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. Section 3 of chapter 523 of the acts of 1979 is hereby amended by striking out, in line 8, the words "twenty five nor more than thirty five" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- 35 nor more than 45.
SECTION 2. Section 5 of said chapter 523 is hereby amended by adding the following 2 paragraphs:-
If a removal election results in the membership of a multiple number board, commission or authority being reduced below the number of duly qualified and serving members necessary to constitute a quorum, the vacancy, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, and pending the election of a successor, shall be filled according to the following line of succession: in the order of the longest continuously serving elected town official from among town moderator, town clerk, town treasurer, town collector, assessors, board of health, board of water commissioners and board of sewer commissioners, willing to serve in the vacant position. The town moderator or elected official shall be sworn to the office being filled and shall serve until his successor is elected and duly qualified and sworn, and he shall receive no additional compensation for his service in filling the vacancy.
If a vacancy is temporarily filled as provided in the preceding paragraph, the reconstituted board, commission or authority may act only upon routine ministerial matters as well as licensing and permitting matters within its jurisdiction, and if the board with the multiple vacancies is the board of selectmen, then the board of selectmen may also take actions involving responses to imminent threats or emergency, the appointment of special town counsel in matters where the town counsel must recuse himself, the response to and settlement of laws against the town and the execution of instruments of bonded indebtedness, and agreements for grants-in-aid as previously authorized by a town meeting.