HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1701 FILED ON: 1/17/2019
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 1811
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Mathew J. Muratore
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:
An Act relative to the charter of the town of Plymouth.
Mathew J. Muratore
Viriato M. deMacedo
Plymouth and Barnstable
Kathleen R. LaNatra
HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1701 FILED ON: 1/17/2019
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 1811
By Mr. Muratore of Plymouth, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1811) of Mathew J. Muratore and others (by vote of the town) relative to the charter of the town of Plymouth. Municipalities and Regional Government. [Local Approval Received.]
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
An Act relative to the charter of the town of Plymouth.
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. Chapter 358 of the acts of 2004 is hereby repealed.
SECTION 2. The following shall be the charter of the town of Plymouth:-
We, the people of the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in order to reaffirm the customary and traditional liberties of the people with respect to the conduct of our local government, do hereby combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and by virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, this home rule charter for the general good of the town.
POWERS OF THE TOWN
Section 1 Incorporation
1-1-1 The present Town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, within its territorial limits as now or may hereafter be established by law, is hereby continued as a body politic and corporate under the name Town of Plymouth.
Section 2 Scope of Town Powers
1-2-1 The town shall possess, exercise and enjoy all powers possible under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as fully and completely as though they were expressly enumerated in this Charter.
Section 3 Form of Government
1-3-1 This Charter provides for the representative town meeting-selectmen-town manager form of government.
Section 4 Construction of Charter
1-4-1 The powers of the town under this Charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the town and the specific mention of particular powers in this Charter shall not be construed as limiting in any measure the general powers of the town as stated in this chapter.
Section 5 Intergovernmental Relations
1-5-1 Consistent with any constitutional or statutory provision, the Town of Plymouth may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions, and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with any one or more municipalities, civil divisions, subdivisions or agencies of the Commonwealth, other states or the United States government.
Section 6 Definitions
1-6-1 Unless another meaning is clearly apparent from the manner in which the word is used, the following words as used in this Charter shall have the following meanings:
a)By-law – The word “by-law” shall mean any by-law of the Town duly adopted by the Town Meeting or continued in effect as provided hereby.
b)Charter - The word “Charter” shall mean this Charter and any amendments to it made through any of the methods provided under article LXXXIX of the amendments to the State Constitution.
c)Commonwealth – The word “Commonwealth” means the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
d)Days – The word “days”, unless otherwise provided by law, shall refer to business days, not including Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays when the time set is less than seven days; when the time set is seven days or more, every day shall be counted. When the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday the period shall be extended to the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.
e)Emergency – The word “emergency” shall mean a sudden, unexpected, unforeseen happening, occurrence, event or condition which necessitates immediate action.
f)Financial Interest – The words "financial interest" shall be determined pursuant to the interpretation of the term "financial interest" by the State Ethics Commission and applicable reported appellate court decisions. The "financial interest" of a Town Agency shall be defined as any particular warrant article and related motions or votes, which specifically refer to said Town Agency.
g)Majority Vote - The words “majority vote” shall mean a majority of those present and voting in any body, provided that a quorum of the body is present.
h)Multiple-Member Body - The words “multiple-member body” shall mean any board, commission or committee or subcommittee thereof consisting of two or more persons authorized to act collectively, whether elected or appointed but shall not include town meeting.
i)Precinct-The word “precinct” shall mean the areas into which the Town is divided.
j)Quorum – The word “Quorum”, unless otherwise required by law or this Charter, shall mean a majority of the members of a multiple member body notwithstanding any vacancies, which might then exist.
k)Select Board – The words “Select Board” shall mean the Board of Selectmen as used for all purposes in the State Constitution, and general and special laws and in the Town by-laws and rules and regulations.
l)Select Person – the words “Select Person” shall mean a person elected to the Select Board.
m)Town - The word "Town" shall mean the Town of Plymouth.
n)Town Agency - The words “town agency” shall mean any board, commission, committee, department or office of the Town government, whether elected, appointed or otherwise constituted.
o)Town Officer - The words “Town officer” shall mean an elected or appointed official of the Town who in the performance of his or her duties of office exercises some portion of the sovereign power of the Town, whether great or small. A person may be a Town officer whether or not the Town compensates that person.
p)Voters - The word "Voters" shall mean registered voters of the Town.
q)Website – The word “Website” shall mean the electronic site officially owned and maintained by the Town of Plymouth and containing information concerning Town business.
THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH: REPRESENTATIVE TOWN MEETING
Section 1 Division of the Town into Precincts
2-1-1 The town shall be divided into voting precincts which shall contain, as nearly as possible, an equal number of inhabitants. Each voting precinct shall be composed of compact and contiguous territory, as prescribed by general law.
Section 2 Composition, Membership, and Eligibility
2-2-1 The town shall have a representative town meeting which shall consist of representative town meeting members who are elected for three-year (3) overlapping terms. The number of representative town meeting members shall be determined as follows: Each precinct shall elect (9) members; this provision shall be implemented by each precinct electing three (3) members in each annual town election occurring after the effective date of this Charter. Should the number of precincts in the town change, the total number of regular town meeting members shall increase or decrease accordingly.
2-2-2 Any registered voter of the town shall be eligible for election to town meeting membership.
2-2-3 The town clerk shall serve as clerk of the representative town meeting. The town clerk shall cause notice of all meetings to be posted in the town hall, in the town's libraries and posted on the town's website and take reasonable efforts to post to the Town’s social media. The town clerk shall mail copies of the notice to the place of residence of all representative town meeting members, citing the place, date and time of the meeting.
2-2-4 The Town Clerk shall keep a detailed journal of all representative town meeting proceedings and perform such other duties as may be assigned by this Charter, by-law, or vote of the representative town meeting.
2-2-5 Representative town meeting members shall serve without compensation or monetary allowance for any expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
2-2-6 Representative town meeting members shall occupy sections assigned to them by the Town Clerk in a section of the hall which has been reserved exclusively for them.
2-2-7 Any representative town meeting member who is unable to attend a representative town meeting session shall provide written or electronic notice of his or her anticipated absence, and the expected duration of the absence, to the Town Clerk prior to such session.
2-2-8 After the final adjournment of every Town Meeting, the Town Clerk shall post a complete attendance record on the bulletin board at Town hall, in the Town's libraries, on the Town's website, and on the Town’s social media.
2-2-9 The Town Clerk shall publish the contact information provided by all Town Meeting Members, including: address, phone number, eMail address and the Town Meeting Member shall receive a printed copy of the Advisory and Finance Committee report during their term of office unless the member indicates otherwise; provided statutory authority for withholding any of the information shall not be affected by this section.
Section 3 Powers
2-3-1 The representative town meeting shall exercise all legislative powers of the town.
2-3-2 The representative town meeting shall consider and act upon all proposed by- laws.
