Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. To the extent that the provisions of this act modify or repeal existing General Laws and special acts or that body of law which constitutes the town charter under Section 9 or Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, this act shall govern. For the purposes of this act, all references to officers, employees or other personnel shall be read as applying equally to males and females regardless of the gender or pronoun used.
SECTION 2. The board of selectmen of the town of Holliston, by an affirmative vote of at least a majority of the full membership of the board shall appoint a town administrator for an indefinite term and shall fix the compensation for such person within the amount annually appropriated for that purpose. The position of town administrator shall not be subject to the by-laws of the town relative to personnel, nor shall it be included in any certification of any collective bargaining unit.
SECTION 3. The town administrator shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications and shall be a person of proven professional ability especially fitted by education, training and previous full-time paid experience in business or public administration to perform the duties of the office. The person shall not have served in an elective office in or for the town of Holliston for at least thirty-six months prior to his appointment. The person shall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or appointive, nor shall engage in any other business, occupation or profession during the term of office, unless such action is approved in advance, in writing, by the board of selectmen. The town may, from time to time, by by-law, establish such additional qualifications it deems necessary and appropriate. The board of selectmen may enter into a formal contract with the town administrator consistent with the provisions of this act which shall take precedence over any personnel by-laws. The town administrator shall be a citizen of the United States of America and need not be a resident of the town of Holliston. The board of selectmen shall evaluate annually the performance of the town administrator, based on mutually established predetermined goals, standards or criteria for performance and the evaluation shall, at least in summary form, be a public record.
SECTION 4. Before entering upon the duties of his office, the town administrator shall be sworn, in the presence of a majority of the selectmen, to the faithful and impartial performance thereof by the town clerk or a notary public. The town administrator shall execute a bond in favor of the town of Holliston for the faithful performance of his duties in such sum and with such surety or sureties as may be fixed by the selectmen. The cost of said bond shall be paid by the town.
SECTION 5. The town administrator shall appoint, based upon merit and fitness alone and remove subject to the provisions of the General Laws and town by-laws where applicable, the treasurer/collector, accountant, building inspector and senior center director. The town administrator shall approve, upon the recommendation of department heads under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, the appointment and removal of all employees and subordinates, subject to the provisions of the General Laws and town by-laws where applicable. Department heads shall select, on merit and fitness alone, all department employees for such recommendation. Appointments to permanent positions made by the town administrator shall become effective on the fifteenth day following the day notice of the appointment is filed with the board of selectmen, unless the board of selectmen shall, within that period, by a majority of all members, vote to reject any such appointment. The town administrator shall consider the recommendations of committees and commissions when making any appointments within their respective areas. The town administrator shall be responsible for the initial screening of all applicants and recommend to the board of selectmen finalists for the positions of fire chief, police chief and highway superintendent. The town administrator shall supervise all department heads and employees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen.
SECTION 6. In addition to other powers and duties provided for in this act, the town administrator shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) The town administrator shall be the chief administrative officer of the town and shall be responsible to the board of selectmen for the efficient administration, supervision and coordination of all departments, commissions, boards and offices that come under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. He shall not, however, exercise any control over the discretionary power vested by statute in any such department, commission, board or office. He also shall coordinate all activities of town departments under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen with the activities of departments under the control of officers, boards or commissions elected directly by the voters of the town.
(b) The town administrator shall be responsible for the implementation of all policies, directives and votes of the board of selectmen.
(c) The town administrator shall administer the town personnel system, including but not limited to personnel policies and practices, rules and regulations and standards, including provisions for an annual employee performance review, the consolidated personnel by-law and shall prepare the job compensation plan for consideration of town meeting if necessary. The personnel board shall act as a final board of appeal for personnel decisions rendered by the town administrator. The town administrator shall be the selectmen's agent for collective bargaining and may employ special counsel to assist him in the performance of those duties.
(d) The town administrator shall be responsible for the preparation of the annual operating budget for all town departments and agencies under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. He shall prepare a uniform budget document in a format which is acceptable to the finance committee. He shall compile, within a time fixed by agreement between the board of selectmen and the finance committee, the comprehensive annual operating budget and the annual capital improvements program for all town departments, agencies, boards and commissions and submit the same with his recommendations to the finance committee. For the purpose of compiling the comprehensive annual operating budget and the annual capital improvements program, all town departments, agencies, boards and commissions shall submit copies of their budgets and capital improvements requests to the town administrator within the time fixed by agreement between the board of selectmen and the finance committee.
