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NO. M-2. AN ACT RELATING TO THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF BERLIN.

(H.100)

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

Sec. 1. CHARTER AMENDMENT

The Charter of the Town of Berlin is amended as it appears in this act. The amendments were approved by the voters on November 7, 2000.

Sec. 2. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 105 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 105. TOWN OF BERLIN

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21. SCOPE

In pertinent part, this charter provides the following subchapters:

3. General provisions;

4. A list of town officers;

5. The appointment of *[an administrative assistant]* a town administrator;

6. Conflict of interest;

7. Vacancies in elected and appointed offices;

8. Special procedures;

9. Removal of elected or appointed town officers;

10. The adoption of an administrative code;

11. The separability of any charter section or its parts;

12. Procedure for the amendment of this charter; and

13. Effective date of this charter.

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31. GENERAL LAW; APPLICATION

Except when changed by the provisions of this charter, *[or by any legal regulation or ordinance of the town of Berlin]* all provisions of the statutes of the state of Vermont relating to municipalities shall apply to the town of Berlin.

32. POWERS OF THE TOWN

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(b) The town may acquire real property within or without its corporate limits necessary or convenient for any lawful purpose, in fee simple or any lesser interest or estate, by purchase, gift, devise, lease or otherwise, consistent with the constitution and laws of the state of Vermont, and may sell, lease, mortgage, hold, manage and control such property as its interest may require consistent with the constitution and laws of the state by vote of a majority of the voters present and voting at a duly warned meeting. Once the voters have approved the sale, lease or mortgage of property of the town of Berlin, the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard shall have the full authority to sign all conveyances and legal documents in the name of the town to complete the transaction.

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33. RESERVATION OF POWERS TO THE TOWN

Nothing in this charter shall be construed to in any way limit the powers and functions conferred on the town of Berlin, the *[selectmen]* selectboard of said town or its elected and appointed officials by general or special enactments of state statutes or regulations in force or effect or hereafter enacted, and the powers and functions conferred by this charter shall be cumulative and in addition to the provisions of such general or special enactments unless this charter otherwise provides.

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42. ELECTED OFFICERS

The following officers of the town and such other town officers as are provided by law and previous vote of the electorate as to number, length of term and manner of election at an annual meeting shall be elected by Australian ballot, unless otherwise stated, and shall include the following:

(a) A moderator to be elected by paper ballot from the floor;

(b) A town clerk;

(c) A town treasurer/collector of current and delinquent taxes;

(d) *[selectmen]* selectboard members;

(e) listers;

(f) auditors;

(g) A first constable, and if needed a second constable;

(h) *[A collector of delinquent taxes;

(i)]* One or more grand jurors;

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(j)]*(i) A town agent; and

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(k)]*(j) Such other town officers as the town shall order as provided by law.

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44. APPOINTED OFFICERS

The *[board of selectmen]* selectboard may appoint, recommend or approve the appointment of any town officers, for a term of one year from the date of such appointment, unless otherwise specified below, following such notice and warning as required by this charter, to include the following:

(a) Poundkeeper;

(b) Town service officer;

(c) Tree warden;

(d) Civil defense *[chairman]* chair;

(e) Fire warden, for a term of five years;

(f) Health officer;

(g) Zoning administrator*[, for a term of three years]*;

(h) Members of the *[municipal]* town planning commission, for terms of four years;

(i) Members and alternates of the *[board of adjustment]* development review board, for terms of four years;

(j) Cemetery commissioners, for terms of three years;

(k) Members of the board of recreation, for terms of three years; *[and

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(l) Road superintendent;

(m) Members of the sewer board, for terms of three years;

(n) Members of the conservation commission, for terms of three years;

(o) Police chief; and

(p) Such other town officer(s) or municipal appointments that may be necessary as provided by law or otherwise authorized by this charter for the orderly and expeditious operations of town government.

44a. ALTERNATE TOWN OFFICERS

The selectboard is authorized to appoint people to serve as alternate town officers in anticipation of disqualifications or unavailability, as needed.

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46. ZONING ADMINISTRATOR

The zoning administrator shall be appointed by the *[selectmen, on the advice of the municipal]* selectboard, following consultation with the town planning commission. The zoning administrator shall not be a member of the planning commission or the *[board of adjustment]* development review board.

47. TOWN ATTORNEY

The *[board of selectmen]* selectboard shall have the authority to appoint a town attorney and to prosecute and defend all suits in which the town is interested. The town attorney shall serve at the pleasure of the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard.

48. TERMS OF OFFICE

Each officer so appointed shall serve from the date he or she is appointed and qualified until the end of the term. Each officer shall hold over until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. Each officer may succeed himself or herself, if the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard so *[approve]* approves, after fulfilling the notice provisions of subchapter 7 of this charter.

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51. *[ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT]* TOWN ADMINISTRATOR

(a) There *[shall]* may be *[an administrative assistant]* a town administrator appointed by a majority of the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard who shall serve as the chief administrative officer of the town. The position of *[administrative assistant]* town administrator may be a full or part-time position as determined by the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard. The *[administrative assistant]* town administrator shall serve as described in his/her employment contract at the discretion of a majority of the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard. *[The administrative assistant shall have no authority other than as given to him/her by the board of selectmen.

