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NO. M-2. AN ACT RELATING TO VILLAGE OF NORTHFIELD CHARTER.

(H.72)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. APPROVAL OF CHARTER AMENDMENT

The charter of the Village of Northfield is amended as provided in this act. Proposals of amendment were approved by the voters on November 5, 1996.

Sec. 2. The Charter of the Village of Northfield is amended to read:

MUNICIPAL CHARTER

of the

VILLAGE OF NORTHFIELD, VERMONT

THE PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE OF NORTHFIELD REAFFIRM FAITH IN GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE, AND DESCRIBE THIS GOVERNMENT IN A CHARTER WITH PROVISION TO REVIEW AND AMEND. THE CHARTER OF THE VILLAGE OF NORTHFIELD REFLECTS CONCERN TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL PEOPLE.

ARTICLE I

GRANT OF POWERS TO VILLAGE

Section 101. Incorporation

The inhabitants of the Village of Northfield, within the corporate limits as now established or as hereafter established in the manner provided by law, shall continue to be a municipal corporation called the Village of Northfield.

Section 102. Powers of the Village

The Village of Northfield shall have all powers granted to villages and municipal corporations by the constitution and laws of the State of Vermont.

Section 103. Wards of Village

*[(b)]* The Board of Trustees is empowered to make such changes from time to time in the number and boundaries of the several wards of the Village as it may deem proper, having regard, so far as practicable and convenient, to an equal division of population among them; provided that, after the first change so made, such changes shall not be made oftener than once in five years.

Section 104. Reservation of Powers to the Village

Nothing in this charter shall be so construed as in any way to limit the powers and functions conferred upon the Village of Northfield and the Trustees of the Village by general or special enactments in force or effect or hereafter enacted by the General Assembly; and the powers and functions conferred by this Charter shall be cumulative and in addition to the provisions of such general or special enactments.

ARTICLE II

VILLAGE MEETINGS

Section 201. Annual Meeting

(a) Annually on the first Tuesday in June, a meeting of the legal voters of the Village of Northfield shall be held at 7:30 o'clock in the evening, or at such other hour as may be designated in the warning for such meeting, at a place appointed by the Board of Trustees. (b) A legal voter of this Village shall be a citizen of this Village who is qualified to vote by law in a municipal meeting.

Section 202. Special Meetings

The Village clerk, when directed by the Board of Trustees or when requested in writing by five percent of the legal voters of the Village of Northfield to do so, shall call a special meeting of the voters of the Village.

Section 203. Warning; Contents

(a) A warning for an annual or special meeting shall, by separate articles specifically indicate the business to be transacted as the Trustees direct. The warning shall also contain any article or articles requested by a petition signed by at least five percent of the voters of the Village and filed with the Board of Trustees not less than forty (40) days before the day of such meeting. The warning shall be published in the newspapers printed in the Village, or, if there are none, shall be posted on four public places in the Village, at least ten days before such meeting. The warning shall be signed by the clerk and shall be recorded in the office of the clerk before it is posted.

(b) The procedure herein provided shall apply to all annual and special meetings unless another procedure is required by a particular statute of this state.

Section 204. Rescission of Vote

(a) A question considered or voted on at an annual or special meeting of the Village shall not be submitted to the voters for reconsideration or rescission except at a subsequent annual or special meeting duly warned for the purpose and called by the Board of Trustees on its own motion or pursuant to a petition requesting such reconsideration or rescission signed and submitted in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) If a petition signed by not less than five percent of the qualified voters of the Village requesting reconsideration or rescission of a question considered or voted on a previous annual or special meeting is submitted to the Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days following the date of that meeting, the Board of Trustees shall provide for a vote by the legally qualified voters in accordance with the petition within sixty (60) days of the submission at an annual or special meeting duly warned for that purpose.

(c) A vote taken at an annual or special meeting shall remain in effect unless rescinded at an annual or special meeting called and warned in accordance with this section.

(d) A question voted on or considered shall not be presented for reconsideration or rescission at more than one subsequent meeting except with the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Section 205. Validation

When any of the requirements as to notice or warning of an annual or special meeting of the Village of Northfield have been omitted or not complied with, such omission or noncompliance, if the meeting and the business therein transacted is otherwise legal and within the scope of the Village's corporate powers, may be corrected and legalized by the vote at a regular meeting or special meeting of the Village of Northfield called and duly warned for that purpose. The question to be voted upon shall substantially be, "Shall the action taken at the meeting of this Village held on (state date) in spite of the fact that (state the error or omission), and any act or action of the municipal officers or agents pursuant thereto be re-adopted, ratified and confirmed." Errors or omissions in the conduct of such original meeting which are not the result of an unlawful notice or warning or non-compliance within the scope of the warning, may be cured by a resolution of theBoard of Trustees by a vote of two-thirds of all its members at a regular meeting or a special meeting called for that purpose, stating that the defect was the result of oversight, inadvertence of mistake. When such error or omission has been thus corrected by such resolution, all business within the terms of the action of the qualified voters shall be as valid as if the requirements had been complied with conditioned, however, that the original action thereby corrected by the Board of Trustees was in compliance with the legal exercise of its corporate powers.