2-3-3 The representative town meeting shall have the power to consider and act upon, pursuant to its legislative authority, with or without amendments, all proposed operating and capital improvement budgets, bond issues, and all other financial proposals of the town and such other matters as prescribed by law and all matters that appear on the town warrant, except as otherwise provided by general law.
2-3-4 The Committee of Precinct Chairs described in Section 2-11-4 may from time to time appoint subcommittees of itself or committees of Town Meeting members to review town by-laws, town meeting rules, the status of past Town Meeting actions, and for such other purposes as they shall deem appropriate and shall make recommendations to the Representative Town Meeting and/or the moderator at least annually. The committee also may perform other duties designated to facilitate the business of town meeting. In addition to any other powers conferred upon it by the representative town meeting, the Committee of Precinct Chairs shall periodically review the rules of procedure that govern the conduct of the representative town meeting and report its finding to the representative town meeting at least annually.
2-3-5 The precinct chairpersons shall meet together within thirty (30) days following each Town election, and shall organize as a Committee of Precinct Chairs, electing a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and a Clerk.
Section 4 Procedures
2-4-1 The representative town meeting shall meet at least twice (2) in each calendar year. The first such meeting, the spring annual representative town meeting, shall be convened during the period of March through April, at a time fixed by by-law. The spring annual representative town meeting shall be concerned primarily with the determination of all matters that concern raising, appropriating, or transferring funds, including, but not limited to the adoption of an annual operating budget covering all town agencies. The second such meeting shall be held during the last four calendar months, at a time fixed by by-law.
The budget, as adopted at the spring annual representative town meeting, may be reopened by a citizen-petitioned article pursuant to G.L. c.39, § 10, or any other applicable law.
As provided by G.L. c.39, §10, (i) the Select Board may, at any time upon at least fourteen days prior notice, call a special town meeting, and (ii) the Select Board shall call a special town meeting upon the request in writing of two hundred registered voters, such meeting to be held not later than forty-five days after receipt of such request, and the Select Board shall insert in the warrant therefor all subjects the insertion of which shall be requested by said petition.
2-4-2 The quorum necessary for the conduct of representative town meeting business shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the total number of elected representative town meeting members. A majority of those present may adjourn any meeting forthwith to a stated date, time, and place, but no Town Meeting shall adjourn over the date of an election of Town Meeting Members.
2-4-3 The representative town meeting shall always operate in open session and secret ballots shall not be allowed.
2-4-4 The order of consideration of the articles on the warrant may be changed only by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting.
2-4-5 The representative town meeting may adopt rules and regulations relating to its procedures and its methods of operation.
2-4-6 An electronic roll call vote shall be required for all final main motions on every warrant article and on any matters with respect to the following subjects: adoption or amendment of zoning by-laws; adoption or amendment of general by-laws; and fiscal matters which are defined as any appropriation, borrowing, fund transfer or the creation of or re-authorization of such enterprise or revolving funds as may be authorized by state law; provided, however, that in the event of a vote which the Moderator reasonably believes is likely to be near unanimous, the Moderator may elect to take a verbal roll call of only those voting in the minority. In the event that the electronic voting system is unavailable, or determined in the Moderator's sole discretion to be malfunctioning, the Moderator may provide for a manual roll call vote in place of an electronic roll call.
2-4-7 An electronic roll call vote shall be required for all motions to close debate; provided, however, that in the event of a vote which the Moderator reasonably believes is likely to be near unanimous, the Moderator may elect to take a verbal roll call of only those voting in the minority. In the event that the electronic voting system is unavailable, or determined in the Moderator's sole discretion to be malfunctioning, the Moderator may provide for a manual roll call vote in place of an electronic roll call.
Section 5 Attendance of Representative Town Meeting Members
2-5-1 Representative town meeting members shall attend all representative town meeting sessions. Each calendar day during which any portion or portions of a representative town meeting or meetings is/are conducted shall be deemed to be a single "representative town meeting session.
2-5-2 During each representative town meeting session, the Town Clerk shall cause the attendance to be taken prior to the commencement of the session. A record of those in attendance shall be kept open until the end of each representative town meeting session to enable latecomers to be recorded as present. The attendance record shall be public and be made part of the representative town meeting proceedings.
2-5-3 A representative town meeting member who moves from the town shall cease to be a town meeting member and a representative town meeting member who moves from the precinct from which the representative was elected to another precinct may serve only until the next annual town meeting. The town clerk may also declare the seat vacant if the registrars of voters, under sections 47B, 48 and 49 of chapter 51 of the General Laws or any other applicable law, determine that the representative town meeting member is illegally or incorrectly registered to vote in that precinct.
Section 6 Moderator
2-6-1 A Moderator shall be elected at the regular town elections for a term of three (3) years.
2-6-2 The Moderator shall have no vote unless the representative town meeting members present and voting are equally divided.
2-6-3 The Moderator shall preside at all representative town meeting sessions and shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned to the office through by-law or vote of the representative town meeting.
2-6-4 Following the raising of a point of order at any Town Meeting, a motion to appeal the ruling on such point of order shall be allowed by the Moderator and shall be decided by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Town Meeting.
2-6-5 Promptly following the annual Town election, the Moderator shall appoint an Assistant Moderator for a term commencing at the first Town Meeting following such annual election, or at such time as a vacancy occurs, and ending on the date of the annual Town election in the following year. Such appointment shall be subject to the approval of such Town Meeting. The Assistant Moderator shall substitute for the Moderator in the event that the Moderator is absent from a Town Meeting session or at the discretion and request of the Moderator, and shall carry out the duties of the Moderator excluding any exercise of appointing authority. In the event that the Moderator cannot carry out the duties of his office by reason of death or disability, then the Assistant Moderator shall carry out all of the duties of the office of Moderator. The Assistant Moderator position shall be uncompensated except in the event of the death or disability of the Moderator.
2-6-6 The Town Manager shall provide support personnel to assist the Moderator in carrying out the Moderator’s assigned duties.
Section 7 Rights of Non-Members
2-7-1 Residents and taxpayers of the town may speak on any article in a warrant subject to such procedural rules as the Moderator may impose.
Section 8 Compulsory Attendance
2-8-1 All town officers, the Town Manager, the town engineer, chairpersons of boards, commissions, and the Advisory and Finance Committee, and all department heads or those officials' designated representatives, shall attend all representative town meeting sessions. They shall have all the privileges of representative town meeting members, except the power to vote, unless they have been elected to the office of representative town meeting member. The absence of any such person shall not invalidate the actions of the representative town meeting.
Section 9 Filling Vacancies
2-9-1 The Town Clerk shall notify forthwith the precinct of any vacancy which occurs in a precinct delegation.
2-9-2 The person who received the highest number of votes among the unsuccessful representative town meeting member candidates at the most recent election in the precinct shall fill the vacancy until the next regular election. If such person declines, or is unable to fill the vacancy, the person who received the next highest number of votes among the unsuccessful representative town meeting member candidates at the most recent election shall fill the vacancy. If the vacancy cannot be filled in this manner, the precinct caucus delegation shall vote to fill the vacancy. If necessary, the Town Clerk shall call members of the precinct caucus delegation together by written notice and shall conduct the election.
Section 10 Conflict of Interest
2-10-1 Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any representative town meeting member who also holds a position of employment by the town shall be prohibited from voting on any town meeting article in which such employee, or such employee's department, has a financial interest. Such representative town meeting member shall notify the Town Clerk, in writing, prior to the representative town meeting session or during such session at such time as such member becomes so aware, as to any articles giving rise to such financial interest. This section shall apply to the annual budget article, or any later amendment thereto, as follows: The representative town meeting member is prohibited from voting on the budget line item for his or her department or agency, but shall not be prohibited from voting on any other line item, or from voting on the overall budget appropriation.
2-10-2 Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no representative town meeting member shall vote on any town meeting article in which an immediate family member, or any business or organization in which the representative town meeting member serves as an officer, director, partner, or employee, or has a financial interest. For purposes of this section, "immediate family member" shall be defined as the representative town meeting member, his or her spouse and each of their parents, children, brothers, and sisters. Any such representative town meeting member shall notify the Town Clerk, in writing prior to the representative town meeting session, as to any articles giving rise to such financial interest.
2-10-3 For the purposes of Section 10 of Chapter 2 of this Charter, the "financial interest" of a representative town meeting member shall be determined pursuant to the interpretation of the term "financial interest" by the State Ethics Commission and applicable reported appellate court decisions, which are hereby incorporated by reference. The "financial interest" of a department shall be defined as any particular warrant article and related motions or votes which specifically refer to said department.
Section 11 Caucuses
2-11-1 The representative town meeting members from each precinct shall, within twenty (20) days following each town election, meet and elect from among their own precinct's representative town meeting members, a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and clerk, to serve for a term of one (1) year, and shall file a notice of such organization with the Town Clerk. If the Town Clerk fails to receive a notice of organization within twenty-one (21) days following a town election, the Town Clerk shall immediately call a meeting of the representative town meeting members from such precincts that have failed to organize, for the purposes of organizing.
2-11-2 Each precinct delegation shall hold a caucus meeting for the purpose of reviewing the subject matter of the upcoming representative town meeting. Caucus meetings may be held in conjunction with other precinct delegations.
2-11-3 Each precinct chairperson shall arrange for the posting of notices of caucus meetings in town hall and on the town's website. Each such caucus meeting shall be conducted under the open meeting law established by section 20 of chapter 30A of the General Laws.
2-11-4 The precinct chairpersons shall meet together within forty-five (45) days following each town election, and shall organize as a Committee of Precinct Chairs, electing a Chairperson and a Clerk.
Section 12 Advisory and Finance Committee
2-12-1 An advisory and finance committee of 15 members shall be appointed by the moderator for 3 -year overlapping terms. There shall be no more than 3 members from each precinct of the town; provided, however, that in the event that the number of incumbent members from a particular precinct increases due to redistricting or the change in residency of that member or another, no incumbent member need be removed, and may serve out their respective terms. The advisory and finance committee shall choose from its members a chairperson and fill the other offices as it may create. The moderator may fill any vacancy by appointment and the term of that appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of the person causing the vacancy.
Persons not registered to vote in the Town of Plymouth, Town of Plymouth employees, and representative town meeting members shall not be eligible for appointment to, or service on, the Advisory and Finance Committee.
2-12-2 (a) The Advisory and Finance Committee shall conduct 1 or more public hearings on the proposed operating and capital budget and shall issue its recommendations in a detailed written report that shall be electronically posted to the Town’s website, and mailed by US mail to Town Meeting Members, in both cases no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled date of the Town Meeting. In preparing its report, the committee may require any Town department, board or office to furnish it with appropriate financial reports and budgetary information. (b) If the Advisory and Finance Committee has failed to consider a warrant article, the Town Meeting may consider that article, provided that two-thirds of the Town Meeting Members in attendance vote to do so. (c) If the article proponent has not appeared at a meeting of the Advisory and Finance Committee to explain their article and answer reasonable questions with respect thereto, or with the permission of the Chair of the Committee, instead submitted a written explanation, the Town Meeting may act on that article, provided that two-thirds of the Town Meeting Members in attendance vote to do so. (d) In the event that the Advisory and Finance Committee fails to timely issue its recommendations as required by 2-12-2(a), the scheduled Town Meeting shall convene and then adjourn to a date that would allow the Advisory and Finance Committee to electronically post copies of its detailed written report no later than 14 days prior thereto; provided, however, that two-thirds of the Town Meeting Members in attendance may instead vote to waive the 14-day posting requirement and proceed with the scheduled Town Meeting.
2-12-3 The Advisory and Finance Committee shall present the proposed budget to the representative town meeting.
2-12-4 In the final month of the fiscal year, no department, commission, office or agency may expend, except for amounts previously encumbered, more than one-twelfth (1/12) of its annual appropriation, unless expenditures have been approved by the Advisory and Finance Committee.
2-12-5 The Advisory and Finance Committee may appoint such subcommittees as it may deem advisable.
2-12-6 The Advisory and Finance Committee shall have authority at any time to investigate the Town’s accounts and management, and the books, records and accounts of all departments of the Town shall be open to the inspection of the Advisory and Finance Committee or any of its authorized subcommittees and any person employed by it.
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH: THE SELECT BOARD, THE TOW N MANAGER AND PLANNING BOARD
Section 1 The Select Board: Composition and Terms
3-1-1 A Select Board of five (5) members shall be elected for three-year (3) overlapping terms. The regular election for the office of selectman shall be held in accordance with Chapter Five of this Charter.
3-1-2 Vacancies in the office of selectman shall be filled by special election in accordance with G.L. c. 41, § 10, and any other applicable law.
Section 2 Select Board: General Powers and Duties
3-2-1 The Select Board shall be the chief executive body of the town. It shall serve as the goal setting, long-range planning and policy-making body of the town. It shall make recommendations on major courses of action to the representative town meeting. It shall adopt policy directives and guidelines which the officers, boards, committees, commissions and employees of the town shall implement. The Select Board shall maintain a policy handbook containing such policy directives and guidelines.
3-2-2 The Select Board shall have the power to enact rules and regulations to implement its policies.
3-2-3 The Select Board shall review the annual proposed operating and capital budgets submitted by the Town Manager and make recommendations with respect thereto as it deems advisable. The Town Manager shall present the budget, incorporating the recommendations of the Select Board, to the Advisory and Finance Committee.
3-2-4 The Select Board shall act as the licensing authority of the town and shall have the power and responsibility to issue licenses, to make all necessary rules and regulations regarding the issuance of licenses, to attach conditions and impose restrictions in the public interest, and to enforce, or cause to be enforced, laws, rules and regulations relating to all businesses for which it issues licenses.
3-2-5 The Select Board shall have the power to approve all collective bargaining agreements to which the town is the contracting agency and may designate one (1) Select Person to participate in the negotiating of collective bargaining agreements.
3-2-6 The Select Board shall be responsible, through the Town Manager, for the efficient and orderly operation of all agencies of the town except those under the direction of another elected town agency.
3-2-7 The Select Board may investigate or authorize the Town Manager, or another town officer or any agency, to investigate the conduct of any town department, office or agency. A detailed written report of any such investigation shall be filed in the Town Manager's office, and a report summarizing such investigation shall be printed in the next published annual town report.
3-2-8 The Select Board shall meet jointly with the School Committee, Planning Board and all other elected boards of the Town for the purpose of sharing information. The Select Board shall schedule the joint meeting(s), which shall be held no less than twice (2) a year.
Section 3 Appointments
3-3-1 The Select Board shall appoint a Town Manager, town counsel, registrars of voters, election officers, constables, and members of all multiple-member boards, committees, and commissions except as otherwise provided in this Charter and/or the town by-laws.
Section 4 Town Manager: Appointment and Removal
3-4-1 The Select Board shall appoint a Town Manager by an affirmative vote of four (4) members of the Board.
3-4-2 The Town Manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications. The Town Manager shall be a professionally qualified person of proven ability, especially fitted to perform the duties of the office by education, training, and previous experience in municipal administration. The Town Manager shall have had at least five (5) years of full-time paid experience as a City or Town Manager, Assistant City or Town Manager, Town Administrator or Assistant Town Administrator, or the equivalent level of experience.
The town may, from time to time, establish such additional qualifications as deemed necessary and appropriate. The Town Manager shall not be subject to a personnel by-law, if any.
In addition to other terms as set forth in this Charter generally and in this Section 4 of Chapter 3 specifically, the Town Manager shall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or appointive, nor engage in any other business or occupation during the term of office, unless such action is approved in advance, in writing, by the Select Board. With the approval of the Select Board, the Town Manager may serve as the town's representative to regional boards, commissions, and the like, but the Town Manager may not receive additional compensation from the town for such services.
To the extent permitted by law, the terms of the Town Manager's employment shall be the subject of a written agreement between the parties setting forth the length of service, compensation, vacation, sick leave, benefits, and such other matters (excluding tenure) as are customarily included in an employment contract.
3-4-3 The Select Board may discipline or discharge the Town Manager at any time by an affirmative vote of four (4) members of the Select Board. Within seven (7) days thereafter, the Town Manager may appeal the decision of the Select Board by filing a written request for a public hearing with the Select Board. If such a request is filed, the Select Board shall conduct a public hearing within fourteen (14) days of the written request, and act upon the appeal within seven (7) days after the public hearing.
3-4-4 The Select Board shall designate a qualified person to serve as Acting Town Manager and to perform the duties of the office during any vacancy of the Town Manager exceeding thirty (30) days caused by the Town Manager's absence, illness, suspension, removal, or resignation. The term of appointment of an Acting Town Manager shall not exceed one hundred eighty (180) days.
Section 5 Town Manager: Powers and Duties
3-5-1 The Town Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town. The Town Manager shall be responsible to the Select Board for the effective management of all town affairs placed in the Town Manager's charge by this Charter, the Select Board, by-law, or vote of the representative town meeting. The Town Manager shall be responsible for the implementation of town policies established by the Select Board.
The Town Manager shall:
a. unless otherwise provided herein and in Section 2 of Chapter 6 of this Charter, and except as may be otherwise provided in Civil Service Law, appoint, suspend, or remove all department heads, a Board of Assessors, and all officers, subordinates, and employees of the town, including those under grant funding, except employees of the school department. The Town Manager shall appoint a town clerk, whose duties shall be as specified in general or special legislation. In the case of an employee who works with a multiple-member board or the Plymouth Public Library Corporation, the Town Manager shall act in accordance with this Section only after consultation with that multiple-member board, or the Plymouth Public Library Corporation, as the case may be. Except as may be otherwise provided in Civil Service Law, appointments, suspension, or removals of Department and Division Heads, or equivalents regardless of title, shall take effect on the fifteenth (15) day after the Town Manager files notice of the action with the Select Board unless the Board shall within that period, by a vote of four members veto the action. The Select Board may, by a majority vote, waive this fifteen (15) day period, whereupon the action shall become effective forthwith. This same authority to veto the actions of the Town Manager provided herein to the Select Board shall accrue to the Planning Board in the case of the appointment, suspension or removal of the Director of Planning and Development;
b. fix the compensation of all town officers and employees appointed by the Town Manager within the limits of existing appropriations and personnel bylaws;
c. supervise all town departments under the jurisdiction of the Select Board and direct the operations of the town;
d. establish, reorganize, consolidate or abolish any department or position under the Town Manager's direction and supervision with the approval of the Select Board;
e. administer, either directly or through designated persons, all provisions of general and special laws applicable to the town, and all by-laws and regulations established by the Select Board;
f. coordinate the operational and strategic planning for the town;
g. administer all grants received by the town;
h. submit to the Select Board a written proposed operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year, providing in detail the estimated revenue from all sources and all expenditures, including debt services, for the previous, current and ensuing year;
i. submit annually to the Select Board a five-year (5) capital improvements program, including a list of all capital improvements proposed for the next five (5) fiscal years with supporting data, cost estimates, methods of financing, recommended time schedules, and the effect on the operating budget or revenues for each proposed capital improvement;
j. keep full and complete records of the financial and administrative activities of the town and render a detailed written report on all operations as often and for such periods as may be required by the Select Board;
k. administer and enforce collective bargaining contracts, and personnel rules, regulations, and by-laws adopted by the town;
l. develop and maintain a complete inventory of real and personal property of the town, except school property, at least annually.
m. procure from the school department, a detailed written report of the complete inventory of real and personal school property for annual submission to the Select Board. The school department shall be obligated to prepare the detailed written report;
n. have full jurisdiction over the lease, rental, disposal and use of all Town property, except schools, after approval of the Select Board, and shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all Town property;
o. be the Chief Procurement Officer under the provisions of G.L. c. 30B , responsible for the purchasing of all supplies, materials, and equipment for the town, including the bidding and awarding of all contracts, except for the school department;
p. approve all warrants or vouchers for payment of town funds submitted by the Town Accountant;
q. negotiate collective bargaining contracts on behalf of the Select Board, unless the Town Manager specifically designates another negotiator or negotiating team;
r. represent the town at local, state, and regional meetings, and undertake public relations activities for the Select Board;
s. have authority to examine, without notice, the activities of any agency under the Town Manager's control, or the conduct of any officer or employee thereof;
t. have access to all town books and records necessary for the performance of the duties of Town Manager;
u. conduct periodic operational and staffing evaluations of selected town departments, and provide a written report of the assessments performed to the Select Board [Amended by Article 20, Motion 2 Fall Town Meeting 10-20-2018] and to the representative town meeting; and
v. perform any other duties required by town by-laws, the Select Board [Amended by Article 20, Motion 2 Fall Town Meeting 10-20-2018], or vote of the representative town meeting.
Section 6 Department of Public Works
3-6-1 The Director of the Department of Public Works shall be appointed by the Town Manager. The Director of the Department of Public Works shall be qualified by education and experience including a master’s degree in a related field for the duties of the office.
3-6-2 The department of public works shall be responsible for:
(a) the design, construction, maintenance, repair and cleaning of roads, sidewalks, storm drains, bridges and other public way related structures;
(b) the maintenance, repair and cleaning and custodial services of all buildings and grounds owned or leased by the town;
(c) the development and maintenance of all cemeteries, parks and recreation facilities;
(d) snow and ice removal;
(e) providing for and supervising the collection and disposal of garbage and other refuse and the maintenance and operation of all facilities for the disposal of the same;
(f) the supervision, care and replacement of trees;
(g) the design, construction, operation and maintenance of all water and sewer facilities;
(h) other functions as the town manager assigns; and
(i) the master planning of all infrastructure elements under their jurisdiction including, but not limited to, public roadways, sidewalks, stormdrains, bridges, cemeteries, parks and recreation facilities, solid waste and waste water facilities all of which shall be coordinated and consistent with the comprehensive master plan provided for in section 14-4 of chapter 3.
Section 7 Board of Health
3-7-1 A Board of Health of five (5) members shall be appointed by the Select Board for three-year (3) overlapping terms.
3-7-2 The Board of Health shall exercise such powers and duties as prescribed by the General Laws, this Charter and town by-laws.
Section 8 Establishment and Scope of the Department of Finance
3-8-1 There shall be a Department of Finance responsible for the fiscal and financial affairs of the town and for the coordination and overall supervision of all fiscal and financial activities of all town government agencies except the School Department. The Department of Finance shall include the functions of Accountant, Treasurer, Collector, Assessors and Director of Data Processing.
3-8-2 The Department of Finance shall be responsible for, and shall include, the following functions:
coordination of all financial services and activities of town government;
maintenance of all accounting records and other financial statements for all town government offices and agencies;
payment of all financial obligations on behalf of the town;
investment of town funds and management of debt;
receipt of all funds due to the town from any source;
maintenance of the system of property valuation;
rendering of advice, assistance, guidance and recommendations to all other town offices and agencies in any financial or fiscal affairs;
monitoring throughout the fiscal year of the expenditure of funds by town offices and agencies;
general supervision of the purchase of all goods, services, materials and supplies by the town; and
general supervision of all data processing functions, activities and equipment of town government offices and agencies.
Section 9 Director of Finance
3-9-1 The Town Manager shall appoint a Director of Finance. The Director of Finance shall be especially fitted by education, training, and experience to perform the duties of the office.
3-9-2 At the discretion of the Town Manager, the Director of Finance may serve as the head of any division within the department. The Town Manager also may designate a person to serve as head of more than one (1) division within the department.
3-9-3 The Director of Finance shall be responsible to the Town Manager for the effective operation of the Department of Finance and all fiscal and financial activities of town government. The Director shall coordinate and provide overall supervision for all activities of the department and, in consultation with the division head and the Town Manager, shall have the authority to direct and assign all personnel serving in that department.
3-9-4 The Director of Finance shall be responsible to the Town Manager and shall have the following specific powers and duties, subject to the direction of the Town Manager:
coordination of the financial functions of all departments and agencies and supervision of the following functions: accounting, treasury, tax collections, assessing, data processing, budgeting and procurement; ensure that each function is operating efficiently and in accordance with the applicable statute, by-law, code and/or accepted practice;
accountability for planning, organizing and providing administrative direction for all financial functions;
working with the Town Manager and the Select Board in developing strategic financial plans and policies;
compilation and submission of an annual operating budget and an annual capital improvement plan to the Town Manager. The Director shall receive all requests made for the expenditure of town funds from every town office and agency and shall assemble all such requests into a form deemed to be best suited to show a complete financial plan for all town funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year. The proposed budget shall show in detail all estimated income from the proposed property tax levy and from every other source by category; and
general oversight, throughout the year, of the expenditure of all town funds pursuant to such budgets and expenditures as authorized by the representative town meeting.
Section 10 Conservation Commission
3-10-1 The Select Board shall appoint a Conservation Commission of seven (7) members for three-year (3) overlapping terms.
3-10-2 The commission shall exercise such powers and duties as prescribed by general law, this Charter, and town by-laws.
Section 11 Development and Industrial Commission
Section 12 Zoning Board of Appeals
3-12-1 The Select Board shall appoint a Zoning Board of Appeals of five (5) members and two (2) associate members for three-year (3) overlapping terms.
3-12-2 The board shall exercise such powers and duties as prescribed by general law, this Charter, and town by-laws.
Section 13 Establishment and Scope of the Department of Planning and Development
3-13-1 There shall be a Department of Planning and Development responsible for the planning of the land use, environmental, community planning, and economic planning and development functions of the town. The Department of Planning and Development shall supervise and coordinate all planning and development activities of all town government offices and agencies. The Department of Planning and Development shall include the functions of comprehensive planning, subdivision control, zoning appeals, preservation of natural open space, community development, economic development, design review, redevelopment, and planning of new buildings and facilities.
3-13-2 The Department of Planning and Development shall be responsible for, and shall have, the following specific duties:
development and maintenance of a Comprehensive Master Plan
coordination of all land use planning and development activities of town government;
administration of subdivision control rules and regulations;
preservation of natural open space, and land acquisition and management;
conservation administration and enforcement;
redevelopment, revitalization and rehabilitation activities;
administration of design review, historic district review, and zoning board of appeals, review and planning of affordable housing;
administration of economic development;
maintenance of all land use planning, development, and related records and reports for all town government offices and agencies;
rendering of advice, assistance, guidance, and recommendations to all other town offices and agencies on land use, environmental, community and economic planning, and development matters; and
cooperation with, and participation in, regional area planning.
Section 14 Planning Board
3-14-1 The town shall elect a Planning Board of five (5) members for five-year (5) overlapping terms.
3-14-2 The Planning Board shall exercise such powers and duties as prescribed by general law, this Charter, and applicable town by-laws.
3-14-3 The Planning Board shall serve as the long-range planning body of the town with respect to the planning of the physical, environmental, community, and economic development of the town. The Planning Board shall be responsible, through the Director of Planning and Development, for the efficient and orderly operation of all Planning Board functions and all related activities.
