Sunday, August 1, 2010
What could have been...
The Charter revision attempt to streamline and professionalize Amherst town government by switching to a modern Mayor/Council replacing the antiquated volunteer form of dogooders-- Select Board, Town Meeting, and highly paid Town Manager--form we currently endure had another benefit that would come in handy about now:
A common sense recall provision that would already be underway in the Library Trustees travesty now unfolding.
SECTION 8-11: RECALL OF ELECTED OFFICE HOLDERS
(a) Application - Any holder of an elected office in the town, with more than six months remaining in the term of office for which the officer was elected, may be recalled therefrom by the voters of the town in the manner provided in this section. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within six months after taking office.
(b) Recall Petition - A recall petition may be initiated by the filing of an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall, provided that the affidavit is signed by at least two hundred fifty voters for any officer elected at large and signed by at least fifty voters from the district represented for a district councilor.
The town clerk shall thereupon deliver to said voters making the affidavit, copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, copies of which printed forms the town clerk shall keep available. Such blanks shall be issued by the town clerk, with signature and official seal attached thereto. They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the town council and shall contain the names of all the persons to whom they are issued, the number of blanks so issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the office from which removal is sought and the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within five days after the filing of the affidavit, and shall have been signed by at least five per cent of the active voters of the town for any officer elected at large and signed by at least five per cent of the active voters of the district for a district councilor.
The town clerk shall forthwith submit the petition to the registrars of voters, and the registrars shall, within five working days, certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of voters.
(c) Recall Election - If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient, the town clerk shall submit the same with such certificate to the town council within five working days, and the town council shall forthwith give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within five days thereafter, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than forty-five and not more than sixty days after the date of the town clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within sixty days after the date of the certificate the town council shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election.
The Mayor Council Charter (that failed by 14 votes--less than 1%) in 2003
Trustees Carol Gray and Pat Holland both made 'Hall of Shame' for voting against American flags