New Hampshire Town and City Magazine, November-December 2022

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November/December 2022

TownandCity N E W

H A M P S H I R E

In This Issue:

A PUBLICATION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION

Accessing Care Following the Pandemic: What Has Changed, What We Have Learned..............................................................................10 A Complete Benefits Package Can Support Employees and Reduce Turnover.........................................................................................12 Transparency and Affordability in Health Care and Prescription Drug Coverage............................................................................................14 Running, Mental Health, and the Importance of a Good Health Plan......18 Goverment Affairs Update: Fall 2022........................................................28


Beyond investing The New Hampshire Public Deposit Investment Pool (NH PDIP) has provided public entities with investment options since 1993. NH PDIP focuses on safety, liquidity, and a competitive yield in order to meet the distinct needs of cities, towns, school districts, and other political subdivisions.

nhpdip.com Beth Galperin 1.800.477.5258

Client Services Group 1.844.464.7347

This information is for institutional investor use only, not for further distribution to retail investors, and does not represent an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any fund or other security. Investors should consider the Pool’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Pool. This and other information about the Pool is available in the Pool’s current Information Statement, which should be read carefully before investing. A copy of the Pool’s Information Statement may be obtained by calling 1-844-464-7347 or is available on the NHPDIP website at www.nhpdip.com. While the Pool seeks to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money investing in the Pool. An investment in the Pool is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Shares of the Pool are distributed by PFM Fund Distributors, Inc., member Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (www.finra.org) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) (www.sipc.org). PFM Fund Distributors, Inc. is an affiliate of PFM Asset Management LLC.


Contents Table of

Volume LXV • Number 6

November/December 2022

3

A Message from NHMA Executive Director

5 Happenings 8

Win with Water

9 Upcoming Events 32

HR Report: NHMA Employment Law Hotline: Question and Answer Series

34

Tech Insight: Why Multi-Factor Authenication is Essential

36 Legal Q&A: Mitigating Confusion over “Ex Officio” Members 37

Court Update

38

NLC Report: ARPA Funds: Best Practices for Small Communities

40

NHARPC Report: Economic Resiliency Planning

49 This Moment in NHMA History 49 Name That City or Town 51 Upcoming Webinars 52 2022 Index of Featured Articles Center Spread Getting Used to Different! NHMA’s 81st Annual Conference and Exhibition

10 12 14 18 22 28 30

Accessing Care Following the Pandemic: What Has Changed, What We Have Learned A Complete Benefits Package Can Support Employees and Reduce Turnover Transparency and Affordability in Health Care and Prescription Drug Coverage Running, Mental Health, and the Importance of a Good Health Plan Default Budgets and How They Work

Government Affairs Update: Fall 2022 Help is Available for Homeowners Behind in Paying Mortgage, Property Taxes or Utility Payments

Cover: According to its website, Laconia was established as a city in 1893. In 1855, Laconia had been incorporated as a town from lands at Meredith Bridge, Lakeport, Weirs, and from a part of Gilmanton. The town’s name was likely taken from the name of the original company formed by the Captain John Mason and the Masonian proprietors in order to sell parcels to the original colonists during the colonial era: the Laconia Company.

New Hampshire Town and City Magazine Staff Executive Director Editor in Chief

Margaret M.L. Byrnes Timothy W. Fortier

Contributing Editors Margaret M.L. Byrnes Natch Greyes Production/Design

Evans Printing Co.

Official Publication of the New Hampshire Municipal Association 25 Triangle Park Drive • Concord, New Hampshire 03301 Phone: 603.224.7447 • Email: nhmainfo@nhmunicipal.org • Website: www.nhmunicipal.org New Hampshire Municipal Association Phone: 800.852.3358 (members only) NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY (USPS 379-620) (ISSN 0545-171X) is published 6 times a year for $25/member, $50/non-member per year, by the New Hampshire Municipal Association, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. All rights reserved. Advertising rates will be furnished upon application. Periodical postage paid at Concord, NH 03302. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301. NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY serves as a medium for exchanging ideas and information on municipal affairs for officials of New Hampshire municipalities and county governments. Subscriptions are included as part of the annual dues for New Hampshire Municipal Association membership and are based on NHMA’s subscription policy. Nothing included herein is to be construed as having the endorsement of the NHMA unless so specifically stated. Any reproduction or use of contents requires permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Address correction requested. © Copyright 2022 New Hampshire Municipal Association

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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New Hampshire Municipal Association

B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S

Shaun Mulholland -

Laura Buono - Chair Town Administrator, Hillsborough

Elizabeth Fox - Vice Chair Asst. City Manager, HR Director, Keene

Lisa Drabik - Treasurer Human Resources Director, Manchester

Cheryl Lindner - Secretary Treasury Management Officer, Nashua

City Manager, Lebanon

Candace Bouchard City Councilor, Concord

David Caron Town Administrator, Derry

Conservation Commission, Holderness

Shelagh Connelly

Phil D’Avanza Planning Board, Goffstown

Jeanie Forrester Select Board Member, Meredith

Stephen Fournier Town Manager, Newmarket

Dale Girard Mayor, Claremont

Joanne Haight Selectboard Chairman, Sandwich

April Hibberd Select Board Member, Bethlehem

Neil Irvine Town Administrator, New Hampton

Holly Larsen Finance Director/Tax Collector, Berlin

Conner MacIver Town Administrator, Barrington

Select Board Member, North Hampton

David Stack Town Manager, Bow

NHMA is a non-profit, nonpartisan membership association established in 1941. It is a member-funded, member-governed, and member-driven association that works to strengthen New Hampshire cities and towns and enhance their ability to serve the public. Through the collective power of cities and towns, NHMA promotes effective municipal government by providing education, training, advocacy and legal services.

Patrick Long Alderman, Manchester

Immediate Past Chair

Jim Maggiore -

Immediate Past Vice Chair

Our Mission

Jim Michaud Chief Assessor, Hudson

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Judie Milner City Manager, Franklin

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Dennis Shanahan Deputy Mayor, Dover

www.nhmunicipal.org


A Message from the

A

NHMA

Executive Director

Margaret M.L.Byrnes

re you ready? It’s time to ramp up for another legislative session!

In September, the initial LSRs (Legislative Service Requests) came out, and by the time you are reading this, more will be available. LSRs are the like the idea for a bill, and while not all of them will actually become official bills for the 2023 session, many will. The title of each LSR gives us a glimpse into what kind of bill it may become. You can view them on the General Court website, by clicking on “Public Listing of Legislative Service Requests (LSRs) for 2023” in the “General Court Updates” box. As you can imagine, many of the topics we are starting to see are not new, including a renewed effort to make it more difficult for cities and towns to engage with the legislature through voluntary memberships with organizations like NHMA. For this reason, now is the time for local officials speak with their senators and representatives, including inviting them to board and council meetings. Talk with them about local issues and how legislation affects local operations—and find out what types of legislation they are filing or supporting, and how it will affect cities and towns. Additionally, since we are going into a state budget year, it’s crucial that local officials share how important state aid and revenue sharing is for local government, including thanking legislators who supported increasing the municipal distribution of the meals and rooms tax in 2021 and providing additional, one-time funding in 2022 for roads, bridges, and to retirement costs. Ensuring that the meals and rooms distribution does not change, that state aids grants for water and sewer are fully funded, and continuing to work to reinstate a state contribution to local retirement costs are top priorities for NHMA and local officials when talking about state budget priorities. And in those important conversations, we urge local officials to share NHMA’s policy positions with legislators which can be a great way to facilitate or kick off that discussion. In September, nearly 50 local officials from across the state gathered here at NHMA to discuss, debate, amend, and ultimately adopt the Legislative Policies and Principles that will direct NHMA’s advocacy efforts over the next biennium. You can find the policies and principles on our website under the “Advocacy” tab.

Warmest regards,

Margaret M.L. Byrnes, NHMA Executive Director

As we said in the last issue of Town & City, we still want to hear from you about any legislation you’re working on with your senators or representatives. We look forward to working with you in the upcoming session. Our success is your success, and it is a direct result of working together.

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www.nhmunicipal.org

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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HAPPENINGS Just in Time for Budget Season! Excellent Resource for Understanding NH Property Taxes

Have You Checked this Out? Digitized Town Reports

According to the preface, this publication marks the third edition of the New Hampshire Assessing Board’s Understanding NH Property Taxes, also known as The Official New Hampshire Assessing Reference Manual. This Manual is a product of the Assessing Standards Board manual sub-committee, as authorized by the Assessing Standards Board (ASB) and its former and current Chairperson Betsey Patten. The original charge was to create a manual that would be useful to the taxpayers and selectmen of New Hampshire. Instead, it has become an often consulted reference with well over a thousand on-line hits every month. It has also become a useful, cited reference by our state Courts, as an authoritative text reflecting the assessing standards established by the statutory authority of the NH ASB. Each chapter is written to be somewhat “freestanding” in order to make the manual as user friendly as possible. This accounts for a certain amount of repetition of topics and terminology. (Additional copies of the manual can be purchased in hardcopy or CD version for a fee by calling the New Hampshire Department of Revenue at (603) 2305950 or downloading and printing at home the most recent version from the department website: https://www.revenue. nh.gov/mun-prop/property/index.htm.) You may also find this excellent resource on NHMA’s website under the Resources and Publications tab.

www.nhmunicipal.org

The New Hampshire State Library and the University of New Hampshire are partnering to make town reports from the state’s 234 towns available online. Some reports date to the mid-1800s. There were 1.69 million pages to scan from 14,720 reports, each averaging 155 pages. Each town must send its annual report to the state library, per state law. Each town report is a time capsule of a community’s most pressing issues and expenditures – for everything from new sidewalks and aid for the needy to tax abatements. Those paper versions are available to the public, if they can get to Concord. This partnership extends that access considerably – to historians, genealogists, and those just curious about New Hampshire then and now. People from 136 countries have already downloaded 25,000 of the existing records since December 2020. SEE MORE IN THIS RESPOSITORY: https://scholars. unh.edu/nh_town_reports/ SOURCE: By ANNMARIE TIMMINS New Hampshire Bulletin. Published: 8/24/2022 4:39:18 PM; Modified: 8/24/2022 4:35:42 PM

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The Academy for Good Governance: Welcome to the Class of 2022

HAPPENINGS from page 5

Download Your 2022- 2023 Municipal Officials Directory Today!

The Academy for Good Governance is a series of seven courses created by NHMA and Primex, exclusively for elected governing body members, including select board, town council, city council, board of aldermen, school board, and village district commissioners. Graduation from the Academy requires attendance in all seven courses on such topics as governing body roles and responsibilities, financial responsibilities, managing your public entity’s liability risk, employee benefits, running an effective meeting, cybersecurity and more. Courses are taught by experienced attorneys and staff from NHMA, Primex, HealthTrust, and the New Hampshire School Boards Association (NHSBA). NHMA would like to recognize these individuals for investing their time in an effort to increase their knowledge of municipal government and enhance their capacity to lead. Welcome and congratulations to the 2022 class of The Academy for Good Governance!

The 2022-2023 New Hampshire Municipal Officials Directory is in and ready for you to download for free (but only if you are a municipal official from a member municipality). The Directory is a comprehensive resource (in convenient, searchable and clickable PDF format) for cities and towns and other local governments in New Hampshire. The 2022-2023 Directory is updated to provide a current listing of municipal officials in each of the 13 cities and 221 towns throughout the state. The success of this publication relies upon the information provided by city and town officials to NHMA each April and May. The assistance of these individuals is greatly appreciated. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, it is important to note that some information unfortunately may have changed since publication. This publication is made possible through the support of advertisers. NHMA wishes to thank our advertisers for their tremendous support. If you are a municipal official from a member municipality, please download your free digital Directory today! 6

Name Alice Rocke Alissa Welch Barbara Holstein Beth Hossack Betsy Coble Carrie Neill Danielle Pray Debbie Deaton Debbie Kardaseski Diane Town Dina Cutting Fran Shippee Heather Clark Jamie Dow Jay DeRoche Jeanette Charon Jennifer Brown Jill Smith Joanne Lord Joe Anderson Jonathan Eckerman Jonathan Scanlon Joyce Cappiello Karen Yeaton Katherine Stewart Katie Williams Katrin Kasper Keats Myer Keith Stramaglia Kelly Wright Ken Martin Lisa Steadman Lou Alvarez Mark Warren Nancy Murphy Naomi Halter Patricia Consentino Richard Doucette Robert Gibson Robert Loiacono Royal Richardson Shawn Talbot Stacey Brown Steve Russo Tamara Fairbank Tammy Letson

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Position School Board Member Selectperson Village District Commissioner Selectperson Selectperson School Board Member Selectperson Town Administrator/Manager Village District Commissioner Town Administrator/Manager Town Administrator/Manager Selectperson School Board Member Town Administrator/Manager Selectperson Town Administrator/Manager Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson School Board Member Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson Town Administrator/Manager Selectperson Town Administrator/Manager School Board Member School Board Member Selectperson Selectperson Town Councilor School Board Member Selectperson Selectperson Selectperson School Board Member School Board Member Selectperson City Councilor Selectperson Selectperson Town Administrator/Manager

