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Town Seal
 
Charter Commission Minutes 06/17/10
Buxton Charter Commission
Meeting minutes*
June 17, 2010
6:00 PM
Call to order at 6:08 p.m. Present are Chairman Andy Townsend, Jen Barschdorf, May Schumacher, Brent Havu, Larry Miller, Judy Sjulander and Dan Collomy. Absent are Vice Chairman/Selectman Dianne Senechal and David Dunn.
Approval of minutes from last meeting, motion to approve with changes: Dan is listed twice, correct John Myers' statement to say the registrar is NOT selected based on political affiliation, add election clerks are chosen based on political party recommendations, add quotations around define related to section 4.02, reword “move Kennebunk section” to “change placement of Kennebunk section” in following section 4.05 public records discussions. Motion seconded and approved.
Public Comments: none
Announcement of Correspondence: none
Open Business
  • Drafting the Buxton Charter Starting with Section 4.10 forward
Section 4.10 Lapse of Appropriations

        General fund appropriations, except Federal Revenue Sharing funds or an appropriation for a capital expenditure, or such accounts the Selectmen may deem necessary, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that they have not been expended or encumbered, or except as prohibited by law. Such funds shall be transferred to a surplus account. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned.

Commission members discussed this section in relation to section 2.09 subsection b.  

MOTION to adopt section 4.10, seconded and approved.

Section 4.11 Annual Post-Audit

        The Board of Selectmen shall each year obtain the services of the Maine State Department of Audit or a qualified public accountant for the purpose of conducting the annual post-audit of the prior fiscal year municipal finances, as authorized by law.
MOTION to accept section 4.11 in present charter with addition of sentence at end that says auditors report has to be published in the annual town report. Seconded, motion carries.

ARTICLE V.       TOWN MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS
Section 5.01 Annual Town Meeting
        
        Annual Town Meetings shall be held each year, during the month of June.  At such time a Moderator shall be elected by written ballot. Election of officers and other secret ballot articles shall be voted on the second Tuesday of June immediately after the election of the moderator. Consideration of the remaining articles shall commence on the following Saturday.  Any reference to the close of the Town Meeting shall mean the final adjournment of the meeting.  As the legislative body of the Town, the Town Meeting shall have the final authority for the enactment of ordinances, budgets and other legislation of the Town.
MOTION to approve without change. Second. Motion carries.

Section 5.02 Election of Officers and Other Matters to be Determined by Secret Ballot

        Except for the Moderator, who shall be elected by written ballot at the beginning of each Annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting, the election of officers shall be by secret ballot in accordance with applicable provisions of Maine law. Such applicable provisions of Maine law shall also govern other articles required to be determined by secret ballot by this Charter or applicable law, or which are to be determined by secret ballot by order of the Board of Selectmen or by petition of a number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the Town at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than 10, provided such order or petition is timely filed in accordance with such applicable provisions of Maine law.

        A warrant article approved by secret ballot referendum vote may only be amended or repealed by secret ballot referendum vote.  (Amendment:  June 10, 2008)

MOTION to approve that language as written, seconded. Commission members discussed the process currently used as compared to what the charter states must be done. Motion carries, Brent opposed.

Section 5.03 Special Town Meetings

Special Town Meetings shall be called in accordance with Maine law.

MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

Section 5.04    General and Administrative Ordinances

        (a)     Ordinances: All ordinances, except those which under State law may be adopted by the municipal officers, shall be adopted by the legislative body of the Town, which shall be the Town Meeting. Except for emergency ordinances, or those with dates specified by statute, ordinances shall become effective after adoption unless otherwise specified therein.

MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

(b)     Articles for the Warrant
        
                (1)     The Board of Selectmen, on their own initiative, may by majority vote place on the warrant any article relating to the welfare of the municipality. All non-budgetary articles for inclusion in the warrant under this sub-section, with the exception of articles that appear in the warrant on a yearly basis, must be announced at a public meeting at least 7 days prior to the signing of the warrant.  (Amended:  June 10, 2008)

MOTION to adopt current language in charter, seconded, motion carries.

(2)     The Planning Board, by their own initiative, may by majority vote place on the warrant any article relating to land use ordinances. Selectmen shall consider the recommendation of the Planning Board for placement and voting method of articles.


MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

  • Petitions for Articles in the Town Meeting Warrant: Any qualified voter may request the Board of Selectmen to place an article in the town meeting warrant and shall present in written form the substance of the article. If the request is denied by the Board, on the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the Town at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than ten, the municipal officers shall insert the article in the next town meeting warrant issued. If the intent is to secure a secret ballot vote, the petition shall so state otherwise the Selectmen can choose to place the article on the open Town Meeting or by secret ballot referendum.  (Amended:  Nov. 5, 2002)
MOTION to adopt as it exists in current charter, seconded. Motion carries.


