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

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Board of Selectmen Reorganize

In a rather bizarre and contentious first meeting of the "new" Board of Selectmen, Chris Shipp was elected chair and Russ Wakefield vice chair. Chris was nominated by senior BoS member Russ Wakefield who opened the meeting and then refused to take any other nominations. It was seconded by Jean Beadle. I objected to the fact that no other nominations would be allowed and stated that I was saddened that these discussions  happened out of the public eye and contrary to the right to know law. The vote was 3 in favor and 2 opposed ( Josh and Paul.) Chris then nominated Russ as vice chair and Jean also seconded. The vote was the same: 3 in favor and 2 opposed ( Josh and Paul.)
I quote below the pertinent RSA:
    91-A:2-a Communications Outside Meetings. – 
    I. Unless exempted from the definition of "meeting'' under RSA 91-A:2, I, public bodies shall deliberate on matters over which they have supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power only in meetings held pursuant to and in compliance with the provisions of RSA 91-A:2, II or III.
    II. Communications outside a meeting, including, but not limited to, sequential communications among members of a public body, shall not be used to circumvent the spirit and purpose of this chapter as expressed in RSA 91-A:1


An American Gusser said...

This town finally has a chance to start over with new government,new town administrator and we start off with,it sounds like, a coup to force a result in who will be our BOS chairman.If this is true,I can NEVER remember a vote to elect a BOS board chairman ,then close the nominations.Here we go again.The day our elected officials stop serving for their own purposes,then and only then will the divisions in this town STOP.Another sad day in Moultonborough politics

Here we go again said...

When will the video be posted? The people of this town never seem to learn. Ms Beadle voting for Wakefied after seconding him based upon their history is mind boggling. Who is she beholden too? Perhaps one ineffectual House Rep? Shame on them. Your right guesser, another sad day.

Anonymous said...

And still no mention of terenzinis resignation?

Moultonboro Blogger said...

There was. Carter announced his resignation and the board read a press release. It is effective end of business on April 1st.

Cheers and Jeers said...

Cheers and Jeers...
Not much to cheer about the BoS mtg last night but we'll try.
CHEERS for Josh in pointing out that the TA position is NOT an "other" selectman. Small, one word deal but could mean a lot when it comes to authority given vs authority assumed. Josh, that's coming prepared. I like that.
JEERS for at least three of the panel for AGAIN tromping on the RTK laws even after the town has been warned, educated and trained(?). SHAME on you three (you know who you are). And I thought we had just elected two who would be transparent... evidently only one got the note. Sneaky meetings and their results have a way of surfacing.
CHEERS for Paul for keeping his message forward (about RTK) and still keeping his cool. Unlike many previous and one present old school BoS member, Paul has the knack of disagreeing w/o being bellicose. It is time for Russ to read the law.
JEERS for the new chair for not opting to listen to the MPD Chief and DPW/Road Agent for their expertise that lines actually DO slow traffic. I guess he's one who is not affected by those vexing lines. With so many issues that are about to crash in on his parade this observer would think he would spend his (and the board's) time better.
Neither Cheer nor Jeer but worth noting. The TA's demeanor last night was low key and self effacing, but helpful when called on. Perhaps if he had shown some of that side from the git-go we would not be where we are now.
Happy Spring all... its been a loooong winter.

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

We are a Republic, and we elect our officials ... where's Putin when you need him!

Next year, there will be at least one BoS seat up for election.

Candidates, start running now, and let the issues commence!

Carter is history ... keep an eye on a replacement.

Terence C. Jatko said...

Meet the new boss. same as the old boss. The town toilet still needs flushing.

Thomas Paine said...

Hand out the life jackets.
Launch the life boats.

It's time to abandon Shipp !

Realist said...

New Sign at Town Border:

Welcome to Moultonborough:
Speed limit 30 - strictly enforced;
First, Fifth and 14th amendment to Constitution not in effect as well as NH Right to Know Law"

Tom Foolery said...

