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

Monday, September 19, 2016

Appointed County Sheriff, Registrar of Deeds and County Attorney?

A suggestion was made to look into the possibility of appointing a County Attorney, Register of Deeds and Sheriff.  There are pros and cons to this of course, but the first step was to find out if it is possible. Turns out it is not an option, as per Article 71 of the NH Constitution:

Art.] 71. [County Treasurers, Registers of Probate, County Attorneys, Sheriffs, and Registers of Deeds Elected.] The county treasurers, registers of probate, county attorneys, sheriffs and registers of deeds, shall be elected by the inhabitants of the several towns, in the several counties in the state, according to the method now practiced, and the laws of the state, Provided nevertheless the legislature shall have authority to alter the manner of certifying the votes, and the mode of electing those officers; but not so as to deprive the people of the right they now have of electing them.

Changing this for any of the positions listed would require a constitutional amendment. 

 In towns and villages, there are strong feelings to keep positions elected and let the voters decide to " hire or fire" at each election. While it may not be the most important thing on every ones mind these days, with a county of 18 towns and 16 "villages" spread out over 992 square miles, it may have some merit to explore it further in the future. 

I personally believe that the voters have three excellent candidates in now uncontested races with incumbents Sheriff Richardi and  Registrar of the Deeds, Lisa Scott and soon to be elected Michaela Andruzzi for County Attorney. I do believe that we should look into increasing salaries a bit for the County Attorney's staff to stem the tide of turnover. 


Anonymous said...

"Changing this for any of the positions listed would require a constitutional amendment."

It was tried in 2007:

"CACR12 (2007)
Relating to: county personnel. Providing that: county treasurers, registers of probate, county attorneys, sheriffs, and registers of deeds shall be appointed by the county commissioners.


Fred Van Magness said...

Thankfully the House acted appropriately and responsibly in the past. Can you just imagine the chaos that would be created if we had to rely on the Commissioners to appoint these positions? These are the same folks who have recently worried about the blueberry crop !! Just hard to comprehend. Their track record managing the county is not stellar. Whoever might have suggested this be revisited had a bad idea.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

A bit harsh Fred. The county commissioners were saddled for 4 years with Aisha Kenney an elected commissioner who was a huge distraction and then voters elected another who quit a few months into his term. The Commissioners did hire an excellent administrator and finance director. What may seem trivial ( blueberry crop) is to many in the county one of the links to the past that should not be lost. Worth preserving in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

This is being tried in addition to efforts to removing the right to vote on zoning issues as well.

Keep these things elected and on the ballot.

No need for more unelected bureaucrats to impose their will on us.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I see the Tea Party has weighed in. No one is taking away your rights to vote on zoning issues. No one is imposing their will upon you. Take off the tin foil hat.

Anonymous said...

Taking power away from the people by denying them the vote solves nothing. Elitists [cronies]crown themselves King in order to dominate over others so they can grease the skids their way.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon a 8:34, see my comment at 4:59pm.