[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Norwell. Formerly designated Art. VIII. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Selectmen shall be agents of the Town to institute, prosecute and defend any and all claims, actions and proceedings to which the Town is a party or in which the interests of the Town are or may be involved.
When recommended in writing by Town Counsel, the Selectmen may, at their discretion, compromise or settle any claim or suit to which the Town is a party, unless otherwise expressly prohibited by law.
The Selectmen in their Annual Report shall state what actions have been brought against and on behalf of the Town, what cases have been compromised or settled, and the current standing of all suits at law involving the Town or any of its interests.
The Selectmen shall annually, after the final adjournment of the Annual Town Meeting, appoint a member of the bar in good standing to serve as Town Counsel for the term of one year from the date of his appointment and until his successor is appointed and enters upon the performances of his duties. They shall likewise fill any vacancy in said office for the unexpired term, and may employ special counsel to assist the said Town Counsel whenever, in their judgment, necessity therefor arises.
It shall be the duty of the Town Counsel to conduct the prosecution or defense in actions and proceedings to which the Town is a party, or to compromise claims, and the prosecution of actions or proceedings by or on behalf of any Town officer, board or committee as such; to conduct the defense of any action or proceedings brought against any Town officer, board or committee as such when the Selectmen, having determined that any right or interests of the Town are or may be involved therein, shall so request; to conduct proceedings brought by or against the Assessors before the Board of Tax Appeals; to assist in the prosecution of complaints of violation of any bylaw of the Town, when requested to do so by the board or officers enforcing the same; to examine and report upon titles to all land to be acquired by the Town; to prepare and approve contracts, bonds, deeds and other legal instruments in which the Town is a party or in which any right or interest of the Town is involved; to appear at any and all hearings on behalf of the Town whenever his/her services may be required; and generally to advise and act for the Town committees upon and in legal matters touching the duties of their respective offices.
The Selectmen are authorized to sell at public auction parcels of land acquired by tax title and possession. Such land must first be offered to other interested Town boards, departments, committees and commissions which shall decline or accept in writing.
Notice of sale shall be posted in five public places and shall be published at least three times in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town between 30 and seven days before the date of sale.
The Selectmen may reject any bid which they deem inadequate and the sale price must be a minimum bid to include back taxes and the cost of acquisition and sale.