The Vermont Statutes Online
- Subchapter 001: INCORPORATION AND GRANT OF POWERS
§ 133-101. Corporate existence retained
The inhabitants of the Town of Poultney are hereby incorporated and continue to be incorporated and declared to be a body corporate and politic under the name of the Town of Poultney, and under that name shall have, exercise, and enjoy all such rights, immunities, powers, and privileges as are conferred upon or are incident to towns in this State; and shall be subject to like duties, liabilities, and obligations, except as otherwise provided in this charter.
§ 133-102. General law application
Except when changed, enlarged, or modified 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 Poultney.
§ 133-103. Recall
Any elected official or official appointed to elective office holding a Town office may be recalled by the following process:
(1) A petition signed by not less than 35 percent of the number of registered voters voting in the last annual Town meeting shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
(2) The petition shall request a special Town meeting for the purpose of recalling a specific person or persons and shall state the office that they hold.
(3) The Selectboard shall act upon the petition within seven days by warning a special Town meeting.
(4) The Town meeting shall be held not less than 30 days and not more than 40 days from the date of the receipt of the petition.
(5) The special Town meeting shall be warned as provided by the general law of this State.
(6) At least four days but not more than 15 days prior to the voting, an informational meeting shall be held at which time both the elected official and the proponents for the recall shall have the opportunity to discuss the issue of recall. The informational meeting shall be warned in conjunction with the warning for the special Town meeting.
(7) Voting on the issue of recall shall be by Australian ballot. A majority of the legal votes cast shall be needed to effect a recall of that official.
§ 133-104. Form of government
The municipal government provided by this charter shall be known as council-manager form of government. Pursuant to these provisions and subject only to the limitations imposed by the Vermont Constitution and by this charter, all powers of the Town shall be vested in an elective council, hereinafter referred to as the Selectboard.
- Subchapter 003: OFFICERS
§ 133-301. General provisions
The officers of the Town of Poultney 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. All officers shall be elected by Australian ballot.
§ 133-302. Special elective officers
In addition to those elective officers provided for by law, the officers elected at the annual Town meeting shall be:
(1) one library trustee necessary to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term established in subsection 304(c) of this charter; and
(2) water and sewer commissioners (in the event the Selectboard so directs).
§ 133-303. Terms of office- Selectboard members
(a) There shall be three Selectboard members elected for a staggered term of three years, with only one of these positions vacant in any one year, and two Selectboard members elected for a one-year term.
(b) At their first regular meeting following the annual Town meeting, the Selectboard shall elect a Chair and a Vice Chair of the Selectboard, each of whom shall be elected for a term of one year and may succeed himself or herself indefinitely.
§ 133-304. Other elected officers
(a) Town Clerk. The Town Clerk shall be elected for a three-year term.
(1) Three auditors shall be elected, who shall be responsible for a full audit of all Town funds. Such audit shall be required at least once a year and shall verify delinquent taxes, disbursements, and receipts.
(2) A certified public accountant or registered public accountant shall conduct a full audit at least once in every three years. The certified or registered public accountant shall verify delinquent taxes, disbursements, and receipts and shall report to the elected auditors.
(3) The auditor position shall be for a three-year term, with one auditor being elected each year.
(c) Library trustees. The duties of the library trustees shall be the operation and care of a Town Public Library in accordance with the recommendations of the Vermont Library Association. Each trustee shall serve a term of five years, with one trustee elected each year.
(d) Town Treasurer. The Town Treasurer shall be elected to a term of three years.
§ 133-305. Appointed officers
(a) The Selectboard may appoint any officers, commissioners, or employees required by the Town's personnel regulations or this charter. All appointments shall require as a precondition a job description.
(b) The Town Manager shall function as the personnel officer of the Town and shall present to the Selectboard all candidates for Town positions.
(c) All matters relating to the hiring, performance, tenure, discipline, and termination of Town employees shall be controlled by personnel policies and plans to be adopted by the Selectboard.
(d) The Selectboard shall appoint the following officers:
(1) a Public Works Supervisor;
(2) a Health Officer;
(3) one or more fence viewers;
(4) a Tree Warden;
(5) a Zoning Administrator;
(6) a Civil Defense Director;
(7) a representative to the Rutland Solid Waste District (provided the Town is a member);
(8) planning commissioners;
(9) a representative to the Regional Planning Commission; and
(10) Weigher of Coal, Inspector of Timber, Dog Warden, and Forest Fire Warden.
