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Town of Adams, Massachusetts

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Representative Town Meeting
PART II (1)
AN ACT ESTABLISHING IN THE TOWN OF ADAMS REPRESENTATIVE TOWN GOVERNMENT BY LIMITED TOWN MEETINGS. (2)
ss 1. Established.
ss 1A. Division of town into voting precincts; precinct voting at elections.
ss 2. Representative town meetings - Membership; election; terms of office; tie votes; filling vacancies; notifying elected members.
ss 3. Same - Members; notice; quorum; adjourned meetings; compensation of members; resignation or removal of members.
ss 4. Same - Nomination of candidates.
ss 5. Same - Warrants for town meetings.
ss 6. Same - Moderator; moderator pro tempore.
ss 7. Same - Filling vacancies.
ss 8. Same - When votes to take effect; calling for general election upon petition; conduct and results of general election.
ss 9. Same - Town bound by meeting members; powers generally; force and effect of actions.
ss 10. Same - Rules.
ss 11. Same - Appointing committees.
ss 12. Applicability of act.
ss 13. Construction of act.
ss 14. Submitting act to voters.
ss 15. Acceptance or rejection of act.
Section 1. Established.
There is hereby established in the Town of Adams the form of representative town government by limited town meetings hereinafter set forth.
Section 1A. Division of town into voting precincts; precinct voting at elections.
Upon acceptance of this act by the Town of Adams, as hereinafter provided, the selectmen shall forthwith divide the territory thereof into not less than five or more than eight voting precincts, each of which shall be plainly designated and shall contain not less than eight hundred registered voters. All precincts shall contain approximately an equal number of registered voters. The precincts shall be so established as to consist of compact and contiguous territory, to be bounded as far as possible by the center line of known streets and ways or by other well defined limits. Their boundaries shall be reviewed, and, if need be, wholly or partly revised by the selectmen in October, once in five years, or in October of any year when so directed by a vote of a representative town meeting. The selectmen shall, within twenty days after any establishment or revision of the precincts, file a report of their doings with the town clerk, the registrars of voters and the assessors, with a mapor maps or description of the precincts and the names and residences of the registered voters therein. The selectmen shall also cause to be posted in the town hall a map or maps or description of the precincts as established or revised from time to time, with the names and residences of the registered voters therein. They shall also cause to be posted in at least one public place in each precinct a map or description of that precinct with the names and residences of the registered voters therein. The division of the town into voting precincts and any revision of such precincts shall take effect upon the date of the filing of the report thereof by the selectmen with the town clerk. Whenever the precincts are established or revised, the town clerk shall forthwith give written notice thereof to the state secretary, stating the number and designation of the precincts. Meetings of the registered voters of the several precincts for elections, for primaries, and for voting upon anyquestion to be submitted to all the registered voters of the town, shall be held on the same day and at the same hour and at such place or places within the town as the selectmen shall in the warrant for such meeting direct. The provisions of the general laws relating to precinct voting at elections, so far as the same are not inconsistent with this act, shall apply to all elections and primaries in the town upon the establishment of voting precincts as hereinbefore provided.
Section 2. Representative town meetings - Membership; election; terms of office; tie votes; filling vacancies; notifying elected members.
Other than the officers designated in section three as town meeting members at large, the representative town meeting membership shall in each precinct consist of the largest number divisible by three which will admit of a representation of all precincts by an equal number of members and which will not cause the total elected town meeting membership to exceed one hundred and fifty. The registered voters in every precinct shall, at a special election called for that purpose, to be held not sooner than thirty days after the establishment of precincts under this act, or at the first annual town election held after the establishment thereof, and at the first annual town election following any precinct revision where the number of precincts is changed, conformably to the laws relative to elections not inconsistent with this act, elect by ballot the number of registered voters in the precinct, other than the officers designated in section three as town meeting members at large, providedfor in the first sentence of this section, to be town meeting members of the town. The first third in the order of votes received of members so elected shall serve three years, the second third in such order shall serve two years, and the remaining third in such order shall serve one year, from the day of the annual town meeting, or, in case such election is at a special meeting, from the next annual town meeting; in case of a tie vote affecting the division into thirds, as aforesaid, the members elected from the precinct shall by ballot determine the same; and thereafter, except as is otherwise provided herein, at each annual town election the registered voters of each precinct shall, in like manner, elect one third of the number of town meeting members to which that precinct is entitled for the term of three years, and shall at such election fill for the unexpired term or terms any vacancy or vacancies then existing in the number of town meeting members in their respectiveprecincts. Upon every revision of the precincts where the number of precincts is changed, the terms of office of all town meeting members from every precinct shall cease upon the election of their successors. The town clerk shall, after every election of town meeting members, forthwith notify each member by mail of his election.
