H.P. 882 - L.D. 1239
An Act to Clarify the Governance of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §101, as amended by PL 1969, c. 477, §1 and PL 1995, c. 532, §17, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§101. Nominations, elections and appointments of supervisors
1. Elections of supervisors. The governing body of each district consists of a board of 5 supervisors. Three of the supervisors must be elected. Petitions may be filed to nominate candidates for election as supervisors of each district. When the district is first created, nominating petitions must be filed with, and the election must be conducted by, the department. After the creation of the district, nominating petitions must be filed with, and the election must be conducted by, each district. Nominating petitions must be subscribed by 25 or more registered voters residing within the district, as certified and sworn by the person submitting the petition and subject to such verification as the department or district may require. Registered voters may sign petitions to nominate more than one candidate for supervisor. The department or district shall give notice of the time for making nominations and the time and manner in which the election will occur. Registered voters residing within the district are eligible to vote in an election. When a district is first created, the 3 nominated candidates who receive the largest number of votes in the election are the elected supervisors of the district. Terms of elected supervisors are staggered, with the candidate receiving the largest number of votes initially elected to a 3-year term, the candidate receiving the 2nd largest number of votes initially elected to a 2-year term and the candidate receiving the 3rd largest number of votes initially elected to a one-year term. Thereafter, the term of office of each elected supervisor is 3 years. Following an election, the results must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the district, and the names of those elected must be certified by the commissioner. The commissioner may adopt rules or prescribe procedures governing elections, which may include elections by mail or other procedures the commissioner finds to be fair and efficient. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
2. Appointments of supervisors. In each district, 2 supervisors must be appointed by the commissioner, taking into consideration the various interests of the district in agriculture, forestry, wildlife, recreation and community and regional development. The appointees must be qualified by training and experience to perform their duties. The terms of the appointed supervisors must be staggered, with the first appointed supervisor initially appointed to a one-year term and the 2nd appointed supervisor initially appointed to a 2-year term. Thereafter, the term of office of each appointed supervisor is 3 years.
3. Tenure. A supervisor shall continue to hold office until the supervisor's successor has been elected or appointed and has qualified pursuant to subsection 2.
4. Vacancies. A vacancy for the unexpired term of an appointed supervisor must be filled through appointment by the commissioner as described in this section. A vacancy for the unexpired term of an elected supervisor may be temporarily filled by the commissioner through appointment of an associate supervisor designated with voting authority in accordance with section 103. This appointment is effective only until the district holds an election as necessitated by the expiration of the term of any elected supervisor.
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §102, as amended by PL 1995, c. 532, §§15 and 17, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§102. Duties of supervisors and district employees
1. Supervisors. A majority of the supervisors constitute a quorum, and the vote of a majority of the quorum present constitutes an action by the board. The supervisors shall elect one of their members to be chair and may, from time to time, change such designation. As determined by the board, and to the extent funds are available for this purpose, a supervisor may receive reasonable compensation for services and other expenses, including travel necessarily incurred in the discharge of the supervisor's duties.
2. Employees and others. The supervisors may employ a secretary and such other employees and contractors as they require in the performance of their duties. The supervisors may call upon the Attorney General for legal services. The supervisors shall require the execution of surety bonds for all employees and officers who are entrusted with funds or valuable property.
3. Delegation. Subject to their appropriate supervision, the supervisors may delegate the work of the district to one or more of their members of the district or to their employees or agents as they determine necessary for the conduct of the district's business.
4. Records. The supervisors shall provide for the keeping of accurate records of their actions, proceedings and other business of the district. The supervisors shall furnish to the commissioner any records or information that the commissioner may request concerning the performance of the district's business.
Effective September 18, 1999, unless otherwise indicated.
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