County Commissioner Sheila Lyons May Inadvertently Disqualify Herself
from Taking Office in 2013!!
*[Please note ahead of time that the following information is not being provided to disparage County Commissioner Sheila Lyons (or anyone else). It is being provided in order to try and help prevent the potentially serious problems which will arise if the stated events transpire as outlined below. Thank you. RB]*
The Barnstable Patriot, December 27, 2012
“County board to review prior action – Open Meeting Law violations alleged”
“The Commissioners next meet on Jan. 2, when Commissioner Mary Pat Flynn will be sworn in for her new term just prior to the 9 a.m. start (Commissioner Sheila Lyons will be sworn in at a later date).”
Barnstable County, Board of County Commissioners – Meeting Agenda, Wednesday January 2, 2013
• 8:55 A.M. Swearing-in Ceremony for Commissioner Mary Pat Flynn for new elected term 2013-2017.
M.G.L. c. 34, sec. 4 – “Counties and County Commissioners” – “Election; tenure”
Section 4. Except in Nantucket and Suffolk counties, there shall be elected in each county, as provided in section one hundred and fifty-eight of chapter fifty-four, for terms of four years beginning the first Wednesday of January following their election and until their successors are qualified, three county commissioners, who shall be sworn before entering upon their duties, and shall annually, at their first meeting after the first Wednesday of January, choose by ballot a chairman. In Nantucket county the selectmen of Nantucket, and in Suffolk county the mayor and city council of Boston, the municipal council of Chelsea and the city council of Revere, in their respective cities, and the selectmen of Winthrop in said town, shall, except as otherwise provided, have the powers and perform the duties of county commissioners.
According to the above-noted article front the Barnstable Patriot, as well as the complete absence of information contained within the aforementioned meeting agenda of the Barnstable County Commissioners. County Commissioner/County Commissioner-Elect Sheila Lyons will NOT be taking her oath of office as Barnstable County Commissioner on the first Wednesday in January of her new term AS REQUIRED BY STATE LAW.
With this in mind, if she does indeed fail to take her oath of office on that specific day as mandated by law, then she shall quite likely cease to be a Barnstable County Commissioner and will not be legally authorized to act in that capacity or legally carry out the duties of that said office. She does NOT legally have the option of taking the oath of office at a later date, because state law does NOT make any provision for such action.
Failure to be duly qualified and failure to take her oath of office on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 will effectively disqualify Sheila Lyons from legally taking office as Barnstable County Commissioner and shall subject that position to various legal challenges the moment she attempts to do so, if she does not take the oath of office on the first Wednesday in January, 2013.
It should also be mentioned that the County Commissioners must also legally choose their Chairman on an annual basis also on the first Wednesday of each January. Traditionally, the county commissioners rotate such terms as chairman going from Vice-Chairman to Chairman the following year. Since Sheila Lyons is the current Vice-Chairman, she would ordinarily be the one due to become the next Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners in January. However, since she is not planning to attend the initial meeting on January 2nd, then it must be already planned that she will not assume this traditional role, and thereon will not become the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for the coming year.