The Vermont Statutes Online
The statutes were updated in November, 2018, and contain all actions of the
2018 legislative session.
- Subchapter 001: POWERS OF THE TOWN OF MIDDLEBURY
§ 127-101. Corporate existence retained
The inhabitants of the Town of Middlebury, within the limits as now established, shall be a municipal corporation by the name of the Town of Middlebury.
§ 127-102. General law; application
Except when changed, enlarged, or modified by the provisions of this charter, or by any legal regulation or ordinance of the Town of Middlebury, all provisions of the statutes of the State of Vermont relating to municipalities shall apply to the Town of Middlebury.
§ 127-103. Powers of the Town
(a) The Town of Middlebury 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; it 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 property within or without its corporate limits for any Town purpose, in fee simple or any lesser interest or estate, by purchase, gift, devise, lease, or condemnation, 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.
(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 power were not mentioned, unless this charter otherwise provides.
§ 127-104. Additional powers
The general grant of authority in section 103 of this chapter shall include the following:
(1) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to the installation of new water lines, new sewer lines, and equipment necessary for their operation, requiring the installation of such improvements in a manner specified as a condition precedent to the issuing of a building permit under any Town ordinance and requiring the apportionment of part or all the cost of such improvements against property owners benefiting thereby. Special assessments shall constitute a lien on the property against which the assessment is made in the same manner and to the same extent as taxes assessed on the grand list of the Town, and all procedures and remedies for the collection of taxes shall apply to special assessments.
(2) To adopt and enforce police ordinances regulating or prohibiting the use of firearms, air rifles, and devices having a capacity to inflict personal injury, and the parking, operation, and speed of vehicles of any kind upon Town and State aid streets and highways, private and public property, and to regulate or prohibit any activities constituting a hazard to the safety or health of the public.
(3) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to the prevention of pollution of air, land, streams, ponds, and other waterways within the Town.
(4) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to the cleaning or repair of any premises which, in the judgment of the Selectboard, is dangerous to the health, welfare, or safety of the public.
(5) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to regulation, licensing, or prohibition of the storage and accumulation of garbage, ashes, rubbish, refuse, and waste materials; regulation of the removal, and disposal of such materials; licensing for revenue and regulation or prohibition of the collection, removal and disposal of such materials by contract or by a Town officer or department now existing or created for that purpose; establishment of service rates to be paid the Town for such service.
(6) To adopt and enforce ordinances prohibiting and punishing willful injuries to trees planted for shade, ornament, convenience, or use, public and private, and to prevent and punish trespassing or willful injuries to or upon public or private buildings, property, or lands.
(7) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to codes for building construction, including also wiring and plumbing.
(8) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to fire prevention and control.
(9) To adopt and enforce ordinances relating to the use, protection, care, and management of all public recreation facilities of the Town.
(10) To adopt, amend, repeal, and enforce ordinances relating to the prevention of riots, noises, nuisances, disturbances, and disorderly assembly, and to provide for the enforcement of penalties for violation or nonperformance.
(11) To adopt and enforce ordinances establishing regulations for signs and billboards.
(12) To adopt and enforce an ordinance related to a special assessment district, such an ordinance can be considered by the Selectboard only when the request is made by a petition signed by the owners of two-thirds of the parcels of real property within the proposed district. If a parcel of land is owned by more than one person, only one person shall sign on behalf of the owners of the parcel. Such petition shall define the boundaries of the district, the purpose for which the assessment is to be levied, and the proposed costs and duration of the levy. In addition to the required notification in section 107(a) of this charter, each affected property owner within the proposed district shall be notified by certified mail of the proposed ordinance or any amendments thereto prior to any public hearing held.
(13) The enumeration of powers herein shall not be deemed to limit the general grant of authority to adopt ordinances conferred by section 103 of this Charter. (Amended 2015, No. 23, § 127.)
§ 127-105. 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 Middlebury and the selectmen of said Town 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.
§ 127-106. Ordinances; penalties for breach thereof
(a) A Town ordinance may provide:
(1) for a fine in an amount not greater than $1,000.00; and
(2) that each week a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. A violation of a Town ordinance shall be classified as a misdemeanor or a rule violation in the same manner as it would be classified by the general State statutes now or hereafter enacted, and prosecuted accordingly. The Town may maintain an action to enjoin the violation of any ordinance or rule, but the election of the Town to proceed with an application for an injunction shall not prevent a criminal prosecution for the violation of an ordinance.
(b) A municipal court may be established with such jurisdiction, operation, and procedures as may be voted by annual Town meeting.
§ 127-107. Ordinances; adoption by selectmen
(a) If the selectmen desire to adopt an ordinance, they shall cause it to be entered in the official record kept of their proceedings, and thereafter, they shall adopt it subject to final approval after the public hearing as hereafter set forth. The ordinance shall then be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town, together with a notice of the time and place of a public hearing to consider the ordinance for final passage, such publication to be on a day at least one week and not more than two weeks prior to the date of hearing.
