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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24 Appendix: Municipal Charters

Chapter 105: TOWN OF BERLIN

  • Subchapter 001: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
  • § 105-1. Statement of purpose

    Under the authority granted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, this charter establishes certain guidelines with respect to organization and functioning of local Town government in the Town of Berlin, Vermont.


  • Subchapter 002: SCOPE
  • § 105-21. Scope

    In pertinent part, this charter provides the following subchapters:

    (3) General provisions.

    (4) Town officers.

    (5) Conflict of interest.

    (6) Vacancies in elected and appointed offices.

    (7) Special procedures.

    (8) Removal of elected or appointed Town officers.

    (9) The adoption of an Administrative Code.

    (10) The separability of any charter section or its parts.

    (11) Procedure for the amendment of this charter. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)


  • Subchapter 003: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • § 105-31. General law; application

    Except when changed by the provisions of this charter, all provisions of the statutes of the State of Vermont relating to municipalities shall apply to the Town of Berlin.

  • § 105-32. Powers of the Town

    (a) The Town of Berlin shall have all the powers granted to towns and municipal corporations by the Constitution and laws of this State and this charter, together with all the implied powers necessary to carry into execution all the powers granted. The Town of Berlin may enact ordinances not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the State of Vermont or with this charter, and impose penalties for violation thereof.

    (b) The Town may acquire real property within or without its corporate limits necessary or convenient for any lawful purpose, in fee simple or any lesser interest or estate, by purchase, gift, devise, lease, or otherwise, consistent with the Constitution and laws of the State of Vermont, and may sell, lease, mortgage, hold, manage, and control such property as its interest may require consistent with the Constitution and laws of the State by vote of a majority of the voters present and voting at a duly warned meeting. Once the voters have approved the sale, lease, or mortgage of property of the Town of Berlin, the Selectboard shall have the full authority to sign all conveyances and legal documents in the name of the Town to complete the transaction.

    (c) In this charter, no mention of a particular power shall be construed to be exclusive or to restrict the scope of the powers which the Town would have if the particular powers were not mentioned, unless this charter otherwise provides.

  • § 105-33. Reservation of powers to the Town

    Nothing in this charter shall be construed to in any way limit the powers and functions conferred on the Town of Berlin, the Selectboard of said Town, or its elected and appointed officials by general or special enactments of State statutes or regulations in force or effect or hereafter enacted, and the powers and functions conferred by this charter shall be cumulative and in addition to the provisions of such general or special enactments unless this charter otherwise provides.

  • § 105-34. Open meetings

    Meetings of all Town boards and commissions shall be open and held in accordance with the general law of this State relating to public meetings. The record of all official proceedings shall be available for public inspection and copying as provided by the general law of this State.


  • Subchapter 004: TOWN OFFICERS
  • § 105-41. Generally

    The officers of the Town of Berlin shall be those provided by law for towns, except as otherwise provided by this charter. Such officers shall have all the powers and duties necessary to carry out the provisions of this charter as well as those provided by law and the Administrative Code. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-42. Elected officers

    The following officers of the Town and such other Town officers as are provided by law and previous vote of the electorate as to number, length of term, and manner of election at an annual meeting shall be elected by Australian ballot, unless otherwise stated, and shall include the following:

    (1) a Moderator to be elected from the floor, for a term of one year;

    (2) a Town Clerk, for a term of three years;

    (3) Selectboard members, three of whom shall serve staggered three year terms and two of whom shall serve one year terms;

    (4) such other Town officers as the Town shall order as provided by law. (Amended 2005, M-5, § 2; 2009, No. M-21 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 19, 2010; 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-43. Incompatible officers

    No Town officer shall hold incompatible Town offices as provided by law or this charter.

  • § 105-44. Appointed officers

    (a) The Selectboard may appoint, recommend, or approve the appointment of the following Town officers, for a term of one year from the date of such appointment, unless otherwise specified below, following such notice and warning as required by this charter and the Administrative Code, to include the following:

    (1) Tree Warden.

    (2) Emergency Management Director.

    (3) Fire Warden, for a term of five years.

    (4) Health Officer.

    (5) Members of the Town Planning Commission, for terms of four years.

    (6) Members and alternates of the Development Review Board, for terms of four years.

    (7) Cemetery commissioners, for terms of three years.

    (8) Members of the Recreation Board, for terms of three years.

    (9) Members of the Public Works Board, for terms of three years.

    (10) Members of the Conservation Commission, for terms of three years.

    (11) Editor of the Town report.

    (12) Such other Town officers or municipal appointments that may be necessary as provided by law or otherwise authorized by this charter for the orderly and expeditious operations of Town government.

    (b) The Selectboard shall appoint, recommend, or approve, as applicable, the appointment of the following officers who will serve at the pleasure of the Selectboard, following the notice and warning as required by this charter and the Administrative Code:

    (1) Town Administrator.

    (2) Assistant Town Administrator.

    (3) Treasurer.

    (4) Collector of Delinquent Taxes.

    (5) Road Superintendent.

    (6) Police Chief.

    (7) Zoning Administrator.

    (8) Assistant Zoning Administrator.

    (9) Assessor or Assessing Services.

    (10) Administrative Assistant to the Public Works Board.

    (c) The duties and responsibilities of the Grand Juror shall be assigned to the Police Chief.

