Derry (N.H.).

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

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in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least once,
together with a notice of the time and place when and where it
will be given a public hearing and be considered for final

(D) No ordinance shall be passed finally on the date on which it
is introduced, except in cases of emergency involving the health
or safety of the people or their property. Every adopted
ordinance, except as otherwise provided by this Charter, shall
become effective at the expiration of 30 days after adoption or
at any later date specified therein.

No ordinance shall be amended or repealed except by another
ordinance adopted in accordance with this Charter, or as provided
in the initiative and referendum procedures of this Charter.

SECTION 6.3 Emergency Ordinances

An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner
prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall contain
statements after the enacting clause declaring that an emergency
exists, and describing the scope and nature of the emergency in
clear and specific terms. A preamble which declares and defines
the emergency shall be separately voted on and shall require the
affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members of Town


Action on an emergency ordinance shall be taken without amendment
at the meeting at which the ordinance is introduced. No
ordinance making a grant, renewal or extension, whatever its kind
or nature, of any franchise or special privilege shall be passed
as an emergency ordinance and except as provided by law relating
to utility lines, no such grant, renewal or extension shall be
made otherwise than by the regular procedure established for
ordinances. After its adoption, an emergency ordinance shall be
published as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall
become effective upon adoption or at such time as it may

SECTION 6.4 Codification of Ordinances

Not later than 18 months after taking office under this Charter

and at least every fifth year thereafter, the Town Council shall

have prepared a revision or codification of the ordinances of the

Town which are appropriate for continuation as local laws of the


SECTION 6.5 Existing Ordinances

All by-laws, ordinances, rules, restrictions and regulations of

the Town of Derry which are in effect as of the effective date of

this Charter, and are not inconsistent with this Charter, shall

remain in effect after the adoption of this Charter until they

expire by their terms or are repealed, modified or amended by the


SECTION 6.6 Charter Objection

On the first occasion that the question on adoption of a measure
is put to the Town Council, if a single Councilor objects to the
taking of the vote, the vote shall be postponed until the next
meeting of the Town Council whether regular or special. If 2 or
more other Councilors shall join in the objection, such
postponement shall be until the next regular meeting. This
procedure shall not be used more than once for any agenda item.
Any item once postponed shall not be further postponed under this
section. The Charter objection privilege is not available with
respect to an emergency ordinance.

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: Article 6 clarifies the
procedures by which the Town Council would establish and
govern by ordinances.



SECTION 7.1 General Powers of the Town Council
Subject to the provisions of this Charter, as the elected body
serving as the legislative and governing laody of the town, the
Town Council shall exercise all the powers and duties of
selectmen, city councils and boards of aldermen and such other


powers and duties provided by State statute or the Constitution
of the State of New Hampshire. Except as otherwise provided by
State law or this Charter, the powers of the Town Council may be
exercised in a manner determined by it.

SECTION 7.2 Regulation of Fees and Other Charges
In accordance with State law, the Administrative Code and this
Charter, the Town Council shall approve and regulate all fees and
charges, whether for reclamation, impact, use, permits or any
other charges that may be made by any department or agency, for
the use of the facilities or services of the Town.

SECTION 7.3 Delegation of Powers

The Town Council may delegate to one or more Town agencies the
powers to grant and issue licenses and permits vested in the Town
Council by State law, and may regulate the granting and issuing
of licenses and permits by any such Town agency. The Town Council
may in its discretion, rescind any such delegation without
prejudice to any prior action taken on such licenses or permits.

SECTION 7.4 Inquiries and Investigations

The Town Council may require any elected or appointed Town
officer or employee, any official appointed or confirmed by the
Council, or any member of an elected Town board or elected Town
commission to appear before it and to give such information as
the Town Council may require in relation to such person's office,
function or performance. The Town Council shall give at least 48
hours written notice of the general scope of the inquiry which is
to be made to any person it shall require to appear before it
under this section.

The Town Council may make investigations into the affairs of the
Town and into the conduct of any Town agency, and for this
purpose may administer oaths and require the production of

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: Article 7 further establishes
other general powers of the Town Council as the legislative
and governing body of the Town.



SECTION 8.1 Town Administrator

The chief administrative officer of the Town shall be the Town
Administrator (hereinafter called the "Administrator") . The
Administrator shall be appointed by the Town Council upon the
affirmative vote of at least 5 members of the Council. The
Administrator shall hold office at the pleasure of the Town • '
Council. The Town Council shall fix the Administrator's salary
and terms of employment.