Section 206. Checklist

(a) For purposes of Village meetings, the checklist of the Town of Northfield, whereupon it is noted which voters reside in the Village, shall be used.

(b) At special Village meetings, the checklist used at the preceding annual meeting shall be used with such alterations as the Board of Civil Authority of the Town of Northfield may make.

Section 207. Method of Voting

(a) At Village meetings, the election of officers and other business shall be by viva voce, except when a viva voce vote declared by the moderator is immediately questioned by ten legal voters present who request a ballot, a ballot vote shall be held; and except when a ballot is called for by at least ten (10) legal voters present prior to the vote on a question; and except if the Australian ballot system is called for as provided by law.

(b) If ballot is used, the moderator shall appoint election officials from among the members of the Town Board of Civil Authority residing in the Village, to supervise the election.

(c) There shall be one ballot box for receiving votes, except when election is by wards there shall be as many sets of ballot boxes as there shall be wards in the Village.

(d) The procedure herein provided shall apply to all annual and special meetings unless another procedure is required by a particular statute of this state.

Section 208. Counting of Ballots

At the close of the balloting at a Village meeting, the election officers shall count the ballots cast for all officers and for any proposal voted upon by ballot and report to themeeting the result, which shall be recorded by the Village clerk, and the candidate who has received a plurality of the votes cast for each respective office shall, by the moderator, be declared elected to that office.

Section 209. Officers Elected; Term

(a) At the annual meeting of the Village of Northfield the following officers shall be elected from among the legally qualified voters of the Village:

(1) A Village clerk*[;]* .

(2) A Village treasurer*[;]* .

(3) A tax collector*[;]* .

(b) The Board of Trustees shall consist of five members, elected at large by the legally qualified voters of the Village, and shall hold office for three years and until their successors are duly elected and qualified, after adoption of this charter amendment, each incumbent Trustee shall continue to hold office until the expiration of his or her respective term and his or her successor shall be elected at large except as otherwise provided in Article II, Section 210, of this charter.

(c) All elected officers, except for the members of the Board of Trustees, as herein provided, shall hold office until the next annual meeting and until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

(d) Each elected officer shall have the duties and powers granted to their respective office by this charter, or by law to equivalent officers of towns.

Section 210. Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office

(a) The office of an elected official shall become vacant upon his or her death; resignation; removal from office in any manner authorized by law; forfeiture of his or her office; removal from the Village, except if the Village elects an individual holding a town office to hold the same Village office; or permanent physical or mental disability resulting in decreased ability to perform his or her duties all as determined by the Board of Trustees.

(b) An elected official shall forfeit his or her office if he or she fails at any time during his or her term of office to maintain any qualifications for the office prescribed by thischarter or by law.

(c) If for any reason an elected office becomes vacant, the Board of Trustees may fill the vacancy until the annual Village meeting next thereafter when the Village shall fill the vacancy. No person shall be appointed to fill a vacancy in office who would not be eligible for election to such office.

Section 211. Oaths

The Trustees, clerk, treasurer, tax collector, auditors, and such other officers, elected or appointed, as required by the Board of Trustees shall be sworn before entering upon the duties of their offices. A record thereof shall be made by the Village clerk.

Section 212. Bonds

Before the treasurer, tax collector, and such other officers, elected or appointed, as required by the Board of Trustees, enter upon the duties of their offices, the Board of Trustees shall require each to give a bond conditioned for the faithful performance of his or her duties to the Village. All such bonds shall be in sufficient sums and with sufficient sureties as prescribed and approved by the Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees at any time consider a bond of any such officer to be insufficient, they may require, by written order, such officer to give an additional bond in such sum as they deem necessary. If an officer, so required, neglects for ten days after such request to give such original or additional bond, his or her office shall be vacant. A bond furnished pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be valid if signed by any other officer of this Village as surety thereon, and shall be recorded by the Village clerk in a book kept for that purpose. Bonds required of officers of this Village shall be paid for by the Village of Northfield.

