Newly elected or appointed officials must appear in person at the Town Clerk's office to be administered the oath of office (swearing in) before participating in any meeting requiring a vote. For new Town Meeting Members, the oath of office is administered at the Town Meeting or following a successful caucus and a Town Meeting Member Handbook is distributed.
An example of the general oath follows: Do you solemnly affirm that you will uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the By-Laws of the Town of Belmont and you will impartially perform the duties of ______to which you have been duly elected (appointed), keeping uppermost in your mind what is best for the Town of Belmont and its inhabitants.
At the time of the swearing in of elected officials and all members of boards, committees and commissions, the following materials are distributed and a confirmation receipt is signed and filed with the Town Clerk:
1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Open Meeting Law is distributed or referred for on-line access. Among other items, it covers posting requirements for open meetings, executive session requirements, appropriate conduct and recording requirements for minutes.The Open Meeting Law was signficantly changed effective July 1, 2010.
2. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Ethics (Conflict of Interest) Laws is distributed and referred for online access. Each year, the Town Clerk's office is required to deliver (and obtain a receipt of delivery), the Ethics Summary to every employee, elected official, and member of boards, committees and commissions. In addition, every two years, the Town Clerk's office is required to distribute and collect receipt of completion of the State's on-line Ethics test. Upon succesful completion of the test, a personalized certificate is issued which must be filed with the Town Clerk. This requirement became effective in April of 2010 and must be updated every two years. The current cycle required training to be complete and a certificate provided to the Town Clerk by April 5, 2012.
The Conflict of Interest Law, Ethics training may be viewed at www.mass.gov/ethics under Education and Training Resources.