Local Questions for March 2 Election

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 6:30pm
Category: 

New Shoreham, Rhode Island
LOCAL QUESTIONS
March 2, 2021
Special Referendum Election
Proposed Amendments to the New Shoreham Home Rule Charter

The questions below propose to change New Shoreham’s Home Rule Charter. They will be on the March 2, 2021 Special Referendum Election Ballot. Any questions voted approved by a majority of voters on March 2 will change the Charter. The questions were developed by the Charter Review Commission in meetings from October 2019 to December 2020. The Town Council reviewed and amended the questions to the final form you see below. [Ballot questions 1 through 7 are statewide questions pertaining to bonds, temporary bonds and refunding notes.] Copies of the ballot, and a mock-up of the Charter showing the proposed changes in context are available on the Town’s website new-shoreham.com, at Town Hall, at the Island Free Library. Contact the Town Clerk at townclerk@new-shoreham.com or (401) 466-3200 if you’d like the information emailed or mailed. You must be registered to vote from your actual place of residence. The Town Council will hold a Public Hearing on the questions 7:00 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2021 via Zoom. Dial in: 888 788 0099 or 833 548 0276 or 833 548 0282 or 877 853 5247. Meeting ID 856 5768 5429; Passcode: 583830

#8. BROADCASTING AND RECORDING OF TOWN MEETINGS
(Amends Charter Section 104) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021.
Shall Section 104 of the Charter be amended to require that the Town Council
adopt policies to ensure to the most practical and reasonable extent possible, the
broadcast and recording of all Town Council meetings, and all meetings of the
Planning Board, Zoning Board of Review, Conservation Commission, Historic
District Commission, Police Advisory Commission and Public Facility Review
Commission?
#9. POSTING OF DOCUMENTS PRIOR TO TOWN MEETINGS (Amends
Charter Section 104) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall
Section 104 of the Charter be amended to require that the Town Council adopt
policies to ensure to the most practical and reasonable extent possible, that public
documents regarding open-session agenda items that have been distributed
to members of the Town Council, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Review,
Conservation Commission, Historic District Commission, Police Advisory
Commission and Public Facility Review Commission be posted on such digital
platforms as the council may direct?
#10. RESPONSIBILITY OF ELECTORS TO ATTEND FINANCIAL
TOWN MEETING (Amends Charter Section 301) Approved by the Town
Council on January 4, 2021. Shall Section 301 of the Charter be amended to
add a sentence which states that it shall be considered the responsibility of each
elector of the Town to attend the financial town meeting?
#11. APPOINTMENT OF TEMPORARY TOWN MODERATOR FOR
FINANCIAL TOWN MEETING (Amends Charter Section 302) Approved
by the Town Council on January 4, 2021. Shall Section 302 of the Charter
be amended to permit the Town Council to appoint a temporary moderator at
a financial town meeting in the event that both the Town Moderator and the
Assistant Town Moderator are unavailable?
#12. PUBLICATION OF FINANCIAL TOWN MEETING WARRANT
(Amends Charter Section 304) Approved by the Town Council on
January 6, 2021. Shall Section 304 of the Charter be amended to require
that the warrant, including a plain-language version of the warrant
describing the matters to be considered at a financial town meeting, be
published in the newspaper of record or, in absence of the newspaper
of record, in a newspaper having a circulation in Washington County,
and also broadly distributed across such reasonably available digital
platforms as the Town Council may direct?
#13. LIMITING CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN TOWN COUNCIL
MEMBERS MAY SERVE ON LAND TRUST, SCHOOL COMMITTEE
OR BOARD APPOINTED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL (Amends Charter
Section 402) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Section 402
of the Charter currently allows the Town Council to make an exception to
the prohibition against a Council member serving on the Land Trust, School
Committee or a board or commission appointed by the Town Council if the
exception is best for the welfare of the Town. Shall this exception be qualified
to add the requirement that any such exception must be related to a special
circumstance and must be for a specific, limited time period?
#14. ADDING PUBLIC COMMENT TO COUNCIL AGENDAS (Amends
Charter Section 405) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021.
Shall Section 405 of the Charter be amended to require that the Town Council
procedural rules include a public comment agenda item at each regular meeting
of the Town Council?
#15. ADDING HEALTH INSURANCE TO COMPENSATION OF TOWN
COUNCIL MEMBERS (Amends Charter Section 407) Approved by the Town
Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section 407 of the Charter be amended to
provide Town Council members with health insurance benefits commensurate
with the highest level of coverage available to employees of the New Shoreham
Employees Association through the then-applicable collective bargaining
