Charter Amendment

Proposed Changes to Charter

ARTICLE II ELECTIONS

Section 204 Transfer of Town Land

The transfer of any property rights in and/or ownership of any parcel/lot or tract of land owned by the Town of Tiverton as of November 5, 2008, except for parcels in the Industrial Park and transfers pursuant to RI General Law 44-9-18.3, must be approved by a vote of the electors of the Town of Tiverton either at a Financial Town Meeting Referendum, Special Meeting or a Referendum.  Any such approval shall expire within five (5) years.  Leasing of Town property for a period of ten (10) years or less shall not constitute a transfer of property, provided that at the end of the leasing period the Town retains sole right to renew, continue, or terminate the lease.  This section shall not prohibit the Town Council from transferring property rights for the purpose of restricting use of any parcel/lot of land, for conservation or preservation purposes, or in connection with the provision of public utilities or similar services.

ARTICLE III FINANCIAL TOWN MEETING REFERENDUM

Section 301 Time and Purpose

The electors of the Town shall assemble each year in Financial Town Meeting on the second Saturday in May at 9:00 o’clock a.m. to 1:00 o’clock p.m. for the purpose of hearing official reports, ordering any tax which lawfully may be ordered, making appropriations, and transacting any other business pertaining to the affairs of the Town which may legally come before such meeting. Should said meeting need to be reconvened, it shall be scheduled to the next following Saturday at the aforementioned time. Said Financial Town Meeting shall be called and warned and the list of electors qualified to vote therein shall be made out and canvassed in the same manner as provided by law in respect to elections.

(b) Notice

Prior to the Financial Town Meeting, the Council President shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town a budget summary which shall set out proposed expenditures by department or function and receipts by source for the proposed budget year together with comparisons of these with estimated expenditures and receipts for the current budget year, in the form provided in Section 44-35-7 of the General Laws; and shall also cause to be published the “proposed property tax rate” and the “adjusted current property tax rate” for the Town as defined in Section 44-35-3 of the General Laws. A public hearing or hearings shall be scheduled to take place no less than ten (10) days following the date of such publication on the proposed budget expenditures and property tax rate. Such hearings shall be completed no less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the Financial Town Meeting.

(b) Subjects Requiring Special Notice

No vote shall be taken in a Financial Town Meeting to levy a tax or to dispose of real property of the Town unless special notice thereof has been given in the warrant issued for the warning of such meeting.

Section 301 Budget, Tax Levy, and Resolution Adoption Process

(a)  Schedule

1.)           Initial Budget Workshop:  The Budget Committee, Town Council, and School Committee shall participate in an initial budget workshop no later than January 15.  

2.)           Town Administrator:  Prepare and submit preliminary Municipal budget request (excluding the Town Treasurer’s and Town Clerk’s budgets) to the Budget Committee and Town Council no later than January 15.

3.)           Town Clerk:  Prepare and submit preliminary Town Clerk budget request to the Budget Committee no later than January 15.

4.)           Town Treasurer:  Prepare and submit preliminary Town Treasurer budget request to the Budget Committee no later than January 15.

5.)           School Committee:  Prepare and submit preliminary School Department budget request to the Budget Committee no later than January 15.

6.)           Town Council:  Approve and submit the final Municipal budget request (excluding the Town Treasurer’s and Town Clerk’s budgets) to the Town Administrator no later than 73 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

7.)           Town Council:  Approve and submit the final revenue estimates to the Town Administrator no later than 73 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

8.)           Town Administrator:  Submit the final Municipal budget request (excluding the Town Treasurer’s and Town Clerk’s budgets) and final revenue estimates to the Budget Committee no later than 63 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

9.)           Town Clerk:  Submit the final Town Clerk budget request to the Budget Committee no later than 63 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

10.)       Town Treasurer:  Submit the final Town Treasurer budget request to the Budget Committee no later than 63 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

11.)       School Committee:  Approve and submit the final School Department budget request to the Budget Committee no later than 63 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

12.)       Budget Committee:  Approve and submit the Budget Committee Docket, which includes Budget Proposal and Resolutions, to the Town Clerk no later than 44 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

