Assembly of Delegates
ASSEMBLY OF DELEGATES, First District Courthouse Rt 6A, Barnstable, MA 02630
Welcome to the Assembly of Delegates Home Page!
WHAT IS THE ASSEMBLY OF DELEGATES?
The Assembly of Delegates is the legislative branch of Cape Cod Regional Government, known as Barnstable County. The Assembly of Delegates is located in First District Courthouse, Route 6A, Barnstable, MA. The office telephone is (508) 375-6761, the fax number is (508) 362-6530, or email the Assembly of Delegates. There are fifteen towns located within Barnstable County, and each town is duly represented on the Assembly of Delegates.
In 1989, by an Act of the Massachusetts General Court and confirmed by a majority of Barnstable County voters, the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter went into effect and the first session of the Assembly of Delegates convened. The Barnstable County Home Rule Charter authorizes a County tax to fund regional services, and each town pays a certain percentage based on its assessed valuation. This tax is in addition to the Deeds Excise Tax, received by all counties in the Commonwealth, and an assessment authorized in 1990 by an Act of the Massachusetts General Court and confirmed by a majority of Barnstable County voters for the Cape Cod Commission Environmental Protection Fund. All legislative powers of the County are vested in the Assembly of Delegates and, except as provided in the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter, the acts of the Assembly of Delegates are required to be by Ordinance. Periodically the Assembly of Delegates adopts Resolutions regarding issues of regional importance to Barnstable County.
The Assembly of Delegates consists of fifteen Delegates representing each of the towns located in Barnstable County. A Delegate’s vote is weighted based on the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census. The town of Barnstable, for example, has the largest vote of 20.92% and Truro the smallest vote of 0.93%.
Delegates are elected by the voters in each of their municipalities for a two year term. Delegates were elected for the fifteenth session of the Assembly of Delegates in November 2016, and took office on January 4, 2017.
At the beginning of each legislative session of the Assembly, a Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected from its membership. The longest serving member on the Assembly of Delegates holds the honorary title of Dean of the Assembly. The Assembly of Delegates employs a Clerk to provide legislative assistance to the Assembly. E. Suzanne McAuliffe, the Delegate from Yarmouth, was elected Speaker for the fifteenth session of the Assembly of Delegates. Deborah McCutcheon, the Delegate from Truro, was elected Deputy Speaker. John Ohman, the Delegate from Dennis, was voted Dean of the Assembly on February 15, 2017 and will hold that title and honorary position until he leaves office. Janice O’Connell serves as the appointed Assembly of Delegates Clerk and as County Clerk.
The Assembly of Delegates holds regular meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. The Business Calendar (meeting notice and agenda) identifies key communication topics, and items scheduled for discussion and action by the Assembly of Delegates. The Journal of Proceedings (meeting minutes) of the regular meetings are available to the public. The Assembly of Delegates has Standing Committees to deal with important issues facing the County. Committee meetings are where the Assembly’s work takes place prior to regular meetings. Standing Committees meet to hold public hearings on Proposed Ordinances and prepares a report for the full Assembly prior to a vote by the legislative body.
Currently all meetings of the Assembly of Delegates are held in the Assembly of Delegates Chamber in the First District Courthouse, Route 6A, Barnstable, MA, unless otherwise noted. The Assembly will be relocated on the county campus at sometime in the near future.
Barnstable County government has always been recognized as the exception to failing county governments in Massachusetts and has served as a model for the successful regionalization of services. The Assembly of Delegates, in conjunction with the Board of County Commissioners, the executive branch of the Cape Cod Regional Government, work together to preserve and enhance regional services in Barnstable County.
Additional information about Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates may be obtained by contacting the Assembly of Delegates Clerk.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Assembly of Delegates?
The Assembly of Delegates is the legislative branch of County government. This is the branch of County government responsible for adopting new legislation (ordinances) and maintaining checks and balances over the executive branch.
Who are the members of the Assembly of Delegates?
The Assembly of Delegates consists of 15 members elected on a non-partisan basis from each town on Cape Cod to two year terms (ending in even years). The vote of each delegate is proportionate to the percentage of total County population of his/her member town.
The name of each delegate and the community he/she represents can be viewed on the Assembly’s web page.
Where is the Assembly of Delegates located?
The Assembly of Delegates generally meets in the Assembly Hall Chamber and maintains a business office staffed by a Clerk both located at the First District Courthouse on Route 6A in Barnstable, MA.
When does the Assembly of Delegates meet?
The Assembly of Delegates meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month beginning at 4 p.m.