Section 2-1 -COMPOSITION; TERM OF OFFICE
Section 2-2 -COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Section 2-3 -PROHIBITIONS
Section 2-4 -COMPENSATION; EXPENSES
Section 2-5 -GENERAL POWERS
Section 2-6 -EXERCISE OF POWERS; QUORUM; RULES
Section 2-7 -ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Section 2-8 -OFFICERS ELECTED BY TOWN COUNCIL
Section 2-9 -ORDINANCES AND OTHER MEASURES
Section 2-10 -COUNCIL REVIEW OF CERTAIN APPOINTMENTS
Section 2-11 -FILLING OF VACANCIES
SECTION 2-1: COMPOSITION; TERM OF OFFICE
(a) Composition - There shall be a Town Council of thirteen (13) members, which shall exercise the legislative powers of the Town. Four (4) of these members, to be known as "Councilors-at-Large," shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters at large. Nine (9) of these members, to be known as "Precinct Councilors," shall be nominated and elected by the voters in each precinct, one (1) such Precinct Councilor to be elected from each of the nine (9) precincts into which the Town is divided, in accordance with section 7-4.
(b) Term of Office – The term of office for town councilors shall be for 4 years, beginning on the first business day of January after the town election, and until the town councilors’ successors have been qualified.
(c) Eligibility - Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of Councilor-at-Large. A Precinct Councilor shall at the time of election be a voter of the precinct from which elected, provided if any Precinct Councilor dies, resigns, or removes from his or her precinct, the procedure for filling a vacancy shall apply.
SECTION 2-2: COUNCIL PRESIDENT
(a) Election and Term – As soon as practicable after the councilors-elect have been qualified following each town election or on the first business day of the new year, the members of the town council shall elect from among its members a council president who shall serve during the ensuing year.
(b) Powers and Duties - The Council President shall preside at all meetings of the Town Council, regulate its proceedings and shall decide all questions of order. The Council President shall appoint all members of all committees of the Town Council, whether special or standing. The Council President shall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the Town Council as any other member of the Town Council. The Council President shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be provided by Charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the Town Council.
(c) Council Vice-President - The members of the Town Council shall also elect from among its members a Council Vice-president who shall serve as acting president during the temporary absence or disability of the Council President during the ensuing term of office. The powers of an acting Council President shall be limited to only those powers of the president as may be necessary to the conduct of the business of the Town Council in an orderly and efficient manner and which may not be delayed.
SECTION 2-3: PROHIBITIONS
No member of the Town Council shall hold any other Town office or Town employment for which a salary or other emolument is payable from the Town treasury. No former member of the Town Council shall hold any compensated appointed Town office or Town employment until one (1) year following the date on which such former member's service on the Town Council has terminated. This provision shall not prevent a Town officer or other Town employee who has taken a leave of absence in order to serve as a member of the Town Council from returning to the same office or other position of Town employment held at the time such leave of absence commenced; provided, however, no such person shall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least one (1) year following the termination of service as a member of the Town Council.
SECTION 2-4: COMPENSATION; EXPENSES
(a) Salary - Each Town Councilor may receive an annual salary as established by vote of the Town Council.
(b) If the Town Council sets an annual salary by ordinance, the salary shall not take effect until four (4) years after the effective date of the ordinance. (amended 1/5/2017)
(c) Expenses - Subject to appropriation, the Council members shall be entitled to reimbursement of their actual and necessary expenses in the performance of their duties.
SECTION 2-5: GENERAL POWERS
Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this Charter, all legislative powers of the Town shall be vested in the Town Council, which shall provide for their exercise and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed upon the Town by law.
SECTION 2-6: EXERCISE OF POWERS; QUORUM; RULES
(a) Exercise of Powers - Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this Charter, the legislative powers of the Town Council may be exercised in a manner determined by it.
(b) Quorum - The presence of seven (7) members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time. Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this Charter the affirmative vote of seven (7) members shall be required to adopt any ordinance or appropriation order.
(c) Rules of Procedure - The Town Council shall from time to time adopt rules regulating its procedures, which shall be in addition to the following:
1. Regular meetings of the Town Council shall be held at a time and place fixed by ordinance.
2. Special meetings of the Town Council shall be held at the call of the Council President, or, on the call of any five (5) or more members, by written notice delivered in hand or to the place of residence of each member and which contains a listing of the items to be acted upon. Except in case of an emergency, of which the Council President shall be judge, such notice shall be delivered at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the time set for such meeting. A copy of the notice to members shall, forthwith, be posted upon the Town bulletin board.
3. All sessions of the Town Council and of every committee or subcommittee thereof, shall at all times be open to the public, unless another provision is made by law.
4. A full, accurate, up-to-date account of the proceedings of the Town Council shall be kept, which shall include a record of each vote taken, and which shall be made available with reasonable promptness following each meeting.
5. Provision shall be made for a specific portion of time to be available, at all regular meetings of the Town Council, for citizens to address the Council.
SECTION 2-7: ACCESS TO INFORMATION
(a) In General - The Town Council may make investigations into the affairs of the Town and into the conduct and performance of any Town agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence.
(b) Town Officers, Members of Town Agencies, Employees - The Town Council may require any Town officer, member of a Town agency or Town employee to appear before it to give such information as the Town Council may require in relation to the municipal services, functions, powers, or duties which are within the scope of responsibility of such person and within the jurisdiction of the Town Council.
