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Convention could not borrow because it had not yet appropriated

  • Published in Letters
To The Daily Sun,
Why do those responsible for enforcement or interpretation of laws ignore the affairs regarding Belknap County? The misdeeds are many, one of which is the Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) for FY 2013.
The need for additional money to sustain county services surfaced because the convention had not acted upon the appropriations for the ensuing FY 2013 annual budget.
On Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:30 p.m., the Executive Committee motioned to authorize the county treasurer to borrow an amount not to exceed $10 million in TANs. Flaws:
1. Treasurer Michael Muzzey can only borrow money "upon the order of the commissioners" and accordingly was only able to explain the process in support of a request to borrow. However, he was unable to make an official request. (RSA 29:8 Borrowing)
2. On Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:30 p.m., at the Executive Committee's meeting, the only commissioner present was Stephen H. Nedeau. Therefore, the vote by the Executive Committee is automatically VOID.
3. On Feb. 4. 2013 at 5:06 p.m., the convention at its meeting discussed the Tax Anticipation 10 million dollar borrowing to "keep the whole delegation informed". However, no delegation vote was taken.
4. On Feb. 4, 2013, absent any kind of recess or adjournment of the convention's meeting, a commission meeting occurred. The quorum of "Commissioners Edward D. Philpot Jr., John H. Thomas (via conference call) and Stephen H. Nedeau", authorized the county treasurer to request borrowing of up to $10 million in Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs). (Motion carries) Motion by M/Philpot, S/Nedeau to adjourn at 5:06 p.m.. Unanimous. Motion carries.
5. The Executive Committee prematurely voted to approve the borrowing, without the county treasurer possessing the commission's order. Flaw. (RSA 29:8)
6. The approval of the county convention for such borrowing must be secured, unless the convention has not acted upon the appropriations for the ensuing year. No vote regarding 2013 TAN by the convention has any validity prior to the adoption of the budget.
7. On Feb. 19, 2013, a vote by the convention was taken to "authorize the county treasurer to issue an amount not to exceed $10 million in TANs for FY 2013 for Belknap County". Motion carried. This vote has no validity because the convention had not acted upon the appropriations for the ensuing year.
Moreover, on February 8, 2013 a Right-to-Know petition, per RSA 91-A:7, was filed with Belknap Superior Court. The courts shall give proceedings under this chapter high priority on the court calendar. Our challenge has neither a date for an oral/evidentiary hearing, nor a substantive order for over 143 day since filing. Why should plaintiff have to motion the court to place this suit on the trial calendar (SC Rule 13)?
On April 1, 2013, the Petition For Declaratory Judgment Per RSA 91-A:7 was transferred to Grafton County Superior Court regarding the use of secret paper ballots. Our petition, a challenge of the use of paper ballots in open meeting, in effect, is a challenge that any action by Belknap County's Convention and its Executive Committee since December 2012, 2012 are null and void.
Thomas A. Tardif