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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE FIRE DISTRICT IN THE TOWN OF WILLIAMSTOWN

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: 

SECTION 1. Chapter 69 of the acts of 1912 is hereby further amended by striking out section 3, as amended by section 1 of chapter 349 of the acts of 1948, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 3. The legal voters of the fire district shall elect a prudential committee which shall consist of 5 commissioners. The commissioners shall be legal inhabitants of and voters in the district and shall be elected for alternating 3-year terms, so arranged that an equivalent number of commissioners as possible shall be elected each year. The commissioners shall annually, within 14 days after the annual election of the fire district, choose 1 commissioner to act as president of the district for the ensuing year. The commissioners shall also serve as the board of commissioners of hydrants, water tanks for fire purposes and street lamps.

The commissioners shall serve until the expiration of their respective terms and until their successors have been chosen and qualified but the district may fill any vacancy on the prudential committee at any district meeting regularly called for that purpose. The commissioners shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties and shall receive such compensation as the voters of the district may determine.

The commissioners shall appoint and may remove a suitably qualified person to serve as district clerk and district treasurer. The clerk and treasurer shall be sworn and shall have and exercise all of the powers and rights and shall be subject to the duties and liabilities imposed on fire district clerks and treasurers by law.

The legal voters of the fire district shall elect by ballot at the annual district election, a moderator for a 3-year term. The moderator shall have all of the powers and rights and shall be subject to the duties and liabilities imposed on moderators by this act and under the General Laws.

SECTION 2. This act shall not affect the existing term of any commissioner elected prior to the effective date of this act. At the first annual district election occurring more than 64 days after the effective date of this act, 2 additional offices for commissioner shall appear on the ballot, 1 of which shall be for a 1-year term and 1 of which shall be for a 2-year term; provided, however that nothing herein shall preclude the commissioners from calling a special election for such purposes. 

Thereafter, all commissioners shall be elected for 3-year terms.

SECTION 3. Notwithstanding section 1, any elected incumbent in the office of clerk or treasurer on the effective date of this act shall continue to hold such office and perform the duties thereof until the expiration of the term for which the incumbent was elected, unless the incumbent sooner vacates such office. Upon expiration of the term of such elected office or the sooner vacating thereof, the elected office of district clerk and the elected office of district treasurer shall be abolished and a district clerk shall be appointed as provided in section 3 of chapter 69 of the acts of 1912; provided, however, that if this act shall take effect less than 35 days before the annual district election, the elected office of district clerk and the elected office of district treasurer shall not be abolished and a district clerk and district treasurer shall not be appointed as provided in said section 3 of said chapter 69 until the next following annual district election or until the person elected to the office of district clerk or the person elected to the office of district treasurer at the annual district election held within 35 days after the effective date of this act sooner vacates that office. 

At the first annual district election after the effective date of this act, the office of moderator shall appear on the ballot for a 3-year term.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, July 3, 2019.