(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following press release is from State Rep. Tom Conroy.)
Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives amended and passed H4528, “An Act Amending Chapter 131 of the Acts of 1994 to Increase Board of Selectmen Membership in the Town of Sudbury.” The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration and potential passage prior to the end of the legislative session on January 2, 2013.
The new language in the bill amended today creates more clarity for the town to hold a special election during 2013, initiated either by citizen petition with a requisite number of signatures, or by vote of the selectmen. Other new language ensures alignment of the term end dates and future re-election dates of the two newly elected selectmen with Sudbury’s by-laws and traditional term end dates (last day of Annual Town Meeting) and the annual town election, (the fourth Monday in March each year).
Much of the substance of H4528 remained the same as the bill that was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Election Laws two weeks ago. As before, the bill requires a ballot vote in Sudbury on whether to increase the board of selectmen from three members to five at the next regular annual town election, which will occur in March 2013. This provision provides all of Sudbury citizens with an opportunity to vote yea or nay on the idea of increasing the board of selectmen from three to five members.
Also as before, the bill states that if a majority of voters favor the increase at the March 2013 vote, an election for two additional selectmen must occur no later than the subsequent annual town election, which will occur in March 2014. Further, the bill provides an opportunity for Sudbury’s selectmen to schedule a special election during 2013 or add the election to an otherwise required town-wide ballot vote, or schedule a special election at the request of a petition signed by 10 percent (approximately 1,200) of Sudbury’s registered voters.
With this approval by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the bill continues to progress swiftly through the legislative process. H4528 was reported favorably out of the House Steering and Policy Committee last week before moving to the House calendar and then the House Committee on Third Reading, from which it emerged today. The Senate is likely to receive the bill on Monday, December 17.