Organization Town of Bethlehem Town of Raymond City of Rochester Town of Plaistow Town of Orange NHSBA Member Town of Amherst Town of New Ipswich Emerald Lake Village District Town of Charlestown Town of Lyme Town of Chesterfield Town of Epping Pillsbury Lake Village District Town of Plaistow Town of Dalton Town of New Boston Town of Deering Town of Newbury Town of Stratham Chester School District Town of Tilton Town of Barrington Town of Pembroke Town of Enfield Town of Haverhill Town of Lee Town of Tamworth Town of Salem Town of Charlestown Merrimack Village District Town of Troy Town of New Ipswich Town of Gilmanton Town of Merrimack Town of Merrimack Town of Tilton Town of Tamworth Town of Barrington White Mountain Regional Sch. Dist. Chester School District Town of Gilmanton City of Concord Town of Brookline Town of Orange Town of Northumberland www.nhmunicipal.org


Biennial Legislative Policy Process a Success! Like so much of NHMA’s work, the Legislative Policy Process depends on the dedication and support of our volunteer members. On Friday, September 23, 2022, over 50 representatives from 46 cities and towns gathered to debate, discuss and vote on proposed legislative policy positions, and a floor proposal, submitted by member municipalities at NHMA’s Legislative Policy Conference. Please find the member-driven, member-adopted policy positions that will guide NHMA advocacy efforts for the upcoming 2023-2024 legislative biennium on our website under the Advocacy tab. Adopted 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Positions NHMA also uses a set of guiding Legislative Principles, which are reviewed and reaffirmed as appropriate by the Legislative Policy Conference, to develop positions on legislation that has not been expressly addressed in the adopted Policy Positions. Examples of legislative principles include: opposing unfunded mandates; working to maintain existing revenue streams to municipalities; and advocating to maintain existing local authority. Thanks to all the member voting delegates who joined us for the Legislative Policy Conference on Friday, September 23: Allenstown, Derik Goodine, Town Administrator Amherst, Danielle Pray, Select Board Member Barrington, Dannen Mannschreck, Select Board Chair Bedford, Rick Sawyer, Town Manager Belmont, Alicia Jipson, Town Administrator Boscawen, Katherine Phelps, Town Administrator Boscawen, Kellee Jo Easler, Planning & Community Development Director* Bow, David Stack, Town Manager Bristol, Butch Burbank, Interim Town Administrator* Bristol, Christina Goodwin, Interim Deputy Town Administrator Claremont, Dale Girard, Mayor Derry, Dave Caron, Town Admin. Dover, Dennis Shanahan, Deputy Mayor Epsom, Meadow Wysocki, Select Board Member Fremont, Joel Yokela, Budget Committee Member Gilford, Scott Dunn, Town Admin. Goffstown, Derek Horne, Town Administrator Grafton, Cindy Kudlik, Select Board Member Hampstead, Laurie Warnock, Select Board Member Haverhill, Jennifer Boucher, Assistant Town Manager Henniker, David Osgood, Select Board Member Hillsborough, Laura Buono, Town Admin. Holderness, Michael Capone, Town Admin. Hopkinton, Ken Traum, Select Board Vice Chair Hudson, Jim Michaud, Chief Assessor*

www.nhmunicipal.org

Hudson, Steve Malizia, Town Administrator Laconia, Scott Myers, City Manager Lancaster, Robin Irving, Land Use Coordinator Lebanon, * Timothy McNamara, Mayor Lebanon, Shaun Mulholland, City Manager Lee, Scott Bugbee, Selectman Londonderry, Mike Malaguti, Town Manager Manchester, William Barry, Alderman Meredith, Troy Brown, Town Manager Merrimack, Paul Micali, Town Manager Nashua, Cheryl Lindner, Treasury Management Officer Newbury, Dennis Pavlicek, Town Administrator Newmarket, Steve Fournier, Town Manager North Hampton, Jim Maggiore, Select Board Member Northfield, Ken Robichaud, Town Administrator Northwood, Walter Johnson, Town Administrator Plymouth, William Bolton, Select Board Vice Chair Portsmouth, Deaglan McEachern, Mayor Portsmouth, Jane Ferrini, Attorney* Rochester, Laura Hainey, City Councilor Sandwich, Joanne Haight, Select Board Member Swanzey, Michael Branley, Town Administrator Tilton, Jeanie Forrester, Town Administrator Warner, Diane Ricciardelli, Town Administrator Wilmot, Tom Schamber, Select Board Member Wilton. Kermit Williams, Select Board Chair * represents non-voting attendee

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Water is Worth It! Boyd Smith, PCEO, NH Water Works Association We hope this series about public water services in your community has been interesting and informative. We greatly appreciate our water partnerships with the NH Water Pollution Control Association and NH Department of Environmental Services and are grateful to NHMA for sharing our stories with you, New Hampshire’s community leaders. Nearly all NH towns and cities rely on public drinking water and wastewater treatment and distribution to survive and thrive. From human consumption, to firefighting, manufacturing, and agriculture, drinking water is second only to air in importance for our survival. Treating water after we use it allows us to clean contaminated water and return it to rivers, lakes, and the ground to rejoin the hydrologic cycle. The Hydrologic Cycle Most water users know little about where their water comes from or goes to, as treatment systems are located at the edge of town and distribution systems are buried. More than half of New Hampshire residents depend on public water services, yet only a handful know what it takes to deliver safe, dependable, and affordable water services. It is hard to care about something you take for granted and don’t understand. Water Infrastructure is Hidden In February 2020 when I started this job, lack of infrastructure funding and new workers were two of the biggest challenges facing public water. Practically overnight, with the influx of federal funding, we are addressing nearly four decades of deferred maintenance on many of our water systems. Everyone in the water sector, including municipalities, is struggling to make the most of these substantial funds. Assessing priorities, designing upgrades, preparing grant and loan applications, gaining citizen approval for bonds and match funding, finding and hiring qualified contractors, and dealing with supply chain and inflationary challenges, are making us all work even harder than before. But water is worth it! As we stretch our resources to rebuild and repair systems as old as the late 1800s and last expanded in the 1970s and 1980s, we also need to prepare for the future. Future challenges include recruiting and retaining highly skilled workers; treating emerging contaminants such as PFAS and other man-made chemicals; building resilience to the floods, droughts and possible population shifts brought by climate change; and raising customer awareness and engagement to create a more symbiotic connection between water managers and consumers. We hope the following points will provide some insights to the hidden world of water: Water is vital. Clean drinking water is a public health necessity and clean wastewater protects the environment. Combined, these services save lives, create trillions of dollars in global economic value, and make possible multiple uses of our finite water supply. Water is local. Most town supplies are within or close to their boundaries, treatment facilities are within the town, and miles of distribution pipes connect local homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses. Water workers are often your friends and neighbors, on duty 24 / 7 to keep the water running. Your actions to protect your watershed, capture and reuse stormwater, and set rates that maintain system operability and generously compensate staff, make all residents a part of the system that supports them. Water workers are critical. Workers include licensed facility operators, laboratory technicians, professional engineers, regulators and policy analysts, contractors, material and equipment suppliers, administrators, managers and more. They are often your friends and neighbors, on duty 24 / 7 to keep the water flowing. Being a water worker is an interesting, dependable, and noble profession. We hope this article will inspire you to work closely with your drinking and wastewater leaders and staff to maintain the high quality of water services on which your town’s public health and economy depend. Please contact the NH Water Works Association at Info@NHWWA.org if you want to learn more about how to help your local water systems thrive.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


Upcoming

Events

For more information or to register for an event, visit our online Calendar of Events at www.nhmunicipal.org. If you have any questions, please contact us at nhmaregistrations@nhmunicipal.org.

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

Homeowners at Risk of Losing Their Homes: What You Should Know About the NH Homeowner Fund Assistance 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Wednesday, November 9

Developing and Adopting Effective Financial Policies Webinar 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Thursday, December 1

NHMA’s 81st Annual Conference and Exhibition 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Doubletree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel Wednesday, November 16 NHMA’s 81st Annual Conference and Exhibition 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Doubletree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel Thursday, November 17 Thanksgiving Day (NHMA Offices Closed) Thursday, November 24

Getting to Know NHMA’s Membership Benefits Webinar 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Wednesday, December 7 Default Budgets & How They Work Webinar 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm Wednesday, December 14 NHMA Board of Director’s Meeting 9:00 am – 11:00 am Friday, December 16 Day After Christmas (NHMA Offices Closed) Monday, December 26

Day After Thanksgiving Day (NHMA Offices Closed) Friday, November 25 Please visit NHMA’s website @ www.nhmunicipal.org frequently for the most up-to-date event and training information. Thank you.

Cordell A. Johnston _________

Attorney at Law

www.nhmunicipal.org

Representing towns and cities P.O. Box 252 Henniker, NH 03242 603-748-4019 cordell@cajohnston.com

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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Accessing Care following the Pandemic: What Has Changed, What We Have Learned By Todd Thames, M.D., Included Health

W

hile the COVID-19 pandemic has been disruptive in many ways, it also has opened doors to innovation in how care can be delivered. For instance, utilization of virtual care increased exponentially, and surveys demonstrated that the majority of Americans who used virtual care during the pandemic liked the convenience and efficiency of having a health care provider visit them – in their home, at work, or wherever they found to be convenient and private. Surveys show that most people want to continue having this option for care going forward. The pandemic also provided the opportunity to demonstrate that telemedicine services were not limited to urgent care needs only; more comprehensive primary care, and mental and behavioral health needs could be managed effectively as well, while both patient and provider benefited from the privacy and convenience of virtual access.

Primary Care Then and Now

The increased adoption of virtual care, along with the growing evidence of effectiveness, could not come at a more critical time. One of the most concerning disruptions of the pandemic has been a decrease in primary care doctor visits and preventive screenings. Visits to outpatient providers, including primary care offices, declined by 60 percent through 2020 and into 2021. People reported avoiding care for a number of reasons, such as fear of waiting rooms, provider offices not being open, and other factors that caused them to defer care even for acute symptoms (including things like chest pain!). While there has been some rebound in people seeking care, the numbers have not returned to pre-2020 levels. A host of issues existed prior to the pandemic that resulted in deferred or delayed care. For instance, up to 40 percent of Americans in 2019 did not have an established relationship with a primary care provider and many of those who do often find it difficult or inconvenient to get an appointment. Nonetheless, studies demonstrate that preventive care delivered in partnership with an established primary care provider serves a vital role in maintaining health. Primary care is also the most effective way to manage chronic conditions, avoid future health problems, and catch concerns early when they are easier to manage. The disruptions from 10

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

COVID-19 worsened the situation where people found access to care even more difficult.

The Consequences of Postponing Care

Postponing or skipping preventive medical appointments can have wide-ranging impacts including: • Poor management of chronic conditions. Avoiding care for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can lead to complications that are much harder to manage. These complications often result in a lower quality of life, greater burdens on patients and families, and overall higher costs for both the individual and health plans. • Delayed cancer diagnoses. Disruptions during the pandemic resulted in a sharp decline in screening tests for common cancers, such as breast, colon, prostate, and cervical cancer1. Unfortunately, we are now seeing evidence that these missed screenings are leading to a higher number of cancers being diagnosed at later stages2. • A decline in recommended immunizations. Routine immunizations for both children and adults have seen a marked decline during the pandemic. This is particularly concerning because vaccines have been a powerful tool in controlling many devastating diseases such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and measles. We don’t think much about these diseases anymore because immunizations have been so successful, but they could re-emerge if vaccination rates drop significantly.

Virtual Primary Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that the same high-quality, team-based primary care approach can be delivered virtually and it can result in outcomes equivalent, in many cases, to care delivered in more traditional settings. Virtual primary care services can help to maintain contact and visibility across an individual’s care journey and help manage the vulnerabilities of the times between doctor visits. This can make all the difference for a better health outcome and success in meeting health goals. Many situations can be managed with virtual care, but in situations www.nhmunicipal.org


6 Essential Stay-Healthy Steps Good health is your most valuable asset, and there has never been a more important time to make sure you and your family members are getting the care you need for preventive care services and ongoing conditions. Unsure where to begin? Here, Dr. Thames shares six important steps for staying healthy: • Get established with a high-quality primary care provider if you don’t already have one. • Work with your primary care provider to establish a plan for health. • Follow your provider’s recommendations for getting age-appropriate screening tests and immunizations. • If you have children, be sure to keep them up to date on immunizations, preventive checks and other recommended medical services. • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, get the right amount of sleep, avoid smoking, eat a nutritionally rich diet and minimize processed foods. If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Build and maintain healthy social relationships. • Re-engage with your providers if you have special needs or requirements that have gone untended for a while. It is never too late to invest in your health and the health of your family! where in-person care is needed, referrals can be expedited to high quality, in-network physicians and specialists. Including virtual care services as part of your benefit plans can mean a more well-rounded, comprehensive benefit package that better meets the needs of your employees and their families.

1. National Cancer Institute, March 10, 2021: https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2021/cancer-screeningdecreases-coronavirus-pandemic

2. The COVID Cancer Effect, by Usha Lee MacFarling; Scientific American, December 1, 2021.

PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM SOLVING PROBLEM SOLVING ROBLEM SOLVING PROBLEM Attention HealthTrust Members! Included Health is available through HealthTrust to provide care navigation services, including expert medical opinIt’s our strongreferrals point ions, concierge to local providers, and assistance with health related questions. If you need assistance with a healthcare issue, or would point like to disIt’s our strong cuss Included Health’s expert medical strong point opinion service or any of the services available through our partnership with HealthTrust, feel free to give us a call at 855-633-8341, or visit the dedicated website for HealthTrust Members, includedhealth.com/healthtrust.

