Thank you to Selectman Josh Bartlett for arranging this informative session with the NH Municipal Association.
Stephan Buckely,an attorney with the NH Municipal Association, did a very comprehensive presentation on the Right to Know law (RTK) last evening at Town Hall to about 25 or so of our local officials and department heads. Most boards were represented at the presentation.
The session was taped, but is not available for broadcast per the NHMA . It is to be used for training purposes only.
A topic I found of great interest was the the use of email. Never use email to conduct a meeting. Never hit reply all in responding to emails from a majority of the board. It is okay to pass along information for later discussion at a legally posted meeting, but it is never okay to discuss it in an email as it may constitute a meeting subject to the RTK law. I explained the recent issue I had with rescheduling a selectmen meeting a few weeks ago by email which I objected to and felt was improper as it involved discussion by a member hitting reply all and a decision made on an issue over which the board has jurisdiction and control. Attorney Buckley said that was a no-no and could lead to litigation. A question was asked about polling members of a public body outside of a public meeting to ascertain choosing it's leadership and that was also a no-no per Attorney Buckley.
Chance encounters with a quorum of members of a board was discussed and the advise was to never discuss things over which the public body has jurisdiction and control at such chance encounters to avoid any concerns.
All in all a very worthwhile session and one of the benefits of membership in the NHMA. I have to mention that membership in NHMA requires a fee that is not based on property value. It is a flat fee that all towns pay. Imagine that.