Annual Town Meeting 2017
“Town meeting. It’s the purest form of democracy,” says Secretary of State William Gardner. “Every year there was a period of time that people did their civic duty.” And people must have been looking for something to do. “At one time town meetings lasted up to seven days in some communities,” says Gardner.
And while things have certainly changed, the town meeting still serves its purpose as a socio/political gathering. Gardner says he always liked what an LA Times reporter once called a New Hampshire town meeting — “the Wal-Mart of elections.”
“Think about it,” says Gardner. “There’s this big hall where people are standing up and talking about warrant articles, while in the back of the room someone is selling cupcakes, and there’s a booth where you can sign up to be a bone marrow donor, and one where you can donate blood. There’s a Gold Star Mothers table, the local historical society is selling T-shirts and you can sign your kids up for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. That’s still going on right now.”
Elections will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 7 AM to 7 PM in the Multi Purpose Room.
Town Meeting will be held on Saturday, May 13 , 2017 starting at 9 AM, also in the Multi Purpose Room.
You might find the following documents to be of use in the run-up period to Elections and Town Meeting.
The Board of Selectmen have received requests for fifteen (15) Warrant Articles in addition to five (5) expected Zoning Amendment Articles. Ten (10) of the fifteen Warrant Articles have been voted on and moved forward onto the Warrant. All are still in draft format; wording is subject to change based on discussions with Town Counsel and the Department of Revenue Administration.
One Warrant Article still under discussion was first broached in a slightly different version (Town Meeting 2016, Article #13 – Road Agent) in last year’s Warrant, but was tabled at the 2016 Town Meeting. In December 2016 the Board of Selectmen commissioned a study from MRI to determine the feasibility of eliminating the elected Road Agent position and instead hiring a full-time employee who would be Director of Public Works. You may click on the link below to read this study.
Hard copies of the MRI study are available in the Selectmen’s Office, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM.
If you have questions about any of these documents, please contact the Board of Selectmen’s office at (603) 887-4979 or via email at ChesterBOS@gsinet.net .