[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Swansea as Ch. 1, § 1-1 through § 1-12, of the 1988 Revised General Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[The Town of Swansea General Bylaws were recodified, renumbered and recaptioned 6-1-2020 ATM by Art. 1, which recodification did not alter the substance of any of the provisions of the General Bylaws.]
The bylaws embraced in this and the following chapters and sections shall be designated the "Revised General Bylaws, 1988, of the Town of Swansea, Massachusetts."
In the construction of this Revision of all bylaws and resolutions passed by the Town, the following rules shall be observed and the following definitions shall apply, unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the Town.
- BOARD OF SELECTMEN
- The words "board of selectmen" or "selectmen" shall mean the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Swansea, Massachusetts.
- The word "Commonwealth" shall mean the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- COMPUTATION OF TIME
- In computing any period of time mentioned in the provisions of this Revision, the day of the act, event or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included, and the last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday. When the period of time prescribed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall not be included in the computation.
- The word "county" shall mean the County of Bristol, Massachusetts.
- A word importing the masculine gender only shall extend to and be applied to females and to firms, partnerships, associations and corporations, as well as to males.
- JOINT AUTHORITY
- Words purporting to give authority to three or more officers or other persons shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such officers or other persons, unless it is otherwise declared.
- The abbreviation "MGL" means the latest edition or supplement of the Massachusetts General Laws Annotated.
- Any word importing the singular number shall include the plural and any word importing the plural number shall include the singular.
- The word "oath" shall be construed to include an affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the words "swear" and "sworn" shall be equivalent to the words "affirm" and "affirmed."
- The word "owner," applied to a building or land, shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, tenant in partnership, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
- The word "person" shall extend and be applied to associations, corporations, firms, partnerships and bodies politic and corporate as well as to individuals. Where criminal prosecution may lie, the officers of any corporation shall jointly and severally be subject to prosecution as being included within the term "person."
- PRECEDING; FOLLOWING
- The words "preceding" and "following" mean next before and next after, respectively.
- The word "roadway" shall mean that portion of a street improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic.
- The word "sidewalk" shall mean any portion of the street between the curb, or the lateral line of the roadway and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians.
- SIGNATURE or SUBSCRIPTION
- The word "signature" or "subscription" shall include a mark when a person cannot write.
- The word "state" shall be construed to mean the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- The word "street" shall include any highway, alley, avenue or bridge, viaduct, underpass, overpass, tunnel and causeway in the Town, dedicated or devoted to public use.
- Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.
- The word "Town" shall mean the Town of Swansea, in the County of Bristol and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- TOWN BOARDS, COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS, OFFICERS AND DEPARTMENTS
- Whenever reference is made to a board, committee, commission, officer or department, the same shall be construed as if followed by the words "of the Town of Swansea, Massachusetts."
- WRITTEN or IN WRITING
- The words "written" or "in writing" shall be construed to include any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing or otherwise.
- The word "year" shall mean a calendar year.
The catchlines of the several sections of this Revision printed in boldface type are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the section and shall not be deemed or taken to be titles of such sections, nor as any part of the section, nor, unless expressly so provided, shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted.
All references to chapters or sections are to the chapters and sections of this Revision unless otherwise specified.
The references and editor's notes appearing throughout the Revision are not intended to have any legal effect, but are merely intended to assist the user of the Revision.
The history notes appearing in parentheses after sections in this Revision are not intended to have any legal effect but are merely intended to indicate the source of matter contained in the section.
Editor's Note: With the 2020 republication of the Town Code, histories appear in brackets at the end of the section or subsection added or amended.
Nothing in this Revision or the bylaw adopting this Revision shall be construed to repeal or otherwise affect the validity of any of the following when not inconsistent with this Revision:
Any offense or act committed or done or any penalty or forfeiture incurred or any contract or right established or accruing before the effective date of such Revision;
Any bylaw promising or guaranteeing the payment of money for the Town, or authorizing the issuance of any bonds of the Town or any evidence of the Town's indebtedness;
Any contract or obligation assumed by the Town;
Any right or franchise granted by the Town;
Any bylaw dedicating, naming, establishing, locating, opening, paving, widening, vacating, etc., any street or public way in the Town;
Any bylaw relating to municipal street maintenance agreements with the state;
Any bylaw establishing or prescribing grades for streets in the Town;
Any appropriation bylaw providing for the levy of taxes or for adopting an annual budget;
Any bylaw relating to local improvements and assessments therefor;
Any bylaw dedicating or accepting any plat or subdivision in the Town;
Any bylaw establishing or amending zoning or land use regulations or the zoning map, or rezoning property;
Any bylaw prescribing the number, classification, benefits or compensation of any Town officers or employees, not inconsistent herewith;
and all such bylaws are hereby recognized as continuing in full force and effect to the same extent as if set out at length in this Revision. Such bylaws are on file in the Town clerk's office.
The repeal of a bylaw shall not revive any bylaws in force before or at the time the bylaw repealed took effect.
The repeal of a bylaw shall not affect any punishment or penalty incurred before the repeal took effect, nor any suit, prosecution or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal, for an offense committed under the bylaw repealed.
Nothing in this Revision or the bylaw adopting this Revision shall affect any offense or act committed or done, or any penalty or forfeiture incurred, or any contract or right established or accruing before the effective date of this Revision.
The adoption of this Revision shall not be interpreted as authorizing or permitting any use or the continuance of any use of a structure or premises in violation of any bylaw of the Town in effect on the date of adoption of this Revision.
Any and all additions and amendments to this Revision, when passed in such form as to indicate the intention of the Town to make the same a part hereof, shall be deemed to be incorporated herein, so that reference to the Revision shall be understood and intended to include such additions and amendments.
By contract or by Revision personnel, supplements to this Revision shall be prepared and printed whenever authorized or directed by the Town. A supplement to the Revision shall include all substantive permanent and general parts of bylaws adopted during the period covered by the supplement and all changes made thereby in the Revision. The pages of a supplement shall be so numbered that they will fit properly into the Revision and will, where necessary, replace pages which have become obsolete or partially obsolete, and the new pages shall be so prepared that, when they have been inserted, the Revision will be current through the date of the adoption of the latest bylaw included in the supplement.
In preparing a supplement to this Revision, all portions of the Revision which have been repealed shall be excluded from the Revision by the omission thereof from reprinted pages.
When preparing a supplement to this Revision, the codifier (meaning the person, agency or organization authorized to prepare the supplement) may make formal, nonsubstantive changes in bylaws and parts of bylaws included in the supplement, insofar as it is necessary to do so to embody them into a unified revision. For example, the codifier may:
Organize the bylaw into appropriate subdivisions;
Provide appropriate catchlines, headings and titles for sections and other subdivisions of the Revision printed in the supplement, and make changes in such catchlines, headings and titles;
Assign appropriate numbers to sections and other subdivisions to be inserted in the Revision and, where necessary to accommodate new material, change existing section or other subdivision numbers;
Change the words "this bylaw" or words of the same meaning to "this chapter," "this article," "this division," etc., as the case may be, or to "sections _____ to _____" (inserting section numbers to indicate the sections of the Revision which embody the substantive sections of the bylaw incorporated into the Revision); and
Make other nonsubstantive changes necessary to preserve the original meaning of the sections inserted into the Revision; but in no case shall the codifier make any change in the meaning or effect of the bylaw included in the supplement or already embodied in the Revision.
It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Town that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this Revision are severable and, if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Revision shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and sections of this Revision, since the same would have been enacted by the Town without the incorporation in this Revision of any such invalid or unconstitutional phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section.