According to the City of Manchester’s charter, the administration of the city’s fiscal affairs, municipal resources, and other affairs is vested in a principal officer called the mayor, and a board of directors to be called aldermen. Together, they are known as the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA), and have been active since September 8, 1846, the first active day of the City Government.
The board acts as the policy making and legislative body for the city government. It may also delegate its powers to authorities, boards, commissions, departments, or officers. The board is required to meet at least monthly.
Audio Recordings of BMA Meetings, 1969-1976
From 1969 until 1976, board meetings were recorded by the City Clerk for transcription purposes. Meeting minutes from this time were not verbatim; these audio recordings include content which is not documented in official meeting minutes. Recordings exist on obsolete Edison VoiceWriter discs, which the archives has no capability of playing in-house. Due to the NH Moose Plate Grant, digitized recordings exist for meetings from early 1969.
Digitized recordings can be accessed via the archive's YouTube channel.
Code of Ordinances & City Charter, 1846-present (0100.026)
The City of Manchester periodically publishes the city's Code of Ordinances, which may include the City Charter along with its amendments. Also includes a pamphlet of the Act to Establish the City of Manchester, July 10, 1846. The current City Charter and Code of Ordinances is accessible online.
The BMA Committees consist of the following: Accounts, Enrollment, and Revenue Administration; Administration/Information Systems; Bills on Second Reading; Community Improvement; Finance; Human Resources and Insurance; Joint School Buildings; Lands and Buildings; Public Safety, Health, and Traffic. This collection consists of the official reports of each Committee that are submitted to the BMA.
The Common Council’s primary purpose was to serve as a third tier of government along with the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen. All City resolutions and ordinances required the signature of the President of the Common Council, the Mayor (representing the Board of Mayor and Aldermen), and the City Clerk. Orders would be sent from one governing body to another for their approval. Together, all three branches were termed the “City Council.” The Common Council, together with the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen, also administered the fiscal, prudential, and municipal affairs of the City of Manchester. The Common Council was dissolved in the early 20th Century.
Meeting Minutes of the BMA (0100.009)
Official bound volumes of the meeting minutes of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which document the official actions and decisions of the City of Manchester's government from 1846 to the present. Minutes from 1954 to the present are also available online.
Orders of the BMA and Common Council, 1864-1977 (0100.028)
Official ledgers, created by the City Clerk on behalf of the BMA and Common Council (during its existence), of orders issued by the city government. Orders cover various topics, such as building new highways, grading streets, celebrating Independence Day, constructing sewers, erecting street lights, and a multitude of other city business. The collection is made up of six volumes, two of which are accessible digitally.
Volume 2: 1878-1890
Volume 6: 1954-1977
Ordinances are laws passed by the BMA which apply to the City of Manchester. The collection is comprised of 10 bound volumes of ordinances from 1846 - present.
The supporting documents of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meetings deal with, in general, the city’s fiscal and municipal affairs and resources. Supporting documents are arranged chronologically by meeting date. Usually, the supporting documents of a meeting are comprised of meeting agendas with attachments. Attachments may include roll-call ballots, reports, correspondence, duplicates of minutes from other entities, proposed resolutions, ordinances, petitions, as well as a variety of other items.
The collection consists of the supporting documents of each committee meeting used and referenced by its members. Records consist of meeting agendas and a variety of other types of documents that supplement each agenda item. Records are arranged chronologically.