ARTICLE III

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Section 301. Legislative Body

The Board of Trustees shall be and constitute the legislative body of the Village of Northfield, and shall be vested with the government of the Village, including the administration of all fiscal, prudential, and municipal affairs; and except as otherwise provided by law or this charter, shall have all powers and authorities given to, and performall duties required of a legislative body of a municipality, or trustees of a village under the laws of this state.

Section 302. Meetings

(a) The Board of Trustees shall at its first meeting after the annual Village meeting:

(1) Elect one of its members as *[chairman]* chair;

(2) Elect one of its members as vice-chair;

*[(2)]*(3) Establish by resolution a regular place and time to hold its meetings, which shall take place at least once a month;

*[(3)]*(4) Provide a method for calling special meetings.

(b) All action taken by the Board of Trustees shall be by majority vote. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum. A majority of a quorum is sufficient for a valid vote.

(c) All meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be open to the public, unless, by an affirmative vote of the majority of the members present, the board shall vote that for any particular session or portion thereof shall be an executive session in accordance with 1 V.S.A. § 313 except as otherwise provided by law.

Section 303. Rules of Procedure; Journal

The Board of Trustees shall determine its own rules and order of business. *[It]* The clerk shall maintain a journal of *[it]* the Board’s proceedings which shall be kept in the office of the manager within 5 days of the proceeding and shall be open to public inspection.

Section 304. Compensation

(a) The members of the Board of Trustees shall receive as compensation for their services such sum as may be voted to them at the annual Village meeting.

(b) The Board of Trustees shall fix the compensation for the services of the various Village officers *[and employees]*, both elected and appointed.

Section 305. Powers

The Village of Northfield shall have power, by the Board of Trustees, by ordinances, resolution or otherwise:

(1) To acquire by gift or purchase, hold, convey, and lease any real or personal estate, within or without the Village limits.

(2) To erect and keep in repair any buildings necessary or convenient for Village purposes.

(3) To establish, amend, dissolve, and prescribe the duties of a Police Department,

Fire Department, Street Department, Water Department, Sewage Department, Electric Department, and any other department deemed necessary or convenient for the government or administration of the Village; and to appoint, prescribe the duties of, and remove at its pleasure boards and officers as it deems necessary or convenient for the government or administration of the Village. The Trustees may consolidate two or more departments, and may establish, amend, dissolve, and prescribe the duties of a Public Works Department to supervise and control one or more departments.

(4) To provide a penalty for, and the enforcement of penalties for violation or non-performance of any ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation.

(5) To build and maintain streets and sidewalks.

(6) To establish and regulate a market, and to regulate and license the selling or peddling of meat, fish and other provisions for vehicles about the Village.

(7) To regulate, license, tax, or prohibit itinerant vendors, peddlers, street musicians, and transient auctioneers, but not including farmers selling produce raised by them.

(8) To direct, regulate, and inspect the location and management of all slaughter houses, markets, blacksmith shops, sewers and private drains within the limits of the Village.

(9) To regulate, license, inspect, restrain, or prohibit saloons, victualing houses, billiard saloons, bowling alleys, places of amusement, yard sales, drive-in theaters, motels, hotels, and auctioneers.

(10) To regulate gauging, the place and manner of selling and weighing hay; packing, inspecting and branding beef, pork, and produce; and of selling and measuring wood, lime, lumber, and coal; and to appoint suitable persons to superintend and conduct the same.

(11) To license porters, carters, truckmen, livery stable keepers, and owners anddrivers of hackney coaches, automobile cabs or carriages.

(12) To regulate and license the selling, supplying and delivering of milk, cream and milk products within the Village, in addition to the regulations and license imposed by state law.

(13) To regulate, prohibit, or license the suspending or putting up of any sign, billboard, or other outdoor advertising, or awning in or over any street, lane, alley, common, or other public place in the Village, and whenever the public good may require to order and direct that signs, billboards, or other outdoor advertising, and awnings heretofore erected or suspended as aforesaid shall be changed, taken down or removed.

(14) To restrain and prohibit all descriptions of gaming and to destroy or provide for the destruction of all instruments and devices used for such *[purposed]* purpose.

(15) To regulate, license, tax, or prohibit the exhibitions of common showmen, circuses, menageries, and shows of every kind not prohibited by law, and all plays, exhibitions or entertainments for money.

(16) To restrain and punish vagrants, and common prostitutes and to make regulations respecting paupers.

(17) To define and determine what shall constitute a nuisance within the Village as a public health and interest may require, and to provide for prohibiting, abating, and removing same.

(18) To compel the owners or occupant of any unwholesome, noisome, or offensive house or place to remove or cleanse the same from time to time, as may be necessary; for health or comfort of the inhabitants of the Village.