13.)       School Committee:  Submit Optional Budget Proposal and Resolutions to Town Clerk no later than 37 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

14.)       Town Council:  Submit Optional Budget Proposal and Resolutions to Town Clerk no later than 37 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

15.)       Town Clerk:  Budget Proposal elector petitions made available no later than 35 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

16.)       Electors:  Budget and Resolution elector petitions due to the Town Clerk no later than 28 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

17.)       Board of Canvassers:  Certification of all elector petitions complete no later than 21 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

18.)       Town Clerk:  The Financial Town Hearing shall occur no later than 14 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

19.)       Financial Town Referendum:  The Financial Town Referendum shall occur on the third Tuesday in May.

20.)       [If Necessary] Financial Town Referendum Runoff:  The Financial Town Referendum Runoff shall occur fourteen days after the Financial Town Referendum.

(b)  Ballot

The Financial Town Referendum ballot shall be approved by the Board of Canvassers.

1.) Budget Proposals:  Pursuant to Section 301 (c), Budget Proposals shall appear on said ballot and shall include:

A.    the dollar amount to appropriate for the School Department budget,

B.     the dollar amount to appropriate for the Municipal budget (including the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer),

C.     the dollar amount to raise by taxation including maximum dollar amounts for the Motor Vehicle, Real & Tangible Property, and resulting Total Property tax levies,

D.    the percentage increase or decrease to the prior year’s certified Net Tax Levy, and

E.     if necessary, the dollar amount of the Total Property Tax Levy that is in excess of the maximum levy as calculated in accordance with R.I.G.L. 44-5-2 (b).

Electors shall be instructed to “Vote For Only One of the following Budget Proposals”.

2.) Resolutions:  Pursuant to Section 301 (c), a resolution or ballot question may be included on said ballot, provided that if adopted it shall not alter the ballot entries of Section 301 (b) 1.) A. through E.  Electors shall be instructed to “Approve or Reject” resolution(s). 

(c) Access to Ballot

1.) The Budget Committee Budget Proposal shall appear first on the ballot in accordance with Section 301(b) 1.).  Resolutions submitted by the Budget Committee shall appear on the ballot.

2.) At the request of either the Town Council or School Committee or both, an Optional Budget Proposal shall appear on the ballot in accordance with Section 301(b) 1.).  At the discretion of the Town Council, said Optional Budget Proposal shall include the Budget Committee recommended municipal budget or the municipal budget request.  At the discretion of the School Committee, said Optional Budget Proposal shall include the Budget Committee recommended school budget or the school budget request.  The dollar amount used for non property tax revenue (excluding education aid) in the determination of the Total Property tax levy of Section 301 (b) 1.) C. shall be at the discretion of the Town Council.  The dollar amount used for education aid in the determination of the Total Property tax levy of Section 301 (b) 1.) C. shall be at the discretion of the School Committee.  The dollar amount used for the Motor Vehicle Property tax levy in the determination of the Total Property tax levy of Section 301 (b) 1.) C. shall be at the discretion of the Town Council.  Resolutions submitted by the Town Council and or the School Committee shall appear on the ballot.

3.) Qualified Elector Budget Proposals in accordance with Section 301(b) 1.) submitted by elector petition in accordance with Section 301 (d) shall appear on the ballot in an order determined by a Board of Canvassers lottery. Qualified Resolutions submitted by elector petition in accordance with Section 301 (d) shall appear on the ballot.

