Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 6 of the charter of the town of North Reading, which is on file in the office of the archivist of the commonwealth, as provided in section twelve of chapter forty-three B of the General Laws, is hereby amended by striking out section 3 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 6-3-1. Any elective officer of the town may be recalled and removed from public office by the voters of the town as herein provided. Any voter of the town may file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name and title of the elective officer whose removal is sought, together with a statement of the grounds for his removal. No recall petition may be filed against any officer until he has held office for at least six months.
Section 6-3-2. The town clerk shall thereupon deliver to said voter or voters making the affidavit, copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, copies of which printed forms shall be available. Such forms shall be issued by the town clerk with his signature and official seal attached thereto. They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the selectmen and shall contain the names of all the persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and shall demand the election of a successor in the said office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within twenty days after the filing of the affidavit, and shall have been signed by qualified voters of the town, who shall add to their signatures the street and number, if any, of their residences, equal in number to at least fifteen percent of the voters registered at the last regular municipal election.
Section 6-3-3. The town clerk shall within twenty-four hours of receipt submit the petition to the registrars of voters in the town, and the registrars shall within seven working days certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town.
Section 6-3-4. If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient he shall submit the same with his certificate to the selectmen within five working days, and the selectmen shall within five working days give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within five days thereafter, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than seventy-five and not more than ninety days after the date of the town clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within ninety days after the date of the certificate, the selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. No person shall be subject to recall if his term of office expires within ninety days of the certificate. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
Section 6-3-5. Any officer sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself, and unless he requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place his name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the removal election, and the conduct of the same shall all be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this section.
Section 6-3-6. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If then reelected, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term subject to recall as before, except as provided in this act. If not reelected in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within five days after receiving notification of this election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
Section 6-3-7. Ballots used in the recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of officer)
Against the recall of (name of officer)
For the election of (name)
Each proposition shall be marked in accordance with the procedures for voting according to the electronic voting system used by the town. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates", and beneath this, the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections. If two-thirds of the votes cast upon the question of recall are in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.
Section 6-3-8. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within six months after he takes office, nor, in the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least ninety days after the election at which his recall was submitted to the voters of the town.
Section 6-3-9. No person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against him, shall be appointed to any office in the town within two years after such recall or such resignation.
SECTION 2. This act shall be submitted to the voters of the town of North Reading at the annual election to be held in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-seven in the form of the following question which shall be placed on the official ballot:- "Shall an act passed by the general court in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-six entitled 'An act relative to recall elections in the town of North Reading' be accepted "
If a majority of the votes cast in answer to said question is in the affirmative, said act shall take effect, but not otherwise.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.