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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24 Appendix : Municipal Charters

Chapter 123A : TOWN OF HARTFORD

(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 123A, § 201)
  • § 123A-201. Town meeting

    (a) Town and School District meeting. All governmental authority for the Town and the School District not vested by law in a particular Town or Town School District officer ultimately rests with Town voters who vote at Town meeting or by Australian ballot. In this tradition, the Hartford annual Town meeting will combine and consider Town and School District matters, and the warnings, meetings, and elections shall be combined.

    (b) School and Town Meeting Committee. To augment the statutory responsibilities for the annual Town and School District meetings that are specified to the Town and the School District and their respective officers, there shall be a School and Town Meeting Committee which shall organize, arrange, and provide for the comfort, presentation, publicity, program, refreshments, entertainment, and other nonstatutory aspects of the budget discussion/candidates night meeting (hereafter referred to as pretown meeting), and the combined Town/School District Meeting (hereafter referred to as the floor meeting). The Town Clerk shall appoint one member for a two-year term. The Selectboard shall appoint one member for a two-year term and one member for a three-year term. The School Board shall appoint one member for a two-year term and one member for a three-year term. No School Board member, Selectboard member, or Town Clerk may serve on the School and Town Meeting Committee. Each appointing body or person shall have the power to remove any incumbent member of the School and Town Meeting Committee appointed by that body or person and shall have the power to appoint a replacement member to serve the unexpired term of any person who is removed or who resigns.

    (c) The method for identification and designation of eligible voters in the Town and School District shall be established by the Board of Civil Authority.

    (d) Polling places. Locations of annual or special Town or School District meetings for the purpose of election of officers and voting all questions to be decided by Australian ballot shall be established by the Board of Civil Authority.

    (e) Meetings, dates, times, votes, ballots:

    (1) Pretown meeting. At 7:00 p.m. on the final Monday night in February that meets the statutory warning requirement for the town meeting day Australian ballot vote at a place determined by the School and Town Meeting Committee, a Town and School District budget discussion and candidates night meeting shall be called for the purpose of:

    (A) presentation, explanation of, and citizen comment upon Town and School District budgets;

    (B) introduction of candidates, presentations by candidates, and opportunity for citizen questioning of candidates;

    (C) any other appropriate informational matters or discussion of articles to be voted on by Australian ballot.

    (2) Australian ballot/election day. Australian ballot/election day shall be on Vermont Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday in March, at which time any business, budgets, and candidate election involving Australian ballots will be transacted beginning at 7 a.m. until closing at 7 p.m. The Town budget as warned by the Selectboard and the School District budget as warned by the School Board shall be submitted to the electorate at this Town election. A majority vote shall be a simple majority of votes cast in this election. Under this subdivision:

    (A) The time and place of a recount or a new vote on any question other than Town and School District budgets shall be determined by the Board of Civil Authority preceded by warning notice and public hearing. A tie vote on Town or School District budgets shall be deemed to be a negative vote and reconsideration of any defeated budget shall proceed as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

    (B) Absentee ballots shall be available prior to the election as provided by Vermont and federal election laws and may be mailed or otherwise delivered to a voter, upon a voter's request, and when completed by the voter, mailed or otherwise delivered to the Town Clerk. The voter also may vote by absentee ballot by completing the ballot in the Town Clerk's office. If an absentee ballot is hand-delivered to a voter requiring assistance, then delivery and assistance shall be provided by no fewer than two Board of Civil Authority members from different political parties acting together. Any absentee ballots returned to the Town Clerk by the close of polls on election day shall be counted with all other ballots.

    (3) Floor meeting. The annual Town and School District floor meeting shall be called for the fourth Saturday following the Australian ballot/election day held under subdivision (2) of this subsection. If the Town or School District budget fails in the Australian ballot, deciding votes at the floor meeting shall provide a further opportunity for consideration of any rejected budget and a final vote by the Town voters. In addition to budget votes, the floor meeting may consider:

    (A) the state of the Town and of the School District;

    (B) long-range planning, capital improvement projections;

    (C) other business not determined at Australian ballot election.

    (f) Special Town and School District meetings. A special Town or School District meeting may be called at any time by a majority of the applicable board or by the Town Clerk upon receipt of a petition signed by no fewer than 350 registered voters. A special Town or School District meeting shall be called and warned in accordance with State statute.

    (g) Warnings. Warnings for Town or School District meetings shall be posted on the Town or School District websites, printed in area newspapers, and posted in at least 12 public places in the Town under a schedule that is in accordance with State statute. The warning shall be signed and recorded by the Town Clerk before it is posted. Budgets and other applicable reports shall be available not later than 10 days prior to the budget informational meeting as established under subdivision (e)(1) of this section.

    (h) Presiding officials:

    (1) A Moderator shall preside at pretown meeting, the floor meeting, and any special Town or School District meetings. In the Moderator's absence, the Town Clerk shall appoint a Moderator Pro Tempore to preside for the duration of the meeting.

    (2) Town and School District meetings shall be conducted in accordance with State statute, this chapter, and Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

    (3) The Town Clerk shall be the presiding official at all Australian ballot elections and, in cooperation with the Board of Civil Authority, shall ensure that all laws related to elections are faithfully observed.

    (4) In the absence or a disability of the Town Clerk, should it occur before an election, the Board of Civil Authority shall designate a presiding official for the duration of the election. Should the absence or disability occur on election day, the Board of Civil Authority shall designate an on-site temporary officer to preside for the duration of the election. (Added 2009, No. M-5, § 2, eff. April 29, 2009; amended 2011, No. M-16 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 7, 2012.)