(d)  Petitions

1.)  Elector Budget Proposals:  Elector Budget Proposals:  Electors of the town may petition that an alternate budget proposal be included in the Financial Town Referendum.  No later than 35 days before the Financial Town Referendum the Town Clerk shall  make petition forms available which include fields for the name of the elector who is the petition originator and the ballot entry amounts of Section 301(b)1.A through E.  The Town Clerk shall record the dollar amounts sought by the petition originator on the petition form, shall prepare a typed version of this petition form to be verified by the petition originator, and record a petition originator’s statement, if any, as to the purpose of the petition.  The petition originator shall provide and the Town Clerk shall record either (1) the specific docket line item(s) to be increased, decreased, or created, or (2) a statement to remand the docket to the Budget Committee for final determination of docket line item(s) in accordance with said petition originator’s budget proposal.  Any person obtaining signatures must be a legal resident of voting age.  Petitions must be returned to the Town Clerk no later than 28 days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.  Any language added to a petition, or any alteration of the language thereof subsequent to the verification by the petition originator of the Town Clerk’s typed version, shall be of no force or effect.  There shall be no limit to the number of separate petitions which an elector may sign.  Nothing in this charter shall prevent an elected official or any appointed member of a Board, Committee or Commission from being a petition originator or signatory.  Nothing in this Charter shall prevent an elector, a majority of an elected body or Board, Committee or Commission from circulating a petition.  An elector may originate no more than one Budget Proposal petition.

2.) Elector Resolutions:  No later than 28 days before the Financial Town Referendum electors may petition that a Resolution pursuant to Section 301 (b) 2.) be included on the ballot for the Financial Town Referendum.

3.)  Qualification of Petitions:  The Town Clerk shall cause petition signatures to be verified by the Board of Canvassers, such verification to be completed no later than 21 days before the Financial Town Referendum.  All Elector Budget Proposals and Elector Resolutions shall be included on the ballot for the Financial Town Referendum and presented at the Financial Town Hearing provided that they are accompanied by 50 qualified elector signatures. 

 (e)  Financial Town Hearing

1.) Purpose: The ballot pursuant to Section 301 (b) as it will be presented at the Financial Town Referendum shall be provided for electors to review and equitably debate all budget proposals and resolutions.

2.) Notice: The agenda notice for the Financial Town Hearing shall comprise the Budget Committee recommendation and other qualified budget proposals as they will appear on the ballot for the Financial Town Referendum.

3.) Time: The Town Clerk shall schedule the Financial Town Hearing to be no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the Financial Town Referendum.

4.) Agenda:  The Town Clerk shall set, introduce speakers in accordance with, and equitably facilitate the Financial Town Hearing agenda. The agenda shall include, at a minimum, a line item for the presentation of the Docket by the Budget Committee or representatives thereof, line item(s), if any, for the presentation of additional Budget Proposal(s), and line item(s), if any, for Resolution(s).

5.) Attendance: The Financial Town Hearing shall, at a minimum, be attended by representatives from the Town Council, Budget Committee, and School Committee.  Attendance by Budget Proposal and or Resolution Petition Originators or representatives thereof shall be optional at his or her discretion.    

 (f)  Financial Town Referendum

1.)  Purpose:  The Financial Town Referendum may order any tax which lawfully may be ordered, make appropriations, and transact any other business pertaining to the affairs of the Town which may legally come before such referendum via Budget Proposals and Resolutions.

2.)  Notice:  No less than ten (10) days prior to the Financial Town Referendum, the Town Council President shall cause the referendum to be noticed pursuant to RI General Laws.

3.)  Time:  The Financial Town Referendum shall be held on the third Tuesday in May and poll hours shall be the same as those used for a general election.  Absentee ballots shall be permitted.

4.)  Jurisdiction:  The Board of Canvassers shall have jurisdiction over the Financial Town Referendum including a process for absentee ballots.

5.)  Ballot:  Electors shall vote on the ballot in accordance with Section 301 (b) presented at the Financial Town Hearing.

6.)  Budget Proposals:  The Budget Proposal receiving a majority of votes cast shall be adopted.

7.)  Resolutions:  Resolutions shall be adopted if the number of approvals is greater than the number of rejections.  In the case of contradicting resolutions, the resolution receiving the most approvals shall be adopted.

(g)  Financial Town Referendum Runoff

1.)  Purpose: The Financial Town Referendum Runoff will ensure that a Budget Proposal is adopted by a majority of voters.

2.) Applicability:  The Financial Town Referendum Runoff shall occur only if no Budget Proposal at the Financial Town Referendum receives a majority of votes.  

