Chip Albee Admits Article 9 Was Amended, Still Thinks Selectmen Have Authority to Do Auction

Reversing his previous statements, Selectman Chip Albee acknowledged today that Warrant Article 9 had been amended to authorize the selectmen only to sell tax-deed properties by sealed bids, and not by public auction or any other means. However, Chip maintained that there’s nothing in the law, RSA 80:80, that allowed Town Meeting to restrict the selectmen’s options in regards to selling property.

For reference, here is the text of the RSA:

80:80 Transfer of Tax Lien. –
I. No transfer of any tax lien upon real estate acquired by a town or city as a result of the execution of the real estate tax lien by the tax collector for nonpayment of taxes thereon shall be made to any person by the municipality during the 2-year period allowed for redemption, nor shall title to any real estate taken by a town or city in default of redemption be conveyed to any person, unless the town, by majority vote at the annual meeting, or city council by vote, shall authorize the selectmen or the mayor to transfer such lien or to convey such property by deed.
II. If the selectmen or mayor are so authorized to convey such property by deed, either a public auction shall be held, or the property may be sold by advertised sealed bids. The selectmen or mayor shall have the power to establish a minimum amount for which the property is to be sold and the terms and conditions of the sale.
II-a. If the selectmen or mayor are authorized to transfer such liens during the 2-year redemption period, either a public auction shall be held, or the liens may be sold by advertised sealed bids. The selectmen or mayor may establish minimum bids, and may set the terms and conditions of the sale. Such liens may be sold singly or in combination, but no fractional interest in any lien shall be sold. Such transfer shall not affect the right of the owner or others with a legal interest in the land to redeem the tax lien pursuant to RSA 80:69, or make partial payments in redemption pursuant to RSA 80:71, but the transferee shall become the lienholder for purposes of RSA 80:72 and 80:76.
III. The selectmen may, by a specific article in the town warrant, or the mayor, by ordinance, may be authorized to dispose of a lien or tax deeded property in a manner than otherwise provided in this section, as justice may require.
IV. Such authority to transfer or to sell shall continue in effect for one year from the date of the town meeting or action by the city or town council provided, however, that the authority to transfer tax liens, or to sell real estate acquired in default of redemption, or to vary the manner of such sale or transfer as justice may require, may be granted for an indefinite period, in which case the warrant article or vote granting such authority shall use the words “indefinitely, until rescinded” or similar language.
V. Towns and cities may retain and hold for public uses real property the title to which has been acquired by them by tax collector’s deed, upon vote of the town meeting or city council approving the same.
VI. For purposes of this section, the authority to dispose of the property “as justice may require” shall include the power of the selectmen or mayor to convey the property to a former owner, or to a third party for benefit of a former owner, upon such reasonable terms as may be agreed to in writing, including the authority of the municipality to retain a mortgage interest in the property, or to reimpose its tax lien, contingent upon an agreed payment schedule, which need not necessarily reflect any prior redemption amount. Any such agreement shall be recorded in the registry of deeds. This paragraph shall not be construed to obligate any municipality to make any such conveyance or agreement.
Source. 1987, 322:1. 1992, 173:3, 4. 1993, 176:10. 1997, 266:4, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Whether or not 80:80 allows Town Meeting to place restrictions on the manner of sale of tax-deeded properties is a completely different question from whether Town Meeting amended Article 9 to authorize the selectmen to sell the tax-deeded properties by sealed bids only. I am glad that Chip has moved on and is no longer saying that the amendment did not happen.

Town Meeting 2017

Video of Town Meeting by Joe Kowalski:

Here is a draft overview of Town Meeting 2017, by Heather Cubeddu, Town Clerk:

 

Article 8: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Cemetery Trustees to create an Expendable Cemetery Trust Fund under the provisions of RSA 31:19-a wherein the money received from the sale of Rights to Burial will be deposited. The funds received from the sale of such lots shall be deposited with the Trustees of the Trust Funds for the maintenance of cemeteries, which shall include cemeteries which have been abandoned and become municipal cemeteries for management purposes pursuant to RSA 289:20-21. Maintenance shall include repair of gravestones as well as maintenance of cemetery grounds.

(Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 9: To see if the Town will vote pursuant to RSA 80:80 to authorize the Selectmen to convey real property acquired by the Town by Tax Collector’s Deed by Public Auction (or advertised sealed bid) or in such manner as determined by the Selectmen as justice may require. The law allows this authority to extend indefinitely until rescinded by a vote of Town Meeting. This article recommended by the Selectmen.

(Majority vote required)

Article amended to read: “To see if the Town will vote pursuant to RSA 80:80 to authorize the Selectmen to convey real property acquired by the Town by Tax Collector’s Deed by advertised sealed bid.”

AMENDED ARTICLE PASSED

Article 10: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Forty-Two Thousand Dollars ($42,000.00) to be added to the previously established Fire/Rescue Department SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) Equipment Capital Reserve Fund. The full amount ($42,000.00) will come from the Unassigned Fund Balance and no amount to be raised from taxation.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 11: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00) to be deposited to the previously established Library Capital Building Fund. The full amount ($75,000.00) will come from the Unassigned Fund Balance and no amount to be raised from taxation.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 12: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00) to be deposited to the previously established Police Department Capital Reserve Fund. The full amount ($75,000.00) will come from the Unassigned Fund Balance and no amount to be raised from taxation.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 4-1) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 13: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Hundred Thirty-Five Thousand Dollars ($235,000.00) for the preparation and paving of Town Roads.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 4-1) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 14: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) to replace the Lake Road boat ramp.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 15: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Nine Thousand Two Hundred Six Dollars ($9,206.00) for the Mirror Lake Boat Launch and Improvements. (Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 4-1)

(Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 16: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Forty-One Thousand Two-Hundred Sixty Eight Dollars ($41,268.00) to purchase and install new mobile radios for the Fire/Rescue Department.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 17: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) for a watershed plan to be administered by the Lake Winnipesaukee Association. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until the Watershed Plan is completed or by December 31, 2019, whichever comes first.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 18: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Fifty Five Thousand Dollars ($55,000.00) for the purchase of a new police vehicle.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 19: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Thirteen Thousand Dollars ($13,000.00) to purchase and install a new air filtration system in the Town Garage.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 5-0) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 20: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) to support Mount Washington Valley Supports Recovery.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 4-1) (Majority vote required)

Article amended “To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) to support Mount Washington Valley Supports Recovery.”

AMENDED ARTICLE PASSED

Article 21: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for the Pier 19 Crosswalk Project. Nine Thousand Dollars ($9,000.00) to come from outside fundraising and One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to come from taxation. This project will be null and void should the fundraising portion of Nine Thousand Dollars ($9,000.00) not be reached.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 3-2) (Majority vote required)

DEFEATED

Article 22: To see if the town will vote to establish a contingency fund for the current year for unanticipated expenses that may arise and further to raise and appropriate Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for said purpose. Said sum to come from the Unassigned Fund Balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Any appropriation left in the fund at year end will lapse into the general fund.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 4-1) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 23: To see if the Town will vote to adopt the “all veterans’ property tax credit” under RSA 72:28-b. If adopted, the credit will be available to any resident, or the spouse or surviving spouse of any resident, who (1) served not less than 90 days on active service in the armed forces of the United States and was honorably discharged or was an officer honorably separated from service, and (2) is not eligible for and not receiving the credit for veterans who served in a qualifying war or armed conflict or for veterans with a service-connected disability. If adopted, the credit will be in the amount of $500.00, which is the same amount as the credit for a veteran who served in a qualifying war or armed conflict. If the credit is adopted, any person desiring to claim the credit will be required to file an application with the selectmen or the assessors by April 15 of the tax year.

PASSED

Article 24: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the Budget Committee recommended sum of Three Million Six Hundred Fifty Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty- Five Dollars ($3,652,755) for general Town Operations. The Selectmen recommended Three Million Six Hundred Fifty Seven Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five Dollars ($3,657,755). This article does not include any special or individual warrant articles addressed separately.

(Recommended by the Budget Committee 5-2) (Majority vote required)

PASSED

Article 25 (by Petition): To see if the Town will vote to require the board of selectmen to hold all meetings of the board of selectmen, both regular and work session, at 6:30 PM to allow as many residents of the town to attend meetings as possible. The selectmen currently hold most meetings at either 9AM or 4PM, when the vast majority of residents are unable to attend. Holding meetings after normal work hours would be in keeping with the spirit of the Right to Know law (RSA 91:A), which states: “Openness of the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society.”

DEFEATED