SOLVING OLVING It’s our strong point

s our

civil & environmental engineering

Thames is a board certified civilDr. & Todd environmental engineering www.underwoodengineers.com Family Medicine Physician and a Vice environmentalwww.underwoodengineers.com engineering President at Included Health (formerly

w.underwoodengineers.com Grand Rounds Health and Doctor On www.underwoodengineers.com Demand) supporting the national virtual care, expert medical opinions, and health care navigation services. www.nhmunicipal.org

SOLVING SOLVING SOLVING It’s our strong point It’s our strong point It’s our strong point It’s our strong point

civil & environmental engineering civilwww.underwoodengineers.com & environmental engineering www.underwoodengineers.com

civil &&environmental engineering civil environmental engineering www.underwoodengineers.com www.underwoodengineers.com

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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A Complete Benefits Package Can Support Employees and Reduce Turnover By Andrew Struth, HealthTrust Benefits Advisor

E

mployee benefits matter! Providing a robust benefits package can not only help you attract and retain talented employees, it can make your employees feel rewarded and appreciated for their work and that could translate into a more productive workplace. Providing comprehensive, quality benefits shows your employees you are invested in their overall health and future. Studies show that employees who have comprehensive benefit packages tend to work harder and are more dedicated to their jobs!

Identifying the Components of a Complete Benefits Package There is a lot to think about when putting a benefits package in place for your employees. So, what should you consider? • Comprehensive, Quality, Affordable Medical Coverage. Medical plans pay for all or a portion of healthcare expenses if an employee or their family members become ill or injured. They also provide coverage for preventive care services, such as routine physical exams and immunizations. Two common types of comprehensive plans to consider are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). These plans generally cost the least while still providing comprehensive coverage for employees and their family members. • Dental Coverage. While most dental plans provide coverage for preventive services such as cleanings and fluoride treatments, some include coverage for more costly services, such as fillings, prosthodontics (crowns, etc.) and orthodontics. Dental coverage is a relatively low cost benefit that encourages regular dental care and helps employees cover their out-of-pocket costs. Many plans provide up to $2,000 benefit for individuals per year. Good oral health equals good health, and employees really value this coverage. • Vision Care. Vision benefits can reduce an employee’s costs for routine preventive care and prescription eyewear. Vision plans cost very little to both the employer 12

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

and employee and are an attractive addition to any benefits package. • Life Coverage can give your employees greater peace of mind; they know if tragedy strikes, their families will be protected. Life benefits can be offered in either a flat dollar amount or a multiple of an employee’s salary. In addition, dependent life and supplemental life policies may be available and purchased by employees to provide an added level of protection and benefits. • Disability (Short-Term and Long-Term) benefits are a safety net that can prevent a health issue from becoming a financial crisis for your employees. Disability benefits continue to pay an employee a portion of earnings if they need to be out of the workplace for an extended period of time due to an accident or an ongoing health condition. Depending on the plan design, benefits received are typically between 50% and 66 2/3% of an employee’s base pay.

Other Important Benefits • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) accompany traditional medical plans and allow employees to put away pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical and dependent care expenses throughout the year. Employers may also elect to contribute funds to these accounts for employees. • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are employer funded arrangements that can help offset deductibles to pay for qualified medical expenses incurred under their medical plan. • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are paired with a High Deductible Health Plan and allow employees to use the funds to pay for plan deductibles and other outof-pocket costs. Like FSAs, employees can put money away pre-tax to pay for qualified medical, dental, vision and medication expenses. Employers may also elect to contribute funds to these accounts for employees. www.nhmunicipal.org


Help Your Employees Use Their Benefits – Educate, Educate, Educate! Once you have a complete benefits package in place, what’s the next step? Education! It’s important to provide employees with information about their benefits so they understand them and can take full advantage of the resources available to them. Studies show that employees who understand and use their benefits tend to be more productive and more satisfied with their jobs. Surveys of employers find that offering health benefits and helping employees understand how to use them helps retain employees, improves employees’ attitudes and performance and helps keep them healthy and reduce absenteeism. As a reminder to HealthTrust Member Groups, your HealthTrust Benefits Advisor is available to provide you

with strategic consultation on product offerings and cost-effective benefit solutions. Our Benefits and Wellness Advisors also provide benefit education sessions virtually or in person, and are available to participate in Member Group sponsored health and/or benefits fairs. This allows both employers and employees to learn and stay up-todate about the benefits, programs and services available to them!

Andrew Struth is a HealthTrust Benefits Advisor. Sources: IFEBP: https://www.ifebp.org/bookstore/benefits-communication-survey-results/ Pages/benefits-communication-survey-results. aspx; Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, https://www.aicpa. org/news/article/americans-favor-workplacebenefits-4-to-1-over-extra-salary-aicpa-survey; National Library of Medicine, https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690190/

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Transparency and Affordability in Health Care and Prescription Drug Coverage By Erica Bodwell, HealthTrust Benefits and Coverage Counsel

I

n the last few years, both the federal and New Hampshire governments have enacted legislation aimed at providing more transparency about the cost of health care and prescription drug coverage, with the goal of reducing costs. These laws have many distinct sections, each of which has a different effective date, and apply to insurers and group health plans such as HealthTrust, as well as providers. This article will provide a brief overview of these efforts and what they mean for New Hampshire’s municipal employers.

Consolidated Appropriations Act Congress enacted the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“CAA”) on December 27, 2020. This appropriations law contains the most significant health care legislation since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2010. The CAA applies to insurers and group health plans such as HealthTrust with respect to medical and prescription drug coverage, as well as providers. It excludes excepted benefits such as dental coverage and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Most municipal employers will comply with this law through their group health plans.

The CAA contains the following cost transparency provisions. • No Surprises Act: This section requires that group health plans (“plans”) must cover emergency services, out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and out-of-network air ambulance services with the same participant cost-sharing as if the services were in-network and prohibits balance billing for these services. The law also provides for an independent dispute resolution process for out-of-network providers and plans, and requires a No Surprise Billing notice to be posted on the plan’s public website (effective January 1, 2022). • Other pricing requirements: •

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ID cards: Plans must provide out-of-pocket maximums and consumer assistance contact information on ID cards (effective January 1, 2022).

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Provider fee estimate: When a patient schedules a service, providers must, in a timely manner, provide a good faith estimate of charges to the health plan or insurer. (Enforcement delayed.)

Advanced Explanation of Benefits (EOB) disclosure: After receiving the provider fee estimate, plans must provide the enrollee an Advanced EOB including rate and cost-sharing information. (Enforcement delayed.)

Price comparison tool required: Plans must make a price comparison tool available on their public website allowing comparison of cost-sharing amounts for specific services, as well as telephone guidance. This requirement does not apply to pharmacy. (Effective January 1, 2023.)

Gag clauses prohibited: Contracts between plans and providers, third-party administrators (TPAs) and other service providers may not require confidentiality with regard to provider-specific pricing or quality information. Requires annual attestation of compliance (effective December 27, 2020).

• Reporting on prescription drug and health care costs: Plans must submit comprehensive prescription drug and health care cost information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (“CMS”). First reporting due December 27, 2022 for CY 2020 and 2021; due annually thereafter by June 1. The CAA also contains the following non-cost provisions: • Provider Directory Requirements: Plans must verify the accuracy of their provider directories and update at least every 90 days. If the directory is incorrect and an enrollee relies on it, enrollee must be charged as if provider were in-network (effective January 1, 2022). • Notice of Continuity of Care: Plans must notify enrollees who are “continuing care patients” of their right to continue to receive care from their provider – at in-network cost sharing amount – for 90 days after

www.nhmunicipal.org


provider transitions to out-of-network status. (Effective January 1, 2023.)

work rates files effective date was July 1, 2022; enforcement of the prescription drug files has been delayed.

• Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) assessment required: Plans must perform and document comparative analyses of non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs), (effective February 10, 2021).

The TiC final rule also requires plans to provide accurate cost-sharing and rate information regarding medical items and services (not pharmacy) to enrollees on a searchable, internetbased self-service tool. This section is effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2023 for 500 medical items and services and January 1, 2024 for all covered services.

Transparency in Coverage Final Rule The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (“the Tri-Agencies”) released the Transparency in Coverage (TiC) final rule on October 29, 2020. The rule requires plans to make in-network rates, out-of-network allowed amounts, and prescription drug negotiated rates publically available in three machinereadable files. These files are meant for third-party data analysts and are likely not useable by the public. The net-

www.nhmunicipal.org

New Hampshire Prescription Drug Affordability Board The New Hampshire legislature enacted NH RSA 126-BB in July 2020, which provided for the establishment of the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Affordability Board, a panel of experts in health care economics and clinical medicine. The Board works together with a governmental advisory panel to establish annual spending

targets pursuant to RSA 126-BB:5, I and determining methods for meeting those spending targets pursuant to RSA 126-BB:5, III. Prescription Drug Affordability laws have been enacted in six states so far, and are a growing trend in states’ efforts to understand and reduce prescription drug costs. Other efforts by states include California’s recent announcement that the state will start producing its own insulin. The New Hampshire law requires submission of the payor’s prescription drug data to the board, including: • Expenditures and utilization data for prescription drugs for each plan; • The formulary for each plan and prescription drugs common to each formulary; • Pharmacy Benefit Manager (“PBM”) administrative expenses; and

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TRANSPARENCY from page 15 • Aggregate net spending on the prescription drug benefit.

What New Hampshire Municipalities Need To Know

• Allowing private payors to include small group private businesses for a fee; and

As health care and especially prescription drug costs continue to rise, it is important for municipalities to be aware of the various efforts both federally and at the state level to gain transparency into health care and prescription drug costs, and to be aware of the tools that exist for consumers and employers, as well as health care risk pools. This awareness has the potential to reduce costs in the long run, as consumers, employers and payors have a better understanding of costdrivers and their rights and responsibilities. Employers should check with their group health plans to ensure that plans are complying with the Consolidated Appropriations Act on their behalf. HealthTrust Members should be sure to visit the HealthTrust website often for updates on complying with these laws.

• Procuring expert services as necessary.

Erica Bodwell is the Benefits and Coverage Counsel for HealthTrust.

Additionally, the Board is tasked with determining whether certain methods reduce costs to individuals and payors. These methods include: • Negotiating specific rebate amounts; • Changing formularies; • Prohibiting the offering of more expensive formularies; • Purchasing drugs in bulk or through a single purchasing agreement for all public payors; • Collaborating with other states for drug purchases;

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Running, Mental Health, and the Enhanced LifeResources EAP powered by ComPsych Importance of a Good Health Plan Effective January 3, 2023

The enhanced LifeResources Employee Assistance Program (EAP), powered by ComPsych GuidanceResources®, will provide cutting-edge employee and employer benefits that provide supportBy across the broad spectrumHealthTrust of life’s issues. This enhanced, proactive EAP platform has resources Krista Bouchard, Wellness Coordinator and counseling services to address the everyday issues that challenge your employees and their families, as well as a new financial tool, WellthSource, and Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This enriched EAP will continue to provide 24/7 access to assist employees and their families whenever they need assistance, as well as crisis intervention support for Members. The phone number willCoordinator, remain the same access.I did get my eating under control, but I still struggle from s HealthTrust’s Wellness my for jobeasy is to help covered individuals use the benefits Healthtime to time. Trust provides to them. But, until recently I didn’t Claims Paid Administrative Model Benefit FSA Programs realize the dramatic difference those health benefits couldfor At the end of Advantage high school I was sidelined by injuries to my make in my own life. foot and Achilles tendon, and eventually I had1,surgery HealthTrust will transition from the current “Salary Reduction” model for our FSA Effective January 2023 that required me to stop running for nearly a year. When my program to a “Claims Paid” model. The Claims Paid model is a more efficient way to Anyone who knows me is aware that I work hard, set high doctorsintold I would bebest lucky if I everThis ranchange again, will I was administer Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and will bring HealthTrust lineme with industry practices. goals for myself and feel driven to achieve them. I started devastated. In choosing a college, I chose Plymouth State make managing FSAs easier and less time-consuming for participating Member Groups. running when I was in sixth grade and was hooked almost University because at the time they did not have a Cross instantly. I have run hundreds of 5K races, 13 half-maraCountry or Track and Field team. If I couldn’t run, I didn’t thons and four full marathons, recently completing the want to be around it. Boston Marathon in the spring of 2022 and the Chicago Marathon in the fall of 2022. I have set a life goal to run a I hate hearing the word “no,” so I slowly started to run again, marathon in all 50 states. and to my surprise I felt no foot pain, even after my surgery, even after theAccount doctorstoday! told me that I would never be able Keep your Employees Informed – Encourage them to create their SEP Encourage your covered employees and retirees to create to their Running Toward the Light runSecure again. Enrollee It is funny how life works out; that next year (SEP)Iaccount for 24/7 digital ID In Portal hindsight, understand why access I lovedtorunning so cards, much coverage documents, a Secure Message Center, Single thousands Sign-On buttons to Anthem, CVS Caremark, Delta Dental, right from the beginning; of studies have found Reminder to Onlife, and other vendor websites and resources. connections between runningpartner and improved mental health. HealthTrust Members! Mental health issues run in my family. I first struggled with Useinthe flyer, payroll and forward-ready email in your SMP (click on Toolkit > them high school whenstuffer I began suffering from disordered The Corigen® Medication Safety Program is availProgram and Coverage Resources) to remind employees up their account today! eating. Some days I would eat almost nothing; other days to set able through HealthTrust to Enrollees in a HealthI would binge and purge. Some of my teachers noticed Trust Medical and Prescription drug plan and their that I wouldn’t eat and one teacher even brought snacks covered spouses and dependents. HealthTrust Meminto school for me each day and let me sit in her classroom bers and their employees can learn more by visiting during lunch so I wouldn’t have all of the triggering food coriell.com/healthtrust. around me. With counseling and many trips to the doctor,

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If you or someone in your family were taking medications that weren’t safe or effective, wouldn’t you want to know? Now you can! Covered individuals can discover if the medications they take now – or could take in the future – are right for them based on their DNA and lifestyle factors with the Corigen Medication Safety Program. Encourage your covered employees, spouses and retirees to learn more at coriell.com/healthtrust or by calling 888.456.9184.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


Plymouth State University formed their first Women’s Cross Country program. I was hesitant at first, but running always drew me back in and I joined the team. I was out there doing a sport that I loved- I was actually running!

