Connecting People to Services

Mission and Bylaws


The mission of the Falmouth Substance Abuse Commission is to prevent substance abuse among Falmouth’s citizens, provide information and education to the community and to promote the development and availability of a continuum of substance abuse services for all Falmouth residents.


A.    Membership:         

The Falmouth Substance Abuse Commission (hereafter called the Commission) shall consist of 5 members, to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, three for one year terms, three for two year terms, three for three year terms and all for three year terms thereafter.  Whenever possible one seat will be made available for a youth member.  Falmouth Human Services (FHS) will appoint an ex-officio member to act as liaison between the Commission and FHS.

B.    Officers:     

Officers will be nominated by members and elected by majority vote, and will include a Chairperson, or Co-chairs if preferred, and a Recording Secretary.  An ex-officio member from Falmouth Human Services will serve as Treasurer.  Officers will hold the following responsibilities:

  • The Chairperson or Co-chairs will preside over all meetings, will establish the monthly agenda with membership input, and will provide an annual written and verbal report to the Board of Selectman on all Commission affairs as required by the Selectmen.
  • Falmouth Human Services as Treasurer will be responsible for all monies received and disbursed and will coordinate with the Town Accountant to pay all bills in a timely manner.  The treasurer will report on all financial affairs at the monthly meetings and will assist the Chairperson in reporting to the Selectmen as pertaining to the financial aspects of the Commission.
  •  The Recording Secretary will record all meeting minutes and make a copy of such available to Falmouth Human Services for mailing no later than 10 days prior to the next monthly meeting of the Commission.  Falmouth Human Services office assistant will email monthly minutes to members.

C.    Resignation:   

A Commission member desiring to resign from the Commission is expected to submit their resignation in writing to the Board of Selectmen, with a copy to the Chairperson of the Commission.

D.    Meetings:        

Meetings will be held on a monthly basis, year-round and will comply with the open meeting law of Massachusetts (M.G.L., Chapter 39, Section 32B).

 E.    Attendance:    

Members are expected to attend monthly Commission meetings in compliance with the Town of Falmouth Charter (Article VII, Appointed Town Boards, Section C7-2G).   Members are asked to notify Falmouth Human Services prior to any scheduled meeting that they are unable to attend.  The unexcused absence, without good cause, of a member from one-half (1/2) of the total number of meetings during any twelve-month period or from four (4) or more consecutive meetings of any such board shall serve to vacate the office.  When such a vacancy has been created, it shall be filled within thirty (30) days in accordance with General Law.

F.    Voting:

Decisions will be made by parliamentary vote. A quorum shall consist of no less than half the appointed membership.  All votes of the Commission will be made a matter of public record.

G.    Responsibilities of Members of the Commission:

Appointment to the Commission carries with it the expectation that the member will take responsibility to implement the mission of the Commission.  In addition, appointment carries the expectation to act consistently within these bylaws, to attend regularly scheduled meetings, and to act in good faith in the name of the Commission, based on the scope and intent of Commission decisions.

H.    Powers of the Commission:

In order to fulfill the tasks of the Commission, the Commission has the power to convene public meetings and to structure itself as necessary to transact the business of the Commission, to solicit donations (with approval of the Board of Selectmen) to implement its tasks, and to recruit volunteers and potential members to assist in its undertakings.  Members of the Commission are empowered to act only as a commissioned body, not unilaterally or individually.

I.    Contracting and Fiscal Policy:

The Commission shall observe all contracting policies of the Town and all contracts must be authorized by the Town Manager.

J.    Amendments.

These guidelines may be amended by the vote of a majority of the Commission, so long as the following obligations are observed:

  1. All amendments remain within the scope and intent of the laws of the State of Massachusetts, Town of Falmouth, and Articles 33 of the Town Meeting of October 14, 1987.
  2. All proposed amendments are submitted to all members in writing at least thirty (30) days in advance of any scheduled meeting of the Commission.

K.    Addendum:

  • These bylaws will be distributed to all members at the start of their term.