voter guides

Annual Meeting Warrants: Preparation, Voter Guides, Government Speech and Excessive Advocacy

After months of preparation, it is time to assemble the warrant, the centerpiece of New Hampshire's town meeting. Underlying this process is the fundamental rule of municipal government: municipalities may act only if there is a statute authorizing that action. Girard v. Allenstown, 121 N.H. 268 (1981). This is the key to understanding the statutes regarding the annual meeting. With that in mind, here is an update on some issues regarding the warrant.

Q. Who prepares articles and places them on the warrant?

Annual Reports: A Town’s Year in Review

By Kimberly A. Hallquist

The annual report is as much of a town meeting tradition as the moderator’s gavel, the old wooden ballot box and the rows of chairs facing the moderator’s podium. Prominently depicted in the 1942 Norman Rockwell painting Freedom of Speech, the annual report plays an important role before, during and after the annual town meeting.

What’s in a Warrant Article? Nothing Extra, Please

Q. Who decides what goes on the warrant and how it appears?

A Successful Town Meeting Requires Preparation

Most municipalities in New Hampshire meet annually and govern themselves through the traditional town meeting. The meeting is the “legislative body" of the town, and performs the important tasks of appropriating funds in the operating budget, and considering “special" warrant articles for projects that may be the culmination of months or years of preparation by interested citizens or other stakeholders.