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Town of Bedford, NH
Hillsborough County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Individual citizen concerns shall be directed to the Manager to be relayed to the appropriate department(s) or individual(s) for consideration. Acknowledgement of the concern(s) may be made to the citizen directly or in writing.
B. 
Any citizen wishing to appear before a regularly scheduled Council meeting may present a brief statement of concern to the Council in accord with the rules of the Council.
C. 
A citizen requiring more than five minutes to present a concern may request, in writing, to be put on the agenda of a regular Council meeting by filing with the Manager an outline of the topic to be presented. The citizen shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the meeting in which he will be heard if the request is deemed a matter in which the Council is empowered to act. Otherwise, the Manager shall respond to the citizen with reasons why the request was not granted.
A. 
The Council shall hold a public hearing and act, by taking a vote, on the merits of every initiative petition which concerns a matter in which the Town is empowered to act. The petition shall be addressed to the Council, shall contain a request for passage or repeal of a particular measure set forth in the petition, and shall be signed by not less than 50 registered voters.
(1) 
The initiative petition shall include the personal signature and legible name and address of each petitioner and shall be filed with the Town Clerk as one instrument of endorsement. The Town Clerk shall verify the number of registered voters signing the petition and shall attach thereto a certificate showing the result of such examination. Within seven days, the Town Clerk shall transmit the petition and certificate to the Town Council and shall send a copy of the certificate to the first signer of the petition.
(2) 
The petition shall be considered valid following certification unless written objection regarding the number of signatures certified is made by a voter no more than seven days after the certificate has been issued. The validity of any such objection shall be determined by the Council.
B. 
The Council shall hold a public hearing within 30 days of the date of certification of any measure proposed in any petition signed by 50 registered voters, unless a question of its legality is raised by a member of the Council.
(1) 
If a question of legality is raised by any Councilor, the measure shall be referred to a Town Attorney for review. If the measure proposed may be lawfully passed by the Council, the public hearing shall be scheduled within 30 days of the date of the Attorney's opinion. If the measure may not be lawfully passed by the Council, it shall be returned to the petitioners with an explanation.
(2) 
The Town Clerk shall mail notice of the hearing to 10 petitioners whose names appear first on each petition at least seven days prior to the hearing. Notice by publication of a summary of contents of the petition at least seven days prior to all such hearings shall also be made, and shall be at public expense.
(3) 
Hearings on two or more petitions filed under this section and addressing different substantive issues may be held at the same place and time. No hearing shall be held upon more than one petition containing the same subject matter in any given twelve-month period.
C. 
Following the public hearing, the Council may:
(1) 
Pass said measure without alteration or with amendment; or
(2) 
Deny said measure with stated reasons.
A. 
Referendum petitions must be filed with the Town Clerk within 30 days after action by the Council on any measure or any part thereof sought to be reconsidered. Referendum petitions must be signed by at least 5% of the registered voters of the Town. The procedures of § C8-2A shall apply to referendum petitions.
B. 
When a referendum petition is filed with the Town Clerk, the measure or part thereof sought to be reconsidered shall be suspended from taking effect. Such suspension shall terminate when:
(1) 
There is a final determination of insufficiency of the petition; or
(2) 
The filers of the petition withdraw it.
C. 
When a referendum petition has been finally determined sufficient, the Council shall submit the referred measure or part thereof protested to the voters of the Town at a special election to be held on a date fixed by the Council. Such special election shall be held no less than 30 nor more than 90 days after the date of the certificate heretofore mentioned, provided that if any election is to occur within 120 days after the date of said certificate, the Council may, at its discretion, omit the calling of a special election and submit the referred measure or part thereof to the voters at such approaching election. The ballot used when voting upon a proposed measure under this section shall state the nature of the referred measure or part thereof protested in terms sufficient to show its substance.
The Council of its own motion may submit any measure or proposition for repeal or amendment of a measure to the voters at any regular or special Town election.
If two or more proposed measures passed at the same election contain conflicting provisions, only the one receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall take effect.
Any individual elected official who has completed at least six months of his term of office or has more than six months of his term remaining may be recalled therefrom by the voters as follows:
A. 
Two hundred fifty or more voters may file a request for a recall petition with the Town Clerk. This request shall include the name of the officer and the grounds for which the recall is sought, together with the signature and a legible name and address of each voter as verified by the supervisors of the checklist.
[Amended 3-10-2015]
B. 
The Town Clerk shall certify the names of the voters and promptly issue blank petitions for recall. Each petition shall be addressed to the Council, be dated, include the grounds for recall as stated in the request, the name of the voter to whom it is issued, the signature of the Town Clerk, and the Town Seal. The recall petitions bearing the signatures and legible names and addresses of at least 750 voters shall be returned to the Town Clerk within 20 days. The Town Clerk shall promptly certify the number of voters who signed the petitions.
[Amended 3-10-2015]
C. 
If the petitions are certified to be sufficient by the Town Clerk, he shall submit them to the Council together with his certification. The Council shall forthwith give written notice of the petition and certification to the officer whose recall is sought. If this officer does not resign within five days after delivery of this notice, the Council shall order a recall election to be held no less than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the date the Town Clerk certified the petitions. If however, any other Town election is scheduled within 90 days of the date of the certification, the Council shall hold the recall election on the same date as the other Town election. The filing of candidates and the conduct of the election shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Charter and the election laws of the State of New Hampshire.
D. 
The proposition on the ballot shall be "For the recall of" or "Against the recall of (name of officer)."
E. 
If the incumbent is not recalled, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his term and may not again during that term be subject to recall. If he is recalled, he shall be deemed removed from office on the day after the recall election and the vacancy filled as provided by this Charter.
F. 
A separate recall petition, requiring 250 signatures to initiate and 750 signatures to be certified, shall be required for each elected official who is the subject of a recall, and each said official's recall shall be voted on as a separate question at the recall election.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Charter, this article shall not apply to Article V of this Charter or any actions taken pursuant thereto.