The Town of Londonderry Deliberative Session Process

A review of what rules will be followed in Londonderry’s first ever Deliberative Session. Londonderry ended Town Meeting last year after 289 years. The new form of government sends the articles to the Ballot. The voters then make the final vote in the voting booth on March 13th 2012.


  • Monday February 6th at 7pm


  • LHS Cafe

Town Attorney. Bart Mayer reviews what you can and can not do at deliberative session. Town Moderator John Michels indicates how he will run the meeting.

Some information you will get from the video

  • If Union Contracts are amended “it constitutes rejection” even so they go to the ballot to be voted on March 13th.
  • Secret ballot, 5 signatures must be submitted to the moderator requesting a paper ballot.
  • You can also do a secret ballot before the moderator moves on to the next question 7 people are required.
  • It is a majority rule on amendments, “If three people show up 2-1 wins an amendment.
  • The Operating Budget can be increased or decreased by those that attend.
  • You will only get two numbers to vote on in the voting booth. Deliberative recommended budget or a default budget.
  • If a line item is zeroed out, no funds can be expended on that line item.
  • Attorney Mayer, “Even though zeroing out a line item is destructive it can be done.”
  • 17 Articles will be reviewed on Monday night and all will be moved to the ballot.
  • “People should show up at the meeting, there is a cause and affect of what people are voting on.” Chairman O’keefe
  • The Chairman also said, “I have a feeling that a number of people will be there to “tweek” the Cable fund article for $200,000″
  • Amendments are preferred in writing, be be sure that they are accurate.
  • Items in Articles prescribed by law can not be amended.
  • The meeting is not the Town Councils meeting it is the legislative body of Londonderry’s meeting, run by the town moderator.

“It should be understood, deliberative meeting is important, we need to be attending since anything can be amended.” Town Attorney Bart Mayer said in his final statement.

The 2012 Deliberative Session of the Londonderry Budgetary Town Meeting will be held on Monday, February 6, 2012 beginning at 7 PM at the Londonderry High School Cafeteria. All warrant articles shall be acted upon at that time for placement on the Town Meeting Official Ballot.


16 Responses

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1David

    I’m a little confused. The LT reported this week that both the proposed budget and the default budgets represent a 2.3% increase over 2012′s budget and if either are accepted residents are looking at a $4.59 per thousand increase in taxes. Considering our current tax rate is $20.34 does this mean we’re looking at going to $24.93 per thousand? If the proposed budgets are only a 2.3% increase how does the tax rate go up 22.5%? Am I missing something?

    …and let’s be honest. In this current economic climate most folks are hanging on by a thread. Who can afford an extra $115-120/month for property taxes?

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1CMelcher

      David…No one is really sure where the Union Leader reporter got her (false) information for the article you read yesterday. She stated tax rate was going up by $5/thousand and the average household was paying $1400 more. Im not positive off the top of my head, but I believe the tax rate is going up 5 cents per thousand, about $20 per household.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff

        He said the LT, what does that have to do with the Union Leader?

        1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1David

          I did say LT, but the Union Leader ran a front page story this week quoting similar numbers.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1CMelcher

        Apologies…Thanks Tom for the correction below. I did not include the Abatement account or Veterans tax exemption numbers when I was rushing through the above post. :)

    2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Freda

      Last fiscal year, FY12, the Town’s tax rate was $4.74. All warrant articles for FY13 were moved to the ballot in March. If all pass, the tax rate will be $4.98 per thousand, an increase of $0.24.

      On a three hundred thousand dollar home ($300,000) your total town tax will increase $70.61 ($300 times $0.24).

      The reference the UL made to $4.59 represents the total tax rate for just the $26 million dollar operating budget, (not the increase over FY12). FY12 operating budget tax rate was $4.48. FY13′s operating budget represents a $0.11 increase over FY12. The operating budget’s increased tax rate on a $300,000 home is $33.13 for the year.

      Hope this helps.

      1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1David

        Thank you Tom.

  2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Young

    David, here is the school information;

    If accepted at deliberative session with no changes, the General fund (tax rate per thousand) if approved would be 10 cents less than last year ($64.716K) If voters selected the default budget that is $356K higher the tax rate would go up 1 cent over last year.