(b) At the public hearing or at any time and place to which the hearing may from time to time be adjourned, the ordinance shall be read in full, unless the Board of Selectmen elect to read the ordinance by title; and after such reading, all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
(c) After the public hearing, the selectmen may finally adopt the ordinance, with or without amendment. If they amend the ordinance prior to passage, they shall cause the amended ordinance to be entered in the official record of their proceedings, and shall also cause the amended sections of the ordinance, as finally passed, to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town on a day not more than 14 days after adoption.
(d) Every ordinance shall become effective 40 days after adoption, unless the selectmen specify a longer period; or if the ordinance is conditioned on approval by voters of the Town, then upon such voter approval. If within 40 days of adoption, a referendum petition is filed, the ordinance shall not become effective until after the question of repeal is voted.
(e) The Town Clerk shall prepare and keep in the Town Clerk's office and in all Town libraries a book of ordinances, which shall contain each Town ordinance, together with a complete index of the ordinances according to subject matter. Failure to comply with this provision shall not invalidate any Town ordinance lawfully passed.
§ 127-108. Referendum
(a) All Town ordinances, except as specified in section 110 of this charter, may be repealed by vote of the Town as follows: A petition signed by not less than 10 percent of the registered voters shall be filed with the Town Clerk requesting a vote on the question of repealing the ordinance. The selectmen shall call a special Town meeting to be held within 60 days of the date of filing the petition, to vote on whether the ordinance shall be repealed. The ordinance shall be repealed only if at least 15 percent of the registered voters vote and a majority of that number vote for repeal.
(b) Within 40 days after passage of an ordinance, five percent of the registered voters shall constitute sufficient signatures for a referendum petition, and all other procedures of subsection (a) of this section shall apply.
§ 127-109. Initiative
Any lawful ordinance may be enacted by vote of the Town as follows: A petition signed by not less than five percent of the registered voters shall be filed with the Town Clerk requesting enactment of the ordinance and accompanied by the text thereof. The selectmen shall call a special Town meeting to be held within 60 days of the date the petition is filed, unless prior to such meeting, the selectboard members shall have enacted the ordinance. The warning for the meeting shall include the text of the proposed ordinance and shall provide for a "yes" or "no" vote as to its enactment. The ordinance shall be adopted if at least 15 percent of the registered voters vote and a majority of that number vote for adoption. The ordinance shall take effect on the 30th day following adoption.
§ 127-110. Nonapplicability to zoning and subdivision
(a) The provisions of sections 107, 108, and 109 of this charter shall not apply to the enactment, amendment, or repeal of any zoning ordinance or zoning bylaw, any land subdivision ordinance or land subdivision bylaw, nor to the enactment, amendment, or repeal of any municipal plan or comprehensive municipal plan, nor to the enactment, amendment, or repeal of any regional municipal plan or comprehensive regional plan, the enactment, amendment, or repeal of such ordinances, bylaws, and plans being specifically controlled by 24 V.S.A. chapter 117, or by such other State statutes regulating zoning, subdivision, and municipal and regional plans as may be enforced from time to time. The adoption, amendment or repeal of all other ordinances shall be in conformity with sections 107, 108, and 109 of this charter.
(b) The right of referendum and initiative contained in sections 108 and 109 shall apply to the amendment or repeal of an ordinance as well as to its enactment.
§ 127-111. Authority of police officers
The police officers of the Town shall have the same powers throughout the State with respect to criminal matters, and the enforcement of the laws relating thereto, as they have within the Town.
- Subchapter 003: OFFICERS
§ 127-301. Generally
The officers of the Town of Middlebury 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.
§ 127-302. Elective officers
(a) The officers elected by the Town at its annual meeting shall be:
(1) Five Selectboard members
(2) Town Meeting Moderator
(3) Five trustees of the Ilsley Library
(4) Three listers
(5) Three auditors, unless the Town has voted to eliminate the office of auditor pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2651b
(6) Town Clerk
(7) Town Treasurer
(8) Members of the Prudential Committee of Middlebury Incorporated School District No. 4
(9) Middlebury members of the Board of Union School District No. 3.
The number of such officers to be elected at each annual meeting shall be as hereafter set forth.
(b) All elected officers shall be chosen from the legally qualified voters of the Town and shall hold office for the terms hereafter specified and until their successors are elected and qualified.
(c) All officers shall be elected by Australian ballot.
(d) When an elected officer specified in section 302(a)(1) through (7) of this charter resigns, makes another Town his/her residence, dies, or becomes incapacitated, his/her office shall become vacant and the Selectboard shall appoint an eligible person to fill the vacancy until the next annual meeting. The person elected shall at the annual meeting serve until his/her predecessor's term expires. Incapacity shall include the failure of a Selectboard member to attend 50 percent of the meetings of the Board in any calendar year.
