Town Board Appointment Policy & Procedures

Revised by the Board of Selectmen - January 28, 2008, February 11, 2008

Appointment Policy

This policy is adopted to provide uniform procedures for inviting applications to serve on appointed town boards, for making appointments, and for tracking the terms of those appointments.

The Board of Selectmen makes several appointments each year. Appointments are generally made for one or three years in length. In no case shall appointments be made for more than three years unless specifically allowed by State Law. Appointments are generally made effective July 1st of each year for terms expiring on June 30th, and the Board's vote shall specify the beginning and ending date of the term for which the appointment is being made and said dates shall be recorded in the meeting minutes. In the case of appointments, no second to the nomination or motion will be required prior to Board action.

In the event of a vacancy on an elected Board, the Selectmen and the remaining members of that Board shall jointly appoint someone to fill that vacancy pursuant to MGL C.41,§11 or other applicable state statute. The person appointed shall serve until the next annual election at which time they must run for election to fill the remainder of the term of the office to which they have been appointed. or other applicable state statute. The person appointed shall serve until the next annual election at which time they must run for election to fill the remainder of the term of the office to which they have been appointed.

In the event of a vacancy on a board appointed by the Board of Selectmen, including the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to MGL C.40A,§12, the Selectmen shall fill the said vacancy for the remainder of its unexpired term, unless a different term expiration date is required to ensure overlapping terms so arranged that the term of at least one regular member shall expire each year.

In order to attract qualified and interested persons, vacancies will be made public as far in advance of appointment as practicable. Vacancies should be advertised in the local paper, as well as on Local Access Cable TV. Appointments should be based on experience, merit, and qualifications.

The Town Administrator shall:

  1. Provide to the Selectmen by May 15 a list of the annual appointment vacancies to be filled by the Board; and notify the Selectmen throughout the year as town board vacancies occur.
  2. Notify the Chairman of the appropriate board or committee and request recommendations regarding reappointment or the filling of vacancies.
  3. Notify incumbents and request their statements of availability regarding reappointment.

The Selectmen may meet with potential new appointees at an Open Meeting before making a final decision on the appointment. Appointments will normally be made only when all members of the Board are present. Appointments shall be made by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen.

Appointment Procedures

Persons seeking appointment to a board appointed by the Selectmen shall complete an application form and file it with the Office of the Board of Selectmen/Town Administrator. [12/14/09 clarification: The requirement for a completed application shall not apply to appointees who are representing town boards and departments as their designees.]

Once the decision is made to appoint a member to a Town board, the Appointing Authority shall be responsible to:

  1. File a completed "Notice of Appointment" form [attached] with the Town Clerk for each appointment made to a Town board.
  2. Notify the appointee of his/her appointment, either in writing, in person, by telephone, or by email; and inform him/her of the need first to be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties within thirty (30) days of appointment, before he/she may sit as a member or alternate member of a Town board.

If an Appointee accepts the offer to participate on a Town board, the appointee must:

  1. Appear at the office of the Town Clerk as soon as practicable after receiving notification of appointment to a Town board; sign the "Notice of Appointment" accepting such appointment; and be sworn to the faithful performance of his/her duties.
  2. Accept the appointment within thirty (30) days of the date the appointment was made or forfeit the appointment and have the appointing authority consider the appointment to be vacant as of that time.
  3. Continue to serve until his/her successor is chosen and qualified by the Appointing Authority.
  4. Notify the Town board's chairman and the Town Administrator, and file a written letter of resignation to the Town Clerk pursuant to MGL C.41,§109 in the event the Appointee is no longer able to serve during any appointment during their term of office.

The Town Clerk shall:

  1. Maintain a file of all notices of appointment as a public record available for inspection.
  2. Maintain, publish, and periodically update a roster of the membership of all Town boards, including the following information for each board member: (a) name; (b) voting address; (c) mailing address, if different; (d) home telephone number; and (e) date of term expiration.
  3. Notify the appointing authority in writing if the appointee has not been sworn to his/her official duties by thirty (30) days following the filing of the Notice of Appointment.
  4. Notify the appointing authority in writing in the event the employee submits a written resignation.
  5. Notify the appointing authority in writing of the scheduled expiration of any term of office for a Town board position to be filled by such appointing authority, such notice to be given at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled date of such term's expiration.