(19) To compel the cleaning and repair of any premises, when in such condition as to seriously impair the general appearance of the Village and to be seriously injurious to other property in the vicinity, and to control the removal of rubbish, waste and objectionable material therefrom.

(20) To regulate the inspection, material, size, height, construction, alteration, repair, removal, and use of buildings throughout the whole or any defined part of the Village.

(21) To compel all persons to remove from the sidewalks and gutters in front of the premises owned or occupied by them all snow, ice, dirt, and garbage, and to keep such sidewalks and gutters clean; and to compel the owners or occupants of any land or premises in the Village to cut and remove from the street or sidewalk in front of such land or premises all grass, brush, and weeds growing or being thereon.

(22) To regulate and license the storing of old iron, rags, junk, and waste material and to prohibit the storing thereof in such sections of the Village as *[to]* the Board of Trustees shall deem reasonable.

(23) To regulate and prohibit the moving of buildings in the streets or public ways in the Village.

(24) To regulate, license, or prohibit of the storage, accumulation, removal, and disposal of garbage, ashes, rubbish, and waste materials, and to collect and remove such materials by the Village *[other]* or by contract or by municipal employees, and to establish rates to be paid for such services.

(25) To prevent riots, noises, disturbances, and disorderly assemblies.

(26) To regulate or prohibit the holding of public meetings in the streets or highways of the Village.

(27) To regulate the manufacture and keeping of gunpowder, ashes, lime, matches, fireworks, and other dangerous and combustible or explosive material.

(28) To regulate or restrain the use of rockets, squibs, firecrackers, or other fireworks in the streets or commons, and to prevent the practicing therein of any amusement having a tendency *[or]* to injure or annoy persons passing therein, or to endanger the security of property.

(29) To regulate or prohibit the possession and use of dangerous objects and substances, and of firearms, air rifles, and other devices having a capacity to inflict personal injury.

(30) To regulate the making of alterations and repairs of stove pipes, furnaces, fireplaces, and other things from which damage by fire may be apprehended; to regulate the use of buildings in crowded localities for hazardous purposes; and to provide forpreservation of buildings from fire by precautionary measures and inspection.

(31) To regulate and determine the time and place of bathing in any of the public waters within the Village and to prevent the same.

(32) To control and regulate the parking, operation and speed of vehicles, and pedestrian and vehicular traffic, on the public highways of the Village.

(33) To remove and impound as a public nuisance at the expense of the owner any vehicle found parked on a public highway in violation of any Village ordinance, and to prescribe the terms and conditions under which the owner may redeem such vehicle from the pound.

(34) To regulate and prevent encumbering the streets, sidewalks, and public alleys with firewood, lumber, boxes or other articles.

(35) To provide for the care, preservation and improvement of public grounds.

(36) To provide for the lighting of streets and public buildings of the Village.

(37) To provide for the planting, trimming, and removing of shade, ornamental, and fruit trees, shrubs, or bushes standing on public or private land.

(38) To prevent and punish trespasses or injuries to or upon public buildings, squares, commons, cemeteries, fountains, statues, or other public property.

(39) To manage and control parks, commons, and other public places in the Village and to regulate the use of the same by the public.

(40) To establish, maintain, and conduct a system of public recreation, including playgrounds.

(41) To impose and collect a fee for the issuance of any license.

(42) To prevent cruelty to animals; restrain and regulate the running at large of animals; and impose a tax or license for the keeping of dogs upon the owner *[of]* or keeper thereof.

(43) To regulate the burial of the dead.

(44) To regulate the time and manner in which examination of public documents and records shall be made.

(45) To prevent the corruption of and protect the water supply of the Village, andprotect from injury any dam, reservoir, aqueduct, pipe, hydrant, or source of water supply connected with any water system now owned or hereafter acquired by the Village.

(46) To provide a supply of water for the protection of the Village against fire and for other purposes, including distribution and sale of water for public and private purposes to persons and corporations both within and without the Village, and to regulate the use of the same; and to establish and maintain reservoirs, dams, aqueducts, water pipes, hydrants, water purification facilities, water towers or any other apparatus and equipment necessary or useful for such purposes, upon, in, and through the lands of individuals and corporations, both within and without the Village, on making compensation therefore; and to acquire such land and other property adjoining any source of supply, reservoir or other water system facility as may be necessary to control or to prevent contamination or injury to such water supply on making compensation therefor.

(47) To establish, maintain and repair such common sewers, drains, sewage disposal systems, and sewage disposal plants both within and without the Village as the public health *[or convenience of individuals]* shall require, and to take land or other property necessary or useful to accomplish such purposes on making compensation for the same.