(e) If the Town so votes at its annual meeting, two additional Selectboard members may be elected from the legally qualified voters of the Town for a term of three years each, the first such election to take place at the annual meeting following the annual meeting at which the additional offices are created. A vote so taken in favor of additional Selectboard members shall not be rescinded. (Amended 2015, No. M-12, § 2, eff. May 26, 2015.)
§ 127-303. Terms of office - selectmen
(a) Each selectman shall be elected for a three-year term, except in the first election after this charter is adopted, at which two selectmen shall be elected for three-year terms, and one selectman shall be elected for a two-year term. The two incumbent selectmen shall serve to the ends of their respective elected terms. After the first election following adoption of this charter, selectmen shall be elected for three-year terms as prior terms expire. Additional selectmen elected under section 302(e) of this charter shall be elected to initial terms which expire at the annual meeting for three-year terms.
(b) All selectmen shall be elected at large. The persons with the largest number of votes for offices of equal terms shall be elected to those offices. If there are selectmen's offices with different terms, each candidate shall specify the term for which he/she seeks election.
§ 127-304. Other elective officers
(a) The Board of Listers.
(1) The Board of Listers shall consist of three members, to be elected as follows: the first year, one shall be elected for a three-year term; the two incumbent officers shall complete their elected terms. Thereafter, one shall be elected every year for a three-year term.
(2) The Board of Listers shall perform duties established by State law and shall appoint an appraiser who shall be of competent professional background. Such appointment shall be approved by the Selectboard.
(b) The three auditors shall be elected in the same manner as described for the Board of Listers, in subdivision (a)(1) of this section, unless the Town has voted to eliminate the Office of Auditor pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2651b.
(1) The elected auditors shall be responsible for establishing and approving an independent municipal audit by a registered or certified public accountant. Such independent audit shall be required at least once a year.
(2) The auditors' duties shall otherwise be as established in 24 V.S.A. §§ 1681-1691.
(3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in 17 V.S.A. § 2651b(c), the Town may vote by ballot at an annual meeting, pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2651b(a), to eliminate the Office of Town Auditor. If the Town votes to eliminate the Office of Auditor, the duties formerly carried out by the auditors shall be carried out in accordance with 17 V.S.A. § 2651b(a) and any other applicable statutes.
(c) The Town Meeting Moderator shall be elected annually and shall perform those duties prescribed by the State law.
(d) The Town Clerk shall be elected for a three-year term and shall carry out the duties of town clerk as specified by statute and by this charter.
(e) The trustees of the Ilsley Library shall be elected and shall have such powers as are stated in 22 V.S.A. § 143. The Ilsley Library shall be operated by the trustees in accordance with 22 V.S.A. §§ 141 through 146.
(f) The number of Prudential Committee and School Board members, their terms of office and the occurrence and filling of vacancies shall be as provided under State statutes or the Charter of Incorporated School District No. 4, whichever is applicable. Each school officer elected at the Town's annual meeting shall take office at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the annual meeting of the Union School District No. 3 or Incorporated School District No. 4, whichever is applicable. (Amended 2015, No. M-12, § 2, eff. May 26, 2015.)
§ 127-305. Treasurer
(a) The Treasurer shall be elected annually at the annual meeting and shall serve for a three-year term.
(b) The Treasurer shall perform the duties required by State statutes or provided by this charter. He/she shall:
(1) Promptly deposit funds coming into his/her hands in such depositories as may be designated by the selectmen;
(2) Invest Town funds coming into his/her hands in the manner designated by the selectmen;
(3) Keep such books and accounts as may be required by the selectmen;
(4) Make reports to the selectmen monthly or at such other times as they may require showing the State of the Town's finances; and
(5) Perform such other duties with respect to the Town's finances as the selectmen may require.
§ 127-306. Appointed officers
(a) The Board of Selectmen shall appoint any officers required by the Town's personnel regulations or this charter.
(b) The Town Manager shall function as the personnel officer of the Town.
(c) Within one year after the adoption of this charter, the Board of Selectmen shall adopt a written personnel policy.
(d) The Board of Selectmen shall appoint:
(1) A First Constable, and if needed a Second Constable;
(2) One or more grand jurors;
(3) A Collector of Taxes;
(4) A Town agent;
(5) One or more fence viewers;
(6) A Tree Warden.
(e) The selectmen may appoint:
(1) One or more weighers of coal;
(2) A Poundkeeper;
(3) One or more inspectors of lumber, shingles, and wood.
§ 127-307. Recall
(a) Any officer elected under subsection 302(a) of this charter 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 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 that number vote 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.
(c) The votes for removal and to fill the office removed shall be by Australian ballot.