(e) With the assistance of the town accountant, the town administrator shall keep the board of selectmen and finance committee informed as to the financial condition and needs of the town and shall make such recommendations to the board of selectmen and finance committee as he deems necessary or expedient.
(f) The town administrator shall be responsible for the review of all current by-laws, regulations and policies that affect the departments and agencies under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, and shall make such recommendations for changes as he deems necessary.
(g) The town administrator shall be responsible for the negotiation of all contracts and grants which the board of selectmen is authorized by law to enter into. Such proposed contracts and grants shall be subject to final approval and execution by the board of selectmen.
(h) The town administrator shall act as the liaison and represent the board of selectmen before state, federal and regional authorities.
(i) The town administrator shall act as the chief procurement officer and be responsible for the approval of the purchase of all supplies, materials, equipment and other services for all departments or agencies under the selectman's jurisdiction, pursuant to the uniform procurement act. He may make purchases for departments and activities not under his supervision upon and in accordance with a requisition duly signed by the head of any such department.
(j) The town administrator shall be responsible for the use, maintenance, repair and rental of all town facilities and equipment and property under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. He shall be responsible for the preparation of plans and the supervision of work on all construction, reconstruction, alterations, improvements and other undertakings authorized by the selectmen.
(k) The town administrator may recommend to the board of selectmen, consistent with the provisions of this act and the General Laws, measures to reorganize, consolidate, create, divide or abolish boards, departments, agencies, committees, commissions or offices under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, in whole or in part; measures to establish such new boards, departments, agencies, committees, commissions or offices as he deems necessary; and for such purpose, measures to transfer the duties and powers of one board, department, agency, committee, commission or office to another.
(l) The town administrator shall develop and maintain a full and complete inventory of all town owned real and personal property.
(m) The town administrator shall see that all provisions of General Laws, by-laws, and other votes of the town meeting and votes of the board of selectmen which require enforcement, direction and supervision of the town administrator office are faithfully carried out and performed.
(n) The town administrator shall keep the board of selectmen fully advised as to the needs of the town and shall recommend to the selectmen for adoption such measures requiring action by them or by the town as he may deem necessary or expedient. In addition, the town administrator shall have access to all town books, papers and documents for information necessary for the proper performance of his duties.
(o) The town administrator shall keep full and complete records of his office and shall render as often as may be required by the board of selectmen a full report of all operations during the period reported on.
(p) The town administrator shall attend all regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen, unless requested and allowed to be excused, and shall have a voice, but not vote, in all its discussions. Said administrator shall be accessible and available for consultation to the board of selectmen and shall make accessible and available to them all such data and records of his office as may be requested in connection with their official duties.
(q) The town administrator shall attend all sessions of the town meeting and shall be available to answer all questions concerning warrant articles which are directed to the office and relate to matters under the person's general supervision.
(r) The town administrator shall perform such other duties, consistent with his office, as may be required of him by the by-laws of the town, a majority vote of the board of selectmen or a vote of town meeting.
SECTION 7. Any vacancy in the office of town administrator shall be filled as soon as possible by the board of selectmen. Pending the appointment of a town administrator or the filling of any vacancy, the board of selectmen shall, within seven days, appoint a suitable person to perform the duties of the office.
SECTION 8. The town administrator may designate, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, by letter filed with the town clerk, a qualified officer of the town to perform his duties during his temporary absence or disability. In the event of failure of the administrator to make such designation, the board of selectmen may, by resolution, designate an officer of the town to perform the duties of the administrator until he shall return or his disability shall cease.
SECTION 9. The selectmen may remove the town administrator by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the full membership of the board. At least thirty days before such proposed removal shall become effective, the board of selectmen shall file a preliminary written resolution of removal with the town clerk setting forth in detail the specific reasons for the proposed removal. The town clerk shall forthwith deliver a copy of such resolution to the town administrator or mail the same to him by registered mail at his last known address. The town administrator may, within ten days of service of such resolution, reply in writing to the resolution and may request a public hearing. If the administrator so requests, the board of selectmen shall hold a public hearing not earlier than twenty days nor later than thirty days after the filing of such request. After such public hearing, if any, otherwise at the expiration of thirty days following the filing of the preliminary resolution, and after full consideration, the board of selectmen, by affirmative vote of at least a majority of the full membership of the board, may adopt a final resolution of removal. In the preliminary resolution, the board of selectmen may suspend the town administrator from duty, but in any case, his salary shall continue to be paid until the expiration of at least one month and not more than three months after the date of the final resolution of removal, as the selectmen shall deem proper.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect upon its passage.