Maine Revised Statutes

§1321. Charter adoptions, revisions, procedure

A charter commission may be initiated by the county commissioners or by petition by voters according to the methods established in subsections 1 and 2. [2003, c. 696, §9 (NEW).]

1. County commissioners.  The county commissioners may determine that the adoption of a county charter should be considered or that the revision of a county charter already adopted under this chapter should be considered and, by order, provide for the establishment of a charter commission to carry out that purpose as provided in this chapter.
[ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
2. Petition by voters.  On the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the county at the last gubernatorial election, the county commissioners shall, by order, provide for the establishment of a charter commission for the preparation or revision of a county charter in the form and manner provided in this chapter.
[ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
3. Petition procedure.  The following procedure shall be used in the alternative method under subsection 2.
A. Any 5 voters of the county may file an affidavit with the county clerk stating:
(1) They will constitute the petitioner's committee;
(2) They will circulate the petition and file it in proper form;
(3) The names and addresses of the members; and
(4) The address to which all notices to the committee are to be sent.
Promptly after the affidavit is filed, the clerk shall issue petition blanks to the committee. Petition blanks shall be issued for each municipality.
The petitioner's committee may designate additional voters of the county, who are not members of the committee, to circulate the petition. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
B. The clerk shall prepare petition forms at the county's expense. The petition forms shall be printed on paper of uniform size and may consist of as many individual sheets as are reasonably necessary.
(1) Petition forms shall carry the following legend in bold lettering at the top of the face of each form.
"County of ...."
"Each of the undersigned voters respectfully requests the county commissioners to establish a charter commission for the purpose of revising the county charter or preparing a new county charter."
Each signature to a petition must be in ink or other indelible instrument and must be followed by the residence of the voter with street and number, if any. No petition may contain any party or political designation.
(2) The clerk shall note the date of each petition form issued. All petitions must be filed within 120 days of the date of issue or they are void.
(3) Each petition form shall have printed on its back an affidavit to be executed by the circulator, stating that the circulator personally circulated the form, the number of signatures on the form, that all the signatures were signed in the circulator's presence, that the circulator believes them to be genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be, that each signer has signed no more than one petition and that each signer had an opportunity to read the petition before signing. Before filing the petitions under subparagraph (4), the circulator shall submit them to the registrar of each municipality concerned for certification according to Title 21-A, section 354, subsection 7, paragraph B.
(4) Petition forms shall be assembled as one instrument and filed at one time with the clerk. The clerk shall note the date of filing on the forms.
[ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
4. Procedure after filing.  Within 20 days after the petition is filed, the clerk shall complete a certificate as to its sufficiency, specifying, if it is insufficient, the particulars which render it defective. The clerk shall promptly send a copy of the certificate to the petitioners' committee by mail and shall file a copy with the county commissioners.
A. A petition certified insufficient for lack of the required number of valid signatures may be amended once if the petitioners' committee files a notice of intention to amend it with the clerk within 2 days after receiving the copy of the clerk's certificate.
Within 10 days after the notice of intention is filed, the committee may file a supplementary petition to correct the deficiencies in the original petition. This supplementary petition must in form and content comply with the requirements for an original petition under subsection 3. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
B. Within 5 days after a supplementary petition is filed, the clerk shall complete and file a certificate as to its sufficiency in the manner provided for an original petition. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
C. Any petition finally determined to be insufficient is void. The clerk shall stamp the petition void and seal and retain it in the manner required for secret ballots. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
[ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
5. Election procedure. 
[ 2003, c. 696, §10 (RP) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 737, §§A2,C106 (NEW). 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW). 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW). 1989, c. 6, (AMD). 1989, c. 6, (AMD). 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD). 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD). 1989, c. 104, §§C8,10 (AMD). 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD). 2003, c. 696, §§9,10 (AMD).