Deborah Aylward’s View From Concord – February 2023

By Deborah Aylward, State Representative

These proposals passed the full House without opposition to Municipal and County Government Committee recommendations on February 2 and may be of interest.

HB 72: Relative to the tenure of public librarians. Ought To Pass With Amendment.  This bill sought to amend RSA 202-A:15 by changing the wording in a way that would have allowed the tenures of employment of public librarians to be shortened and a successor appointed, despite the original term of employment. 

An amendment was offered that improved the bill, ensuring that public librarians’ terms of employment could not be summarily altered while granting the municipality flexibility with respect to those appointments.

HB 416-FN: Relative to membership on certain local land use boards. Inexpedient To Legislate. This bill prohibits persons who have engaged in certain prohibited activities while serving on a local land use board from subsequently serving on any zoning board of adjustment, planning board, or select board in their town of residence either by means of election, appointment, or continuation of service. 

Additionally, this bill disallows persons found to have violated any of the specified prohibitions from participation on said boards. Moreover, this bill allows for any New Hampshire citizen to bring a private right of action against a town board for violation of any of the provisions of the bill and holds the town liable for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in a lawsuit. 

Lastly, the committee was unable to properly and fully evaluate the merits of the bill and subsequently make an informed decision due to the non-appearance of witnesses and the near absence of substantive testimony at the hearing.

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