§ 127-308. Vacancies and appointments
(a) When the term of any member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Planning Commission, or any other Town board or commission expires, or when the term of any officer appointed under subsections 306(d) and (e) of this charter expires, or when there is a vacancy in any such board, commission, or office, the Town Manager shall cause to be published, in a newspaper of general local circulation, a notice of the vacancy or the expiration of the term.
(b) Any qualified voter of the Town may, within 10 days of the publication, submit his/her name to the Town Manager as an applicant for the vacant or expired office. At the expiration of 10 days from the date of the publication, the names of all persons being considered shall be entered in the Selectmen's minutes; the selectmen shall not fill the vacancy or expired term until after at least seven days from the date the names of the applicants are entered in their minutes.
§ 127-309. Bonding of officers
All officers of the Town required to be bonded by State law shall be bonded.
- Subchapter 005: SELECTBOARD
§ 127-501. Powers and duties
(a) The members of the Board of Selectmen shall constitute the legislative body of the Town of Middlebury for all purposes required by statutes and except as otherwise herein specifically provided, and shall have all powers and authority given to, and perform all duties required of town legislative bodies or boards of selectmen under the Constitution and laws of the State of Vermont.
(b) Within the limitations of the foregoing, the selectmen shall have the power to:
(1) Appoint and remove the Town Manager and supervise, create, change, and abolish offices, commissions, or departments other than the offices, commissions, or departments established by this charter or by law. The selectmen may create, supervise, change, and abolish a water commission. The selectmen may prescribe the duties of all offices, commissions, or departments created by them.
(2) Assign additional duties to officers, commissions, or departments established by this charter, but may not discontinue or assign to any other office, commission, or department duties assigned to a particular office, commission, or department established by this charter or by law.
(3) Appoint members of all boards, commissions, committees, or similar bodies unless specifically provided otherwise by this charter or by law.
(4) Make, amend, and repeal ordinances in compliance with section 107 of this charter.
(5) Inquire into the conduct of any officer, commission, or department and investigate any and all municipal affairs when deemed necessary for the proper and orderly conduct of Town government.
(6) The selectmen shall submit an annual budget to the voters, to be voted on at town meeting, in accordance with the provisions of the chapter dealing with the budget.
(7) Exercise each and every other power not specifically set forth herein, but which is granted to the selectmen by the statutes of the State of Vermont.
(8) Attend all meetings of all boards or agencies of the Town, whether executive or public, together with the right to speak at such meetings, but not to vote.
§ 127-502. Organization
(a) Forthwith after their election and qualification, the selectmen shall organize and elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman by a majority vote of the entire Board.
(b) The Chairman of the Board, or in his or her absence, the Vice Chairman, shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall be recognized as the head of the Town government for all ceremonial purposes.
§ 127-503. Meetings
(a) As soon as possible after the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman, the Board shall fix the time and place of its regular meetings and such meetings shall be held at least twice a month.
(b) The Board shall determine its own rules and order of business.
(c) If there are five selectmen, three shall constitute a quorum. No action of such Board shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of at least three selectmen. If the Board is expanded to seven selectmen, four shall constitute a quorum and no action of such Board shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of at least four selectmen. In cases where State law requires a greater fraction of the authorized board for an affirmative vote than as specified above, such provisions of State law shall control.
(d) All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public unless by an affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the entire Board they shall vote a portion of a session to be an executive session. Executive sessions are only for deliberation and all issues shall be voted on at a public meeting of the Board in order to be valid and legal.
(e) The agenda of the selectmen's meetings shall be made available to the public at least 24 hours prior to the meeting and posted in one public place.
(f) Any members of the Board may add items of business to the written agenda upon commencement of the meeting, provided that a majority of the membership of the entire Board vote to add such items of the agenda.
§ 127-504. Record of proceedings
(a) It shall be the duty of the Board of Selectmen to keep an official record of its proceedings which shall be open for public inspection.
(b) The minutes of each meeting shall be approved by the selectmen. The official copy shall be filed in the Town Clerk's office and copies in the public library in East Middlebury and the Ilsley Library.
§ 127-505. Appointments
(a) The selectmen may appoint commissions or committees as needed.
(b) Jurisdiction over other officers and employees. Neither the Board of Selectmen nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment, by any officer or employee of the Town, of any person to office or employment, or his/her suspension or removal therefrom, or in any manner take part in the appointment, discipline, or removal of subordinates and employees of the Town, except as otherwise provided in this charter. The Board of Selectmen and its members shall deal with that position of the service of the Town for which the Manager is responsible solely through the Town Manager, and neither the Board of Selectmen nor any of its members shall give any orders or request any action by a subordinate in office. This shall not be construed to prohibit the selectmen from recommending to the Town Manager a prospective employee for his/her consideration, and making general complaints to the Town Manager or to department heads.