(48) To fix, demand, impose, and enforce such terms, conditions and regulations for the use or occupation of any street or highway in the Village by any street railroad, traction, telegraph, telephone, electric, gas, electric lighting, electric power, water, or other company, or by any persons enjoying the privileges or exercising the functions of any such company aforesaid, as shall be just and reasonable, and to prohibit the use of such street or highway by any such company or person until such terms have been complied with.

(49) To regulate the placing of poles, wires, and electric conduits in, over, or under the streets of the Village.

(50) To establish a building code, to appoint and prescribe the duties and powers of building inspectors, and to provide penalties for refusal or neglect to comply with the orders of said inspectors, made by virtue of any resolution or ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees.

(51) To establish an electrical code, as a standard for all electrical wiring, to provide for supervision of the installation and maintenance of all inside and outside wiring in certain sections of the Village or throughout the entire Village, to appoint and prescribe the duties and powers of a wire inspector, and to provide penalties for any refusal or neglect to comply with the orders of said wire inspector, made by virtue of any resolution or ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees.

(52) To establish a plumbing code for all plumbing and drainage of buildings, to provide for supervision of the installation and maintenance of all plumbing and drainage of buildings in certain sections of the Village or throughout the entire Village, to license plumbers, to appoint a plumbing inspector and prescribe penalties for any refusal or neglect to comply with said code or with the orders of said plumbing inspector made by virtue of any resolution or ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees.

(53) To appoint a tree warden, and prescribe his or her duties and powers.

(54) To provide for forestation of lands of the Village connected with the water supply and water system of the Village, and to establish and manage Village forests.

(55) To establish schedule of reasonable fees for inspectors made under authority of this charter and ordinances of the Village, and to demand and receive the same.

(56) To provide for and regulate the civilian defense of the Village in event of emergency.

(57) To appoint a planning commission and to specify its duties, functions, objectives, composition, organization and duration.

(58) To authorize by resolution that the Village may become a party plaintiff under all ejectment statutes of this state for the purpose of implementing enforcement of its housing, building, health, and fire prevention codes.

(59) To provide and establish by resolution, procedures of accounting and separation of Village moneys by the treasurer.

(60) To perform all powers granted to Villages and municipalities by the constitution and laws of this state.

Section *[307]* 306. Prohibition

(a) No Trustee shall hold any other Village office or Village employment during the term for which he or she was elected to the Board of Trustees, except as provided by this charter.

(b) Neither the Board of Trustees nor any of its members shall, in any manner, dictate the appointment or removal of any administrative officers or employees whom the manager or any of his or her subordinates are empowered to appoint. The Board of Trustees, however, may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the manager anything pertaining to the appointment and removal of such officers and employees.

(c) Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Board of Trustees and its members shall deal with the administrative officers solely through the manager. Neither the Board of Trustees nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the manager, either publicly or privately.

ARTICLE IV

VILLAGE MANAGER

Section 401. Appointments; Qualifications; Compensation

The Board of Trustees shall appoint a Village manager for an indefinite term and fix his or her compensation. The manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of his or her character and executive and administrative qualifications, with special reference to his or her education, training and experience to perform the duties of such office and without reference to his or her political belief. *[He need not be a resident of the Village or the State of Vermont at the time of his appointment but he may reside outside the village while in office only with the approval of the Board of Trustees.]* No Trustee shall receive such appointment during the term for which he or she shall have been elected, nor within one year after the expiration of his or her term, except that during a vacancy the Board of Trustees may designate one of their number to act as manager for not longer than necessary for the Board to find a new manager and place him or her in office.

Section 402. Oath; Bond

Before entering upon his or her duties, the Village manager shall be sworn to the faithfulperformance of his or her duties as provided by this charter and shall give a bond to the Village in such amount and with such sureties as the Board of Trustees may require.

Section 403. Powers and Duties of the Village Manager

The manager shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the Village. He or she shall be responsible to the Board of Trustees for the administration of all Village affairs placed in his or her charge by or under this charter. *[He]* The manager shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) With the consent of the Board of Trustees, *[he shall]* appoint, prescribe the duties of, and, when necessary, remove the superintendent of Public Works.

(b) *[He shall]* To appoint, prescribe the duties of, and, when necessary, remove other department heads and employees of the Village except as otherwise provided herein, and except as he or she may authorize the head of a department to appoint and remove subordinates in such department.

(c) *[He shall]* To direct and supervise the administration of all departments, officers and agencies of the Village, except as otherwise provided by this charter or by law.

(d) *[He shall]* To attend Board of Trustees' meetings, except when his or her removal is being considered, and *[he]* the manager shall have the right to take part in discussions but may not vote.

(e) *[He shall]* To prepare annually a proposed budget, submit it to the Board of Trustees, and be responsible for its administration after enactment.

