This bill amends RSA 36-A:3 to allow towns the option to elect members of their conservation commission, changing the previous stipulation where members were appointed by the selectmen or the mayor, depending on whether the municipality is a town or a city. The bill specifies that the commission shall consist of 3 to 7 members as determined by the local legislative body. It introduces a new procedure where the local legislative body of a town can decide by majority vote at the town meeting to elect commission members. The bill outlines two methods for electing members: either filling all positions at the next regular town elections or filling them on a staggered basis as appointed members' terms expire. Additionally, it provides a mechanism for rescinding the decision to elect members, reverting to the appointment system, and addresses the appointment of alternate members and filling vacancies for elected commissions.

The bill also amends RSA 669:17 by adding a new paragraph concerning the election of conservation commission members. It establishes that an elected commission may appoint alternate members for three-year terms, staggered in the same manner as elected members. In the event of a vacancy, the elected commission is responsible for appointing a member to serve until the next town election, at which point voters will elect a replacement for the unexpired term. If the entire commission is vacant or the remaining members cannot agree on an appointment, the selectmen will appoint members by majority vote. The act was approved on May 20, 2024, and will take effect on July 19, 2024.

Statutes affected:
Introduced: 36-A:3, 669:17
As Amended by the House: 36-A:3, 669:17
Version adopted by both bodies: 36-A:3, 669:17