3.)  Notice:  The Financial Town Referendum Runoff shall be noticed with the Financial Town Referendum pursuant to RI General Laws.

4.)  Time:  The Financial Town Referendum Runoff shall be held fourteen days after the Financial Town Referendum and poll hours shall be the same as those used for a general election.  Absentee ballots shall be permitted. 

5.)  Jurisdiction:  The Board of Canvassers shall have jurisdiction over the Financial Town Referendum Runoff including a process for absentee ballots.

6.)  Ballot:  The ballot shall comprise the two Budget Proposals receiving the highest number of votes in the Financial Town Referendum.  Electors shall be instructed to “Vote For Only One of the following Budget Proposals”.  

7.)  Budget Proposals:  The Budget Proposal receiving the most votes shall be adopted.

Section 302 Special Meetings Referenda

Special Meetings Referenda shall be called by the Town Clerk upon a resolution of no less than two thirds of the Town Council or whenever five (5%) percent of the electors of the Town shall make a request in writing for the calling of a Town Meeting Special Referendum and direct the same to the Town Clerk; provided, that said five (5%) percent shall be computed on the total number of electors appearing on the last canvassed voting lists of the Town as having a right to vote in the transaction of any business that may be duly presented at such meeting referendumAny request for Special Referenda shall include a Budget Proposal and or Resolution(s) in accordance with Section 301 (b) Ballot.  Requested Budget Proposal(s) shall appear on said ballot with the currently adopted Budget Proposal.  Voters shall be instructed to “Vote for Only One of the following Budget Proposals”.  Voters shall be instructed to “Approve or Reject” Resolutions. The Board of Canvassers shall have jurisdiction over Special Referenda including absentee ballots.  Special Referenda shall be noticed in accordance with state and local law.  The date of such Special Meeting Referendum shall not exceed forty five (45) days following certification of the petition. 

(a)  Restriction of Special Meetings Referenda

No Special Meeting Referendum shall be called without the consent of the Town Council if the subject proposed to be considered has been acted upon by a Financial Town Meeting Referendum within six (6) months previous to the time of such proposed call.

(b)  Subjects Requiring Special Notice

No vote shall be taken at a Special Referendum to levy a tax or to dispose of real property of the Town unless special notice thereof has been given in the warrant issued for the warning of such referendum.

Section 303 Additional Financial Proposals

Any proposal for the expenditure of money, other than for items contained in the budget presented by the Budget Committee, may be acted upon at the Financial Town Meeting in the same manner as those presented by the Budget Committee, only if such proposals shall have been presented by the Town Council or by a petition signed by at least fifty (50) electors qualified to vote in Financial Town Meeting and filed with the Town Clerk not less than thirty-five (35) days prior to the date of such meeting. The warrant issued for the notice of such meeting shall include such proposals and the recommendations of the Budget Committee, if any.

Section 304 Powers of the Electors

The electors in Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting shall have and exercise all powers granted Financial Town Meetings by the laws of the state not inconsistent with this Charter.

Section 305 Moderator

There shall be a Moderator elected biennially by paper ballot, concurrent with the Financial Town Meeting to serve at such Special Meetings and Financial Town Meetings as occur during his/her term of office. The Moderator shall serve for a term of two (2) years commencing with the start of the fiscal year and until a successor is elected and qualified. The Moderator shall be an elector of the Town qualified to vote in Financial Town Meetings. If the Moderator is absent, the Town Council shall appoint a Moderator to serve for the duration of such absence, provided the absence does not exceed six (6) months, in which case the position will be deemed to be vacant.

(a) Duties and Powers of Moderator

            1.) The Moderator shall preside at all Special Meetings and Financial Town Meetings and shall have power to regulate and manage the business of each meeting, conforming to law, and to maintain peace and good order therein. The Moderator shall have all powers as provided by the laws of the State not inconsistent with this Charter. The Moderator shall submit the Rules of the meeting, if any, to the Town Clerk for printing, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting date. Any matter not covered by these Rules shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. The Rules of the Meeting shall be adopted by a vote of the electors at the meeting. The Moderator, in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, may stop debate on any business at a meeting and move to a vote on said business.

