THE 2020 NOVEMBER ELECTION
The 2020 General Election is on Tuesday, November 3rd.
The Shutesbury election will be conducted at Town Hall, 1 Cooleyville rd. Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM.
VOTE EARLY IN PERSON!
In-person Early Voting will be conducted at Town Hall, 1 Cooleyville rd, on October 17th, 18th, and October 24th through October 30th. The voting area will be set up in the open garage behind Town Hall.
VOTE BY MAIL!
Ballots not due at Local Election Official offices until October 9th
Download the application here
Applications can be returned to the Town Clerk's office via mail, dropbox or email. If you email your application, remember that the signature needs to be a real/true (sometimes referred to as "wet") signature. You can scan your application or take a picture of your application and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you take a picture, please check to make sure the quality is high enough that I am able to read the writing on the form.
Get a paper copy of the application from the tupperware marked "Dog Tag and Vote By Mail Applications" on the little table to the right of the front door of Town Hall
Ballots can be returned via the drop box to the left of the walkway in front of Town Hall.
You can use the Track My Ballot portal to find information about your ballot, including whether or not you have already applied for a ballot, when your ballot was mailed by the Town Clerk, and when your ballot was received by the Town Clerk's Office.
Be advised that mail-in votes may be processed prior to election day depending on practicality and need
Click here to view a PDF of the 2020 Information For Voters booklet which includes explanations of the ballot questions.
Hard copy Dog License applications are also available in a small labeled plastic box outside the front door at Town Hall.
All dogs in Shutesbury are required by law to be licensed and have a current rabies vaccination. 2020 tags are a very stylish purple. These are two excellent reasons to renew your dog tag today!
Submit your application either by mail or via the black drop box on the lawn in front of Town Hall. Please include the application, a check filled out with black ink, and a self-addressed return envelope with 2 stamps.
Open Meeting Law changes
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Governor Baker issued an Emergency Order on March 12, 2020, allowing public bodies greater flexibility in utilizing technology in the conduct of meetings under the Open Meeting Law. The town of Shutesbury greatly values the participation of its citizens in the public meeting process, but given the current circumstances and recommendations at both the state and federal levels to limit or avoid public gatherings, including Governor Baker’s ban on gatherings of more than 25 people, together with the present closure of Shutesbury Town Hall and other public buildings to the public, the town has decided to implement the “remote participation” procedures allowed under Governor Baker’s emergency Order for all boards, committees, and commissions.
This means that:
1. Meetings may be held virtually and any member of a public body can opt to access a meeting virtually.
2. The public will not be allowed into a room where a Board/Committee is meeting, even where there are any members of the public body and/or town staff or official(s) physically present at the meeting location during the meeting.
3. However, the public will be provided with alternative means to watch, listen and interact with public bodies in real time.
4. If, despite our best efforts, our technological capabilities do not adequately support public access to virtual or remote meetings, the town will ensure that an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of the proceedings at the meeting is posted on the town’s website as soon as possible after the meeting.
5. Notices for public hearings will contain instructions for accessing virtual meetings.
6. For executive session meetings, public access to the meeting will be limited to the open session portion(s) of the meeting only. Public access to any audio, video, internet or web-based broadcast of the meeting will be discontinued when the public body enters executive session.
7. Where individuals have a right, or are required, to attend a public meeting or hearing, including executive session meetings, they will be provided with information about how to participate in the meeting/hearing remotely.
8. Meeting notices will still be posted at least 48 hours in advance (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays), unless it is an emergency meeting as defined under the Open Meeting Law (in which event, the meeting notice will be posted with as much advanced notice as is possible in the circumstances). Minutes will still be taken.
Use this online tool created by the Secretary of the Commonwealth to find out your current voter registration status:
Helpful hint: If you can't find your registration, and you have a mailing zip code other than 01072, try using 01072 instead of your alternate (01002, for example) zip code. This is one of the few times in life when the difference between residential and mailing addresses actually matters.
Register to vote: Use the Secretary's website, call Town Clerk (413) 259-1204 to have a mail-in voter registration form sent, or register at the Registry of Motor Vehicles when you renew your driver’s license.
