Guidelines for Road Commissioners
(from Municipal Roads Manual, Maine Municipal Association, 1992)

This Maine Municipal Association publication is presented for "Classroom Use Only."  Its intended use is to stimulate and aid in discussion and role playing within a classroom setting.

This document outlines the duties of the Road Commissioner and the selectmen's responsibilities and authority for maintaining the public ways.

1. The Road Commissioner will be in charge of the repair of all highways and bridges within the Town under the direction of a majority of the Selectmen (23 MMA 2701).

2. The Road Commissioner will give bond to the satisfaction of the Selectmen and be responsible to them for the expenditure of money and discharge of his duties generally.

3. The Road Commissioner has the authority to employ the necessary personnel and equipment and purchase material for the repair of highways and bridges.

4. The Road Commissioner must plan ahead and discuss all repair, maintenance and other projects with the Selectmen. He must develop a work schedule detailing the work to be done, a cost estimate for the work., and the location of the work projects. This schedule will be adhered to except in emergency situations such as snow storms or other unpredictable occurrences.

5. In case of sudden injury to ways or bridges the Road Commissioner must without delay, repair them. In these emergency cases prior approval from the Selectmen is not required. However, the Road Commissioner must file a detailed report the next business day after the emergency repair is completed. For this purpose, an emergency is defined as any incident which could immediately endanger life and/or property (23 M.R.S.A. 3201).

6. The Road Commissioner will inspect town ways in __________ each year and report to the Selectmen the status of the town ways and needed repairs.

7. All projects, including but not limited to winter sand, tarring, road repairs and construction will be done only after the Road Commissioner submits a detailed budget of the project to the Selectmen. The Selectmen will approve or disapprove all projects.

8. When any ways are blocked or encumbered with snow the Road Commissioner will remove the snow in a manner directed by the Selectmen (23 M.R.S.A. 3201 The Road Commissioner will also direct removal of brush and loose obstructions from town ways that impede travel.

9. All equipment will be purchased by open bids. The Road Commissioner will draft complete specifications for any equipment and submit them to the Selectmen for review and to be sent out for bids.

10. The Road Commissioner will be responsible to the Selectmen for the expenditure of money. He shall keep accurate accounts, showing in detail all monies paid out by him, to whom, and for what purpose (23 M.R.S.A. 2703).

All purchases, except routine maintenance supplies under the amount of  $_______ , are to be done with the Town's purchase orders. The Road Commissioner will submit monthly statements for any purchase orders to the Selectmen for approval. A majority of the Selectmen will sign each purchase order.

11. The Road Commissioner will settle his accounts in detail annually on or before the 20th day of February. This will be contained in the annual report (23 M.R.S.A. 2703). The Road Commissioner will participate in the budget process for determining appropriations for the coming year.

12. The Road Commissioner will maintain a complete and detailed maintenance log on all Town vehicles and equipment. These logs will be submitted to the Selectmen for monthly review.

13. The Road Commissioner will document and approve all bills and specify to what project or equipment accounts these bills are charged.

14. The Road Commissioner and all employees of his department, both full and part time, will maintain and sign weekly time cards for all hours worked for the Town. The Road Commissioner and employees shall work only those hours necessary to maintain town ways and equipment as required by these guidelines.

15. When the amount appropriated for road repairs is not sufficient, the Road Commissioner may, with the written consent of the Selectmen, employ town's people to perform the necessary work to an amount not exceeding 15% of the amount so appropriated (23 M.R.S.A. 2705).

16. Only town owned vehicles and equipment will be stored or serviced in the town garage unless otherwise approved by the Selectmen.

17. The use of town vehicles or equipment on statutory private ways (public easements) is prohibited. The use of town equipment for private purposes is prohibited.

18. If a majority of the Selectmen determine that a condition exists which creates a hazard and renders a way unsafe for motor vehicle traffic, they will give the Road Commissioner written notice of the condition and order him to remedy the situation within 24 hours. If the Road Commissioner fails to act as directed, a majority of the Selectmen may take any steps necessary to eliminate the safety hazard.