Is This Protected? Copyright Issues and Municipalities

By Sara J. Lentini

Volunteers and Liability: An Overview of Legal Protections and Municipal Exposure

In recent years New Hampshire has seen its share of tragedy and disaster. One of the positive aspects of these events has been a renewed interest in volunteerism. At the local level, our citizens assist their communities in every aspect of civic life, including the provision of municipal services. New Hampshire also has resources at the state level to encourage and support volunteerism. The Volunteer NH! organization has placed information, tools and training resources on the Web at

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Sounding a Wake-Up Call

By Ronald O’Keefe

Even the most proactive of fire chiefs can use a little review from time to time regarding enforcing safety procedures. As a 27-year firefighter, 16 years spent as a chief officer and seven as chief of the department, I feel qualified to offer solid advice on the subject. Especially since my present career in risk management focuses on making fire departments and firefighters safer. So consider this article a serious wake-up call.

Employment Liability: How Employee Handbooks, Policies and Procedures Can Help Manage Your Risk

There is, perhaps, no area of risk management that is more technically complex than employment liability—and the exposure is exactly the same no matter what the size of the community. Legal and human resource professionals advise that sound policies and procedures be in place and properly implemented. These policies must be in compliance with a veritable alphabet soup of federal and state laws and administered in fairness and with consistency.

Reducing Risk with a Special Events Policy

Is your town, city or school hosting outside organizations for summer programs this season in your facilities? If so, you will want to get facility use agreements and/or releases that incorporate indemnity clauses signed with these organizations. Also, be sure you inspect and document the condition of your facilities and playgrounds prior to allowing outside organizations access to them.

Checklist for Risk Reduction
You can reduce your risk by implementing a special events policy that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

The Right to Know Law: Is Disclosure of Registered Dog Owners Required?

Most municipal officials are aware that New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law (RSA Chapter 91-A) requires them to make public records available for inspection and copying upon reasonable request. On the surface, the requirement is simple, as is the concept that all public records must be disclosed unless they are listed as exempt from disclosure. However, in practice, this requirement can be very problematic.

Wolves in Volunteers’ Clothing: The Need for Background Checks

We all assume that background checks are being done on teachers, summer day camp counselors and nursing home staff in order to protect our children and vulnerable adult populations. Are these checks being done on all staff who work for schools, municipal recreation departments and elder care facilities? Are the checks being done on volunteer staff or just employees?

Special Events General Guidelines for Safe and Successful Celebrations

Festivals, events and holiday celebrations add to community spirit and are quite popular in New Hampshire towns, cities and schools. But liability exposures are often overlooked in the process of organizing these events. Your liability exposures from special events can be greatly reduced by carefully analyzing your risks prior to coordinating your celebration.

Get Good Guidance on Special Events to Best Manage Risk Exposure

By Lynn Sperl


Just as budding daffodils are harbingers of spring in New Hampshire, so, too, is the start-up of special events like parades, road races, carnivals and horse shows in our municipalities. Your public facilities—like town parks and beaches—may even be requested by local residents to serve as sites for weddings, graduation parties and reunions.


Who’s Watching Your Back? Vehicle Backup Cameras Save Lives

By Ron O’Keefe

Vehicle backup cameras—are they a worthwhile investment or a luxury during tough economic times? A backup camera is a special type of video camera that is specifically produced to aid in the backing up of a vehicle by being attached to its rear section. It is also known as a “reversing camera" or “rear view camera."

Avoid a Collision