Derry (N.H.).

Annual reports of the Town of Derry, New Hampshire (Volume 1994) online

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Town office, no person shall assume that office until the recount
is completed.

(B) The recount shall be conducted by the Board of Election
Officers acting as a Board of Recount, in compliance with State
law. The Board shall determine the results of any recount.
Decisions of the Board in cases of contested elections shall be
final.



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(C) Tied elections for any elected Town office shall be
determined by lot in a manner decided by the Town Clerk in the
presence of the candidates who are tied, if upon notice from the
Clerk they elect to be present.

(D) If any 10 voters of the Town shall, before the expiration of
7 days after the date of the regular Town election or special
election, apply in writing to the Town Clerk for a recount of the
votes on any ballot question affecting the Town only, the Clerk
shall appoint a time and place for the recount, not earlier than
5 days nor later than 10 days after receipt of the application.
The recount shall be conducted in accordance with State law.
Applicants shall pay to the Town Clerk, for use of the Town, the
appropriate fee as established by State law.

SECTION 2. 9 Certification of Election and Appointment

(A) Written notice of election or appointment to any Town office
or board shall be mailed by the Town Clerk to the person elected
or appointed, within 4 8 hours after the appointment is made or
the results of any vote are certified to the Town Council. If,
within 10 days from the date of the notice, such person shall not
take, subscribe to and file with the Town Clerk an oath of
office, such neglect shall be deemed a refusal to serve and the
office shall be deemed vacant, unless the Town Council shall
extend the time in which such person may qualify.

(B) The removal from office in accordance with this Charter,
with or without cause, of a person elected or appointed or
otherwise chosen for a fixed term, shall give no right of action
for breach of contract.

(C) Except as otherwise provided by law, before entering upon
the duties of office, every person elected or appointed to Town
office shall take and subscribe to an oath of office as
prescribed by law, which shall be filed and kept in the office of
the Town Clerk. Any oath required by this section may be
administered by any officer qualified by law to administer oaths,

(D) All elected Town officials shall take office on the first
Monday following their election and shall hold office until their
successors are duly elected and qualified.

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: Article 2 further defines
election officials, conduct of elections and procedures for
establishing certification of elected or appointed
officials.



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, . ARTICLE 3
PETITIONS: FREE; INITIATIVE; REFERENDUM

SECTION 3 . 1 Free Petition

(A) Individual Petitions, Action Discretionary. The Tovm
Council shall receive all petitions which are addressed to them
and signed by a registered voter and may, in their discretion,
take such action in regard to such petitions as they deem
necessary and appropriate.

(B) Group Petitions, Action Required. The Town Council shall
hold a public hearing and act by taking a vote on the merits of
every petition which is addressed to it and which is signed by at
least 100 registered voters. The hearing shall be held by the
Town Council, or by a committee or subcommittee thereof, and the
action by the Town Council shall be taken not later than 60 days
after the petition is filed with the Town Clerk. Hearings on two
or more petitions filed under this section may be held at the
same time and place. The Town Clerk shall mail notice of the
hearing to 10 petitioners whose names first appear on each
petition at least 7 days before the hearing. Notice shall be
given by publication of a summary of the contents of a petition
at least 7 days prior to all such hearings, at public expense.

No hearing shall be held upon more than one petition containing
the same subject matter in any 12 -month period. No hearing or
action by the Town Council under this section shall be required
in the case of any petition to suspend the implementation of an
ordinance adopting a budget or enacting a land use regulation.

SECTION 3.2 Initiative Petition

(A) Commencement of Proceedings. Initiative procedures shall be
started by the filing of an initiative petition with the Town
Clerk. The petition shall be addressed to the Town Council,
shall contain a request for passage of a particular measure set
forth in the petition, and shall be signed by no less than 20
percent of the total number of votes cast in the last regular
Town election.