SECTION 8.2 Qualifications

The Administrator shall be appointed solely on the basis of
qualification for the office, with special reference to
education, training and previous experience in public or private
office. The Administrator need not be a resident of the Town or
of the State of New Hampshire at the time of appointment, but
must establish residence in the Town within a period fixed by the
Town Council. The Administrator shall devote full time to the
office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or
appointive, except as authorized by this Charter, nor engage in
any other Ijusiness or occupation unless with the approval of the
majority of the Town Council.

SECTION 8.3 Evaluation of Administrator's Performance
During the budgetary process following the first anniversary of
the Administrator's service to the Town and during each
subsequent budgetary process, the Town Council shall conduct an
evaluation of the Administrator's performance in office. After
such evaluation, the Town Council shall determine whether the
Administrator's overall performance in office has been
satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The Town Council shall also
establish the Administrator's compensation for the ensuing year.

SECTION 8.4 Removal of Administrator

(A) The Administrator may be removed by a majority vote of all
members of the Town Council as herein provided. The Town Council
shall adopt a resolution stating its intention to remove the
Administrator and the reasons therefor, a copy of which shall be
served on the Administrator. Immediately upon delivery to the
Administrator of the resolution stating the intent of the Town
Council, the Administrator shall be relieved of office and all
further duties.

(B) The Administrator may reply thereto in writing within 10
days, and upon request, shall be afforded a public hearing which
shall occur not earlier than 10 days nor later than 15 days after
such hearing is requested. After the public hearing, if one is
requested, and after full consideration, the Town Council, by
majority vote of all its members, may adopt a final resolution of
removal. The Administrator shall continue to receive full salary
until the effective date of a final resolution of removal. The
action of the Town Council in removing the Administrator shall be

During the period between adoption of a resolution under
Paragraph (A) of this section and final action under Paragraph
(B) , the Town Council shall, by majority vote of all its members,
appoint an interim Administrator to serve at the will of the Town
Council for not more than 90 days. If a final resolution of
removal is not adopted, the Administrator shall resume office


SECTION 8 . 5 Acting Town Administrator

(A) Whenever by reason of sickness, absence from the town or
other unexpected cause, the Town Administrator shall be unable to
perform the duties of the office for a period of 3 successive
working days or more, the Town Council shall appoint an Acting
Town Administrator.

(B) The Acting Administrator shall have all the powers and
perform all the duties of the Administrator except to the extent
that said powers and duties may be specifically restricted by
Town Council resolution. The Acting Administrator shall be paid
such salary for services hereunder as may be prescribed by the
Town Council.

SECTION 8.6 Powers and Duties of Administrator

(A) The Administrator shall be the chief administrative officer
of the Town, shall supervise and be responsible for the
administrative and financial affairs of the Town and shall carry
out the policies enacted by the Council. The Administrator shall
be charged with the preservation of the health, safety, and
welfare of persons and property and shall see to the enforcement
of the ordinances of the Town, this Charter and general State
laws governing administration of the Town. The Administrator
shall supervise and direct the administration of all Town
departments and personnel therein.

(B) Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, the
Administrator shall appoint upon merit and fitness alone, and may
remove all officers and employees of the Town, subject to the
provisions of pertinent statutes and the Administrative Code.
Appointment of officers and employees who report directly to the
Town Administrator shall be subject to confirmation by vote of
the Town Council.

(C) The Administrator shall fix the compensation of all Town
officers and employees appointed by the Administrator, within the
limits established by existing appropriations.

(D) The Administrator shall have full jurisdiction over the
rental and use of all Town facilities under the Administrator's
control. The Administrator shall be responsible for the
maintenance and repair of all Town property under the
Administrator's control, within the limits of existing

(E) The Administrator shall keep a full and complete inventory of
all property of the Town, both real and personal.

(F) The Administrator shall be responsible for purchasing all
supplies, material and equipment for all departments and
activities of the Town. y-:.i


(G) The Administrator shall keep the Town Council informed of the
needs of the Town, and make such reports and recommendations as
the Administrator may deem advisable or as the Council, as
provided by this Charter or by ordinance, shall direct.

(H) The Administrator shall have and perform such other powers
and duties not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter
as now are, or may be, conferred or imposed upon the
Administrator by ordinance, or by general State laws. The
Administrator shall have the right to take part in the discussion
of all matters before the Town Council, but not the right to

SECTION 8.7 Non-interference by Individual Members of the Town

The Town Council shall act in all matters as a body. Members of
the Council shall not seek individually to influence the official
acts of the Town Administrator, or any other officers; or to
direct or request, except in writing, the appointment of any
person to, or removal from, office; or to interfere in any way
with the performance by such officers of their duties. Any
member of the Town Council violating the provisions of this
section, as determined through procedures established in this
Charter, shall forfeit the office.

