Friday, February 6, 2009

Let Voters Have a Say ..

We've received a request to post the following from Terry Qualters.

To Winchester Voters.

This year I submitted a petition to change the board of selectmen from five members to three. My petition had 37 signatures; but now the selectman's attorney says that's not enough; because a state statute says 2% of the town's voters, 59 people would have had to sign the petition. I don't think the state's statutes back up this ruling.
I'm sorry to the people who signed the petition. I knew this wasn't going to be well received by town officials; but I hadn't expected the town's attorney to try this game.

In my opinion;

This notice is for the residents of Winchester who signed the petition (37) to return the number of selectmen from 5 back to 3 under the authority of RSA 48:1-def. June 26, 1990; which is an update from RSA 41:8b eff. July 24,1987; which allowed increasing the board from 3 members to 5 in person. The requirement of 2% of the registered voters is not stated in the statute and only the matter pursuant to RSA 656:13 eff. June 8,1994 applies. If the 2% is not stated in our statute, RSA 48:1-d, it's petition of 25 signatures must stand!


the Winchester Informer said...

According to state law, they may want to rethink their position on this.

Section 39:3

39:3 Articles. – Upon the written application of 25 or more registered voters or 2 percent of the registered voters in town, whichever is less, although in no event shall fewer than 10 registered voters be sufficient, presented to the selectmen or one of them not later than the fifth Tuesday before the day prescribed for an annual meeting, the selectmen shall insert in their warrant for such meeting the petitioned article with only such minor textual changes as may be required. For the purposes of this section, the number of registered voters in a town shall be the number of voters registered prior to the last state general election. The right to have an article inserted in the warrant conferred by this section shall not be invalidated by the provisions of RSA 32. In towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants upon the written application of 50 or more voters or 1/4 of the voters in town, whichever is fewer, and in towns with 10,000 or more inhabitants upon the written application of 5 percent of the registered voters in the town, so presented not less than 60 days before the next annual meeting, the selectmen shall warn a special meeting to act upon any question specified in such application. The checklist for an annual or special town meeting shall be corrected by the supervisors of the checklist as provided in RSA 654:25-31. Those persons qualified to vote whose names are on the corrected checklist shall be entitled to vote at the meeting. The same checklist used at a recessed town meeting shall be used at any reconvened session of the same town meeting. In no event shall a special town meeting be held on the biennial election day.

Source. RS 32:3. CS 34:3. GS 35:3. GL 38:3. PS 41:3. PL 45:3. 1937, 40:1. RL 57:3. 1947, 21:1. RSA 39:3. 1969, 59:1. 1971, 79:1. 1975, 160:1. 1981, 454:1. 1987, 299:1. 1990, 192:1. 1991, 223:1; 370:5. 1994, 197:1, eff. July 23, 1994. 1998, 194:1, eff. Aug. 17, 1998.

here's the url.


I wouldn't think 3 or 5 would be a big issue, with Bob in charge of Daley business 3 is probably enough. That's just my opinion, i guess the people in power don't care what you and i think, having the power must be hard to give up.