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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24 Appendix : Municipal Charters

Chapter 149 : TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD

Subchapter 002 : ELECTIONS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS

(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 149, § 22)
  • § 149-22. Town meeting; elections

    (a) Applicability of general laws: Except as otherwise herein limited, provisions of the general laws of the State related to voter qualifications, warnings, methods of voting, duties of Town officers at Town meeting and elections, counting of votes, recount of votes, certification of results, and nominations of candidates, so far as they may be applicable, shall govern all municipal elections and all annual and special Town meetings.

    (b) Meetings and Elections:

    (1)  Annual Town meeting:

    (A) On the Monday preceding the first Tuesday in March, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at a place designated by the selectmen, the Town shall start its annual meeting and may transact at that time any business not involving Australian ballot. At this meeting, public discussion of ballot issues and all other issues appearing on the warning, other than the election of candidates, shall be permitted.

    (B) A meeting so started shall be adjourned until the following day, the first Tuesday in March at which time business involving Australian ballot will be transacted.

    (C) The date of the annual Town meeting may be changed by a vote of the citizens at a Town meeting duly warned for that purpose.

    (2)  Special Town meetings:

    (A) Special Town meetings may be called at any time for reasons as prescribed by charter, by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen; or by the decree of the Town Clerk upon receipt of a petition signed by no less than five percent of the voters registered at the time the petition is submitted.

    (B) A special Town meeting, called in accordance with the above section, shall be held within 60 days from the date of the official call to meeting.

    (3)  Warnings:

    (A) Timetable and notice: Public notice of every annual or special Town meeting, or Town election, shall be given by a warning posted in at least five public places in the Town, at least 30, but no more than 40 days prior to the meeting; and published in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the municipality as may be directed or designated by the Board of Selectmen.

    (B) Contents: The warning shall contain:

    (i) The date, time, and location of the meeting;

    (ii) Specific indications of separate articles which reflect the business to be voted, in the language to be voted;

    (iii) The signatures of a majority of the Board of Selectmen.

    (C) Placing of articles on a warning for the annual Town meeting:

    (i) Articles may be placed on the warning by:

    (I) A majority vote of the Board of Selectmen;

    (II) A petition of at least five percent of the voters registered at the time the petition is submitted.

    (ii) Articles submitted by petition must be filed with the Town Clerk not less than 40 days before the date of the meeting.

    (4)  Power of selectmen on Australian ballot decree:

    (A) The selectmen may cause any question not covered in section 21(1) of this charter to be voted by Australian ballot at any annual or special Town meeting called on their action, or by petition, provided that the warning for such meeting specifies the question to be voted.

    (B) Any article to be voted by Australian ballot shall be preceded by a public hearing. The warning of the vote shall include notice of the time and place of said public hearing.

    (5)  Presiding officials at Town meeting and elections:

    (A) The Moderator shall preside at all Town meetings. In the Moderator's absence, the Town Clerk shall call the meeting to order and the first order of business shall be the election of a Moderator Pro Tempore to preside for the duration of the meeting.

    (B) Town meetings shall be conducted in accordance with State law, this charter, and Robert's Rules of Order, Revised.

    (C) It shall be the duty of the Moderator to take such actions deemed necessary to preserve order in the conduct of business and to preserve the principles of free speech, openness, and fairness in government.

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

    (E) While the polls are open, the Town Clerk shall rule on all questions covering the conduct of elections, except the resolution of questions concerning the checklist which shall be made by the majority of the Board of Civil Authority members present.

    (F) In the absence or disability of the Town Clerk, should it occur before an election, the Board of Civil Authority shall designate an Acting Clerk for the duration of the election. Should such 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.

    (6)  Postponing or continuing of Town meetings:

    (A) The selectmen may postpone the vote on any question to be voted at a special meeting to the later annual meeting if the date of the special meeting would fall 75 days prior to the annual meeting.

    (B) If a special Town meeting falls within 45 days of a later special Town meeting called by petition, the selectmen may warn the questions to be voted at such Town meeting for the later Town meeting, and may by resolution rescind the call of the earlier meeting.

    (7)  Citizen initiatives; revote; recision of articles other than election of officers:

    (A) Any question voted at an annual or special Town meeting, except charter revision or amendment, may be submitted for revote or recision at a subsequent annual or special Town meeting, subject to the limits contained herein.

    (B) Requests for revote or recision must be by resolution of at least four members of the Board of Selectmen, or by a petition signed by at least five percent of the voters registered on the date of the action.

    (C) Any action for revote or recision must be taken or filed within 30 days of the date the action was first considered.

    (D) The Town Clerk shall warn a special Town meeting to be held within 60 days of the date of the call for revote or recision.

    (E) The Town budget shall be subject to a revote only if voted in the negative, or if voted in the affirmative at an election having a turnout of less than 15 percent of the registered voters at the time of the Town meeting.

    (F) The phrasing and presentation of a revote on any question shall be identical to that used on initial consideration.

    (G) Any question voted on or considered shall be subject to revote or recision only once in the 12 months following the initial vote, except for the Town budget which shall be voted until passed.

    (H) A proposed amendment or revision of this charter may be voted only once in three years.

    (8)  Tie votes:

    (A) A tie vote at any Town meeting shall be subject to immediate recount, the article or election shall be subject to immediate revote at a special meeting within the timetable prescribed by charter.

    (B) Recount other than tie votes may be requested in accordance with State statute.

    (9)  Nonproductive elections:  In the event that a legal election fails to produce a person to fill any elected Town office, the Board of Selectmen shall, within 30 days of the election, appoint a qualified individual to serve in the position until the next annual Town meeting.

    (10)  Board of Civil Authority:

    (A) The Board of Civil Authority shall consist of the justices of the peace residing within the Town who shall be elected in accordance with State statute, the Town Clerk, and the Board of Selectmen.

    (B) At the first meeting following the first day of February of odd numbered years, the Board of Civil Authority shall elect a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from among its members.

    (C) The Town Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Board of Civil Authority.

    (D) The Board shall perform all duties as required by this charter, and all duties as required by statute to the extent that they are not in conflict with this charter.