Section 3. Same - Members; notice; quorum; adjourned meetings; compensation of members; resignation or removal of members. 3
Any representative town meeting held under the provisions of this act, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be limited to the voters elected under section two, together with the following, designated as town meeting members at large, ex officiis; namely, any member of the general court of the commonwealth who is a registered voter of the town, the moderator, the town clerk, the town treasurer-collector, members of the board of selectmen and the chairman of the finance committee. It shall be the duty of the chairman of each board or committee of the town and the head of each town department to attend every representative town meeting. The town clerk shall notify the town meeting members of the time and place at which representative town meetings are to be held, the notices to be sent by mail at least seven days before the meeting. The town meeting members, as aforesaid, shall be the judges of the election and qualifications of their members. Eighty-five town meeting members shall constitute a quorum for doing business; but a less number may organize temporarily and may adjourn from time to time. Notice of every adjourned representative town meeting shall be posted by the town clerk in five or more public places in the town and he shall notify the members by mail of the adjournment at least twenty-four hours before the time of the adjourned representative town meeting. The notices shall state briefly the business to be acted upon at any meeting and shall include notice of any proposed reconsideration. All town meetings shall be public. The town meeting members as such shall receive no compensation. Subject to the conditions as may be determined from time to time by the representative town meeting, any voter of the town who is not a town meeting member may speak at any representative town meeting, but shall not vote. A town meeting member may resign by filing a written resignation with the town clerk, and such resignation shall take effect upon thedate of such filing. No elected member whose official position entitles him to be a member at large shall act as a member at large during such times as he remains an elected member. A town meeting member who removes from the town shall cease to be a town meeting member and an elected town meeting member who removes from one precinct to another or is so removed by a revision of precincts shall not retain membership after the next annual election. (Ch. 560, Acts 1941; ch. 527, Acts 1970.)
Section 4. Same - Nomination of candidates.
Nomination of candidates for town meeting members to be elected under this act shall be made by nomination papers which shall bear no political designation, but to the name of a candidate for re-election there may be added the words "Candidate for Re-election." Nomination papers shall be signed by not less than ten registered voters of the precinct in which the candidate is nominated for office and filed with the town clerk at least ten days before the election. No nomination papers shall be valid in respect to any candidate unless his written acceptance is filed therewith.
Section 5. Same - Warrants for town meetings.
All articles in the warrant for every town meeting, so far as they relate to the election of the town moderator, town officers and town meeting members, and, as herein provided, to referenda and all matters to be acted upon and determined by ballot, shall be so acted upon and determined by the registered voters of the town in their respective precincts. All other articles in the warrant for any town meeting, beginning with the annual town meeting in the year when said town meeting members are first elected, or, if first elected at a special town meeting, beginning with the next annual town meeting thereafter, shall be acted upon and determined exclusively by town meeting members at a representative town meeting to be held at such time and place as shall be set forth by the selectmen in the warrant for the meeting, and subject to the referendum provided for by section eight.
Section 6. Same - Moderator pro tempore.
A moderator shall be elected by ballot at each annual town election, and shall serve as the moderator of all town meetings except as otherwise provided by law until his successor is elected and qualified. Nominations for moderator and his election shall be as in the case of other elective town officers, and any vacancy in such office may be filled by the town meeting members at a representative town meeting held for that purpose. If a moderator is absent, a moderator pro tempore may be elected by the town meeting members.
Section 7. Same - Filling vacancies.
In the event of any vacancy in the full number of elected town meeting members from any precinct the remaining elected members of the precinct may choose from among the registered voters thereof a successor to serve until the next annual town election. The town clerk may, and upon a petition therefor signed by not less than five elected town meeting members from the precinct shall, call a special meeting for the purpose of filling such vacancy and shall mail a notice thereof to the remaining elected members from the precinct specifying the object and the time and place of such meeting which shall be held not less than four days after the mailing of such notice. At such meeting a majority of such members shall constitute a quorum and shall elect from their own number a chairman and a clerk. The election to fill such vacancy shall be by ballot and a majority of the votes cast shall be required for a choice. The clerk shall forthwith file with the town clerk a certificate of suchelection, together with a written acceptance by the member so elected, who shall thereupon be deemed elected and qualified as an elected town meeting member, subject to the provisions of section three respecting the election and qualifications of elected town meeting members.
Section 8. Same - When votes to take effect; calling for general election upon petition; conduct and results of general election.
