Date: February 22, 2021
To: Voters of the Town of Hill
From: Tom Seymour, Chair of the Selectmen, Carol Snow-Asher, Chair of the School Board, and Eric Herr, Town of Hill and School Moderator Pro Tem
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in countless ways. Last Spring, as a magnitude of the case count, hospitalizations, and deaths climbed, the Governor ordered changes in the process of town meetings. The residents of Hill experienced that first hand with a Zoom meeting on the school and drive-through voting. Since then the Legislature with HB1129 and the Governor with Executive Order #83 have clarified the options available to towns and to school districts for the “Town Meeting” process in 2021. Because these options are novel and somewhat complex, we thought it important to describe them, the trade-offs between them, and the factors affecting the decisions of the Selectmen and the School Board in advance of our beginning the “Town Meeting” process. Our goal is to be transparent and to ensure that you, the voters, are well informed before the process begins.
In broad terms, Executive Order #83 establishes several decisions for the Governing Bodies: the Selectmen and the School Board. First, it provides them with discretion to postpone the official ballot voting day to the second Tuesday of April, May, June, or July. It also grants the Governing Bodies discretion to postpone the in-person business part of the meeting. HB1129 permits an alternative process that utilizes two remote information sessions followed by a drive-through voting process that can work in conjunction with ballot voting day instead of in-person meetings.
In-person meetings would be a familiar process, like Town Meetings before the pandemic, except that social distancing would be required and the wearing of masks may be required. Accommodation for those choosing not to wear masks must be provided and most likely would take the form of separate rooms with electronic communication to allow those individuals to fully, if remotely, participate in the in-person meeting.
The alternative option, two remote information sessions followed by drive through voting would be a significant departure from our usual Town Meeting process, but it would be nearly identical to the process used for the School District last year. For example, the Town process would involve two remote/virtual sessions for Town business, presided over by the Moderator. The first sessions would focus on a review of to-be-proposed warrant articles prepared by the Selectmen as well as the rules of the process. The residents of Hill would be able to ask clarifying questions and state their views. However, no votes would be taken. The second remote/virtual session would be held within a week of the first remote/virtual session. In the intervening period, residents of Hill would be encouraged to submit their comments, recommendations, and questions on the proposed warrant articles via email, voice mail, and text message. At the second remote/virtual session, the Moderator would summarize residents’ submissions, the Selectmen would present and discuss possible revisions to the warrant articles presented at the first session, and residents could comment and raise questions about these warrant articles. Again, no votes would be taken. After the second remote/virtual session, the Selectmen would finalize the warrant articles to appear on the ballot. The School District process would mirror the Town process described above on separate dates and using a separate warrant. Access to the remote sessions must be available digitally and telephonically.
This is a significant departure from the ability of the voters of Hill to directly amend and put articles to vote. The terms of the EO #83 prohibit voting at these remote/virtual sessions because there is no way to ensure that only authorized votes are being cast in the digital, remote environment. On February 4, 2021, the State Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State’s Office issued joint guidance confirming this limitation. As a result, the final language of articles appearing on the ballot will be solely at the discretion of the Governing Bodies. This limitation underscores the importance of Hill’s voters communicating their perspectives to the Governing Bodies and the Moderator in the week between the first and second remote/virtual sessions for the Town and for the School. This also creates an obligation for the Selectmen and the School Board to fully and thoughtfully consider the input of the voters in determining the final form of the warrant articles. Finally, under the remote/virtual sessions option, Ballot Voting Day will be held via drive-through voting. Absentee ballots will be available for the election of town and school officers. All warrant articles voting will be conducted by drive-through.
In choosing between these options: in-person meeting and voting or remote sessions and drive-through voting, the Governing Bodies took into consideration uncertainty around the trajectory of COVID-19, the public’s health, the willingness or unwillingness of some citizens to participate in in-person meetings, the absence of indoor facilities in Hill to accommodate the usual turnout for Town Meeting with appropriate required social distancing and alternative space to accommodate non-mask wearers, temperature considerations on Ballot Voting Day if using drive-through voting, access to digital and telephonic devices, as well as the restrictions that will be placed on the public’s ability to directly amend the language of the warrant articles. On balance, the Governing Bodies chose to utilize the remote/virtual sessions and drive-through voting method of conducting their annual meetings this year.