(d) Warrant Articles: All articles for inclusion on the Town Meeting Warrant must be clearly worded and have a distinct single subject and shall be written so that an affirmative vote is in favor of the article.

MOTION to approve as written, seconded and approved

(e)     Life Expectancy of Articles:  All non-ordinance articles shall have a stated life expectancy.

MOTION to accept, seconded, motion carries

Section 5.05 Authentication and Recording of Ordinances

        All ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Board shall be authenticated by the signatures of the Board and recorded in full by the Town Clerk in a properly indexed book kept for that purpose, the original or a copy of which shall be accessible to the public.

MOTION to adopt as exists in current charter, seconded, motion carries

Section 5.06 Zoning Ordinance

         All Land Use Ordinances lawfully adopted prior to the adoption of this Charter shall remain in effect until amended or repealed in accordance with the Buxton Zoning Ordinance, this Charter and the laws of the State of Maine.

MOTION to adopt as exists in current charter, seconded, motion carries

ARTICLE VI.     GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 6.01 Initiative and Referendum

        Nothing in this Charter shall be construed to diminish any rights of initiative and referendum granted by Maine law.

MOTION to adopt as exists in current charter, seconded, motion carries

Section 6.02 Charter Amendments

Amendments to the Charter, which may be appropriate due to changed circumstances, may be initiated either by the municipal officers, or by petition of the voters of the Town pursuant to Maine law. All amendments shall be acted upon by referendum vote.

MOTION to approve, seconded. Commission members discussed the meaning of 'changed circumstances.' The motion to approve and second were withddrawn.
MOTION to remove ',which may be appropriate due to changed circumstances,' and approve, seconded, motion carries.  

Charter amendments adopted by the voters take effect on the date determined by the Municipal Officers, but not later than the first day of the next municipal year, as set forth in Title 30-A M.R.S.A., Section 2105(4).

MOTION to approve contingent on check that Title and section noted are correct, seconded, motion carries.

  • No proposed change to this Charter, which has been unfavorably acted upon, shall be re-considered on its merits by the legislative body within one (1) year after the date of such unfavorable action.
MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.
Section 6.03 Elected or Appointed Officers

        Any officer shall serve for his/her prescribed term or until his/her successor is elected or appointed whichever occurs first, except as provided in Section  3.03 or Article VII.

MOTION to approve contingent on renumbering of sections and articles to match. Seconded, motion carries.

Section 6.04 Swearing in Officers

        Every town officer or official shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of the duties incumbent upon him/her  according to the Constitution and laws of the State of Maine and the Charter and ordinances of the Town and shall be sworn to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Maine.

MOTION to approve as read, seconded, motion carries

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.

MOTION to approve as read, seconded, motion carries

(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 approve as read, seconded, motion carries

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.

Commission members discussed wording of this section, which was taken from Kennebunk's charter.  

MOTION to remove subsection c (above). [no second].

Commission members noted changing 'board of selectmen' to 'board of selectmen/town manager' would be appropriate.

MOTION to adopt subsection c with addition of 'an official so removed shall be ineligible for a period of 5 years thereafter to hold any town office or employment' and deletion of subsection d. Motion seconded.

Commission members discussed the 5 year time frame and noted if subsection d is deleted here, it will also have to be deleted in section 6.06.

MOTION and second withdrawn.

MOTION to approve subsection c changing 'board of selectmen' to 'board of selectmen/town manager' and amended from 'official' to 'official or employee.' Seconded and approved.   

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.

MOTION to accept, seconded, motion carries.

Three min recess.
MOTION to insert new section titled 'public comment' in general provisions that reads: “Every town board and committee shall allow public comment at its meetings including workshops, other than executive sessions conducted pursuant to Title 30-A* MRSA section 405. Boards and committees may make rules for limiting comment so as to avoid disruption of their proceedings and so as to limit the time allowed for comments.” Seconded and approved. *Later in the meeting, Title 30-A was corrected to Title 1.

Section 6.06 Prohibitions

        (a)     No person shall be appointed to or removed from or in any way favored or discriminated against with respect to any Town employment or appointive position because of race, gender, color, ethnic origin, age, physical handicap, military status, or political or religious opinions or affiliations unless related to bona fide occupational qualifications.

MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries

MOTION to create a new subsection b and re-letter remaining sections. The new subsection b would read: “No person should be employed by the town in a postion that, directly or indirectly, supervises or is supervised by a family member. For this purpose family member includes [previous definition]”

Commission members discussed the creating an exclusions list for employes that work in traditional family careers, such as on-call firefighters, as well as full-time versus part-time employees with family members employed by the town.
Motion fails, 5 to 2, Larry and May in favor.

No elected or appointed Town official shall, to the determinant 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 inless permitted by affirmative vote of such body.

MOTION to approve, correcting 'inless' to 'unless', seconded, motion carries.

No person shall willfully make any false statement, certificate, mark, rating or report in regard to any test, certification or appointment under the provisions of this Charter or the rules and regulations made hereunder, or in any manner commit or attempt to commit any fraud preventing the impartial execution of such provisions, rules and regulations.

MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

  • No person shall, directly or indirectly, give, render, pay, offer, solicit, or accept any money, service, or other valuable consideration for any appointment, proposed appointment, promotion or proposed promotion to, or any advantage in, a position in the municipal services.
MOTION to approve with note the sections will be lettered correctly. Motion seconded and approved.

  • No person who holds a compensated Town position shall solicit any assessments, contributions, or service for any political party from any employee in the municipal service.
MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

        (e)     Nothing herein contained shall affect the right of any person to hold membership in, or support, a political party, to vote as he chooses, to express privately and publicly his opinions on all political subjects and candidates, to maintain political neutrality, and to attend political meetings.

MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

        G, old (f)      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.

MOTION to approve, seconded, motion carries.

        (h, old g)      No Board of Selectmen, other Boards, Committees or Commissions shall adopt policies that are contradictory to this Charter or tends to circumvent its stated purpose.

MOTION to approve, seconded and amended to include 'Town Manager' following Commissions. Motion carried.


ARTICLE VII.    RECALL PROVISIONS

        (a)     Any elected official of the town of Buxton may be recalled pursuant to state statutes and removed from office by the registered voters as herein provided

        (b)     Any resident of the town wishing to circulate a recall petition can do so by gathering signatures equal to 10% of the votes cast in the last Gubernatorial election. This petition is only used to give notice to the town that a recall election may be undertaken. This petition must have the name of the person being petitioned for recall and must also have a statement as to the reasons for recall. This petition shall be filed with the town clerk, who shall within five (5) working days check the validity of those signatures gathered. In cases where more than one official is being petitioned for recall, there shall be separate petitions for each official and each such petition must have the required amount of signatures to be valid.

        (c)     Before any recall election petitions can be obtained, any 5 voters of the municipality must file an affidavit with the municipal clerk stating:

                (1)     that the 5 voters will constitute the petitioners committee;
                (2)     the names and addresses of the 5 voters:
                (3)     the address to which all notices to the committee are to be sent
                (4)     that the 5 voters will circulate the petitions and file them in the proper form with the clerk

Promptly after the affidavit is filed, the clerk shall issue petition blanks to the committee. The committee may, if they desire, have additional persons circulate these petitions for signatures. Each recall election petition must state the name of the person and office in question and the petitioners’ reasons for recall.

        (d)     In order for the recall election petition or petitions to be effective, each (petition for recall) must be signed by 10% of the registered voters of Buxton. To every signature there shall be a space provided to state the place of residence of the signer, giving street or other description sufficient to identify place of residence and a space for the signer to print his/her name. The Clerk shall note the date petitions were issued and notify the petition committee that the petitions must be filed within 60 days of issue with the required amount of signatures or they are void.

        (e)     Within twenty days after the petitions are filed. The clerk shall ascertain whether or not the petition or petitions is/are signed by the required number of qualified voters and shall attach thereto his/her certificate showing the results of such examination.

        (f)     Upon examination of the petitions, the town clerk shall certify the validity of the petition/s. If found to be sufficient, he or she shall submit the same with his or her certificate to the Selectmen at its meeting and shall notify the official/s whose removal is/are being sought of such action.

        (g)     The Board of Selectmen, within 5 business days of the receipt of the Town Clerk’s certification, shall order an election to be held not less than 30 nor more than 60 calendar days thereafter, unless a regular municipal election is to occur within 90 calendar days. The recall election shall be held at that time, but no later.

        (h)     Should the Board of Selectmen fail or refuse to order an election as herein provided, such election may be called by a Notary Public in the county by written petition of a number of voters equal to 10% of the number of votes cast in the Town at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than 10.

        (i)     The Selectmen shall hold a Public Hearing not less than 7 days nor more than 21 days from the receipt of a written request of the officer or official(s) being recalled. At said hearing which shall be presided over by a moderator, the petitioners and the officer or official whose recall is sought shall be provided the opportunity to present reasons for or against recall.

