Town of Sturbridge Board, Committee & Commission Handbook

Revised: June 2011 Sturbridge Board of Selectmen

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COMMITTEE HANDBOOK 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose 1.2 Additional Publications FORMATION OF COMMITTEES AND MEMBERSHIP 2.1 Types of Committees 2.2 Committee Formation 2.3 Committee Application Procedure 2.4 Appointment 2.5 Committee Orientation 2.6 Conflict of Interest Statute 2.7 Reappointment 2.8 Resignation 2.9 Other Terminations 2.10 Composition OFFICERS 3.1 Elections 3.2 Chair 3.3 Vice-Chair 3.4 Secretary MEETINGS 4.1 Definition 4.2 Open Meeting Law 4.3 General Guidelines 4.4 Code of Conduct 4.4a Speaking for a Board or Committee 4.4b Civil Discourse 4.5 Executive Session 4.6 First Meeting 4.7 Meeting Schedule and Location 4.8 Public Posting 4.9 Meeting Notices 4.10 Record Keeping 4.11 Public Records Law 4.12 Quorum FINANCES 5.1 Committee Budgets 5.2 Source of Funds
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5.3 Disbursements 5.4 Purchases 5.5 Written Proposals 5.6 Public Bidding Requirements 5.7 Contracts 5.8 Use of Town Counsel 6.0 REPORTING PROCEDURES 6.1 Appointing Authority 6.2 Liaison with Board of Selectmen 6.3 Liaison with Town Administrator 6.4 Public Information Meetings 6.5 Town Meeting 6.6 Warrant Articles 6.7 Town Reports PLANNING 7.1 Goals and Purposes 7.2 Plan of Action 7.3 Procedure MISCELLANEOUS 8.1 Inter-Committee Meetings 8.2 Dissolution 8.3 Sources of Information

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Appendix A: Anti-Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Policy Appendix B: Workplace Harassment/Violence Policy Appendix C: Drug Free Workplace Policy

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This Handbook has been prepared by the Town of Sturbridge for use by boards, committees and commissions involved in Town Government. Although the Handbook is designed to provide guidance to primarily appointed boards and committees, nevertheless it serves as a valuable framework to all boards and committees. It provides information concerning legal obligations, procedural matters and guidance for the effective operation of these groups. It is the policy of the Town of Sturbridge to uphold, promote, and demand the highest standards of ethics from all of its public officials ‐ whether elected or appointed. Accordingly, all elected, and appointed officials shall endeavor to maintain the utmost standards of personal integrity, honesty, and fairness in carrying out their public duties, avoiding any improprieties in their roles as public servants, while complying with all applicable laws, bylaws, and orders of the Town of Sturbridge, as well as all applicable Federal and State laws, and shall refrain always from using their municipal position or powers improperly towards the achievement of any personal or familial gain. We are grateful to the many residents of Sturbridge who serve in these positions and hope that this Handbook will assist them in their duties and responsibilities. Update Adopted by: STURBRIDGE BOARD OF SELECTMEN ____________________________ Chairman Thomas R. Creamer ____________________________ Vice Chairman Mary B. Dowling ____________________________ Clerk Mary Blanchard ____________________________ Member Angeline Ellison ____________________________ Member Priscilla Gimas Date: 20 June 2011

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1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this Handbook is to assist the many boards, commissions and committees of the Town. It provides a brief description of procedures which may be well known to many but are less familiar to others. It also provides details about important state statutes, such as the Open Meeting Law and Conflict of Interest Law. For purposes of this Handbook, the words boards, committees and commissions are used interchangeably. 1.2 Additional Publications

All committee members should read the Annual Town Report, the Town Charter and the Town of Sturbridge General Bylaws for information regarding boards and committees. In addition, all committee members should review each set of laws that pertain to a certain board, commission, or committee. 2.0 2.1 FORMATION OF COMMITTEE AND MEMBERSHIP Types of Committees

There are two types of appointed committees involved in Sturbridge Town Government, namely: A. Permanent Committees of the Town (e.g. Planning Board, Finance Committee, Personnel Committee, Conservation Commission, etc.). These committees are established by Charter, state Statute or by Town Meeting vote and are assigned specific responsibilities for certain functions of the Town. B. Study and Advisory Committees. These committees are established by Town Meeting vote or by the Board of Selectmen to study problems facing the Town and to bring back recommendations to the Town Meeting and/or the Board of Selectmen. Advisory Committees may also be established to address specific concerns/needs within the community (e.g. Economic Development Committee, Trails Committee, Public Lands Advisory Committee, etc.) 2.2 Committee Formation

Appointments to committees in Sturbridge are made by any one of several elected boards, the Town Administrator, the Town Moderator, or by some combination thereof (hereinafter referred to as the “appointing authorities”). State statutes outline the authority
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and duties of many boards, and the Town Charter further defines the work of some boards. Town Meeting may request the appointment of a committee by approving an article for that purpose. The appointing authority prepares the charge and receives the reports and recommendations of the committee. If appropriate, the committee may also report to Town Meeting. 2.3 Committee Application Procedure

When openings on committees are available, the openings are generally published in local newspapers, local cable access (Channel 11) and the Town Web site ( Candidates hoping to get on a particular committee are urged to send a Committee Application Form with a letter-of-interest to the appointing authority as identified in the advertisement. For anyone interested in serving on a committee when no opening exists, the form and letter will be held on file for consideration when an opening becomes available. A well-written letter of interest will assist the appointing authority in making the best decision on committee appointments. Ideally, the application should list education, work experience and outside accomplishments that will significantly contribute to the committee’s area of responsibility. 2.4 Appointment

The goal of the appointing authorities is to appoint qualified and interested Sturbridge residents who are broadly representative of the Town. The appointing authorities carefully consider letters of interest and recommendations by committees. The appointee receives formal written notification of appointment and the term of office from the appointing authority. The appointee shall appear before the Town Clerk to take the oath of office prior to attending a committee meeting as an official member. The Town Clerk gives committee members information about the Open Meeting Law (MGL Chapter 30A, §§18-25) and the Ethics Law (MGL c. 268A as amended by Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009) as required by statute. Members must sign a written acknowledgment of receipt. Permanent committee appointments are generally for three or five-year terms or as otherwise designated by the Charter or appointment notification. *NOTE: The above procedure does not apply to the filling of vacancies on elected boards.