Signatures to an initiative petition need not be all in one
paper. All such papers pertaining to any one measure shall be
fastened together and shall be filed in the office of the Town
Clerk as one instrument, with the endorsement thereon of the
names and addresses of the persons designated as filing the same.
With each signature to the petition shall be stated the place of
residence of the signer, giving the street and number, if
any.

Within 7 days after the filing of an initiative petition, the
Town Clerk shall ascertain by what number of registered voters
the petition is signed, and what percentage that number is of the
total number of votes cast in the last regular Town election, and



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shall attach thereto a certificate showing the result of such
examination.

The Town Clerk shall forthwith transmit the certificate with the
petition to the Town Council and at the same time shall send a
copy of the certificate to the first person designated on the
petition as filing the same.

When such certificate establishes that the petition appears to
have been signed by the requisite number of registered voters,
the petition shall be deemed to contain requisite signatures
unless written objections are made with regard to the signatures
thereon by a registered voter within 7 days after such
certificate has been issued, by filing such objections with the
Town Council and a copy thereof with the Town Clerk. The
validity of any such objection shall be determined by the Town
Council at their next regular meeting.

(B) Requirements for Passage and Submission to Electorate. If
the Town Council determines that the petition contains the
requisite signatures of registered voters, and if in the opinion
of the Town attorney the petitioned initiative measure may
lawfully be passed by the Town Council, the Town Council shall
within 20 days after the petition has been finally determined to
be sufficient: (1) pass the measure without alteration; or, (2)
schedule a special Town election to be held on a date not less
than 3 nor more than 60 days thereafter, and submit the measure
without alteration to a vote at that election. However, if any
other Town election is to occur within 60 days after the petition
has finally been determined to be sufficient, the Town Council
may omit a special election and submit the measure to a vote at
such other Town election.

The ballot presenting an initiative measure shall state the
nature of the measure in terms sufficient to communicate the
substance thereof. The question shall be whether the initiative
measure should be adopted. -

SECTION 3.3 Referendum Petitions

(A) Commencement of Proceedings. Referendum petitions must be
filed with the Town Clerk within 30 days after adoption by the
Town Council of the measure or part thereof protested by the
petition. Referendum petitions shall identify specifically the
measure or part thereof protested and must be signed by no less
than 20 percent of the total number of votes cast in the last
regular Town election. The procedures of Section 3.2 (A) shall
apply to referendum petitions except that the words "measure or
part thereof protested" shall, for this purpose, replace the word
"measure" in the said section whenever it may occur, and the word
"referendum" shall replace the word "initiative" in said section.

(B) Suspension of Effect of Measure or Part Thereof Protested.
When a referendum petition is filed with the Town Clerk, the
measure or part thereof protested shall be suspended from taking
effect, except for emergency ordinances adopted under Section 6.3



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of this Charter or ordinances adopting a budget or land use
regulation, which shall not be subject to suspension. Such
suspension shall terminate when:

1. There is a final determination of insufficiency
of the petition; or

2. The filers of the petition withdraw it; or

3. 3 days have elapsed after a vote of the
Town on the measure or part thereof protested.

(C) Action on Petition. When a referendum petition has been
finally determined to be sufficient, the Town Council shall
reconsider the protested measure or part thereof by voting
whether to repeal it. If the Town Council fails to repeal the
protested measure or part thereof within 30 days after the day
the petition was finally declared sufficient, the Town Council
shall submit the protested measure or part thereof to a vote of
the Town at a special Town election to be held on a date fixed by
the Town Council. Such special election shall be held not less
than 3 nor more than 60 days after the Town Council's vote on
repeal. However, if any other Town election is to occur within
60 days after the Town Council's vote on repeal, the Town
Council's may omit a special election and submit the protested
measure or part thereof to a vote at such other Town election.

The ballot presenting a referendum measure under this
section shall state the nature of the protested measure or part
thereof in terms sufficient to communicate its substance. The
question shall be whether the referendum measure should be
repealed.

SECTION 3.4 Submission of Proposed Measure to Voters.
The Town Council may, on its own motion, submit any proposed
measure, or a proposition for the repeal or amendment of any
measure, to a vote of the Town at a regular or special Town
election in the same manner and with the same force and effect as
provided by this Charter for submission of initiative or
referendum measures.



