Boundary Lines | Forms of Government | Land and Water Areas | Municipal Authority | Municipal Development Handbooks | Municipal Information | Municipal Land Use Regulation Annual Survey | Municipal Officials | Municipal Records, Retention, Disposition | Perambulation | Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption | Unincorporated Places | Village Districts
Forms of Government
- Forms of Town Government
- The Moderator's Role at Town Meeting, New Hampshire Town and City, January/February 2015
- 16 Things Every Citizen Should Know About Town Meeting, New Hampshire Town and City, January/February 2015
This article, written by H. Bernard Waugh, Jr., then NHMA Legal Counsel, first appeared in Town and City magazine in February, 1990. It has been updated by Cordell A. Johnston, NHMA Government Affairs Counsel, where necessary. Although this article was first written before the adoption of "SB 2," and therefore contemplated only the “traditional” form of town meeting, almost everything in it applies to SB 2 town meetings as well.
- Best Practices for a Better Town Meeting, New Hampshire Town and City, January/February 2015
The author of this article has attended more than 60 town meetings as town counsel from 1984 to 2014. Many of those meetings were traditional town meetings; however, starting in 1996, most of those meetings were Senate Bill 2 (SB2) deliberative sessions. In addition, the author has lived in Bow since 1991 and has attended both the school district and town meeting each year since then. New Hampshire State Representative and Hollis Town Moderator Jim Belanger, Bow Town Moderator Peter Imse, Bow School District Moderator Jim Hatem, and Town of Richmond Select Board Chair Sandra Gillis have also generously contributed their experiences and suggestions to the content of this article.
Land and Water Areas
Municipal Development Handbooks
- Derry (see Change/Expansion of Use Process; Construction Monitoring Procedures; Development Project Security Workbook; Subdivision and Site Plan Process)
Municipal Land Use Regulation Annual Survey
OEP annually surveys municipalities regarding their land use regulations pursuant to RSA 675:9 as well as for other, general municipal information.
- Laws Related to Appointed Officials, New Hampshire Town and City, March 2012
Municipal government in New Hampshire requires dedicated volunteers to fill the list of important appointed offices. The duties of these offices are more challenging and require more time, knowledge and judgment than ever. At the same time, many communities are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain candidates for appointive office. It is important for selectmen, in particular, to understand the various legal issues involved in properly appointing people to office and removing appointed officials when necessary. Additional problems may arise when key appointed officials are also paid as employees of the municipality.
- Municipal Employee and Municipal Official – Is There a Difference?, New Hampshire Town and City, May 2006
Generally, when someone performs work with an expectation of compensation, an employment relationship is created. However, not everyone who "works" for a municipality is an employee. It can be difficult to distinguish between the employees, officials, volunteers and independent contractors who all perform work for a municipality. This article deals with the differences between municipal officials and municipal employees - and there are differences. As a general rule, elected and appointed officials are not employees of the municipality. This is an important distinction to understand because of the significant differences in the way officials and employees are chosen, compensated, supervised and terminated.
Municipal Records, Retention, Disposition
- RSA 33-A Disposition of Municipal Records
- NH Municipal Records Board
- Managing Municipal Records, New Hampshire Town and City, March/April, 2014
Municipalities have a lot of documents and records to keep track of. Every department, employee, board and official generates and receives hundreds (or thousands) of records per year. Although many of them do not need to be retained, those which do must be managed somehow. In this Legal Q&A, we’ll look at some of the more common questions regarding the efficient management of municipal records.
- Bringing Order to Paper Chaos, New Hampshire Town and City, March/April, 2014
Despite the rise of technology, municipal governments continue to remain paper driven organizations. Many of our processes generate voluminous sheaves of paper. Further, we often are hoarders, not quite comfortable in getting rid of documents out of a concern that we “may need that again.” Implementing a clear records management strategy can bring order to this paper chaos. From greater efficiency in finding and retrieving needed documents, to regaining office space currently given over to boxes, cabinets and binders, decluttering the paper is an achievable project that can have a meaningful long run return.
- Municipal Record Retention, New Hampshire Town and City, September/October 2013
In this era of increasing reliance on digital documents and a growing focus on municipal records (and their availability to the public) municipal officials and employees are often confronted with an endless stream of paper and electronic documents which have to be dealt with…somehow. All municipalities face the questions of how long to keep these records, in what form, and how to get rid of them.
- Provide Proper Care for Your Valuable Treasures, New Hampshire Town and City, September 2011
Valuable possessions can be obliterated in a matter of minutes. The tragic tornado that tore through Joplin, Missouri this past spring serves as a stark reminder of that.
- Sealing of Nonpublic Session Meeting Minutes, New Hampshire Town and City, September 2010
A great deal of confusion exists over "sealed" meeting minutes, probably because the term "sealed" suggests that the meeting minutes are somehow literally sealed and unavailable for viewing-by anyone, forever. This is not the case.
- Creating Record Retention Policies: A Practical Guide, New Hampshire Town and City, January 2009
Every organization is inundated with records, whether in paper, electronic or audio format. The unfettered retention of e-mail and other electronic documents strains server capacities, off-site storage of paper records strains budgets and staff time, and the demands to retrieve certain records from this morass strain nerves and patience. To complicate the situation, organizations and their employees adopt a wide variety of approaches to this problem, from saving everything to destroying almost everything.
- Municipal Records Retention, New Hampshire Town and City, April 2004
As time goes by, municipalities find themselves confronted with how to handle the seemingly endless stream of paper associated with the operation of government. As populations grow, there are more and more subdivision applications, building permits, abatement requests, tax cards, zoning appeals, and even dog licenses. What do we do with all of these documents? Here are some of the answers.
- Chapter 51 Town Lines and Perambulation of Boundaries
- The History of Perambulation in New Hampshire, New Hampshire Town and City, November/December 2010
New Hampshire's perambulation requirement began with an act of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1651. At that time, no government had been established in what would become New Hampshire, and the four or five established towns were taken under the wing of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The legislature of the Colony required all towns to select people to perambulate their boundaries once every three years. By 1701, the King had decided that New Hampshire was not part of Massachusetts Bay. By then, local and state governments in New Hampshire had begun to function on their own. In that year, the General Court passed an act requiring annual town line perambulations. This stringent schedule was relaxed by an act in 1719, returning to the three-year cycle.
- Discovering a Forgotten Bound, New Hampshire Town and City, November/December 2010
The straight line border between Goffstown and Bedford was originally marked with eight granite monuments. All were reportedly visited up through 1969. Then hazards of development slowly took their toll on five monuments. Through the years, one was known to be removed when a road was absorbed into the adjoining private land; two became victims of snow plows; and two were found dislodged for unknown reasons and removed from their sites.
- 360 Years of Perambulation, New Hampshire Town and City, November/December 2010
What comes to mind when you hear the word perambulation?
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption