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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE POSITION OF TOWN MANAGER IN THE TOWN OF AYER

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. (a) There shall be a town manager in the town of Ayer. The town manager shall be appointed by the board of selectmen for a term of not more than 3 years. The town manager shall be a person of demonstrated ability with administrative experience in public management or business administration and who is qualified by reason of education and experience. 

The town manager shall devote full time to the duties of the office and shall not engage in any other business or occupation during the term of the town manager’s employment unless approved by the board of selectmen in advance. The town manager shall not hold elective office in the town during the town manager’s tenure as town manager; provided, however, that the board of selectmen may appoint the town manager to any non-elective office or position consistent with the responsibilities of the town manager and such an office or position shall be part of the position of town manager. 

The board of selectmen shall annually set the compensation of the town manager in an amount of not more than that appropriated by town meeting for such purposes. Additional terms and conditions of employment may be established by contract between the board of selectmen and the town manager in accordance with section 108N of chapter 41 of the General Laws.

(b) The town manager of the town of Ayer shall be the chief administrative officer of the town, responsible to the board of selectmen for the effective management of all town affairs placed in the town manager’s charge by this act, by-law, the board of selectmen or town meeting. The town manager shall be responsible for the implementation of town policies established by the board of selectmen. The powers and duties of the town manager shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) appointing and removing members of multiple-member bodies, department heads, officers, subordinates and employees, except employees of the school committee and firefighters; provided, however, that the town manager shall, prior to appointing a department head subject to the policy direction of a multiple-member body, consult with the multiple-member body; provided further, that the appointment or removal of a department head or member of a multiple-member body shall take effect 15 days after notice to the board of selectmen of the appointment or removal, unless the board of selectmen shall sooner vote to approve or reject the appointment or removal; and provided further, that all appointments and removals made by a temporary or acting town manager pursuant to subsection (c) shall be approved by the board of selectmen; 

(ii) managing, supervising and being responsible for the efficient and coordinated administration of all town functions under the town manager’s control by this act, by-law, town meeting or the board of selectmen, including all appointed officers and their respective departments, coordinating the activities of all town agencies, including those under the control of other officers and multiple-member bodies elected by the voters, and reasonably requiring persons so-elected or appointed, or their representatives, to meet with the town manager for such purposes or, at the town manager’s request, to provide such information as may be necessary and appropriate to have available for purposes of such coordination;

(iii) being responsible for the town personnel system including, but not limited to, administering personnel policies and practices, rules and regulations, personnel by-laws and collective bargaining agreements; 

(iv) fixing the compensation of all appointed officers and employees within the limits established by town meeting;

(v) attending all regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen unless excused in advance by the chair of the board of selectmen; provided, however, that the town manager shall have a voice, but shall not have a vote, in all of the proceedings of the board of selectmen;

(vi) keeping the board of selectmen fully advised concerning the status of all matters referred by the board of selectmen to the town manager and as to the needs of the town and recommending to the board of selectmen and other elected and appointed town officers and agencies such measures requiring action by them or town meeting as the town manager may deem necessary or desirable;

(vii) attending all town meetings and, as authorized by the moderator, answering questions that relate to matters over which the town manager exercises supervision;

(viii) having full jurisdiction over the rental and use of all town facilities and property, except property under the control of the school committee, conservation commission and board of library trustees; provided, however, that the town manager shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all town buildings and facilities placed under the town manager’s control by this act, by-law, vote of town meeting or otherwise;

(ix) establishing and maintaining a full and complete inventory of all real and personal property of the town;

(x) serving as the chief procurement officer for purposes of chapter 30B of the General Laws and being responsible for purchasing all services, supplies, material and equipment for all departments and activities of the town, including execution of contracts therefor; provided, however, that the town manager shall examine, or cause to be examined, the quantity, quality and condition of all supplies, material and equipment delivered to or received by any town agency; provided further, that the town manager shall be responsible for the disposal of all supplies, material and equipment that have been declared surplus by any town agency; provided further, that all contracts for purchase of services, supplies, material and equipment negotiated by a temporary or acting town manager pursuant to subsection (c) shall be approved by the board of selectmen;

(xi) negotiating collective bargaining agreements and all other contracts involving any subject within the jurisdiction of the office of the town manager, including contracts with town employees, except employees of the school department, that involve wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment; provided, however, that all such contracts shall be subject to ratification and execution by the board of selectmen;

(xii) assuring that full and complete records of the financial and administrative activities of the town are kept and rendering, as often as may be required by the board of selectmen, a full report of all town administrative operations during the period reported on;

(xiii) signing warrants for payment prepared and signed by the town accountant in accordance with section 56 of chapter 41 of the General Laws; provided, however, that 1 selectman designated by vote of the board of selectmen shall approve all warrants for payment in the absence of the town manager or if an acting or interim town manager has been appointed in accordance with subsection (c); 

(xiv) inquiring or making an investigation, at any time, into the conduct of office or performance of duties of any officer or employee, department, board, commission or other town agency; 

(xv) ensuring that all general laws and any special laws applicable to the town, town by-laws and other votes of town meeting and the board of selectmen that require enforcement by the town manager or officers subject to the direction and supervision of the town manager are faithfully executed, performed or otherwise carried out;

(xvi) acting as the liaison with and representing the board of selectmen before state, federal and regional authorities;

(xvii) delegating to any subordinate officer or employee authority to exercise any power or perform any function or duty that is assigned to the office of the town manager, except signing warrants for payment; provided, however, that all acts performed under any such delegation shall be acts of the town manager; and

(xviii) performing any other duties as are required to be performed by the town manager by town by-laws, town meeting, the board of selectmen or otherwise.

(c)(1) By letter filed with the town clerk and board of selectmen of the town of Ayer, the town manager shall designate a qualified town administrative officer or employee as the acting town manager to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the town manager during a temporary absence or disability; provided, however, that the designation shall be for not more than 10 business days. Following the expiration of 10 business days, the board of selectmen may revoke the designation and appoint another qualified town administrative officer or employee to serve as the temporary town manager until the town manager returns. The powers of an acting town manager shall be limited to matters not permitting of delay and shall include authority to make temporary, emergency appointments or designations to town office or employment but not to make a permanent appointment or designation.

(2) A vacancy in the office of town manager shall be filled as soon as possible by the board of selectmen; provided, however, that pending a permanent appointment, the board of selectmen shall appoint a qualified town administrative officer or employee as the interim town manager to perform the duties of the town manager on an acting basis. Such appointment shall be for not more than 6 months; provided, however, that the board of selectmen may renew the appointment once for not more than an additional 6 months. Compensation for the interim town manager shall be set by the board of selectmen within the appropriation made by town meeting for the office of town manager. 

(d) The board of selectmen of the town of Ayer, by majority vote of the entire board, may terminate, remove or suspend the town manager; provided, however, that further conditions applicable to termination, removal and suspension may be addressed by the terms of a contract between the board of selectmen and the town manager.

SECTION 2. The office of the town administrator of the town of Ayer shall be abolished upon the effective date of this act and the office of the town manager shall in all respects be its lawful successor. The town administrator holding office as of the effective date of this act shall become the first town manager of the town and shall serve for a period of time equivalent to the remainder of the town administrator’s appointed term or until the position is otherwise vacated, whichever occurs first. Thereafter, a town manager shall be appointed by the board of selectmen in accordance with subsection (a) of section 1; provided, however, that a person’s previous service as the town administrator shall not disqualify the person from being appointed as the town manager pursuant to this act.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, April 27, 2018