SECTION 3.5 Measures with Conflicting Provisions.

If two or more initiative or proposed measures passed at the same

Town election contain conflicting provisions, only the one

receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall take

effect.

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: This Article establishes the
same provisions as the present Charter, except to revise the
requirement of signers needed to initiate further action by
the Town Council, to clarify the period for scheduling
special initiative or referendum elections and to clarify
the language generally.



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ARTICLE 4
JUDICIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS

SECTION 4.1 Elected Boards

(A) Trustees of Trust Funds. There shall be a board of 3
Trustees of Trust Funds whose powers and duties are provided by
State law. Trustees of Trust Funds shall be elected at the
regular Town election for terms of 3 years, one Trustee each
year. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Town
Council for the unexpired term.

(B) MacGregor Library Trustees. There shall be a board of 7
Trustees of the MacGregor Library who shall be elected at the
regular Town election for terms of 3 years, staggered so that no
more than 3 Trustees are elected at one time. Vacancies shall be
filled by appointment by the Town Council for the unexpired term.

(C) Taylor Library Trustees. There shall be a board of 5
Trustees of the Taylor Library who shall be elected at the
regular Town election for terms of 3 years, staggered so that no
more than 2 Trustees are elected at one time. Vacancies shall be
filled by appointment by the Town Council for the unexpired term.

SECTION 4.2 Administrative Boards.

(A) Planning Board. There shall be a Planning Board, whose
powers and duties are provided by State law. The Planning Board
shall consist of 9 members, of whom 6 are appointed and 3 are ex
officio . The 6 appointed members shall be appointed by the Town
Council for terms of 3 years, except that initial appointments
shall be staggered so that no more than 2 appointed members shall
have terms that expire in a single year; a vacancy occurring
before the end of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term.
The 3 ex officio members shall consist of the Town Administrator,
an administrative officer of the Town designated by the
Administrator, and a Town Councilor designated by the Town
Council for a one year term. There shall also be 3 alternate
appointed members appointed in the same way as regular appointed
members, except no more than one alternate appointed member's
term shall expire in a single year.

(B) Housing and Redevelopment Authority. There shall be a
Housing and Redevelopment Authority whose powers and duties are
provided by State law. The Authority shall consist of 5 members
appointed by the Town Council for terms of 5 years, except that
initial appointments shall be staggered so that no more than one
member's term shall expire in a single year. Vacancies shall be
filled for the unexpired term.

(C) Conservation Commission. There shall be a Conservation
Commission whose powers and duties are provided by State law.
The Commission shall consist of 5 members appointed by the Town



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Council for terms of 3 years, except that initial terms shall be
staggered so that no more than 2 members shall have terms that
expire in a single year. Vacancies shall be filled for the
unexpired term. 3 alternate members shall be appointed in like
manner, except that no more than one alternate member's term
shall expire in a single year.

(D) Historic District Commission. There shall be a Historic
District Commission whose powers and duties are provided by State
law. The Commission shall consist of 5 regular members. 3
regular members shall be appointed by the Town Council for 3 year
terms except that initial appointments shall be staggered so that
no more than one member's term shall expire in a single year.
One regular member shall be a Town Councilor, designated by the
Town Council for a term of one year. One regular member shall be
an appointed member of the Planning Board designated by the
Planning Board for a term of one year. In addition to regular
members there shall be 2 alternate members, appointed by the Town
Council for terms of 3 years, with terms staggered as in the case
of regular members. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired
term.

SECTION 4.3 Judicial Boards
Zoning Board of Adjustment.

There shall be a Zoning Board of Adjustment whose powers and
duties are provided by State law. The Board shall consist of 5
regular members appointed by the Town Council for 3 year terms,
except that initial appointments shall be staggered so that no
more than 2 members shall have terms that expire in a single
year. In addition, there shall be 3 alternate members, appointed
in the same way as regular members, except that no more than one
alternate member's term shall expire in a single year. Vacancies
shall be filled for the unexpired term.

