How to Get Young People to Join a Board or Committee

There are a lot of reasons why young people don’t join town boards or committees or run for local office. Young people are often raising children and/or working full-time, and board and committee meetings typically take place either in the evening (which is not family-friendly) or during the workday. As a result, it isn’t uncommon that a town’s leadership are primarily retired empty nesters. Representation is important, so I, a bona fide young person, joined my town’s planning board as an alternate member back in April 2019.

Volunteer, On-Call, and Employees Fire Departments: Understanding the Law

Volunteer, On-Call, and Employees Fire Departments:  Understanding the Law

It's All About the People: Obtain & Retain the Ideal Team

New Hampshire is unique, and we like it that way. Our municipalities run on the commitment and dedication of two major groups: employees and volunteers. These individuals come from varied backgrounds and give to the community in so many ways, from those who fundraise or donate time to staff a table at an event, to those who serve on boards and committees, to town managers, administrative assistants, and road agents.

Legal Q&A: How State Law Regulates Volunteer and On-Call Firefighters and Other Emergency Staff

This article discusses some of the statutes applicable to volunteer and on-call firefighters and emergency medical service personnel. Such persons perform the majority of this important first responder work in our municipalities, and the law has given them special protections to encourage their contributions to our collective public safety.

Q: I would like to be a firefighter in my municipality. What are the requirements?

In the Public Sector, Volunteers and Interns are not Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) broadly allows public employers to accept services from "volunteers." Volunteers are defined as individuals who perform services for a public agency "freely and without pressure or coercion direct or implied from the employer … for civic, charitable or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for their services." However, volunteers can be reimbursed for their expenses, receive reasonable benefits, a nominal fee or any combination of these without losing their status as a volunteer.

Rebuilding Old Stage Road Bridge: ‘An Eye Sore into a Postcard’ Without Tax Dollars

By Donna Green


An historic stone arch bridge which connects two New Hampshire towns has been given a new life thanks entirely to volunteer labor, donated materials and approximately $45,000 of private funds. In May, town residents will celebrate the official opening of the rebuilt Old Stage Road Bridge, and the end of a remarkable story of volunteerism and inter-municipal cooperation.


Amherst Marks 250th Anniversary Milestone

Founded in 1760, the Town of Amherst boasts a long and proud history. In honor of their 250th anniversary, town officials charged a volunteer committee with the task of developing a celebration to mark the event. Co-chaired by residents Carolyn Quinn and Will Ludt, the 250th Anniversary Committee involved numerous citizens and local volunteer groups in the planning of a year-long series of events designed to engage the entire community.

Special Events: Whose Party Is This, Anyway?

As local officials, we are often asked for permission to use public facilities. This may involve indoor events, such as an anniversary party in the town hall, or an educational talk in the library, or an evening of training at the fire department. Outdoor events may involve use of sports or recreational facilities for adult league play, or a summer road race on local roads, a soccer or tennis camp operated by a private vendor on a public facility, or outdoor concerts at a local park. Most of these requests are routinely granted, because they add to the quality of community life.

Liability Involving Special Events

Finally, winter is over. Soon we will move outdoors, and local organizations and municipalities will be scheduling and holding “special events" such as sports tournaments, parades, road races and fairs. Families and groups will ask permission to use public areas for weddings, graduation parties and reunions. While these events help to make our communities great places to live, they also involve elements of risk that should be managed to keep participants as safe as possible, and avoid incidents that could mean liability for the municipality.

Volunteers and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act

New Hampshire communities have a rich history of volunteerism. Whether it is experienced tradesmen donating their time to rewire the town hall or install new bathrooms in the library, teenagers helping out at the recreation summer program or the people who staff the table at the transfer station “swap shop," volunteers are an integral part of a community.