Buxton Charter Commission
May 13, 2010
Call to order at 7 p.m. Present are Chairman Andy Townsend, Selectman Dan Collomy, Brent Havu, Larry Miller, Judy Sjulander, Vice-Chairman Dianne Senechal and David Dunn. Absent are Jennifer Barschdorf and May Schumacher.
Approval of minutes from last meeting. Approved as submitted.
Public Comments. None.
Announcement of Correspondence. Secretary is absent but chairman states there was no correspondence this week.
- Compare Kennebunk Sections 3.11 & 3.12 with Buxton 2.06, 2.07 & 6.05
Larry read Kennebunk section 3.11, subsections 1 and 2:
Vacancies; Forfeitures of Office; Filling of Vacancies
(As amended 11-07-90 and 11-04-97)
1) A vacancy in a Town Office or on any board or commission may occur by the following means: non-acceptance, death, resignation, permanent dIsability, incompetency, failure to qualify for the office within 10 days after written demand by the Board of Selectmen, failure of the Town to elect a person to office, removal from office in any manner provided by law, and forfeiture of office as provided in this Charter.
2) Elected officials or appointees to a board or commission shall forfeit their office if they:
a) Lack at any time during their term of office any qualifications for the office prescribed by the Charter or by the Constitution and laws of the State of Maine,
Violate any express prohibition of this Charter,
c) Are convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than 30 days whether or not such imprisonment actually occurs.
d) (i) with respect to all boards or commissions other than the Board of Selectmen, fail to attend the greater of three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the board or commission or more than 25% of all meetings within any 6 month period, unless such absences are determined not to be grounds for forfeiture pursuant to Section 3.11(4). Relief under Section 3.11(4) shall be available only to members of appointed boards and commissions and not to members of elected boards and commissions or to members of boards and commissions containing both elected and appointed members.
(ii) with respect to the Board of Selectmen, fail to attend more than 25% of all meetings within any six-month period.
Fail to perform the duties of the office; or
f) Elected and appointed officials have two weeks from the date of their election or appointment to be sworn in to office except for good cause. Good cause shall be determined by the Board of Selectmen, other than the Board member-elect, if applicable.
Commission members discussed differences with Buxton's Charter section 2, which applies only to selectmen. Buxton's charter has no attendance policy. Buxton Charter article 2.07 section c states: Record of Attendance. Failure to attend meetings shall not be grounds for forfeiture of office. A record of attendance and tardiness of Board members at all regular and special meetings shall be kept in the minutes of meetings. Some commission members expressed concern about requiring attendance from elected officials and how they would be removed if the
attendance policy were not followed. Commission members reviewed Buxton Charter section 3.05:
Section 3.05 Removal – Elected Positions
~~~~~~~~Any elected member of any Town board, committee, or commission, pursuant to state statutes, may be suspended from membership at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen if that person has missed three (3) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the member’s board, committee or commission. Any member suspended may be replaced by an alternate appointed by the Board of Selectmen, to fill out the unexpired term or until the next scheduled secret ballot election whichever comes first.
Commission members noted there is no cause for removal if an elected official has violated the law and discussed options for including such a clause in the charter. Commission members plan to consult an attorney regarding the legal aspect.
Commission members read and discussed Buxton Charter section 2.07:
Section 2.07~~~~Vacancy or Forfeiture of Office
~~~~~~~~(a)~~~~~Vacancy. The office of any Selectman shall become vacant upon ~non-acceptance, resignation, death, recall, legally judged incompetence, failure to qualify for the office, forfeiture of office or failure of the municipality to elect a person to the office.
~~~~~~~~(b)~~~~~Forfeiture of Office. A person shall forfeit the ~office of Selectman if he/she:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(1)~~~~~lacks at any time any qualification for the office prescribed by this Charter or by law;
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(2)~~~~~intentionally violates any expressed prohibition of this Charter; or
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(3)~~~~~is convicted of a crime or offense punishable by a term of imprisonment for more than six months.
~~~~~~~~(c)~~~~~Record of Attendance. Failure to attend meetings shall not be grounds for forfeiture of office. A record of attendance and tardiness of Board members at all regular and special meetings shall be kept in the minutes of meetings.
