is a cure for ignorance ... but not for stupidity.

Have a nice day .. I will!