WINDHAM TOWN MANAGER
Telephone: (207) 892-1907
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
CHARTER ROLES PRIMER
Under the Council-Manager Charter of the Town of Windham, Maine ("the Charter") the Town has all the powers and duties that towns may have in the State of Maine and has established a series of roles, responsibilities and relationships for conducting the affairs of the Town.
By adopting a Charter (implemented in 1975) the Town took on the home rule authority granted by Article VIII, Section 1 of the Maine Constitution. This authority allows the Town to govern its municipal and local affairs as it chooses, except to the extent the Constitution or statutes place limits or requirements on its exercise. This is different than the powers of towns which do not have charters; in general, they are allowed only to do what the Constitution or statutes specifically say they can do.
In this outline the review of Charter roles is limited to the voters, the council, and the town manager. In most instances the language of the Charter has been paraphrased; in others, the plain language of the Charter speaks for itself. This outline does not address other powers and duties the respective parties have under statute.
Under each main heading the appropriate article and section are referenced, along with the brief explanation of the duty and any relationships noted in parentheses.
VII.1 Elect the town council, school committee, and town clerk.
VIII.1 Adopt the annual budget (which may not be increased above that recommended by the town council).
VIII.2 Approve supplemental appropriations of $25,000 or more and the issuance of bonds or notes other than tax anticipation notes.
VIII.4 May petition and vote to discontinue town meeting by referendum.
IX.1 May petition and vote to overrule the town council on ordinances, resolutions and votes by referendum.
IX.2 May petition and vote to enact ordinances by referendum.
The Town Council:
II.1 Constitutes the "municipal officers" of the Town.
II.3 A. Appoints and removes the town manager.
B. Appoints and removes the town attorney and assessor.
C. Appoints the members of the planning board, board of appeals, board of assessment review, and other committees as it may establish.
D. Creates and abolishes offices, agencies, and departments except those established by Charter; may assign additional duties to offices, departments or agencies established by Charter but may not discontinue or assign those duties to any other office, department or agency.
E. May conduct investigations into the affairs of the town.
F. Adopts, modifies, and carries out plans proposed by the planning board.
G. Approves the annual budget (for recommendation to and approval by town meeting).
H. Provides for an annual audit.
I. Exercises all other legislative, financial, borrowing and other powers.
II.4(B) Approves the salaries of town council appointees.
II.7 Meets at least monthly, provides for special meetings, and public input on agenda items.
II.8 Determines its rules of procedure and keeps a record of its proceedings.
III.2(A) Confirms appointments of statutory officers and department heads including but not limited to police chief, fire/rescue chief, and public works director by the town manager.
V.4 Reviews the annual budget prepared by the town manager and approves it with or without amendment.
V.7 Makes gross (total expenditure, or bottom-line) appropriations for each department, which may not be exceeded without council consent.
V.8 May transfer appropriations within the last three months of the fiscal year (at the request of the town manager).
V.9 May authorize interim expenditures.
V.11(A) May make supplemental appropriations (subject to the limitations of VIII.2 and once the town manager has certified availability of revenue).
VIII.2 May call special town meetings.
VIII.11(B) May make emergency appropriations (subject to the limitations of VIII.2) and issue temporary notes.
XI.2(A)(11) Deals with the administrative service through the town manager, except for the purpose of inquiry.
The Town Manager:
III.2 Shall serve as chief administrative officer of the town, responsible for administration of all affairs under Charter or by council direction; further
A. Shall be tax collector, treasurer, and overseer of the poor.
1. Appoints and removes statutory officers and department heads including but not limited to police chief, fire/rescue chief, and public works director (subject to confirmation by the council) and all other officers an employees.
2. Directs and supervises the operation of all departments, offices and agencies.
3. Attends council meetings (except when his/her removal is being considered).
4. Ensures the faithful execution of the provisions of the Charter, laws, and council directives.
5. Prepares and submits the annual budget and capital program to the council.
6. Makes an annual report on finances and activities.
7. Prepares and submits such reports and performs such duties as the council may require, advises on the town's financial condition, makes recommendations on town affairs.
8. Assists citizens in resolving complaints.
9. Acts as purchasing agent for all departments, except schools; puts purchases in excess of an amount set by council to competitive bid.
10. Prepares and submits an administrative code and is responsible for its administration.
V.2 Prepares and submits the annual budget to the council.
V.3 Prepares the capital program with the assistance of the planning board.
V.6 Certifies the annual budget to the assessor.
V.8 May request transfers of appropriation (for approval by the council).
V.10 Reviews departmental work programs.
V.11(A) Certifies availability of revenue for supplemental appropriation (by council).
V.11(C) Reports revenue shortfalls to council, reports on any remedial action taken, and makes recommendations on other steps to be taken.