Hawley OKs election recall; tables solar bylaw

Last modified: 12/10/2015 11:42:02 PM
HAWLEY — Voters have said “yes” to special legislation that let the town set up a recall election process, but have tabled a vote on the large-scale solar bylaw that was proposed by the Planning Board.

According to Administrative Assistant Virginia Gabert, 53 voters attended the special town meeting that considered the issues last week.

She said some residents felt the proposed solar bylaw was too long and too restrictive. The proposal would have allowed large-scale ground-mounted solar electric generating systems of up to 10 acres in town, and spells out the requirements for site plan reviews and special permits.

There was discussion about whether to form a special committee to revise the solar bylaw before it goes before voters again for a vote.

“An Act Providing for Recall Elections in Hawley” gives townspeople a process for removing an elected incumbent from office, providing the incumbent is not serving within the first six months or the last six months of an elected term.

A recall petition should include specific grounds for the recall and contain the names of at least 25 percent of Hawley’s town voters.

Once the petition has been certified by the town clerk, selectmen must order an election to be held within 64 to 90 days. If the elected official requests it, the board may call a special town meeting, at least 21 days before the recall election, to discuss the recall. Both the petitions and the official could make their case. The incumbent is to remain in office until the election. And an elected official who is either recalled or who has resigned during recall proceedings cannot be appointed to that same office within the following year.

Townspeople also accepted a $262,970 Hazard Mitigation Grant and an $87,000 MassWorks grant to stabilize the river bank behind the town garage. The town’s highway garage, near the Chickley River, was badly damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

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