Manchester, New Hampshire

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Transparency grading process
Manchester is the largest city in New Hampshire. It has a population of 109,565 as of 2010.[1] Forbes named the Manchester region as America's best cheap city in 2009.[2] Kiplinger also ranked Manchester the second most tax-friendly city in the nation in 2009.[3]

Website evaluation

Last rated on Jan. 31, 2012

The good

  • The website has budget information.[4]
  • The website has meeting minutes and agendas posted.[5]
  • The website has information on elected and administrative officials.[6]
  • The website has contracts posted.[7]
  • The website has building permits and zoning information.[8]
  • Audits are posted.[9]
  • Local tax information is posted and can be paid on the website.[10]

The bad

  • There is no information on lobbying or sunshine law information.

Budget

The 2011 budget is $276,737,599.[11]

Four Year Budget Trend 2008 2009 2010 2011
Education $147,250,000 $146,056,839 $146,393,771 148,742,185
General Government $20,773,442 $18,544,893 $19,116,401 17,838,004
Public Safety $42,177,707 $37,450,711 $37,342,026 37,487,081
Highway and Streets $20,897,840 $19,050,498 $19,217,551 19,444,884
Health and Welfare $4,094,685 $3,515,454 $3,737,701 3,720,165
Culture & Recreation $5,446,906 $4,674,236 $4,807,192 4,813,086
Economic Development $329,799 $249,284 $288,672 284,342
Non-Departmental Benefits (1) 11,352,629 $22,595,066 $27,623,816 29,857,852
Motorized Equipment $1,301,500 $125,000 $85,000 -
Debt Service $14,733,500 $14,936,186 $14,360,000 14,550,00
Total Budget $268,358,008 $267,199,167 $272,972,130 276,737,599

Stimulus

Manchester has received a total of $61.2 million from the economic stimulus package.[12]

Project Area Cost
Education $30,891,008
Employment $4,815,967
Energy/Environment $11,256,692
Health/Nutrition $1,091,342
Housing/Facilities $7,709,165
Military $348,119
Public Safety $3,931,037

Public Employees

Elected Officials

Term Length[13]

  • 2 years for Board of Mayor and Aldermen

Board of Aldermen composed of 14 members. 2 are at large and 12 represent city wards.[14]

Administrative Officials

Department heads have their job description posted on their respective department pages.[15] The website also has a directory page with administrative contact info.[16]

Salaries

See also: New Hampshire state government salary

Salary information is included in department budgets but is not posted for individuals.[17]

Pensions

See also: New Hampshire public pensions

The City of Manchester runs a separate website for their retirement system that also has meeting minutes and agendas posted. Any member who either has attained the age of 60 years or was in the service of the city on January 1, 1974 and has completed at least 20 years of service, is eligible for a normal service retirement benefit.[18]

Emergency personnel

The 2011 budget allocates $37.5 million to public safety.[19]

Lobbying

See also: New Hampshire government sector lobbying

There is no lobbying information posted.

Transparency & public records

Most departments have meeting agenda and minutes posted.[20]

Taxes

The principal tax of the City is the tax on real and personal property which can be paid on the website.[21]

The Supreme Court overturned Manchester's Tax Cap and its requirement for a super majority vote in 2010.[22]

External links

References