Citizens who assist committees are not official members and, as such, have no vote in committee proceedings.

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Committee Orientation

New members to a committee or board should be informed about the committee’s specific role, authority and duties, rules and regulations, and any issues frequently encountered by the board or committee. Such information can be provided by the committee Chairperson, other members, and/or staff personnel. Additional guidance on the parliamentary process of committee interaction can be found on the State’s website at (keyword search Parliamentary Procedure, as well as Robert’s Rules of Order). 2.6

(MGL c. 268A as amended by Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009) 2.6.1 Purpose

The purpose of the conflict law is to ensure that public employees’ private financial interests and personal relationships do not conflict with their public obligations. The law is broadly written to prevent a public employee from becoming involved in a situation which could result in a conflict or give the appearance of a conflict. The law restricts what a public employee may do: 1) on the job; 2) after hours; and 3) after leaving public service. All town employees and members of boards or committees are required by the state to take an online ethics training and test once every two years. The Town Clerk will provide a state-mandated summary of this law together with the training requirement information upon appointment. 2.6.2 Provisions The law prohibits a variety of actions, including bribery, extra pay, receipt of gifts or privileges because of committee members’ official actions, and acting as an agent or attorney for anyone in a claim against or doing business with the Town. The law prohibits all municipal employees from participating in a particular manner in which committee members or any of the following have a financial interest: • Immediate Family: Includes the employee and spouse, their parents, children, brothers and sisters. Cousins, nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, etc. are not considered immediate family members. Also, under the definition of the immediate family, some brothers-in-law are immediate family, while others are not (if your brother-in-law is your spouse’s brother, then he is immediate family. If he is your sister’s husband, then he is not immediate family for the purposes of the conflict law). Partner or Business Associates.
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A Business Organization in which the committee member serves as an officer, director, trustee, partner or employee (including a non-profit organization). Any Person or Organization with whom the committee member is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment.

If board or committee members have a conflict of interest or an appearance of conflict in any matter before the board or committee, they should not be counted in the quorum nor participate in or be present for any pertinent discussion or votes. Additional guidance can be obtained by contacting the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission (617-3719500/888-485-4766) or by review of the Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law. The law provides for the legal determination of conflict of interest status for any employee submitting a request to the appointing agency or State Ethics Commission.* The law also provides for continued service in certain circumstances if full disclosure is made or a special exemption is granted by the Board of Selectmen. If committee members have any questions about their activities, they should file a written request for an opinion from Town Counsel through the Town Administrator or seek a legal opinion from the State Ethics Commission legal department. The answer to the request will be in writing and become a matter of public record. * “Municipal Employee” refers to anyone holding any office, position, employment or membership in any municipal agency. Unpaid members of local Town boards and committees are municipal employees, as are private citizens serving on a special advisory committee. REAPPOINTMENT


Reappointment is based on an evaluation by the appointing authority of the citizen’s contribution to the committee, the desirability of widespread involvement, and the changing needs of the committee and the Town. There is no fixed limit on length of service. If a person chooses not to be appointed, the appointing authority should be advised in advance. A committee member is under no obligation to accept reappointment, nor is the appointing authority obligated to offer reappointment. It is incumbent upon the committee chairperson to make recommendations regarding the reappointment of committee members. Specific and objective reasons for positive or negative recommendations should be stated. 2.8 RESIGNATION

A committee member who is no longer able to serve should resign promptly so that the vacancy may be filled. A written resignation should be submitted to the Town Clerk, with
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a copy to the committee chairperson and the appointing authority (MGL Chapter 41, Section 109). 2.9 OTHER TERMINATIONS

In rare circumstances such as - but not limited to - continued unexplained absences, conflict of interest, failure to discharge the duties of office, violation of state or town statutes or failure to follow town policies, the appointing authority may ask for a member’s resignation or, if necessary, revoke the appointment. Prompt, written notification identifying the stated cause to the committee member will be given by the appointing authority in the event of such action. The appointing authority will consider all mitigating circumstances or facts in making the above determination. 2.10 COMPOSITION

The composition of most appointed committees is specified by Town Charter or Town Meeting Vote. 3.0 3.1 OFFICERS Elections

Committees elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson and a secretary annually,* usually at the first meeting after new terms begin. It is the responsibility of the chairperson to notify the appointing authority, the Town Administrator, and the Town Clerk of changes in officers. Committees are not required to elect a secretary if that committee has a paid part-time secretary (e.g. Conservation Commission, Planning and Zoning Boards). * 3.2 Unless otherwise provided by State Law, Town Charter or Bylaw. Chairperson

The chairperson presides at all meetings, decides questions of order, calls special meetings, sets the agenda, and signs official documents that require the chairperson’s signature. Any vacancy in the office of the chairman shall be filled by the vice-chairman. In the event that the chairman is unable or unwilling to serve a complete term, and the vice-chairman declines to assume the role, a chairman shall be elected by the board/committee to serve until the next annual election. The chairperson has the same rights as other members to offer resolutions, make or second motions, discuss questions and vote thereon.

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The vice-chairperson acts for the chairperson whenever the latter is absent from meetings and performs other necessary duties. It must not be forgotten that in the case of the absence of the chairman the vice chairman must preside, and in case of the illness, resignation or death of the chairman, the vice chairman becomes chairman for the unexpired term, unless he/she declines to accept the position. It is therefore important to elect a vice-chairman who is willing to perform the duties of chairman. 3.4 Secretary

The secretary is responsible for the following duties of the committee: 1. 2. Take and transcribe the committee’s minutes. Prepare agendas and any other materials. The tentative agenda for the next meeting should be distributed to committee members and the Town Administrator’s Office. Copy meeting materials and make available packets to committee members using, if necessary, facilities and materials at the Town Hall. Schedule a place, date and time of meeting and post the meeting with the Town Clerk no later than 48 hours before a meeting. The Town Clerk will ensure that the notice is posted on the Town Hall bulletin board. Note that meeting postings must comply with the Open Meeting Law revisions effective July 1, 2010 including the requirement that the posting include all agenda topics that the chairperson reasonably expects to discuss and that the meeting be posted at least 48 hours in advance not including Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays. The Town Clerk may specify other posting requirements for the official bulletin board. MEETINGS Definition

3. 4.

