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Charter Commission

 

At the May 2015 Town Meeting the voters approved the establishment of a Charter Commission for the purpose of revising the Municipal Charter and elected six members by secret ballot.  In addition to the elected members, the Select Board appointed three additional individuals at its June 1st meeting.

The first meeting of the Charter Commission was held on Thursday, June 11, 2015.  During its organizational meeting, the members elected a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary.

Minutes will be posted on the Meeting Minutes page.  Future meeting times and agendas will be posted on the home page calendar.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

 

 

Charter Commission Members

  • Jerry Hall, Chairperson
  • Bruce Hodsdon, Vice-Chairperson
  • Marguerite Cutroni, Secretary (resigned 7/13/15)
  • Richard Bates (replaced Cutroni, and resigned 12/7/15)
  • Terry Driscoll
  • Bill Iliffe
  • David Lowell
  • Charlie Merrill
  • Tim Polky
  • Tom Vachon

 

Support Staff

 

  • Diane Speranza, Recording Secretary
  • John Falla, Administration Representative

 

Municipal Charters

 

Often seen as the blueprints for governing a community and as such they are often called the constitutions of local government.

 

Drawn up by a citizens committee (charter commission) and approved by the vote of the residents of the municipality, the charter reflects the needs and values of a community. As such, no two charters should be exactly alike.

 

 

Hearings, Reports and Time Frames

 

The procedures for revising a municipal charter are defined in Title 30-A M.R.S.A. §§ 2101 - 2109.  The key hearings, reports and time frames are outlined below.

 

  • Hold an Organizational Meeting of the Charter Commission - held on Thursday, June 11, 2015
  • Hold a Public Meeting within 30 days of the Organizational Meeting to receive information, views and other material relating to its function - scheduled for Thursday, July 9th
  • Prepare a preliminary report and have it printed and circulated within nine months after its election
  • Within twelve months after its election prepare a final report to include:
    • Full text and explanation of the proposed revision
    • Any comments deemed appropriate
    • Indication of the major differences between the current and proposed charter
    • Written opinion by attorney
  • When the final report is filed, the municipal officers shall request the charter revision be submitted to the voters at the next regular or special municipal election at least 35 days after the final report is filed.

 

The municipal officers may extend the time limits for the preparation and submission of the preliminary and final reports of the Charter Commission up to 24 months after the election of the commission if the the extension is necessary to:

 

  • Properly complete the reports;
  • Have them printed or circulated; or
  • Obtain the written opinion of an attorney.

 

 

Related Documents and Links

  1. Town Charter
  2. Relevant State Statute - Title 30-A M.R.S.A. §§ 2101 - 2109
  3. Summary sheet distributed at the February 2015 public meeting
  4. Minutes of the February 2015 public meeting
  5. Charter Commission Meeting Minutes
  6. Presentation to the Select Board on Jan 25th
  7. Proposed Revised Town Charter presented at Feb 25th hearing
  8. Final Draft of Revised Charter to be voted on May 9, 2016

 

 

A Brief History of the St George Municipal Charter

  • Adopted in March 1989
  • First Revision was approved in March 1998
  • Amendments were made in 2007, 2010, and 2011

 

What is the difference between a charter revision and a charter amendment?

 

A charter revision is a fundamental change in the form or scheme of government as established by the charter, and a charter amendment is merely a change or correction of a detail.

 

 

Why are charter revisions being proposed now?  A few examples are:

 

  • The section on schools requires to be changed and updated to reflect the Town's withdrawal form RSU 13.
  • Changes in town government operations.  For example, the section on town manager appointments needs to be changed since the Town Manager no longer serves as Tax Collector, General Assistance Administrator or Road Commissioner.
  • Changes to the identified Boards and Committees.  For example, the Coastal Water's Management Board is no longer handling appeals and should be changed to the Harbor Committee.  The Town established a Conservation Commission, but they are not referenced in the Charter.

 

 



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