Town of Williamstown, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Williamstown 2-18-1946, Art. 40, as Bylaw 1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Budget — See Ch. 14.
Capital Planning Committee — See Ch. 20.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 43.
Personnel policies — See Ch. 106.

§ 4-1 Calling of Town Meetings; posting copies of warrant.

[Amended 2-6-1990 STM, Art. 1]
All Town Meetings shall be called by the Selectmen in the manner required by law, and attested copies of the warrant shall be posted in four public places at least seven days before the Annual Town Meeting and at least 14 days before any Special Town Meeting, in the Town of Williamstown as well as the United States Post Office[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 2, setting the date of the Annual Town Meeting, was repealed 8-21-1967 ATM, Art. 2.

§ 4-2 Printing and availability of reports.

The Selectmen shall cause their own report to the Town, together with the reports of the other officers and committees, to be printed and left at the office of the Town Clerk where they may be obtained by any voter or taxpayer seven days at least before the Annual Meeting.

§ 4-3 Insertion of articles in warrant.

[Amended 5-17-2005 ATM, Art. 24; 5-16-2006 ATM, Art. 3]
Any article to be inserted in the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting must be submitted to the Selectmen on or before the 45th day preceding said meeting, signed by the required number of petitioners who must be voters of the Town, and all such petitions shall be placed in the warrant as presented.

§ 4-4 Finance Committee.

[Amended 2-27-1961 ATM, Art. 41; 2-24-1964 ATM, Art. 31]
A. 
There shall be a Finance Committee consisting of nine legal voters of the Town who shall be appointed by the Moderator. No member of the Board of Selectmen nor of the School Committee nor any other elected or appointed Town officer or Town employee shall, during the term for which he was elected or appointed, be eligible to serve on the Finance Committee.
B. 
The Moderator of the Town Meeting when this bylaw is adopted, shall, within 30 days after such bylaw becomes effective, appoint three members of such Committee for terms of one year, three members for terms of two years and three members for terms of three years. At each Annual Meeting thereafter the Moderator shall appoint three members of said Committee for terms of three years. The terms of office of the members of the Committee shall commence immediately upon qualification and shall expire at the close of the final adjournment of the Annual Town Meeting at which their successors are appointed. The Committee shall annually elect its own Chairman, Clerk and other necessary officers. The Committee shall adopt whatever rules and regulations it deems necessary for the orderly discharge of its duties. It shall cause to be kept a true record of its proceedings.
C. 
Any vacancies that occur among the members of the Committee appointed by the Moderator shall be filled by the Moderator for the unexpired terms created by such vacancies. If any member is absent from six consecutive meetings of said Committee, his position shall be deemed to be vacant and shall be filled as hereinbefore provided unless such absences are excused by the Chairman of the Committee. The Chairman shall cause suitable notations to be made in the records of the Committee of the absences of any member that he excuses.
D. 
All articles in any warrant for a Town Meeting calling for the expenditure of any Town funds, or the incurring of any financial obligations by the Town, shall be referred by the Selectmen to the Finance Committee for its consideration. Said Committee shall report thereon to the Town Meeting, in writing, such recommendations as it deems best for the interests of the Town and its citizens.
E. 
It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee annually to consider the estimated budget requirements for the ensuing year of the several boards, officers and committees of the Town, as prepared by the Town Manager.[1] The Committee shall submit a budget at the Annual Town Meeting with such recommendations and explanations relating to the proposed appropriations as it may deem expedient, such budget to be printed and available to the voters seven days at least before the Annual Meeting.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 14, Budget.
F. 
It shall also be the duty of the Finance Committee to make an annual report of its doings, and to make such recommendations as its studies may indicate to be desirable, relative to long-range financial planning and the conduct of the Town business. The Committee shall work closely with the Planning Board in trying to achieve a priority for needed major capital outlay improvements consistent with the present and estimated future ability of the Town to pay.
G. 
In the discharge of its duties, said Committee shall have free access to all books of record and accounts, bills and vouchers on which money has been, or may be, paid from the Town treasury. The Town Manager shall, upon request, furnish said Committee with such facts, figures and other information that it may desire pertaining to its studies of Town financial matters.
H. 
The selectmen, or the Town Manager, may refer any other matter, not specifically set out in this section, to the Committee for its study and recommendation.
I. 
The terms of office of all members of any Finance Committee existing on the date this section is adopted shall terminate on the appointment by the Moderator of a Finance Committee under the provisions of this section.

§ 4-5 Auditing of accounts.

All accounts of the Town shall be audited annually under the supervision of the Director of Accounts of the Department of Corporations and Taxation of the state, in accordance with the provisions of MGL C. 44, § 35.

§ 4-6 Meetings of Selectmen.

[Amended 2-24-1958 STM, Art. 23]
The Selectmen shall meet at least twice a month for the transaction of business, but may hold such other meetings as may be deemed necessary. The time and place of the regular meeting shall be determined at the first meeting of the year and publicly announced, but may be changed when occasion demands and two weeks notice is given of such change.

§ 4-7 Election of board and committee officers.

All boards and committees shall, immediately after the Annual Meeting, elect a Chairman and Clerk and without delay shall give notice of such elections in writing to the Town Clerk. They also shall give written notice to the Selectmen of the member or members authorized to attest the statements for audit submitted to the Selectmen for approval and payment.

§ 4-8 Town Counsel.

The Board of Selectmen shall annually appoint an attorney at law or a firm of attorneys at law to act as Town Counsel. Such Town Counsel shall be paid such charges for services as the Board shall approve.

§ 4-9 Power of Selectmen in litigation.

The Board of Selectmen shall act as Town agent and shall have authority, upon recommendation and advice of the Town Counsel, except as otherwise provided by law, to prosecute, defend and compromise all litigation or claims to which the Town is a party and to employ special counsel to assist the Town Counsel whenever in the Board's judgment necessity therefor arises.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 11, which immediately followed this section and dealt with disposal of various types of Town property, was repealed 5-19-1998 ATM, Art. 18.

§ 4-10 Manner of taking votes requiring two-thirds majority.

[Added 5-18-1999 ATM, Art. 32]
The Moderator is authorized to take all votes requiring a 2/3 majority in the same manner in which he conducts the taking of a vote when a majority vote is required.

§ 4-11 Moderator's term of office.

[Added 5-16-2006 ATM, Art. 4]
The Town voted to change the term of the Moderator from one year to three years effective with the 2007 election.