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NO. R-220. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF CIVIL SUITS THAT HAVE RECENTLY BEEN FILED AGAINST MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS.

(J.R.S. 96)

Offered by: Committee on Government Operations.

Whereas, the daily operations of municipal government require that local citizens be willing to serve as both elected and appointed officials, and

Whereas, elected and appointed municipal officials usually serve their communities with minimal, if any, monetary remuneration, and

Whereas, these dedicated public servants generously donate their time and effort in order to enhance the quality of life for all the citizens of their respective municipalities, and

Whereas, there has been a significant increase in suits against municipal officials in their personal capacities even though the disputes arose from the officials' performance of their legally authorized duties, and

Whereas, this trend has a chilling effect on the willingness of many highly qualified persons to serve their communities, and

Whereas, a recent suit filed against a large number of municipal officials in the city of Montpelier, and another in the city of Burlington, are the latest examples of this escalating problem, and

Whereas, disagreements over the conduct of town and city officials may be addressed through municipal forums and the elections system, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is concerned about the increasing number of law suits that Vermonters are filing against their hard working municipal officials, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for distribution to its member municipalities.