A Dark Turn

In 2015 while I was still in college, I found myself skipping class to do nothing but lay in bed and watch the seconds tick by on the clock. I skipped cross country practice. I could not even find solace in running, the thing I loved most. I found myself just holding on for one more second, one more minute, one more hour, hoping to survive to the next day. I was depressed, suicidal and anxious. I would get angry at those who seemed to live a “normal” life. What does it feel like not to feel sad all the time? What does it feel like to live life and actually be happy? What was it like to have a genuine smile and not have to fake it everywhere I went?

Getting Back on Track

in my senior year and the Plymouth State Cross Country coaches were more than understanding. They knew I hadn’t been acting like myself and were happy that I was getting help.

Once again, a caring teacher intervened. A college professor called me into her office and asked how I was doing. I broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed help, and now I was opening myself up to it. I called my parents and my doctor and made an appointment with the school counselor so I could start to receive the help I desperately needed. When it started to come out that I had been depressed, some people in my life commented that it was all in my head: “What do you have to be depressed about?” I didn’t have an answer. I had a nearly perfect life. I was going to college and my parents were helping to pay my tuition. I had a job that I loved and I had friends. But it wasn’t enough. I still had negative thoughts swarming through my head.

I returned to running and started to feel better than I had in a long time, but the negative – even suicidal thoughts – continued. I thought this was normal. After all, I was on medication and it was helping. I was running again and going to class. Maybe this was just the best my life could be.

A Life-Changing Opportunity and a Mission to Help Others

Everything changed in August 2021 when HealthTrust introduced the Corigen® Medication Safety Program, which uses DNA analysis to determine if an individual’s medications are safe and effective for them. I completed the test kit and to my surprise I found out the antidepressant I was on was not effective for me. According to my report, my body didn’t metabolize the drug effectively and the medication side ef-

After getting some help, and taking medication prescribed by my doctor, I was better able to manage my emotions. My teachers let me make up my school work so I would not fall behind

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GOOD HEALTH PLAN from page 19 fects could be contributing to my suicidal thoughts; it was in the black box warning on the drug. This information was life changing; I was able to get on the right medication and started feeling much better. Now I volunteer for a nonprofit organization called Still I Run, whose mission is to help runners with mental health issues. Here is my message to anyone struggling with depression: Turn your problem into your purpose, turn your

weakness into strength. Use all your resources, including your health benefits, to get the help you need. Depression is something I still deal with daily and likely will for the rest of my life, but I know how to manage it now. I take one step forward each day. I live by the saying, “Forward is a pace.” To me that means it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, forward still means forward (in running and in life). If you take anything away from my story, I hope it is that although life can throw you curve balls, it is what you do with them that defines who you are. I could

have refused help. I could have gone down a different path. I could have quit running for good, but I didn’t. I am so happy to be here living each moment, the good, the bad and the ugly. Life is worth living. Get the help you need, hold close the ones you love and those who love you most, and never be afraid to speak up. Krista Bouchard is HealthTrust’s Wellness Coordinator. Source: National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC7663387/

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Default Budgets and How They Work By Natch Greyes, Government Affairs Counsel

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ne of the most difficult to understand areas of municipal finance is the calculation of default budgets. The first complication is, of course, that only some towns need to calculate a default budget. Those are SB2 towns (which are officially known as “official ballot towns”). The reason that SB2 towns need to calculate a “default budget” is because the town meeting decides whether to adopt the town officials recommended budget via a ballot vote, rather than by debate at town meeting. If the majority of town voters say “no,” the town still needs money to operate. The law that creates default budgets, RSA 40:13, IX(b), is a compromise. It relies on the budget that passed last year as the basis for calculation of the default budget, but some adjustments need to be made and that’s where it gets complicated.

We know how much money taxpayers allocated for the town last year. Why do adjustments need to be made? Towns typically operate on a year-to-year basis, but, sometimes, they can enter agreements that are longer than a year. (There are certain legal requirements for how that process works, which is beyond the scope of this article.) Many of these agreements are for the same kind of things that individuals buy at home – internet and cable services, electric/ propane/gas providers, telephone service, etc. – along with somethings that government is unique in buying in bulk – road salt, asphalt, etc. Often, towns can enter into long term contracts that give them a discount for these products (they’re buying in bulk, after all), but which may build in a yearly price hike. For example, they might be able to buy a three-year supply of propane and see the contract increase the price by 10 cents a gallon every year. Because towns typically operate on a yearto-year basis, the default budget, which relies on last year’s allocation, has to change as well. In the case of long-term contracts, if the town is to provide the same services with the same personnel as last year, the default budget must increase in line with the increases in these contracts. This can result in a default budget that is higher than last year’s budget.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

But that’s not the end of the story. There are plenty of times when the town buys something once. For example, the town might have bought a new fire truck last year. That’s not something it does every year, but only once every 10 – 15 years. It wouldn’t be right to raise the amount of money necessary to buy a new firetruck this year. So, the law requires that towns subtract these “one time” expenditures from the default budget. Depending on what the town spent money on last year, this can result in the default budget being lower than last year’s budget. The law also requires that employee positions that are eliminated see their costs come out of the default budget. This is similar to, but not exactly the same as, the removal of onetime expenditures because it is the removal of a cost that is no longer incurred. At the end of the day, after all these calculations, it’s possible that the default budget will be higher than last year’s budget, lower than last year’s budget, or the same as last year’s budget…but that’s still not the end of the story…

Even if the default budget is exactly the same as last year’s budget, is it possible that the default budget will be higher than the newly proposed budget? It is entirely possible and often the case that department heads, governing bodies, and municipal budget writers come up with cost savings ideas that don’t fit exactly into last year’s budget. For example, federal interest rate changes may allow a newly proposed budget to find cost savings that would not be incorporated into last year’s budget. Or a new software program may allow a department to digitize in a manner that saves personnel or material costs. These new initiatives go back to the fundamentals of what a municipal budget is: a pot of money and a list of authorized uses, alongside a list of estimated costs for each authorized use. Authority exists elsewhere in the statutes for the select board to move money around if something goes wrong, such as the cost of electricity unexpectedly doubling, resulting in the town needing to come up with more money to keep the lights on during our rather dark winters.

www.nhmunicipal.org


But authority does not exist elsewhere for the select board to use money for unauthorized uses. In fact, that’s strictly prohibited. So, if a select board is using a default budget which – again – is a pot of money and the list of authorized uses from last year – that default budget may not include authority to spend money on, e.g., that new software program that will save the town money. It all depends on what authority the town meeting gives the town officers, and RSA 40:13, IX(b) does not contemplate changing the authority under the default budget process because, naturally, everyone expects government to do basically the same thing every year, but it might cost a little more (or less). If a town wants to change its authority to spend money, it should pass a new budget. That’s a large part of what is contemplated by the budget creation process. Not only is town meeting de-

ciding how much money to spend but what to spend that money on.

Is there a way to incorporate proposed cost savings into the default budget? How much money town officials have to spend and what they can spend it on is the core purpose of the municipal budget law. Most people in town must agree that whatever new idea is proposed is actually a good use of money for town officials to be able to spend money on it. That requires an affirmative vote. In the case of longterm contracts, that’s something that’s required by the law as part of the initial approval process. See Appeal of the Sanborn Regional School Board, 133 N.H. 513 (1990). And, on the opposite side, it’s not necessary to remove the authority to raise funds for onetime expenditures (or remove the authority to spend them) because there’s

no need for that money to be raised as it won’t be spent. (There’s no need to buy a second fire truck for a single truck department, after all.) Outside of voter approval of a separate warrant article raising and appropriating funds for some new purpose, under a default budget scenario, however, there is no way to obtain the voters blessing to do something new with town monies that isn’t authorized by last year’s budget.

Where does the controversy over default budgets come in? The main problem with default budgets is that they don’t incorporate really great ideas that are discovered after the passage of the last budget but before the creation of this year’s budget proposal. And when those ideas generate savings, it can create controversy because most people love saving money

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DEFAULT BUDGETS from page 23 but they may not love all the ideas incorporated into this year’s budget proposal. So, while there might be a stellar idea to save money on energy costs by switching municipal lighting over to LEDs, there might also be a

more controversial idea to save money over a period of time buy buying the public works department a new truck rather than trying to maintain the old one. And, as any road agent will testify, there are more experts in town on vehicle repair and maintenance than all of Detroit when it comes time for

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town meeting to consider the purchase of a new truck for the public works department. Unfortunately, the tension between wanting to grant the select board different authority and the requirements of the statutory formula for the default budget contained within RSA 40:13, IX(b) can cause controversy to arise. The complications of the formula for creating the default budget can make it difficult to understand why it may vary significantly from the newly proposed budget, and that is often a root of local discontent over the resultant default budget. Natch Greyes is the Government Affairs Counsel with the New Hampshire Municipal Association. He may be contacted at 603.224.7447 or at governmentaffairs@nhmunicipal.org. ©2022 M&T Bank. Member FDIC.

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Commercial Relationship Manager Government Banking | Treasury Management mbellovoda@mtb.com | 617-449-0363

of the municipal environment. See how our relationship-based approach and deep knowledge of government banking can help move you forward.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


We have all the tools to meet your needs. Drummond Woodsum’s attorneys are experienced at guiding towns, cities, counties and local governments through a variety of issues including: • • • • • • •

Municipal bonds and public finance Land use planning, zoning and enforcement Ordinance drafting Tax abatement General municipal matters Municipal employment and labor matters Litigation and appeals

We use a team approach – small groups of highly specialized attorneys that work together to offer clients the counsel and support they need, precisely when they need it. It’s an efficient way to practice law. It’s also extremely productive and cost effective for our clients.

Learn more about what our municipal group can do for you: dwmlaw.com | 800.727.1941

www.nhmunicipal.org

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

25


Getting Used to Different! Exhibitors Affinity LED Lighting Avitar Associates of New England, Inc. Auctions International Inc. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Benchmark Office Systems Bonnette, Page & Stone Corp. BMSI CAI Technologies CheckmateHCM CMA Engineers Eagle Associates of Cazeno- via, LLC East Coast Containers Environment Partners Group, LLC FirstLight Fuss and O’Neill, Inc. Gale Associates, Inc. GovDeals

Who Should Atten

Mayors; Select Boards; Council Members; Municipal Managers; Finance Officers; Pu Code Enforcement; Information Technology; Cemetery Trustees, Trustees of Trust F

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Save even From sour offic

Granite State College Green International Affiliates Harriman Horizons Engineering Hoyle, Tanner & Associates Horsely Witten Group Ideal Concrete Block Co. Interware Development Lavallee Brensinger Architects Lifesavers Inc. MHEC Mission Broadband

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Please take the time to visit the Exhibit Hall and thank these businesses for supporting municipal government in New Hampshire!

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Ca 26

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


NHMA’s 81st Annual Conference and Exhibition

t!

Wednesday, November and Thursday November 17 NHMA’s 81st Annual16 Conference and Exhibition DoubleTree by Hilton 16 Downtown Manchester Hotel Wednesday, November and Thursday November 17 DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Manchester Hotel

Exhibitors

Mitchell Municipal Group, P.A. New England Document Systems New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs New Hampshire Department of Corrections, Correctional Industries New Hampshire Housing New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank New Hampshire Retirement System NH PDIP/PFM Asset Management LLC NH Government Finance Officers Association NH Tax Deed & Property Auctions Onsite Drug Testing OF NE Roadsweep America Roberts & Greene, PLLC R.W. Gillespie & Associates, Inc. SFC Engineering Partnership The H.L. Turner Group, Inc. Tighe & Bond, Inc. Underwood Engineers, Inc. UNH Technology Transfer Center UniBank Fiscal Advisory Services VC3 Vision Government Solutions, Inc. Waypoint Technology Group Weston & Sampson Engineers, Inc. Wright-Pierce WSP USA, Inc.

