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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NH may require meeting agendas to be set 72 hours before meeting

Bill would require agendas to be set 72 hours before meeting

Lawmakers are considering a bill that could mean a major change to public meetings.
House Bill 1591 would require agendas for all public meetings be posted 72 hours prior to the meeting. Currently, they only have to be posted 24 hours prior to the meeting.
“It’s cumbersome,” Pelham Selectmen’s Chairman Ed Gleason said. “If something pops up that requires immediate attention, it’s just going to delay that process.”
The bill was recommended by the House Judiciary Committee last week, 9-8.
The only exception to the law would be under emergency situations. An emergency is defined by RSA 91-A:2 to be an “immediate undelayed action which is deemed to be imperative by the chairman.”
“It’s generally understood that emergencies are only when irreparable harm would happen if the board did not meet,” Plaistow Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Kenneth Weyler, R-Kingston. But Weyler said he doesn’t support it as it is written currently.
“The whole meaning of it has changed,” he said.
The bill was originally written to establish a grievance commission on Right-to-Know issues. But support dried up for that idea and Rep. Rick Watrous, D-Concord, amended the bill to focus on the notice for public meetings.
“Some of the smaller towns post their meetings the day before and you have to be at Town Hall that day to know what they will be discussing,” Watrous said. “In today’s modern world, people need to know things ahead of time to schedule sitters and clear their schedules to be there.”
Cordell Johnston, government affairs counsel for the New Hampshire Municipal Association, said the bill would just create problems.
“We’re very concerned about that change,” Johnston said. “Basically any decision that comes up will have to be delayed three days.”
Johnston predicted that if the bill passed, more emergency meetings would be called.
“They would have to rely on it more, and there would be a lot of fights about what constitutes an emergency,” he said. “Is a personnel decision, which is not a life or death situation, really an emergency? There would be a lot of arguments.”
Another issue is that Sundays would not be counted in the 72 hours.
“That makes it essentially 96 hours,” Johnston said.
Fitzgerald said he believed there would be unintended consequences if the bill passed.
“It hurts the government’s ability to be effective and timely,” he said. “The existing law helps us meet the speed of business.”
Fitzgerald said Plaistow typically posts agendas for its selectmen meetings every Friday. The meetings are held on Monday.
“In the information age, there is plenty of opportunity for the public to see exactly what we will be discussing,” he said.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Marjorie Smith, D-Durham, said the bill was scheduled to be discussed in the full House today.


Anonymous said...

Innes told me they didn't have to post an agenda at all! And they don't.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how our town officials do everything they can to keep us in the dark! Even the Timberline budget member voted to not let it's members talk to the press.

Bill Hovanasian

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Innes lies through his teeth to protect the corruption his bosses try to protect. Throw them all in a jar, shake them up and they all come out looking like the sexual pervert Consentino.

They are a political machine out to destroy anything decent and honest. Control of US is all they want.

Anonymous said...

I got the tar if you got the feathers!!!!

Anonymous said...

Make sure the Tar is good and hot, we'll cut the log to strap them to.

Long live the Conman! IN JAIL WHERE HE BELONGS!

Anonymous said...

Chris Christie hires his pet law firm to do an internal investigation. The lead says there is not a shred of evidence to implicate him. And we are supposed to believe this? Like tits on a bull.

Then there is Donald Trump who hires a firm to investigate him. Their conclusion? The Donald is fabulous.

Then there is the new finding here in Atkinson that if a crime occured in the recent past, it should be of no concern to the voters, Atkinson Selectmen or their wives, the Atkinson Town Administrater, the Atkinson Town Moderator and his wife, the staff sitting in Atkinson Town Hall, Officers sitting in patrol cars and their wives, the women at Deliberative Session, the members of the Budget Committee, the staff at the library and their husbands, etc.

Yes, the new report suggests that once a crime is committed in Atkinson, it is immediately of the past and it has nothing to do with the integrity of the Atkinson Board of Selectmen, you all can just forget about it.

Integrity doesn't count as everything is for the best in this worst of all possible towns.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be a colorful summer. Before 9pm of course.

Anonymous said...

If you live on MEDICATION LANE its after 9PM!

Anonymous said...

No not there but definitely in the police station over the last couple decades.