SECTION 4.4 Terms of Office

The terms of office of all members of appointed boards shall

begin on April 1 and end on March 31.

SECTION 4.5 Certain Vacancies

(A) Unless otherwise provided in this Charter, in the event of a
vacancy in an elected office, the Town Council shall fill the
vacancy by appointment until the next regular Town election, at
which time the vacancy shall be filled by election for the
remainder of the unexpired term. .

(B) Unless otherwise provided in this Charter, vacancies in
appointed boards, commissions or committees shall, be filled by
available alternate members selected by Town Council for the
unexpired term.



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SECTION 4 . 6 Board Membership Restriction

No member or alternate member of any Administrative or Judicial
Board of the Town shall serve on any other Administrative or
Judicial Board of the Town, except for ex officio members or Town
Councilors designated to serve as members of a board.

SECTION 4 . 7 Other Administrative Committees

Other administrative boards and committees may be established as

necessary by the Town Council.

SECTION 4.8 Meetings with Town Council and Town Administrator
The Town Council and the Town Administrator shall meet during the
month of January, and more often if Town affairs so warrant, with
the Chairmen of all standing town committees and boards to review
significant actions taken by the committees, projects currently
under discussion, and anticipated activity for the coming year.

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: Article 4 transfers
appointment of various committees and boards to the Town
Council.

ARTICLE 5

THE GOVERNING AND LEGISLATIVE BODY

Section 5.1 The Town Council

Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, the governing and
legislative body of the Town shall be a Town Council exercising
all powers authorized by State law. The Town Council shall
consist of 7 councilors, of whom 3 councilors shall be elected at
large, and one councilor shall be elected from each District.

Section 5.2 - Terms of Office

The term of office for members of the Town Council shall be for

three years, or until the election and qualification of their

successors.

Section 5.3 Qualification for Office as Town Councilor
To be eligible for election to the office of Town Councilor, a
candidate must be 18 years of age, be a resident of the Town for
at least one calendar year before the election, and in the case
of a District Councilor, be a resident of the District to be
represented. If a Councilor or any elected official of the Town
moves from the Town, or from the District in the case of a
District Councilor, and establishes a domicile in some other
place, the office shall be declared vacant and shall be filled as
provided for by this Charter.

SECTION 5.4 Selection of Chairman and Chairman Pro Tem
The Council shall, by the affirmative vote of a majority of all
its members, at its first regular meeting following each regular
Town election, choose one of its members Chairman for a term of



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one year. The Council shall choose one of its members Chairman
Pro Tem, for a term of one year, who shall act in the absence or
disability of the Chairman. In the event of a vacancy occurring
in the office of Chairman, the Council shall choose one of its
members Chairman at the next regular meeting to serve for the
unexpired tenn. The Chairman shall be the official head of the
Town for all ceremonial purposes, shall preside at all meetings
of the Council and may speak and vote at such meetings.

SECTION 5.5 Election of Councilors

Town Councilors shall be elected for terms of 3 years on a
staggered basis, under the following schedule: At the first
regular Town election following the effective date of this
Charter (1994) , there shall be elected one Councilor-at-large and
the Councilor for District 1; at the second ensuing regular Town
election (1995) , there shall be elected one Councilor-at-large
and the Councilors for District 2 and 4; at the third ensuing
regular Town election (1996) , there shall be elected one
Councilor-at-large and a District Councilor for District 3.
Thereafter, Town Councilors shall be elected on the same schedule
in each ensuing 3 year cycle.

SECTION 5.6 Removal of Councilors

The Town Council may, on specific charges and after due notice
and hearing, at any time remove one of its own members for cause,
including but not limited to prolonged absence from or other
inattention to duties, crime or misconduct in office, or as
specified in this Charter.