Should Attend?

nce Officers; Public Works; Road Agents; Planners: Assessors; Welfare Officials; stees of Trust Funds, Building Inspectors and anyone in municipal government! Join us live, in-person for 2 days of training and networking! It’s been nearly two years and New Hampshire municipalities are still “getting used to different” and adapting to the extraordinary events of the pandemic. Elected and appointed officials have been faced with touch challenges and opportunities to create new programs and services that best meet the changing needs of their residents. Save Wednesday, November 16 and Thursday, November 17 to be sure you can attend this event planned just for New Hampshire’s elected and appointed city and town officials. From economic development to Right-to-Know Law, conflicts of interest to human resources, the plus 50 program sessions at this annual event are all designed with municipal officials in mind. This year’s conference will be held as a live, in person event in Manchester both days with simultaneous live-streaming for virtual attendees. Please join us in November!

In-person Attendance Rates

Virtual Attendance Rates

Member Rates

Member Rates

(1 day)=$135 ($125 if pay electronically) (2 days)=$175 ($165 if pay electronically)

1day=$100 ($90 if pay electronically)

Affiliate Member/State Agency Rate

Affiliate Member/State Agency Rate

(1 day)=$190 ($180 if pay electronically) (2 days)=$240 ($230 if pay electronically)

1day=$100 ($90 if pay electronically) 2 days=$130 ($120 if pay electronically)

Get inspired, learn something new, connect with Get inspired, learn something new,municipal colleagues, gain skills and bring this newfound knowledge back to your connect city and town! with municipal colleagues, gain skills

Please take the time to visit the Exhibit Hall and thank these businesses for supporting municipal government in New Hampshire!

and bring this newfound knowledge back to your city and town!

For details, visit www.nhmunicipal.org under Calendar of Events. Questions? Callvisit 603.230.3350 or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org. For details, www.nhmunicipal.org under Calendar of Events.

Questions? Call 603.230.3350 or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org www.nhmunicipal.org

. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

27


Government Affairs Update: Fall 2022 By Natch Greyes, Governmental Affairs Counsel

F

all is a time of birth and renewal. It’s the time to renew old bonds, forage new ones, and begin to sing that old carol: getting to know you, getting to know all about you. For, of course, fall – or at least the time of fall when you’ll have the opportunity to read this article – will be when we all know which of our neighbors have been selected to form the new year’s legislature.

something works with actual experience about the process. This can pay big dividends when an issue comes up involving that department and the legislator is looking for advice or advocating for or against a position.

It’s a ritual that happens every two years, and one that introduces new people and new ideas into the 434-person strong legislature. That means that these two months (November and December) are critical to the advocacy effort. These are the two months when local officials (and those of us in the Government Affairs Department at NHMA) can start building relationships with new state representatives and senators.

Aim to build real relationships with your legislators. If every conversation with a legislator is the same kind of conversation that you could have when ordering from a pizza shop (“whadda want?”), it’s easy for them to ignore you. The conversation has gone out of their head by the time they’ve finished inputting the order. And you’ve gone of their head as well.

A critical part of that effort is giving them the opportunity to learn what local officials and municipalities do and how they can help address issues that can’t be resolved at the local level. We often get calls from local officials around this time of year wondering what they can do to get more engaged with the process in Concord. Like all politics, it starts locally. Here are a few things that we think are good ideas:

Take the time to develop a stronger connection with your legislators by asking them questions that create positive, shared emotions and using those answers to facilitate further experiences and interactions. When engaging in that dialog don’t make it just small talk – listen with your full attention when they talk and take a moment to reflect what they are feeling back to them and be willing to share personal stories – which research shows is one of the best ways of demonstrating trust in someone else. Building that real relationship can ensure that when you do call your legislators with an issue, they’re willing to try to resolve the issue rather than simply forget what you asked as soon as you hang up.

1. Invite legislators to an experience in your town. Does your town operate a wastewater treatment facility, a police station, a fire department, a public works garage, or something unique? All of these are great places to host legislators for tours. It may sound a little silly, but most people last had an opportunity to see these facilities while in school – and for many of us, that was quite a while ago. Getting the opportunity to see how a wastewater treatment facility works, experience a day-in-the-life of a patrol officer, hear about first aid responses, or get a good look at the town equipment and learn what it does, is a great learning opportunity for anyone. Tours give legislators hands-on experiences that encourage them to ask questions and learn how things work. Most importantly, they remove politics from the equation by replacing whatever assumptions someone has about how 28

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

2. Don’t be the pitcher that goes to the well once too often.

3. Don’t be discouraged by what may feel like a Promethean effort. We often get calls from experienced local officials saying, “Every fall you guys remind us that it’s a great time to build relationships with our legislators, and we make the effort, but we often feel like Prometheus pushing the boulder up the mountain. No matter how hard we try we never seem to make progress.” Patiently, we remind them that dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. Some of the strangest successes that we’ve had at the legislature has been after Promethean efforts. Legislators who www.nhmunicipal.org


almost never agree with our positions sometimes find themselves in the topsy-turvy world of agreeing with us. And your continually efforts (and our own), at keeping open the channels of dialogue and building relationships have led to those successes. For many, the fall is a time to prepare for winter dormancy, but for us in Concord, it’s time for the birth of

new relationships and the renewal of old ties. We’ve spent the fall touching base with legislators and leadership and worked hard to prepare for the onslaught of hearings in January. We’re hopeful that we’ll be rolling out some changes that will allow you to get more information about the bills you care about faster, and we hope that you’re keeping an eye on our webinar schedule. We have some great

content coming that will help local officials perform their duties and, hopefully, help explain those duties to new legislators as well. Natch Greyes is the Government Affairs Counsel with the New Hampshire Municipal Association. He may be contacted at 603.224.7447 or at governmentaffairs@nhmunicipal.org.

Proudly serving more than 750,000 people in 72 cities and towns in CT, MA and NH. Safe, clean drinking water is essential to individual health and well-being. Learn more about Aquarion at aquarionwater.com

www.nhmunicipal.org

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

29


Help is Available for Homeowners Behind in Paying Mortgage, Property Taxes or Utility Payments

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uring the COVID-19 pandemic, a Hillsborough County couple faced an enormous financial burden. Increased expenses, as well as a reduction in income, weighed on their family. Despite tapping their retirement fund and other resources, they fell behind on their property taxes and electric bill. Then they heard about the NH Homeowner Assistance Fund program, and applied. Soon, to their great relief, they received word that the program would provide the $6,500 in assistance needed to pay the past-due bills. This is just one of many similar stories shared by New Hampshire homeowners who have received financial assistance from the program to help with house-related past-due bills. During the pandemic many homeowners saw their incomes dramatically reduced or budgets greatly strained due to lay-offs, illness, increased expenses due to childcare needs, and rising costs. Since March 2022, the NH Homeowner Assistance Fund has been providing financial assistance to eligible New Hampshire homeowners financially impacted during the pandemic and who are behind in paying their home mortgage, property taxes, utility bills, home insurance, and other housing expenses. A federally-funded program through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the NH Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, and is administered by New Hampshire Housing. To date the fund has disbursed over $3 million to assist struggling homeowners around the state.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the program, homeowners must have experienced a COVID-related reduction in income or increase in household expenses after January 21, 2022. Other eligibility stipulations include: owning and occupying the property as a primary residence, and having an income of less than 125% of the Area Median Income. The program provides financial assistance for past-due bills only. The NH Homeowner Assistance Fund offers financial help in three categories: Mortgage Loan Reinstatement, Property Charge Default Resolution, and Utility/Internet Payment Assistance. Assistance is capped at $20,000 total for all three programs, and the homeowner can apply for assistance in 30

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

any category as needed up to that amount of total assistance. (Utility assistance is capped at $3,000.) After an application is completed and reviewed, assistance requests for past-due amounts are verified and payments are made directly to service providers.

Partner Organizations

New Hampshire Housing has partnered with two organizations to support homeowners: • AHEAD, Inc. is a HUD certified housing counseling agency that can assist with applications and help homeowners navigate the loss mitigation requirement for mortgage assistance. • 603 Legal Aid provides legal assistance to homeowners facing an immediate threat of losing their home to foreclosure, tax deed, or sheriff ’s sale. Please spread the word to New Hampshire homeowners who are struggling financially due to a COVID-19 related hardship and are behind in paying their mortgage, property charges, or utilities because of the pandemic, and encourage them to apply to the program at HomeHelpNH.org. Printed postcards and flyers to distribute may be requested by emailing info@nhhfa.org or calling 603-310-9347, or downloaded from the NH Homeowner Assistance Fund Outreach Toolkit webpage at NHHousing.org/HAF. NH HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND CONTACT INFORMATION For program details and to apply: HomeHelpNH.org AHEAD For application assistance, financial counseling, and other resources (800) 974-1377 x1014 • HomesAhead.org 603 Legal Aid For assistance with an immediate threat of foreclosure, tax deed, or sheriff ’s sale (603) 224-3333 • 603LegalAid.org For renters or landlords in need of assistance, the federal NH Emergency Rental Assistance program provides help to renters and landlords impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Go to HomeHelpNH.org for details. www.nhmunicipal.org


DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE BEHIND IN PAYING MORTGAGE, PROPERTY CHARGES OR UTILITIES? The New Hampshire Homeowner Assistance Fund provides assistance to eligible residents who are past due in paying their home mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, association fees, or utilities due to the pandemic.

HomeHelpNH.org

HomesAhead.org

603LegalAid.org

For program details and to apply.

For application assistance, financial counseling and other resources.

For assistance with an immediate threat of foreclosure, tax deed, or sheriff’s sale.

The NH Homeowner Assistance Fund program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR). It is administered by New Hampshire Housing.

Find out more at HomeHelpNH.org

NHH 22-78 NH HAF Program_ad_NHTC_fp-nb_mech.indd www.nhmunicipal.org

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31 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 10/5/22 2 0 2 3:24 2 PM


The

HR

REPORT

NHMA Employment Law Hotline: Question and Answer Series By Anna B. Cole

Drummond Woodsum partners with the New Hampshire Municipal Association to provide a free Employment Law Hotline service, through which we provide general legal advice to NHMA members. We receive a number of recurring inquiries through the hotline and decided to establish a running series in which we periodically use the HR Report to address a hot issue.

Question:

If a Town pays a non-exempt employee an additional stipend to perform certain work (such as keeping minutes for an elected board), do the hours spent working in the “stipend position” count for the purposes of determining the employee’s entitlement to overtime?

Answer:

In brief, yes. The federal and state wage and hour laws require that all employees be classified as either exempt or non-exempt. Here, the Town has already determined that the employee’s primary job for the employer is a non-exempt role. The FLSA and state law require that non-exempt employees (1) report all hours worked, (2) be paid at least minimum wage (currently $7.25/hour) for every hour worked, and (3), with limited exceptions for police and fire personnel, be paid at least 1 ½ their “regular rate” of pay for every hour worked over 40 hours in a 7-day work week. If a municipality employs an individual in more than one non-exempt job all hours worked for the Town (regardless of which job is being performed) all hours worked must be tracked and added together to determine whether the individual has worked more than 40 hours. That being the case, we recommend that each employee complete only one time card, regardless of how many different roles/functions they may perform for a municipality, to ensure that their hours worked are properly considered for overtime purposes. If the total hours worked by the non-exempt employee exceed 40 hours, the employer must determine the employee’s “regular rate” to ensure the employee is being properly compensated for all overtime hours. An employee’s “regular rate” is determined by dividing the 32

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

employee’s total compensation in any workweek by the total number of hours actually worked in that workweek. When an employee works at different base hourly rates for the same employer, that calculation will result in a weighted average of those hourly rates, which is then used as the “regular rate” for overtime purposes. If one of the employee’s duties has been compensated on a stipend basis, the Town would first need to determine how much of the stipend should be attributed to the particular work week. This would likely be done by converting the stipend into an hourly rate based on the number of hours the employee spends performing the stipend-related duties. Once that calculation is complete you can determine the weighted average. For example, assume the employee’s regular hourly pay for the primary job is $20/hour and they receive a $2,000 stipend per year for specific additional duties (“stipend duties”) with the expectation that the stipend duties require 4 hours of work per week. Accordingly, reduced to an hourly rate, the employee receives $9.62 per hour for the stipend duties. Assume that, in a particular week, the employee works 40 hours in their primary job in addition to the 4 hours of stipend duties (i.e., 44 hours of work total for the employer) and that the employee receives no other compensation from the employer (aside from their regular straight time pay and the stipend) during this period. In those circumstances, the employee’s total straight time earnings would be $838.48 ((40 hours x $20/hour = $800) + (4 hours x $9.62/hour = $38.48), and the weighted average regular rate would be $19.06. Using this regular rate, the employee’s time and one-half rate for overtime purposes would be $28.59. Easy! Just kidding. Nothing is that easy. The example above presumes that the stipend amount is sufficient to meet www.nhmunicipal.org


the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If the stipend converted to an hourly rate is less than minimum wage, the amount paid will need to be increased to avoid a minimum wage law violation. The best practice is to pay nonexempt employees on an hourly basis, rather than on a stipend basis. Use of a stipend can also lead to other problems, as the New Hampshire Department of Labor would expect that the employee be paid on a regular payroll cycle basis rather than in a lump sum at year end for the work performed Please note that in limited circumstances a non-exempt employee can provide volunteer services to a community, so long as such volunteer services are “not the same type of services” that the

employee is employed to provide to the municipality. For example, a paid police officer can serve as a volunteer firefighter in the same community, with only the hours worked as a police officer considered for overtime purposes. Whether the volunteer services are “not the same type of services” can be tricky, particularly with administrative or clerical employees. Whether a paid employee can also be a volunteer requires a close review of the facts. Communities are encouraged to contact Town counsel determine if a particular employee’s volunteer services can be excluded from a determination of the number of hours worked in a pay week. Additionally, if employee in our example’s primary job for the Town qualified that employee

exempt, the answer would be different. Generally, an exempt employee can perform concurrent or additional non-exempt duties as long as their “primary duty” is the performance of the exempt function. For example, a Public Works Director who is considered an exempt executive employee can mow ballfields during the work day or be the note taker at a Planning Board meeting, as long as the performance of exempt executive functions remains the employee’s primary duty. This is not a legal document nor is it intended to serve as legal advice or a legal opinion. Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon, P.A. makes no representations that this is a complete or final description or procedure that would ensure legal compliance and does not intend that the reader should rely on it as such.