Here is a link to the NH Atty Gen updated memorandum regarding RTK Laws. Page 6 deals with what are meetings and what are not. It is about as easy to understand as any piece I have seen on the subject. Above all, it states that "communications between members shall NOT be used to circumvent the spirit and purpose of the RTK Law". I would suggest ALL members of boards and committees in Moultonborough read this whole PDF as we start a new political year with a lot of new people in new jobs. It is noble to volunteer for these positions. IT IS NOT NOBLE.. it is unlawful to knowingly break the law. This is one of the things that got the soon-to-be-former TA in trouble. http://doj.nh.gov/civil/documents/right-to-know.pdf
Read and heed. You will be reminded again.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the selectman who should know better than to make back room deals! I disagree however, with the Blogger's disappointment that the acting chair would not take any other nominations. Motions should be handles one at a time and it is up to each selectman to vote yes or no. If the motion doesn't pass, you move on to the next nomination until someone is elected. You can't entertain multiple motions simultaneously, that's how the rules of order work. If three selectmen wanted Mr. Shipp as chair it could have happened without RTK violations and regardless of who nominated whom first! It might have made some people angry, but it would have been aboveboard.

Anonymous said...

After all the back stabbing and bulling Russ has done to undermind Jean Beadle I'm amazed she would go along with anything he proposed. Either Ms. Beadle got bad advice from someone or she was having a senior moment.

Penny Morrison said...

Something fishy ---- Jon Tolman's name is on the March 20th press release relating to Carter's resignation. He is not a Selectman. Select Board must have known about resignation before Town Meeting. Why did we have to spend all of that time discussing the warrant at the meeting? Give us a break -- Town Meeting is long enough!!!

Anonymous said...

to anon at 1:41pm- I was at the meeting. russ opened the meeting then called for nominations and immediately , no hesitaiton or even chance for any other nominations, he nominated Chris. proper rules of order would be to allow nominations from the board instead he pulled right into his personal choice and blocked any other possibility. . He did ot follow proper rules of order. All three were on board with the plan. Stinks to high heaven

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

"Tom Foolery said...

Here is a link to the NH Atty. Gen. updated memorandum regarding RTK Laws:"


RIGHT ON "Tom-no-fool"!

Here are the statutes, (YA, I know) that you can read ... and ask questions on the forum. Answers or interpretation might be available.


There's another interpretation, probably by Minkow, that the town uses that is supposedly not subject to R-T-K. "Workgroups" as opposed to "committees".


What does "or subordinate body thereof" mean? Another cop-out!

RSA 91-A:1-a Definitions. – In this chapter:

VI. "Public body means any of the following:

(d) Any legislative body, governing body, board, commission, committee, agency, or authority of any county, town, municipal corporation, school district, school administrative unit, chartered public school, or other political subdivision, or any committee, subcommittee, or subordinate body thereof, or advisory committee thereto. "

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

I was hurrying (wife and I going out to dinner) and forgot to include the following excerpt from a New Hampshire Municipal Association publication regarding RSA 91-A:1-a,VI(d)
... What is a Public Body?

" Virtually all official groups that perform a governmental function in a municipality, including informal advisory committees, are considered public bodies.

Bradbury v. Shaw, 116 N.H.388 (1976);

Union Leader Corp. v. N.H. Housing Finance Authority, 142 N.H.540 (1997);

Professional Firefighters of N.H. v. Health Trust, Inc. 151 N.H.501 (2004)"


Anonymous said...

Joe, do staff meetings fall into the "official group?" And are they open to the public?

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

I've just gotten back from the BobHouse, had a nice meal, and a chat with Tuckerman's draft(s) (Judy is the designated driver), and will respond with my opinion, not legal advice (Google: UPL and law).

If "staff" means, as in town staff, as in a bevy of town employees, they are not an "official" group subject to RSA 91-A. They are subject to "exempt" and "non-exempt" employment law ... and laws pertinent to the general populace ... that's it.

