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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 310         FILED ON: 1/15/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 967

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Michael J. Rodrigues

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to the powers of town moderators.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Michael J. Rodrigues

First Bristol and Plymouth

Steven S. Howitt

4th Bristol

Richard T. Moore

Worcester and Norfolk

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

James Arciero

2nd Middlesex

David T. Vieira

3rd Barnstable

F. Jay Barrows

1st Bristol

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Susan Williams Gifford

2nd Plymouth

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

Peter J. Durant

6th Worcester

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex

William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Bradford Hill

4th Essex

Jennifer L. Flanagan

Worcester and Middlesex

Matthew A. Beaton

11th Worcester

James E. Timilty

Bristol and Norfolk

Bruce E. Tarr

First Essex and Middlesex

Stephen Kulik

1st Franklin

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

Ryan C. Fattman

18th Worcester


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 310        FILED ON: 1/15/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 967

By Mr. Rodrigues, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 967) of Michael J. Rodrigues, Steven S. Howitt, Richard T. Moore, James M. Cantwell and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to the powers of town moderators.  Municipalities and Regional Government. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to the powers of town moderators.
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to forthwith permit a town moderator under certain conditions to announce a declaration of recess and continuance, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
 

              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 39 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 10 the following section:

              Section 10A.  (a)  Whenever the moderator determines that voters, or in a town having a representative town meeting form of government, the town meeting members, may be unable to attend a town meeting because of an emergency as it is defined by section 18 of chapter 30A, he shall consult with local public safety officials, members of the board of selectman, and then, upon his own declaration, the moderator shall recess and continue the meeting to a time, date and place certain.  If due to an emergency a new meeting place might be required but cannot be then identified, the moderator may recess and continue the meeting, and shall within three days of the declaration of recess and continuance also declare the meeting location. If due to the emergency no suitable town facility is available for a meeting place, the moderator may as part of the declaration move the place of meeting to a suitable meeting place located in any contiguous municipality.

              The moderator need not appear at the place of the town meeting to announce a declaration of recess and continuance.  The moderator shall announce the declaration of recess and continuance as far in advance of the town meeting being continued as is practicable.

              (b)  A notice of the declaration of recess and continuance shall be printed in a legible, easily understandable format and shall contain the date, time and place of the continued meeting, state the reason for the declaration, and identify the time and date that the moderator announced the declaration.  If the moderator does not identify the place of the continued meeting in the notice, within three days of the announcement of recess and continuance the moderator shall issue an amending notice which identifies the meeting place.  Any notice shall be filed with the municipal clerk as soon as practicable and then posted in a manner conspicuously visible to the public at all hours in or on the municipal building in which the clerk’s office is located.  As soon as practicable, the notice of declaration of recess and continuance and any notice of amendment thereto shall be directed to the constables or to some other persons, who shall forthwith post the notice in the manner otherwise prescribed by general law, charter or by-laws for the posting of notice of town meetings. One copy of the notice of declaration of recess and continuance or amendment thereto shall be posted at the main entrance of the place of the town meeting as soon as is practicable.  The moderator also may use any electronic, broadcast or print media convenient to circulate the notice of recess and continuance and any amendment thereto.  Towns having a representative town meeting form of government may by by-law establish additional requirements for providing notice to representative town meeting members.

              (c)  The town meeting session recessed by the declaration of recess and continuance shall be convened by the moderator not later than 14 days following the time and date of the moderator's original announcement of the declaration of recess and continuance, so that places and facilities are available which can safely accommodate the voters, or in a town having a representative town meeting form of government, the town meeting members, and which enable them to participate safely.

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