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Proposed North Yarmouth charter revision to be discussed

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Proposed North Yarmouth charter revision to be discussed

NORTH YARMOUTH — A revised Town Charter, which in part recommends replacing the town administrator with a town manager, goes to a public hearing Wednesday, March 27.

The revised document, which can be viewed at northyarmouth.org, picked up at the town office or mailed to a home by calling that office (829-3705), is the work of the Charter Commission, which started reviewing the 1982 charter last August.

One proposed change is moving Town Meeting from June to April, due in part to concerns that the June gathering is not well attended unless major issues are on the warrant.

Audrey Lones, chairwoman of the Charter Commission, has acknowledged that moving the date will also accelerate the budget process.

Currently, ordinance changes can only be approved at Town Meeting, but another proposed charter revision would allow the Board of Selectmen to make corrections in cases like typographical errors and inaccuracies.

The town manager, as proposed, would have complete responsibility for town employees, but still report to the Board of Selectmen. The administrative assistant now lacks authority to hire, fire and supervise employees; that power rests with the board.

The Charter Commission is also calling for reducing the size of the Budget Committee from nine to seven members, and for reducing term lengths for the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals from five years to three.

Another proposal is to streamline the number of town committees, and to require that those groups are given a clear mission by selectmen, and that they must report annually to the board.

If the changes are approved in June they would take effect July 1.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.