§ 127-506. Compensation
(a) The auditors shall fix the compensation of the members of the Selectboard, unless the Town has voted to eliminate the Office of Auditor pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2651b, in which case the Town may fix the compensation of the members of the Selectboard at an annual meeting. If the Town has voted to eliminate the Office of Auditor and the voters fail to fix the Selectboard's compensation, the members of the Selectboard shall be compensated at the rate at which they were compensated during the immediately preceding year.
(b) Except as provided in sections 506(a) and 704(l) of this chapter, the Selectboard shall fix the compensation of all elected officers and all officers appointed by them. An elected official may notify the Selectboard in writing, at least 50 days before the annual meeting, that he or she wishes his or her compensation fixed by the Town, and the Selectboard shall insert an article in the warning to that effect. If so warned, the Town may fix the compensation of that elected official for the balance of his or her term of office or for such shorter period as the Town may vote. (Amended 2015, No. M-12, § 2, eff. May 26, 2015.)
- Subchapter 007: TOWN MANAGER
§ 127-701. Appointed by selectmen
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint a Town Manager for an indefinite term, and upon such conditions as they may determine.
§ 127-702. Manager nonpartisan
(a) The Manager shall be chosen solely on the basis of his/her executive, administrative, and professional qualifications.
(b) The Manager shall not take part in the organization or direction of a political party, serve as a member of a party committee, nor be a candidate for election to any public office.
(c) The Manager shall be a resident of the Town of Middlebury, once he/she has been appointed to office. The Board of Selectmen may grant permission for the Manager to live outside the Town should there be sufficient reason.
§ 127-703. Oath and bond
Before entering upon his or her duties, the Manager shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his/her duties by the Town Clerk and shall give a bond to the Town in such amount and with such sureties as the selectmen may require.
§ 127-704. Duties of Manager
(a) The Manager shall be the chief executive officer of the Town and shall carry out the policies established by the Board of Selectmen, to whom the Manager shall be responsible.
(b) The Manager shall attend all meetings of the Board of Selectmen, except when his/her compensation or removal is being considered, or the Board of Selectmen allows his/her absence. The Manager shall keep the selectmen informed of the financial condition and future needs of the Town and shall make such other reports as may be required by law, requested by the selectmen, or deemed by him/her to be advisable.
(c) The Manager has the right to attend all meetings of standing committees, boards, and agencies appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
(d) The Manager shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees, but may not vote.
(e) The Manager shall perform all other duties prescribed by this charter, required by laws of the State, or resolution of the selectmen.
(f) The Manager shall prepare an annual budget, submit it to the selectmen, and be responsible for its administration after adoption.
(g) The Manager shall compile for general distribution at the end of each fiscal year a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the Town for the year.
(h) The Manager shall furnish a monthly financial statement to the selectmen, with the assistance and cooperation of the Town Treasurer, who shall furnish whatever financial data are necessary to enable the Town Manager to fulfill his/her budgetary and financial responsibilities.
(i) The Manager shall be responsible for the operation of all departments.
(j) The Manager shall be the general purchasing agent for the whole Town.
(k) The Manager shall be responsible for the administration of a system of accounts.
(l) The Manager shall have authority to appoint, fix the salary of, suspend, and remove all employees of the Town appointed by him/her, subject to the provisions of this charter and any personnel regulations as approved by the Board of Selectmen. He/she shall obtain approval from the Board of Selectmen before appointing, removing, or suspending the head of any department.
(m) The Manager may, when advisable or proper, and with the approval of the selectmen, delegate to subordinate officers and employees of the Town, any duties conferred upon him/her.
(n) The Manager with the department heads shall prepare annually for the selectmen a five-year capital improvement plan.
§ 127-705. Compensation
The Manager shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the selectmen.
§ 127-706. Removal
The Board of Selectmen may remove the Town Manager by a majority vote of its total membership. At least 30 days before such removal shall become effective, the Board of Selectmen shall by a majority vote of its members adopt a preliminary resolution stating the reason for his/her removal. The Manager may reply in writing and may request a public hearing which shall be held not earlier than 20 days nor later than 30 days after the filing of such request. After such public hearing, if one be requested, and after full consideration, the Board by a majority vote of its members may adopt a final resolution of removal. By the preliminary resolution, the Board may suspend the Manager from duty, but the regular salary of the Manager shall continue to be paid to him/her during the period of suspension. The Manager's pay will continue up to 30 days and will not be contingent upon whether or not a public hearing is held or when it is held. The Board of Selectmen may appoint a temporary Manager to serve at the pleasure of the Board, for not more than 90 days. The temporary Manager shall have none of the powers of appointment. He/she shall have the power to suspend, but not to remove employees.
§ 127-707. Absence
To perform the Manager's duties in his/her temporary absence or disability, the Manager may, with the consent of the Board, designate by letter filed with the Town Clerk, a qualified person. If the Manager fails to make such designation, the selectmen may appoint a person to perform the duties of the Manager until he/she shall return or his/her disability shall cease.