4.0 4.1

A public meeting occurs at any time a quorum of the committee or subcommittee members get together to discuss or consider any public business or policy over which the committee has some jurisdiction or advisory authority. No action of the committee or subcommittee is valid or binding unless ratified by the affirmative vote of the majority of the full board. 4.2 Open Meeting Law

The Massachusetts Open Meeting Law requires that all meetings of elected or appointed boards, committees or subcommittees be open to the public except in ten specific
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situations where Executive Session is allowed (see MGL c. 30A, Section 21(a)). Executive Sessions are further discussed in Section 4.5 of this handbook. The law does not apply to chance meetings or social occasions; however, such meetings cannot be used to circumvent the requirement of discussing and deliberating at public meetings. The law does not apply to administrative meetings or to a group appointed by a single administrator to advise on administrative responsibilities. Any person may record a meeting with a tape recorder or any other means of sonic reproduction and/or videotape equipment, provided there is no active interference with the conduct of the meeting. The manner in which this right is to be exercised is subject to the reasonable direction of the chairperson. 4.3 General Guidelines

It is advisable for a committee to utilize formal rules of order (e.g. Robert’s Rules of Order) to ensure smooth, effective, and orderly debate and deliberation. Although most small committee discussions may seem too casual to be called debate, it is important for the committee to observe a minimum of generally accepted procedures. Attentive guidance by the chairperson and adherence to adopted procedures can increase efficiency as well as maintain objectivity. The chairperson should limit all participation to concise, non-repetitive statements. Although desirable, it is not necessary for the committee to continue discussion until complete consensus is achieved. Other actions such as calling for a vote, postponing until more information is available, or referring to a subcommittee may be required. The Open Meeting Law does not require that visitors be allowed to participate. It may be advisable for the chairperson to remind speakers of time and repetition limits. No one may speak at a committee meeting without permission of the chairperson. If a speaker refuses to be silent after warning from the chairperson, the chairperson has the authority to order the speaker removed from the meeting by the police. Nevertheless, all committee members represent and serve the Town. They should treat all visitors and other committee members with courtesy and consideration.

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4.4 CODE OF CONDUCT All members of Boards, Commissions and Committees are expected to conduct themselves as follows: 1. Realize that his or her function is to follow the purpose and mission of the Board, Commission or Committee. 2. Realize that he or she is one of a team and should abide by all decisions of the Board, Commission or Committee once they are made. 3. Be well informed concerning the duties and responsibilities of the Board, Commission or Committee. 4. Remember that he or she represents the entire community at all times. 5. Accept the role of a committee member is a means of unselfish service, not to benefit personally or politically from their Board, Commission or Committee Activities. 6. Abide by the ethics guidelines established by the State. 7. Abide by all policies established by the Board of Selectmen or Town Administrator, especially the email communications policy. 8. Request assistance from Town staff only through the staff person assigned to the Board, Commission or Committee. 9. Not make statements or promises of how he or she will vote on matters that will come before the Board, Commission or Committee until he or she has had an opportunity to hear the pros and cons of the issue during a public meeting of the Board, Commission or Committee. 10. Make decisions only after all facts on a question have been presented and discussed. 11. Refrain from communicating the position of the Board, Commission or Committee to reporters or state officials unless the full Board, Commission or Committee has previously agreed on both the position and the language of the statement conveying such position. 12. Treat with respect all members of the Board, commission or Committee despite differences of opinion. 13. Treat with respect all members of the public before them despite differences of opinion. 14. Never publicly criticize an employee of the Town. Concerns about staff performance should only be made to the Town Administrator through private conversation. 15. Ensure that any materials or information provided to a Board, commission or Committee member from Town staff should be made available to all members. 16. If circumstances change so that meeting attendance on a regular basis becomes difficult, the Board, Commission or Committee member will offer his or her resignation to the appointing authority, so that someone who can regularly attend meetings can be selected by the appointing authority. 17. Follow the Town’s policies on anti-discrimination, harassment and drug and alcohol use incorporated herein as Appendix “A”, “B”, & “C”.
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4.4a Speaking for a Board or Committee An individual board member has a right to speak publicly as a private citizen but should not purport to represent the board or committee or exercise the authority of the board or committee except when specifically authorized by that body to do so. 4.4b Civil Discourse The Board of Selectmen recognizes the importance of civil discourse at all levels of the government including those who volunteer their time and services on behalf of the Town. Boards and committees should conduct themselves so as to maintain public confidence in their local government and in the performance of the public trust. All individuals appearing before a board/committee should be treated fairly, objectively, and respectfully. In turn, it is expected that those members from our community attending Town board or committee meetings will display respect to the public, board and committee members and Town staff. Professional respect does not preclude differences of opinion but requires respect for those differences and the people who express them. Everyone should strive for civil discourse on all matters. 4.5 Executive Session

An Executive Session is closed to the public, but before an Executive Session can be called, the following procedures must be followed: • • Board/committee convenes in properly posted open session Chairperson announces the reason for Executive Session and all subjects that do not compromise the purpose of the session Chairperson announces whether or not the body will reconvene in open session after the executive session Board/committee votes by majority roll call vote to enter executive session for a valid purpose

Sample motion: Move the [[board/committee name]] enter Executive Session under MGL c. 30A, Section 21(a), Exemption No. ___, to [[state applicable purpose]] and to adjourn from Executive Session into Open Session [[or for the sole purpose of adjournment]]. Roll call vote: ayes / nays.