(f) *[Each year he shall]* To prepare an annual report for public distribution, which report shall include detailed statements on the finances and administrative activities of all departments of the Village for the preceding year.

(g) *[He shall]* To maintain accounts in such a manner as to show fully at all times the financial condition of the Village.

(h) *[He shall]* To keep the Board of Trustees advised as to future needs, financial or otherwise, and make such recommendations as he or she may deem desirable.

(i) *[He shall]* To see that all ordinances are enforced.

(j) *[He shall]* To convey real estate owned by the Village when directed to do so byresolution of the Board of Trustees.

(k) *[He shall]* To perform the duties of the Village clerk whenever the clerk fails, for whatever reason, to perform a duty required by him or her by this charter or the laws of the State of Vermont.

(l) *[He shall]* To perform, subject to approval of the Board of Trustees, the duties of any office under his or her jurisdiction.

(m) *[He shall]* To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter or required by him or her by the Board of Trustees, not inconsistent with this charter or the law.

(n) *[He shall have]* The powers and duties given to managers by the Laws of the State of Vermont and not inconsistent with this charter.

Section 404. Absence of Village Manager; Acting Village Manager

To perform his or her duties during his or her temporary absence or disability, the manager may, with the consent of the Board of Trustees, designate by letter filed with the Village clerk a qualified individual. In the event of the failure of the manager to make such a designation, the Board of Trustees may by resolution appoint any qualified individual, including one of its members, to perform the duties of the manager until he or she shall return or his or her disability shall cease.

Section 405. Removal of Village Manager

The Board of Trustees may remove the manager from office for cause in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) The Board of Trustees shall adopt by affirmative vote of a majority of all its members a preliminary resolution which must state the reasons for removal and may suspend the manager from duty for a period not to exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered promptly to the manager.

(b) Within 5 days after a copy of the resolution is delivered to the manager, he or she may file with the Board of Trustees a written request for a public hearing. This hearing shall be held at a Board of Trustees hearing not earlier than 20 days or later than 30 days after the request is filed. The manager may file with the Board of Trustees a written replynot later than 5 days before the hearing.

(c) The Board of Trustees may adopt a final resolution of removal by affirmative vote of a majority of all its members at any time after 5 days from the date that a copy of the preliminary resolution was delivered to the manager, if he or she has not requested a public hearing, or at any time after the public hearing if he or she had requested one.

(d) When adopted, a final resolution of removal may be made immediately effective.

(e) The manager shall continue to receive his or her salary until the effective date of a final resolution of removal and if removed he or she shall additionally receive his or her salary for the next two calendar months after the effective date of the final resolution of removal.

ARTICLE V

ORDINANCES

Section 501. Authority to Adopt

The Board of Trustees may adopt, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances, by-laws, rules and regulations for any purpose authorized by this charter or by law.

Section 502. Procedure

(a) An ordinance, by-law, rules or regulation shall be adopted by the Board of Trustees subject to the petition set forth in Section 503 of this Article.

(b) After adoption of an ordinance, by-law, rule, or regulation, the Board of Trustees shall cause it to be entered in the minutes of the Village and posted in at least five conspicuous places within the municipality, and shall also cause it to be published in a newspaper circulating in the Village on a day not more than fourteen days following the date when the proposed provision is so adopted.

(c) Unless a petition is filed in accordance with section 503 of this article, the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation shall become effective *[sixty days after the date of]* upon its adoption, or at such time following *[the expiration of sixty days from]* the date of its adoption as is determined by the Board of Trustees. If a petition is filed in accordance with Section 503 of this article, the taking effect of the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation, shall be governed by section 503(e) of this article.

(d) All ordinances, *[by-law]* by-laws, rules, and regulations adopted shall be recorded in the records of this Village.

(e) The procedure herein provided shall apply to the adoption of any ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation unless another procedure is required by a particular statute of this state.

Section 503. Permissive Referendum

(a) An ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation adopted by the Board of Trustees may be disapproved by a vote of a majority of the qualified voters of this Village voting on the question at an annual or special meeting duly warned for the purpose, pursuant to a petition signed and submitted in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) A petition for a vote on the question of disapproving an ordinance or rule shall be signed by not less than five per cent of the qualified voters of this Village, and presented to the Board of Trustees or the Village clerk within forty-four days following the date of adoption of the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation by the Board of Trustees.

(c) When a petition is submitted in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the Board of Trustees shall call a special meeting within sixty days from the date of receipt of the petition, or include an article in the warning for the next annual meeting if the Village annual meeting falls within the sixty day period, to determine whether the voters will disapprove the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation.

