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Right to Know: What are towns afraid of?

EDITORIAL
March 05. 2018 6:12PM




The New Hampshire Municipal Association, a nonprofit group that lobbies the Legislature on behalf of its member cities and towns, has grown increasingly hostile to New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know law.

For years, the NHMA has been trying to increase the cost to collect public information from your local government. Now, it is opposing efforts to open up municipal government a little more.

House Bill 1323 would make evaluations of top municipal employees public information. Personnel files of rank and file municipal employees would remain exempt from the Right-to-Know law, but the public would get to read evaluations of city managers, police chiefs, and school superintendents.

The NHMA opposes HB 1323.

House Bill 1347 would require minutes of public meetings to include specific information on which members of public bodies made and seconded motions, and more specifics on public deliberations. Meeting minutes should already provide such crucial information, but some towns fail to keep detailed minutes.

The NHMA opposes HB 1347.

The House is scheduled to take up these bills today. We urge them to side with the people rather than those shielding towns from public scrutiny.


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