(d)~~~~~Vacancies. If a seat in the Board of Selectmen becomes vacant more than 90 Days prior to the next regular election, the Board of Selectmen shall call a special election to fill the unexpired term.
Kennebunk Charter section 3.11 subhead 3 reads:
- The determination of when a vacancy exists shall be made by the Board of Selectmen no later than its next regularly scheduled meeting. Upon such determination, a vacancy shall be deemed to 'occur' for purposes of filling such vacancy pursuant to Section 3.11(5). The determination of whether a forfeiture has occurred shall be made by the Board of Selectmen by appropriate proceedings of a judicial nature and after written notice and hearing. After receipt of such written notice, where the reason of alleged forfeiture is failure to attend the requisite number of meetings, the six month period for determining whether the member failed to attend the requisite percentage of all meetings shall end on the date of such written notice, and no subsequent meetings may be included in determining whether a forfeiture has occurred. When the
forfeiture involves a member of an elected or appointed board or commission, notice of the hearing shall be given to all other individuals who are members of the board or commission at the time the alleged grounds for forfeiture occurred.
Commission members discussed Buxton Charter section 2.7 subsection d and compared it with Kennebunk Charter section 3.11 subsection 5, which reads:
- When a vacancy occurs in any appointed Town office or position, the original appointing authority shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy within 60 days. When the vacancy occurs in any elected Town office or position and the vacancy occurs more than 120 days prior to the next Annual Town Meeting, the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term shall be filled by a Special Town Meeting to be held within 75 days ofthe vacancy. If such a vacancy occurs 120 days or less prior to the next Annual Town Meeting, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term at the next Annual Town Meeting.
MOTION: to adopt Buxton Charter section 2.07 and seek legal advice regarding crime/prison before that paragraph is included. Motion by Judy, second by Larry. Motion carries unanimously.
MOTION: to adopt Buxton Charter section 2.08. Motion by Judy, second by Larry. Motion carries unanimously.
Commission members read Kennebunk Charter secion 3.12:
Conflicts of Interests; Ethical Standards
No elected or appointed Town official shall, in such capacity, participate in the deliberation or vote, or otherwise take part in the decision-making process, on any agenda item before his/her collective body in which he/she or a member of his /her immediate family has a financial or special interest of a pecuniary nature, other than an interest held by the public generally.
Any elected or appointed Town official who believes that he/she or a member of his/her immediate family has a flllancial or special interest, other than an interest held by the public generally, in any agenda item before his or her collective body, shall disclose the nature and possible extent of such interest. Similarly, any elected or appointed Town' official of that board or committee who believes that a fellow member of the collective body or a member of the fellow member's immediate family has a financial or special interest, other than an interest held by the public generally, shall raise the issue with the collective body and request disclosure of the nature and possible extent of such interest by the Town official. Once the issue of conflict has been initiated relative to an individual Town
official, and disclosure has been made as provided above, such individual's remaining fellow Town officials of that board or committee shall vote on whether such individual shall be excused from participating in the deliberation or vote, which determination shall control.
If it is found that there is reasonable cause to believe that an official has failed to disclose an actual or possible financial or special interest, other than an interest held by the public generally, that official shall be informed of such belief and afforded an opportunity to disclose the interest. If, after hearing the response, it is determined by such individual's remaining fellow Town officials that the official did fail to disclose an .actual or possible financial or special interest, appropriate and corrective action shall be taken, including, without limitation, a vote of censure. In all such instances, a written report shall be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen, indicating the nature of the conflict, the official's position and its resolution by his or her fellow Town
officials; provided, however, only the Board of Selectmen may remove a Town official in such an instance and only after first providing the official with appropriate notice and an opportunity to be heard.
No elected or appointed Town official shall, to the detriment of the Town, disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the Town; nor shall he/she use such information to advance the financial or private interest of him/herself or others. For purposes of this Section, the term "confidential information" shall mean any information, oral or written, which comes to the attention of, or is available to, such Town official only because of his or her position with the Town, and is not a matter of public record. Information received and discussed during an executive session of a collective body of the Town called pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. §§ 405 et seq. shall be considered within the constraints of this Section, and shall not be disclosed to
any third party unless permitted by affirmative vote of such body.
