The Charter Compliance Committee consists of 7 members appointed by the town moderator for 3-year overlapping terms. This is arranged so that the term of not more than 3 members shall expire each year. No appointee shall be a town employee or a member of an existing board or committee governed by the charter.
The committee shall take action only after receiving a written complaint, filed by 1 or more voters of the town, alleging a violation of this charter by reason of an act or a failure to act by the town administrator, the board of selectmen, the school committee, the finance committee or a member of such board or committee.
The complaint shall state the specific section of this charter that is the subject of the violation, the individual, board or committee responsible for the violation and the act or failure to act resulting in the violation. The complaint shall be filed with the town clerk who shall immediately send, via certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy to each member of the committee.
Within 3 weeks after receipt of the complaint by the town clerk, the committee shall vote whether to dismiss the complaint without further action. If the committee so votes, the chairman shall give written notification to the town clerk. If the committee votes to not dismiss the complaint, the chairman shall set a time and date for a hearing and mail notice of the hearing to the town clerk, the complainants and the individual, board or committee named in the complaint. The town clerk shall post and publish the notice in a newspaper of general circulation for at least 7 days before the hearing date. The hearing shall occur within 60 days after the date on which the complaint was received by the town clerk. At the hearing, the committee shall allow any person to address the committee on the merits of the complaint.
Within 3 weeks after the hearing, the committee shall vote on whether there has been a violation of this charter as alleged in the complaint and shall mail a notice of its decision to the complainant, to the individual, board or committee named in the complaint and to the town clerk. The town clerk shall post a copy of the decision at the town hall and on the town’s website.
If the committee determines that there has been a violation of this charter as alleged by the complaint, and if, following its vote, there continues to be a violation, the committee may contact town counsel who may file a complaint on behalf of the town with the superior court. Nothing in this article shall limit the right to seek enforcement of this charter as otherwise provided by law.