SECTION 5.7 Filling of Town Council Vacancies

In case a vacancy occurs in the Town Council for any reason, the
remaining Town Councilors shall, by majority vote, appoint an
acting Councilor from among persons eligible to hold the vacant
office, to serve until the next regular Town election, at which
point the vacancy shall be filled by election for the remainder
of the unexpired term.

The Town Council shall act to fill a vacancy no later than 21
days after the vacancy has been officially declared. If such
action is not taken within 21 days, the appointment shall be made
by the Chairman of the Council. The person so appointed shall be
sworn and commence to serve forthwith.

SECTION 5.8 Compensation; Expenses

The Town Council shall establish an annual salary and expense
allowance for its members, subject to the following: No increase
in such salary or expense allowance shall be effective unless it
shall have been adopted by a two-thirds vote of all the members
of the Town Council. The new salary and expense schedule shall
be included in next Town budget process, and shall take effect in
the fiscal period to which that budget applies. No Councilor in
office at the time the new schedule is adopted shall receive any



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benefit of the new schedule during the remainder of the
Councilor's then-current term of office.

SECTION 5.9 Rules; Meetings; Quorum

(A) The Town Council shall from time to time establish rules for
its proceedings. Regular meetings of the Town Council shall be
held at a time and place fixed by the Council but which shall be
not less frequent than once monthly. Special meetings of the
Town Council may be held on the call of the Town Administrator,
or the Chairman of the Council, or on the call of any three or
more members, by written notice delivered to the place of
residence or business of each member at least 48 hours in advance
of the time set. Sessions of the Town Council shall be open to
the public, in accordance with RSA 91-A. Every matter coming
before the Town Council for action shall be put to a vote, the
result of which shall be duly recorded.

(B) A majority of all the members of the Town Council shall
constitute a quorum. The affirmative vote of a majority of all
the members of the Town Council shall be necessary to adopt any
appropriation. Except as otherwise provided by law or this
Charter, any other action or measure may be adopted by a majority
vote of those present.

SECTION 5.10 Council Staff

The clerk of the Town Council shall be the Town Clerk. The Clerk
of the Town Council or designee shall give notice of all meetings
of the Town Council to its members and to the public, shall keep
a record of its proceedings and shall perform such duties as may
be assigned by the Charter, by ordinance, or by other vote of the
Town Council.

SECTION 5.11 Town Councilors - Incompatible Offices.
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, members of the Town
Council shall not hold any other office or employment with the
Town. Former members of the Town Council shall not be eligible
for appointment as a compensated Town officer or employee until
one year after the expiration of their service.

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: Article 5 provides for a 7
member Town Council and allows for a Chairman of the Town
Council to be chosen from one of its members.



ARTICLE 6
ORDINANCES



SECTION 6.1 Municipal Legislation

Municipal legislation shall be by ordinance. Each ordinance
shall be identified by a number and a short title. The enacting
clause of each ordinance shall be "The Town of Derry Ordains,"
and the effective date of each ordinance shall be specified in



it. All ordinances shall be recorded at length uniformly and
permanently by the clerk of the Town Council, and each ordinance
so recorded shall be authenticated by the signature of the
Chairman of the Town Council and the Clerk of the Town Council.

SECTION 6.2 Ordinances

(A) An ordinance may be introduced by any Councilor at any
regular or special meeting of the Town Council. Upon
introduction of any ordinance, the Clerk of the Town Council
shall distribute a copy to each Councilor and to the Town
Administrator, shall file a reasonable number of copies in the
office of the Town Clerk and shall post a copy in such other
public places as the Council may designate.

The full text of the proposed measure or ordinance need not be
included in the notice if an adequate statement is included,
describing the proposal and designating the place where the
proposal is on file for public inspection.

(B) Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced in writing in
the form required for final adoption. Any ordinance which
repeals or amends an existing ordinance shall set out in full the
ordinance, sections or subsections to be repealed or amended, and
shall indicate matter to be omitted by enclosing it in brackets
or by strikeout type, and shall indicate new matter by
underscoring or by italics.

(C) After the ordinance's first reading, it shall be published


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