Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. A member of the Athol-Royalston regional school committee may be recalled and removed therefrom by the registered voters of the member towns as provided in this act.
SECTION 2. Any 150 registered voters of the member towns may initiate a recall petition by filing with the secretary of the school committee an affidavit containing the name of the member to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The secretary shall thereupon deliver to the voters making the affidavit copies of petition blanks demanding the recall, copies of which printed forms the secretary shall keep available. The blanks shall be issued by the secretary and shall contain the signature and official seal of the secretary. The petitions shall be dated, addressed to the regional school committee and contain the names of all persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit, and they shall demand the election of a successor in the office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the secretary. The recall petition shall be signed by at least 10 per cent of the registered voters of each precinct of the regional school district who shall add their signatures and the street and number and precinct of their residences and filed with the secretary within 20 days after the filing of the affidavit. The secretary shall, within 24 hours of receipt of the recall petition, submit the petition to the registrars of voters in the member towns, and the registrars shall, within 5 working days, certify thereon the number of signatures that are names of registered voters of the member towns.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by the secretary to be sufficient, the secretary shall submit the same with the secretary's certificate to the regional school committee within 5 working days and the regional school committee shall, within 5 working days, give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the member sought to be recalled and shall, if the member does not resign within 7 days thereafter, request the board of selectmen of the member towns to order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than 60 days and not more than 90 days after the date of the secretary's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; but if any other town election is to occur within 90 days after the date of the certificate, the boards of selectmen of the member towns shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of the other election.
SECTION 4. Any member sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself, and unless he requests otherwise in writing, the secretary 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 act.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If not recalled, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term subject to recall as before, except as provided in section 7. If recalled in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon qualification of his successor, who shall hold office during the remainder of the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 days after receiving notification of his election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
SECTION 6. Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of official)
Against the recall of (name of official)
Immediately at the right of each proposition there shall be a square in which the voter, by making a cross mark, "X", may vote for either of the propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates", the directions to the voters required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws and, beneath this, the names of candidates nominated in accordance with provisions of law relating to elections. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If a majority number of the votes on the question are in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted.
SECTION 7. No person shall be subject to recall if his term of office expires within 6 months of the filing of the certificate. If a vacancy occurs in the office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall proceed as provided in this act. A recall petition shall not be filed against a member within 90 days after such member takes office nor, in the case of a member subjected to recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least 90 days after the recall election.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect upon its passage.