Here is part of an email I was sent from a resident from a small town that has a SB#2 Town Meeting. The SB#2, or RSA 40:13, Town Meeting consists of a “deliberative session” before the actual Town Meeting where everyone has an opportunity to vote – BY SECRET BALLOT.
There has been an unconstitutional trick pulled on voters at SB#2 towns and schools which leaves the choices of the ballot voting taxpayers limited and which also strips petitioners of any chance certain petitioned warrant articles will come before voters through secret ballots.
Here is what happened in this small town:
THE PETITION WAS:
"ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF COMBINING THE POSITION OF TAX COLLECTOR AND TOWN CLERK THEREBY CREATING ANEW OFFICE OF TOWN CLERK-TAX COLLECTOR TO BE HELD BY ONE INDIVIDUAL FOR A
3 YEAR TERM AT A SALERY OF $40,000?
THEY AMENDED IT TO SAY:
"ARE YOU IN FAVOR"? ELIMINATING ALL THE WORDS AFTER THAT.
THERE WILL AN ARTICLE THAT ONLY SAYS - "ARE YOU IN FAVOR" !
So a small group of people at the deliberative session stripped all the relevant language from a warrant article brought by citizen’s petition. There will be absolutely no chance anyone voting by ballot will vote for a combined Town Clerk, Tax Collector position.
A superior court in NH has affirmed this unconstitutional practice as being the same as zero-funding a warrant article.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Historically, voters at a traditional town meeting would replace a dollar figure on a warrant article with zero to in effect kill it – but everyone at least knew what was being zero-funded.
To take a citizens petition and deny ballot voters the opportunity, and petitioners the right, to have on the ballot the wording on a citizens petition is an abomination.
I understand completely how tax and spenders consider it an abomination to have too many people in town decide what is best for everyone else. It is in their nature.
I also understand how NH Superior Courts work as well. They have a habit of stepping on taxpayers rights.
But taxpayers still have a tool left to them until we can end this practice – vote NO on everything. Become an informed NO voter.
If there is a new fire truck or cruiser on the ballot let the fire chief and police chief know why you will be voting NO on their warrant articles, teachers raises – same thing.
Once the clique at your deliberative session gets a phone call from the local powers-that-be that their nasty habit of gutting petitioned warrant articles cost everyone - it will stop.