- Subchapter 009: TOWN MEETING
§ 127-901. Application of general laws
Provisions of the laws of the State of Vermont relating to voter qualification, warnings, method of voting, the duties of town officers at town meetings and elections, and all other particulars relating to preparation for conducting and managing town meetings and elections shall, so far as they may be applicable, govern all municipal elections and all annual and special Town meetings, except as otherwise provided in this charter.
§ 127-902. Time of holding
(a) An annual Town meeting for the consideration of the budget and other Town business shall be held according to State law except as hereinafter provided.
(b) The ballot boxes shall be open for a minimum of nine consecutive hours determined and warned by the Board of Selectmen.
§ 127-903. Eligible voters
A method for the identification and designation of the eligible voters in Town meeting shall be established and enforced by the Board of Civil Authority.
§ 127-904. Polling places
In any annual or special Town or Town School District meeting for the purpose of the election of officers and the voting on all questions to be decided by Australian ballot, such polling places as needed shall be established by the Board of Civil Authority.
§ 127-905. Postponement and combining of Town meetings
(a) The selectmen may postpone the vote on any question to be voted at a special Town meeting to the annual meeting or the November federal general election if such special meeting falls within 75 days of the annual meeting or the November federal general elections; provided that the selectmen may not postpone such a vote if the vote is for the purpose of using or discontinuing the use of the Australian ballot system for budgets as provided in 17 V.S.A. § 2680(c).
(b) If a special Town meeting falls within 45 days of a later special Town meeting called by petition, the selectmen may warn the question to be voted at such Town meeting for the later Town meeting, and may by resolution rescind the call of the earlier meeting.
§ 127-906. Voting question by Australian ballot
The selectmen may cause any question to be voted by Australian ballot at any annual meeting or at any special Town meeting called on their motion or by petition, provided that the warning for such meeting specifies the questions to be voted. A question voted by Australian ballot shall be preceded by a public hearing for discussion. The warning for the special meeting to vote by Australian ballot shall include a notice of the time and place of the public hearing.
- Subchapter 011: ZONING AND PLANNING
§ 127-1101. Applicability of State law to zoning and planning
The Zoning Administrator under any Middlebury zoning ordinance or bylaw shall be appointed annually by the selectmen, after the annual meeting and shall serve for one year or until his/her successor is appointed and qualified. All other matters pertaining to zoning, land subdivision, municipal and regional plans, shall be exclusively controlled by the statutes of the State of Vermont, except as specifically provided in this charter.
§ 127-1102. Ratification of present zoning ordinance
Except as hereinafter provided, the zoning ordinance of the Town of Middlebury, adopted 5 March 1968, as amended, is hereby ratified and approved, subject to provisions of 24 V.S.A. chapter 91.
§ 127-1103. Ratification of subdivision regulations
The subdivision regulations of the Town of Middlebury adopted on 14 June 1966, as amended, are hereby ratified and approved, subject to provisions of 24 V.S.A., chapter 91.
§ 127-1104. Minutes
(a) Copies of the minutes of the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Middlebury Planning Commission, or portions thereof, shall be made available to any member of the public upon request to the Town Manager and at cost.
(b) Copies of the minutes of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Planning Commission shall be filed and kept in the Town Clerk's office in separate books provided for that purpose, and copies shall be filed in the public library in East Middlebury and the Ilsley Library.
- Subchapter 013: BUDGET AND TAXATION
§ 127-1301. Fiscal year
This fiscal year shall commence on the first day of January and end on the last day of December, unless the Town, at its annual meeting, shall determine otherwise. If the Town votes another fiscal year, it shall specify the procedure for transition, including the method for financing the transition.
§ 127-1302. Preparation and submission
(a) The Town Manager, at least 60 days before the date of the regular annual Town meeting, shall submit to the selectmen a budget which, except as required by law or this charter, shall be in such form as the Manager deems desirable or the selectmen may require. The budget shall contain:
(1) An estimate of the financial condition of the Town as of the end of the fiscal year and as of the date of submission of the budget.
(2) An itemized statement of appropriations recommended for current expenses and for capital improvements, during the next fiscal year with comparative statements in parallel columns of appropriations and estimated expenditures for the current fiscal year and actual appropriations and expenditures for the next preceding fiscal year.
(3) An itemized statement of estimated revenues from all sources, other than taxation, for the next fiscal year; a statement of taxes required for the next fiscal year; and comparative figures of tax and other sources of revenue for the current and next preceding fiscal year.
(4) A capital plan for the next five fiscal years, showing possible anticipated capital expenditures, financing, and tax requirements.
(5) Such other information as may be required by the Board of Selectmen.
(b) At least 10 days before the annual meeting of the Middlebury Incorporated School District No. 4, Union School District No. 3, or the Town, whichever comes first, the selectmen shall publish in a newspaper of general local circulation a notice containing:
(1) The amount which the Town anticipates must be raised by Town taxes and to be voted at its annual meeting.