            2.) The Moderator shall, prior to each Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting, provide a written agenda for all interested electors of those items of business to be considered at such meeting, and the order in which they will be considered. The docket, as provided by the Budget Committee, shall be included as one line item on the agenda for the Financial Town Meeting. The Moderator shall not alter the order of the items within the Budget Committee’s docket.

            3.) The following items shall be included in the agenda of a Financial Town Meeting as prepared by the Moderator; not withstanding that additional items may also be present:

• Vote to adopt the Rules of the Meeting, if any special rules were provided by the Moderator.

• Budget Committee’s docket.

• If this is the end of the Moderator’s current term of office, election of a Moderator for the next term of office.

Section 306 Quorum

At least three hundred one (301) electors shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting. All questions shall be decided by a majority vote of the qualified electors present and voting.

Section 307 Voting

The Moderator on a motion duly made and seconded relative to any business regularly before the meeting and having heard all qualified electors desirous of being heard, shall cause the votes of the qualified electors present to be taken thereon.

(a) Vote by Ballot

The vote shall be taken by ballot upon the request of a majority of the qualified electors present, on any pending question involving the expenditure of money, the incurring of liability or disposition of Town property.

Section 308 Record of Proceedings

A copy of the record of the proceedings of any Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting, duly certified by the Town Clerk, shall be evidence of any act or vote of the electors of the Town in Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting.

Section 309 Recessed Meetings

The Moderator may recess for a period not to exceed one (1) hour, any duly called Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting. Every Special Meeting or Financial Town Meeting shall be recessed by the Moderator no later than 11:00 o’clock P.M, if not otherwise set forth herein. Any unfinished business from the Financial Town Meeting shall be referred to a recessed meeting to be held on the next following Saturday at 9:00 o’clock AM, and may be recessed from time to time thereafter upon vote of the meeting.

Section 311 Compensation

Compensation for all municipal employees, full or part time, elected or appointed, other than contracted and unionized employees shall be approved at the Financial Town Meeting.

 

ARTICLE IV TOWN COUNCIL

Section 407 Powers and Duties

            3.)        Develop and publish such policies, plans and objectives consistent with the long-range plan to provide a basis for planning the mMunicipal (non-school) budget by the Town Administrator and its review by the Budget Committee and to provide whatever interpretive consultation is appropriate for generating a budget within these general guidelines. Review and approve the Municipal budget and revenue estimates submitted by the Town Administrator within 30 days in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter.

            14.)      Order such budget reductions or transfers of funds within the Municipal budget as may become necessary to meet unanticipated requirements or shortfalls during the fiscal year, as recommended by the Administrator and within any constraints imposed by the Financial Town Meeting.

            16.)      Upon receipt by the Town Clerk of a Budget Proposal which requires a tax levy in excess of the maximum permitted by state law, apply for excess levy approval from the state.  Nothing in this section shall prevent the Town Council from applying for excess levy approval at an earlier date.

  

ARTICLE V TOWN ADMINISTRATOR

Section 503 Duties and Powers of the Town Administrator

The Town Administrator shall be responsible to the Town Council for the administration and management of the Town government.

The Town Administrator shall devote his/her entire time and attention to his/her duties as Administrator and shall not, during his/her appointment, be actively engaged in any employment, or business, or in the practice of any profession, or hold any public office other than the office of Town Administrator of the Town of Tiverton without prior Town Council approval.

The Town Administrator shall:

            1.)        Submit to the Budget Committee and Town Council, not later than 150 days prior to the Financial Town Meeting , a proposed Mmunicipal (non school) budget of receipts and expenditures and an explanatory budget message in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter. Submit to the Budget Committee, not later than 120 days prior to the Financial Town Meeting, the proposed budget and revenue estimates as reviewed and approved by the Town Council in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter. For such purpose the head of each office, department and agency shall submit to the Town Administrator estimates of their anticipated revenues and expenditures with such supporting data as he/she may request.  In preparing the proposed budget, the Town Administrator shall review the estimates, and with the exception of the School Department, Town Clerk’s, and Treasurer’s budgets, may revise them as he/she deem appropriate.  The Municipal budget, as proposed by the Town Administrator shall include all anticipated revenues and expenditures, except those for the school purposes, and the total of such expenditures shall not be greater than the total of the anticipated revenue.  He/She shall incorporate the total of these expenditures and revenues with the total he/she has arrived at for general town purposes. 

