Maine Revised Statutes

§2104. Charter amendments; procedure

1. Municipal officers.  The municipal officers may determine that amendments to the municipal charter should be considered and, by order, provide for notice and hearing on them in the same manner as provided in subsection 5, paragraph A. Within 7 days after the hearing, the municipal officers may order the proposed amendment to be placed on a ballot at the next regular municipal election held at least 30 days after the order is passed; or they may order a special election to be held at least 30 days from the date of the order for the purpose of voting on the proposed amendments.
A. Each amendment shall be limited to a single subject, but more than one section of the charter may be amended as long as it is germane to that subject. [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. Alternative statements of a single amendment are prohibited. [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. Petition by voters.  On the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 20% of the number of votes cast in a municipality at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than 10, the municipal officers, by order, shall provide that proposed amendments to the municipal charter be placed on a ballot in accordance with paragraphs A and B.
A. Each amendment shall be limited to a single subject, but more than one section of the charter may be amended as long as it is germane to that subject. [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. Alternative statements of a single amendment are prohibited. [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) .]
3. Petition procedure.  The petition forms shall carry the following legend in bold lettering at the top of the face of each form.
"Municipality of ...."
"Each of the undersigned voters respectfully requests the municipal officers to provide for the amendment of the municipal charter as set out below."
No more than one subject may be included in a petition.
In all other respects, the form, content and procedures governing amendment petitions shall be the same as provided for charter revision and adoption petitions under section 2102, including procedures relating to filing, sufficiency and amendments.
[ 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. Amendment constituting revision.  At the request of the petitioners' committee, the petition form shall also contain the following language:
"Each of the undersigned voters further requests that if the municipal officers determine that the amendment set out below would, if adopted, constitute a revision of the charter, then this petition shall be treated as a request for a charter commission."
Upon receipt of a petition containing this language, the municipal officers, if they determine with the advice of an attorney that the proposed amendment would constitute a revision of the charter, shall treat the petition as a request for a charter commission and follow the procedures applicable to such a request.
[ 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. Action on petition.  The following procedures shall be followed upon receipt of a petition certified to be sufficient.
A. Within 10 days after a petition is determined to be sufficient, the municipal officers, by order, shall provide for a public hearing on the proposed amendment. At least 7 days before the hearing, they shall publish a notice of the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality. The notice must contain the text of the proposed amendment and a brief explanation. The hearing shall be conducted by the municipal officers or a committee appointed by them. [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 7 days after the public hearing, the municipal officers or the committee appointed by them shall file with the municipal clerk a report containing the final draft of the proposed amendment and a written opinion by an attorney admitted to the bar of this State that the proposed amendment does not contain any provision prohibited by the general laws, the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Maine. In the case of a committee report, a copy shall also be filed with the municipal officers. [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. On all petitions filed more than 120 days before the end of the current municipal year, the municipal officers shall order the proposed amendment to be submitted to the voters at the next regular or special municipal election held within that year after the final report is filed. If no such election will be held before the end of the current municipal year, the municipal officers shall order a special election to be held before the end of the current municipal year for the purpose of voting on the proposed amendment. Unrelated charter amendments shall be submitted to the voters as separate questions. [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. Summary of amendment.  When the municipal officers determine that it is not practical to print the proposed amendment on the ballot and that a summary would not misrepresent the subject matter of the proposed amendment, the municipal officers shall include in their order a summary of the proposed amendment, prepared subject to the requirements of section 2105, subsection 3, paragraph C, and instruction to the clerk to include the summary on the ballot instead of the text of the proposed amendment.
[ 1991, c. 622, Pt. X, §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. 622, §X10 (AMD).

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