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Assembly of Delegates

 

Welcome to the Assembly of Delegates FAQs page. We invite you to read through the questions below and click on the arrow to reveal the answer.  If you have a question that is not listed here,  please call us at  508-375-6761 or email the Assembly of Delegates Clerk, Janice O’Connell.

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.  This is the branch of County government responsible for adopting new legislation (ordinances) and maintaining checks and balances over the executive branch.

 

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.  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.

 

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 Barnstable County Home Rule Charter authorizes a County tax to fund these 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.

 

15 Assembly members are elected on a non-partisan basis from each town on Cape Cod.  Please see a list of current serving members here.

 

There are fifteen towns located within Barnstable County, and each town is duly represented on the Assembly of Delegates. Delegates are elected by the voters in each of their municipalities.

 

At the beginning of each legislative session of the Assembly, a Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected from its membership.

Speaker: E. Suzanne McAuliffe, the Delegate from Yarmouth, was elected Speaker for the fifteenth session of the Assembly of Delegates.

Deputy Speaker: Deborah McCutcheon, the Delegate from Truro, was elected Deputy Speaker.

Assembly of Delegates Clerk: Janice O’Connell, the Assembly of Delegates Clerk, provides legislative assistance to the Assembly. Janice O’Connell serves as both the appointed Assembly of Delegates Clerk and as County Clerk

Dean of the Assembly: John Ohman, Delegate from Dennis and the longest serving member on the Assembly of Delegates, holds the honorary title of Dean of the Assembly. He was voted Dean of the Assembly on February 15, 2017 and will hold that title and honorary position until he leaves office.

 

Delegates serve two-year terms (ending in even years).

 

The Assembly of Delegates uses a weighted voting system. 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 were elected for the fifteenth session of the Assembly of Delegates in November 2016, and took office on January 4, 2017. The next elections will take place in November, 2018.

 

The Assembly of Delegates meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month beginning at 4 PM in the Assembly Hall Chamber in the First District Courthouse on Route 6A in Barnstable, MA. The Assembly maintains a business office staffed by the Assembly of Delegates Clerk, located adjacent to the Assembly Hall Chamber. The Assembly will be relocated on the county campus at sometime in the near future.

 

Yes.

 

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.

 

You can watch meetings, both live and archived at https://www.youtube.com/user/BarnstableCounty

 

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 Clerk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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