(c) Mayor - The Town Council may require the Mayor to provide specific information to it on any matter within the jurisdiction of the Town Council. The Town Council may require the Mayor to appear before it, in person, to provide specific information on the conduct of any aspect of the business of the Town and to respond to written questions made available to the Mayor at the time the demand to attend is made to the Mayor. The Mayor may bring to such meeting any assistant, department head or other Town officer or employee the Mayor may deem necessary to assist in responding to the questions posed by the Town Council.
(d) Notice - The Town Council shall give not less than five (5) days notice to any person it may require to appear before it under the provisions of this section. The notice shall include specific questions on which the Town Council seeks information and no person called to appear before the Town Council under this section shall be required to respond to any question not relevant or related to those presented in advance and in writing. Notice shall be by delivery in hand, or by registered or certified mail to the last known place of residence of any such person.
SECTION 2-8: OFFICERS ELECTED BY TOWN COUNCIL
(a) Town Auditor - The Town Council may appoint a Town Auditor to serve for a term of three (3) years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The Town Auditor shall perform a legislative oversight and a post audit function and shall not be involved in the day-to-day administrative detail of the financial operations of the Town. The Town Auditor shall have free access to all books, accounts, bills and vouchers of the Town and shall continuously review and examine the same. The Town Auditor shall make periodic reports thereon to the Town Council, with such frequency as the Town Council by ordinance, by rule or by other vote may direct. All officials of the Town shall cooperate with the Town Auditor in the performance of this oversight function. The Town Auditor shall have such other powers and duties, as may be provided by Charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the Town Council.
(b) Town Clerk - The Town Council shall elect a Town Clerk to serve for a term of three (3) years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The Town Clerk shall have the powers and duties relating to the keeping of records and vital statistics, the regulation and conduct of elections, the highway book and the issuance of licenses as are provided to Town Clerks by General Laws and such additional powers and duties as may be provided by General Laws, by Charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the Town Council.
(c) Clerk of the Council - The Town Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Town Council. The Clerk of the Council shall give notice of its meetings to its members and to the public, keep the minutes of its proceedings and perform such other duties as may be provided by ordinance or by other vote of the Town Council.
(d) Removal/Suspension - Any person elected by the Town Council may be removed or suspended by the Town Council by the use of procedures substantially the same as those contained in section 3-4(b).
SECTION 2-9: ORDINANCES AND OTHER MEASURES
(a) Emergency Ordinances - No ordinance shall be passed finally on the date it is introduced, except in case of emergency involving the health or safety of the people or their property.
No ordinance shall be regarded as an emergency ordinance unless the emergency is defined and declared in a preamble to the ordinance, separately voted upon and receiving the affirmative vote of at least 9 members of the town council.
An emergency ordinance shall stand repealed on the sixty-first day following its adoption unless (1) an earlier date is specified in the measure; (2) a second emergency measure adopted in conformity with this section is passed extending it; or (3) a measure passed in conformity with the procedures for measures generally has been passed extending it.
(b) Measures, In General - The town council may pass a measure through all of its stages at any 1 meeting, except proposed ordinances, appropriation orders and loan authorizations, provided that no member of the town council objects; provided, however, that if 3 members object, a vote on the measure shall be postponed to the next meeting of the town council.
On the first occasion that the question of adopting any measure is put to the town council, except an emergency measure as defined in subsection (a), if 3 members object to the taking of a vote, the vote shall be postponed until the next regular or special meeting of the town council. If when the matter is next taken up for a vote 5 members object to the taking of the vote, the matter shall be further postponed for not less than an additional 5 days. This procedure shall not be used more than once for any measure notwithstanding any amendments made to the original measure.
(c) Publication - For every proposed ordinance, appropriation order or loan authorization, except emergency ordinances as provided in subsection (a), a complete summary shall be published once in a local newspaper and in any additional manner as may be provided by ordinance, at least 5 days before its final passage. After final passage, it shall be posted on the town bulletin board and otherwise published as may be required by ordinance. The full text of all proposed ordinances, appropriations order and loan authorizations shall be available in the office of the town clerk at least 5 days prior to final vote.
SECTION 2-10: COUNCIL REVIEW OF CERTAIN APPOINTMENTS
(a) The Mayor shall submit to the Town Council the name of each person the Mayor desires to appoint as a member of a multiple-member body. The Town Council shall refer each such name as is submitted to it to a standing committee of the Town Council which shall investigate each such candidate for appointment and shall make a report, with recommendations, to the full Town Council not less than seven (7) nor more than thirty (30) days following such referral.
(b) Appointments made by the Mayor shall become effective on the 35th day following the date on which notice of the proposed appointment was filed with the Clerk of the Council, unless the Town Council shall within the said thirty (30) days vote to reject such appointment. The votes of at least nine (9) members shall be necessary to reject an appointment proposed by the Mayor. The question on rejection of any appointment made by the Mayor shall not be subject to the procedure of Charter objection provided in section 2-9(b) of this Charter.
SECTION 2-11: FILLING OF VACANCIES
If a vacancy should occur in the Office of Precinct Councilor or Councilor at-large, within ninety (90) days prior to the next Annual Town Election, it shall remain vacant until that election. Otherwise, the Council President with the advice of the committee chairs may fill that seat by appointing a person residing in that precinct (not applicable for those elected at-large) for which a vacancy exists, subject to a two-thirds vote of the Councilors present, to serve until the next Annual Town Election, at which time a person shall be elected to fill the unexpired term.
Posted: Fri, Jan 17, 2020 12:04 PM
Updated Fri, Jan 17, 2020 12:00 AM