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

Friday, October 2, 2015

Board of Selectmen Highlights October 1st 2015


  • 2015 Overlay Amount- this item is in reference to money normally kept in the budget for tax abatements. Last year we budgeted $35K. The request this year is for $175K mainly due to some uncertainty on the issue of the new utility assessments since the town hired it's own utility appraiser. I argued against appropriating this additional money ( about a penny on the tax rate) as I believed that we either have confidence in the numbers the appraiser provided or we shouldn't use them. It should be noted that the additional revenue to the town  for the increased valuations is about $225K. The vote was 3-2 in favor of keeping $175K . Josh and I voted against it.
  • Single Stream Recycling- approved to begin in January and to fund as much a possible with 2015 revenue. I did raise the question of how private contractors are charged for waste they deposit at the dump as I did receive correspondence on that issue.  They can  dispose of waste and recyclables at our facility only for customers that have purchased dump stickers with no additional charge.There are only two private contractors in town. I am confident that this system is working and not being abused, The DPW is looking at ways to improve this in the future. To reiterate from a previous post, no jobs will be eliminated and in the long run, it will not increase the cost. 
  • Request for Qualification, Town Counsel- in the interest of due diligence, as we have done previously with the Town Engineer, a proposal was made to seek an RFQ for town counsel and see if other firms that specialize in municipal law could improve service to the town. The majority of the Board felt that the current town counsel has served the town well. The motion to seek the RFQ was defeated 3-2 with Josh and I voting in favor.
  • Carroll County Supplemental Budget- I made a motion at the 9/3 meeting to seek town counsel advice on whether we were obligated to pay our share of the additional assessment the county delegation approved of approximately $500K. The cost to taxpayers in Moultonboro is an additional 20 cents on the tax rate. Town counsel advised that we have no choice and that we, the BoS and the Tax Collector could be held personally liable and our assets seized. It was worth asking the question, but we have no choice and must pay up.
  • The second annual Convention of Committees will be held on October 22nd at the Life Safety Bldg. Details will be sent to all boards/committees/commissions as soon as possible 

7 comments:

Very Disappointed said...

Very disappointing that after all the errors and aggravation caused by Mr. Minkow, the Board's majority has agreed to retain him. The effort to purge the Planning Board orchestrated by our former Town Administrator along with many other matters in which he was wrong, such as defending rental signs, attempting to prejudice efforts by citizens to have SB2 elections, warrants a review of counsel to eliminate what seems to be too cozy a relationship with certain members of the BoS.

Joseph Cormier said...

The wife and I just back from the Bobhouse for supper, or is it dinner? In MoBo, "supper" means, bring twelve friends, and it could be your "last supper," if the MoBo mafia don't bless you with their holy water ... like peeing in the wind!

Had a nice chat with Sam Adams, and baked haddock. We all know a few fish that aren't suckers, don't we.

Just watched the BoS meeting video from last night, and wanted to confirm what I thought I heard, Walter, out new TA, mention last night. I was there, and wanted to confirm that 1.42 would be the new County number; up from 1.22 for the MoBo tax rate.

http://www.moultonboroughnh.gov/Pages/MoultonboroughNH_Collector/index

Let's see, 1.42 less 1.22 is .20 (16.4% increase) added to 8.86, the present rate, and this adds up to a new rate of 9.06 tax rate (2.26% increase) for MoBo(presuming the other 3 factors stay about the same).

The $200,000 house example, that was "the example" in previous posts, goes from $1,772 to $1,812, $40 increase (2.26% increase).

He said, I think, the new MoBo county tax is $3,873,586 up from $3,281,974; increase of $591,612. This is an 18% increase for MoBo.

I think Walt said MoBo's piece (of 18 towns) of county tax is 21.97%. If my memory isn't too sloshed, it was 22.75%

Does that mean the County tax is $17,631,251!



The new TA's style is refreshing.

Here's video link:

http://www.townhallstreams.com/locations/moultonborough-nh/events/27678/moultonborough_wide_angel


Need a drink yet ..........!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to the new TA. A review of the past two years will reveal to him that the town counsel has not served the people well.

Joseph Cormier said...

"Best wishes to the new TA. A review of the past two years will reveal to him that the town counsel has not served the people well."

