Rules & Regulations Governing Organization and Operation
1.0 Name and Purposes: The Partnership shall be officially know as the Tewksbury Local Housing Partnership, herein called the Partnership. It shall be comprised of ten (10) voting members, must be registered voters of Tewksbury and eight (8) advisory members, appointed by the Selectmen.
1.1 The purposes of the Partnership are:
- Developing affordable housing action plans based on housing needs studies.
- Establishing criteria to evaluate affordable housing proposals.
- Making recommendations on the pros and cons of particular housing proposals.
- Identifying local, state, and federal housing resources to further development.
- Locating available land suitable for development.
- Reviewing land use regulations and zoning bylaws.
- Working with developers of affordable housing.
- Increasing public awareness through forums and other public events
- Work in cooperation with Town Boards.
To promote and develop affordable housing for the Town, the Partnership will research local land areas and develop a plan to accomplish the purpose set forth above. It will conduct a broad educational program, cooperate with the State and Federal agencies with regard to regulations and other regulations imposed by law, and shall perform other duties as may be imposed, or permitted, by law.
1.2 The Partnership shall participate in, and encourage, affordable housing in combination with other interested Boards, Committees, Partnerships, Town agencies, and other organizations.
2.0 Elections: The officers of the Partnership shall be elected from the membership annually in the first meeting of the Partnership after the appointment of members by the Selectmen, or at such other time as may be designated by amendment to these rules. The Meeting shall be designated as the annual reorganization of the Partnership.
2.1 The following officers shall be elected: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Clerk.
2.2 In the event of a resignation of an officer, there shall be an election as soon thereafter as is feasible to fill the unexpired term.
2.3 In the event of a resignation of a member of the partnership, the Selectmen shall be asked to fill the vacancy.
2.4 In the event that a member has not attended 3 consecutive sessions of the Partnership, that member shall be considered to have resigned.
3.1 Chairperson: The Chairperson shall, in addition to duties impose by law, preside at all meetings of the Partnership at which he or she is present, unless there is a need to not participate on an issue, and shall direct the work of the Partnership. The Chairperson shall annually appoint members to committees and designate chairperson of the same at the first meeting of the Partnership following the election meeting and shall direct the calling of meetings of the Partnership. The Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
3.2 Vice-Chairperson; The Vice-Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Partnership in the absence of the Chairperson, and shall perform all duties and have all powers of the Chairperson in case of absence, or incapacity, of the Chairperson.
3.3 Clerk: The Clerk shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings of the Partnership, shall deliver copies of the minutes to each member, and shall verify project submission and data. The Clerk shall be responsible that Partnership meetings are posted in accordance with the Open Meeting Law, MGL c.39, s.23A to and including 23C. This person shall perform all other duties imposed by law, assigned by the Chairperson, or otherwise herein provided.
4.0 Duties of Members: The members of the Partnership shall perform the duties and responsibilities as set forth in these Rules.
4.1 Members shall make every effort to attend all meetings and perform all duties assigned by the Chairperson. Members who will be unable to attend a meeting of the Partnership shall notify the Chairperson or the Director of Community Development.
4.2 Excessive absences shall be cause for dismissal. The Chairperson will call for a vote, and by a majority vote, the Selectmen will be asked to appoint another person to fill that position.
5.0 Committees: If not appointed by the Chairperson of the Partnership, Committees may be created by vote of the Partnership as such committees may be needed. These committees shall be responsible for planning within their specific area of concern and for reporting the results of this planning to the Partnership. They shall act in the name of the Partnership only when directed to do so by vote of the Partnership. Committees may include, but not be limited, to the following committees:
5.1 Planning Committee: This committee shall be responsible for the preparation and updating of affordable housing inventories, and the coordination of these plans with community master plans or plans of the Planning Board and any regional planning agencies.
5.2 Information and Education Committee: This committee shall be responsible for the conduct of a public information and education program designed to further the purposes of the Partnership.
6.0 Meetings: The Partnership shall hold no less one meeting each month. In general, Robert's Rule of Order shall govern meeting procedure, when not in conflict with statutes or these rules. Notices of meeting will be given by the Clerk, as indicated in Article 3.3. meeting, and notices there of, shall comply with the provisions of MGL c39 s23A to and including 23C, the Open Meeting Law.
7.0 Quorum: In the absence of an existing Town Bylaw to the contrary, a majority of the voting members of the Partnership shall constitute a quorum. A majority of those present and voting, if a quorum is present, shall be sufficient to conduct the business of the Partnership. A tie vote on any application pending before the Partnership shall be deemed as no action taken on said application.
8.0 Appointments and Vacancies: Appointments to the Partnership are made by the Board of Selectmen.
9.0 Hearings: When the Partnership is required by law to conduct a public hearing, a quorum of the members must be present.
9.1 The Chairperson shall preside at the hearing. The Chairperson shall open the hearing by reading the purpose for which the hearing is held, and then call for a description of the project by the petitioner, or the petitioner's representative. The Chairperson shall then allow questions to be asked of the petitioner, first by members of the Partnership, then by representatives of other Town bodies, and then by the public. Speakers shall be asked to first identify themselves and any special expertise they may have. Testimony may, but need not, be taken under oath. The hearing may be tape recorded by the Partnership and/or the petitioner and/or the public. No Partnership member who has any personal interest in the outcome, which might cause, or appear to cause, a conflict of interest, shall participate in the hearing or vote of the Partnership unless under the rule of necessity of the conflict of interest law.
9.2 A list should be circulated so that members of the public may identify themselves. A copy of the Partnership's decision shall be sent to all persons so requesting.
10.0 Annual Report: The Partnership shall produce an annual report, indicating the Partnership members serving for the year, significant activities of the Partnership, and changes in the status of affordable housing in the Town. The annual report shall be printed as part of the Town's Annual Report.
11.0 Partnership Employees: The Partnership is empowered to employ persons to assist in the Partnership's endeavor, to the extent that assistance is not provided by other departments, and the extent of the available funds. Assistance from the Director of Community Development is available during normal Town government business hours.
12.0 Contracted Services and Supplies: The Partnership is empowered to contract for supplies and for services that are required to meet the Partnership's purposes, to the extent that the same are not provided by other departments and in accordance with MGL c30B, the Uniform Procurement Act.
13.0 Complaint Policy: To insure timely action by the Partnership all complaints should be filed in writing.
14.0 These rules may be amended at any regular meeting of the Partnership by a two-thirds vote of the voting members, provided written notice of the intent to amend is supplied to each member of the Partnership at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which the proposed action is to be taken.
Adopted: October 30, 2002
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