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Allowable Exemptions: Exemption #1: To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual. The individual to be discussed in such executive session shall be notified in writing by the public body at least 48 hours prior to the proposed executive session; provided, however, that notification may be waived upon written agreement of the parties. A public body shall hold an open session if the individual involved requests that the session be open. If an executive session is held, such individual shall have the following rights: (i) to be present at such executive session during deliberations which involve that individual; (ii) to have counsel or a representative of his own choosing present and attending for the purpose of advising the individual and not for the purpose of active participation in the executive session; (iii) to speak on his own behalf; and (iv) to cause an independent record to be created of said executive session by audio-recording or transcription, at the individual’s expense. The rights of an individual set forth in this paragraph are in addition to the rights that he may have from any other source, including, but not limited to, rights under any laws or collective bargaining agreements and the exercise or non-exercise of the individual rights under this section shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights of the individual. Exemption #2: To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel; Exemption #3: To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares; Exemption #4: To discuss the deployment of security personnel or devices, or strategies with respect thereto; Exemption #5: To investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to consider the filing of criminal complaints; Exemption #6: To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body;

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Exemption #7: To comply with, or act under the authority of, any general or special law or federal grant-in-aid requirements; Exemption #8: To consider or interview applicants for employment or appointment by a preliminary screening committee if the chair declares that an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants; provided, however, that this clause shall not apply to any meeting, including meetings of a preliminary screening committee, to consider and interview applicants who have passed a prior preliminary screening; Exemption #9: To meet or confer with a mediator, as defined in section 23C of chapter 233, with respect to any litigation or decision on any public business within its jurisdiction involving another party, group or entity, provided that: (i) any decision to participate in mediation shall be made in an open session and the parties, issues involved and purpose of the mediation shall be disclosed; and (ii) no action shall be taken by any public body with respect to those issues which are the subject of the mediation without deliberation and approval for such action at an open session; or Exemption #10: To discuss trade secrets or confidential, competitively-sensitive or other proprietary information provided in the course of activities conducted by a governmental body as an energy supplier under a license granted by the department of public utilities pursuant to section 1F of chapter 164, in the course of activities conducted as a municipal aggregator under section 134 of said chapter 164 or in the course of activities conducted by a cooperative consisting of governmental entities organized pursuant to section 136 of said chapter 164, when such governmental body, municipal aggregator or cooperative determines that such disclosure will adversely affect its ability to conduct business in relation to other entities making, selling or distributing electric power and energy. Records of any Executive Session remain closed to the public only as long as publication may defeat the purposes of the Executive Session. Topics discussed in Executive Session are confidential. Attendees do not discuss these matters with anyone until the purpose for the Executive Session no longer exists and the minutes can be released to the public. The chairperson is required to regularly review Executive Session minutes to determine whether the purpose for confidentiality has expired. Releasing minutes is completed by majority vote of the appropriate committee. 4.6 First Meeting

The first meeting of a committee will be called by the chairperson of the committee or, being none, then by the appointing authority. At that time it is advisable to review the goals of the appointed committee so that all members understand and agree upon the objectives of the committee. Copies of the goals shall be distributed to all committee members, the Board of Selectmen, the Town Administrator and the appointing authority.

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Meeting Schedule and Location

To accomplish committee objectives, regular meeting times and locations should be established. Depending upon the committee’s workload, meetings may be held weekly, bimonthly, or, at the very least, monthly. The chairperson calls each meeting except for the first one, which is called by the appointing authority. When possible, a regular meeting day, hour and location should be established. By law, meetings must be conducted in a public building, but not scheduled for holidays, election days or Sundays. Ideally, the location must also be accessible to the handicapped. A committee may reserve a room in the Town building by contacting the Town Administrator’s Office. Each committee member will need a key to the building as well as information pertaining to the alarm system. Please contact the Town Administrator’s Office for this information. 4.8 Public Posting

Note that meeting postings must comply with the Open Meeting Law revisions effective July 1, 2010 including the requirement that the posting include all agenda topics that the chairperson reasonably expects to discuss. In addition to the expected agenda, all postings must contain the name of the committee, and the date, time and place of the meeting. Meetings must be posted at least 48 hours in advance not including Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays. The Town Clerk may specify other posting requirements for the Town Hall bulletin board and will ensure that the notice is posted on same. 4.9 Meeting Notices

All committee members should be notified in writing of each committee meeting, if the committee is operating on an irregular schedule, and of each special meeting. 4.10 Record Keeping

State law requires that a committee keep accurate records of its public meetings. The committee must formally vote to accept all minutes. The records of each regular meeting are public information, and chairpersons or their designees must maintain a copy of all approved minutes for public inspection. In addition, a copy of all approved minutes must be filed with the Town Clerk’s Office within a reasonable amount of time and a copy provided to the Selectmen/Town Administrator’s Office. Minutes must include: • • • The names of committee members present and absent at the meeting. The names of others present if Executive Session. Date, place, time convened and time adjourned.
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• • •

A concise summary of topics discussed. A listing of all documents utilized in the discussion. All agreements reached by vote or consensus.

Minutes should include: • • Assignments to committee members. Exact wording of all motions including who made the motion and who seconded. Also, the vote of each member and those members who did not participate in the vote should be recorded. Names of additional participants (not press or observers). Future meeting schedule.

• •

Once minutes are accepted by committee vote, they become the official record of the meeting. Verbatim copies of proceedings, such as audio or video recordings, may be retained. 4.11 Public Records Law

The Massachusetts Public Records Law (MGL Chapter 4, Section 7(26), 1986, 1989) provides right of access to public records, broadly defined to include all documentary materials except specific exemptions such as personnel and medical files, proposals and bids, and appraisals of property. The minutes, informational data, memoranda and circulating materials of any Town board or committee are mostly all public information. The committee should consult the Town Administrator if questions arise concerning freedom of information. 4.12 Quorum

A committee should establish a quorum necessary for conducting business. This quorum must be greater than fifty percent (50%) of committee membership. This may deviate depending on the criteria used to establish the committee. State statute may dictate the quorum. If you have any questions, you should contact the Town Administrator. 5.0 5.1 FINANCES Committee Budgets