No elected or appointed Town official, shall accept any valuable gift, whether in the form of service, loan, thing or promise, from any person and/or business which to his/her knowledge is interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in business dealings with the Town; nor shall any elected or appointed municipal official: accept any gift, favor or thing of value that tends to influence or could reasonably be expected to influence himlher in the performance of official duties or that is intended as a reward for any official action.
The standards of conduct established in this section shall apply to Town employees as well as other Town officials, but any inquiry or disciplinary action shall be conducted solely under the terms of the applicable personnel law.
That section was compared to Buxton Charter section 6.05 subsection c, which reads:
~(c)~~~~~Any person found in violation of this section, or any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section, by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall immediately forfeit his/her office or position and shall be ineligible for the period of five (5) years thereafter to hold any town office or employment.
Commission members discussed Buxton requiring court action to remove someone from office and discussed changing the charter to allow internal controls or levels of discipline. Commission members also discussed legal implications.
MOTION: to use Buxton Charter section 6.05 subsection c, with the change of inclusion of a portion of Kennebunk Charter section 3.11 bumping Buxton section c to section d. Motion by Judy, second by Dianne. Motion carries unanimously.
Commission members discussed the need to see what parts of Buxton Charter have been gone over and what remains to be done. The chairman stated that information will be complete and provided by the next meeting.
MOTION: to include Buxton Charter section 6.06 with insertion of a portion of Kennebunk Charter section 3.11. Motion by Judy, second by Larry. Motion carries unanimously.
Commission members discussed Buxton Charter sections 2.06 and 6. Section 2.06 applies only to selectmen and section 6.05 applies to all town officials, boards and committees including selectmen. Buxton Charter reads:
~~~~~~~~(a)~~~~~Employment by Town of Buxton. No Selectman during his or her term of office shall receive direct or indirect personal compensation for employment with the Town other than his or her compensation as Selectman, unless such employment is the result of a competitive bid proposal approved by the majority of the Selectmen excluding the Selectman who would receive such compensation.
Section 6.05 Conflict of Interest
~~~~~~~~(a)~~~~~Any official or employee who has a financial interest, direct or indirect or by reason of ownership of stock in any corporation, in any contract with the Town or in the sale of any land, material, supplies or services to the Town shall make known that interest and shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in his capacity as an official or employee in the making of such sales or in the making or performance of such contract. Violation of this section, with knowledge expressed or implied by the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the Town, shall render the contract or sale voidable by the Board of Selectmen. Official means any
elected or appointed member of a municipality, quasi-municipal corporation, board, commission or committee. Employee means any person, employed by the Town of Buxton, either full-time or part-time.
~~~~~~~~(b)~~~~~No Municipal official or Town employee nor the spouse of either of the aforementioned shall knowingly act as agent for the purpose of contracting sales or employment for or to the municipality during the official or employee’s term of service and for a period of up to one year after termination of service to the municipality.
MOTION: to place a period following selectmen [between 'Selectmen' and 'unless'] and delete the remainder of Buxton Charter section 2.06* subsection a. Motion by Judy, second by Dianne. Motion carries unanimously.
MOTION: to leave Buxton Charter section 2.06 subsection b as is. Motion by Larry, second by Judy. Motion carries, unanimous.
Buxton Charter section 2.06 subsection c reads:
(c)~~~~~No Board of Selectmen shall adopt policies that are contradictory to this Charter or tends to circumvent its stated purpose.
MOTION: Buxton Charter section 2.06 subsection c be removed and replaced by statement says board of selectmen shall be subject to the provisions of section 6. Motion by Larry, second by Brent and Dianne. Motion carries, unanimous.
Prepare questions for the Selectmen. Commission members determined there is not a complete list of questions for selectmen at this time.
Begin drafting Buxton Charter [See above discussions]
Other New Business. .
Set agenda for next meeting to go over what has already been done and what remains to be discussed in Buxton's charter from the beginning, with as little jumping around as possible.
Commission members discussed the meaning of circulating the draft changes and what the legal definition is. The chairman will contact the attorney for a definition.
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, May 20, 2010, 7 p.m.
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, May 27, 2010, 7 p.m.
Public Comments. None.
Adjournment at 8:40 p.m.
Submitted by Stephanie Grinnell
*Minutes amended May 24, 2010 to reflect the correct section (2.06) rather than incorrectly recorded section 2.05.