§ 133-306. Vacancies of elected and appointed officers
(a) When an elected or appointed officer resigns, makes another Town his or her residence, dies, or becomes incapacitated, the office shall become vacant. A person who fills such a vacancy shall serve until his or her predecessor's term expires. The Town Manager shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general local circulation a notice of the vacancy.
(b) Any person of legal voting age may, within 10 days of the publication, submit his or her name to the Town Manager as an applicant for the vacancy. The names of all applicants shall be entered in the minutes of the next regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting.
(c) At the first regular meeting of the Selectboard following the expiration of the period set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Selectboard shall fill the vacancy. Said appointments shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term unless this charter provides otherwise.
§ 133-307. Oath of office
All elected and appointed officials and all police officers of the Town shall before assuming office take, subscribe, and file with the Town Clerk the following oath: "I ________ solemnly swear (or affirm) that I shall faithfully execute the Office of ______ of the Town of Poultney to the best of my judgment and abilities, according to law, so help me God (or I so affirm)."
§ 133-308. Compensation
Salaries of employees and appointed officers of the Town shall be in accordance with a contract negotiated between the Town and an employee or group of employees for a specified term.
- Subchapter 005: SELECTMEN
§ 133-501. Powers and duties
(a) The members of the Selectboard shall constitute the legislative body of the Town of Poultney for all purposes required by law and shall constitute the Board of Cemetery Commissioners, the Board of Liquor Control Commissioners, and, with the Town Health Officer, the Local Board of Health Commissioners.
(b) While the Selectboard shall establish policies governing the management of Town affairs, it shall be the sole duty and responsibility of the Town Manager to implement Town policies and supervise the day-to-day operation of Town government.
§ 133-502. Organization
(a) Three Selectboard members shall constitute a quorum. No action of the Board shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of at least three Selectboard members. In cases where a statute requires a greater number of the Board for an affirmative vote, such provisions of law shall control.
(b) The Selectboard may vote on an item not warned on a public agenda only in an emergency and with the consent of the majority of the Board. An emergency may be defined as an unforeseen situation that imperils the welfare of the Town and that requires immediate action.
§ 133-503. Record of proceedings
(a) The Selectboard shall keep an official record of its proceedings.
(b) The minutes of each meeting shall be approved by the Selectboard and shall be filed in the Town Clerk's office. A duly certified copy of such minutes, attesting to the accuracy thereof, shall constitute the official record of such meeting and shall constitute prima facie evidence of the action taken.
- Subchapter 007: TOWN MANAGER
§ 133-701. Appointed by Selectboard
The Selectboard shall appoint a Town Manager whose responsibilities, powers, and terms of employment shall be as provided by general law, except as otherwise provided by this charter.
- Subchapter 009: COMMISSIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
§ 133-901. Appointments
The Selectboard may appoint and compensate commissions, committees, and employees as needed and delegate incidental powers necessary for the proper functioning thereof as established by law.
§ 133-902. Fire Department; appointments
(a) Fire protection shall be provided by the Town of Poultney Volunteer Fire Department equipment and by the personnel of the Poultney Hose Company #1.
(b) The Fire Chief and assistant fire chiefs shall be elected annually by and shall be members of the Hose Company.
§ 133-903. Police Department; appointments
Public safety services shall be provided for the Town in a manner acceptable to the Selectboard.
- Subchapter 010: WATER AND SEWER
§ 133-1001. Water and sewer systems; duties of Selectboard
Until such time as a separate Board or Boards of Water and Sewer Commissioners shall be established, the Selectboard shall act as such commissioners.
- Subchapter 011: TOWN MEETING
§ 133-1101. Postponement and combining of Town meeting
(a) The Selectboard may postpone the vote on any question to be voted at a special Town meeting to the annual meeting if such special meeting would fall within 120 days of the annual meeting.
(b) If a special Town meeting will fall within 120 days of another special Town meeting called by petition, the Selectboard 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.