(d) Not less than two copies of the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation shall be posted at each polling place during the hours of voting, and copies thereof made available to voters at the polls *[on 23]* upon request. It shall be sufficient to refer to the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation in the warning by title.

(e) If a petition for an annual or special meeting is duly submitted in accordance with this section, to determine whether an ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation shall be disapproved, then the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation shall be suspended from effect but shall again take effect on the conclusion of the meeting or at such later date as is specified in the ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation, unless a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question at the meeting vote to disapprove the ordinance, by-law,rule, or regulation in which event it shall not take effect.

Section 504. Emergency Ordinances

(a) To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Board of Trustees may enact one or more emergency ordinance, but such ordinances may not levy taxes, grant, renew or extend a franchise, or authorize the borrowing of money.

(b) An emergency ordinance shall be plainly designated an emergency ordinance and after the enacting clause, it shall contain a declaration stating the existence of an emergency, which shall be described in clear and specific terms.

(c) After its enactment, the ordinance shall be published and printed in a newspaper having a general circulation in the community or posted in a public place. It shall become effective upon enactment but it shall automatically stand repealed as of the *[50th]* 60th day following the date on which it was enacted.

(d) An emergency ordinance may be repealed by the enactment of a repealing ordinance in the same manner specified in this section for the enactment of emergency ordinances. An emergency ordinance may become a regular ordinance by its reenactment according to Sections 502 and 503 of this article.

Section 505. Enforcement

(a) The violation of an ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation may provide for a fine or imprisonment, but no fine may exceed $500.00 nor may any term of imprisonment exceed one year. Each week the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) The Board of Trustees may apply to the Washington County Court *[of Chancier]* to enjoin the violation of an ordinance, by-law, rule, or regulation, but the election of the board to proceed under this subsection shall not prevent prosecutions under subsection (a) of this section.

Section 506. Evidence of Adoption

A certificate of the Village clerk showing the publication, posting, recording, and adoption of an ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation, or any of the foregoing; shall be presumptive evidence of the facts so stated in any action or proceeding in court or before any board, commission or other tribunal.

Section 507. Amendments and Repeals

An ordinance, by-law, rule, or regulation adopted in accordance with the procedures provided for in this article may be amended or repealed in accordance with the procedure herein set forth relating to adoption of ordinances, by-laws, rules and regulations and the provisions of this article, including the right of petition and referendum contained in section 503 of this title, shall apply to the amendment or repeal of an ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation adopted under this article as well as to its enactment.

ARTICLE VI

FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Section 601. Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall end on June 30 and shall constitute the budget and accounting year for the Village of Northfield, unless the Village votes at an annual or special meeting duly warned for that purpose to have a different fiscal year.

Section 602. The Budget

(a) Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, the manager shall submit to the Board of Trustees a budget message. This budget shall be compiled from detailed information furnished by the administrative offices of the Village. The budget shall contain:

(1) An exact statement of the financial condition of the Village.

(2) An itemized statement of appropriations recommended for current expenses and for permanent improvements, together with comparative statements in parallel columns of expenditures for the current and the preceding fiscal year. An increase or decrease in any item shall be indicated.

(3) An itemized statement of estimated revenue from all sources other than taxation; and a statement of taxes required, with comparative figures given for the current and the preceding year.

(4) Such other information as may be required by the Board of Trustees.

(b) The proposed budget shall be available to the general public at the manager's office after its submission to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall prepare the final budget and recommend it to the annual Village meeting. The final budget shall beavailable to the general public ten (10) days prior to the annual Village Meeting.

Section 603. Budget Summary

At the head of the budget there shall appear a summary of the budget, which need not be itemized further than by principal sources of anticipated revenue, stating separately the amount to be raised by taxation, and shall be itemized also by departments and kind of expenditures, in such a manner as to present to taxpayers a simple and clear summary of the detailed estimates of the budget.

Section 604. Expenditures and Departmental Revenues

The budget for all departments shall include all proposed expenditures. The Village meeting shall make one gross appropriation for each department. The gross appropriation for each department shall not be exceeded except by consent of the Board of Trustees.

Section 605. Amount to be Raised by Taxation

From the effective date of the budget, the amounts voted therein as the amount to be raised by taxation shall constitute a determination of the amount of the levy for the purpose of the Village in the corresponding tax year. A copy of the budget as finally adopted shall be certified by the manager and filed by *[him]* the manager with the Board of Trustees, whose duty it shall be to compute the taxes for the corresponding tax year.

