Conflict of Interest Law/Requirements

Congratulations on your recent appointment to public office for the Town of Winchester.  The Town wishes to thank you for your interest to serve the community.  There are a variety of items the Town Clerk’s Office needs to advise you of prior to the start of your term.  Specifically, you must take the OATH OF OFFICE, even if you are being reappointed, our office must have you take the oath again for this newest term.  

The Town Clerk’s Office is the administrative office within Town Hall to assist you with a variety of questions you may have concerned your term of office.  Staff can swear you into office, answer any questions you may have about your position on a board, and provide any research you may have as you navigate your duties and responsibilities for this board.  We are available to you via email, phone, or in person.  

Listed below are the details of what is required of you as a volunteer under Massachusetts General Law.  

The State Ethics Commission is the state agency that provides testing and educational materials to all volunteers elected or appointed across the commonwealth. Your local Town Clerk is the States Liaisons concerning ethics and can be a resource for you should you have any questions regarding Conflicts of Interest or ethics in general.  It is mandatory that everyone who volunteers or works for a municipality take an online Conflict of Interest test.  The State Ethics Commission provides the exam through an online portal.  If you have previously taken the test, you MUST take the test in the newest online portal.    

Note to reappointed volunteers: The Town Clerk’s Office no longer needs copies of your certificates upon completion.  There is an Administrative Portal that we can access should anyone need proof of completion.

Click below to watch instructional video - Watch the YouTube Video to familiarize yourself with the content.

 https://www.mass.gov/new-conflict-of-interest-law-online-training-program-now-open          

Click below to obtain a brief background on the test. 

https://www.mass.gov/how-to/complete-the-conflict-of-interest-law-education-requirements                       

Click below to link to the portal where you will create a username and password.

https://massethicstraining.skillburst.com/User/index.php             

The Office of the Attorney General – Open Meeting Law Division
As a volunteer you must also be familiar with the states Open Meeting Laws.  The Town Clerk’s Office is available should you have specific questions or challenges surrounding the conduct of public meetings in your role as a member of a board, commission, or committee.  The state requires you read the Guide to Open Meeting Law and return the Certification Form to the Town Clerk within 2 weeks of assuming public office.   

Click below the link to complete public body member certification:

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/complete-public-body-member-certification

Click below to link to the most recent edition of the Guide to Public Meetings:

https://www.mass.gov/doc/2017-open-meeting-law-guide/download

Listed below are Checklists for your reference on posting public meetings and taking minutes.  While you may not be the official clerk to your board, committee, or commissions it is helpful as a member that you familiarize yourself with the conduct of public meetings.  Typically, the first official meeting each spring after the Annual Town Election, the board, committee, or commission votes the executive board members, Chair, Vice Chair and Clerk.  Therefore, it is helpful to read through these links to be prepared when it may be your turn to hold a leadership role on your board.

Checklist for Notice

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/09/25/Public%20Body%20Checklist%20-%20Notice.pdf

Checklist for Minutes

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/09/25/Public%20Body%20Checklist%20-%20Minutes.pdf

Checklist for Executive Session

https://www.mass.gov/doc/public-body-checklist-for-entering-into-executive-session/download

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of the Town Clerk at townclerk@winchester.us or call 781-721-7130 Press #1 for Town Clerk.

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