WARRANT ARTICLE 12
Select Board on behalf of the Town Clerk
Amend Article 2.1 of the General By-Laws by adding a section allowing the Town Clerk to make non-substantive corrections to the General and Zoning By-Laws
This Article would change the Town’s General Bylaws to give the Town Clerk the ability to make non-substantive corrections to the General and Zoning Bylaws. Non-substantive changes could only go into effect after both the Select Board and Advisory Committee were given notice of the change, and no objection was raised within 30 days.
As part of a codification project to update the Town’s Bylaws and post them online, staff from the Town Clerk’s office and the Planning Department have identified many instances where clerical errors, typos, and incorrect numberings have made their way into the Bylaws. Inconsistencies create confusion and uncertainty within the General and Zoning Bylaws.
Some examples of these errors include:
- Inconsistent spelling of the term “bylaw” or “by-law”
- Repetitive numbers for articles and sections of the Bylaws
- Incorrect references to other sections of the Bylaws, or to State laws
- Incorrect usage of punctuation
- Inconsistent numbering and lettering of sections and subsections
Currently, these errors can only be fixed by a subsequent vote of Town Meeting. Passing this Warrant Article would allow the Town Clerk to make non-substantive corrections to the General and Zoning Bylawsthrough a less cumbersome process, with changes being reviewed by the Select Board and Advisory Committee.
The Town Clerk’s office, in consultation with Town Counsel, will be drafting a Town Clerk Style Guide for Town of Brookline Bylaws. This guide would be provided to Town Meeting Members and other individuals who are drafting bylaw changes, to ensure consistency across the bylaws. It will also serve as a guide for the non-substantive changes the Town Clerk could make under this Article.