§ 133-1102. Voting question by Australian ballot
The election of Town officers and the consideration of all public questions shall be by Australian ballot at any annual meeting or at any special Town meeting called on motion of the Selectboard or by petition. A public question voted by Australian ballot shall be preceded by a public informational meeting, to start at 7:30 o'clock in the evening of the day preceding that on which the polls are to be opened. The warning for the special Town meeting to vote by Australian ballot shall include a notice of the time and place of the public hearing.
§ 133-1103. Annual meeting; date and time
The annual meeting of the Town for the election of officers and other matters shall be held on the first Tuesday in March.
§ 133-1104. Town report
The contents of the Town report shall be the responsibility of the Town Auditors except as otherwise provided for in this charter. The contents of the reports of the School District shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent of Schools and the School District.
§ 133-1105. Highway budget
Notwithstanding any other provision of general law or this charter to the contrary, annually the Selectboard shall prepare a highway budget with respect to the operation, maintenance, repair, and construction of Town highways, which budget shall be voted upon as a separate article at each annual Town meeting or a special Town meeting called for that purpose. Voting on the proposed highway budget shall be restricted to only those eligible voters residing in that part of the Town not within the incorporated limits of the Village of Poultney. The Town highway budget so approved shall be funded by a highway tax to be levied on the grand list of the Town representing ratable property situated in that part of the Town not within the incorporated limits of the Village of Poultney.
- Subchapter 013: FLOOD HAZARD ORDINANCES
§ 133-1301. Ratification of present flood hazard ordinances
The Town of Poultney flood hazard regulations, revised and adopted June 9, 1980, as amended, are hereby ratified and approved, subject to the provisions of 24 V.S.A. chapter 117.
- Subchapter 015: BUDGET AND TAXATION
§ 133-1501. Fiscal year
The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of July and end with the last day of June.
§ 133-1502. Preparation and submission of budget and town report
(a) The Town Manager, at least 60 days before the date of the regular annual Town meeting, shall submit to the Selectboard a budget that shall contain:
(1) a statement 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 preceding fiscal year;
(3) an itemized statement of estimated revenues from all sources, other than taxation, for the next fiscal year; a statement of estimated taxes required for the next fiscal year; and comparative figures of tax and other sources of revenue for the current and the preceding fiscal year;
(4) a statement of the short and long-term indebtedness of the Town;
(5) a listing of delinquent taxpayers;
(6) such other information as may be required by the Selectboard or law.
(b) The Selectboard's budget in its final form and the warning of the meeting shall be made available to the legal voters of the Town in an annual Town report at least 14 days prior to the annual Town meeting.
§ 133-1503. Appropriations
The Town at the annual meeting, or a special meeting called for that purpose, shall adopt a budget that shall include the proposed expenditures of each department for the coming fiscal year, and adoption of a budget at such meeting shall be deemed an appropriation to each department of the sum allotted in the budget for such department. The amounts stated in the budget, and as approved by the Town, shall become appropriated to the several agencies, departments, and purposes therein named.
§ 133-1504. Amount to be raised by taxation
Upon approval of the budget under section 1503 of this charter, the amounts stated therein as the amount to be raised by property taxes, reduced by cash surplus from excess collected property taxes, fees, charges, fines, and interest, if any, as indicated by the statement of the Town auditors, shall constitute a determination of the amount of the levy for the purposes of the Town in the corresponding tax year, and the Selectboard shall levy such taxes on the grand list furnished by the listers for the corresponding year.
§ 133-1505. Transfers of appropriations
At any time within the fiscal year, the Selectboard may transfer funds from single budget line items to other budget line items. A budget line item will be an individual budget item listed on the budget presented to and approved under section 1503 of this charter.
§ 133-1506. Fees and fines
All fines and penalties payable to the Town by reason of any violation of any law, ordinance, or bylaw shall be paid over promptly upon receipt to the Town Treasurer for inclusion in the General Fund of the Town. All fees established by law or ordinance and payable to any Town officer shall be paid over promptly upon receipt to the Town Treasurer for inclusion in the General Fund of the Town. Fees collected on behalf of the State shall be transferred to the State Treasurer.
- Subchapter 017: GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 133-1701. Severability
If any provision of this charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the charter shall not be affected thereby.
§§ 133-1702-1704. [Transitional Provisions].
§ 133-1705. Amendment of charter
This charter may be amended as set forth by the general law of this State.
§§ 133-1706-1708. [Transitional Provisions].