Don‘t Forget the Special Town Meeting this Tuesday, April 19!

There are two articles about bylaw changes which do not need to be on the Warrant for the Special Town Meeting slated for next Tuesday, April 19.
There is a third article, Article #7, nicely hidden in-between others, and I bet you don't know about it! Is there a reason why they are not on the Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting?
Also, read about interesting history and facts in connection with two (hypocritical ?) individuals roaming our Town Hall...
Read more»

Posted on 15 Apr 2011, 15:58 - Category: Town Politics
Edit - Delete


Posted on 16 Apr 2011, 1:14 by Tax Man
After they doubled their square footage did their taxes double? Have their taxes doubled as yours did in the next 5 years? Mine Have.


Posted on 17 Apr 2011, 23:35 by newreader
Article #7
When communities first began to develop in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, they had no regularly elected town officials. Instead, Town meetings would “select” citizens to perform the business of the town. Beginning with Dorchester in 1633, Towns gradually began to elect “selectmen” to serve for fixed terms. While the powers and duties varied from town to town, selectmen were required to carry out and enforce votes of town meeting, and were eventually granted additional administrative authority. As Massachusetts grew, activities of towns expanded and became increasingly complex.
Today, the Board of Selectmen’s legal duties are included in hundreds of state statutes, as well as Holland’s bylaws.
The power to appoint individuals to fill vacancies on the various boards is vested in the Board of Selectmen through the provisions of G.L. c.41, s.11 which provides:
As used in this section, the term “vacancy” includes a failure to elect. If a vacancy occurs in any town office, other than the office of selectman, town clerk, treasurer, collector of taxes or auditor, the selectmen shall in writing appoint a person to fill such vacancy. If there is a vacancy in a board consisting of two or more members, except a board whose members have been elected by proportional representation under chapter fifty-four A, the remaining members shall give written notice thereof, within one month of said vacancy, to the selectmen, who, with the remaining member or members of such board, shall, after one week’s notice, fill such vacancy by roll call vote. The selectmen shall fill such vacancy if such board fails to give said notice within the time herein specified. A majority of the votes of the officers entitled to vote shall be necessary to such election. The person so appointed or elected shall be a registered voter of the town and shall perform the duties of the office until the next annual meeting or until another is qualified.
It seems to be questionable if the suggested change to the bylaws as proposed in Article #7 is a desirable change.
Furthermore, it is possible that such a bylaw would be inconsistent with the provisions of Section 11 of chapter 41 and therefore contrary to the General Laws of our Commonwealth.

Posted on 21 Apr 2011, 8:08 by Peter Frei
Vincent McCaughey..
To "newsreader" and town counsel Vincent McCaughey,

the appointment of an associate member is neither regulated by chapter 41 section 11 (as claimed in comment by newsreader), nor by chapter 41, section 81A (as claimed by town counsel Vincent McCaughey during the Special Town Meeting), instead it is regulated by G.L. chapter 40A, section 9, which provides in part, (par. 11):

"Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide for associate members of a planning board when a planning board has been designated as a special permit granting authority. One associate member may be authorized when the planning board consists of five members, and two associate members may be authorized when the planning board consists of more than five members. A city or town which establishes the position of associate member shall determine the procedure for filling such position. If provision for filling the position of associate member has been made, the chairman of the planning board may designate an associate member to sit on the board for the purposes of acting on a special permit application, in the case of absence, inability to act, or conflict of interest, on the part of any member of the planning board or in the event of a vacancy on the board. "

Associate members do have limited voting power and are only allowed to vote on Special Permit Applications. It is also puzzling to me why the process to appoint associate members was included in the general bylaws and not where it belongs in my opinion, in the zoning bylaws.

When asked about the legality of giving the power to appoint associate members to the chairman of the PBH during the Special Town Meeting, McCaughey claimed that c.41, s.81A would provide the basis.
However, section 81A does not even mention the word "associate" member, section 81A regulates the way a planning board is established in a town for the first time and is clearly referring to section 11 when it comes to the issue of filling empty seats on a planning board.
Section 81A provides in part:

"If the members of a planning board are elected, any unexpired term shall be filled by appointment by the board of selectmen and the remainder of the members of the planning board until the next annual election, at which time, such office shall be filled, by election, for the remainder of the unexpired term. All appointments pursuant to this section shall be in the manner provided in section eleven."

McCaughey should know better. What a joke of a lawyer; he was a lawyer all his life and doesn't know simple things like this?
Yes, I was wrong as I did not really do the research before and based my objection during the Special Town Meeting on section 11 as I read the comment left by "newreader," and it made sense.
Getting corrected by Vincent McCaughey with miss information is not helpful. Doesn't he get paid for providing legal advice?? What a joke!

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