On petition of Michael Pierce, Mary-Louise Woolsey and at least 25 other registered voters:
Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 40:14-b to delegate the determination of the default budget to the municipal budget committee which has been adopted under RSA 32:14? (3/5ths vote required).
What it means: Rather than the current system of the default budget being calculated by employees in Town Hall and put forward by the Board of Selectmen, the default budget would be calculated and put forward by the Municipal Budget Committee. The default budget is defined by New Hampshire statutes as the operating budget from the prior year, adjusted up or down as appropriate for contractual obligations and removing one-time expenses. Whichever body calculates the default budget, it must meet that definition.
Those in favor say: A member of the Budget Committee said that in reviewing the budget he thought that some of the numbers were in error (ITKH note: examples were not provided, so this statement has not been verified.) Another speaker who is a former budget committee member stated that the term “contractual obligations” might be subject to interpretation.
Those against say: There does not seem to be a clear reason to change what we have been doing successfully for 20 years now. The Board of Selectmen, backed up by the Finance Director, calculate the numbers that are defined by the RSAs.
Fiscal Impact: No tax impact.