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General Laws

Section 1. Every town at its annual meeting shall in every year when the term of office of any incumbent expires, and except when other provision is made by law or by charter, choose by ballot from its registered voters the following town officers for the following terms of office:

A town clerk for the term of one or more years.

A town treasurer for the term of one or more years.

One or more collectors of taxes for the term of one or more years, unless the town votes otherwise or votes to authorize its treasurer to act as collector.

Three or more selectmen for the term of not more than three years, subject to the provisions of section twenty-one.

One or more assessors for the term of not more than three years.

One or more auditors for the term of one or more years, except where such office is abolished as provided in section fifty-five.

One or more highway surveyors for the term of one or more years; or one or more road commissioners for the term of one or more years.

One or more sewer commissioners for the term of one or more years if the town has provided for such officers, unless the town by vote authorizes its road commissioners to act as sewer commissioners.

A tree warden for the term of one or more years, unless the town by vote or by-law provides that he shall be appointed.

One or more constables for a term of one or more years, unless the town by vote provides that they shall be appointed.

Three or more members of the school committee for terms of not more than three years.

Three or more assistant assessors, if the town so votes, for the term of not more than three years.

Three or more members of the board of health for the term of one or more years if the town provides for such board, otherwise the selectmen shall act as a board of health.

All other town officers shall be appointed by the selectmen unless other provision is made by law or by vote of the town.

In any town or district in which the election date of the officers, authorized under this section, is changed, the officers currently serving shall continue to hold their offices until the appointment or election and qualification of their successors.

In any case where three or more members of a board are to be elected for terms of more than one year, as nearly one-third as may be shall be elected annually.

The provisions of this section or any of the following sections of this chapter which authorize or require the fixing of the terms of office of members of any board, commission or body in such a manner that all such terms would not expire at the same time shall not apply with respect to such board, commission or body after the town has voted under section two of chapter fifty-four A to elect the members thereof by the proportional representational method of election. In no case shall the term of any officer exceed five years.

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