Commissioner Roles & Responsibilities

Purpose and Responsibility of Regional Planning Commissions
As authorized under RSA 36:45-53, the state has delineated nine planning regions for New Hampshire "so that each municipality of the state shall have the opportunity of forming or joining the regional planning commission for that region." Formally established in 1970 as an inter-municipal forum it was designated the official transportation planning organization for this portion of New Hampshire in 1973, and is recognized as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Nashua Metropolitan Statistical Area. NRPC's purpose is to coordinate planning and development in the region, to serve its member jurisdiction through programs of technical planning assistance, and to represent the region of issues of state and federal significance. NRPC is also an affiliate State Data Center.

The NRPC maintains a professional staff whose responsibility is to complete the elements of an annual work program adopted by the Commission. Individual Commission members representing the thirteen communities within the NRPC region serve as a policy board for the regional director, the chief executive and fiscal officer of the NRPC.

The role of regional planning commissions in New Hampshire is advisory. The Commission itself has no formal decision making authority. Rather, the regional planning commission is intended to act in an advisory capacity on issues of inter-municipal concern.
Composition of Membership/Role of the Commissioner
As provided under RSA: 36, each community is entitled to the representation of two Commissioners. Communities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000 (as determined by the most recent federal census) are entitled to three representatives. Communities with populations greater than 25,000 are entitled to 4 representatives. Each municipality may also appoint alternate representatives. According to NRPC policy, one Commissioner from each community should be a selectman or alderman.

All Commissioners are nominated for a 4 year term by the planning board and appointed by the Boards of Selectmen/Aldermen.

  • The Role of the Commissioner is to represent the official interests of the community to which he or she was appointed.
  • Commissioners shall not use the Regional Planning Commission as a forum by which to advance a personal agenda.
  • Only the Chair and the Executive Director may represent to the media and to the public official positions of the Commission.
Meeting Frequency and Location
The full Commission meets to conduct official business four times per year on the third Wednesday of the months of September, December, March and June at 7:00 in the evening.

The Executive Committee shall meet monthly or as needed.

Other events requiring Commissioner attendance include the Annual Forum in April or May.

NRPC operates on a fiscal year beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30th.
Committee Membership
Committees are formed from time to time on an as needed basis to deal with specific issues confronting the region. The Executive Committee forms committees. In order to participate formally on a committee, Commissioners must submit their names for consideration and approval by the Executive Committee.
Special Requirements
NRPC Commissioners should be sitting members of local boards; have experience as a former selectman, alderman, councilor, planning board member, conservation commission member, etc., or have a direct link to the decision making process of the community. A prospective candidate should be willing to serve as a conduit of information both to the Agency from the community, and from the community to the agency.