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Barre Town Government

Barre Town government operates under provisions set forth in a charter approved by the Vermont Legislature and Governor in 1975 after approval by Barre Town voters in November 1974. The Town charter is state law, and amendments to it require another affirmative vote by Town residents and approval from the legislature and governor. A charter is like a constitution; it establishes the framework of government. Details in ordinances and policies fill out the government operation. Not all Vermont towns have a charter; towns with no charter must follow general municipal law on more issues than Barre Town.

The Selectboard is the Town's legislative body. It adopts ordinances (the laws), policies (the rules), and an annual budget. The Selectboard appoints a town manager that is selected on the basis of training, experience, education and ability to perform duties. The manager is appointed for an indefinite period of time. Their role is to operate and organize such departments as the Selectboard may determine, and the manager appoints and removes all employees on the basis of merit. 

Assisting the Selectboard and town staff are numerous boards and commissions. Town residents are appointed by the Selectboard to serve on these boards and commissions. Primarily their duties are advisory, but quasi-judicial and administrative duties are involved as well.

In the field of municipal government, Barre Town is known as a council-manager government because the elected governing body (Selectboard) appoints a manger who tends to day-to-day operations. Because Australian ballot is used for most election matters Barre Town has a modified town meeting.