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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Does the Carroll County Convention have the Authority to Appoint a Non-Budgetary Subcommittee?

A subcommittee was formed by the Carroll County Delegation on March 21st, 2016 “To make the ad hoc committee a subcommittee of the delegation with all due authority and to name Carroll County Agricultural Learning Center” by Rep. Parker, 2nd Avellani. Motion passed 10-1 with Rep. Ticehurst opposed and with Reps. Butler, McConkey, Chandler and Wright absent from the vote" The committee consisted of Reps. Cordelli, Avellani, McConkey, Buco and Comeau. That " subcommittee" has now met twice and a third meeting is being planned.

According to the Carroll County Delegation "Draft" minutes of May 16th 2016, it is clear that the Commissioners and the majority of the delegation are on different wavelengths. The Commissioners are forming their own committee and were never invited to participate in the Delegation committee. To date it would also appear that the Commissioners have likewise not invited the any Delegation members to their committee. Strangely, Delegation Chair Karen Umberger "said she is disappointed the commissioners chose to do something different and are not participating in the delegation effort." As chair of the Delegation, she could have used her position to get both groups to work collaboratively.
Rep. Butler questioned at that same meeting whether the Delegation can create a subcommittee that is not budgetary in nature.
As per    24:13 Powers, the County Delegation : "can raise county taxes, to make appropriations for the use of the county and to authorize the purchase of real estate for its use, the sale and conveyance of its real estate, the erection, enlargement or repair of its buildings exceeding an expense of $5,000, and the issuing of bonds for its debts, shall be vested in the county convention. "

Sure the Delegation can form any committee it wants to, but the ad hoc and now formal subcommittee, has no legal authority to do anything. They have yet to even publish a mission statement as to their purpose and goal.
What does the Delegation that authorized this subcommittee expect as a deliverable?

The Commissioners on the other hand have not formalized anything in terms of their own subcommittee to my knowledge.
Personally, I hope that the funds to keep the farm operating past August can be found in the current budget. The Commissioner have the authority to make that decision, but the Delegation must approve the line item transfer of funds if the request is ever made. That should make for a very interesting discussion and vote should it ever come about.
Two of the three Commissioner seats ( Sorensen and Ahlgren) and all the Delegation members are up for re-election this coming November. June 1st to June 10th is the timeframe to declare for candidates seeking these offices.


State Rep Glenn Cordelli said...

There are times when we can and should make choices. We can do nothing and keep on the same path that is producing nothing. Or we can make changes that have a positive impact.
We can continue with a 20th century model of a county farm that has no benefit to the community or we can step up and look at a new model and make a positive change to benefit the community.
Some elected officials have chosen to fight to keep an old model that produces nothing but taking your tax dollars. A few of us have chosen the path for a different approach. We have chosen to look for alternatives that can be a benefit to the community. And yes, most of us are up for election in the fall and then you can make a choice of what path you prefer.
It has been said “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

Tom Howard said...

You cite RSA 24:13 that grants to the County Delegation the power to raise county taxes. Does the County Delegation also determine the formula for determining how the tax burden is shared among the communities within the County?

You mention that two Commission positions are open in the upcoming election. We do, in fact, have the opportunity to vote for the two open positions. However, County District 2, which includes residents of Moultonborough, is presently represented by Commissioner Babson from Ossipee; his term lasts for two more years. This means that the slate is not open for Moultonborough residents to seek a position on the County Commission at this time.

Decades long taxpayer said...

Well said Rep.Cordelli. There are many that complain about all, but there own agendas, but do nothing. Perpetuating nostalgia is not a noble cause. Taxpayer dollars are not for doling out to causes that have expired.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

In the past when the topic of more equitable distribution of the tax burden has been raised at the County, many members of the delegation balked at the idea as most towns would see a significant increase in their county tax rate. The commissioners run the county , but the delegation funds it. Who has the call as to how to divvy the tax burden is probably a collaborative effort.

Which brings me to my next point which is to put more emphasis on collaboration ( or lack of it) in Ossipee. The subcommittees should not be working in isolation with no clear plan. My apparently too subtle point and in response to Rep. Cordelli, divide and conquer is not the way to solve the county problems. Reaching out to the commissioners irregardless of past feuds and making sincere efforts to work together will produce much better results for all taxpayers.
Last point, the county farm is not an expired cause. It is history that should not be simply defunded because a few delegation members acting on perhaps erroneous numbers and no real study to back up the financial performance of the farm, got their knickers in a bunch.

Decades long taxpayer said...

Those of you that do not like either the delegation actions, nor the Commissioner actions, why don't you run for their office, get elected, and see what you can do. See if the electorate agrees with you. All are entitled to their opinions. Elected officials need to do more than just talk.

Fred Van Magness said...

I understand the comments by Paul P., especially around the breakdown between the commissioners and the delegation. I suspect it will not be solved due to entrenched feelings and will only be solved with new open minded folks. However, the representatives from Moultonborough need to aggressively lobby the reps. covering Conway and Wolfeboro to form a majority to eliminate ALL of the county Sheriff and Dispatch costs from our burden. We absolutely do not need these operations in Moultonborough and the same goes for the other large communities. Yes, some towns will see an increase in their assessed costs, but I am sick of Moultonborough paying for others. We should pay our fair share but nothing more. What we have now is a outdated subsidy program for others. Time for the delegation to solve this once and for all. All it takes is a majority of the delegation....time for our Reps. to start picking up supporters one by one.