If a committee anticipates a need to expend funds, it can request a budget for the next fiscal year through the Town Administrator. In the fall of each year, each committee should determine the necessary budget for committee operations over the next Fiscal Year, which begins on July 1st. The budget figures, with appropriate narrative, are due on the date to be set by the Town Administrator, who shall inform all committees. If funds
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are needed during a fiscal year for unforeseen or extraordinary purposes, the committee can make a request for a transfer from the Reserve Fund through the Town Administrator to the Finance Committee. Committees which operate under appropriations voted under Special Articles at Town Meeting should check their balances with the Accountant’s Office to make sure that they will have sufficient funds to continue their operations. Requests for an appropriation to cover the cost of Capital Outlay should be submitted on the appropriate forms to the Town Administrator. A Capital Outlay item is any item in excess of $5,000 having a life expectancy of three years or more. 5.2 A. Source of Funds Town Meeting Committees (standing committees of the Town Meeting and study committees established by the Town Meeting). 1. Budget – Town Meeting will decide what sums, if any, shall be appropriated; provides modest sums for general office supplies, postage and clerical assistance; requires authorization of a majority of the committee before funds can be released. 2. Special Articles – Provide large sums for specific projects resulting from recommendations of particular committees. These funds may be disbursed by majority vote of the committee. B. Permanent Appointed Committees 1. Individual elements of the budget provide the funds for the ongoing activities of the committee. These may be disbursed by majority vote of the committee. 2. Special Articles – See above. 5.3 Disbursements

After a vote of approval, bills should be signed by a majority of the members of the committee and submitted to the Town Accountant’s Office for processing and payment. When authorization by the Town Administrator is required, his/her signature should be added to the bill before submission for payment. The Town Accountant will review the specific paperwork needed to process bills. 5.4 Purchases

Purchase orders must be completed for all purchases of supplies, equipment or services with a dollar value of $3,500 or more. Purchase orders must be signed by the committee chairperson or designee and submitted to the Accountant’s Office. The Town Accountant
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completes his/her portion of the purchase order and forwards it to the Finance Director and the Town Administrator for review, determination, signature and distribution. All purchase orders must be accompanied by a completed procurement form. All purchases exceeding $5,000 or more, but less than $25,000 must have three (3) quotes and comply with Chapter 30B, the Uniform Procurement Law. 5.5 Written Proposals

In addition, MGL Chapter 30B states that all purchases for $5,000 or more will also require a written proposal from the recommended vendor. The proposal must be endorsed by the Town Administrator and a copy of the written proposal must be filed with the Town Accountant. 5.6 Public Bidding Requirements

All purchases exceeding $25,000 are subject to the public bidding law. These purchases must be coordinated through the Town Administrator’s Office. Steps should be taken to secure prices or bids from sufficient producers or dealers in such equipment or supplies, or from persons in a position to furnish such services in order to enable the Town to avail itself of the lowest obtainable prices. The lowest bid shall be accepted, provided that the bidder is financially responsible and the bid is reasonable and complies with any conditions imposed and it is in the best interest of the Town. The Town reserves the right to reject any or all bids. No contract or purchase shall be so divided as to bring the amount below $25,000 for the purpose of evading the law. 5.7 Contract

By Charter, the Board of Selectmen is required to award all contracts for the Town. Committees should submit to the Town Administrator copies of all specifications for his/her review and presentation to the Board of Selectmen for final approval. By law, a copy of all approval contracts must be filed with the Town Accountant. 5.8 Use of Town Counsel

Town Counsel provides legal services to the Town Administrator and the Board of Selectmen, and through them to other town committees and departments. Prior to making legal service request to Town Counsel, you must first contact the Town Administrator for authorization. Copies of correspondence to and from Town Counsel are to be provided to the Town Administrator and the Board of Selectmen.

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6.0 6.1


The Board of Selectmen may request regular reports be provided to the Board by the committee chairperson. If needed, the chairperson may request a meeting with the appointing authority to report progress. A written request for an appointment with the appointing authority should be made as far in advance of the necessary meeting date as possible. This request should detail the items to be discussed 6.2 Liaison with Board of Selectmen

The Town Administrator may serve on a committee or act as a liaison between the committee and the Board of Selectmen. The Town Administrator may chair the first meeting of a newly established committee, explain the charge, and preside over the election of a chairperson who will then take over the meeting. Once a chairperson is elected, the Town Administrator, if formally appointed as a member by the appointing authority (i.e. Board of Selectmen or by statute) as a regular voting member of the committee subject to the same rules of conduct as all other members. 6.3 Liaison with Town Administrator

The Town Administrator may appoint a staff member, usually a Department Head, to serve as a liaison to a committee or all committees if desired. The staff member may be formally appointed to a committee by the appointing authority at the recommendation of the Town Administrator as a voting member. The responsibility of the staff member is to provide technical support and information and is responsible to the Town Administrator. He/she keeps the Town Administrator informed of the committee’s work and any items of significance which may come up. Request for legal assistance from Town Counsel should be directed to the Town Administrator directly or through the staff liaison. 6.4 Public Information Meetings

The success of a committee’s endeavors often depends on effective communications with the public. The committee should hold public meetings and hearings when needed, both to inform citizens of work in progress and to gain public reaction and response. 6.5 Town Meeting

A general committee article is always included in the Warrant for the Town Meeting. Any committee wishing to make a verbal report of its activities to the Town Meeting may do so under this article. The committee should make these reports clear and concise, keeping in mind the large volume of articles addressed at Town Meeting. The Moderator
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should be informed in advance of any such intended reports. Written reports to the Town Meeting may be distributed by placing sufficient copies on the table outside the door of the meeting place. 6.6 Warrant Articles

All Warrant articles for the June Annual Town Meeting shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Selectmen by the established deadline. Early submission is preferable. Articles for any other Special Town Meetings shall be submitted upon notification from the Board of Selectmen that Warrant articles are due. Full documentation of the background and reasons for the proposed articles should accompany the article request. By Charter, the Board of Selectmen shall prepare the Warrant for all Town Meetings. Articles may be submitted, in writing, in the following forms: 1. By an elected official or by a member of an elected board or committee, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen. 2. By an appointed committee or board, acting by a majority vote of its members, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen. 3. Any person or agency authorized through the bylaws or in any other legal manner, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen. 4. A written petition to the Board of Selectmen by at least ten (10) voters of the Town, which have been certified by the Town Clerk, for inclusion of any article in the Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting, and a petition of at least one hundred (100) registered voters, which have been certified by the Town Clerk, for inclusion of an article in the Warrant for any Special Town Meeting. 6.7 Town Reports

All appointed committees are expected to file an annual report of committee operations which will appear in the annual Town Report. The report should detail committee membership, including changes, and explain the major accomplishments of the committee over the calendar year and highlight plans for the ensuing year. The report is due in the beginning of February and should be submitted to the Town Administrator’s Office.