If you’re not getting it, you’re not getting it.

Don’t be caught without it! NewsLink gives you all the latest information on upcoming workshops, webinars and other training events.

The E-newsletter of the New Hampshire Municipal Association

This bi-weekly electronic newsletter is the most comprehensive resource for local government officials in New Hampshire.

To get all the news you can’t afford to miss, subscribe to NewsLink at www.nhmunicipal.org.

www.nhmunicipal.org

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

33


Tech

Insights By Joe Howland, Chief Information Security Officer, VC3

Why Multi-Factor Authentication is Essential

H

ow can you better protect your organization’s sensitive information and your users’ personal data? Deciding where to focus your information security efforts for the most protection and the best return on investment can be a challenge. Multi-factor authentication is an excellent place to start, and here’s why. More than 60% of phishing messages (in which a bad actor sends a fraudulent email or SMS message to capture a user’s password) in 2020 were targeted toward harvesting Office 365 credentials. And, 90% of successful cyberattacks start in email. This shows us the need to prioritize authentication to ensure that bad actors don’t get access to your systems. Such data is especially relevant when we consider that the average cost to organizations reporting data breaches is $4.24 million. Furthermore, it takes an average of 200 days before most organizations even know they’ve been breached. Multi-factor authentication is a low-cost, highly effective way to help ensure that your employees’ login information stays secure.

What is multi-factor authentication? Multi-factor authentication is a method of verifying users’ identities before granting them access to a system. As the name implies, multi-factor authentication uses two or more different factors to verify a user’s identity before allowing them access to a given system, location, or account. These factors can include: • Something the user knows: Perhaps the most common authentication factor, something a user knows could be a password or PIN. It could also be the answer to a security question. Essentially, this factor uses personal or proprietary knowledge to authenticate the user. You’ve likely run into this factor when you call your bank and they ask you to verify your identity by reciting your birthday and the last four digits of your Social Security number. • Something the user is: The most common way that multi-factor authentication systems use this factor is through biometrics. If you unlock your phone with facial recognition or your fin-

34

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

gerprint, you’re familiar with this factor of MFA. This type of authentication is most often used with unlocking physical devices, but it can also be used with voice recognition. This is often implemented to grant customers access to their accounts over the phone. • Somewhere the user is: Geo-fencing is sometimes implemented to ensure that users may only access specific information or systems while on-premise at a given location. When combined with other factors, this can help reduce the risk of bad actors gaining access to onsite servers and other assets. Location-based authentication factors often work well in conjunction with biometric factors to ensure that only authorized persons are onsite and accessing your systems.

Why implement multi-factor authentication? If people can gain access to your systems with a password alone, you are highly susceptible to common cyberattacks. Too many users also reuse their passwords across multiple logins. However, when you implement multi-factor authentication, a password is only one of multiple components needed to gain access. With multi-factor authentication, you have builtin barriers to entry that require relatively little investment of time and resources. Further, multi-factor authentication is often a requirement to purchase cyber liability insurance.

Which systems should you prioritize for multi-factor authentication? Not all systems require multi-factor authentication. Here are our recommendations for top priorities: 1. Any internet-facing service: These include email (especially Office 365 or Google Workspace), virtual private networks (VPNs), and any cloud-based systems (such as CRMs, hosted utility platforms, payroll, etc.). 2. Systems housing sensitive data: If you house personal health information (PHI), financial information, or any other proprietary data or information, you should use at least two authentication factors to access it.

www.nhmunicipal.org


3. Critical Infrastructure: Your firewalls, switches, servers, and other critical infrastructure should all have multiple layers of authentication. 4. Administrative accounts: These accounts typically have access to multiple systems and should be protected with more than a password or other single authentication factor. 5. Workstations: Individual user workstations are less vulnerable than internetfacing services or infrastructure, but they can still present a weak point. Multi-factor authentication could be as simple as requiring employees to use a key fob to enter the office and a password on their workstation.

Common multi-factor authentication implementations As we mentioned earlier, multi-factor authentication comes in various forms. Some of the most secure implementations include mobile applications, electronic key fobs, biometrics, and secure RFID cards. With a mobile app like Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, Duo, or Authy, users can generate a single-use password or code every time they log in. And they must have access to their mobile device to do it, which combines something they have with something they know for increased security. Electronic key fobs and secure cards give users physical access to your premises, and you can combine this (something they have) with passwords and other factors to create a more secure login experience. With a biometric reader, you eliminate the risk associated with lost keycards or key fobs, as well. Authentication factors that are moderately secure include automated verifi-

www.nhmunicipal.org

cation phone calls and texts. These can be infiltrated, but they’re better than nothing. The worst security factor is probably email, as anyone who gains access to a user’s email address (such as by acquiring their password in a phishing campaign) can access that account and use it to reset passwords and breach your systems.

In conclusion: Protect your systems with multi-factor authentication Implementing multi-factor authentication is one of the most cost-efficient methods to protect your organization against cyberattacks. Even if you require users to update their passwords regularly, those passwords may already be compromised and available on the dark web. Adding layers of authentication reduces your risk and could save you millions of dollars in the long term. As you review your current authentication policies and the options available for multi-factor authentication, consider if you’re getting the most security for your authentication efforts. If your organization does not have multi-factor authentication for access to sensitive information, or if you have questions about improving your cybersecurity, fill out the form below to reach out to us today. About Joe Howland Joe has been in the IT industry for over 20 years and has extensive IT management experience that spans multiple industries. A UCLA grad with a degree in Mathematics Computation with a Computer Specialization, he worked with Computer Sciences Corporation for 10 years supporting defense and financial sector contracts. Joe joined VC3 in 2009 and during his time with VC3, Joe has performed in the role of Virtual CIO for some of VC3’s largest government customers. Joe is currently VC3’s Chief Information Security Officer and is re-

sponsible for VC3’s IT security as well as advising on security for VC3’s customers. About VC3

VC3 is a leading managed services provider focused on municipal government. Founded in 1994, VC3 forms partnerships with municipalities to achieve their technology goals and harness their data. In addition to providing comprehensive managed IT solutions, VC3 offers cybersecurity, website design, custom application development, and business intelligence services. Visit www. vc3.com to learn more.

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

35


Legal

Q and A Mitigating Confusion over “Ex Officio” Members By Jonathan Cowal, Municipal Services Counsel

I

t is not uncommon for there to be a certain level of confusion concerning what it means to be an ex officio member of a public body. The position “ex officio” is explicitly provided for in statutes like RSA 673:2, where the statute refers to a member of the select board or an administrative official of a city serving as the ex officio member on the local Planning Board. There are other statutes that don’t use the term ex officio, however that designation is implied by the language of the statute. An example of this would be RSA 32:15 which requires one member of the governing body and one member of the school board to sit on an official budget committee. Several statutes include provisions for ex officio members to serve on public bodies and understanding their role is vital in ensuring that the public body is operating within the confines of the law. Q. What does it mean to be an “ex officio” member? A. For land use boards the term ex officio is defined in RSA 672:5. That statute provides that an “Ex Officio Member” means any member who holds office by virtue of an official position and who shall exercise all the powers of regular members of a local land use board. In this instance, the only difference between an ex officio member and any other member of a public body is that the ex officio member holds their position by virtue of holding some other official position. They are not simply a representative of the other public body, an advisor, or some other type of lesser member. They are equal in every respect to the other members of the public body except that they were chosen from a smaller pool of applicants due to their other official position. RSA 672:5 goes as far as to clarify that they shall exercise all the powers of regular members of a local land use board, however this sentiment is not limited to only land use boards. Any time an ex officio member sits on a public body, they shall have the same powers as other members, with a few very narrow exceptions. 36

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

It is important to note that while ex officio members may exercise the same authority as other members of the public body, they do not hold any more authority than any other member and they do not have a special status due to the fact that they serve on another board. The fact that there is a member of the select board who is statutorily appointed to the planning board does not mean that the select board member on the planning board gets to boss the other members around or wield the power of the select board over the planning board. They are an equal member just like everyone else. Q. What other boards have ex officio members? A. There are several other statutes that specifically mention ex officio members. RSA 673:4-a states that if there is a historic district commission, one member of the commission shall be an ex officio member of the heritage commission. RSA 31:112 says, if a city or town has adopted RSA 36-A, a city or town forest may be managed by the city or town conservation commission, with the tree warden, if any, as an ex officio member. There are other statutes that don’t explicitly use the term ex officio, but by the very language of the statute it is implied that the members are ex officio members. The most common example of this would be RSA 32:15 which requires an official budget committee to have one member of the governing body and one member of the school board serving on the committee. Even though the term ex officio isn’t used, these members are appointed to the budget committee because they serve on another public body thus establishing their status as ex officio. While there are several statutes that explicitly call for an ex officio member, and others that imply the existence of ex officio members, it is also common for municipalities to mistakenly create ex officio members where none exist. A common example of this is when municipalities believe that there needs to be an ex officio member of the select board or www.nhmunicipal.org


planning board on the zoning board of adjustment. However, RSA 673:3 does not mention anything about an ex officio member, nor does it imply that there should be one. In fact, while not explicitly barred by statute, it can be problematic to put a select board member on the ZBA due to the potential for a conflict of interest to arise. Q. Are there any limits to the role of an ex officio member? A. There are a few statutes which narrowly limit the role of an ex officio member on certain boards. RSA 673:9 states that the ex officio member of planning board shall not serve as chairperson. RSA 673:11 states that whenever an ex-officio member of a land use board is absent or disqualifies herself, the chair may only designate the person appointed by the select board, town council or city council to serve as the alternate to the ex officio. The reason for this is because there cannot be more than one member of the select board serving on the planning board at the same time. Therefore, it stands to reason that you cannot appoint another member of the select board to be an alternate unless they are only serving as an alternate for the other select board member. Finally, RSA 32:15 states that the ex officio members of the budget committee who serve on the select board and school board cannot be elected or appointed to serve as at-large members. Q. To what extent can a public body choose to limit the power of ex officio members? A. This issue was addressed in a recent opinion by the Hillsborough Superior Court in the case of Town of Hudson and Hudson School District SAU 81 v. Hudson Budget Commit-

Court

Update

tee. In this case, the Hudson Budget Committee adopted a bylaw that barred the two ex officio members from voting. The provision read, “votes will be limited to the nine elected or duly appointed members-at-large”. The Committee argued that RSA 32:15 is ambiguous and does not require the ex officio member to be permitted to vote. What is interesting about this argument is that RSA 32:15 does not actually use the term ex officio to describe the members at issue, nor does it include any provision like the one in RSA 672:5 which explicitly states that ex officio members have the same powers as other members. Nevertheless, the court adopted the term “ex officio member” when talking about the two budget committee members and ruled that by the plain language of the statute they were considered a “member” just like the appointed or at-large members. RSA 32:15 limits these members ability to serve as at-large members and does not impose any further limitations. If the legislature wanted these members to be further limited, they would have included that in the statute. As a result, the court ruled that the actions of the budget committee were against the law, and they could not strip the ex officio members of their right to vote. All actions taken by the budget committee during the time that the ex officio members were barred from voting were deemed invalid and ordered to be redone. Jonathan Cowal is the Municipal Services Counsel with the New Hampshire Municipal Association. He may be contacted at 603.224.7447 or at legalinquiries@nhmunicipal.org.

