[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Blackstone 5-27-2014 by Art. 31. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established in the Town of Blackstone the Blackstone Economic Development Committee, which shall serve as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen and other Town boards, committees and agencies with respect to matters relating to economic and business development within the Town.
Mission. The mission of the Economic Development Committee is to promote and develop business and industry for the purpose of strengthening the local economy, generating jobs, and advancing economic growth to ensure the fiscal stability of the Town of Blackstone.
Role of the Economic Development Committee. The role of the Economic Development Committee, hereafter referred to as the "EDC," is to act as an advisor to the Board of Selectmen and other Town agencies with respect to the preparation and implementation of economic development plans and initiatives for the Town. The EDC may make recommendations to Town boards and committees, including, but not limited to, the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Finance Committee, regarding the economic and business development needs of the Town and may offer suggestions as to how such needs may be most effectively addressed. The EDC may, at the request of the Selectmen or Town Administrator, participate in the recruitment and retention of companies or industries within the business community to advance and secure sound economic growth in Blackstone. The EDC may also become involved in such other tasks as may be requested by other Town boards and committees. Additional subcommittees or task forces may be created within the EDC as needed to fulfill this role.
The EDC shall consist of no fewer than four and no more than eight members, including ex officio members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, to serve staggered terms of three years. Certain initial appointments to the EDC may be for lesser terms in order to implement this "staggered term" provision. Members may serve an unlimited number of terms. If a vacancy on the EDC occurs by reason of death, resignation, or any other cause, the vacant seat shall be filled, upon recommendation of the EDC Chairman, by the Board of Selectmen for the duration of the unexpired term.
The officers of the EDC shall consist of a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson.
Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be elected by a majority vote of the membership of the EDC from among its voting members. The term of the Chairperson shall be for one year and until a successor is elected, beginning with the first regular July meeting of each calendar year. The Chairperson shall be eligible for reelection. The Chairperson (unless absent or excused) shall chair each meeting of the EDC and shall be a full voting member. The Chairperson shall decide upon all points of order and procedure at EDC meetings. The Chairperson shall represent the EDC when called upon or directed by the EDC to do so.
Vice Chairperson. A Vice Chairperson shall be elected from among the members in the same manner and for the same term as the Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson shall serve as Acting Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson and in such capacity shall have the same powers and duties as the Chairperson.
A representative of the Blackstone Board of Selectmen shall be designated by the Board to serve as an ex officio member of the EDC. This ex officio member will not be counted for quorum purposes and will not have the right to vote. The ex officio member is encouraged to participate in discussion at meetings and to assist with other aspects of the EDC's agenda, including coordinating initiatives among other Town boards, committees and departments.
Open Meeting Law. The EDC shall be considered a "public body" and is subject to all provisions and regulations applicable to public bodies contained in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law (MGL c. 30A, §§ 19-25, as may be amended). The EDC may, at times, need to discuss specific economic development projects and, therefore, may meet in executive session, as permitted under an applicable exception to the Open Meeting Law. The Chairperson, in consultation with the Town Counsel, shall recommend when the EDC meets in executive session and shall be responsible for adherence to all laws regarding such meeting sessions.
Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the EDC shall be held monthly, commencing in July 2014. Notice of a meeting, with information on agenda items, shall be posted and supplied to all members at least 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, before each meeting.
Special meetings. Special meetings of the EDC may be called at any time by the Chairperson or Acting Chairperson in the Chair's absence. Notice of the time and place of a called meeting shall be given to all members and the media at least 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, prior to the meeting by the Chairperson. The Chairperson will attempt to contact each member of the EDC as soon as possible after a special meeting is set.
Quorum. A quorum of the EDC shall be required to open any meeting and to conduct business. Members may participate in a meeting remotely with voting privileges and be counted present for quorum purposes in accordance with applicable provisions of the Open Meeting Law and regulations/policies promulgated thereunder.
Participation. Members of the EDC are strongly encouraged to participate and attend EDC meetings. Any member who shall fail to attend at least 75% of the regular and special meetings of the EDC during any one-year period shall be subject to removal. The Chairperson shall notify the Board of Selectmen of any member who shall so fail to attend. Upon vote of the Board of Selectmen, said position shall be deemed vacant. The vacancy shall thereupon be filled, upon recommendation of the EDC Chairperson, by the Board of Selectmen.
The Chairperson shall have the authority to amend the order of business at any meeting. All items of business for discussion at the meeting shall appear on the posted agenda.
No member of the EDC shall seek to influence a decision, participate in any action or cast a vote involving any matter that is before the EDC which may result in a private benefit to him/herself, his/her immediate relatives or their business interests. If an EDC member determines that he/she may have a conflict of interest on a particular issue, he/she shall declare the nature of such conflict and ask to be excused from deliberating and voting on the issue related to the conflict. If a member is excused from voting, he/she shall leave the meeting table and not participate in any further discussion on the matter.
The EDC may adopt policies and/or regulations governing its procedures by majority vote of the EDC. Said policies/regulations shall at all times be consistent with all statutes, laws, bylaws, regulations and general policies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Blackstone.