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7.0 7.1

PLANNING Goals/Purposes

A committee is expected to formally document its understanding of the committee’s goals and purposes. Verification of their goals with the appointing authority will preclude wasted efforts through a misdirection of initiatives. 7.2 Plan of Action

A plan of action should be developed, outlining how the committee is to accomplish its goals. Reporting of major accomplishments should be done so that the appointing authority may audit the committee’s progress toward its goals. 7.3 Procedure

Each committee should draw up a list of procedures, fees and appropriate information to be made available to assist others in knowing how to work with the committee. 8.0 8.1 MISCELLANEOUS Inter-Committee Meetings

There are no regularly scheduled joint meetings of all town boards or committees. Special meetings should be requested and scheduled as needs arise and attendance requests should be tailored to the meeting purposes. The Town Administrator’s Office should be notified well in advance. 8.2 Dissolution

When the committee has completed its assigned goals, if approved by the Town Meeting, the committee should request dissolution by appropriate action under the Warrant report article. Other committees can request formal dissolution from the establishing authority, or accomplish the same by filing a “Final Report.” Upon dissolution, the committee should deliver to the Town Clerk all records deemed by them to be appropriate for inclusion in the permanent records. 8.3 Sources of Information

“Appointed Committee Handbook,” Town of Amherst, MA 1990 Massachusetts General Laws:
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Chapter 4, Section 7 (26): Public Records Law Chapter 30A, §§18-25: Open Meeting Law Chapter 268A (as amended by Ch. 28 of the Acts of 2009): Conflict of Interest (Parliamentary Procedure) Robert’s Rules of Order Town of Westwood Workplace Harassment Policy Town of Westford Workplace Harassment/Violence Policy Town of Longmeadow Workplace Harassment Policy Town of Acton Committee Handbook Town of Amherst Committee Handbook Town of Lexington Committee Handbook Town of Southborough Committee Handbook State Ethics Commission – Restrictions on Actions Massachusetts Municipal Association Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association

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It is the policy of the Town of Sturbridge (“the Town”) to promote a professional and productive workplace in which all employees are treated with dignity and respect. Employees are expected to act in a positive manner and contribute to a productive work environment that is free from harassing or disruptive activity. Discrimination (including harassment), whether based upon race, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, disability, maternity leave, genetic information, active military status, or another basis prohibited under state or federal anti-discrimination statutes, will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal of providing a workplace free from discrimination, we will implement the procedure described below to address any potential inappropriate conduct. This policy applies to all employment practices and employment programs sponsored by the Town. This policy shall apply, but not be limited to, the areas of:
• • • • • • • • • •

Recruitment, Selection, Compensation and benefits, Professional development and training, Reasonable accommodation for disabilities or religious practices, Promotion, Transfer, Termination, Layoff, and Other terms and conditions of employment.

This policy may apply to discrimination (including harassment) that occurs between coworkers that takes place outside the workplace (including, but not limited to, online conduct). When the conduct complained of occurs outside of the workplace, the Town may consider the following and other factors in assessing whether the conduct constitutes conduct in violation of this policy:
• • •

whether the event at which the conduct occurred is linked to the workplace in any way, such as at a Town-sponsored function; whether the conduct occurred during work hours; the severity of the alleged outside-of-work conduct;

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the work relationship of the complainant and alleged harasser, which includes whether the alleged harasser is a supervisor and whether the alleged harasser and complainant come into contact with one another on the job; whether the conduct adversely affected the terms and conditions of the complainant's employment or impacted the complainant's work environment.

Because the Town takes allegations of unlawful discrimination and harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints and where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate. Please note that while this policy sets forth our goals of promoting a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit our authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct which we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the legal definitions of discrimination or harassment. II. Examples of Prohibited Discriminatory Behaviors

It is not possible to list all the circumstances that may constitute discrimination in violation of this policy. Discrimination may take many forms, including both verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors connected to someone’s membership in one or more groups protected by law as noted in the first paragraph above: slurs or other derogatory comments; sharing demeaning pictures, cartoons, or jokes; demeaning gestures, and; any conduct constituting sexual harassment. III. Definition of Sexual Harassment

In Massachusetts, the legal definition for sexual harassment is this: "Sexual harassment" means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (a) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions; or, (b) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.
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Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment. The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the above examples, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work place environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female workers may also constitute sexual harassment. The victim or complainant as well as the harasser may be male or female. The victim or complainant does not have to be of the opposite sex. The complainant does not have to be a person directly harassed, but may be someone affected by the offensive conduct. While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct, which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness: • Unwelcome sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not; • Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life; comment on an individual's body, comment about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess; • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments; • Inquiries into one's sexual experiences, and; • Discussion of one's sexual activities. All employees should take special note that, as stated below, retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment, and retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Town. IV. Complaints of Sexual Harassment

If any of our employees believes that they have been subjected to sexual harassment, it is our policy to provide the employee with the right to file a complaint with our organization. This may be done in writing or orally. If you would like to file a complaint, you may do so by contacting the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator may be reached at 308 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566-1078, or by phone at (508) 347-2500. His current e-mail address is If you prefer, you may file your complaint with the Finance Director. She may be reached at 308 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566-1078,
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or by phone at (508) 347-2509. Her current e-mail address is These individuals are also available to discuss any concerns you may have and to provide information to you about this policy and our complaint process. V. Sexual Harassment Investigation