There has been some doubt, by some of us, that the present town counsel actually wrote, or gave legal opinion, on some of the issues in the past. Someone saying "Town counsel has advised ..." with no supporting documentation is a travesty to the town taxpayers, let alone the voters.

The problem would be the BoS, not requiring statutory reference. With the new TA on board, and the present BoS requiring legal reverences, maybe the past can be behind us.

RE: Town counsel's advisory on the video
RSA's mentioned and some he didn't:

RSA's 24; 76; 85

RSA 24 Counties
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-II-24.htm

RSA 24:14 Appropriations. –
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/II/24/24-14.htm

"The convention may require the county commissioners to report once each quarter to the convention or to the executive committee the expenditures of the county as compared to the budget as voted, in such detail as determined by the convention. The county convention may require that the county commissioners obtain written authority from the executive committee before transferring any appropriation or part thereof under RSA 24:15


24:14-a Supplemental Appropriations
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/II/24/24-14-a.htm

"Supplemental Appropriations. – The commissioners may apply to the county convention for an appropriation to be made subsequent to the adoption of the annual county budget, or the convention, on its own initiative, may consider and act upon a proposed supplemental appropriation."


RSA 76: apportionment, assessment, and abatement of taxes
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-V-76.htm

RSA 76:1 "Apportionment. – An apportionment of public taxes according to the equalized valuation of the towns, cities and unincorporated places shall be made annually by the commissioner of revenue administration."
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/V/76/76-1.htm

RSA 76:10 Selectmen's Lists and Warrant. –
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/V/76/76-10.htm


RSA 85 might be a stretch. The word "neglect" would be a court battle, in my view. These are my OPINIONS, not legal advice, as only licensed attorneys can provide legal advice. I'm familiar with UPL, unauthorized practice of law and RSA 311.

RSA 85
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-V-85.htm

RSA 85:3 "Liability of Selectmen. – Selectmen who neglect to assess any tax ... shall be liable to an extent."


RSA 311 attorneys
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-XXX-311.htm


NH Bar on attorneys
https://www.nhbar.org/publications/archives/display-journal-issue.asp?id=149

RSA 21-J NH DRA
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-I-21-J.htm




Anonymous said...

So, do you agree with my comment Joe? Long ago thought the past TA, counsel and town planner were not helping town move forward without personal agendas.

Joseph Cormier said...

"So, do you agree with my comment Joe? Long ago thought the past TA, counsel and town planner were not helping town move forward without personal agendas.

October 3, 2015 at 4:49 PM"


I do believe the previous TA had agendas, that may or may not have motivated by his personal ambitions. I don't feel the Planner was "in league" with the previous TA, however. The TA was his supervisor, and all employees need to be diplomatic in demeanor.

The town counsel is smart enough "to know which side of the slice of bread, the butter is on". Do I think some of his "advisories" were wrong ... hell yes! The real issue is motive. I'm not convinced that some of the "stuff," we were told, was actually from the town counsel.

The BoS are responsible to provide, us, the legislative body, with statutory guidance in opinions provided by counsel, that we are paying for.

Even the TA, may have been motivated or "directed" by BoS members, to do their bidding, while staying out of the firing line. Another possibility is governance was weak, and he took advantage of the void.

My opinion is, no matter what, the TA is an employee of the BoS, and will/should cater to their whims, if he/she has any semblance of self-preservation in their job.

The real issue is the legislative body ... all of us that are practicing registered voters ... to be aware and "check" the governing body (BoS).

A TA that is smart enough to know, that existing BoS will not be there forever, is smart enough to know the perils of becoming too involved with "choosing sides" too often.

The legislative body ... we ... have to convey to all town employees, that their jobs are not dependent on the whims of transient BoS members, notwithstanding some have been there since Christ was only a lieutenant, and wasn't God yet.

The BoS are elected ... the "Republic" piece of Town meeting... not the "Democracy" piece, the gathering of the herd/lemmings at MoBo Academy... and the process for governance is just that. Those that are governing, are there because of election, by the people.




Anonymous said...

How can going to single stream recycling not result in fewer people needed at the dump? Taking a complex process and making it simpler shouldn't require the same level of manpower. However, you may have one or two employees quit when they realize they don't get to yell at the people who mix up plastic bottles anymore.