3-14-4 The Planning Board shall develop and maintain a Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) which shall be the guidance document for departmental duties under Section 3-13-2, above, and for the Board's recommendations to the representative town meeting. The CMP shall be updated periodically to address current issues concerning the physical, environmental, community and economic development of the town, including planning strategies for Open Space Preservation, Land Acquisition, Village Centers Development, Economic Development, Housing, and Historic Preservation. The Board shall report annually to the representative town meeting to inform the town of all updates to the CMP and any implementation measures that may require town meeting approval. The Planning Board's recommendations on zoning by-law amendments to the representative town meeting shall be consistent with the CMP. The Planning Board shall solicit public comment and participation throughout the Comprehensive Master Planning Process and shall adopt the CMP and/or annual CMP updates only after a duly noticed public hearing.
3-14-5 The Planning Board shall make recommendations to the representative town meeting and to the Select Board on all matters concerning the planning of the physical, environmental, community, and economic development of the town as prescribed by general law, this Charter, and applicable town by-laws, and specifically with reference to the consistency of such matters with the current CMP.
3-14-6 At the request of the Planning Board any town board or agency dealing with significant public improvements relating to the physical, environmental, community or economic development of the town, shall report the status of such plans or development to the Planning Board so as to be evaluated and included in the CMP and in the Planning Board's recommendations to the representative town meeting and the Select Board.
3-14-7 The Planning Board may appoint committees to assist and advise the Board in carrying out its duties under this charter such as a Master Plan committee and such other committees as the Board deems necessary to assist the Board in performing its duties. Failure of the Board to appoint such committees shall not relieve the Board of its responsibilities to fulfill all the duties enumerated under this charter.
3-14-8 An Open Space Committee comprised of nine (9) persons to act in an advisory capacity to the Planning Board and the Town Meeting with respect to the preservation of natural open space shall be appointed as follows: Five (5) members shall be appointed by the Planning Board; two (2) by the Select Board and two (2) by the Conservation Commission. The Open Space Committee shall report its activities and recommendations directly to Town Meeting at least once each calendar year
3-14-9 A Land Use and Acquisition Committee comprised of seven (7) members to act in an advisory capacity to the Select Board with respect to the acquisition of real estate by the Town pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 61 of the General Laws, shall be appointed as follows: Two (2) members shall be appointed by the Select Board, two (2) by the Planning Board, two (2) by the Conservation Commission, and one (1) by the Open Space Committee.
Section 15 Director of Planning and Development
3-15-1 There shall be a Director of Planning and Development appointed by the Town Manager with veto authority by the Planning Board as delineated in Chapter 3. The Director shall be a professionally qualified person of proven ability, especially fitted to perform the duties of the office by education and training. The Director of Planning and Development shall have had at least five (5) years of full-time paid experience in community planning and development.
3-15-2 At the discretion of the Town Manager, the Director of Planning and Development may serve as the head of any division within the Department of Planning and Development. The Town Manager may also designate one person to serve as the head of more than one division within the Department.
3-15-3 The Director of Planning and Development shall be responsible to the Planning Board for the effective operation of all Planning Board functions and all related activities. The Director shall coordinate and provide overall supervision of all activities of the Department of Planning and Development, and shall have, in consultation with the division head and the Town Manager, the authority to direct and assign all personnel serving in the Department of Planning and Development.
3-15-4 The Director of Planning and Development shall be responsible for, and shall have, the following specific duties:
coordination of the land use, environmental, community, and economic planning and development functions of all town departments and agencies;
supervision of the following functions: planning, preservation of natural open space, land acquisition, community development, economic development, design review, subdivision control, affordable housing, and zoning appeals;
assuring that each function is operating efficiently and in accordance with the applicable statute, by-law, code, and/or accepted practice;
accountability for long-range planning and organizing;
provision of administrative direction for all functions of the Department of Planning and Development; and
working with the Planning Board, Town Manager, and Select Board in developing strategic plans and policies.
Section 16 Building Committee
3-16-1The Select Board shall appoint a building committee which shall consist of 9 members. The committee shall have among its members 1 member of the planning board, a registered professional engineer or architect, an attorney, a person employed in the construction industry or a related trade
or occupation, 2 members of the school committee and 3 other residents. Members of the committee shall be appointed for 3-year overlapping terms.
3-16-2 Upon the request of the town manager or a department head, the building committee shall meet with various town departments from time to time to determine the need for additions or renovations to any existing buildings or facilities, for the construction of new buildings or facilities or for the demolition or disposal of existing buildings. The committee shall report its recommendations to the Select Board and the representative town meeting and the school committee when applicable. Whenever this work is authorized by the representative town meeting, the building committee shall be responsible for the oversight of all work relating thereto, including site planning, preliminary architectural drawings, final plans and the oversight of all construction.
3-16-3 Upon request of the Building Committee the town manager may provide support personnel to assist the Building Committee in carrying out its duties.
ELECTED TOWN BOARDS AND OFFICERS
Section 1 General Provisions
4-1-1 Beginning with the first town election held after the effective date of this Charter, the town shall elect the following boards and offices:
a select board of five (5) members;
a school committee of seven (7) members who shall be elected for three-year (3) overlapping terms;
a housing authority of five (5) members, four (4) to be elected, and one (1) to be appointed in accordance with applicable law, for five-year (5) overlapping terms;
a planning board of five (5) members; and
a redevelopment authority of five (5) members, four (4) to be elected, and one (1) to be appointed in accordance with applicable law, for five-year (5) overlapping terms.
4-1-2 The terms of office of multiple-member boards shall overlap, except as general or special law may provide otherwise. Representative town meeting members shall be elected in accordance with Section 2-2-1 of this Charter.
4-1-3 During the term for which a member is elected, and for one (1) year following expiration of such term, no member of any elected board under this Charter shall be eligible to accept any paid position under such board or in the same department.
4-1-4 Vacancies in boards established under this chapter, except the Select Board, shall be filled by the Select Board, together with the remaining members of the appropriate board in accordance with the provisions of general law.
Section 2 Simultaneous Elected Offices
4-2-1 A representative town meeting member or elected town official representing the entire town shall not simultaneously hold another elected town office other than member of a charter commission. A person who holds multiple offices in violation of this section shall promptly inform the town clerk of which office that person will vacate. Election to a county, state or federal office other than a county charter commission shall be an event disqualifying an elected town official, including, but not limited to, representative town meeting member, from continuing in an elected town office beginning the day the individual is sworn in to the county, state or federal office.
Section 3 School Committee
4-3-1 The School Committee shall have all powers which are conferred on School Committees by law, this Charter, bylaw, or otherwise and are not inconsistent with the grant of powers conferred by the General Laws.
4-3-2 The powers and duties of the School Committee shall include the following:
(a) To appoint a superintendent of the schools who shall manage the school system in a fashion consistent with law and the policy determinations of the School Committee and, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the School Committee may also establish and appoint positions of assistant or associate superintendents as provided by law.
