conflicts of interest

ZBA Basics in New Hampshire Webinar

As a new volunteer member of your local Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), you may not know where to start to learn about your new responsibilities. That's why NHMA is hosting a webinar designed specifically for new board members including a basic overview of the organization, powers, duties, and relevant statutory and case law authority to make your public service both more enjoyable and productive.

53 Ideas on How You Can Govern Better

number 53Ideas on How You Can Govern Better

1 Learn all you can about your city or town, its history, its operation, its financing. Do your homework. Know your city or town ordinances. Dust off your comprehensive plan.

ZBA Basics

As a new volunteer member of your local Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), you may not know where to start to learn about your new responsibilities. That's why NHMA is hosting a webinar designed specifically for new board members including a basic overview of the organization, powers, duties, and relevant statutory and case law authority to make your public service both more enjoyable and productive.

2020 Land Use Law Conference

Full day virtual conference for municipal land use officials including members of planning and zoning boards, planners, land use administrators, select boards, town and city councilors, building inspectors, code enforcement officers and public works personnel. Presentations will focus on the legal authority and procedures these land use boards must understand with content structured to be beneficial to both novice and experienced municipal officials.

Local Officials Making Decisions: Understanding Conflicts of Interest and Disqualifying Bias

By Kimberly A. Hallquist, staff attorney with the New Hampshire Local Government Center’s Legal Services and Government Affairs Department

Ex Parte Communications and Land Use Boards

Q. What is an “ex parte" communication?
A.
This is a Latin term that means “by or for one party." In this instance, it refers to communication between a land use board member and a person interested in an application, without other interested persons, other board members or the public being present.

Q. Are these types of discussions a problem for land use boards?
A.
Yes, if an ex parte contact occurs, several different problems could arise when that contact is eventually disclosed.

A Potpourri of Frequently Asked Legal Questions

This month’s Q&A represents a departure from our usual single topic format. The staff attorneys of LGC’s Legal Services and Government Affairs Department answer thousands of questions each year posed by local officials from towns and cities both large and small. Following are some of those questions on various topics that we hope you will find useful to your work as a local official.

Local Regulation of Ethical Behavior

What are “ethics?" It seems like a simple question, but ask several people and you are likely to get several different answers. When the question involves the ethical behavior of local government officials and employees, the answers might include things like:

Avoiding conflicts of interest.
Disclosing financial interests and other relationships.
Avoiding criminal behavior.
Keeping confidential information confidential.
Properly using authority and acting cooperatively.
Treating people fairly and equally.

Considering an Ethics Ordinance? Stick to Simple Values and Principles

Public cynicism about the fairness and trustworthiness of public officials seems to touch all levels of government, including local government. Have you ever found yourself at a selectmen’s meeting or planning board hearing with a sea of angry citizens questioning your motives, demanding you to disqualify yourself?

Multiple Board Memberships Serving on More Than One Board at the Same Time

For some, the call to serve their community is a strong one. Some citizens are not only willing to serve on one board; they are willing to serve on multiple boards at the same time. While this dedication to public service is laudable, there are some drawbacks to multiple board memberships that should be considered by the appointing officials. This article will discuss some of the drawbacks of multiple board memberships among land use boards and boards of selectmen.