Appointees Directions


Congratulations on your recent appointment, re-appointment, or election to a Wenham position/board or committee! We appreciate your willingness to serve.

Please find below a board/committee handbook that will tell you everything you always wanted to know regarding serving on a municipal board or committee. This handbook contains the State Ethics Conflict of Interest Summary form. Also below is information about posting agendas through the Town Clerk's office.

Now that you've been appointed, there are three things you’ll need to do if you have not yet done so:

1-Take the oath of office! You are required – in person – to take your oath of office and sign the legal book for each appointment with the Town Clerk.  This must be done before attending and voting at your first meeting.  I’m available at Town Hall to swear you in Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8 AM – 4:30 PM and generally on Tuesdays 11-7. It’s best to check ahead or make an appointment by email or phone so the Clerk can be sure to be available. I live here in town so if those times don’t work, please let me know and we can make other arrangements. It only takes 5 minutes. The Clerk's schedule can fluctuate due to trainings and meetings, so we recommend that you call or email ahead to schedule your appointment. If there is a large group, the Town Clerk is happy to arrange for a group swearing in ceremony, even after hours.

2-Visit https://MassEthicsTraining.skillburst.com to take the State Ethics Commission Conflict of Interest Law Training and test and Acknowledge Receipt of the Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law for Municipal Employees. This must be done every two years by State, county, and municipal employees (yes, the term "employees" also includes unpaid volunteer appointees). The new program has relevant content specific to your public position and is available in four languages. If you are setting up an account for the first time, we encourage you to use a personal email address so you’ll still have access if you no longer have a Town of Wenham account. When you log on you only need to take the test for Municipal employees. Once the test and certificate are complete, they will notify this office, so there is no need to print the certificate and acknowledgment unless you need/want it for your records. If you are in the system under another municipality, you can ADD Wenham as an “employer” and we will be able to see your records/certificates. by then!

3-Review the Wenham Board & Committee handbook, which will fill you in on all things regarding serving on a Wenham board, commission, or committee. We are currently updating the handbook—if you have suggestions/updates, please let the Town Clerk know. Please complete Attachment L at the very end acknowledging receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials and return to the Clerk’s Office within 2 weeks. Email, mail, and in person are all fine for returning this.

4-Determine if you have any conflicts of interest to formally disclose. The conflict of interest law prevents conflicts between public employees’ private interests and their public duties. The law places restrictions on what public employees (including volunteers) may do on the job/committee, after hours, and after leaving public service. We highly recommend that you check to see if you should make conflict of interest or financial disclosures due to your work, other volunteer commitments, etc. before there is an issue. Prior disclosure is important! You may also file a disclosure with the Town Clerk at any time if you anticipate a new conflict of interest. The State Ethics Commission Conflict of Interest Law Training will help you understand some of the scenarios where you might need to recuse yourself from a discussion or vote or file a disclosure. Talk with your committee chair if you anticipate an issue.

The best way to determine if you specifically need to file a disclosure (and which one!) or are eligible for an exemption to the law, is to talk directly and confidentially to the state experts. In certain situations, it may be possible for a public employee to get an exemption to the conflict of interest law by filing a public disclosure form. The various Municipal Conflict of Interest forms are here. Review the web site then request a free phone consultation with the State Ethics Commission's Attorney of the Day at (617) 371-9500. 

5-Notify the Town Clerk in writing if you do not accept the appointment or resign from your position before the end of your term. Please include the role and date of resignation. Your appointment and resignation are a part of the permanent records of the Town.

6-Share any changes to your contact information with Michelle McGovern, Executive Assistant to the Town Administrator at mmgovern@wenhamma.gov and please cc townclerk@wenhamma.gov.

If you have any questions or concerns about your appointment or the state requirements, please do not hesitate to reach out to Kirsten Alexander, Wenham Town Clerk at 978-468-5520x1 or townclerk@wenhamma.gov. As a fellow Wenham resident, Kirsten has served on a number of Town Committees and can be a useful guide to the ins and outs of serving. Serving as a volunteer in a government is quite a bit different from serving on a non-profit or for-profit board, but there are great mentors available and there's nothing like seeing your hard work turned into policies that benefit your community.

Wenham relies on involved citizens! Please take a look and spread the word about current openings on Wenham Town Committees/Commissions and Town of Wenham Job Opportunities

Again, thank you for your service to Wenham!

Resources:

Wenham Committee Handbook

Please click here to review most of what you need to know when serving on a board/committee or commission as an appointed or elected official in the Town of Wenham.

Open Meeting Law is explained more in depth here. Note: Governor Healey signed into law extending to March 31, 2024 the temporary provisions pertaining to the Open Meeting Law, namely allowing public bodies to continue holding meetings remotely without a quorum of the public body physically present at a meeting location, and to provide "adequate, alternative" access to remote meetings. 

The State Ethics Commission can be found here.

MA Guide for Members of Public Boards and Commissions: How to be an Effective Member of a Public Board or Commission

Information on filing disclosures can be found here

Agenda Postings

According to Mass. General Laws ch 30A section 18-25 Open Meeting Law, all public meetings must be posted AT LEAST 48 business hours in advance. Posting agendas as early as possible is a courtesy to the community and increases public participation, transparency, and awareness of the important work you do. In Wenham, the Town Clerk posts meetings on the Town Calendar and requests that local committees, boards, and commissions use this template. 

Agendas may be emailed to townclerk@wenhamma.gov. If you know your agenda will be coming in near the posting deadline please CALL the Town Clerk at 978-468-5520x1 to ensure it can be posted in time.


Wenham's Oath of Office for Committee Members

Do you [Name], solemnly swear that you will faithfully and impartially perform your duties as [Position] for the Town of Wenham, to the best of your knowledge and ability according to the By-Laws of the Town, the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Constitution of the United States?

Fun fact: Wenham has different oaths for assessors, police, fire, and Select Board. 

Town Hall Hours

Monday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Wednesday & Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Friday Closed

Contact Town Hall

Phone: 978-468-5520

Fax: 978-468-8014

138 Main Street

Wenham, MA 01984

 

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