Hiker Injured Near Mount Shaw

The Union Leader reports:

TUFTONBORO — Conservation officers assisted a hiker to safety after she fell on a trail in wintry conditions, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said Sunday.

Patricia Tarpey of Gilford, her husband and their dogs were hiking with some friends near Mount Shaw when she fell and injured her right shoulder around 1:20 p.m. Saturday, Fish and Game said in a release.

Trail conditions were a mix of snow and ice when Tarpey fell and members of the hiking party called for assistance, according to the release.

Conservation officers helped Tarpey make her way back down the slick trail for about two miles until she reached her car around 5:45 p.m., Fish and Game said.

Temperatures were in the mid-30s Saturday with snow and sleet. Fish and Game said Tarpey and the other hikers were equipped for the conditions with warm-weather and climbing gear.

Election Results March 13, 2018

Board of Selectmen

  • ✅ Lloyd Wood: 295
  • Robert “Bob” McWhirter: 248

Budget Committee

  • ✅ Thomas J. Young: 289
  • ✅ Helen Hartshorn: 278
  • Chris Sawyer: 233
  • Barry Ennis: 196

Moderator

  • ✅ Daniel F. Barnard: 498

Trustee of the Trust Funds

  • ✅ Dave M. Braun: 466
  • Write-in Votes: 4

Cemetery Trustee

  • ✅ Susan H. Weeks: 412
  • Write-in Votes: 17

Library Trustee

  • ✅ Gordon Hunt: 461
  • Skip Hurt (Write-In): 28
  • Total Write-ins: 41
  • Fictitious Characters: 2
  • Undervotes: 59

Supervisor of the Checklist

  • ✅ William “Bill” Rollins: 495
  • Write-in Votes: 8
  • Undervotes: 60

 Zoning Change

  • ✅Yes: 410
  • No: 133

 

These numbers are accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Strong Turnout for Town Election, Despite Snow (Updated Count)

Volunteers count ballots under the direction of Moderator Dan Barnard. March 13, 2018

Update 8:07 PM: The total number of zoning ordinance ballots is 562, while the number of town officer ballots is 563. The difference is due to an absentee voter who returned only the town officer ballot.

Election volunteers begin counting ballots, March 13, 2018

Update 7:10 PM: With the polls closed, the preliminary count is 563 ballots (including 71 absentee ballots and excluding two spoiled ballots).

Election volunteers divide ballots into piles of 50. Then the ballots are checked and if any discrepancies are discovered, the pile is rechecked.

A spoiled ballot is defined in statute:

    659:22 Spoiled Ballots. – If any voter spoils a ballot, he may receive others, one at a time, not exceeding 3 in all, upon returning each spoiled one. The ballots thus returned shall be immediately marked “cancelled” by the moderator over his signature and, at the close of the polls, shall be preserved as provided in RSA 659:95.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.


Bob McWhirter greeting voters on election day in the snow, March 13, 2018

Tuftonboro residents have been arriving at the Town House all day to vote in the town election. Only two of the races are contested, the selectman’s seat –between incumbent Lloyd Wood and challenger Bob McWhirter — and two budget committee positions — a four-way contest between incumbent Helen Hartshorn, Barry Ennis, Chris Sawyer, and Tom Young.

At 2PM this afternoon about 450 ballots had been cast in person, according to Heather Cubeddu, the town clerk. In addition, 70 absentee ballots had been received by yesterday’s 5PM deadline. That means the turnout this year is already larger than it was last year.

Lloyd Wood (Right), during a selectmen’s meeting at the Town House, March 13, 2018

Last year 373 total votes were cast in the selectman’s race, which was held during what was called winter storm stella. Many residents in town lost electric power and some roads, such as Sodom Road, were closed due to downed trees and power lines.

Sodom Road, March 15, 2017

Library Trustees VOTE TO KILL LIBRARY WARRANT ARTICLE

The library trustees met this morning at 8AM for a “work session.” I had not seen the meeting posted over the weekend so I did not go.

What did the trustees decide to do about the library article debacle, which surely was the topic of their meeting? I hope they will let us know soon. I will update this post with new information, if I get it.

If you know anything, please leave a comment.


Update from Mark Howard, in a comment below:

Max, I heard about the meeting but did not attend. According to an email I received from Christie Sarles…

The Trustees voted unanimously this morning to table the addition/renovation project for this Town Meeting.

Christie, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the librarian. Mark is the chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and involved in various other ways in town, such as the conservation commission and the Tuftonboro Association.

Update from Paul Matlock, library trustee:

Draft minutes from this morning’s library trustees meeting.

Special Meeting Not a Legal Option in Library Vote

The selectmen are saying they will call a special Town Meeting in April to “ratify” the vote on the library addition at Town Meeting. This would not be a legal option. The relevant language below is clear.

Please read the following statute:

31:5-b Legalization of Meetings. –
I. In the past, irregularities and procedural defects in actions of municipal legislative bodies have been cured by actions of the general court. The procedure in this section is an alternative approach which enables municipalities to effect legalization by local action.

