warrant articles

2021 Town and School Moderators (SB 2 Meeting) Virtual Workshop

Attendees will receive an electronic copy of NHMA's 2020-2021 edition of Town Meeting and School Meeting Handbook along with a copy of the 2021 Supplement. Additional materials such as the PowerPoint presentation will also be distributed electronically. No print outs of the materials or hard copy of the publication will be provided.

Topics include:

How to Run an Annual Meeting During a Pandemic:

Legal Q and A: A New Option for Town Meeting: Adding the Estimated Tax Impact to the Warrant

In recent years, a lot of attention has been directed toward the amount of detail on a ballot or warrant article. The estimated tax impact of proposed appropriations, long seen as information of considerable interest to voters, may now be included under a new amendment to RSA Chapter 32, the Municipal Budget Act. Here are some of the new and continuing questions about this issue.

Q. Haven't we always been able to include explanatory information on warrant articles?

Amendments to Warrant Articles: Guidance for Town Meeting

Once the public hearings are over and the warrant is drafted and posted, it is up to the moderator—with the assistance of other officials, staff and the town attorney—to make sure that the town’s business is accomplished fairly and efficiently at the annual meeting. Preparation is, of course, the key to a successful town meeting. But there is no way to fully anticipate and prepare for a crucial legal issue that can arise whenever a voter at town meeting makes a motion to amend a warrant article: Would the proposed amendment violate a statute and thus make the article unenforceable?

Town Meeting: It's Not Over Until It's Over

By C. Christine Fillmore

Despite the best preparation, things may go wrong at a town meeting. Notices were not posted in time, hearings were not held properly, critical articles necessary for the operation of municipal business did not pass. What to do now? Helpfully, there are a few options built into town meeting laws to address just this sort of situation.

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?

A Potpourri of Frequently Asked Legal Questions

This month’s Q&A represents a departure from our usual single topic format. The staff attorneys of LGC’s Legal Services and Government Affairs Department answer thousands of questions each year posed by local officials from towns and cities both large and small. Following are some of those questions on various topics that we hope you will find useful to your work as a local official.

Multi-Year Contracts: When and How Are They Authorized?

Municipalities are set up to handle business one year at a time. They are governed by annual budgets and elect officials annually in towns and biennially in cities. So it’s not surprising that there is a good deal of uncertainty when it comes to authorizing contracts that will oblige a municipality to expend money for more than one year going forward. The most common examples are extended equipment leases and multi-year collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

The Curious Case of ‘No Means No’

Every year, we advise governing bodies, budget committees and other town officials to carefully review the language of proposed warrant articles with the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) prior to presenting the articles at the budgetary public hearing, creating the warrant, and presenting the articles to the town meeting or the deliberative session.

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

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