Below are the dates for the Town and School Districts. Please mark your calendars. Additional information regarding these meetings will be sent to every resident in the coming weeks.
Town remote/virtual process: 1st Session-April 12, 2021 at 7PM 2nd Session-April 19, 2021 at 7PM Public Comment due by 5PM April 17, 2021
School District remote/virtual process: 1st Session-April 21, 2021 2nd Session-April 28, 2021 Public Comment due by 5 pm April 26, 2021
Drive-through Ballot Voting Day: May 11, 2021
The 80th Anniversary of the New Hill Village is in 2021 – mark your calendars for Old Home Day Hill, NH scheduled for July 31, 2021. Old Home Day 2021 will be a carnival-themed celebration. The committee is currently taking suggestions for a slogan! The Old Home Day committee meets the 1st Thursday of each month at 6pm in the Hill Public Library. You may also attend via zoom.
2020 General Election results: 2020GeneralElectionresults
Hill Historical Society Announcement – Due to COVID-19 the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Hill Historical Society, normally held in July, has been indefinitely postponed. If you are interested in joining the Hill Historical Society or participate in an active role, please see the following poster: HillHistoricalSocietyAnnouncement20200716
March 17, 2020
Governor Sununu issued a State of Emergency last Friday evening for the State of NH due to the COVID-19 situation. The Town of Hill Board of Selectmen have met this evening, 3/17/2020, and the decision was made to close the Town Offices effective Thursday, March 19, 2020 until further notice. We are encouraging our residents to process registration renewals, dog license renewals, property tax payments, and Hill Water Work payments on-line at, www.townofhillnh.org, or via mail. For any other necessary, essential services you may contact the office to schedule an appointment. The town is committed to do our part to protect our residents as well as our employees during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The town would like to advise and encourage everyone to take precautions to protect yourself and the community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus (COVID-19).
How can I protect myself and others?
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick from viral respiratory infections, and help prevent transmitting infections to others, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home from work, school, or public gatherings if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- For additional information please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
Results of the 2020 Town/School Election can be found here>
2020 Town of Hill Warrant Articles: 2020townwarrantarticles
The change proposed in Warrant Article #7 is referring to this existing Town Ordinance XII – UNNECESSARY NOISE: Unnecessary Noise Ordinance
2020 Town of Hill MS 737: 2020ms737
2020 Sample Ballot for the March 10, 2020 Town Election: sampletownelectionballot
2020 Hill School District Warrant Articles: 2020schoolwarrant
2020 Hill School District MS 27: 2020ms27
2020 Sample Ballot for the March 10, 2020 School Election: sampleballotschoolelection
2020 Presidential Primary 2/11/2020 – 46% of our registered voters came out to vote. For results by candidate, please view link below.
2020 Presidential Primary results: Presidential Primary 2020
Election Season is here!
Presidential Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Voting will take place in the Hill Public Library from 11AM – 7PM. Please see the Town Clerk/Tax Collector page under Departments to view sample Democratic and Republican Ballots. You will also find Absentee Ballot Request forms there as well.
2020 Town/School Election will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Voting will be held in the Hill Public Library 11AM – 7PM.
2020 Town Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 7PM in the Amsdem Auditorium.
REMINDER: For those who wish to participate in Town Meeting and/or the Annual School District Meeting, you must be a registered voter and on the checklist at the time of the meeting(s). If you are not currently registered but wish to be, you may register at the Town Clerk’s Office prior to 2/28/2020, with the Supervisors of the Checklist at their meeting on 2/29/2020 at 10AM in the Hill Public Library, or at our Town/School Election on March 10, 2020 from 11AM – 7Pm.
2020 Annual School District Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 7PM in the Amsden Auditorium. See Public Notice below:
Please see the following Public Notice of Available Elected Positions:
POSTIONS AVAILABLE 2020
Bunker Hill Bridge
All dogs 4 months or older needed to be registered by April 30. If you have not done so already, please stop by the Town Clerk’s Office to register your dog as soon as possible!