Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Article 3 of the charter of the town of Dedham, which is on file in the office of the archivist of the commonwealth as provided in section 12 of chapter 43B of the General Laws, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 3-15. RECALL OF ELECTED OFFICIALS.
(a) Who can be Recalled - Any holder of an elective town office, as defined in section 3-1 (a), with more than six months remaining of the term for which elected, may be recalled therefrom by the voters as herein provided.
(b) Recall Petition - Any two hundred fifty voters may file with the town clerk an affidavit bearing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. An affidavit shall contain the names of at least twenty-five voters from each district into which the town is divided. If, within three days following such submission said affidavits are found by the registrars of voters to be sufficient and valid, and, if on said date the candidate whose recall is sought has at least six months remaining of the term for which elected, the town clerk shall forthwith make available to the first ten voters making the affidavit copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which shall be kept available. When issued the blanks shall contain the signature and official seal of the town clerk and may be completed by printing or typewriting. They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the selectmen and shall contain the names of the ten persons first named on the said affidavit, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor in the said office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within twenty-one days following the date they are issued and shall have been signed by at least one thousand two hundred and fifty voters, not more than twenty-five percent of which shall be voters in any one district into which the town is divided. In signing such petitions voters shall add to their signatures the street and number, if any, of their residences.
The town clerk shall within twenty-four hours of receipt submit the petition to the registrars of voters in the town, and the registrars shall forthwith, but in no event more than five days after receipt, certify thereon the number of signatures which are the names of voters.
(c) Selectmen's Action on Receiving Petition - If the petition shall be found and certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient they shall submit the same with their certificate to the board of selectmen without delay, and the board of selectmen shall forthwith 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 it not less than sixty days nor more than seventy-five days after the date of the registrars' certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within ninety days after the date of the certificate, the board of selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
(d) Nomination of Candidates - The officer whose recall is sought may be a candidate at the recall election, and unless such officer has resigned the office or requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place the officer's name on the official ballots without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this section.
(e) Incumbent Holds Office Until Election - The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If not then recalled, such person shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in this section. If recalled, such person shall be deemed removed.
(f) Recall Election - Ballots used in a recall election shall contain the names of all candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided, arranged as provided in section 6-12 (c). The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, the incumbent shall be deemed not recalled. If a person other than the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, the incumbent shall be deemed recalled; in such case the person receiving the highest number of votes shall, upon qualification, serve for the balance of the unexpired term. If such successor shall fail to qualify within five days after receiving notification of election, the office shall be deemed to be vacant and shall be filled in the manner provided in section 6-13; provided, however, that if fewer than three thousand voters participate at the election, no votes need be counted and the election shall be deemed to have determined that the incumbent should not be recalled.
(g) Repeat of Recall Petition - No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within six months after taking office, nor, in the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least six months after the election at which the recall was submitted to the voters.
(h) Appointment of Person Recalled - No person who has been recalled from an office, or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against them, shall be appointed to any town office within two years after such recall or such resignation. Resignation at any time after a recall affidavit has been certified by the board of registrars of voters as being valid shall be deemed to be while recall proceedings were pending.
SECTION 2. This act shall be submitted for acceptance to the voters of the town of Dedham at the annual town election to be held in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-six in the form of the following question which shall be placed on the official ballot to be used for the election of town officers at said election, "Shall an act passed by the general court in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-five, entitled 'An Act providing for recall elections in the town of Dedham' be accepted " which question shall be followed by a brief summary of the amendment to be prepared by the town counsel.
If a majority of the votes cast in answer to said question is in the affirmative, this act shall take effect, but not otherwise.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.