(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No ordinance shall be amended or repealed except by another ordinance adopted in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
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 Council.
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 specify.
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 Town.
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are repealed, modified or amended by the Council.
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.
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 body 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 evidence.
ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNMENT
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. 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 business 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
(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 final.
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 forthwith.
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
(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 appropriation.
(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.
(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 vote.
SECTION 8.7 Non-interference by Individual Members of the Town Council
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 each.
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.
SECTION 9.1 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Town shall begin July 1 and run through the subsequent June 30 in
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-
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
(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
SECTION 9.4 Action on the Budget
(A) Limitation of Budget Increases. Recognizing that the final tax rates for the Town of
Derry are set by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration pursuant to
RSA 21-J:35(I) the Administration and Town Council of the Town of Derry shall develop
their annual budget proposals In accordance with the mandates of this section. In
establishing a municipal budget, the Town Council shall be allowed to assume an
estimated property tax rate only In an amount equal to the tax rate established during the
prior fiscal year increased by a factor equal to the change in the National Cost of Living
Index as published by the United States Department of Labor for the calendar year
immediately preceding budget adoption. Total expenditures for any given budget year
shall not exceed funds reasonably calculated to be derived by a tax rate so established in
addition to other revenues generated by the municipality. This provision shall not prevent
the Town Council from establishing an annual municipal budget below this limit. This
provision shall not limit the Town Council from appropriately funding any programs or
accounts mandated to be paid from municipal funds by state or federal law.
(B) - Exception to Budget Limitation. The total or any part of principle and interest
payments for any municipal bond may be exempted from being Included In expenditures
subject to the prior limitation in Sec. 9.4(A) upon a two-thirds vote of the entire Derry Town
Council. This decision shall be made annually.
(C) 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.
(D) 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 1 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 Council.
(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 include:
(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
(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 at the time of adoption of the budget as set forth in
Section 9.4D of the Charter and on or before 30 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 Council.
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