(2) The amount which the Middlebury Incorporated School District No. 4 anticipates must be raised by Town taxes and to be voted at its annual meeting.
(3) The amount which the Union School District No. 3 anticipates must be raised by Middlebury Town taxes and to be voted at its annual meeting.
(4) The anticipated tax rate applicable to the taxes to be raised in support of the amounts in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection.
(c) The Boards of Directors of the Middlebury Incorporated School District No. 4 and Union School District No. 3 shall submit to the selectmen the information required by subdivisions (b)(2) and (3) of this section at least 20 days prior to the Town's annual meeting, and the Chairman of each Board shall certify that such information is accurate, based upon the information available to each Board of Directors.
(d) Prior to finally determining the Middlebury Town budget, and at least 40 days prior to the annual meeting, the selectmen shall hold a public hearing, giving notice thereof in a newspaper of general local circulation at least seven days prior thereto.
(e) The selectmen's budget in its final form and the warning for the annual meeting shall be distributed to the legal voters of the Town at least 10 days prior to the annual meeting.
§ 127-1303. Saving clause
Failure to perform any of the duties specified in section 1302 of this charter, or failure to perform any of such duties within the time limits above specified, shall not invalidate any action taken at a properly warned annual meeting.
§ 127-1304. Appropriations
The Town at the annual meeting shall adopt a budget which shall include the proposed expenditure of each department for the coming fiscal year, and adoption of a budget at the annual meeting shall be deemed an appropriation to each department of the sum allotted in the budget for such department. A department's expenditures may not exceed the amount appropriated to it, except by consent of the selectmen and subject to the provisions of sections 1307 and 1308 of this charter. The amounts stated in the budget, and as approved by the Town, shall become appropriated to the several agencies, departments, and purposes therein named.
§ 127-1305. Amount to be raised by taxation
(a) Upon passage of the budget by the annual Town meeting, the amounts stated therein as the amount to be raised by property taxes shall constitute a determination of the amount of the levy for the purposes of the Town in the corresponding tax year, and the selectmen shall levy such taxes on the grand list furnished by the listers for the corresponding tax year.
(b) The selectmen shall likewise levy such taxes for the purposes of meeting the budget of the Middlebury Incorporated School District No. 4 and paying the amount which the Union School District No. 3 assesses the Town. In the event the Union School District No. 3 has not passed a budget at the time the selectmen levy such taxes, the selectmen may, in their sole discretion, base such levy on the prior tax year assessment to the Town by the Union School District No. 3. In such case, after the passage of the Union School District No. 3 budget and assessment to the Town, the selectmen may adjust the levy of such taxes and the Town shall credit the taxpayers for payment of property taxes for the year accordingly.
§ 127-1306. Budget limitations; borrowing
(a) The incurring of bonded indebtedness, the issuing of bonds, the making of temporary loans in anticipation of bond sales, and all other matters pertaining to bonded indebtedness shall be controlled by 24 V.S.A. chapter 53 or such State statutes as are applicable.
(b) The Town, through the selectmen, may borrow money in anticipation of taxes. The total amount so borrowed shall not exceed 90 percent of the taxes assessed for such year, and notes or orders issued therefor shall mature not later than the end of the fiscal year of the Town.
(c) The Town, by vote at an annual or special meeting, may borrow money under such terms and conditions and for such lawful municipal purposes as the Town shall vote.
(d) In cases of emergency, the selectmen may appropriate funds or borrow money in the name of the Town. The total combined emergency appropriations and borrowing in any year shall not exceed five percent of the amount voted at the annual meeting as the Town budget, or if the appropriation or borrowing is prior to the annual meeting, then five percent of the amount voted at the prior annual meeting as the Town budget. Notes or orders for such emergency borrowing shall mature not more than one year from the date of issuance and shall not thereafter be renewed unless the Town so votes. Any emergency borrowing or appropriation shall be reported at the next Town meeting.
(e) The selectmen, in the name of the Town, may borrow funds in anticipation of federal and State funds which have been approved and committed, until such time as such funds are available. Any debt so incurred for a project shall be repaid from the first federal or State funds received for that project.
(f) Any appropriations beyond the amount in the Town budget, except as specified in subsection (d) of this section, and all borrowing, except as specified in subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section, shall be by vote of the Town and upon such terms and conditions as the Town shall vote.
§ 127-1307. Transfers of appropriations
At any time during the fiscal year the Manager may transfer part or all of any unused appropriation balance among programs within a department, office, or agency. Upon written request by the Manager, the selectmen may by resolution transfer part or all of any unused appropriation balance from one department, office, or agency to another. Notwithstanding the above, no unexpended balance in any appropriation not included in the budget of the selectmen shall be transferred or used for any other purpose.
