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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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

The by-laws of Dartmouth Fire District #2 are hereby amended by adding the following article:-

Article VIII
Recall Elections

Section 1. A holder of an elective office in Dartmouth Fire District #2 may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of the district who reside in the territory comprising said district as hereinafter provided.

Section 2. Any thirty registered voters of Dartmouth Fire District #2 may initiate a recall petition by filing with the district clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for such recall. Said district clerk shall thereupon deliver to the voters who filed such affidavit a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which said clerk shall keep on hand. The blanks shall be issued by said district clerk with his signature and official seal attached thereto, they shall be dated and addressed to the prudential committee of said district and shall contain the names of all persons to whom issued, the number of blanks so issued, the name of the person sought to be recalled, the grounds for such recall as stated in the affidavit, and they shall demand the election of a successor to such office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the district clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with said clerk within twenty days after filing of the affidavit and shall have been signed by at least one hundred and fifty registered voters of said district. To every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number. The district clerk shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt thereof, submit the signed petition to the registrars of voters for the town of Dartmouth, and the registrars shall, within five business days certify thereon the number of signatures which are the names of registered voters in said district.

Section 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by the district clerk to be sufficient, said district clerk shall submit the same with his certificate to the prudential committee within ten business days and said prudential committee shall, within ten business days, give written notice of the receipt of said certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if such officer does not resign within five days thereafter, thereupon order an election to be held on a date fixed by said committee, not less than sixty-five days nor more than ninety days after the date of the certificate of the district clerk that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other district election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of such certificate, said prudential committee may, in its discretion, postpone the holding of such 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 date of such certificate. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been so ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.

Section 4. An officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed himself and, unless such officer requests otherwise in writing, the district clerk shall place his name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same shall be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided herein.

Section 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If not recalled, such incumbent shall continue in the office for the remainder of his unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in this act. If such officer is not re-elected in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor who shall hold office during the remainder of the unexpired term. If the 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 the voter, by making a cross (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 voters required by section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws, and the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided. If a majority 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; provided, however, that at least one hundred of those entitled to vote in the election shall have voted. If a majority of votes on the question is in the negative, the ballot for the candidates need not be counted.

Section 7. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within six months after he takes office nor, in the case of an officer subject to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least six months after the election at which his recall was submitted to the voters. 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 a district office within two years after such removal or resignation.

Approved September 18, 1998.