 

ARTICLE VI FINANCIAL SERVICES

Section 602 Town Treasurer

The non-partisan Town Treasurer shall be elected for a four (4) year term at general elections.

(a)  Duties and Responsibilities

2.)       Monitoring the spending by all departments, boards and commissions of the Town to insure that the budget approved at the Financial Town Meeting Referendum is not exceeded.

9.)       Preparing an annual department budget to be submitted to the Budget Committee in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter.

12.)   Releasing to the parties legally entitled to redeem the same, real estate conveyed to the Town by the Collector of Taxes, upon payment to the Town of taxes, penalties and expenses thereto, and selling other parcels on which the period of redemption has expired.

13.)   Borrowing, if necessary, in the name and on the credit of the Town, such sums of money as may be required for transacting the obligations incurred by duly approved appropriations, such sums of money not to exceed, in the aggregate, the sum of $500,000.00, provided that Town Council approval is granted prior to said borrowing.

  

ARTICLE VII BUDGET COMMITTEE

Section 703 Duties and Responsibilities

The Budget Committee has the following responsibilities:

1.)  To participate in the Initial Budget Workshop.

1 2.) To review the budgets submitted by the Town Administrator and the School Department, in which review the Committee shall consider both the supporting evidence for each requested budget expenditure and the ability of the Town to support the level of service recommended.

2 3.) To provide the electorate with budget recommendations which balance the value of the proposed goods and services with their cost in taxes.

3 4.) To develop a docket including both (a) resolutions of its own, those of the Town Council, the Town Administrator and those submitted by others and (b) the preceding year’s approved budget, the budget requests of the Town Administrator, Town Clerk, Town Treasurer and the School Department for the coming year, and the Budget Committee’s recommendations, and a Budget Proposal.

 4 5.) To prepare and submit the docket for publication to the Town Administrator Clerk in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter. at least thirty (30) days before the Financial Town Meeting .

5 6.) To present the docket to the electorate at a the  public Financial Town hHearing. and at the Financial Town Meeting.

7.)  If remanded to the Budget Committee, determine docket line item(s) in accordance with said petition originator’s budget proposal.

 

ARTICLE VIII TOWN OFFICIALS AND OFFICES

Section 801 Town Clerk

There shall be a non-partisan Town Clerk who shall be elected at the general election for a two (2) year term pursuant to the provisions of State Law and this Charter.  The Town Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Financial Town Meeting, Clerk of the Town Council, Clerk of the Probate Court, Clerk of the Board of Canvassers, Clerk of the Municipal Court and the Recorder of Deeds.

(a)  Duties and Responsibilities

It shall be the responsibility of the Town Clerk to make permanent record of all proceedings and certify by signature all actions of the aforesaid bodies, be custodian of the Town Seal and of official documents, contracts, and records of the town.  In addition, the Town Clerk shall direct and supervise the recordings of deeds, mortgages, surveys, vital statistics, licenses, permits and other such records as shall by ordinance and law be required to be kept.  The Town Clerk shall issue birth certificates, marriage licenses and such other licenses and permits as required by ordinance or law.  The Town Clerk shall be responsible for receiving and making available to the public upon receipt resolutions and Budget Proposals for the Financial Town Meeting Referendum.  Additionally, the Town Clerk shall print, advertise and distribute the docket and any qualified budget proposals or resolutions at least twenty (20) days prior to the Financial Town Meeting Referendum and shall preside over the Financial Town Hearing. The Town Clerk shall submit his or her budget directly to the Budget Committee in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter.  The Town Clerk shall perform all other such duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or by law.

