County Convention To Meet Lawyer next week

LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention and Belknap County Commission took a step closer to the courtroom this week when Representative Colette Worsman (R-Meredith), who chairs the convention, scheduled a "non-meeting" with legal counsel next week.

The non-meeting will be held in Room 209 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord beginning at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8 to be followed by a public meeting to take action on "any authorization motions."

When the convention last met on April 17 it voted nine-to-seven, with two members absent, to retain attorney David Horan, a former assistant county attorney in Hillsborough County, to represent it in its dispute with the commission over the respective authority of the two bodies over the management of the county budget.

Consultation with legal counsel is one of three exceptions — discussion of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining agreements and caucuses of elected members of public bodies belonging to the same political party are the others — to the requirement that all meetings of public bodies, including the county convention, be open to the public. Worsman clearly believes that the chair of the convention may convene a non-meeting without a roll call vote of the members, which is required to meet in a non-public session.