To The Daily Sun,
On Monday, Feb. 8, the City Council's agenda listed Resolution #2016-02 relative to authorizing the city manage to accept "donations" on behalf of the City in the amount of $500 for the Black Brook Geomorphologic Study.
This issue of accepting donations surfaced on May 26 2015 regarding Black Brook, when; "City Manager Myers explained that any donations received that are not tied into a specific trust should be brought to council as a consent item. And money $10,000 or less will be handled administratively."
The council voted the resolution relative to accepting donations and scheduled a public hearing on June 8, 2015. During that meeting, three public hearings simultaneously occurred. Regarding donations to the city for:
• Black Brook Geomorphological Study
• Laconia Police Department K-9 Unit
• Opechee Park Picnic Pavilion at Opechee Cove
On June 8, it took all of one minute — 7:20 to 7:21 p.m. — for the three public hearings. Under unfinished business, a second reading of a resolution 2015-7 relative to accepting donations for the Black Brook Geomorphological Study of $4,000 passed, 6-0. No minutes indicate how the amount increased from $500 to $4,000. No council discussion or public is recorded as speaking for or against the three resolutions.
What's the problem? Well gnaw on these facts: the manager said "money $10,000 or less will be handled administratively." Silence is concurrence on the part of the council. Foremost, the council on June 8 voted the second and final reading. It is unknown if this new resolution (per Sectiion 5:06) is an additional $500 donation or a supplemental appropriation to encumber the fund deposited for the Black Brook purpose in the amount of $500 necessary to offset by the money deposited back in June of 2015? Then again, according to the city manager, this is a simple administrative item.
The city manager's instructions on May 26 regarding donations received; "money $10,000 or less will be handled administratively." This mirrors that used by towns who have the voted to RSA 31:95-b who hold a public hearing to authorize the acceptance and expenditure of a grant, by town council pursuant to RSA 31:95-b, to wit the council has never, to date, amended the City Charter. The fact is, such an amendment is unnecessary because the charter recognized unexpected revenues may occur.
1. Total expenditures for any given budget year shall not exceed the amount of funds reasonably calculated to be derived by the tax rate established pursuant to Paragraph A. 2. herein, increased by the other revenues generated by the municipality Sect.5:03.5,E.
2. All city officers who shall, in their official capacity, receive any money in behalf of the city shall pay to the treasurer, through the office of the City Clerk, the amount in their hands once a month or oftener if required by the City Treasurer, except the Collector of Taxes, who shall make payment directly to the City Treasurer once a month or oftener if required by the City Treasurer. Certain departments or agencies of the city wherein authority of handling any money received is vested in boards created by the Charter or ordinances are also an exception to this provision.
A. All other persons who shall at any time have money in their hands belonging to the city shall forthwith pay the same to the Treasurer through the office of the City Clerk.
B. Duplicate receipts shall be made for all moneys paid to the Treasurer through the office of the City Clerk, the original of which shall be given to the person making the payment, and the duplicate shall remain in the office of the City Clerk.
The only whereas regarding the deposit of the $500 donation, that may be necessary depends what the intent is.
WHEREAS, the city has received a $500 donation, shall the City Council approve the following motion: "to accept and expend a gift in the amount of $500 for the purpose of Black Brook Geomorphologic Study in the amount of $500, and authorize the City Treasurer to deposit into account 84-301-422-0002, Or,
WHEREAS. Per City Charter Section 5:06 requires the Council, by 2/3 vote a supplemental appropriation for the Black Brook Geomorphologic Study to encumber such funds appropriated in Revenue account #84-301-422-0002 in the amount of $ __, ______ for the purpose and further authorize the treasurer to encumber such unencumbered funds as available in accordance City Charter.
Resolution 2016-02 is void. The manager does not require council approval. Per the charter, the city manager, as with all city employees shall forthwith pay the same to the treasurer through the office of the City Clerk. The appropriation and revenue line terms, regarding the Black Brook either exist by virtue of Resolution 2015-7 or not. When will the council read the City Charter rather than do what it is told?
Something is amiss in the process. Where are the Grant and Gift "Policy" and "Procedures" that Councilor Hamel requested?
Thomas A. Tardif