appointed officials

LEGAL Q&A: Town Clerks & Their Office

One of the most difficult to parse aspects of municipal operations involves the office of the town clerk or town clerk-tax collector. These elected officials often have a statutorily defined “deputy” who works in their office, along with a number of municipal employees. The interaction of various statutes can lead to great confusion about the working relationship between the elected official, deputy, employees, and other boards and bodies in the municipality. This issue’s Legal Q&A will clarify some of those relationships. 

“Atypical” Day for a Town and City Clerk

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Not One Day in the Town Clerk’s Office is Ever Exactly the Same!

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Are City/Town Clerks Essential Workers?

City and Town Clerks perform many roles  - elections, motor vehicle registrations, vital records, dog licensing, and collecting municipal fees just to name a few.

We Are All In This Together!

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We all have the same common goal of representing the best interest of the residents of the great state of New Hampshire.

Pandemic Perspectives: Oh Goodness! What a Year We Had!

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Oh goodness,, what a year we have had!

Our office in Northumberland went by guidance from our Emergency Services Director, Aaron Gibson during COVID. We closed the building in March and I waited on customers in the parking lot outside of my door until July. I lost 50 pounds from running all day! We opened in July by appointment only and offered drop box, mail, and online payments.

Town and City Clerks: What Don't They Do?

From birth to death, and all the car registrations in-between, there are few municipal officials with as much public visibility as the town/city clerk. Their roles are so varied that there is no single place in the statutes to find a comprehensive list of the clerk's duties. Instead, one must go to numerous statutes including the motor vehicle laws, election laws, vital statistics, planning and land use laws, libraries, and the budget law. That means that, in many cities and towns across New Hampshire the town/city clerk is the face of the community, especially at election time.

Legal Q and A: Laws Related to Appointed Officials

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.

Parliamentary Procedure in Local Government

As a city manager with more than thirty years of service, city council meetings are a way of life. In the background of all governing body meetings are the rules of parliamentary procedure. Until I began a formal study of parliamentary procedure, I was in the dark about its origins, fundamental principles, and overall benefits.

This article will review the history of parliamentary procedure, its basic principles, and how using it correctly will benefit both governing body members and the public.

The 'Practice' of Public Service

Anyone reading this probably already knows that local government can be difficult, confusing, and sometimes frustrating. There are a lot of moving parts—departments, boards, officials, employees, and the various personalities of the people in all of those positions; laws, rules, and policies, which are constantly changing; financial pressure; political pressure. Everyone needs something right now, and it must be done correctly.