Town of Avon to hold special town meeting to consider changes to town clerk and other official positions

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AVON – The Town of Avon will hold a Special Town Meeting on Saturday, December 10, at 10 a.m. at the Avon Community Building. This meeting has been called by the Avon Select Board to see if the residents will consider and approve the select board’s recommendation of a change from elected positions to appointed for certain positions within the town government.

The select board shared the following information regarding this proposal:

These positions include Tax Collector, Treasurer, Town Clerk, Road Commissioner, Health Officer and Constable. The town will continue, as by law, to elect the members of the select board as well as school board members and the Town Meeting Moderator.

The reasoning behind this potential change is as follows. In past decades, Avon has been fortunate to have individuals who were willing to step up to fill these positions to serve the public and learn their duties. The administrative positions in particular have developed into a more technical environment, requiring more advanced skill sets and training.

In the future, to fill these positions, the town will need to advertise, likely outside the town, as there may not be enough people who are either interested or qualified to fill these positions. The current method to replace any of these positions, if they are vacated during their terms, is for the select board to hire and appoint someone temporarily to fill that position until the next town meeting. It will be difficult to hire someone that may not be able to keep their job under the current method of election of being nominated and elected at town meeting.

Anyone who is currently elected in their positions will continue to serve in them. The change from elected to appointed would come into effect, if passed, on or after the regular annual town meeting in March.

The reason for a special town meeting for this vote follows a requirement of statute that says a vote must be made 90 days prior to a regular town meeting for this change; Title 30-A Section 2525 (2).

An additional consideration is that towns are trending toward appointments as these responsible positions have grown in technicality over the years. Changing this will assure that the town can fill positions with the most qualified individuals whether or not they are a resident.

The appointment of these positions will also allow for oversight from the select board, which may be necessary from time to time as well as the ability to fill vacant positions in a timely manner.

The purpose of this Special Town Meeting is to exchange views, ask questions, and vote on this proposal. Avon residents are encouraged to attend and participate.

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