Section 802 Town Sergeant

There shall be a non-partisan Town Sergeant elected at the general election for a two (2) year term pursuant to the provisions of State Law and this Charter.  The duties of the Town Sergeant shall be to attend all Town Council meetings, post Town Council agendas to designated bulletin boards in compliance with the Open Meeting Law, transport and post voter list to each district, transport ballots to the State Board of Elections, and assist the Board of Canvassers at all Financial and Special Town Meetings Referenda.

ARTICLE IX DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

Section 902 Police Department

(a)  Organization

There shall be a Police Department, the head of which shall be the Chief of Police, who shall have served at least five (5) years in the rank of Lieutenant or higher in any organized police department and shall during those years have gained command experience in several areas of responsibility.  He/she shall possess a bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or sociology.   The Chief of Police shall be employed for an initial contract period, not to exceed three (3) years, by the Town Administrator with the approval of the Town Council.  Renewal contracts shall not exceed three (3) years.  There shall be such other subordinate officers, patrolmen, special police officers and employees as shall be determined from time to time by the Town Administrator, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police and the approval of the Town Council, subject to appropriation by the Financial Town Meeting.  The organization of the department into divisions, offices or grades shall be made by the Town Council on recommendation of the Town Administrator, in consultation with the Chief of Police.

Section 903 Fire and Rescue Department

(a)  Organization

There shall be a Fire and Rescue Department, the head of which shall be the Fire Chief, who shall have at least ten (10) years experience with progressively greater responsibility in fire department management, firefighting, fire prevention, and Emergency Medical Services.  He/she shall possess at minimum an Associates degree in fire science, public administration, or a related field, and five (5) years experience in a command position, as well as two (2) years of administrative experience.  In addition the Fire Chief shall be a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  The Fire Chief shall be appointed for an initial contract period not to exceed three (3) years, by the Town Administrator with the advice and consent of the Town Council.  Renewal contracts shall not exceed three (3) years.  There shall be such other subordinate officers, firefighters, EMTs and employees as shall be determined from time to time by the Town Administrator, upon the recommendation of the Fire Chief and the approval of the Town Council, subject to appropriation by the Financial Town Meeting.  The organization of the department into divisions, offices or grades shall be made by the Town Council on recommendation of the Town Administrator, in consultation with the Fire Chief.

 

ARTICLE XI SCHOOL DEPARTMENT

Section 1101 School Committee

(a)  Powers and Duties

The School Committee shall be responsible for the general care and management of the Tiverton Public School System, including the selection of the Superintendent of Schools.  The School Committee shall prepare and submit its budget requests to the Budget Committee and Town Administrator as required in accordance with Section 301(a) of this Charter.  Additionally, the School Committee shall have all other duties, responsibilities and powers as provided for in State Law.  For all labor or collective bargaining agreements requiring approval of the School Committee, the details of any tentative agreement shall be made public at least three days prior to the meeting at which the final approval vote is to be taken.

 (b)  Compensation

The School Committee annually, shall provide to the Budget Committee, in addition to its budget request, recommendations for compensation of its members.  Actual compensation will be as determined at the Financial Town Meeting.

 

ARTICLE XII MISCELLANEOUS

Section 1217 Health Benefits for Elected Officials

Health benefits for elected officials, including the School Committee, shall be limited to the position of Town Clerk or such other position(s) approved by a Financial Town Meeting Referendum or Referendum.  This section does not preclude town officials from obtaining health benefits at their own expense.

Section 1218 – Use of Town Resources to Influence a Voting Contest

No officer or employee of the Town, including the school Department, shall use, or cause to be used, Town property, goods, money, grants, or labor to influence the outcome of an election, ballot question, Financial Town Meeting, or referendum; the foregoing shall not prohibit the distribution or publication of election, ballot question, Financial Town Meeting, or referendum information by the Town Clerk, the Board of Canvassers, or a Charter Review Commission.

 

ARTICLE XIII TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Section 1309 Compensation

Compensation for the Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Inspectors as well as the Harbormaster shall be set by the Financial Town Meeting in accordance with Section 311 of this Charter.