§ 127-1308. Taxation
(a) Taxes on real and personal property shall be paid in two equal payments unless the majority of voters at the March Town meeting vote to have tax payments in three or more equal payments.
(b) Interest and penalties on unpaid taxes shall be levied in accordance with State statutes.
§ 127-1308a. Sales, rooms, meals, and alcoholic beverages tax
(a) The Town of Middlebury may impose a tax on those transactions in the Town involving sales, rooms, meals, or alcoholic beverages which are subject to taxation by the State of Vermont. Imposition of any tax by the Town under this section shall be at the rate or rates specified in 24 V.S.A. § 138 and shall be imposed in accordance with the requirements of 24 V.S.A. § 138(a)(2) and subsections 138(c) and (d).
(b) If the Selectboard of the Town by a majority vote so recommends, the voters of the Town may, at an annual or special meeting warned for the purpose by a majority vote of those present and voting, assess any or all of the following:
(1) a one percent sales tax;
(2) a one percent meals and alcoholic beverages tax;
(3) a one percent rooms tax.
(c) A tax imposed under the authority of this section shall be collected and administered by the Vermont Department of Taxes in accordance with State law governing the State sales tax, meals, and alcoholic beverages tax, or rooms tax.
(d) Of the taxes collected under this section, 70 percent shall be paid on a quarterly basis to the Town after reduction for the costs of administration and collection under subsection (c) of this section. Revenues received by the Town may be expended for municipal services only, and not for education expenditures. Any remaining revenues shall be deposited in the PILOT Special Fund established by 32 V.S.A. § 3709.
§ 127-1309. Investments
(a) With respect to money raised in a current year for that current year's operating expenses, the Town may only invest such funds in instruments in which the principal is not at risk.
(b) For all other monies, investments of Town funds shall be made in:
(1) obligations of the United States, its agencies, and instrumentalities, and any repurchase agreements whose underlying collateral consists of such obligations;
(2) certificates of deposit and other evidences of deposit at banks, savings institutions, and trust companies approved by the Treasurer;
(3) such municipal bonds or other bonds as are a lawful investment for a bank, savings institution, and trust companies in this State;
(4) shares of an investment company, or an investment trust, which is negotiated under the Federal Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, if such mutual investment fund has been in operation for at least 10 years and has net assets of at least $10,000,000; or may deposit the same in banks, trust companies, or national banks in this State; and
(5) such investment instruments as may be offered by insurance companies which are licensed by the State of Vermont.
(c) The selectmen shall have full power to hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer, and dispose of any of the securities and investments in which any of the funds shall have been invested, as well as the proceeds of such investments.
- Subchapter 015: GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 127-1501. 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 the charter and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
§ 127-1502. Continuance of office or employment
Except as specifically provided by this charter, if at the time this charter takes full effect a Town administrative officer or employee holds any office or position he/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.
§ 127-1503. Pending matters
All rights, claims, actions, orders, contracts, and legal or 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.
§ 127-1504. Municipal laws
All Town ordinances, resolutions, orders, and regulations which are in force when this charter becomes fully effective shall remain in full force and effect excepting only those ordinances, resolutions, orders, and regulations which are inconsistent with this charter.
§ 127-1505. Fire District No. 1 East Middlebury
(a) The Fire District of East Middlebury shall continue under the provisions of its charter as established by act of the State Legislature.
(b) By majority vote of the Town of Middlebury and of Fire District No. 1 of East Middlebury, the Fire District No. 1 may be incorporated into the Town of Middlebury.
§ 127-1506. Copies of the charter
Two copies of this charter with amendments and information sheets, if there are any, shall be kept in all Town libraries. If at any time these copies shall become unreadable or be destroyed, the Town, at Town expense, shall provide the library with sufficient new copies.
§ 127-1507. Sec. 4 of the Incorporated District No. 4
(a) The officers of said District shall be a Moderator, a Clerk, a Treasurer, a Collector, and an Auditor, who shall be chosen annually, and a Prudential Committee of seven, hereafter to be chosen as follows:
(b) At each annual meeting of the Town of Middlebury, there shall be elected a member of the Committee for a term of five years, except however, that at successive five-year intervals after each of the years 1969 and 1970, there shall be elected at the Town's annual meeting, an additional member for a term of five years. Each member of the Committee so elected shall take office at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the annual meeting of School District No. 4 in Middlebury. A vacancy on the Committee shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by a majority of the members of the Committee. The officers shall hold their respective offices until their successors are chosen.
§ 127-1508. Amendment of charter
This charter may be amended as set forth by state law under 17 V.S.A. § 2645.
§ 127-1509. Reference to State statute
If any matter mentioned in this charter is said to be controlled by a specific State statute, the reference to the State statute shall include the statute as amended or renumbered, or any statute substituted therefor and having similar subject matter.
§ 127-1510. [Transitional provision.]