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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, § 23)
  • § 149-23. Local elected officials

    (a) Local elective offices to be filled by the voters of the Town of Springfield shall be only those articulated by this charter and shall include:

    (1) Board of Selectmen;

    (2) Listers;

    (3) Moderator;

    (4) First Constable;

    (5) Cemetery commissioners;

    (6) Town Agent;

    (7) Trustees of public funds.

    (b) Provisions related generally to all elected local offices:

    (1) Term:

    (A) Terms for elective offices shall begin officially at the point which the Town Clerk and Board of Civil Authority certify election returns as final.

    (B) In the event of a recount, or unresolved irregularities in election returns, should emergency action be required, it shall be taken by the elective officials sitting at the time of the election.

    (2) Oath of office:

    (A) Before taking any official action, an elected official shall take the oath of office prescribed by statute.

    (B) A signed copy of the oath must be filed with the Town Clerk within one week from its execution.

    (3) Compensation:

    (A) The manner of compensation for the selectmen and the Moderator shall be fixed by the voters, and for all other elective offices, by the Board of Selectmen.

    (B) Expenses, actual and necessary to the performance of the duties of office may be paid, provided they are submitted through the administration for processing and payment, except as may be provided by the voters.

    (4) Recall of elected officials:

    (A) Any elected official may be removed from office as follows: A petition signed by not less than 15 percent of the registered voters shall be filed with the selectmen, requesting a vote on whether the elected officer shall be removed from office. The date of signing by each voter shall be indicated in the petition and such date shall not be earlier than 30 days prior to the filing of the petition. The selectmen shall call a special Town meeting, to be held within 45 days of receiving the petition, to vote on whether the elected officer shall be removed. The official shall be removed only if at least as many registered voters of the Town vote as voted in the election wherein the officer was elected, or at least one-third of the registered voters of the Town vote, whichever is greater, and a majority of the number of votes is cast for removal.

    (B) If the Town votes for removal of an elected officer, the office shall thereupon become vacant, and the selectmen shall call a special meeting, to be held within 45 days of the vote for removal, to fill the vacancy until the term of the officer so removed expires. The office shall remain vacant until the next annual Town meeting if such special meeting would fall within 75 days prior to the annual Town meeting.

    (5) Attendance: Any elected official shall be required to regularly attend all meetings.

    (6) Holding of more than one office:

    (A) Elective offices: Nothing herein shall be interpreted as limiting any person from holding a State or federal elective office at the same time he/she holds local office, provided such service does not interfere or conflict with the proper attendance at meetings and execution of the duties of the office.

    (B) Local appointed boards and commissions: Elected officials shall not be prevented from serving on local appointed boards and commissions, provided said service does not conflict or interfere with the proper execution of the elective office.

    (7) Qualification to run for and hold local office:

    (A) No person shall be qualified to run for or be elected to hold an elective office unless he/she is a duly qualified voter in the Town of Springfield and a resident.

    (B) Should an elected holder of local office establish residence in some place other than Springfield, the office shall be declared immediately vacant by the Board of the Selectmen and said vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the charter.

    (C) The requirements above dictate that a candidate or officeholder must actually dwell in the Town, and not merely maintain a residence therein.

    (8) Vacancy:

    (A) In addition to the requirement of subdivision (7) of this subsection, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist in any local office where an officer dies, resigns, is removed or recalled from office, is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving a breach of public trust, or is judicially declared to be mentally incompetent, or is no longer a resident.

    (B) The declaration of a condition for forfeiture of office shall be made by the unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen, or in the case of a selectmen, by the other members of the Board of Selectmen, and shall be according to procedures established in 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, as they pertain to contested cases, and may be appealed to the Superior Court as contested cases are appealed.

    (c) Elected officers, duties, responsibilities, and conduct:

    (1) =bi Board of Selectmen:

    (A) Number and term: Unless altered by the procedures provided herein, the policy making body for the Town shall be a five member Board of Selectmen, elected at large, on a nonpartisan basis, to rotating, three year terms.

    (B) Powers and duties: The Board of Selectmen shall discharge all duties conferred, imposed or implied, by statute or prescribed by this charter for boards of selectmen, except as herein limited, or specifically transferred to the Town Manager. Further, unless stated in this charter, the powers and duties of any elected or appointed office not created by this charter shall be conferred on the Board of Selectmen. All committees of the Board, and all citizen boards and commissions shall be advisory in nature, unless a specific legal or policy making function is otherwise provided by State law or ordinance as limited by this charter. In this charter, the failure to mention a particular power shall not serve to exclude it or be restrictive of the scope of powers which the Board of Selectmen would otherwise have.

    (C) Organization of the Board of Selectmen, Chairman, Vice Chairman:

    (i) The Board of Selectmen shall have a Chairman who shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the five members.

    (ii) The Board shall, in a similar manner, choose a Vice Chairman to serve in the absence or disability of the Chairman.

    (D) Duties of the Chairman:

    (i) The Chairman shall be the official head of the Town for all ceremonial purposes.

    (ii) The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Selectmen and may participate in all proceedings as a regular member.

    (iii) All duties of an administrative nature, except as otherwise provided by this charter, shall be exercised by the Town Manager as provided herein.

    (E) Meetings:

    (i) Organizational meeting:

    (I) Within seven days after the annual Town meeting, the Board of Selectmen, duly certified, shall meet for the purpose of taking the oath of office, organizing, electing a Chairman and Vice Chairman, and the adoption of rules for the transaction of business.