agreement with the same percentage of medical benefits premium co-share?
#16. REMOVING COUNCIL OBLIGATION TO REVIEW PERSONNEL
POLICIES ANNUALLY (Amends Charter Section 408) Approved by the
Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section 408 of the Charter be amended
to strike the annual obligation of the Town Council to review personnel polices
as follows?
Adopt by ordinance and review annually in consultation with the Town
Manager, such personnel policies, and provide such rules, regulations
and administrative arrangements for the implementation thereof, as it
may deem appropriate, for the better governance of the Town
#17. REQUIRING POSTING OF PROPOSED CHARTER
AMENDMENTS ON THE TOWN’S WEBSITE (Amends Charter
Section 409) Approved by the Town Council on January 4, 2021.
Shall Section 409 of the Charter be amended to include the requirement that
proposed ordinances and ordinance amendments be posted on the Town’s
website?
#18. ELIMINATING TOWN MANAGER RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
(Amends Charter Section 502) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021.
Shall Section 502 of the Charter be amended to conform with state law by
removing the residency requirement for the Town Manager, and permitting the
Town Council to enter into an agreement regarding compensation, benefits and
Town residency for the Town Manager as it may deem appropriate?
#19. ADDING TOWN MANAGER DUTY TO INCLUDE SEASONAL
FLUCTUATIONS ASSESSMENT (Amends Charter Section 506) Approved
by the Town Council on January 4, 2021. Shall Section 506 of the Charter
be amended to include the duty of the Town Manager to annually prepare an
assessment of the impact of seasonal fluctuations in population and activity
on the enforcement and management of public safety, public health, historic
character and traffic?
#20. PROHIBITING TOWN MANAGER FROM SERVING AS HEAD
OF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (Amends Charter Section 507)
Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section 507 of the
Charter be amended to provide that the Town Manager may not serve as the head
of the Department of Public Works, but that the Town Manager may serve as the
temporary head of the Department in the event of a vacancy in the position or if
the head of the Department is unavailable?
#21. ADDING BUDGET PROCESS GOAL (Amends Charter Section 605)
Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section 605 of the
Charter be amended to add the sentence that it shall be the goal of the town’s
budget process to distribute budget information and materials as broadly as
possible and to engage the public throughout the development and approval of
the budget?
#22. ADDING BUDGET NOTICE REQUIREMENTS (Amends Charter
Section 605) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section
605 of the Charter be amended to require that two public hearings on the budget
take place and that notice of all budget hearings and budget work sessions
be posted in accordance with the requirements of state law, and be posted
prominently on the town’s website and on such digital platforms as the Town
Council may direct?
#23. ADDING REQUIREMENT REGARDING DISPOSAL OF TOWN
INTANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY (Amends Charter Section 605)
Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section 605 of the
Charter be amended to require that Town intangible personal property be by
disposed of by bid or public auction at the direction of the Town Council?
#24. POLICE ADVISORY COMMISSION (Amends Charter Section 907)
Approved by the Town Council on January 4, 2021. Shall Section 907 of the
Charter be amended to require that the Town Council appoint a Police Advisory
Committee to meet quarterly with the Chief of Police regarding challenges
faced by the police department and community related to law enforcement, and
to communicate regularly with the Town Manager and Chief of Police, and to
remove the responsibility of the Police Advisory Committee to review complaints
regarding police activities?
#25. RESPONSIBILITIES OF DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS (Amends
Charter Section 801) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021.
Shall Section 801 of the Charter be amended to add to the Director of Public
Work’s responsibilities services related to community infrastructure and sea
rise resiliency, to remove inspection functions from the responsibilities of the
Director, and to delete all references relating to sewers?
#26. ADDING REQUIREMENT THAT DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
AND HARBORMASTER REPORT TO TOWN MANAGER (Amends
Charter Section 801) Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall
Section 801 of the Charter be amended to state that the Director of Public Works
and the Harbormaster report to the Town Manager?
#27. REMOVING OFFICE OF INSPECTIONS FROM
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (Amends Charter Section 801)
Approved by the Town Council on January 6, 2021. Shall Section 801 of the
Charter be amended to make the Office of Inspections, which is responsible
for all building, minimum housing, plumbing, electrical and similar inspectoral
functions, separate from the Department of Public Works, and to require that the
Building Inspector and other inspectoral personnel report to the Town Manager?
Posted January 26, 2021