II. Whenever the legislative body of a municipality has voted by the requisite majority, by written ballot or in any other manner legally authorized, to take any legal actions and the vote is subsequently discovered to be procedurally defective, such defects may be cured and legalized by a vote at a special meeting called for the purpose of ratifying the procedurally defective action. Procedurally defective actions shall mean minor procedural irregularities such as failure to comply with statutory requirements regarding time or place of notice, vote, hearing, or wording, or with any procedural act not contrary to the spirit or intent of the law. The ratification of the procedurally defective action shall be subject to the following requirements:
(a) The municipality may, on the authority of the governing body, call a special town meeting for the exclusive purpose of curing such defect.
(b) The special town meeting called for that purpose may not take place less than 21 calendar days after the original vote.
(c) Not less than 7 calendar days prior to the special town meeting, not counting the day of the special town meeting, the governing body shall conduct a public hearing at which the reasons for the special town meeting shall be explained.
(d) The municipality shall comply with all statutory notice and procedural requirements for holding special town meetings.
(e) The necessary majority required to cure the defects shall be the same as the majority as required for passage of the original article.

III. When any procedural defect has been cured under this section, actions of the voters shall be valid as if all statutorily required proceedings had been complied with.

Obviously, the “defect” in the library-addition article — the selectmen failed to hold a public hearing — has been discovered not subsequently but prior to the vote. So, that’s that. The selectmen cannot use 31:5-b to “ratify” the defective vote that they know now, before Town Meeting, to be defective.

But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the “defect” had been discovered after the vote. It is not a “minor procedural irregularity” to not have a public hearing. A minor procedural irregularity would be to post the notice 6 days before the hearing instead of 7, for instance.

Any way you look at it, the selectmen have failed the library crowd. The library-addition article, with the roughly $1 million loan, is not happening this year, because of the selectmen’s failure to hold a public hearing on the loan.

I would hope that the library crowd remembers this significant mistake when voting on Tuesday for the position of selectman.

Skip Hurt, who was going to vote for the library addition, has said that he will be voting for Bob McWhirter even though Skip and Bob disagree about the library addition. Skip wrote on the Tuftonboro Free Speech Forum, “I’m not afraid to have someone with an opposing view from mine if they are competent. In fact I think the town will be better off.”

Library-Addition Would Require Almost 1,000 Yea Votes at Special Meeting

We’re in a pickle here in town because the Selectmen failed to hold a statutorily required public hearing on the $1 million bond/note (i.e., loan) that is needed for the library renovation project.

If, on March 14 at Town Meeting, the Selectmen and Town Moderator hold a vote on the library-addition article, that vote will have no legal bearing. It cannot, because there has been no prior public hearing. Without a prior, public hearing on the bond — WHICH IS REQUIRED  BY LAW — the vote on the bond is not actionable.

The selectmen want to hold the public hearing on the loan after Town Meeting, even though the law requires the hearing to be held “at least 15 days, but not more than 60 days prior” to Town Meeting. Then they want to convene a special Town Meeting in April to vote — for real this time — on the library-addition article.

What the Selectmen didn’t say during this afternoon’s meeting is that a special, second Town Meeting cannot appropriate (i.e., decide to spend) any money unless the total number of ballots cast at the special Town Meeting is at least 1/2 the number of registered voters at the most recent, previous annual election. Perhaps the selectmen didn’t mention this because they don’t know about it.

Here is the relevant statute (emphasis added):

RSA 31:5 At Special Meetings. –
I. (a) No money shall be raised or appropriated or shall any appropriation previously made be reduced or rescinded at any special town meeting except by vote by ballot, nor unless the ballots cast at such meeting shall be equal in number to at least 1/2 of the number of legal voters borne on the checklist of the town entitled to vote at the annual or biennial election next preceding such special meeting; and such checklist, corrected according to law, shall be used at any meeting upon the request of 10 legal voters of the town. This section shall not apply to money to be raised for the public defense or any military purpose in time of war.

The phrase, “election next preceding such special meeting” is a little confusing at first. Does it mean “the next” election or the “preceding” election? What it means is the most recent — the closest — election that preceded the special election.

There were 1,973 registered voters at last year’s town election, according to the supervisors of the checklist.  For the sake of argument, let us say that the same number of voters are on the checklist (i.e., voter roll) this year.

In order to pass the library-addition article at a special Town Meeting, at least 987 ballots would have to be cast.

Note that the requirement is 1/2 ballots cast, not voters in attendance.

I can tell you right now that I would attend such a special Town Meeting, but I would not cast a ballot, and I would implore anyone else in attendance who opposed the the library addition to also not cast a ballot.

So, practically speaking, if all of the Nay voters withheld their ballots, then 987 votes would have to be cast in favor in order for the article to pass.

It’s quite obvious why a special Town Meeting cannot legally raise or appropriate amounts of money  (or reduce or rescind already appropriated money) unless the total ballots cast are at least equal to 1/2 the number of registered voters.

Absent that requirement, a very small number of voters could show up at the special Town Meeting and completely subvert the will of the regular Town Meeting. For instance, if 3o people showed up; it would take only 21 of them to reverse what 350 voters had decided the month before at the regular Town Meeting.

At the regular Town Meeting in 2015, the last time there was a warrant article for a new, $2.3 million library, there were 536 total ballots cast on the library article.¹

It is not realistic to believe that nearly a thousand ballots — almost twice as many as in 2015 — would be cast at a special Town Meeting.

 


  1. For that warrant article, there was a public bond/note hearing prior to Town Meeting, as required by law, on February 9, 2015.