    (II) The Town Clerk shall preside at the organizational meeting of the Board of Selectmen prior to the election of the Board Chairman.

    (III) The Board may transact any other business required at that meeting.

    (ii) Regular meetings:

    (I) The Board shall hold regular meetings at a regular time, twice a month, with allowances for one monthly meeting during the months of June, July, and August.

    (II) The time and place of regular Board of Selectmen meetings shall be publicly announced to the media.

    (iii) Agenda:

    (I) The Chairman or Vice Chairman shall, with the Town Manager, prepare a written agenda for each regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

    (II) Any Board of Selectmen member, citizen in attendance, or the Manager, may request at the start of the meeting that items be added to the agenda, provided all selectmen present so vote to add the item.

    (iv) Quorums; votes:

    (I) Three members shall constitute a quorum for any Board meeting except as provided otherwise by this charter.

    (II) All voting shall be by individual roll call vote.

    (III) No action of the Board shall be valid or binding unless acted upon by the affirmative vote of three or more members of the board unless otherwise provided for by this charter.

    (v) Clerk; minutes:

    (I) The Town Clerk shall be the official Clerk of the Board and shall be responsible for minutes in a form prescribed by the Board.

    (II) The Board of Selectmen may employ a stenographer to assist the Town Clerk in the discharge of duties related to minutes.

    (vi) Special meetings and workshops:

    (I) Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chairman, or the Vice Chairman in the absence of the Chairman, or by written request, signed by three Board members.

    (II) Notice of a special meeting shall be served, in a reasonable manner, on all members of the Board of Selectmen.

    (III) Notice of the special meeting shall be released to the local news media.

    (IV) Whenever practical, an agenda shall be issued at a special meeting, with additions to be handled in the same manner as regular meetings.

    (V) If an emergency meeting of the Board of Selectmen is required, on very short notice, every possible effort shall be made to notify the media.

    (vii) Public meetings; citizen input; executive session:

    (I) All meetings of the Board of Selectmen shall be open to the public, and shall comply with all the pertinent provisions of this charter.

    (II) Allowances should be made informally or on the agenda for citizen comment unless it interferes with regular business.

    (III) The Board may, upon a vote of four (4) members hold an executive session to discuss any action in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of this charter.

    (viii) Correction of irregularities: Any irregularities or defects in the notice of or conduct of any meeting of the Board of Selectmen may be cured at any subsequent regular meeting, provided that such resolution is included on the agenda of a regular or special meeting and is adopted by a majority of the Board.

    (ix) Vacancies: A vacancy on the Board of Selectmen shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining Board, said appointment to run until the next annual Town meeting at which an election can be warned to fill the unexpired term.

    (2) =bi Listers:

    (A) There shall be two elected listers elected on a nonpartisan basis for three year terms which shall not coincide.

    (B) The Chief Assessor shall serve as a third lister.

    (C) Duties and responsibilities of the listers shall be in accordance with State statute and herein limited.

    (D) Vacancies on the Board of Listers shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen, said appointment to run until the next annual Town meeting at which an election can be warned to fill the unexpired term.

    (3) =bi Moderator:

    (A) There shall be a Moderator elected on a nonpartisan basis for a one year term, who shall perform all duties prescribed by this charter and State law.

    (B) Should a vacancy occur in the office of Moderator, it shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen for the unexpired term.

    (4) =bi Town Constable:

    (A) There shall be elected a Town Constable, who shall serve a one-year term.

    (B) The Constable shall be responsible for assisting the Town Clerk in the regulation and licensing of dogs.

    (C) The Constable shall be in attendance at all Town meetings thereby serving as a Sergeant at Arms to assist the Moderator as necessary in the maintenance of order.

    (D) The constables shall have powers of service equal to a deputy sheriff under Vermont Statutes.

    (E) The Constable may exercise the law enforcement duties vested in the position only upon completion of certifiable training and being subject to the supervision of the Chief of Police.

    (F) A vacancy in the Office of Constable shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen.

    (5) Cemetery commissioners:

    (A) There shall be elected five Cemetery commissioners for a term of five years on a rotating basis.

    (B) The Town Clerk shall be a sixth cemetery commissioner, but shall not vote.

    (C) The Cemetery Commission shall advise the Board of Selectmen regarding the condition, operation, and maintenance of cemeteries, but shall in no way supervise administration of cemetery personnel.

    (D) The Town Clerk shall, under the direction of the cemetery commissioners, ensure that cemetery lots are properly laid out and that sale of lots is properly conducted.

    (E) The cemetery commissioners shall issue and update regulations regarding cemetery use, interment, and burial fees.

    (F) Vacancies in the office of cemetery commissioner shall be filled by a majority vote of the selectmen, said appointment to run until the next annual Town meeting at which an election can be warned to fill the unexpired term.

    (6) Trustees of public funds:

    (A) There shall be elected three trustees of public funds, each to serve a three-year term.

    (B) The Town Treasurer shall serve the trustees of public funds in an advisory capacity in connection with fund management and shall attend all meetings.

    (C) The trustees shall perform all duties as provided for by statute as limited or defined by charter.

    (D) The trustees shall be charged with maximizing the return on all invested funds while maintaining their security. In service of this goal, they shall file with the Board of Selectmen an annual plan outlining the program of investments for the year.

    (E) All funds entrusted to the trustees shall be audited yearly as part of the Town's annual audit.

    (F) Vacancies on the trustees of public funds shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen, said appointment to run until the next annual Town meeting at which an election can be warned to fill the unexpired term.