Selectmen Meeting Procedure
1. Scheduling of Meetings
A. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the Town Office to convene at 6:30 p.m. unless rescheduled by a vote of the Board due to holidays or unforeseen circumstances.
B. Special meetings may be called by the Chair, or in the Chair's absence, another Board member, by a majority request of the Board at any time. In either case, at least 48 hours notice shall be given to each member. Except in emergencies, written notice of all meetings shall be properly posted at least 24 hours before each meeting is to convene. The agenda of special meetings must be described in said notices. Notices shall be posted in at least the following three places:
Town Office bulletin board
North Waterford Post Office bulletin board
Waterford Post Office bulletin board
C. Emergency meetings may be called by the Chair, or in the Chair's absence, another Board member, by a majority request of the board for situations where immediate action is deemed to be imperative. In the event of an emergency meeting, local representatives of the media shall be notified of the meeting, whenever practical, the notification to include time and location, by the same or faster means used to notify the members of the Board as per M.R.S.A. Title 1, Sec. 406.
D. Any meeting may be postponed providing all available members of the Board are polled by telephone or otherwise personally contacted and a majority indicates agreement.
2. Agenda Format of Meetings
A. The agenda for all meetings shall be organized as follows:
- Call to Order
- Roll Call
- Adjustments to the Agenda
- Comments from the Public on Issues Not on the Agenda (1)
- Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting
- Old Business
- New Business
- Comments from the Public on Issues Not on the Agenda (2)
B. Each Public Comment segment is to consider all town issues, except personnel matters. The Public Comment segment will be restricted to 10 minutes, unless extended in time by a vote of the Board. The first Public Comment (1) segment is scheduled to accommodate those persons who do not wish to stay for the duration of the regular business meeting.
C. During the meeting, all agenda items, except public hearings, shall be taken in the order of the agenda. All agenda requests shall typically be placed on the agenda in the order they are received via date stamp. Public hearings shall be held at the scheduled times or as soon thereafter as possible. In cases where parties fail to appear at the time when the agenda item is taken up, these items shall be deferred to the next meeting under new business or by majority vote of the Board, be taken up at another position on the agenda. However, the order of the agenda may be adjusted to accommodate the scheduling of participants, the importance of the issue, or other factors which best makes use of the time available.
D. All requests received in the Town office up to 5 p.m. of the Monday preceding the meeting and approved for inclusion by the Town Clerk or a Selectman shall be included on the agenda at which time the agenda shall be closed. All requests shall be in writing, stating the purpose for the agenda item, parties to be present, and as much information as possible to permit board review in advance of the meeting. The agenda shall be posted at the Town Office (and the Town Web Site when available) by 5 p.m. of the Wednesday preceding the meeting. Board members may submit late items to the agenda, but these items must be considered as new business for scheduling purposes, must be in writing and must state the purpose of being late.
3) Procedures During Meetings
No person shall address a public meeting of the Board without permission of the presiding selectman and all persons in the audience shall, at the request of such presiding officer, be silent. If after warning from the presiding officer, if said person persists in disorderly behavior, said officer may order the person to withdraw from the meeting, and, if the person does not withdraw, said officer may order a police officer or other appropriate authority to remove and/or confine the person in some convenient place until the meeting is adjourned.
Petitioners will be limited to a five-minute presentation, unless permission to speak for a longer period is requested and granted by a majority vote of the Board.
Visitors may be permitted to speak on any matter properly on the agenda before the Board, but only after each member of the Board who so desires, has spoken and permission is granted by the Chair.
In cases where a member of the audience wishes to speak on a matter, the chair may request said party to rise to be recognized, state said party's name, place of residence and/or purpose for addressing the board. The Board may exercise an option to limit debate from the audience and the chair may do so with majority consent of the Board.
All proceedings during the meetings shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, except as indicated herein. Where conflict arises, these rules shall govern.
The public shall be given an opportunity to speak at each meeting in the Public Comment sections of each meeting.
Objective criticisms of town operations and programs are encouraged. But in Public Session with no notice of the matter, the Board will not permit complaints directed at staff or volunteers. Such matters may be addressed at a scheduled session that will be public or non-public at the request of the person being criticized, and in their presence if they so desire.
4) Time of Meetings
All meetings shall begin at 6:30 p.m. and to end no later than 9 p.m. If business remains to be transacted at the scheduled adjournment time, the Board may either vote to continue the meeting for an additional one hour or adjourn to another time to complete the business. The unfinished business shall appear on the agenda of the next meeting under old business.
