The Workings of a Planning Board

This webinar is geared for new planning board members and alternates, as well as seasoned veterans who want a refresher course on planning board basics.

Join NHMA attorneys who will discuss what is a completed application, the timeline for planning board review, conducting meetings and public hearings, the use of third-party consultants, the zoning amendment process, scattered and premature development, off-site exactions, innovative land use controls, driveways, the Right-to-Know Law and more.

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.

Character Matters: Rochester Finds Lessons and Strength in Implementing an Ethics and Compliance Program

On October 18, 2013, the City of Rochester mailed a letter to every one of its vendors announcing its new ethics and compliance program. Earlier in the week, a letter went out to all department heads and employees and notices were posted on bulletin boards throughout city offices. Those letters followed a one-year-long effort by the city to establish a compliance program that outlines a clear-cut code of conduct for all city departments and city employees.

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.

Excellence in Local Government: Building on Commitment, Civility and Cooperation

By C. Christine Fillmore, Esq.

Keeping Honest People Honest

The most important asset to a municipality, or any other type of entity, is its employees. Protection of employees using fraud detection and prevention techniques should be a topic that has great weight in a municipality’s day-to-day operations. The point is to keep honest employees honest, by deterring the opportunity to commit fraud by careful management of fraud risks. Analysis of potential risks among employees is probably the most difficult analysis of all, which will put management skill to the test. First, analyze employees using the fraud triangle.

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?