By Stephen C. Buckley, Legal Services Counsel and Jonathan Cowal, Municipal Services Counsel

Now available online:

May 2022 When Expressing Official Points of View, Local Government Can Control the Content of Signs and Flags Displayed on Municipal Property Under a Written Policy, Shurtleff v. City of Boston, United States Supreme Court Docket No. 20–1800, 05/02/2022

www.nhmunicipal.org

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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ARPA Funds: Best Practices for Small Communities By Katherine Hueston

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he American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) granted municipalities of all sizes flexible, extensive federal grant funding, a first for many of America’s smallest municipalities. As smaller municipalities, also known as nonentitlement units of local government (NEUs), work to implement ARPA spending plans, it is key to keep a few things in mind to ensure every municipality can utilize their ARPA funds as effectively as possible. Update on Next Tranche of Funding Half of each NEU’s ARPA funding was made available in 2021 and the second half will be available in 12 months after the first disbursal. For some communities that could be as late as November 2022. The second tranche of funding still falls under the guidelines and reporting requirements defined in Treasury’s final rule. For more information and to sign up for regular updates, visit Treasury’s website. Treasury Scam Warning On April 7, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury notified the National League of Cities of a scam targeting NEUs. The scam emails are requesting funds from NEUs to pay for SAM.gov renewal. However, there is no fee for renewal and this email should be disregarded. Any request to pay a fee for SAM.gov renewal is fraudulent. NLC will continue to update NEUs if there are any further potential threats identified and we advise all NEUs remain vigilant. How NEU Funds Are Being Used Earlier this year, NLC released an analysis of how 30 NEUs are spending their ARPA funds to better gauge spending trends. The flexibility and availability of funds allocated to NEUs through ARPA has already led to a diversity of spending across seven main spending buckets, including: • Infrastructure • City operations investments • Community aid • Housing • Public health • Economic and workforce development • Public safety Since NEUs began allocating their ARPA funds, nearly 78% of the funding analyzed by NLC has gone to infrastructure projects. More broadly, NEUs have begun projects across various sectors, including funding for water and sewer projects, improving city facilities, assisting those hit hardest by the pandemic, prioritizing affordable housing, and enhancing local workforce opportunities. NEUs Should Continue to Use ARPA Funds Small municipalities have access to rare federal funding that can be used for a wide range of pandemic-related recovery projects. NLC wants to ensure every municipality has access to ARPA funds and can use them to fulfill the needs of their city, town or village. Moving forward, as a new allocation of money becomes available, we want NEUs to be aware of the resources available to assist with the allocation and implementation of ARPA dollars, especially with such a wide variety of acceptable uses for the funds. For more examples on how small communities have used ARPA funds, view our report here. Katherine Hueston serves as an intern on NLC’s Federal Advocacy team.

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In an Ever-Changing World, Focus on What Matters Most.

From one generation to the next, the world around us may change, but the things that matter most – family, friends, spending time together, laughter, good health – remain constant. At HealthTrust, we stay ahead of the changes to provide New Hampshire’s families the resources they need for optimal health, now and in the future. We are excited to announce major enhancements to our wellness programs for 2023 powered by new partnerships with Virgin Pulse for our Slice of Life program, and ComPsych for our LifeResources Employee Assistance Program. We keep up with the changing times so our covered individuals have the best tools and resources to stay healthy – and they can focus on what really matters – spending time with people they love.

800.527.5001 | www.healthtrustnh.org Medical and Prescription Drug | Dental | Benefit Advantage FSA and HRA Services | Disability and Life Slice of Life Wellness Program | HealthTrust 360 | LiveHealth Online | LifeResources EAP SmartShopper | Included Health | Corigen® Medication Safety Program

www.nhmunicipal.org

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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NEW HAMPSHIRE ASSOCIATION OF REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

This segment is another in a series highlighting NHARPC’s efforts to provide education on planning-related topics.

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Economic Resiliency Planning Natalie Gemma, Economic Recovery Coordinator, Strafford Regional Planning Commission Stacey Doll, Community Resiliency Planner, North Country Council Jay Minkarah, Executive Director, Nashua Regional Planning Commission

A

cross the state and beyond, the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of integrating resiliency efforts to enhance a community’s ability to respond more quickly to unprecedented circumstances while lessening the impacts to our local and regional economies. With support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) through the CARES Act, several of New Hampshire’s Regional Planning Commissions were able to implement a variety of programs aimed to assist member communities with economic resiliency planning. Through these efforts, each RPC strived to increase awareness, provide data and information sharing, create connections with community members and stakeholders, and develop regional economic development priorities, goals, and action items to achieve them. Below, are a few examples of how three RPCs have approached economic resiliency planning within their regions. The Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC) launched several programs designed to support economic recovery and resiliency planning for the region’s municipalities and businesses as they worked to navigate the constantly evolving circumstances faced as a result of the pandemic. Through outreach and engagement efforts with municipalities and businesses, which in large part came from the meetings with the Seacoast Economic Development Stakeholder (SEDS) group, a collective entity of economic development stakeholders at the local, regional, and state level who meet regularly to work collaboratively to promote the economic vitality of our region, SRPC was able to obtain a clear understanding of what some of the urgent needs of our communities were. In response, this allowed staff to design programs accordingly to ensure those needs were being met.

municipalities, lasted 9 months and involved the support of 14 staff members (between full or part-time employees and interns)- led to the digitization of over 10,000 municipal documents, including site plans, subdivision plans, tax maps, among other documents. For businesses, the Consultant Technical Assistance program was created, where SRPC partnered with 5 private consultants to provide free targeted technical support to small businesses in the areas of website development, marketing, advertising, graphic design, audio visual support, IT services, and cybersecurity. By the end of the year-long program, a total of 76 businesses across 13 SRPC municipalities received technical support at no cost to them, representing over 277 hours of assistance at a value of $32,000. Other efforts put forward to promote economic resiliency included the Promoting Outdoor Play (POP!) tool, monthly resource and information sharing with local businesses, and a Resiliency Subcommittee comprised of SRPC commissioners. To learn more about SRPC’s work under the CARES Act grant, please visit http://strafford.org/uploads/documents/plans/edd/ ceds_2022.pdf.

For municipalities, the Record Digitization Program was created to promote organizational resiliency by increasing efficiency for municipal staff if and when required to work remotely while enabling access to digital records for the public. It is estimated that the program- which was offered at no cost to 13 SRPC

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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region’s understanding and response to economic and community resiliency by including climate mitigation, adaptation strategies, and support for environmentally sustainable business development.

North Country Council Regional Planning Commission and Economic Development District just completed a two-year economic and community recovery and resiliency planning effort. This effort, known as North Country Rising, included a robust community and industry engagement process to define resiliency for different economic sectors, identify the greatest assets and needs across all eight forms of capital, and develop goals and strategies to build economic resilience in the region over time. The goals and strategies fall into seven common theme areas: 1.) Collaboration and Collective Impact; 2.) Planning and Assessment; 3.) Supporting and Investing in Community Backbone Systems; 4.) Equity, Connectivity and Access; 5.) Balanced Economies; 6.) Innovation, Education and Workforce Development; and 7.) Culture, Climate and Quality of life. The North Country Rising Plan and supporting Case Studies, Business Resource Roadmap, and Stories of Resilience interviews and videos can be viewed at www.nccouncil.org/northcountry-rising/. North Country Council will be continuing economic resiliency work over the next 12-18 months through the award of an Economic Adjustment and Assistance grant through the Economic Development Administration. The funds allocated will be used to support two efforts that further economic and community resiliency in the region: 1.) Facilitating the development of collective impact collaboration for various sectors of the economy and 2.) Broadening the www.nhmunicipal.org

In the spring of 2022, the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) completed a comprehensive economic development plan intended to address the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This effort was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA). The pandemic had far-reaching impacts to the economy including business losses and closures, job losses, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. While some of these impacts were of relatively short duration such as public health related restrictions on business activity, the pandemic may well result in long-term changes in how people work, shop, and interact with one another. The plan addressed the impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s economy with a particular focus on the heavily impacted retail and restaurant sectors, workforce, entrepreneurship, commercial real estate, and traditionally disadvantaged and underserved businesses. In addition, the effort also resulted in branding under the new name and logo Spark. To develop the plan, NRPC worked with municipal staff and a broad-based steering committee to identify sites throughout the region with the highest potential for commercial development, redevelopment, and reinvestment. These included sites within designated Opportunity Zones, New Markets Tax Credit eligible areas, New Hampshire designated Economic Revitalization Zones, Brownfields, and

other target sites. Target sites are featured on the new Spark website (www. nashuarpc.org/economic_development/) together with key information including available financial incentives to help inform investment decisions. The site also includes overlay maps showing natural constraints such as wetlands and floodplains, zoning, and infrastructure including highways, and public water and sewer. NRPC’s planning effort was informed by a robust public outreach effort. In addition to steering committee members, input was sought through focus groups, individual meetings with specific industries, and a series of surveys. This multi-pronged approach provided insights on challenges facing each industry and provided the basis for a detailed set of recommendations, which can be reviewed viewed on the Spark website. The Spark site also provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with a central location for resources and connections to regional, state, and federal business assistance organizations and programs. In addition, the Spark website serves as a marketing tool to put the Greater Nashua area on the map and attract future businesses and investment to the region. RPCs can provide a broad knowledge of planning topics and network of state and regional partners to build capacity at the municipal level. Reach out to your RPC to learn more about how you can plan for changing conditions in your community.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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Member Highlight: Classified Ads Postings NHMA offers an online job and/or classified ad postings at www.nhmunicipal.org.

The postings are available to members without a charge and appear on the website for up to two months, or less, depending on your schedule. This can include job postings, bids, for sale items, Request for Proposals (RFPs), and Request for Qualifications (RFQs). Municipal employers posting jobs can include information on the position’s hours, job description, qualifications, pay, application process and deadline.

If you would like to post a classified ad to NHMA’s website, but not quite sure how to do it, please contact NHMA’s Timothy Fortier at 603.226.1305 or tfortier@nhmunicipal.org.

We have all the tools to meet your needs. Drummond Woodsum’s attorneys are experienced at guiding towns, cities, counties and local governments through a variety of issues including: • • • • • • •

Municipal bonds and public finance Land use planning, zoning and enforcement Ordinance drafting Tax abatement General municipal matters Municipal employment and labor matters Litigation and appeals

We work hard to offer clients the counsel and support they need, precisely when they need it.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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Financial solutions for public sector entities. TD Bank Government Banking. Our Government Banking Team provides solutions to meet the operational needs of public sector entities, while making the most of taxpayer dollars. • Treasury Management Services • Deposit, Money Market and CD Products • Municipal Loans and Leases • Banking convenience from one of the safest financial institutions in the world1

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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WHAT WE DO

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We're committed to offer the highest quality health care to our members through unique and engaging wellness intiatives and outstanding customer service.

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We work to reduce the administrative burden of employee health insurance plans for public sector administrators by offering day to day support services.

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We understand the importance of employee benefits. When it comes to building health plans and wellness programs employees want, we are your team. Whether you are dealing with a high cost prescription drug, seeking education about your plans, or having trouble getting care approved...we are here for you.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

603-223-6448

Member Services Benefit Account Management Custom Wellness Initiatives Engaging Programs Enrollment & Billing Services

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GoGreen! Green! Go Green! Help Us Go Digital! HelpGo Us Go Digital! Go Green! Help Us Go Digital! Digital! Help Us Go Currently our bi-monthly magazine, New Hampshire

July/August 2022

TownandCity N E W

H A M P S H I R E

A PUBLICATION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION

Currently our bi-monthly magazine, New Hampshire

Currently bi-monthly magazine, New Hampshire Town and our City, is published as a member benefit and Town City, is magazine, published asHampshire a member benefit and Currently our Newmunicipal Town andand City, is published as 1,800 a member benefit and distributed to bi-monthly approximately officials Town and City, is published as a member benefit and distributed to approximately 2,300 municipal officials distributed to approximately 2,300 municipal officials across New Hampshire. distributed to approximately 2,300 municipal officials across New Hampshire.

across New Hampshire. across New Hampshire.

In This Issue:

Carrying on a Civic Tradition in Rye, New Hampshire ........................... 10 Taking the Mystery Out of Fund Balance ................................................ 16 Pursuing Racial Equity Through Intentional Community Engagement .......................................................................... 20 Recent First Amendment Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court ........... 22 State House Report: A Very Good Year Legislatively ........................... 24 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Process Update ........................................ 26

We are pleased to continue to deliver the print edition to We are pleased to continue to deliver the print edition to We are pleased to continue to deliver the print edition to member subscribers, however, should you the digimember however, should youdeliver find find the digiWe aresubscribers, pleased toandcontinue to thecopy, print edition to member subscribers, however, should you find thea digital version sufficient no longer require print tal version sufficient and no longer require a print copy, tal version sufficient and no longer require a print copy, member however, shouldor you find the digiplease let us ussubscribers, knowatatnhmainfo@nhmunicipal.org. nhmainfo@nhmunicipal.org. please let know byor by please let us know at nhmainfo@nhmunicipal.org. or by contacting Tim Fortier. contacting TimFortier. Fortier. tal version sufficient and no longer require a print copy, contacting Tim

please let us know at nhmainfo@nhmunicipal.org. or by

Thank your consideration move from a print Thank you you for for totomove from afrom print Thank you foryour yourconsideration consideration to move a print contacting Tim Fortier. edition to a digital version of Town and City magazine. edition to a digital version of Town and City magazine. edition to a digital version of Town and City magazine.

