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Annual reports of the Town of Derry, New Hampshire (Volume 2003) online

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(A) Any person for whom a vote was cast and recorded for any office at a town election
may, before the expiration of 3 days after the date of the election, apply in writing to the
Town Clerk for a recount of the ballots cast for such office and shall pay to the Town Clerk
the fee authorized by State law, for the use of the Town. The Town Clerk shall appoint a
time for the recount not earlier than 5 days and not later than 10 days after the receipt of
the application. If a recount is requested for a 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.

(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 48 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.



ARTICLE 3
PETITIONS: FREE; INITIATIVE; REFERENDUM

SECTION 3.1 Free Petition

(A) Individual Petitions, Action Discretionary. The Town 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 1 00 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 tine 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 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 30 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 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. 30 days have elapsed after a vote of the
Town on the measure or part thereof protested.



(C) Action on Petition. When a referendunn 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 30 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.

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.

(D) Cemetery Trustees. The duties and responsibilities of Cemetery Trustees pursuant
to RSA 289 shall be delegated to and exercised by the Derry Town Council.



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 nnennbers, 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 7
members appointed by the Town 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. 4 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) Heritage Commission. There shall be a Heritage Commission whose powers and
duties are provided by State Statute in accordance with RSA 673:4-a I & II only, 674:44a,
674:44-b I & III, 674:44-d. The Commission shall consist of 5 (five) members who shall
have the powers and duties of both the Heritage Commission and a Historic District
commission. The Commission shall consist of at least four (4) regular members who shall
be appointed by the Town Council for three (3) year terms which shall be staggered so
that no more than two (2) member's terms will expire in a single year. One regular
member shall be a Town Councilor, designated by the Town Council for a term of one (1)
year. There shall be three (3) alternate members who shall be appointed by Town Council
for three (3) year terms which shall be staggered so that no more than one (1) member's
term will expire in a single year. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term." (as
amended 1999)

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 5

alternate members, appointed in the same way as regular members, except that no more



than two alternate member's terms 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.

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.



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 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 term. 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 benefit of the
new schedule during the rennainder 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.

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 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 passage.


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