Structure of Town Govt.

Owls Head was incorporated as a town, by a special act of legislature in July 1921. At this time the town was given certain privileges, but it was also obligated to perform certain duties, which it shares with all other towns in the state. "A town may take any action and change their form of government in anyway that is not clearly denied them or provided for under state and/or federal law."

Owls Head is served by the town meeting/Selectmen form of government. The town meeting is the key in that it serves as the legislative function of the town's government. Important issues are listed in the form of articles on a warrant announcing the time and place of the town meeting; and this warrant is duly posted at least seven days before the meeting date. At a town meeting only those articles on the warrant may be voted on. Laws for the orderly governing of the town are passed, budgets approved, taxes levied, and town officers are elected. The first officer elected is the Moderator, a person to chair the meeting and run it in an orderly manner. A moderator must be elected at every town meeting and must be sworn to office before the meeting may legally continue. Other officers elected at our town meetings are the Board of Selectmen (3), who perform the executive function of the town. They administer, enforce, and carry out the decisions made at town meeting. State law dictates duties and responsibilities relating to town meetings, elections, finances, personnel, roads and bridges, public safety, human services, planning, etc.. State law also grants selectmen some legislative power as well, this includes enacting laws or ordinances regulating vehicles, public ways and public property. Others elected at town meetings include Road Commissioner, Board of Assessors, Overseers of the Poor, School Board Members, and Town Council Members. Again state law dictates duties and responsibilities of these various officials, except the Town Council. Unique to our town, this council was formed at the 1954 town meeting, to act as a learning and advisory committee. Former selectmen have served, as well as persons interested in the workings of town government with the intent on future involvement. The council has no voting power, attends selectmen's meetings, and should be heard and respected.

Citizen participation is one of the most important values of the Town Meeting form of government, and residents should take advantage of this privilege. One way to get involved in town government is to volunteer to serve on one of the town's various committees. These committees are made up of interested individuals, appointed by the selectmen, to serve a certain term of office and must be sworn to that office by the town clerk. The town votes at town meetings to form committees and the town must also vote to do away with these committees. The following committees faithfully serve the residents of Owls Head on a volunteer basis: Budget, Planning, Zoning Board of Appeals, Comprehensive Plan, Recreation, and Solid Waste. Other appointments made by the selectmen are: Zoning Administrator, Plumbing Inspector, Registrar of Voters, Harbor Master, Animal Control Officer, and Public Health Officer. These appointed officials must also be sworn to their office by the Town Clerk. Procedure is important in any town's government and attention should be paid to details in laws governing our town. "GOOD CITIZENSHIP MEANS GOOD GOVERNMENT."

Town offices are located in the Owls Head Community Building. Built in 1990 the Community Building is the location of the town offices which provides a central location for residents and town officials to conduct town business. The Community Building contains two meeting rooms, a smaller room for meetings of the various town committees and a larger meeting room and kitchen for town meetings and other local group gatherings.

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