When we receive the complaint, we will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. We will also interview the person alleged to have committed sexual harassment. When we have completed our investigation, we will, to the extent appropriate inform the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct of the results of that investigation. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate we will also impose disciplinary action. Given the sensitive nature of complaints of discrimination and/or harassment, all parties and witnesses in a complaint, as well as Department Heads, supervisors, etc. who are aware of a complaint or investigation thereof, are strongly encouraged to maintain this information as confidential, so as not to negatively impact an investigation. All employees are reminded of the provisions of G.L. c. 268A, §23(c)(2), which prohibit a municipal employee or official from improperly disclosing information that is protected from disclosure under the public records law, and acquired by an employee or official in the course of official duties. Section 23 also prohibits a municipal employee or official from using such information to further the employee’s/official’s personal interest. Violations of the prohibitions of Section 23 may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. VI. Complaints Concerning Other Forms of Discrimination and/or Harassment

Complaints alleging forms of discrimination and/or harassment, other than sexual harassment, will be processed in accordance with Sections IV and V, above.



Any retaliation against an individual who has formally or informally complained about discrimination (including harassment), or has cooperated with an investigation of a discrimination complaint, is prohibited.
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Retaliation can be overt or subtle. Retaliation may include, but is not limited to, treating a complainant or witness differently, more harshly or in a hostile manner; physical interference with movement such as blocking a path; derogatory comments or action which would tend to have a chilling effect on other complainants; sudden investigations of the complainant’s private life, or; sudden strict enforcement of work rules. Retaliation in any form will not be tolerated. VIII. Disciplinary Action If it is determined that discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or other inappropriate conduct has been committed by one of our employees, the Town will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances. Such actions may include: counseling, informal or formal reprimands, written or verbal warnings, suspension, reduction in pay, reduction in duties, transfers, and other formal sanctions, up to and including termination of employment. IX. State and Federal Remedies

In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination and/or harassment, you may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below. Using our complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC – 300 days; MCAD – 300 days). 1. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission John F. Kennedy Federal Building 475 Government Center Boston, MA 02203 Phone: (800) 669-4000 TTY: (800) 669-6820 2. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Boston Office One Ashburton Place Sixth Floor, Room 601 Boston, MA 02108 Phone: 617-994-6000 TTY: 617-994-6196 Springfield Office 436 Dwight Street Second Floor, Room 220 Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 739-2145

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Worcester Office Worcester City Hall 455 Main Street, Room 100 Worcester, MA 01608 (508) 799-8010 (508) 799-8490 - FAX

New Bedford Office 800 Purchase St., Rm 501 New Bedford, MA 02740 (508) 990-2390 (508) 990-4260 - FAX

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APPENDIX “B” WORKPLACE VIOLENCE/HARASSMENT POLICY OF THE TOWN OF STURBRIDGE The Town of Sturbridge intends to provide a professional environment that is free of violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation or other disruptive behavior by establishing preventative measures, providing training and education, providing assistance and support to those who have been exposed to workplace violence, and taking appropriate action against those responsible for workplace violence. Management will utilize available resources such as the Town’s Employee Assistance Program, law enforcement, and all applicable personnel policies and procedures to accomplish these goals. A Policy The Town maintains a zero tolerance policy toward workplace violence, or the threat of violence, by or against any of its employees, or elected or appointed officials, volunteers working for the Town, customers, the general public, and/or anyone who conducts business with the Town. It is the intent of the Town to provide a safe, healthy workplace, which is free of violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, or other disruptive behavior. The best way to prevent workplace violence is to raise the awareness of department heads and employees, and encourage early reporting and resolution of problem behavior before it escalates into violence. All employees are responsible for helping maintain a violence-free workplace. To that end, each employee is required to govern themselves accordingly. In addition, any employee experiencing or witnessing an act of violence is strongly encouraged to report it to their immediate supervisor Each act or threat of violence will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken. Any such act or threat may lead to discipline, up to and including termination. 1 Definitions Workplace violence is any act committed by or against an employee or other affected individual within the context of that individual’s involvement with the Town, that creates a hostile work environment and negatively affects the individual, either physically or psychologically and includes, but

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is not limited to, harassment, stalking, coercion, intimidation, threats, physical attack, or property damage. Workplace harassment/violence includes, but is not limited to, harassment, threats, intimidation, physical attack, or property damage. The following are a few examples of conduct that the Town will not tolerate pursuant to this policy: a) b) c) d) e) Use of vulgar or profane language towards others. Disparaging or derogatory comments or slurs or name calling. Any behavior outlined in the Town’s Antidiscrimination/Sexual Harassment Policy. Any form of oral or written threat that suggests or infers physical harm or an act of violence. The use of Town property, services or equipment such as phones, faxes, copiers, computers, vehicles, etc., for the purpose of intimidating or threatening any individual with physical harm or an act of violence. Any physical assault, or threat of physical assault, such as hitting, pushing, punching, kicking or holding. Impeding or intentional blocking the movement of another person with the intent to cause harm or intimidation.

f) g)

