Section 1. There shall be a Finance Committee consisting of seven (7) legal voters of the town, who shall be appointed by the Moderator, subject to ratification by the Board of Selectmen, as hereinafter provided. No elective or appointive town officer or town employee, excepting Town Accountant shall be eligible to serve on said committee.
Section 2. The Moderator of the town meeting when this by-law becomes effective shall appoint two members of said committee for terms of one year, two members for terms of three years. At each annual town meeting thereafter, the Moderator thereof shall appoint two members of said committee for terms of three years. The terms of office of said members shall commence immediately upon qualification and shall expire at the close of final adjournment of the annual Town meeting at which their successors are appointed. Said committee shall choose its own officers and shall serve without pay, and it shall cause to be kept a true record of its proceedings.
Section 3. The said committee shall fill any vacancy which may occur in its membership, by vote, attested copy of which shall be sent by the secretary to the Town Clerk. If any member is absent from five consecutive meetings of said committee, except in case of illness, his position shall be deemed to be vacant and shall be filled as herein provided. The term of office of any person so chosen to fill a vacancy shall expire at the final adjournment of the next succeeding annual town meeting, and the Moderator thereof shall appoint his successor to complete the unexpired term of the member in whose office such vacancy originally occurred.
Section 4. All articles in any warrant for a town meeting shall be referred to the Finance Committee for its consideration. The Selectmen after drawing any such warrant shall transmit immediately a copy thereof to each member of said committee. Said committee shall, after due consideration of the subject matter of such articles, report thereon to the town meeting, in writing, such recommendations as it deems best for the interest of the town and its citizens.
Section 5. It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee annually to consider the expenditures in previous years and the estimated requirements for the ensuing year of the several boards, officers, and committees of the town as prepared by them in such form and detail as may be prescribed by said committee. The said committee shall add to such statement of expenditure and estimates another column, giving the amounts which in its opinion should be appropriated for the ensuing year, and shall further add thereto such explanations and suggestions relating to the proposed appropriations as it may deem expedient, and report thereon as provided in section four.
Section 6. In the discharge of its duty, said committee shall have free access to all books of record and accounts, bills and vouchers on which money has been or may be paid from the town treasury. Officers, boards, and committees of the town shall, upon request, furnish said committee with facts, figures and any other information pertaining to their several activities.
Section 7. It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to make an annual report of its doings, with recommendations relative to financial matters and the conduct of town business, to be contained in the annual report.