Massachusetts also has On-Line Voter Registration: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr
A Citizen's Petition is a proposal brought to Town Meeting by a citizen or group of citizens which will appear as a warrant article to be voted on. Crafting a successful petition takes time and information gathering is important. For an information sheet that describes the process, click here.
Public Records Requests
Many citizens would like to know more about the activities of committees and boards in town. You may find the information you are seeking on a board or committee's page on the town website. If the information is not there or you don't have web access, you are welcomed to make a public records request to the Town Clerk. You can click here to email your request.
Under state Public Record Law, the requests for public records in Shutesbury are made to Susie Mosher, Town Clerk, our Records Access Officer. Requests can be made in writing or by email. Please include contact your information. For more an update on the Public Records law, go to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/prenotice.htm
Shutesbury has guidelines for the Public Record here.
Minutes for Meetings
The Open Meeting Law Guide describes the requirements for minutes on pages 15-16 and can be read here.
Here are samples of minute templates that meet the OML requirements in different styles.
Your committee may have their own format that meets the requirements. You can get copies of these forms in the lower right-hand mailbox in the hallway at Town Hall and from the stand outside the Town Clerk's office.
Mandatory Ethics Training for All Employees and Volunteers
- Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law
- http://www.muniprog.eth.state.ma.us/ Click on assessment lower left column. Then click on Municipal Employee assessment button
Required Information for Appointed and Elected Members of Shutesbury Government
People new to a board or position should get sworn in at the Town Clerk's office and I can hand you the full folder of information. For those who want to read or print themselves a copy of information sheets, the documents are linked here.
- Attorney General's Open Meeting Law Guide
- Open Meeting Law, MGL c. 30A, SS 18-25
- 940 CMR as of Oct. 6, 2017
- Certificate of Receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials
- Open Meeting Law FAQ
- Attorney General's Open Meeting Law webpage with links and information
- Conflict of Interest Law Summary
- Town of Shutesbury Regarding Unlawful Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Policy
- Policy of Non-Discrimination & Grievance Procedure
- Shutesbury Volunteers are "Special Municipal Employees"
- Shutesbury Employee and Volunteer Code of Conduct Policy
- Indemnification of Volunteers
- Fragrance Free and AmericansWith Disabilities Act Requirements
- Guide for Members of Public Boards and Commissions
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFd9PmEhKZk video for Board and Com. Members from the Inspector Generals office
DBA information and forms
Information and forms for a DBA certificate can be found here.
Call the Town Clerk at 259-1204 to schedule an appointment if you need a DBA.
Filing Marriage Intentions
Marriage Intentions available by appointment
The current town clerk is not a Justice of the Peace, so marriages are not performed in the Shutesbury Town Hall. Before the marriage ceremony there is a two-step process in my office to obtain a marriage certificate to be signed by an officiant at the ceremony. These two steps require a three -day waiting period..
In Shutesbury there is a Justice of the Peace (Irv Seidman, 259-1458) and an officiant/minister (Dina Stander 259-9125, https://www.dinastander.com/celebrant-services ) You can also find a list of Justices of the Peace at https://www.mjpa.org/ or use the yellow pages.
Here are the Instructions:
First, both people come in to fill out the intention filing, take an oath, and sign the documents. This takes about 30 minutes. The intention filing is good for 60 days before it expires. The cost for filing is $15. Certified copies of the final license are $5 /each.
After a required three-day waiting period, only one person needs to return to proofread and pick up official copy of the license. The license is taken to the ceremony or service and signed by the officiant who conducts the marriage. The signed license is returned to the Town Clerk to file with the state and make certified copies for your records.
Order a Vital Record (Birth, Marriage or Death Certificate)
- Submit request by phone, fax, or email email@example.com.
- Include any known information - name and date preferred.
- Include a $5 per copy payment - cash or check made out to "Town of Shutesbury"
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope or you
can pick up the certificate at the Town Clerk's office.
Search Vital Records
available and send an estimated cost to complete the research and make copies as requested.