Town of Abington, MA
Plymouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The offices to be filled by ballot of the voters of the entire town shall be a Board of Selectmen, moderator, town clerk, school committee, board of assessors, board of health, board of library trustees, board of sewer commissioners, board of water commissioners, housing authority, park and recreation commission, planning board and trustees of veterans memorials and such members of regional authorities or districts as may be established by statute, interlocal agreement or otherwise.
Any voter shall be eligible to hold any elective town office, but no elected town official shall simultaneously hold any other elected town office.
The regular annual election of town officers shall be held annually on such date as may from time to time be fixed in the by-laws of the town.
Notwithstanding their election by the voters, the town officers named in this section shall be subject to the call of the Board of Selectmen or of the Town Manager, at all reasonable times, for consultation, conference and discussion on any matter relating to their respective offices.
There shall be a Board of Selectmen consisting of five (5) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year.
Vacancies in the office of selectmen shall be filled by a special election in accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws.
The executive powers of the town shall be vested in the Board of Selectmen which shall be deemed to be the chief executive office of the town. The Board of Selectmen shall have all of the executive powers it is possible for a Board of Selectmen to have and to exercise. The Board of Selectmen shall serve as the chief policy making agency of the town. The Board of Selectmen shall be responsible for the formulation and promulgation of policy directives and guidelines to be followed by all town agencies serving under it, and in conjunction with other elected town officers and multiple member bodies to develop and promulgate policy guidelines designed to bring the operation of all town agencies into harmony. Provided however, nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any member of the Board of Selectmen, nor a majority of such members, to become involved in the day-to-day administration of any town agency. It is the intention of this provision that the Board of Selectmen shall act only through the adoption of broad policy guidelines, which are to be implemented by officers and employees serving under it.
The Board of Selectmen shall cause the charter, by-laws, and rules and regulations for the government of the town to be enforced and shall cause an up-to-date record of all its official acts to be kept.
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint a Town Manager as provided for in Article IV of this charter and shall appoint a town counsel.
The Board of Selectmen may investigate the affairs of the town and the conduct of any town agency including any doubtful claims against the town, and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of evidence. The report of the results of such investigation shall be placed on file in the office of the Town Manager, and a report summarizing the results of such investigation shall be printed in the next annual town report.
The Board of Selectmen shall be the licensing board of the town and shall have the power to issue licenses, to make all necessary rules and regulations regarding the issuance of such licenses, and to attach such conditions and restrictions thereto as it deems to be in the public interest. The Board of Selectmen shall enforce the laws relating to all businesses for which it issues such licenses. The Board of Selectmen may delegate such licensing authority unless specifically prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In the event that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fails in any fiscal year to provide for the independent audit of all records and accounts of the town, the Board of Selectmen shall provide for such audits. The audits shall be made by a certified public accountant, or firm of such accountants, who have no personal interests, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the town government or any of its officers.
There shall be a moderator elected for a term of three years. The moderator shall preside and regulate the procedure at all sessions of the town meeting, and shall have all of the powers and duties to which are given moderators under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a town clerk elected for a term of three years. The town clerk shall be the keeper of vital statistics of the town and the custodian of the town seal and all public records, shall administer the oaths of office to all town officers who apply to him/her therefore, be the clerk of the town meeting and perform such duties with regard to elections and other matters as may be provided by law. The town clerk shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to town clerks under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a school committee consisting of five (5) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The school committee shall have general charge and superintendence of the public schools and for this purpose shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to school committees under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a board of assessors which shall consist of three (3) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that one term shall expire each year. The board of assessors shall annually make a fair cash valuation of all property, both real and personal, within the town, and it shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of assessors under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a board of health which shall consist of five (5) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The board of health shall be responsible for the formulation and enforcement of rules and regulations affecting the environment and the public health, and shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of health under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
[Amended 1-4-2013 by Chapter 407, Acts of 2012]
There shall be a board of library trustees which shall consist of (9) nine members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of office as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The board of library trustees shall have general charge of the care and management of the town library, and of all property of the town relating thereto, in consultation with the Town Manager. The board of library trustees shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to library trustees under chapter 78 of the General Laws and any other relevant provisions of the constitution and laws of the commonwealth and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a board of sewer commissioners consisting of five (5) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The board of sewer commissioners shall have general charge of the care and management of the municipal sewer system, and of all property of the town relating thereto. The board of sewer commissioners shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of sewer commissioners under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a board of water commissioners consisting of three (3) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that one term shall expire each year. The board of water commissioners shall have general charge of the care and management of the municipal water system, and of all property of the town relating thereto. The board of water commissioners shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of water commissioners under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a housing authority consisting of five (5) members. Four of the members shall be elected for terms of five years, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The fifth member shall be a resident of the town appointed as provided by the laws of the Commonwealth. The housing authority shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to housing authorities under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
There shall be a board of park and recreation commissioners consisting of five (5) members elected for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The board of park and recreation commissioners shall conduct and promote recreation, play, sport, physical education and other programs to meet the leisure time needs of the community. The board of park and recreation commissioners shall have general charge and management of the town playing fields, parks, public lawns and landscaped areas, and the town pool and of all property of the town relating thereto, in coordination with the Town Manager. The board of park and recreation commissioners shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of park and recreation commissioners under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a planning board consisting of five (5) members elected for terms of five years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The planning board shall make studies and prepare plans concerning the resources, possibilities and needs of the town. It shall prepare and may from time to time amend and perfect a comprehensive plan which shall set forth in graphic and textual form information concerning the present development of the town and parts thereof. Such comprehensive plan shall include recommendations of the planning board concerning the future development (including physical, economic, and environmental aspects) of the entire town and parts thereof.
