Editorial

In light of all that is happening, and happened, in our dear little town, it seems to me that it is time for me to offer my perspective on what the Town of Mason’s government has done for you.

Let me introduce myself to those who don’t know me, and to those that do, well, sorry. My name is Patricia Anne Morley Letourneau (just call me Pat), and I, and my family, have lived here since 1972. I went to Mascenic, UNH and Keene State. My family co-owned the Quarry, pushed through the purchase of the Rail Trail and have most our land in Land Use. My mom, besides starting The Mason Grapevine, was Selectman, and served on the Conservation Commission, Library, Historical Society and ran for State Rep. Following in her footsteps, I have been on the Master Plan Committee, the Historical Society and MANE. I have served as Dog Officer, Treasurer and Board of Adjustment Clerk, , and co-editor/owner of The Mason Grapevine (the latter three I currently hold) My family is buried here. This is my home.

The last three years have been tumultuous. When I was elected Treasurer, the job was loosely defined. Basically, I was told I was going make deposits and sign checks. However, when reading the RSAs for this job…

41:29 Duties Of Elected And Appointed Town Treasurers
Last revised 1869 § Leave a Comment
I. The town treasurer shall have custody of all moneys belonging to the town, and shall pay out the same only upon orders of the selectmen, or, in the case of a conservation fund established pursuant to RSA 36-A:5, upon the order of the conservation commission, or in the case of a heritage commission fund established pursuant to RSA 674:44-a upon the order of the heritage commission, or in the case of fees held pursuant to RSA 673:16, II, upon the order of the local land use board or its designated agent, or in the case of a recreation revolving fund established pursuant to RSA 35-B:2, upon the order of the recreation or park commission, or in the case of fees deposited by the town clerk pursuant to RSA 41:25, upon the invoice of the town clerk, or other board or body designated by the town to expend such a fund.
II. The treasurer shall deposit all such moneys in participation units in the public deposit investment pool established pursuant to RSA 383:22 or in federally insured banks chartered under the laws of New Hampshire or the federal government with a branch within the state, except that funds may be deposited in federally insured banks outside the state if such banks pledge and deliver to a third party custodial bank or the federal reserve bank collateral security for such deposits of the following types:
• (a) United States government obligations;
• (b) United States government agency obligations; or
• (c) Obligations of the state of New Hampshire in value at least equal to the amount of the deposit in each case.
III. The town treasurer shall keep in suitable books provided for the purpose a fair and correct account of all sums received into and paid from town treasury, and of all notes given by the town, with the particulars thereof. At the close of each fiscal year, the treasurer shall make a report to the town and to the department of revenue administration, giving a particular account of all his or her financial transactions during the year and account balances at year end. The treasurer shall furnish to the selectmen statements from the treasurer’s books, and submit the books and vouchers to them and to the town auditors for examination, whenever so requested.
IV. Whenever the town treasurer has in custody an excess of funds which are not immediately needed for the purpose of expenditure, the town treasurer shall invest the same in accordance with the investment policy adopted by the selectmen under RSA 41:9, VII. The treasurer may invest in the public deposit investment pool established pursuant to RSA 383:22, or in deposits, including money market accounts, or certificates of deposit, or repurchase agreements, and all other types of interest bearing accounts, of federally insured banks chartered under the laws of New Hampshire or the federal government with a branch within the state, or in obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States government. The obligations may be held directly or in the form of securities of or other interests in any open-end or closed-end management-type investment company or investment trust registered under 15 U.S.C. section 80a-1 et seq., if the portfolio of the investment company or investment trust is limited to such obligations and repurchase agreements fully collateralized by such obligations.
V. The treasurer shall insure that prior to acceptance of any moneys for deposit or investment, including repurchase agreements, the federally insured bank shall make available at the time of such deposit or investment an option to have such funds secured by collateral having a value at least equal to the amount of such funds. Such collateral shall be segregated for the exclusive benefit of the town. Only securities defined by the bank commissioner as provided by rules adopted pursuant to RSA 386:57 shall be eligible to be pledged as collateral.
VI. The treasurer may delegate deposit, investment, recordkeeping, or reconciliation functions to other town officials or employees provided such delegation is in writing and includes written procedures acceptable to the selectmen, or in the case of a town operating under RSA 37, to the town manager, and is agreeable to all parties involved. However any such delegation shall only be made to a town official or employee bonded in accordance with RSA 41:6 and rules adopted by the commissioner of revenue administration under RSA 541-A. Such delegation shall not eliminate the responsibility of the treasurer to comply with all statutory duties required by law.
VII. The treasurer shall ensure that all moneys remitted shall be deposited at least on a weekly basis, or daily whenever funds remitted from all departments collectively totals $1,500 or more. Such deposit function may be delegated pursuant to paragraph VI. However, failure to ensure that funds are being deposited on a timely basis as required by this paragraph shall be cause for immediate removal from office pursuant to RSA 41:26-d. In any municipality where there is either no bank or other depository institution within the municipality the treasurer shall make deposits consisting of funds remitted from all departments and collectively totaling $1,500 or more on a weekly basis or more frequently as directed by the board of selectpersons in the investment policy adopted pursuant to RSA 41:9, VII.

I started to feel like there was a bit more to this than I had anticipated. AND these rules hadn’t been updated since 1869. A LOT has happened since then in the areas of record keeping and money transactions.

Well, anyway, we, and I include the Selectmen in this (you know who you are), felt that the RSAs were to be our ultimate guidelines for updating Mason’s government. We were all virgins…

Since then, the Selectmen have done a class A job of administering to Mason’s needs. This pipeline thing is a good example since we all know how nasty the Corporation can be, Mason needs to be legally able to fight, financially able to fight and united enough to fight these greed mongers. The town is united on the NO PIPELINE front but the this fight is state and federal. And we need to be one strong voice….

I know the Selectmen have done a good job because I was there too. The Town is financially secure, the Administration is approachable and user-friendly. I suggest we all take up our respective arms and work together…for Mason’s future.