Site hosted by Build your free website today!

A Charter for Mashpee


Edward Larkin- Chairman
Dean Arden - Vice Chairman
Charles Gasior - Clerk

Juan Bacigalupi
Jerry Blumengarten
Warren Freeman
Richard Halpern
Ruth Maney
Catherine Bowmar-Perry

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Question 1

Shall the Town of Mashpee vote to approve the new charter recommended by the Charter Commission, summarized below?

SUMMARY: The proposed charter would (1) retain the open town meeting as the cornerstone and foundation for our local government; (2) make no change in the composition, mode of election, or term of office of the board of selectmen or of the school committee; (3)clarify and expand the powers, duties and responsibilities of the current town administrator under the title "town manager"; (4) require several new methods of communication to be opened to keep the voters and taxpayers informed of town business; and (5) provide a clear statement of the relationship of each unit of our town government, one to another for a better understanding by the public of lines of responsibility and authority.

YES: 962
NO: 388

Please click here for the:
Final Report and Proposed Charter for the Town of Mashpee Cover (PDF)

Final Report Mashpee Charter Commission (PDF)
(Please note that on page 5 Charter Commission Members signatures are on the document that has been submitted.")

Summary of Provisions: Proposed Charter for Mashpee (PDF)

Proposed Charter for the Town of Mashpee (PDF)


A Charter is a written document which sets out the form of the Government; the Officers to be elected; their powers, duties and responsibilities and their relationship, one to another. It will also set out certain essential procedures, such as budget making and administrative standards.

When a new resident moves to town the Charter will inform the reader of the way in which the government of our town functions.

Adoption of a Charter is the essential step to secure all the BENEFITS OF MUNICIPAL HOME-RULE.

We won't have to run to the State to manage our own destiny.

Why we need a Charter for the Town of Mashpee by Ed Larkin

*Once again let me try to illustrate for all citizens of Mashpee the reason for the importance of adopting a Charter. Right now we have a hodge podge of General State Laws; State Acceptance Statues which are optional and Special Acts passed specifically for Mashpee under which our town operates. At this time there is no place where all these documents are assembled in a meaningful way.

How can home rule help increase Mashpee’s local government autonomy and improve effectiveness?

Currently in order to accomplish a local objective it is necessary for the Town of Mashpee to go to the state government and seek changes in state law. With a home rule charter Mashpee would not need that grant of power from the state to carry out local objectives. We would be able to act without the specific legislative authorization and limitation of state powers to enact laws that fall within the home-rule grant. The town would therefore be able to exercise powers that are not prohibited by either the U.S. or Commonwealth of Massachusetts Constitution.


The mission of the Mashpee Charter Commission is to examine our present form of government and draft a charter (constitution) for the town which will outline for citizens our structure of government. The charter will specify which town positions will be elected or appointed and the appointing authority. The charter will also delineate the authority and responsibilities of various positions and offices, and set forth the method of citizen oversight. It will also allow residents to better understand and hopefully become more active in town affairs.

The commissioners will meet with elected and appointed town officials, as well as the general public to assess the town’s current governmental structure and to determine if changes are necessary. The final recommendation of the Charter Commission must be adopted by a majority of voters at a regular town election. After passage, the charter is easily amended by town meeting vote and subsequent voter approval.

Note: After the Charter has been adopted a By-Law Review Committee will be formed.


April 15, 2004

Arpil 29, 2004

Jan. 2, 2003

Jan. 16, 2003

Jan. 23, 2003

Feb. 6, 2003

Feb. 20, 2003

Mar. 20, 2003

April 10, 2003

April 24, 2003

May 15, 2003

May 29, 2003

June 5, 2003

June 19, 2003

July 10, 2003

July 24, 2003

Aug. 21, 2003

Sept. 3, 2003

Sept. 18, 2003

Oct. 2, 2003

Oct. 16, 2003

Oct. 23, 2003

Oct. 30, 2003

May 15, 2002

May 22, 2002

May 29, 2002

June 5, 2002

June 12, 2002

June 19, 2002 Public Hearing

June 26, 2002

July 11, 2002

July 30, 2002

Executive Session July 30, 2002

Aug. 15, 2002

Aug. 28, 2002

Sept. 12, 2002

Oct. 10, 2002

Oct. 24, 2002

Oct. 31, 2002

Nov. 7, 2002

Nov. 14, 2002

Nov. 21, 2002

Dec. 12, 2002

Dec. 17, 2002



Chapter 43B: Section 9. Hearings before charter commission; reports of commission.

Section 9. (a) Within forty-five days after its election, the charter commission shall hold a public hearing.

(b) Within sixteen months after its election, the charter commission shall prepare a preliminary report including the text of the charter or charter revision which the commission intends shall be submitted to the voters and any explanatory information the commission deems desirable, shall cause such report to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the city or town, shall provide sufficient copies of the preliminary report to the city or town clerk to permit its distribution to each registered voter requesting the same, and shall furnish two copies to the attorney general and two copies to the department of housing and community development. Within four weeks after such publication, the commission shall hold one or more public hearings upon the report. Within four weeks after his receipt of the report, the attorney general shall furnish the commission with a written opinion setting forth any conflict between the proposed charter or charter revision and the constitution and laws of the commonwealth. A copy of the opinion shall at the same time be furnished to the department of housing and community development.

(c) Within eighteen months after its election, the charter commission shall submit to the city council or board of selectmen its final report, which shall include the full text and an explanation of the proposed new charter or charter revision, such comments as the commission deems desirable, an indication of the major differences between the current and proposed charters, and a statement of not more than one thousand words by the commission minority, if any, provided such statement is filed with the chairman of the commission within forty-eight hours after the commission's vote approving such report. A copy of said final report shall also be submitted to the department of housing and community development and to the attorney general.

(d) All public hearings before a charter commission shall be held within the city or town at such time and place as may be specified in a notice published at least ten days prior to the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the city or town, but hearings may be adjourned from time to time without further published notice.

From the MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT web site you can download the Home Rule Charter Adoption: Summary: The Home Rule Amendment and the Home Rule Procedures Act



Town of Mashpee Town Hall Web Site

Mashpee Town Officers List

Mashpee Board of Selectmen

Mashpee Information from State Agencies

What are the rights of the 351 cities and towns?
How is a town governed? Local Government

Citizen's Guide to Town Meeting

Government Web Sites

Voting in Massachusetts

Mashpee Voting Precincts

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me (Jerry Blumengarten) at:

Note: This web site was created by me, Jerry Blumengarten, early in the Fall of 2001 to support the process of gaining signatures to have a charter commission. It is a purely informational site. I feel that it is important for everyone to get involved in the charter process from our energetic school children to our wonderful senior citizens.

This web site endeavors to identify useful or interesting resources. However, I can provide no warranty as to the accuracy, value or appropriateness of information found on any particular website. Online resources may change or disappear at any time and I cannot be responsible for these factors outside of my control.

Helpful Web Sites

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 43 City Charters
Town of Maynard Charter
Wakefield Home Rule Charter
Wellfleet Town Charter and Bylaws
Town of Dedham Revised Bylaws
Franklin Massachusetts Charter
Town of Bourne By-Laws
Home Rule Charter of the Town of Billerica
The Concord Town Charter
Town of Sandwich Bylaws
The New England Town Meeting