Help with Townand andCity! City! HelpUs UsOut! Out! Go Go Green Green Town you with for consideration Help Us Out! Thank Go Green withyour Town and City! to move from a print Contact TimothyFortier, Fortier,Communications Communications Coordinator, atat603.226.1305 oror at at Contact Timothy Coordinator, 603.226.1305 edition to a digital version of Town and Contact Timothy Fortier, Communications Coordinator, at 603.226.1305 or atCity magazine. tfortier@nhmunicipal.org tfortier@nhmunicipal.org

tfortier@nhmunicipal.org

Help Us Out! Go Green with Town and City! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 Contact Timothy Fortier, Communications Coordinator, at 603.226.1305 or at tfortier@nhmunicipal.org

www.nhmunicipal.org

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Delivering expertise to meet complex needs. Consider the value of working with Citizens. We have the scope and collective partnerships to serve your most sophisticated needs. The Citizens Government Banking team provides the expertise, services and solutions to help state and local government entities. Our dedicated Relationship Managers help clients uncover opportunities to improve efficiencies and utilize taxpayer dollars more effectively. The highly skilled team of Clarfeld | Citizens Private Wealth® professionals specializes in providing solutions to the complex financial needs of both our family wealth and institutional clients, leveraging its hands-on approach and global reach.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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— This Moment in NHMA History — 1958 – 64 years ago… Governor Lane Dwinell was a strong supporter of the NHMA. In 1958, Governor Dwinell wrote in a national magazine, “One important thing which every governor learns is that his state is only as strong and healthy as the communities within its borders. Good government must begin at the municipal level, where the beliefs and opinions of each informed voter carry a maximum of weight and influence.” Continuing, the governor wrote, “Many of our best-run municipal governments now share their gains through participation in the helpful activities of the NHMA.” NHMA urged the Legislature to assume the responsibility for financing the cost of its own veteran’s exemption by ordering municipalities to grant these exemptions totaling nearly $37 million. Cities and towns were already hard pressed to meet their own financial responsibilities without being forced to pay for this state program. For the first time in history, New Hampshire’s towns and cities pledged to support a common legislative program to contribute to the growth and progress of the State of New Hampshire by strengthening local government. Right is the preliminary report, dated November 19, 1958, calling for a Legislative Program for the members of NHMA which was presented at its annual meeting. The Legislative Program was adopted unanimously by the 82 people present, representing 72 member municipalities of the Association.

?

?

NAME

THAT

TOWN OR

CITY

? ?

www.nhmunicipal.org

According to its website and town records, this town hall was constructed in 1847 and was originally used for voting and Town Meeting. Women would sit in the upstairs area, while the men, allowed to vote, would sit downstairs. The building was used as a community building, hosting many dances, variety and talent shows, and suppers. Town Meeting was held in the Town Hall until 1972. Town offices moved from the Library to the Town Hall in 1979. When you have figured out the answer, email it to tfortier@nhmunicipal.org. The answer will appear in the January/February 2023 issue. ANSWER TO PHOTO IN THE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER ISSUE: The photo on page 47 in the last issue of New Hampshire Town and City magazine is that of the Town of Center Harbor. Special thanks to Dawn Coffey (Rumney); Marshall Buttrick (Greenfield); Boyd Chivers (Candia); Marjorie Roy (Andover); Sally Kellar and Jane O’Brien (Bedford); Janis Jalbert (Chester); and Judy Bibbins (Franklin) who all responded with the correct answer.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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Getting to Know NHMA’s Membership Benefits 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Upcoming Webinars

NHMA offers full membership to cities and towns of New Hampshire and associate membership to any village district, county, regional planning commission, or quasimunicipal public agency serving New Hampshire municipalities. Today, NHMA is proud to represent all 234 cities and towns in New Hampshire as well as 52 associate members. Whether you’re new to NHMA or need a refresher on how to optimize your membership with us, there’s always more to see at NHMA.

NHMA will be hosting two complimentary webinars in December for members of the Join Executive Director, Margaret Byrnes, and Communications Coordinator, Timothy Fortier, as they give a full New Hampshire Municipal Association.

walk-through of all the membership benefits, including access to a treasure-trove of free resources, available to you as full and associate members. See what’s waiting for you as a member and explore the value of belonging to NHMA.

Default Budgets & How They Work 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022 Default budgets are a particularly complicated area of municipal finance that have widespread impacts in official ballot (“SB2”) towns and school districts.

For details and registration information, visit www.nhmunicipal.org under Calendar of Events Questions? Call 603.224.7447 or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org.

www.nhmunicipal.org

Please join Barrett Christina, Executive Director with the New Hampshire School Boards Association, and NHMA’s Government Finance Advisor Katherine Heck and Government Affairs Counsel Natch Greyes as they explain the fundamentals of default budgets: what they are, how they’re calculated, and what controversies arise during town/school meeting when local officials and the public discuss the default budget.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022

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New Hampshire Town and City 2022 - Index of Featured Articles Up Close and Personal

Jim Michaud, Chief Assessor, Town of Hudson............................................................................................................................................................................................ Jan/Feb........................... 30 Dennis Shanahan. Councilor, City of Dover................................................................................................................................................................................................. Jan/Feb........................... 31 William L. Duschatko, Councilor, Town of Bedford..................................................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 34 April Hibberd, Select Board Member, Town of Bethlehem........................................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 35 Tim Metivier, Building Inspector, City of Portsmouth.................................................................................................................................................................................. May/Jun......................... 26 Ken Mills, Select Board Member, Town of Carroll........................................................................................................................................................................................ May/Jun......................... 27 Dale Girard, Mayor, City of Claremont........................................................................................................................................................................................................ Jul/Aug........................... 28 Christopher Remillard, Chief of Police, Town of Dunbarton........................................................................................................................................................................ Jul/Aug........................... 29

Budget and Finance

Taking the Mystery Out of Fund Balance..................................................................................................................................................................................................... Jul/Aug........................... 16

Governance

Longing for a Normal Town Meeting............................................................................................................................................................................................................ Mar/Apr......................... 12 52 Ideas on How You Can Govern Better..................................................................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 16 Celebrating and Increasing Women Serving Our Towns and Cities.............................................................................................................................................................. May/Jun......................... 10 Riggins Rules................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. May/Jun......................... 24 The Value of Municipal Local Welfare.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Sep/Oct.......................... 22

Energy

Take Advantage of Local Renewable Hydropower for Your Municipality...................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 20

Elections

Vote Counting: 1990’s or 2020’s Technology............................................................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 10

HR Report

New Hampshire Supreme Court Decision Provides Policy Implementation Guidance to Public Employers with Unionized Employees.................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 32 New Hamsphire Supreme Court Withghs in on Employee Accomodation Requests Related to Therapeutic Cannibis................................................................................ Mar/Apr......................... 40 Collective Bargaining Fact Finder Reports and the Impact of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Decision in the Appeals of New Hamsphire Troopers Association.......................................................................................................................................................................... Jul/Aug........................... 32 Communiating with Unionized Employees During Negotiations and the Impacts of the Appearl of the State of New Hampshire............................................................. Sep/Oct.......................... 30 NHMA Employment Law Hotline: Question and Answer Series................................................................................................................................................................. Nov/Dec........................ 32 Human Resources A 2021 Cybersecurity Checklist: How Do You Rate Your Organization?...................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 36 Why Strong Passwords Aren’t Enough - 3 Tips for a Better Password Policy................................................................................................................................................. Mar/Apr......................... 26 Water Supply Attacks Illustrates Security Lessions for Municipalities............................................................................................................................................................ May/Jun......................... 24 Tech Insights ARPA Funds Final Rule Confirms Municipalities May Use Funds for Cybersecurity, IT Services, and Websites.......................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 44 How to Best Leverage Your Municipality’s Social Media Account................................................................................................................................................................. May/Jun......................... 32 Does Your Municipality Plan to Pay a Ransomeware Ransom? States Starting to Say No............................................................................................................................ Jul/Aug........................... 30 Why Data Backup and Recovery Need Separate Plans - And Separation From Each Other......................................................................................................................... Sep/Oct.......................... 34 Why Multi-Factor Authentication Is Essential.............................................................................................................................................................................................. Nov/Dec........................ 34

Land Use and Environment

Local Airports Offer Many Benefits to New Hampshire Residents............................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 28 How Much Housing Do We Need? New Hampshire’s Regional Housing Assessment................................................................................................................................ Sep/Oct.......................... 16 Changes to Planning & Zoning Laws in 2022: A Guide for Municipalities................................................................................................................................................. Sep/Oct.......................... 10

Wellness

COVID-19 Precautionary Measures for Town Meeting 2022 - An FAQ...................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 26 Accessing Care Following the Pandemic: What Has Changed, What We Have Learned............................................................................................................................. Nov/Dec........................ 10 A Complete Benefits Package Can Support Employees and Reduce Turnover.............................................................................................................................................. Nov/Dec........................ 12 Running, Mental Health, and the Importance of a Good Health Plan......................................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec........................ 18 Transparency and Affordability in Health Care and Prescription Drug Coverage......................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec........................ 14

Legal Q&A

Revaluations: What Is It? And How Does it Work?..................................................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 40 Right-to-Know and Privacy Q&A................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Mar/Apr......................... 46 Spring into Background Checks.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... May/Jun......................... 36 How to Fill a Vacancy on an Elected Board................................................................................................................................................................................................... Jul/Aug........................... 36 Current Hot Topics Regarding Road Issues................................................................................................................................................................................................... Sep/Oct.......................... 36 Mitigating Confusion over Ex Officio........................................................................................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec........................ 36

Legislative

City Mayors Receive Russ Marcoux Award................................................................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb............................. 4 2022 Legislative Preview: Time to Raise Your Hometown Voices................................................................................................................................................................. Jan/Feb........................... 18 NHMA Gears Up for 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Process. It’s Never Too Early to Submit Policy Suggestions......................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 30 NHMA Gears Up for 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Process. It’s Never Too Early to Submit Policy Suggestions......................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 24 Legislative Policy Process Update - Thank You to our Participating Members............................................................................................................................................... May/Jun......................... 21 State House Report: A Very Good Year Legislatively.................................................................................................................................................................................... Jul/Aug........................... 24 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Process Update................................................................................................................................................................................................ Jul/Aug........................... 26 2023-2024 Legislative Policy Process Update................................................................................................................................................................................................ Sep/Oct.......................... 28 Government Affairs Update: Fall 2022.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec........................ 28

Miscellaneous

Cordell Johnston Receives New Hampshire Bar Association Award for Outstanding Service in Public Sector/Public Interest Law.............................................................. Mar/Apr......................... 16 2021 Annual Report...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr........................... 4 Carrying on a Civic Tradition in Rye, New Hampshire................................................................................................................................................................................ Jul/Aug........................... 10

Planning and Local Land Use

A Capital Improvement Plan is Not Just a Wish List.................................................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 22 Parks and Recreation Departments are the Fabric of our Communities........................................................................................................................................................ May/Jun......................... 12

Public Safety

The Role of Municipalities in Preventing Childhood Lead Exposures.......................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 14 The Role of Parks and Recreation in Emergency Management, Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery.......................................................................................... May/Jun......................... 18

NHARPCs Report

Helping Municipalities Meet Their Energy Goals......................................................................................................................................................................................... Jan/Feb........................... 36 Regional Commissions Use SADES Modules to Assist Towns in Assessment of Roadways, Culverts, and Sidewalks................................................................................... May/Jun......................... 28 Your Community Adopted an Update Mitigation Plan - Now What?.......................................................................................................................................................... Jul/Aug........................... 34 Economic Resiliency Planning...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec........................ 40

NLC Report

Racial Equity Action Plans: A How-to Manual - Toolkit to Assist Local Governments................................................................................................................................ Mar/Apr......................... 48 Leaders Who Authentically Embrace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Believe These 8 Things..................................................................................................................... May/Jun......................... 40 National State of the Cities Report................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Sep/Oct.......................... 38 ARPA Funds: Best Practices for Small Communities................................................................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec........................ 38

Win With Water

A Day Without Water - Why Care and What to Do?................................................................................................................................................................................... Mar/Apr......................... 54 Drinking Water - A Local and Beneficial Resource........................................................................................................................................................................................ May/Jun......................... 22 It’s a Dirty Job, But Someone’s Got to Do it!................................................................................................................................................................................................. Jul/Aug............................. 8 Drinking Water Systems, Communities and New Hampshire Lead the Nation to Overcome Unprecedented Challenges and Create Opportunities................................. Sep/Oct.......................... 14 Water is Worth It!.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Nov/Dec.......................... 8

52

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


Statement of Ownership Management, and Circulation (Required by 39 U.S.C. 2685)

New Hampshire Town and City (Publication Number: 379-620) is published bi-monthly (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) at the New Hampshire Municipal Association, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301. The editor/managing editor of New Hampshire Town and City is Timothy Fortier and the publisher is the New Hampshire Municipal Association. Annual subscription price is $25.00 for members, $50.00 for nonmembers. Date of filing: October 12, 2022. Statement of Ownership is published in the November/December issue. Extent and Nature of Circulation:

Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months

Actual No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date

a. Total number of copies (Net press run) 1,820 b. Paid Circulation (By Mail and Outside the Mail) 1. Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated 1,628.0 on Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser's proof copies, and exchange copies) 2. Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 192.0 3541(Include paid distributioon above nominal rate, advertiser's proof copies, and exchange copies) 3. Paid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales -------Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS® 4. Paid Distribution by Other Class of Mail Through the -------USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®) c. Total Paid Distribution (Sum of 15b, (1), (2), (3), and (4)) 1,820 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail) 1. Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County 34.0 included on PS Form 3541 2. Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies 9.0 included on PS Form 3541 3. Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes -------Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail) 4. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail -------(Carriers or other means) e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution 43

1,706

(Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4))

f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c, and 15e.) g. Copies not distributed h. Total (Sum of 15f and g) i. Percent paid and/or requested circulation (15c/15f x 100) I certify that all information shown above is true and complete.

Timothy Fortier Editor

1,863 3 1,866 97.692%

1,514

192

--------------1,706 34 9 --------------43 1,749 3 1,752 97.541%


Periodical Postage Paid at Concord, NH

25 Triangle Park Drive Concord, NH 03301

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