(b) To establish educational goals and policies for the schools in the Town consistent with the requirements of law and statewide goals and standards established by the State Board of Education.
(c) To propose and to oversee the administration of an annual operating budget for the School Department, subject to appropriation by the Town Meeting.
(d) To have general charge and superintendence of all school buildings and grounds and furnish all school buildings with proper fixtures, furniture and equipment.
4-3-3 The School Committee shall report on the state of the schools directly to Town Meeting at least once each calendar year and shall meet jointly with the Select Board as directed by section 3-2-8 of this Charter.
Section 1 Town Elections
5-1-1 The regular election for all town offices shall be by official ballot held on the third Saturday of May of each year.
5-1-2 The order in which names of candidates appear on election ballots for any office, including that of representative town meeting member, shall be determined by a drawing by lot conducted by the town clerk which shall be open to the public. Notification to the candidates and to the public shall be by publication in a local newspaper during the week preceding the week in which the day of the drawing is to take place. The ballot shall identify candidates seeking re-election with the phrase "Candidate for Re-election" placed next to the candidate's name.
5-1-3 Information for Voters
Notwithstanding section 22A of chapter 55 of the General Laws, section 21C of chapter 59 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the official election ballot in the town of Plymouth shall include a fair and concise summary of any binding or non-binding question to be submitted solely to the voters of the town, along with a 1-sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote, both prepared by town counsel and approved by the Select Board. Submission to the town clerk of the summary and 1-sentence statement shall be governed by section 42C of chapter 54 of the General Laws. The Select Board shall, not less than 7 nor more than 14 days before an election at which a question is to be voted upon, publish the following in a newspaper of general circulation in the town: (1) the full text of the question; (2) a fair and concise summary of the question; and (3) the 1-sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote on the question; provided, however, that failure to timely publish such information shall not affect the validity of the election. The Select Board shall also post the full text of each ballot question, the summary and the 1-sentence statement in at least 1 location in the town or on the town’s official website and shall make the same available at each polling place on the day of the election. The town may, by by-law, require additional posting or publishing of such information, subject to available funds and any other conditions that may be imposed by by-law.
Section 2 Elections to be Nonpartisan
5-2-1 All town elections shall be nonpartisan, and election ballots for town offices shall be printed without any party mark, emblem, vignette, or designation whatsoever.
Section 3 Time of Taking Office
5-3-1 Any person duly elected to any office or board shall take up the duties of the office immediately upon certification, provided that such person shall first have been sworn to the faithful performance of the duties of that office by the Town Clerk.
5-3-2 Elected Town Meeting Members shall present themselves within 30 days of election, to the office of the Town Clerk for the administering of the Oath of Office or make alternate arrangements with the Town Clerk. Failure to comply with the previous sentence shall result in a vacancy. An elected official cannot act in any capacity until the Oath of Office is taken.
Section 4 Nomination of Candidates for Election to Representative Town Meeting
5-4-1 The nomination of a candidate for election or reelection as representative town meeting member shall be made by separate nomination papers signed by not less than ten (10) registered voters of the precinct in which the candidate resides, or in accordance with the requirements of G.L. C. 43A, Section 6 to the extent applicable. Nomination papers shall be filed with the Town Clerk no later than the last day on which the nomination papers of candidates for other offices must be filed.
5-4-2 Nomination papers shall identify representative town meeting members seeking re-election with the phrase "Candidate for Re-election" placed next to each candidate's name.
5-4-3 The nomination procedure for all other elected positions shall be as set forth in general or special law.
Section 5 Initiative
5-5-1 Any ten (10) registered voters of the town may secure the inclusion of an article in the warrant for either of the annual representative town meetings by written petition to the Select Board. At least one hundred (100) registered voters may secure the same for any special town meeting.
Section 6 Referendum
5-6-1 A vote of the town meeting under any article in the warrant shall not be operative until ten (10) days after its final passage other than the following: (a) to adjourn; (b) to appropriate money for the payment of principal and interest of bonds and notes of the town; (c) to authorize the temporary borrowing of money in anticipation of revenues and (d) to amend zoning bylaws or as otherwise provided by statute.
5-6-2 If within ten (10) days of an affirmative vote of final passage by the Town Meeting, a referendum petition is filed with the Town Clerk signed by not less than three (3) percent of the registered voters in the Town as of the date of the most recent annual Town election asking that any question involved in such a vote be submitted to the voters of the Town at an election, then the Town shall hold a referendum election for such purposes. Within 5 days after receipt of the petition the Town Clerk shall determine whether the petition contains a sufficient number of signatures and provide notice to the Select Board. of such determination. If there are sufficient number of signatures, the Select Board shall provide for a referendum election to be held no less than 35 days from its vote and provision of written notice to the Town Clerk and no more than 90 days after the Town Clerk’s determination, provided, however, that if there is another election already scheduled within 100 days of the Clerk’s determination, the referendum question may appear on the ballot at such election. The referendum question shall take the following form: “Shall the Town vote to approve the action of the [date] Town Meeting under Article [#] whereby it was voted that (here insert a brief summary of the substance of the vote)?
5-6-3 A non-binding public opinion advisory question may be placed on the ballot at an annual or special town election by vote of the Select Board with no less than thirty-five (35) days written notice to the Town Clerk of the form of the question. A non-binding question may also appear on the ballot at a regular town election by vote of the annual Town Meeting under a warrant article for such purpose, or in conformity with the following procedure: A proposal to place a nonbinding public opinion advisory question on the ballot for a regular Town election may be presented to the Select Board no less than 100 days prior to the date of the next regular election on a petition signed by at least ten registered voters of the Town. If such Select Board shall not approve said petition at least ninety days before said election, then the question may be so placed on said ballot when a petition signed by at least three (3) per cent of the registered voters in the Town requesting such action is filed with the Board of Registrars no less than 42 days prior to the date of the next annual election. Upon certification of the required number of signatures, the Town Clerk shall cause the question to be placed on the ballot at the next regular Town election held more than thirty-five days after such certification.
5-6-4 The vote on a referendum question shall be in accordance with the provisions of general law relating to special Town elections.
Section 7 Recall of Elective Officeholders
5-7-1 Voters may recall any elected townwide officeholder as herein provided.
5-7-2 Five hundred (500) registered voters of the Town may file with the Town Clerk an initial petition signed under the penalty of perjury containing the name of the officeholder sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. No more than fifty (50) names shall be counted form any one (1) precinct of the Town. One (1) voter shall be identified as the “lead petitioner”, and the lead petitioner shall notify the Town Clerk of the names of the registered voters listed thereon who shall be deemed to be the “first ten (10) signers” for purposes of section 5-7-3.
