The City of Charlottetown Has No Annual Report

Today in the mail I received a copy of the Annual Report for the Town of Dublin, New Hampshire, courtesy of my friend (and town resident) John.

Last week it was time for the Dublin Town Meeting, and after discussing this with John on the phone, and finding out about how New England town meetings work, John thought I might be interested in seeing one of the artifacts of direct democracy.

Here’s how the Highway Department Annual Report section begins:

The year started out with a lot of snow (like in the 70’s) and cold temperatures. There was no January thaw and it stayed cold all season. In April, we started out spring clean up of the village and sidewalk. In July, all the roadside mowing was completed.

Among other things, the report includes:

  • A complete list of all building permits issued.
  • The total number of books acquired by the Dublin Public Library (313).
  • A list of the recipients of the Boston Post Cane, awarded to the oldest citizen of the town (Beekman Pool has held the cane since 2002; Beatrice Fairfield refused the cane in 2001).
  • The minutes of the 2003 Town Meeting, which included a motion “to see if the Town will choose all necessary officers, Measurer of Wood and Bark and Memorial Day Committee.” (Brian Barden was voted Measurer of Wood and Bark).
  • A list of all Town property.
  • A list of all deaths, burials, marriages, and births recorded in 2003.
  • A complete line-by-line budget for the Town.

The complete report runs 101 pages.

By way of comparison, I dropped by Charlottetown City Hall this morning to pick up a copy of the City of Charlottetown Annual Report.

Except there isn’t one.

The best they could do was this 2003 budget summary on the City website (they did offer to locate a printed copy for me.

Perhaps we should have one. An Annual Report from the City would be good for recording our history — a good snapshot of the City and its activities — and, even better, a way for citizens to understand more about the mysteries of City Hall.