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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE FORM OF REPRESENTATIVE TOWN GOVERNMENT IN THE TOWN OF NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
      Chapter 57 of the acts of 1976 is hereby amended by striking out section 11, as appearing in chapter 88 of the acts of 1999, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
      Section 11.  (a) For purposes of this section, the term “board” shall mean a board, commission, committee, council, authority or a group of individuals appointed or elected as enumerated in the by-laws of the town of North Attleborough.
      (b)  A vote passed at representative town meeting to enact any of the following measures shall not be operative until the expiration of 10 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from the dissolution of the meeting:
            (i)  authorizing the expenditure of $75,000 or more as a special article appropriation, including a line-item appropriation within an omnibus capital improvements article, but excluding the annual operating budget article passed at the annual town meeting;
            (ii)  establishing a new board or office, abolishing an old board or office or merging 2 or more boards or offices;
            (iii)  fixing the terms of office of town officers, where the term is optional;
            (iv)  increasing or reducing the number of members of a board; or
            (v)  adopting a new by-law or amending an existing by-law.
      (c)  If, within 10 days, a petition signed by not less than 30 registered voters from each precinct, totaling not less than 5 per cent of the registered voters of the town, containing their names and addresses, is filed with the board of selectmen asking that the question involved in a vote described in subsection (b) be submitted to the registered voters of the town at large, then the board of selectmen, upon certification of the petition signatures, shall forthwith call a special election, for the sole purpose of presenting to the registered voters at large that question or questions. If a petition is not filed within 10 days, the vote of the representative town meeting shall become operative and effective.
      (d)  The polls for a special election pursuant to this section shall be opened at 8:00 a.m. and shall be closed not earlier than 8:00 p.m. All votes upon any question so submitted shall be taken by ballot and the check-list shall be used in the same manner as in the election of town officers. Absentee ballots shall be used at the election in accordance with chapter 54 of the General Laws.
      Each question so submitted shall be determined by a majority vote of the registered voters of the town voting thereon; provided, however, that no vote of the representative town meeting shall be reversed unless at least 15 per cent of the registered voters of the town voted in the special election.
      Each question so submitted shall be placed upon the official ballot in the form of the following question:
      “Shall the town vote to approve the action of the representative town meeting whereby it was voted [insert brief description of the substance of the vote and a tabulation of the vote if such vote was tabulated]?”

Approved, June 3, 2016.