If staff refers to BoS and "staff", they would be subject to employer/employee law ... and laws pertinent to the general populace, as well, ... that's it.

There would be no umbrage, nor recourse, under RSA 91-A.

"Town manager" to BoS could be different, as a town manager is an elected official, and if there is a statutory reason/requirement for a public meeting, with notices, (and minutes), then RSA 91-A kicks-in.

The meetings,for all, could be open to the public, if the meeting participants decide to allow, barring those allowed under "non-public" meetings.


None, above, with possible statutorily require meetings trigger RSA 91-A.

A public meeting must be open to the public... except ... for those enumerated at RSA-91-A:5.


"Public Meetings" subject to RSA 91-A, have a legal public notice requirement by statute.

Going to make a cup of coffee, and get some dessert, and watch a movie with Judy (Netflix)! Judy says ... now!

Not So Double Wide said...

What a boorish despicable display of pigheaded behavior by the new and current Vice Chair. Obviously, he did much back room politicking in his good ol' boys school method. How Jean could partner with him is mysterious. It stinks of puppeteering from our former chairwoman of the BoS who was out campaigning hard for 2 candidates for BoS. Seems she can no longer tolerate such political transparency that has prospered in recent years. Jean will soon feel the wrath of Russ as his head spins in fury toward her. Tick, tick, tick. It's just a matter of time before the big explosion.

Anonymous said...

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and it seems foolish to expect someone with a "legal background" but is not an attorney to be able to accurately answer all your legal questions. It's not fair to him and it's not very wise. For example, a town manager is not an elected official, but is a town employee. If I am wrong, I will apologize, but I believe that my statement is correct.

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

I stand corrected ... about the TA/ Town manager, but not the staff question ... thank you.

You don't have be an attorney to be pro se in court, and prevail in court against an attorney ... some of us have.

Most everyone can read what the NHMA publicizes, if not the statutes. Probably shouldn't do without research and documentation ... especially after imbibing.

"A town manager cannot be elected because the statute provides that the selectmen make the appointment. RSA 37:2. A town administrator may be appointed or elected pursuant to RSA 669:17, IX "

"A town manager has the power and duties that are outlined in RSA Chapter 37, while a town administrator (or administrative assistant, business manager or other similar titles) has no similar statutory authority, but instead works under the direct supervision of the board of selectmen, which retains all of its statutory authority. "

"In order to have a town manager, the voters must adopt the provisions of RSA Chapter 37 at an annual meeting."

" By adopting the town manager form of government, the legislative body is placing some of the authority that would otherwise be held by the selectmen into the hands of a non-elected official."

"... the selectmen may hire a town administrator, administrative assistant or other staff they deem necessary to assist them in running the everyday business of the town. The legislative body has the option to create any elected or appointed officials it deems necessary to perform the work of the town. RSA 41:2. They may vote to create the position of town administrator, administrative assistant, or other positions, to assist the selectmen in the management of the town. Often, town meeting delegates the tasks of supervising the work performance and job descriptions of these various positions to the selectmen."

It is not wise to not ask, and not to challenge ... including attorneys. This forum provides for exchange of information. The only danger is someone giving legal advice, which I suspect most know, is illegal, if not an attorney.

Now that the Tuckerman has worn off and I've watched the movie, and the wife is not pressuring me, I'm glad I returned to blog to see what I did.

A TA can be elected, a Town manager cannot, both by statute.

A town administrator may be appointed or elected pursuant to RSA 669:17, IX which allows for the election of any other officers the town may judge necessary for managing its affairs. The most common way to fill the position of town administrator is by appointment by the selectmen."

669:17 Officers Who May be Elected; Election by Ballot or Other Means

IX. Any other officers the town may judge necessary for managing its affairs under RSA 41:2.

RSA 37:2




Chapter 37


I think I'm going to need some "hair of the dog"!

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I stand corrected. Jean did nominate Russ for vice chair and was seconded by Chris, not the other way around.