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Court orders almost $60k be removed from Weare default budget

Union Leader Correspondent

February 21. 2018 10:39PM

WEARE — The town will have to remove just under $60,000 from its proposed default budget after a court ruled on Tuesday the money wasn’t allowed to be there.

The complaint was filed by Neal Kurk, a resident and member of the town’s finance committee, against the Board of Selectmen.

The money covered eight new contract items, including $14,052 for the town administrator’s contract, $6,041 for the police chief’s contract, $16,817 for the police prosecutor’s contract and $14,594 for an assessing contract. In all, these expenses totalled $59,864.

Attorney Rick Lehmann, who represented Kurk in the case, said the basis of their argument was the fact that this money for increases was put in after the last town meeting.

Since the money was included in both the proposed operating budget and default budget, residents weren’t given a fair opportunity to weigh in on whether they were in favor of the increases, according to court documents.

State law says the default budget must be the same as “budget authorized for the previous year, reduced and increased, as the case may be, by debt service, contracts, and other obligations previously incurred or mandated by law, and reduced by one-time expenditures contained in the operating budget”.

Because these raises were not presented to voters at the last town meeting, Lehmann and Kurk argued they could not be part of the default budget.

But these expenditures will be in the proposed operating budget.

The court heard the case on Feb. 9 and the decision was issued Tuesday by Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Town Administrator Naomi Bolton did not immediately return a request for comment.

Local and County Government Weare

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