Front Page   The Forum    Archives

Steven Cunningham State Representative
Sullivan District 2


July 1, 2010

Steven Cunningham represents the towns of Springfield, Croydon, Newport, Goshen and Washington in the NH House of Representatives. 

Representative Cunningham is a member of the House Committee on Municipal and County Government.



One of the towns in my district, with a population under 900, had its first visit from the New Hampshire Department of Labor in over a dozen years. Think United States OSHA for states. Surprise!! The town was not 100% compliant with the rules. Now, not one employee in the town is full time. There is no town manager, just 3 regular guys who take on the part-time duties of selectmen. Oversight is probably minimal.

Should this town have been better about following all of the safety rules? Probably. Should they fix everything the state noted? Absolutely. Will they? I am sure they will.

But what about the fine? The state fined "the town". Now, the people at fault, if we want to use that word, would be those in charge of the buildings involved and of course, the buck stops with the selectmen. But who is going to pay the fine? The taxpayers. This makes no sense. The townspeople have no direct control over any of these issues and knew nothing about the situations the state was unhappy about.

I have to say, as a Representative of the people of New Hampshire, I am not happy with the state fining "towns" for anything. I might make an exception if an issue came before the townspeople at town meeting and they voted on that issue knowing it violated state regulations, but that would be it. Townspeople have little to no control over day-to-day town affairs. If the state wants better compliance, embarrass those in charge. Put a notice in the local paper, issue a press release, require their reprimand be put in the town report. All of these would pressure those in control of working conditions to follow regulations. Fining the taxpayers for things beyond their control in a terrible economy is heartless, inappropriate and ineffectual. There ought to be a law….hmmmmm….

Steven Cunningham
NH State Representative, Sullivan County District  2

Telephone:  603-271-3317


Top of this page

Front Page   The Forum    Archives

Contact: (replace "+" with "@")