Hampstead council mulls adoption of town code

February 16, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The Hampstead Town Council will be busy tonight with midwinter legal housecleaning.

The town code has never been officially adopted as law, Mayor Clint Becker said yesterday. Changing that is one of several chores facing the council at its 7:30 p.m. meeting in the town hall.

Until now, each ordinance the council has enacted has become law. But the code, the compilation of all the ordinances, has not been officially adopted, said Richard Murray, of Walsh and Fisher, the law firm that represents Hampstead.

The lack of codification means that if there is a difference between the code book and an individual ordinance, the ordinance takes precedence.

Mr. Murray said that can happen, for example, if the code is updated and the publisher renumbers a section in the new version.

The council also will consider tonight two amendments to the town charter that would streamline annexations and save money.

Under current practice, every time the town annexes land, the town charter must be amended to include the new area's boundaries. The first charter amendment on tonight's agenda would remove these boundary descriptions from the charter, Mayor Becker said.

The other charter amendment would say that plats and descriptions of all land in the town are available for inspection in the town office.

Mr. Murray said yesterday that his firm is recommending council introduction of about 30 other ordinances that would update obsolete language in the current law.

For example, he said, one would delete references to the county justice of the peace. The county no longer has a justice of the peace.

Mr. Murray said some of the recommended changes are substantive, such as the adoption of a mechanism for handling ethics complaints.

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