Any member of the Board expecting to be absent, or late, shall notify another member or the town office prior to the beginning of a meeting.
5) Amendments to the Rules
The rules may be amended by a majority vote of the members present, providing notice of the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing to each member of the board at a prior duly convened meeting of the Board. An amendment shall be construed as any addition of a new rule or a deletion or modification of an existing rule.
6) Executive Sessions/Non-Public Sessions
A. All Non-Public sessions shall be conducted according to 1 MRSA section 405(6).
The minutes to be kept by the Board shall report the names of all Board members present, the presence of the town clerk and/or deputy clerk, the subject acted upon and shall record exactly the notes and other official action taken, but such minutes shall not include a lengthy record of discussions of such meetings. The minutes may also include other documents submitted during the proceedings by a majority vote of the Board. Video and tape recordings of proceedings may be taken by the Board's staff. Recordings may also be made by members of the public via Board approval. The minutes of Executive sessions shall be consistent with the requirements of 1 MRSA section 405(6).
The minutes for all public sessions may be secured from the Town Clerk, at the convenience of the Clerk.
Chapter 13: PUBLIC RECORDS AND PROCEEDINGS (HEADING PL 1975, c. 758 (rpr))
Subchapter 1: FREEDOM OF ACCESS (HEADING: PL 1975, c. 758 (rpr))
§405. Executive sessions
6. Permitted deliberation. Deliberations may be conducted in executive sessions on the following matters and no others:
A. Discussion or consideration of the employment, appointment, assignment, duties, promotion, demotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplining, resignation or dismissal of an individual or group of public officials, appointees or employees of the body or agency or the investigation or hearing of charges or complaints against a person or persons subject to the following conditions:
An executive session may be held only if public discussion could be reasonably expected to cause damage to the reputation or the individual's right to privacy would be violated;
Any person charged or investigated shall be permitted to be present at an executive session if he so desires;
Any person charged or investigated may request in writing that the investigation or hearing of charges or complaints against him be conducted in open session. A request, if made to the agency, must be honored; and
Any person bringing charges, complaints or allegations of misconduct against the individual under discussion shall be permitted to be present.
This paragraph does not apply to discussion of a budget or budget proposal; [19 87, c . 7 69, Pt . A, 61 (rpr) . ]
B. Discussion or consideration by a school board of suspension or expulsion of a public school student or a student at a private school, the cost of whose education is paid from public funds, provided that:
(1) The student and legal counsel and, if the student be a minor, the student's parents or legal guardians shall be permitted to be present at an executive session if the student, parents or guardians so desire.
[1979, c. 541, Pt. A, §3 (amd).]
C. Discussion or consideration of the condition, acquisition or the use of real or personal property permanently attached to real property or interests therein or disposition of publicly held property or economic development only if premature disclosures of the information would prejudice the competitive or bargaining position of the body or agency; [1987, c . 477, 63 (amd) . ]
D. Discussion of labor contracts and proposals and meetings between a public agency and its negotiators. The parties must be named before the body or agency may go into executive session. Negotiations between the representatives of a public employer and public employees may be open to the public if both parties agree to conduct negotiations in open sessions; [1999, c. 144, §1 (rpr).]
E. Consultations between a body or agency and its attorney concerning the legal rights and duties of the body or. agency, pending or contemplated litigation, settlement offers and matters where the duties of the public body's counsel to his client pursuant to the code of professional responsibility clearly conflict with this subchapter or where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the State, municipality or other public agency or person at a substantial disadvantage. [1975, c. 758 (new) . ]
F. Discussions of information contained in records made, maintained or received by a body or agency when access by the general public to those records is prohibited by statute; [19 99, c . 180 , § 1 ( amd) . ]
G. Discussion or approval of the content of examinations administered by a body or agency for licensing, permitting or employment purposes; consultation between a body or agency and any entity that provides examination services to that body or agency regarding the content of an examination; and review of examinations with the person examined; and [1999, c. 180, §2 (amd) . ]
H. Consultations between municipal officers and a code enforcement officer representing the municipality pursuant to Title 30-A, section 4452, subsection 1, paragraph C in the prosecution of an enforcement matter pending in District Court when the consultation relates to that pending enforcement matter. [19 99, c . 180, 63 (new) .1