5-7-3 The Town Clerk shall thereupon prepare recall petition blanks and notify the lead petitioner that a sufficient number of such blanks may be picked up at the Town Clerk’s office containing the number of signature lines required, plus at least two-fifths (2/5ths) more. The Town Clerk shall keep these printed forms available. The Town Clerk shall sign and affix the official seal to the recall petition blanks that are issued. Photocopies of recall petitions shall not be accepted by the Town Clerk. The recall petition blanks shall be dated and addressed to the Select Board, demanding the election of a successor to such office. The recall petition blanks shall contain the names of the first ten (10) signers, the number of recall petitions issued, the name and office of the officeholder whose recall is sought, and the grounds for recall as stated in the initial petition
5-7-4 The Town Clerk shall enter a copy of the recall petition in the town records. The recall petition shall bear the signatures and residential addresses of at least fifteen (15) percent of the registered voters as of the date of the most recent annual town election and shall be returned to the Town Clerk within twenty (20) business days after the notification to the lead petitioner of the availability of the recall petitions. All completed recall petitions containing the signatures requesting a recall election need not be submitted simultaneously.
5-7-5 The Town Clerk shall submit the recall petition to the board of registrars of voters within one (1) business day of receipt. The registrars of voters shall certify thereon the number of signatures which represent registered voters within seven (7) business days.
5-7-6 If the recall petition is certified by the board of registrars of voters as sufficient, the Town Clerk shall submit the same with a certificate so stating to the Select Board. Within three (3) business days of receipt of the certificate of sufficiency, the Select Board shall give written notice, of the receipt of the certificate to the officeholder sought to be recalled.
5-7-7 If the officeholder does not resign within five (5) business days after the date the notice is given, the Select Board shall order a special election to be held on a date fixed by them, which shall be not less than 64 days from the date of the Select Board’s vote to call for the election nor more than ninety (90) days after the date of the Town Clerk’s certificate that a sufficient recall petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other Town election is to occur within one hundred (100) days after the date of the certificate, the Select Board shall postpone the holding of the special election to the date of such other election and the question of recall shall appear on the ballot at such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed.
5-7-8 An officeholder sought to be removed may be a candidate at the recall election and, unless such officeholder requests otherwise in writing, the Town Clerk shall place the officeholder’s name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of general law relating to elections unless otherwise provided herein.
5-7-9 The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of office until the recall election. If not recalled, the incumbent shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term or sooner vacating of office. An incumbent having successfully survived a recall election shall not again be subject to recall during the same term of office. If recalled, the incumbent shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of the successor who shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within ten (10) business days after receiving notification of election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
5-7-10 The form of the question to be voted upon shall be substantially as follows: "Shall (here insert the name and title of the elective officeholder whose recall is sought) be recalled?" The action of the voters to recall shall require a majority vote, but shall not be effective unless the total of those voting for and against recall exceeds twenty (20) percent of the registered voters of the town as of the date of the last annual election. If the question of recall is not approved as provided in this section, the votes for candidates shall not be counted.
5-7-11 No person, having been removed from office by recall or having resigned from office following certification of names on an initial petition filed under Section 5-7-2, shall be appointed to any town office within two (2) years following said removal or resignation.
5-7-12 Recall proceedings shall not be initiated during the first or last one hundred eighty (180) days of any officeholder's term of office.
Section 8 Recall of Representative Town Meeting Members
5-8-1 Representative town meeting members shall be subject to recall as generally provided in Section 7 of Chapter 5 of this Charter, provided:
that the words "representative town meeting member" shall be substituted for the word "officeholder" throughout Section 7 of Chapter 5 of this Charter;
that in Section 5-7-2 the number "one hundred twenty-five (125)" shall be substituted for the number "five hundred (500)," and that names submitted shall be those of registered voters residing in the precinct of the intended recall election;
that in Section 5-7-4, the recall petition shall include the signatures and residential addresses of at least fifteen (15) percent of the registered voters residing in the precinct, and the words "ten (10) business days" shall be substituted for the words "twenty (20) business days";
that in Section 5-7-7 the words "special precinct election" shall be substituted for the words "special election";
that in Section 5-7-10 the words "of the precinct" shall be substituted for the words "of the town"; and
that any vacancy created by a recall election shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Section 9 of Chapter 2 of this Charter.
TOWN BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES, AND DEPARTMENT AND DIVISION HEADS
Section 1 General Provisions
6-1-1 All boards, commissions, and committees of the town shall organize annually as soon after the annual election as practicable, to elect necessary officers, establish quorum requirements, adopt rules of procedure, and maintain minutes. All boards, commissions, and committees of the town regularly shall file approved meeting minutes with the Town Clerk. Such minutes shall be made available for inspection to all persons requesting them.
Section 2 Delegation of Appointment, Discipline, and Removal Power
6-2-1 The powers conferred upon the Town Manager in Section 3-5-1(a) of this Charter, for all employees subject to the provisions of G.L. c.31, the Civil Service Law, (except Department and Division Heads, or their equivalents regardless of title, and school employees), may be delegated to the appropriate Department Heads. To the extent permitted by law, such powers, which shall include the ability to appoint, discipline, or discharge an employee, shall be subject to final approval by the Town Manager, without appeal or recourse to the Select Board.
[Added by Chapter 336 of the Acts of 2012, Massachusetts General Court]
6-2-2 All multi-member board and committee appointments made under this charter shall be for a specific term. Any person whose cumulative attendance falls below 50 per cent in a 12 month period, and such attendance record has been duly certified to the Town Clerk by a majority vote of such board or committee, shall upon such certification be deemed to have resigned from the appointed position. Thereafter, the position shall be considered vacant for all purposes.
6-2-3 All bodies who have the ability to appoint may remove the appointee for cause, by a vote of the appointing authority, as defined in the establish process developed by the appointing authority.
Section 1 Charter Amendment
7-1-1 This Charter may be replaced, revised, or amended in accordance with the provisions of general law.
Section 2 Specific Provisions to Prevail
7-2-1 To the extent that any specific provision of this Charter conflicts with any general provision, the specific provision shall prevail.
Section 3 Severability of Charter
7-3-1 If any provision of this Charter is held invalid, the other provisions of this Charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of this Charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the application of this Charter and its provisions to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Section 4 Continuation, Revision, and Republication of By-Laws
7-4-1 All special acts, by-laws, resolutions, rules, regulations, and votes of the town meeting in force on the effective date of this Charter, not inconsistent with its provisions, shall continue in force until amended or repealed.
Section 5 Enforceability of this Charter
7-5-1 The provisions of this Charter may be enforced by any applicable general or special law, including, but not limited to G.L. c.43B, § 14 and G.L. C. 231A.
Section 6 Periodic Charter Review
7-6-1 At least once every 5 years, a Charter Review Committee shall review this Charter and make a report, with recommendations, to the Town Meeting concerning any proposed amendments which the Committee may determine to be necessary or desirable. The members of the Charter Review Committee shall be appointed by a special committee consisting of the Moderator, who will serve as Chairman, one member of the Select Board and one (1) member of the Committee of Precinct Chairs.