SECTION 8.8 Appointive Officers

(A) There shall be appointed by the Administrator, subject to
confirmation by vote of the Town Council, a police chief, a fire
chief, a health officer, one or more assessors, town attorney, a
tax collector and such other officers as may be necessary to
administer all departments which this Charter and the Town
Council shall establish. Assessors shall, prior to appointment,
have demonstrated knowledge of property appraisal or assessment
and of the laws governing the assessment and collection of
property taxes. The powers and duties of appointed officers and
heads of departments shall be those prescribed by state law, by
the Charter or by ordinance.

(B) The Town Council may engage as needed such other attorneys
as are deemed in the best interest of the Town or to provide
legal advice to the Town Council.

SECTION 8.9 Departments; Administrative Code

The Town shall have departments, divisions, boards or committees
as may be established by this Charter or as the Town Council may
establish by ordinance. It shall be the duty of the
Administrator to draft and to submit to the Town Council within 9
months after assuming office, an ordinance consistent with this
Charter to be titled as the "Administrative Code", which provides
for the division of the administrative service of the Town into
departments or agencies and defines the functions and duties of


The ordinance shall include, subject to any collective bargaining
agreements that may be agreed upon, provisions for a merit plan
to ensure that all appointments and promotions in the service of
the Town shall be made solely on the basis of merit and only
after appropriate examination or review of the applicants'
relative knowledge, skills, abilities and experience and
provisions governing discipline and dismissal of personnel.
Subsequent to the adoption of such ordinance, upon recommendation
of the Administrator, the Town Council by ordinance may amend it
to create, consolidate or abolish departments, agencies or other
divisions of the Town, define the functions and duties of each,
or otherwise amend it.

The chief officer of each department shall have supervision and
control of such department and shall have the power to prescribe
rules and regulations for the conduct of such department, not
inconsistent with general law, this Charter, the Administrative
Code, and the provisions of the merit plan. Prior to adoption of
the Administrative Code, the Administrator shall have the power
to establish temporary rules and regulations to ensure economy
and efficiency in the several divisions of Town government.

SECTION 8.10 Town Clerk

There shall be a Town Clerk, elected for a term of 3 years. The
Town Clerk shall have such authority and perform such duties as
provided by State law. Vacancy in the office of Town Clerk shall
be filled in accordance with State law.

CHARTER COMMISSION COMMENTS: Article 8 defines the position
of the Administrator, qualifications, powers and duties, and
that the Administrator now serves under the direction and
supervision of the Council. Further, that no Councilor
shall, as an individual, interfere with official acts of the
Administrator. The article also provides for election of
the Town Clerk for a 3 year term.



SECTION 9.1 Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Town shall begin July 1 and run through

the subsequent June 3 in each year.

SECTION 9.2 Preparation of Budget

The preparation of the fiscal budget of the Town shall begin at
such time as specified by the Administrator, or as directed by
the Administrative Code. The chief officer or director of each
department shall submit to the Administrator an itemized estimate
of the expenditures for the next fiscal year for the department
or activities under the officer's control. In presenting the
budget to the Town Council, the Administrator shall also include


a detailed report of estimated revenues other than those to be
derived from real estate taxes, paying particular attention to
departments or activities that are self-sustaining.

SECTION 9.3 Submission of Budget; Budget Message

(A) By April 1 the Administrator shall submit to the Clerk of
the Town Council a proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year
which shall provide a complete financial plan of all Town funds
and activities for the ensuing fiscal year, an accompanying
budget message and supporting documents, including the estimated
effect of the proposed budget on the tax rate.

(B) The message of the Administrator shall explain the budget
for all Town agencies both in fiscal terms and in terms of work
programs. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of
the Town for the ensuing fiscal year, indicate any major changes
from the current fiscal year in financial policies, expenditures
and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes;
summarize the Town's debt position and include such other
material as the Administrator deems desirable or the Town Council
may reasonably require.

SECTION 9.4 Action on the Budget

(A) Public Hearing. The Town Council shall publish in one or
more newspapers of general circulation in the Town a general
summary of the proposed budget as submitted by the Administrator
with a notice stating: (1) the times and places where copies of
the proposed budget are available for inspection by the public
and (2) the date, time and place not less than 2 weeks after such
publication, when a public hearing on the proposed budget will be
held by the Town Council.

(B) Adoption. The Town Council shall enact the budget, with or
without amendments, by May 31. In amending the budget, it may
delete, decrease, increase or add any programs or amounts, except
it may not decrease expenditures required by law or for debt

If the Town Council fails to take action with respect to the
budget by May 31, such budget shall, without any action by the
Town Council, be deemed to have been adopted, and shall be
available for the purposes specified.

