The Town of Salem is committed to open government and aims to improve transparency through increased access to public information. New Hampshire law protects the right to access public information and has long mandated government disclosure of records. The Town fulfills this responsibility to citizens by pro-actively posting commonly requested documents to its website and providing access to or copies of public records upon request. If you do not find the content, you seek on the website.
New Hampshire's Right to Know Law, RSA Chapter 91-A, states: "Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society. The purpose of this chapter is to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussion and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people." RSA 91-A:1.
The Right to Know Law affects every aspect of local government in our state. Every board, committee, commission, and subcommittee in every town, city, and village district in New Hampshire must comply with this law. The following information is offered to guide the public in gaining access to public records in the custody of the Town of Salem. The information and lists contained herein are not exhaustive, and any questions or concerns regarding public records should be directed to the Assistant Town Manager.
Available Public Records
Certain commonly requested records are regularly posted to the website for viewing at your convenience. Please visit the School Department's website for information regarding Salem Public Schools. Commonly requested records include:
If you could not locate the desired record on the website, you may submit a Public Records Request at any time by completing the Public Records Request Form. This form is intended to help you identify the records sought and facilitate an efficient and timely response to your request. If you request more detailed records, we ask you to submit your official Right to Know request directly to the Assistant Town Manager. This can be done electronically via email or by hard copy via USPS mail or in-person delivery at the Salem Town Hall.
You may request to inspect, copy and/or receive copies of the requested records. Please know under the Right to Know law, "no fee shall be charged for inspection or delivery, without copying of governmental records, whether in paper, electronic, or other forms." RSA 91-A:4, IV (2020). If the Town is not required to "copy" a record before delivery or inspection, no copying fee shall be charged. Examples included, but are not limited to, documents delivered in electronic format or documents with multiple copies already in existence at the time of the request.
Also, Nothing in the law required the Town to compile, cross reference, manipulate or assemble information into a form that is not kept or reported by the Town already. The Town shall provide the information in the format it currently exists.