        (j)     The incumbent/s shall continue to perform the duties of office until the recall election process is completed. If not then recalled, he/she shall continue in office for the remainder of his/her unexpired term.

        (k)     In the event of a successful recall election, nominations for candidates shall be sought in the same manner as for any municipal election and in accordance with state and municipal election laws.

        (l)     No person, who has been recalled from office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings are pending, on that person, shall be appointed or hired to any town office or board, commission or committee within two years after such removal or resignation.

  • Disbursement Ordinance shall be used in the case of multiple vacancies of the Board of Selectmen, where business could otherwise not be conducted.
MOTION to adopt article 7 as it currently exists, seconded, motion carries.

ARTICLE VIII.   TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Section 8.01 Effective Date
        
        This Charter shall take effect on the first day of the next succeeding municipal year as set forth in Title 30-A M.S.R.A., Section 2105(4).

MOTION to remove section 8.01 pending legal review. Seconded, motion carries. *see motion at the end of article 8

Section 8.02  Ordinances

        All existing codes, ordinances, and policies will remain in effect until altered, amended, or repealed except where these codes, ordinances, and policies are inconsistent with this Charter.

MOTION to remove section 8.02, seconded. Motion withdrawn.

Section 8.03 Officers, Employees and Board Members

        (a)     Continuance of Office or Employment.

                (1)     Except as specifically provided by this Charter, if at the time this Charter takes full effect any appointed official or employee holds any office or position which is or can be abolished by or under this Charter, he or she shall continue in such office or position until the taking effect of some specific provision under this Charter directing that he/she vacate the office or position.


                (2)     All elected officials and established Boards and Committees not inconsistent with this Charter shall continue in effect until changed by the legislative body or the Board of Selectmen’s action, and the incumbent members shall serve their appointed terms or until replaced.


Section 8.04 Departments, Offices and Agencies

        (a)     If a department, office or agency is abolished by or under this Charter, the powers and duties given it by law shall be transferred to the Town department, office or agency designated in this Charter, or if the Charter makes no provision, designated by the Board.

        (b)     Property and Records. All property, records and equipment of any department, office or agency existing when this Charter is adopted shall be transferred to the department, office or agency assuming its powers and duties, but, in the event that the powers or duties are to be discontinued or divided between units, or in the event that any conflict arises regarding a transfer, such property, records or equipment shall be transferred to one or more departments, offices or agencies designated by the Board of Selectmen in accordance with this Charter.

Section 8.05 Pending Matters

        All rights, claims, actions, orders, contracts and legal administrative proceedings shall continue except as modified pursuant to the provisions of this Charter and in each case shall be maintained, carried on or dealt with by the town department, office or agency appropriate under this Charter.

Section 8.06 State and Municipal Laws

        All town ordinances, resolutions, orders and regulations which are in force when this Charter becomes fully effective are repealed to the extent that they are inconsistent or interfere with the effective operation of this Charter or of ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant thereto. To the extent that the Constitution and laws of the State of Maine permit, all laws relating to or affecting this Town or its agencies, officers or employees which are in force when this Charter becomes fully effective are superseded to the extent that they are inconsistent or interfere with the effective operation of this Charter or of ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant thereto.

Section 8.07 Charter Review Committee
        
        The Board of Selectmen shall provide for the appointment of a Charter Review Committee every seven years for the purpose of reviewing and recommending updates to this Charter.  In the event a Committee shall have been appointed within any seven (7) year period, a new seven (7) year period shall commence from the date of the dissolution of said Committee.
MOTION to reconsider section 8.01, seconded, motion carries
MOTION to leave article 8 as is with comment it needs legal review to determine what stays and what can be removed. Seconded and approved.

  • Other open business
The secretary stated she will update to the newest approved charter, change article numbers as appropriate and change 'board of selectmen' to 'selectboard' and 'selectman' to 'selectboard member' as well as updating 'he' references to 'he/she.'
New Business
Next Step of the Process
Commission members decided to meet next Thursday night to go over all changes made to the charter.  

Other New Business
Set agenda, open business will be to review the final draft of charter changes. New business will be discussions regarding distribution of the draft, submission of extension request to selectmen and possible time frame for a public hearing and legal review. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. June 24.
Next Meeting
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, June 24, 2010, 7 p.m.
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, July 01, 2010, 7 p.m.
Public Comments: none
Adjournment: 8:35 p.m.
Submitted by Stephanie Grinnell
* Amended June 28, 2010


 
Town of Buxton
  185 Portland Road, Buxton, ME 04093 (207) 929-5191
Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm & Wed: 11:30am - 7:30pm