An employee or other affected individual refers to any individual who serves in the capacity of an elected official, appointed member to a board, commission or committee, volunteer working for the Town, employee of the Town, consultant or contractor retained by the Town, or visitor who is engaged in some form of business or activity with the Town. Harassment is behavior that intimidates, disturbs, upsets or threatens a person. Intimidation is an act intended to frighten, coerce or induce duress or fear. Physical attack is intentional, unwanted hostile physical contact with another person such as hitting, fighting, pushing, shoving, sexual assault, assault with a weapon or other device used as a weapon, or throwing objects. Property damage is intentional damage to property, which includes property owned by the Town, elected officials, appointed board, commission, or committee members, employees, volunteers, visitors, vendors, consultants, or contractors.
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Threat is the expression of an intent to cause physical or mental harm regardless of whether the person communicating the threat has the present ability to carry out the threat and regardless of whether the threat is contingent, conditional or future. A threat of violence includes, but is not limited to any act of physical aggression, any verbal or written statements, harassing telephone calls, harassing email messages, gestures, expressions, or behaviors such as stalking that could be perceived as an intention to cause physical or mental harm to any employee or other affected individual. Weapons are defined to include all devices that are intended to threaten, inflict harm, injury or death to an individual, such as, but not necessarily limited to, firearms, knives, throwing devices, chemical and inert sprays or agents, stun guns, clubs, or types of devices that are designed to discharge some type of projectile, as well as any other type of device used to inflict injury to another individual, or to threaten to do so. 2 Prevention of Workplace Violence The Town subscribes to the concept of a safe work environment and supports the prevention of workplace violence. Prevention efforts include, but are not limited to informing employees of this policy, instructing employees regarding the dangers of workplace violence, communicating the sanctions imposed for violating this policy, and providing a reporting hierarchy within to report incidents of violence without fear of reprisal. 3 Procedure for Reporting Threat Each incident of violent behavior, whether the incident is committed by another employee or an external individual such as a customer, vendor, or citizen, must be reported to the Department Head and the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator will work with the Department Head and the Chief of Police to assess and investigate the incident and determine the appropriate action to be taken. In critical incidents in which serious threat or injury occurs, emergency responders such as Police, Fire and/or Ambulance personnel must be promptly notified. As necessitated by the seriousness of the incident, the Town Administrator may assemble a Response Team that consists of staff from the affected Department, , Town Administrator, Police, Town Counsel, and may include the Employee Assistance Program, Emergency Response, and others as deemed necessary.

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The Response Team is responsible for establishing the protocol in the event of a threat or violent incident that may include, but is not limited to: • Evaluating the potential violence problems; • Assessing an employee’s fitness for duty (through mental health professionals); • Establishing a plan for the protection of co-workers and other potential targets; • Coordinating with affected parties such as victims, families, employees, media, or law enforcement personnel; • Referring victims to appropriate assistance and community service programs; and • Assuring that immediate (within 24 hours) and on-going counseling is available to traumatized individual. Any employee who acts in good faith in reporting real or implied violent behavior will not be subjected to any form of retaliation or harassment. Any action of this type resulting from a report of violence must be reported to the appropriate management staff for investigation and decision regarding proper action. Employees who report incidents of workplace violence may request to do so confidentially. Such requests will be honored to the degree reasonable under the circumstances; however, there is no guarantee of complete confidentiality. The Town shall be sensitive to the employee’s fear of reprisal. Information will be released only on a need-to-know basis in order to thoroughly investigate and resolve the matter. The identity of the individual making the report will be protected as much as is practical. It is a violation of this policy to engage in any act of workplace harassment/violence or to retaliate in any way against someone for reporting workplace harassment/violence or cooperating in the investigation of reported workplace harassment/violence. Any employee who has been determined to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination and, depending upon the violent act, may be subject to criminal sanctions. Should an employee commit an act of violence and it is determined in the investigation that the employee did in fact, commit the violent act, s/he may be referred to the EAP by the Town Administrator. In these cases, failure by the
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employee to keep the initial appointment with the EAP and follow through with the prescribed program may result in disciplinary action, including termination. Should an employee become the victim of an incident of workplace violence, the Department Head may offer additional referral services to assist in coping with any effects of the incident. 4. Possession of Weapons on Town Property Employees and officials of the Town of Sturbridge are prohibited from bringing to the workplace, or possessing on any Town property, building or parking area: firearms, ammunition, knives, starter pistol, flare gun, explosives and or blasting caps, or any other dangerous weapon. Having been issued a valid Class A, B, C or D firearms/rifle or chemical spray license by the Department of Public Safety does not supersede this prohibition. Law enforcement employees (Officers) are exempt from this provision as it applies to firearms and ammunition. Possession of other dangerous weapons by law enforcement officers in the course of their duties is also exempt. Any violation of the provisions of this policy by an employee or Town official shall subject the employee or official to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and possible criminal action. A. Authorized Exceptions to Weapons:

An employee may only possess a weapon during the course of working hours under the following circumstances: 1 2 3 Used by a sworn police officer of the Sturbridge Police Department in the line of duty. Required as a part of the employee’s job duties with the Town of Sturbridge. In compliance with Massachusetts General Laws and specific written authorization by the Chief of Police, Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator where the employee has a demonstrated need to possess a weapon while at work. Prior to an authorization being granted, the Chief of Police will be notified as to the request. If a request is granted, the Chief of Police will be notified in writing prior to authorization.
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This permission will be granted for a specific period of time and will be subject to reassessment on a periodic basis. All municipal employees, except sworn police officers, who are seeking to possess a weapon in the workplace, must demonstrate the need and obtain written permission, which is to be filed in the employee's personnel file. 5 Inspections Town Property furnished to anyone covered by this policy is subject to inspection with or without notice. This includes, but is not limited to: desks, telephones, cell phones, computers, lockers, vehicles, etc. The Town also reserves the right to enter or inspect work areas. Employees and others utilizing Town property should have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the same. 6 Questions If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Town Administrator.

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The Selectmen of the Town of Sturbridge reaffirm Town policy prohibiting the use or possession of alcoholic beverages, illicit drugs and/or controlled substances by employees while performing their job(s). Use, sale, possession or being under the influence of intoxicating beverages or non-prescription drugs while on duty is considered cause for discharge. The Drug-Free Work Place Act of 1988 recognizes the impact substance abuse has in the workforce. The Town of Sturbridge firmly supports the intention behind this act and with this policy reaffirms our well-established position on this issue: 1) The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use, including being under the influence of a controlled substance (or of alcohol) is prohibited. Employees are further prohibited from engaging in any of those activities while "on duty" even though not physically present in one of the Town locations normally associated with the performance of that job. Off-the-job illegal drug use or excessive use of alcohol that could adversely affect an employee's job performance or which jeopardizes the safety of self, others, equipment or property is also prohibited. Any employee who engages in one or more of the above prohibited activities will be subject to serious discipline, up to and including discharge.



It is the Town’s intent to make a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free work environment for Town employees through implementation of this policy and other related awareness and educational programs. For information on the Town’s free and confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) contact the Town Administrator’s Office.

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