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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 17 : Elections

Chapter 055 : LOCAL ELECTIONS

Subchapter 002 : TOWN MEETINGS AND LOCAL ELECTIONS IN GENERAL

(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2645)
  • § 2645. Charters; adoption, repeal, or amendment; procedure

    (a) A municipality may propose to the General Assembly to adopt, repeal, or amend its charter by majority vote of the legal voters of the municipality present and voting at any annual or special meeting warned for that purpose in accordance with the following procedure:

    (1) A proposal to adopt, repeal, or amend a municipal charter (charter proposal) may be made by the legislative body of the municipality or by petition of five percent of the voters of the municipality.

    (2) An official copy of the charter proposal shall be filed as a public record in the office of the clerk of the municipality at least 10 days before the first public hearing. The clerk shall certify the date on which he or she received the official copy, and the dated copies thereof shall be made available to members of the public upon request.

    (3)(A) The legislative body of the municipality shall hold at least two public hearings prior to the meeting to vote on the charter proposal.

    (B) The first public hearing shall be held in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) of this section and at least 30 days before the vote.

    (4)(A) If the charter proposal is made by the legislative body, the legislative body may revise the proposal as a result of suggestions and recommendations made at a public hearing, but in no event shall such revisions be made less than 20 days before the date of the meeting to vote on the charter proposal.

    (B) If revisions are made, the legislative body shall post a notice of these revisions in the same places as the warning for the meeting not less than 20 days before the date of the meeting and shall attach such revisions to the official copy kept on file for public inspection in the office of the clerk of the municipality.

    (5)(A) If the charter proposal is made by petition, the second public hearing shall be held no later than 10 days after the first public hearing. The legislative body shall not have the authority to revise a charter proposal made by petition.

    (B) After the warning and hearing requirements of this section are satisfied, the petitioned charter proposal shall be submitted to the voters at the next annual meeting, primary, or general election in the form in which it was filed, except that the legislative body may make technical corrections.

    (6)(A) Notice of each public hearing and of the annual or special meeting shall be given in accordance with section 2641 of this chapter.

    (B)(i) Each notice shall specify the charter sections to be adopted, repealed, or amended, setting out those sections in the amended form, with deleted matter struck through and new matter underlined.

    (ii) If the legislative body of the municipality determines that the charter proposal is too long or unwieldy to set out in amended form, the notice shall include a concise summary of the charter proposal and shall state that an official copy of the charter proposal is on file for public inspection in the office of the clerk of the municipality and that copies thereof shall be made available to members of the public upon request.

    (7)(A) Voting on a charter proposal shall be by Australian ballot.

    (B)(i) The ballot shall show each charter section to be adopted, repealed, or amended in the amended form, with deleted matter struck through and new matter underlined, and shall permit the voter to vote on each separate proposal contained within the charter proposal.

    (ii) If the legislative body determines that the charter proposal is too long or unwieldy to be shown in the amended form, voters shall be permitted to vote upon each separate proposal in its entirety in the form of a yes or no proposition.

    (C) An official copy of the charter proposal shall be posted conspicuously in each ballot booth for inspection by the voters during the balloting.

    (b)(1) The clerk of the municipality, under the direction of the legislative body, shall announce and post the results of the vote immediately after the vote is counted.

    (2) The clerk, within 10 days after the day of the meeting, shall certify to the Secretary of State each separate proposal contained within the charter proposal, showing the facts as to its origin and the procedure followed, which shall include:

    (A)(i) If the charter proposal was made by the legislative body, the minutes recorded by the legislative body that detail the origins and intent of each separate proposal;

    (ii) If the charter proposal was made by voter petition, the body of the petition and evidence of the required number of petition signatures;

    (B) A copy of the official certified copy of the charter proposal filed with the clerk of the municipality pursuant to subdivision (a)(2) of this section;

    (C) Copies of the warnings and published notices for each of the public hearings held pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section;

    (D) Minutes recorded by the legislative body that detail each of the public hearings held pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section;

    (E) Copies of warnings and published notices for the meeting to vote on the charter proposal; and

    (F) A copy of the ballot and the results of the vote or votes on the charter proposal.

    (c) After confirming that the clerk of the municipality has certified each of the documents listed in subdivision (b)(2) of this section, the Secretary of State shall file the certificate and deliver copies of it to the Attorney General, the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the Senate, and the chairs of the committees concerned with municipal charters of both houses of the General Assembly.

    (d) The charter proposal shall become effective upon affirmative enactment of the proposal, either as proposed or as amended by the General Assembly. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 100; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 22, eff. May 4, 1982; 1983, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 63; 2017, No. M-7, § 2A, eff. May 22, 2017.)