    If the operating budget and all the articles that have tax impact pass on the school side, including two union contracts and the maintenance trust fund. It would bring the total local tax to 18 cents higher than last year. That is a school tax rate of $12.63 per thousand.

    The state down shifted $917K in retirement, vocational education, catastrophic aid and a little transportation. If they had paid that as normal we would have had a reduction in the local tax rate.

    The state also increased the state property tax rate. It is 100% paid from local Londonderry Property taxpayers even though it is called “state property tax” that went up 19 cents.

    That makes the total increase on the school side if the budget and all articles pass a total increase of 37 cents. That would be $111 on a $300K home. That would be $111 higher for the entire year on the total school tax bill local and state $9.25 per month.

    This does not include the town side, I will work that up when I get a chance, now that we have the final numbers from Monday night.

    Remember the numbers I presented here could change at deliberative session Friday February 10th they could go up or down depending on who shows up and what action they take.

    I am sorry I have not read any other media reports on the budget so I can not comment on that. However $4.59 per thousand is a far distance from 37 cents. That would leave the town side $4.22 of course that can not be.

    By the way about 3 cents per thousand buys $100K in revenue to the town.

    Jacklynn will do a story after the school deliberative is over and before the election in March.

  3. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rich

    What will the school side of the tax rate be for 2013 and 2014 if all articles pass? In Many of the contracts, the taxpayer gets whacked worst in the second year.

    1. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Frank


      We know that we will see an increase to the tax rate next year in the town contracts and I think merit pay increases as well. I need to see what the net results will be on the school side.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

        The town contracts are at zero percent for next year according to Monday night’s meeting.

        1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Frank


          They might be zero this years tax cycle. Next year I am sure there will be a tax impact. Never heard of union contract that didn’t have some kind of tax impact.

    2. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Glenn Douglas

      Here are the numbers for the Town and School Contracts

      Town Collective Bargaining Agreements:

      ARTICLE NO. 13
      Year 1 $0
      Year 2 $0.01 (0+0.01=0.01)
      Year 3 $0.01 (0+0.01+0.01=0.02)

      ARTICLE NO 14
      Year 1 $0
      Year 2 $0.01 (Cumulative Tax 0+0.01=0.01)
      Year 3 $0.01 (Cumulative Tax 0+0.01+0.01=0.02)

      ARTICLE NO 15
      Year 1 $0
      Year 2 $0.01 (Cumulative Tax 0+0.01=0.01)
      Year 3 $0.01 (Cumulative Tax 0+0.01+0.01=0.02)

      Combined Town Tax if Article 13,14, and 15 Pass
      Year 1 $0
      Year 2 $0.03
      Year 3 $0.06

      School Collective Bargaining Agreements:
      Article 3
      (Londonderry Education Association [LEA] Bargaining Agreement
      Year 1 $0.19
      Year 2 $0.18 (Cumulative Tax 0.19+0.018=0.37)
      Year 3 $0.31 (Cumulative Tax 0.19+0.018+0.31=0.68)

      Article 5
      (Londonderry Association of Allied Health Professionals [LAAHP] Bargaining Agreement)
      Year 1 $0.1
      Year 2 $0.02 (Cumulative Tax 0.01+0.02=0.03)
      Year 3 $0.02 (Cumulative Tax 0.01+0.02+0.02=0.05)

      Combined School Tax if Articles 3 and 5 pass
      Year 1 $0.20
      Year 2 $0.40
      Year 3 $0.73

  4. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rich

    So if my math is correct by year 2 these contracts will amount to a $240.
    increase on a $300K house. This does not include adding 4 firefighters,
    highway dept. bond, general fund increases, and the state will not cut funding. My guess is that $240 will double if not triple. I still wish we had
    a projected 1 year, 2 year and 3 year cost. How can you make an educated vote with out knowing the 3 year bottom line. Why does the school district and town not clearly publish these numbers???? Sounds like
    a sales pitch…. I sure wish we had transparency?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1John Robinson

      the school literature includes the anticipated 1, 2, and 3-year costs.

    2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Freda

      The Town Warrant on labor contracts does contain the three year tax rate impact, total costs in dollars as well as the percentage increase each year in the contract. (Articles 13, 14 and 15). All the other articles, except Art. 2 (which is the road bond) are only for one year. Article 2, has three years of tax information.

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