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(b) The duties of the *[administrative assistant]* town administrator shall be determined by the selectboard and may include but are not limited to the following:

(1) To carry out the decisions of the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard;

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(2) To receive and investigate the complaints of citizens and recommend dispositions to the board;

(3) To attend all meetings of the board of selectmen except when excused;

(4) To assist the planning commission as directed by the board of selectmen;

(5) To act as liaison between the board of selectmen and other town officers, boards, commissions and committees;

(6) To prepare the agenda for selectboard meetings if requested;

(7) To assist the board of selectmen during their meetings; and

(8) To perform such other duties as required or requested by the board of selectmen.

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(2) To cause duties required of the town not committed to the care of any particular officer to be duly performed and executed;

(3) To perform all duties now conferred by law upon the selectboard, except that the town administrator shall not make appointments, call special or annual meetings, act in any quasi-judicial capacity, make assessments, set fees, or grant waivers or exemptions;

(4) To sign orders on the general fund of the town for regular and necessary expenditures as established by the selectboard;

(5) To be general purchasing agent of the town, according to the requisition of the various departments and offices; and to present budgets for the various departments and officers of the town;

(6) To have charge and supervision of all town buildings and lands, equipment, tools, and other property, to keep the same in good repair, and to propose replacements or additions as needed to the selectboard for its approval;

(7) To supervise and expend all special appropriations of the town not committed to any other officer, as if the same were a separate department of the town;

(8) To have oversight of the highway, police, and sewer departments, and all other administrative functions, except those exercised by other elected town officers;

(9) To act as liaison between the selectboard and other town officers, boards, commissions, and committees; and

(10) To perform such other duties as required or requested by the selectboard or the sewer board.

52. ROLE OF SELECTBOARD

The selectboard shall have the authority, by majority vote, to overrule any action or decision of the town administrator, after a full and open opportunity to discuss the subject. The selectboard shall vote and approve all extraordinary expenditures.

53. RELATIONSHIP WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS

The town administrator shall not interfere with the authority or independence of any elected town officer.

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64. ANNOUNCING A CONFLICT

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A]* If a town officer *[who]* recognizes that *[he/she]* he or she might have a conflict of interest, or if another person raises an objection to the participation of any town officer, he or she shall state the nature of the conflict as soon as may be possible and the town officer shall thereupon disqualify *[himself/herself]* himself or herself from further participation if there is a conflict of interest.

65. DETERMINATION OF CONFLICT BY OTHER THAN THE TOWN

OFFICER

If a question of a member's disqualification under section 62 *[hereof]* of this chapter is brought to the attention of any board, commission or committee by any party or person or by another board, commission or committee member, and the member does not disqualify *[himself/herself]* him or herself, the board, commission or committee shall consider the factual basis for the question and shall decide the matter by majority vote, the challenged member abstaining before any other business is conducted. A formal vote shall be taken on every question of a conflict. Once the vote is taken, the board, commission, or committee shall return to the business before it, and no further time shall be devoted to the issue of that conflict. A full report of the issue and discussion shall be made in the minutes of the meeting.

66. APPOINTMENT OF ALTERNATE OFFICERS

The selectboard may appoint an alternate town officer to serve in place of a disqualified town officer during the period of disqualification or unavailability.

67. APPLICATION

The power to appoint alternates for reasons of unavailability shall be applied only to appointed town officers.

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72. NOTICING OF PENDING VACANCY AT CONCLUSION OF

TERM

At least 10 days before the end of the term of an appointive town officer, the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard shall post notice of this fact in the town clerk's office and two other public places in the town, giving a brief description of the duties of the position and inviting interested persons to apply to the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard.

73. NEWSPAPER PUBLICATION

The *[board of selectmen]* selectboard may publish notices of vacancies in a newspaper of general circulation in the town.

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81. PUBLIC MEETINGS; AGENDAS

All public meetings of any board, commission or committee within the town shall be held pursuant to a written agenda containing therein the specific agenda items to be acted upon. The posting and publishing of said agenda(s) shall be in accordance with general law. In the event that the general law is silent on such matters, agendas shall at a minimum be posted in the town clerk's office. Except in emergencies, the same defined as a direct or immediate threat to the public's health, safety or welfare, the board, commission or committee shall not *[consider]* take action on matters other than those agenda items specifically set forth in the written agenda.

82. ORDINANCES

(a) Town legislation shall be by ordinance. The *[board of selectmen]* selectboard shall have the power to adopt, amend, repeal and revise ordinances and provide for their enforcement as provided by law. The procedures regarding the adoption, amendment, repeal or revision of ordinances shall be as provided by law.

(b) Ordinances adopted by the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard shall be subject to rescission by vote at a special or annual town meeting pursuant to the applicable provisions of general law.

(c) A book of ordinances shall be prepared and kept by the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard or *[their]* its designee. The book of ordinances shall be indexed according to subject matter and shall contain all ordinances adopted, amended, repealed or revised by the *[board of selectmen]* selectboard or the voters of the town. A current copy of the book of ordinances shall be on file at the town clerk's office.

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101. ADOPTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

The *[board of selectmen]* selectboard shall adopt an administrative code. The administrative code as presented shall in all respects be consistent with law. The code shall contain the following:

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Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage.

Approved: March 29, 2001