SECTION 9.5 Quarterly Budget Reports

At the beginning of each quarterly period during the fiscal year,
and more often if required by the Town Council, the Administrator
or designee shall submit to the Town Council data showing the
state of the Town's financial affairs. The Administrator shall,
at the Town Council's first regular meeting in the quarterly
period, using the same data furnished to the Town Council,
provide a report to the public that shows the relation between
the estimated and actual income and expenses to date, together
with outstanding indebtedness and estimated future expenses.


SECTION 9.6 Appropriations After Adoption of Budget.
No appropriation shall be made for any purpose not included in
the annual budget as adopted, unless approved by a two-thirds
majority of all the members of the Town Council after a public
hearing. The Town Council shall, by resolution, designate the
source of any money so appropriated.

SECTION 9.7 Transfer of Appropriations

No expenditure shall be made, and no obligation for expenditure

shall be incurred, except pursuant to a duly adopted

appropriation or a transfer of appropriation permitted by this


(A) Intradepartmental Transfers. The Administrator may approve a
transfer of appropriations from one budgeted account to another
budgeted account within a department, provided that the transfer
or transfers do not exceed 10 percent of the appropriated budget
for the department for the fiscal year, that funds are available
to support the transfer and that the amount to be transferred is
not essential for the effective operation of the account or
accounts from which the transfer is to be made. In no event
shall the amount of any such transfers exceed the total of
$10,000.00 in a single department without approval of the Town

(B) Interdepartmental Transfers. With the approval of the Town
Council, the Administrator may transfer any unencumbered
appropriation balance or any portion thereof from one department
to another.

SECTION 9.8 Capital Improvements Plan

(A) The Town Administrator, after consultation with the Planning

Board, shall prepare and submit to the Town Council a capital

improvements plan at least one month prior to the final date for

submission of the budget. The capital improvements program shall


(1) A clear summary of its contents.

(2) A list of all capital improvements including major
replacements which are proposed to be undertaken during

' .; the next 6 fiscal years, including, but not limited to,
• ■' ■ equipment, sewer and water mains or facilities, roads,
sidewalks, bicycle paths or lanes, public open spaces
and recreation facilities, new police or fire stations,
■;;and other new public facilities and major items of
equipment, with appropriate supporting information as
to the necessity for such improvements.

(3) Cost estimates, methods of financing and recommended
time schedule for each improvement.

(4) The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining
" : the facilities to be constructed or acquired.


(B) The capital improvements plan shall be based on a period of
not less than 6 years and shall be guided by the Master Plan for
the Town.

(C) The foregoing information may be revised and extended each
year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in
process of construction or acquisition.

(D) The Town Council and Planning Board shall meet annually in
preparation for and review of the capital improvements plan in a
manner determined from time to time by the Town Council.

(E) A summary of the updated capital improvements plan with
estimated costs shall be included in the Town report and the
current year costs of the capital improvements plan shall be
included in the Town budget.

(F) The Town Council shall publish in one or more newspapers of
general circulation in the Town a general summary of the capital
improvements plan and a notice stating: (1) the times and places
where copies of the capital improvements plan are available for
inspection by the public; and (2) the date, time and place not
less than 2 weeks after such publication, when a public hearing
on said plan will be held by the Town Council.

(G) After the public hearing and on or before 60 days prior to
the start of the ensuing fiscal year, the Town Council shall

by resolution adopt the capital improvements plan with or without
amendment, provided that each amendment must be voted separately
and that any increase in the capital improvements plan as
submitted must clearly identify the method of financing proposed
to accomplish the increase.

SECTION 9.9 Lapse of Appropriations; Special Revenue Funds
Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital
expenditure or dedicated funds permitted by State law, shall
lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has
not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital
expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which
it was made has been accomplished or abandoned. The purpose of
any such appropriation shall be deemed abandoned if 2 years pass
without any disbursement from, or encumbrance of, the
appropriation. Special Revenue Funds may be established in
accordance with State law for a specific purpose only upon
receiving a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Town

SECTION 9.10 Purchasing Procedure

The Administrative Code shall establish purchasing and contract
procedure, including the assignment of all responsibility for
purchasing to the Administrator or designee, and the combination
purchasing of similar articles by separate departments. The Town


Council shall establish dollar limits for purchases and contracts
which must be by competitive bid and shall establish the bidding
procedures. No competitive bids shall be required when
purchasing through the State of New Hampshire or at the State of
New Hampshire bid prices. Requirements for bids may be waived in
specific instances by a two-thirds vote of the Town Council. The

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