Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. A holder of an elected office in the town of Westwood may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of said town as herein provided, except that the maximum number of members of a board that may be recalled is a majority.
SECTION 2. Any two hundred registered voters of the town of Westwood may initiate a recall petition by filing with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. At least fifty names of registered voters shall be from each of the voting precincts into which said town is divided. Said town clerk shall thereupon deliver to said voters making such affidavit, a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, a supply of which shall be kept on hand. Such blanks shall be issued by the town clerk, with his signature and official seal attached thereto. Further, such blanks shall be dated, shall be addressed to the selectmen of said town and shall contain the names of all the persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought and the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor to said office. A copy of the affidavit shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of said town clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within twenty days after the filing of the affidavit and shall be signed by at least fifteen percent of the registered voters of said town, who shall add to their signatures their place of residence, including their street, number and precinct; provided, however, that not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of the total number shall be from any one precinct.
The town clerk shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt thereof, submit the signed petition to the registrars of voters in the town and said registrars shall, within five working days, certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient said town clerk shall submit the same with his certificate to the selectmen within five working days, and the selectmen shall, within five working days, give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign, within five days thereafter, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than sixty-five nor more than ninety days after the date of the town clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of the certificate the selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. No person shall be subject to recall if his term of office expires within ninety days of the certificate. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
SECTION 4. An officer sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself and, unless such officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place his name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the removal election and the conduct of the same, shall be in accordance with the provisions of law relative to elections unless otherwise provided herein.
SECTION 5. An incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until a recall election is held. If not recalled, such officer shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term subject to recall as before, except as provided in this section. If such officer is recalled in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term. If a successor fails to qualify within five days after receiving notification of his election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
SECTION 6. Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of officer).
Against the recall of (name of officer).
Immediately at the right of each proposition there shall be a square in which a voter, by marking a cross mark (X), or by indicating his intentions by suitable mechanical means, may vote for either of said propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates", the directions to the voters required by section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws and, beneath this, the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections. If two-thirds of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If more than one-third of the votes on the question are in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted.
SECTION 7. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within ninety days after he takes office nor, in the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least ninety days after the election at which his recall was submitted to the voters.
SECTION 8. No person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against him shall be appointed to town office within one year after such recall or such resignation.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect upon its passage.