A vote passed at any representative town meeting authorizing the expenditure of twenty thousand dollars or more as a special appropriation, or establishing a new board or office or abolishing an old board or office or merging two or more boards or offices, or fixing the term of office of town officers, where such term is optional, or increasing or reducing the number of members of a board, or adopting a new by-law, or amending an existing by-law, shall not be operative until after the expiration of five days, exclusive of Sundays and holidays, from the dissolution of the meeting. If, within said five days, a petition, signed by not less than five per cent of the registered voters of the town, containing their names and addresses as they appear on the list of registered voters, is filed with the selectmen asking that the question or questions involved in such a vote be submitted to the registered voters of the town at large, then the selectmen, after the expiration of five days,shall forthwith call a special meeting for the sole purpose of presenting to the registered voters at large the question or questions so involved. The polls shall be opened at two o'clock in the afternoon and shall be closed not earlier then eight o'clock in the evening, and all votes upon any questions so submitted shall be taken by ballot, and the check list shall be used in the several precinct meetings in the same manner as in the election of town officers. The questions so submitted shall be determined by a majority vote of the registered voters of the town voting thereon, but no action of the representative town meeting shall be reversed unless at least twenty per cent of the registered voters shall so vote. Each question so submitted shall be in the form of the following question, which shall be placed upon the official ballot: - "Shall the town vote to approve the action of the representative town meeting whereby it was voted (brief description of the substance of thevote)?" If such petition is not filed within said period of five days, the vote of the representative town meeting shall become operative and effective upon the expiration of said period.
Section 9. Same - Town bound by meeting members; powers generally; force and effect of actions.
The Town of Adams, after the acceptance of this act, shall have the capacity to act through and be bound by its said town meeting members who shall, when convened from time to time as herein provided, constitute representative town meetings, and the representative town meetings shall exercise exclusively, so far as will conform to the provisions of this act, all powers vested in the municipal corporation. Action in conformity with all provisions of law now or hereafter applicable to the transaction of town affairs in town meetings shall, when taken by any representative town meeting in accordance with the provisions of this act, have the same force and effect as if such action had been taken in a town meeting open to all the voters of the town as heretofore organized and conducted.
Section 10. Same - Rules.
The representative town meeting may make such rules consistent with general law as may be considered necessary for conducting its meetings.
Section 11. Same - Appointing committees.
The representative town meeting may appoint such committees of its members for investigation and report as it may consider necessary.
Section 12. Applicability of act.
All by-laws or parts of by-laws of the town inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed. The provisions of chapter forty-four of the General Laws shall continue to apply in the Town of Adams notwithstanding the provisions of this act.
Section 13. Construction of act.
This act shall not abridge the right of the inhabitants of Adams to hold general meetings, as that right is secured to them by the constitution of this commonwealth; nor shall this act confer upon any representative town meeting in Adams the power finally to commit the town to any measure affecting its municipal existence or changing its government, without action thereon by the voters of the town at large, using the ballot and the check list therefor.
Section 14. Submitting act to voters.
This act shall be submitted to the registered voters of the Town of Adams at any annual town meeting. The vote shall be taken by ballot in accordance with the provisions of the General Laws, so far as the same shall be applicable, in answer to the question, which shall be placed upon the official ballot to be used for the election of town officers: "Shall an act passed by the General Court in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-five, entitled 'An Act establishing in the Town of Adams representative town government by limited town meetings,' be accepted by this town?" This act shall take effect upon its acceptance by a majority of the voters voting thereon.
Section 15. Acceptance or rejection of act.
If this act is rejected by the registered voters of the Town of Adams when submitted to said voters under section fourteen, it may again be submitted for acceptance in like manner from time to time to such voters at any annual town meeting in said town within three years thereafter, and, if accepted by a majority of the voters voting thereon at such a meeting, shall thereupon take effect. Approved May 1, 1935.
AN ACT MAKING THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PERSONNEL BOARD A TOWN MEETING MEMBER, EX OFFICIO, IN THE TOWN OF ADAMS. (3/4*)
ss 1. Designated.
Section 1. Designated.
The chairman of the personnel board of the Town of Adams shall be a town meeting member, ex officio, of said town, not withstanding any provision of said town's charter to the contrary.
1. Editor's note. - The Acts set out in this Part remain as derived from the cited acts. A uniform system of capitalization has been utilized and a frontal analysis has been added for the convenience of the user.
2. Editor's note. - The act hereafter set out is contained in ch. 235, Acts of 1935. Acts amending such acts are cited following the affected section.
3. Editor's note. - Ch. 156, Acts of 1970, set out following this act, make the chairman of the personnel board a member of the town meetings also.
4. Editor's note. - The act hereafter set out is contained in ch. 156, Acts 1970. A uniform system of capitalization has been employed and a frontal analysis added for the convenience of the user. * (5-30-89 art. 58 - establishes new personnel bylaws and eliminates former bylaws including personnel board)