Maine Revised Statutes

§1322. Charter commission; membership; procedure

1. Membership.  The charter commission shall consist of 9 members, 6 of whom must be voters of the county, elected as provided in paragraph A, and 3 of whom shall be appointed by the county commissioners under paragraph B.
A. Voter members shall be nominated as provided in Title 21-A, sections 351, 352, 354, 355 and 356, and shall be nominated and elected by district if the county commissioners are elected by district. The number of voter members from each district shall be apportioned equally. When equal apportionment is not possible, one or more voter members may be nominated and elected at large. The voter members must be nominated and elected without party designation. County commissioners are not eligible for election. Election of voter members may be held at the same election as the referendum for the charter commission, but must be held within 60 days of that election. The names of the candidates shall be arranged on the ballot alphabetically by last name. If the elections are held at the same time, they shall appear immediately below the question relating to the charter commission. [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. Appointive members must be residents of the county. No person may be appointed who is a resident of a municipality in which another member resides, unless this is impossible due to the composition of the county's districts and the residences of any of those eligible under this paragraph to be appointive members. The county commissioners shall make the appointments within 30 days after the voter members have been selected. No more than 2 appointive members may be members of the same political party. One appointive member must be a county commissioner, one must be a municipal officer and one must be either a Senator or Representative. The county clerk shall give at least 7 days' notice to the clerk of each municipality within the county and each member of the county legislative delegation of the date, time and place of the meeting at which the appointive members will be selected. The county commissioners shall set the date, time and place of the meeting. [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) .]
2. Organization.  Immediately after receiving notice of the appointment of the members by the county commissioners, the county clerk shall notify the appointed and elected members of the charter commission of the date, time and place of the commission's organizational meeting. The clerk shall set the date, time and place and give at least 10 days' notice of the meeting.
The charter commission shall organize by electing from its members a chairman, vice-chairman and a secretary and shall file notice of those elections with the county clerk. Vacancies occurring on the commission shall be filled by vote of the commission from the voters of the county and, when the vacating member was elected by a district, the district, except that a vacancy among appointive members shall be promptly filled by the county commissioners. Members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed from the commission's account for expenses lawfully incurred by them in performing their duties.
[ 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. Rules; staff.  The charter commission may adopt rules governing the conduct of its meetings and proceedings and may employ any necessary legal, research, clerical or other employees and consultants within the limits of its budget.
[ 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. Funding.  A county shall provide its charter commission, free of charge, with suitable office space and with reasonable access to facilities for holding public hearings, may contribute clerical and other assistance to the commission, and shall permit it to consult with and obtain advice and information from county officers, officials and employees during ordinary working hours. Within 20 days after the election of a charter commission, the county commissioners shall credit $500 to the charter commission account. A county may from time to time transfer additional funds to the charter commission account from surplus or from other accounts in the county budget.
A. In addition to funds made available by a county, the charter commission account may receive funds from any other source, public or private, except that no contribution of more than $5 may be accepted from any source other than the county or a municipality in the county unless the name and address of the person or agency making the contribution and the amount of the contribution are disclosed in writing filed with the clerk. [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. Prior to its termination, the charter commission shall file with the clerk a complete account of all its receipts and expenditures for public inspection. Any balance remaining in its account shall be credited to the county's surplus account. [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. Hearings, reports, time limits.  The charter commission shall hold at least 3 public hearings to receive information, views, comments and other material relating to its functions. The first hearing shall be held within 30 days after the charter commission's organizational meeting.
A. The charter commission shall hold its public hearings within the county at times and places set by the commission. At least 10 days before a hearing, the charter commission shall publish the date, time and place of the hearing in a notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the county. Hearings may be adjourned from time to time without further published notice. [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 9 months after its election, the charter commission shall:
(1) Prepare a preliminary report including the text of the charter or charter revision which the commission intends to submit to the voters and any explanatory information the commission considers desirable;
(2) Have the report printed and circulated throughout the county; and
(3) Provide sufficient copies of the preliminary report to the county clerk to permit its distribution to each voter requesting a copy. [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. Within 12 months after its election the charter commission shall submit its final report to the county commissioners. This report must include:
(1) The full text and an explanation of the proposed new charter or charter revision;
(2) Any comments that the commission considers desirable;
(3) An indication of the major differences between the current and proposed charters; and
(4) A written opinion by an attorney admitted to the bar of this State that the proposed charter or charter revision does not conflict with the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Maine or the general laws.
Minority reports may be filed. [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).]
D. The county commissioners may extend the time limits for the preparation and submission of preliminary and final reports of the charter commission for up to 24 months after the election of the charter commission, if the extension is necessary to:
(1) Properly complete the reports;
(2) Have them printed or circulated; or
(3) Obtain the written opinion of anattorney. [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) .]
6. Election.  When the final report is filed, the county commissioners shall order the proposed new charter or charter revision to be submitted to the voters of the county at the next regular or special statewide election held at least 60 days after the final report is filed.
[ 1991, c. 862, §9 (AMD) .]
7. Termination.  Except as provided in paragraph A, the charter commission shall continue in existence for 30 days after submitting its final report to the county commissioners to wind up its affairs.
A. If judicial review is sought under section 1325, the charter commission shall continue in existence until that review and any appeals from that review are finally completed for the purpose of intervening in those proceedings. [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) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 737, §§A2,C106 (NEW). 1989, c. 6, (AMD). 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD). 1989, c. 104, §§C8,10 (AMD). 1991, c. 862, §9 (AMD).

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