Section 606. Grand List; Taxes; Collection

The grand list of the town of Northfield composed of the polls and taxable property or estate within the limits of the Village shall constitute the grand list of the Village. The Village may, at an annual or special meeting, duly warned for that purpose, vote to lay and assess a tax on its grand list for Village purposes, and all taxes so voted, laid or assessed, including all highway taxes, shall be paid and collected in the same manner as is provided by law for the payment and collection of town taxes, and the Trustees, treasurer, and collector of the Village shall perform the same duties and have the same authority in respect thereto as is provided by law for selectmen, treasurer, and collector of taxes in towns.

Section 607. Bonds and Notes

The Village may issue its negotiable bonds and notes in such sums and payable at suchtimes and places as is provided by law.

Section 608. Village Moneys; Orders

(a) All money belonging to the Village shall be paid to the treasurer, be safely kept by *[him]* the treasurer, and paid out only upon orders issued by the Board of Trustees.

(b) All money raised by bonds or notes shall be appropriated and paid out in the manner prescribed by law.

Section 609. Penalty

An additional charge of eight (8) percent of the unpaid tax shall be imposed as a penalty on any tax not paid on or before the date it is due, and interest in the amount of one and a half percent (1-1/2%) of the amount of the unpaid tax per month for each month or fraction thereof after the date on which the tax payment was due.

ARTICLE VII

SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS

Section 701. Purpose of Assessments

Special assessments may be made for the purchase, construction, repair, reconstruction, or extension of a water system, sewage system, electric system, streets, or any public improvement which is of benefit to a limited area of this Village to be served by the improvement.

Section 702. Method of Apportionment

A special assessment may be apportioned among the properties to be benefitted thereby according to the listed value of such properties in the grand list, the frontage thereof, the added value accruing to each property by reason of the public improvement for which such assessment is made, or by any method other than the foregoing which results in a fair apportionment of the cost of the improvement in accordance with the benefits received.

Section 703. Approval of Votes

A special assessment shall be levied only by vote of a majority of the qualified voters of the municipality voting at an annual or special meeting duly warned for that purpose. However, the question need not be submitted to the voters if all of the owners of record of property to be assessed, or of any interest therein, other than mortgages or lien holders,consent in writing to the assessment. Either the vote or the consent shall include approval of the method of apportionment of the assessment.

Section 704. Collection of Assessments; Liens

Special assessments shall constitute a lien on the property against which the assessment is made in the same manner and to the same extent as taxes assessed on the grand list of a municipality, and all procedures and remedies for the collection of taxes shall apply to special assessments.

Section 705. Alternate Financing

Nothing contained in this Article shall prohibit the financing of any of the improvements referred to herein by a tax on the grand list of this Village, or by other means.

ARTICLE VIII

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 801. Federal and State Aid

The Village, through the Board of Trustees, may enter into any agreement with the United States of America or the State of Vermont, or both, or with any subdivision, department, agency, or activity of the United States of America or the State of Vermont, or both, to accept grants, loans and assistance from the United States of America or the State of Vermont, or both, or from any subdivision, department, agency or activity of the United States of America or the State of Vermont, or both, to make public improvements within the Village, or upon property or rights of the Village outside its corporate limits, whether owned by the Village as sole owner or owned by the Village in common with another municipality, or other municipalities, and may make appropriations to accomplish such purpose.

Section 802. Existing Ordinances

All Village ordinances, by-laws, resolutions, orders, rules and regulations which are in force when this charter becomes fully effective are repealed to the extent that they are inconsistent or interfere with the effective operation of this charter or of ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant thereto, otherwise they shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 803. Amendment

This charter may be amended in a manner prescribed by law for the amendment of municipal charters.

Section 804. Severable

If any provisions of this charter *[is]* are for any reason held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining *[provision]* provisions which can be given effect without the invalid provisions. To this end, the provisions of this charter are declared to be severable.

Section 805. Resident not Disqualified

A person shall not by reason of being a resident or taxpayer in the Village, be disqualified to act as judge, juror, sheriff, constable, or justice of the peace in any cause or proceeding in which the Village is interested or is a party.

Section 806. Existing Contract Validated

All rights, actions, proceedings, prosecutions and contracts of the Village of Northfield or any of its departments, pending when this charter goes into effect and not inconsistent herewith, shall be enforced, continued or completed in all respects as though begun and executed hereunder.

*[Section 807. Expiration of Terms of Present Officials]*

*[The terms of present members of the Board of Trustees, the present clerk, the present auditors, the present treasurer, the present collector shall expire, at the first annual meeting after the effective date of this charter.]*

Section *[808]* 807. Continuance of Appointed Officers

All persons holding appointed office at the time this charter takes effect shall continue in office until other provision is made in accordance with this charter for the performance of such duties.

Approved: April 8, 1997