The planning board shall annually report to the town giving information regarding the condition of the town and any plans or proposals known to it affecting the resources, possibilities and needs of the town, and shall specify amendments that the planning board has made during the past year in the comprehensive plan.
The planning board shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to planning boards under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
There shall be a Trustees of Veterans Memorials consisting of five (5) members elected for terms of five years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The trustees of veterans memorials shall have general charge of and care of all veterans memorials in the town, and of all property of the town relating thereto. The trustees of veterans memorials shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to trustees of veterans memorials under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
7-12.
Recall of Elected Officials.
3-15-1.
Who can be Recalled.
Any holder of an elective office, as defined in Section 3-1, may be recalled therefrom by the voters as herein provided.
7-12-1.
Recall Petition.
7-12-3.
Any twenty-five (25) registered voters of the town may file with the town clerk an affidavit bearing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for the recall. Within three days following such filing the registrars of voters shall determine whether such filing is sufficient and valid. If said filing is determined to be sufficient and valid by the registrars of voters, the town clerk shall thereupon deliver to said voters making the affidavit copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which he/she shall keep available. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with his/her signature and official seal attached thereto.
They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the Board of Selectmen and shall contain the names of all the persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and shall demand the election of a successor in the said office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within twenty days after the filing of the affidavit, and shall have been signed by at least twenty percent (20%) of the registered voters of the town, who shall add to their signatures the number and street, if any of their residences.
The town clerk shall within submit the petition to the registrars of voters in the town by the end of the next business day, and the registrars shall forthwith, but in no event more than seven days after receipt, certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town.
3-15-3.
Selectmen's Action on Receiving Petition.
If the petition shall be found and certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient they shall submit the same with their certificate to the Board of Selectmen without delay, and the Board of Selectmen shall forthwith give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within seven (7) days thereafter, order an election to be held on a dated fixed by them, in accordance with the minimum requirements of the election laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, presently contained in section 53 of chapter 41 of the General Laws, provided however, that the recall election must be held no later than fourteen (14) days after adherence to the minimum statutory requirements. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
3-15-4.
Nomination of Candidates.
The officer whose recall is sought may be a candidate in the recall election, and unless such officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place his/her name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this section.
3-15-5.
Incumbent Holds Office Until Election.
The officer whose recall is sought shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If not then recalled, such person shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided for in this section. If recalled, such person shall be deemed removed.
7-12-1.
Propositions on Ballot.
Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
      For the recall of (name of officer),
      Against the recall of (name of officer).
Immediately at the right of each proposition there shall be a space in which the voter, by making a mark, may vote for either of said propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates," the directions to voters required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, and beneath this the names of candidates nominated as herein before provided. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected, and shall upon qualification serve the balance of the unexpired term. If the successor shall fail to qualify within five days after receiving notification of election, the office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled in the manner provided for in Article VII, Section 7-13. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the negative, the officer whose recall was sought shall not be recalled and the ballots for candidates need not be counted.
7-12-2.
Repeat of Recall Petition.
No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within three (3) months after he/she takes office, nor in the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least three (3) months after the election at which his/her recall was submitted to the voters of the town.
7-12-3.
Appointment of Person Recalled.
A person who has been recalled from an office, or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against him/her, shall not be appointed to any town office within two (2) years after such recall or resignation. Resignation at any time after a recall affidavit has been certified by the board of registrars of voters as being valid shall be deemed to be while recall proceedings were pending.
If there exists a vacancy in an elected office which does not consist of two or more members of a board or committee, the selectmen shall provide for notice of such vacancy as provided for in Article VII, section 7-13 by posting the vacancy on the town bulletin board. Any person who desires to be considered to fill such vacancy may, within ten days following the date the notice is posted file with the Board of Selectmen a statement which sets forth in clear and specific terms the qualifications which he/she holds for the position. The Board of Selectmen shall fill such vacancy no earlier than fourteen days and no later than thirty days after the notice was posted. The person appointed to fill such vacancy shall be the person who receives a majority of the votes cast at such meeting. The person appointed to fill such vacancy shall hold office until the next regularly scheduled annual town election at which time the vacant position shall be included on the ballot as provided for in Article III, section 3-1.
If there exists a vacancy in an elected board or committee consisting of two or more members, other than the Board of Selectmen, the remaining members shall forthwith give notice of the existence of any such vacancy to the Board of Selectmen. The selectmen shall then provide for notice of such vacancy as provided for in Article VII, Section 7-13 by posting the vacancy on the town bulletin board. Any person who desires to be considered to fill such vacancy may, within ten days following the date the notice is posted file with the Board of Selectmen and the board or committee which has experienced the vacancy a statement which sets forth in clear and specific terms the qualifications which he/she holds for the position. Not earlier than fourteen days nor later than thirty days after said notice is posted, the Board of Selectmen and the remaining members of the board or committee which has experienced the vacancy shall fill such vacancy at a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and such board or committee. The filling of such vacancy shall be by a joint vote of the Board of Selectmen and such board or committee. The person appointed to fill such vacancy shall be the person who receives a majority of the votes cast at such meeting. The person appointed to fill such vacancy shall hold office until the next regularly scheduled annual town election at which time the vacant position shall be included on the ballot as provided for in Article III, section 3-1.
An elected official who is no longer a resident of the Town shall be deemed to have vacated the office to which he/she was elected. When a doubt exists as to the residency of an elected official, the Board of Registrars of Voters of the Town shall, by a majority vote, decide the issue of residency.