    (d) All appointed Town officers shall be governed by the Town personnel policy. (Amended 2005, No. M-5, § 3; 2009, No. M-8, § 3, eff. May 8, 2009; 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-45. Alternate Town officers

    The Selectboard is authorized to appoint people to serve as alternate Town officers in anticipation of disqualifications or unavailability, as needed.

  • § 105-46. Relationship between and among town officers

    All Town officers whether elected or appointed shall exercise their duties and responsibilities independently unless otherwise provided by law.

  • §§ 105-47-50. Repealed. 2017, No. M-8, § 2.


  • Subchapter 005: CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  • § 105-51. General prohibition

    No elected or appointed Town officer or employee of the Town shall be beneficially interested in any matter requiring the discharge of his or her public office. The purpose of this subchapter is to prohibit the use of public office for financial or other advantage, whether direct or indirect, by any means or methods whatsoever. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-52. Specific conflicts

    A Town officer (member) shall be disqualified from any proceeding in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned as defined in the Administrative Code. (Amended 2005, No. M-5, § 4; 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)


  • Subchapter 006: VACANCIES IN ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICES; NOTICE OF
  • § 105-61. Notice of vacancy during unexpired term

    In order to inform citizens of the Town and to afford them the opportunity to participate or serve in Town government, public notice shall be given of municipal vacancies resulting from resignation, death, disability, or change of residence from the Town of a Town officer on any board, commission, or committee or in other public office whether elected or appointed. Such notice shall be made as defined in the Administrative Code. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-62. Recodified. 2017, No. M-8, § 2.

  • §§ 105-63-67. Repealed. 2017, No. M-8, § 2.


  • Subchapter 007: SPECIAL PROCEDURES
  • § 105-71. Public meetings; agendas

    All public meetings of any board, commission, or committee within the Town shall be held pursuant to a written agenda containing therein the specific agenda items to be acted upon. The posting and publishing of the agendas shall be in accordance with general law and the Administrative Code. In the event that the general law is silent on such matters, agendas shall at a minimum be posted in the Town Clerk's office. Except in emergencies, the same defined as a direct or immediate threat to the public's health, safety, or welfare, the board, commission, or committee shall not take action on matters other than those agenda items specifically set forth in the written agenda. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-72. Ordinances

    (a) Town legislation shall be by ordinance. The Selectboard shall have the power to adopt, amend, repeal, and revise ordinances and provide for their enforcement as provided by law. The procedures regarding the adoption, amendment, repeal, or revision of ordinances shall be as provided by law and the Administrative Code.

    (b) Ordinances adopted by the Selectboard shall be subject to rescission by vote at a special or annual Town meeting pursuant to the applicable provisions of general law.

    (c) The Town of Berlin shall have the power to adopt ordinances to regulate the cleanup of hazardous materials and to impose penalties or take other actions to regulate or prevent false fire and police alarms.

    (d) The Town may adopt and enforce ordinances for the purpose of regulating, licensing, and fixing reasonable and necessary license fees for the following:

    (1) places of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement, whether indoor or outdoor;

    (2) places dispensing food and drink to the public, such as restaurants, bars, or inns;

    (3) theaters;

    (4) displays of fireworks;

    (5) public dances and musical performances;

    (6) mobile home parks;

    (7) itinerant vendors;

    (8) the exclusive occupancy of any specified portion of a public street or right-of-way;

    (9) the keeping of dogs or other pets;

    (10) other activities that the Town has the power to regulate or license by virtue of general law or this charter. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-73. Penalty for delinquent installments

    (a) If the Town of Berlin adopts the installment system of taxes, the Town may vote to collect a penalty for delinquent installment payments of property taxes. The vote shall be by Australian ballot and once enacted shall remain in effect until rescinded by a similar vote. Penalties shall not exceed those allowed by law.

    (b) When the collection of a delinquent property tax, sewer or water use charge, interest and penalty, or any combination thereof would create an undue expense for the Town, the Treasurer may, after approval of the Selectboard, forgive any delinquent amounts due when the amount is less than $5.00. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)


  • Subchapter 008: REMOVAL OF ELECTED TOWN OFFICERS FROM MUNICIPAL OFFICE
  • § 105-81. Removal

    Any elected Town officer may be removed from office subject to conditions and procedures as provided by general law and the Administrative Code. (Amended 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • §§ 105-82, 83. Recodified. 2017, No. M-8, § 2.

  • § 105-84. Repealed. 2017, No. M-8, § 2.


  • Subchapter 009: ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
  • § 105-91. Governance

    (a) An Administrative Code shall be written and approved by the Selectboard, but the Administrative Code shall only implement and shall not expand upon the authorities granted in this charter or in general State law. Prior to the adoption or any amendment of the Administrative Code, the Selectboard shall hold two public meetings concerning that adoption or amendment.

    (b) Decisions of the Town of Berlin shall be made using the Administrative Code, this charter, Town ordinances, and Town policies.

    (c) The sole and exclusive body authorized to make decisions relating to issues of statewide or national interest, including positions on pending legislation, shall be the voters of the Town at Town meeting. (Amended 2005, No. M-5, § 5; 2017, No. M-8, § 2.)

  • § 105-92. Repealed. 2017, No. M-8, § 2.


  • Subchapter 010: SEPARABILITY
  • § 105-101. Separability

    If any provision of this charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the application of this charter and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.


  • Subchapter 011: AMENDMENT
  • § 105-111. Amendment

    The amendment of this charter shall be as provided by law.