To The Daily Sun,
The Laconia Daily Sun published an article on Nov. 21, 2015, "Tardif Sues City Over Procedures Used & Proposed Regarding Unanticipated Revenues." Former Mayor Tom Tardif explains what the city manager and the City Council is proposing is a Charter Amendment.
Laconia City Manager Scott Myers is attempting to transfer powers vested in the Laconia City Council to himself. The manager, Mayor Edward Engler, Councilors Ava Doyle, David Bownes, Henry Lipman, Brenda Baer, Armand Bolduc and Robert Hamel believe that the council can delegate their power to the manager using a law meant for towns which is RSA 31:95-b, even though there is nothing in 31:95-b that transfers the power of selectmen to a town manager.
The resolution before the council is to, "Authorize the city manager to accept and expend unanticipated money in the amount of not to exceed $9,999 such money shall be reported monthly at a public session of the City Council." This would do away with the charter requirement for a public hearing and take away the council's appropriation power.
The City Charter Section 5:06 gives the council the power to accept appropriations after the budget has been adopted and after a public hearing. Section 4:04 outlines the powers and duties of the manager, part of which states, "shall see to the enforcement of the ordinances of the city, this charter, and the laws of the state."
The only way to change the charter is with a charter amendment voted on by the people of Laconia. Even then there is no enabling New Hampshire legislation that would allow the transfer of appropriation power to the city manager.
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