Policies & Ordinances

The Town of Goshen routinely assesses, adopts, and upholds policies and ordinances that assist our government, and community, in operating ethically, efficiently, and safely while assuring compliance with state and federal laws.

Please refer to the below policies and ordinances and direct further questions to the town office.


A policy is a course of action, guiding principle, procedure, or strategy that is adopted by a municipal public body (e.g., a selectboard or board of library trustees). Policies are executive in nature and are oriented inwards to guide internal decision-making processes. Generally, policies apply to employees, town facilities or the public body itself.

A policy is designed to influence and determine decisions in the course of conducting certain municipal affairs. Policies should establish clear-cut, orderly, and systematic methods for handling certain administrative duties and internal town operations. They should be flexible enough to meet changing situations and conditions, yet conditions yet provide enough consistency and continuity in making decisions to ensure predictability.

Although policies generally do not have regulatory enforcement authority as compared to ordinances, policies nevertheless are useful in that they clearly define a municipality’s standards and set reasonable expectations for the applicable municipal topic.


An ordinance is a legislative act by the legislative body of a municipality (selectboard, council, aldermen, trustees). Black’s Law Dictionary defines an ordinance as “[a]n authoritative law or decree; specif[ically], a municipal regulation, esp[ecially] one that forbids or restricts an activity.” Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014). In contrast to a policy, which governs internal operations, an ordinance is “an expression of municipal will affecting the conduct of the inhabitants generally, or of a number of them under some general designation.” City of Barre v. Perry & Scribner, 82 Vt. 301 (1909).

Municipal ordinances carry the state’s authority and have the same effect within the municipality’s limits as a state statute. Once adopted according to statutory process, they become legally enforceable local laws. A municipal ordinance is designated either as a civil or criminal offense and may carry a fine or penalty of up to $800. A civil ordinance is generally enforced in the Vermont Judicial Bureau, the court that has statewide jurisdiction over civil violations.

Adopted 3/24/2008

Access to Public Records Policy

Adopted 5/27/2008

Dog Ordinance and License Policy

Adopted 2008

Meeting Minutes Mandate

Adopted 2009

Municipal Buildings Use Policy & Agreement

Adopted 1/13/202

Payroll Timesheet Policy

Adopted 7/1/2010

Public Meeting Place Policy

Adopted 5/22/2018

Records Management Policy & Schedule

Adopted 4/23/2012

Special Event Ordinance

Adopted 2013

Town Equipment Maintenance Policy

    Adopted 10/12/2015

    Conflict of Interest Policy


    Incident Report Policy

    Adopted 5/22/2018

    Municipal Buildings Access Policy

    Adopted 2015

    Overweight Permits Policy


    Personnel Policy


    Purchasing Policy

    Adopted 2006

    Sexual Harassment Policy

    Adopted Pre-2008

    Swim Lesson Reimbursement Policy

    Adopted 1/8/2018

    Winter Maintenance Policy & Plan