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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1836         FILED ON: 6/7/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1792

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Therese Murray

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act providing for a charter for the town of Sandwich.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Therese Murray

Plymouth and Barnstable

Randy Hunt

5th Barnstable


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1836        FILED ON: 6/7/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1792

By Ms. Murray, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1792) of Therese Murray and Randy Hunt (by vote of the town) for legislation to provide for a charter for the town of Sandwich.  Municipalities and Regional Government.  [Local Approval Received.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act providing for a charter for the town of Sandwich.
 

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

              I, Taylor D. White, Town Clerk of the Town of Sandwich, hereby certify that the below stated Article 14 and vote taken thereon is a true record from the Annual Town Meeting held in Sandwich on May 6, 2013.

              ARTICLE 14

              To see if the Town will vote to amend the Sandwich Town Charter, as printed below, by deleting those portions of the Town Charter highlighted with strikethrough formatting and inserting those portions of the Town Charter with underline formatting; and further, to authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the General Court to the end that legislation be adopted precisely as follows in accordance with the special act charter process; provided, however, that the General Court may make clerical or editorial changes of form only to the bill, unless the Board of Selectmen approves amendments to the bill before enactment by the General Court, and provided further that the Board of Selectmen is hereby authorized to approve amendments which shall be within the scope of the general public objectives of this petition; or take any action relative thereto:

              THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

              In the Year Two Thousand and Nine Thirteen

              AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A CHARTER FOR THE TOWN OF SANDWICH

              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 137 of the Acts of 2002 is hereby repealed.  S782, Chapter 106 of the Acts of 2009 is hereby repealed.

              Section 2. The following shall be the Charter of the Town of Sandwich:-

              Section 3.  Any reference to gender in the wording of this Charter shall be construed as meaning any  individual regardless of sex and is contained herein only in the interest of brevity.

              CHARTER

              TOWN OF SANDWICH

              PREAMBLE

              Good government can only be defined as that which is wholly and justly participated in by the people who are under its jurisdiction.  For that purpose the citizens of Sandwich, in exercising their rights of self-government, do ordain the provisions set forth in the ensuing Charter of this town.

              ARTICLE I

              INCORPORATION, FORM OF GOVERNMENT

              Section 1.1               INCORPORATION

              The inhabitants of the Town of Sandwich, residing within its corporate boundaries as heretofore established, are hereby constituted and shall continue to be a body politic and corporate in perpetuity under the name of “The Town of Sandwich.”

              Section 1.2               FORM OF GOVERNMENT

              a)  The municipal form of government provided by this Charter shall consist of a Town Meeting open to all voters; a Board of Selectmen, elected by the people and accountable to the people; and a Town Manager, appointed by and accountable to the Board of Selectmen for proper administration of the affairs of the town.

              b)  The schools of the town shall be operated by a School Department and supervised by a Superintendent of Schools under the direction of a School Committee, elected by the people and accountable to the people for proper administration of the affairs of the schools.

              ARTICLE II

              POWERS OF THE TOWN

              Section 2.1               POWERS

              a)  The Town shall have all the powers granted to towns by the Constitution and General Laws together with all of the implied powers necessary to execute such granted powers.

              b)  The powers of the Town under the Charter shall be construed and interpreted liberally in favor of the Town, and the specific mention of any particular power is not intended to limit in any way the general powers.

              c)  The Town may enter into agreements with any other agency of municipal government, agency of the Commonwealth, other states, or the United States government to perform jointly, by contract, or otherwise, any of its powers or functions and may participate in the financing thereof.

              ARTICLE III

              LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

              Section 3.1              OPEN TOWN MEETING

              The legislative powers of the Town shall be exercised by a Town Meeting open to all voters of the Town of Sandwich.

              Section 3.2              PRESIDING OFFICER

              All sessions of the Town Meeting shall be presided over by a Moderator, elected as provided in Section 4.4 of the Charter. The Moderator shall regulate the proceedings, decide questions of order, and make public declarations of all votes. The Moderator shall have all of the powers and duties given to Moderators under the Constitution and the General Laws, and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the Charter, by By-law or by other Town Meeting vote.

              Section 3.3              ANNUAL TOWN MEEETING

              The Annual Town Meeting shall be held on such date or dates as may be fixed by the Board of Selectmen as provided in paragraph (e) of Section 4.2.5 of the Town Charter.

              Section 3.4      SPECIAL TOWN MEETINGS

              Special Town Meetings shall be held at the call of the Board of Selectmen at such times as it may deem appropriate and whenever a special meeting is requested by the voters in accordance with procedures made available by the General Laws.

              Section 3.5               QUORUM

              The quorum for both the Annual Town Meeting and any Special Town Meeting shall be set by By-law.

              Section 3.6              CLERK OF THE MEETING

              The Town Clerk shall serve as the clerk to the Town Meeting. In the event that the Town Clerk is absent, the Assistant Town Clerk shall serve.

              Section 3.7               WARRANT ARTICLES

              a)  Except for procedural matters, all subjects to be acted on by Town Meeting shall be placed on warrants issued by the Board of Selectmen.

              b)  The Board of Selectmen shall receive all petitions addressed to it which require the submission of particular subject matter to the Town Meeting in accordance with the General Laws. Ten (10) signatures shall be required on a petition to have an article inserted in the warrant for an Annual Town Meeting, and one hundred (100) signatures shall be required on a petition to have an article inserted in a warrant for a Special Town Meeting.  

              c)  Any warrant article that seeks to raise, transfer, appropriate or expend any funds shall show comparative figures including actual figures for the preceding year, appropriations for the current year, requests for the next fiscal year and amounts recommended by the Finance Committee.

              d)  Copies of main motions to be considered on articles in the warrant that were not originally included in the printed warrant, and/or on the script to be read by Selectmen at Town Meeting, shall be made available as draft versions in writing to all voters prior to Town Meeting and distributed at Town Meeting.  Final adjustments, if necessary will be shown on the viewing screen. The Moderator may require other motions to be submitted in writing.  Failure to comply with this provision shall not invalidate any vote taken by Town Meeting.

              Section 3.8               PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE WARRANT

              In addition to any notice required by the General Laws, the Board of Selectmen shall cause the Annual Town Meeting warrant to be posted on the Town bulletin board and otherwise distributed as provided by paragraph (e) of Section 4.2.5 of the Charter. Additional copies shall be kept available for distribution by the Town Clerk. In addition, the Board of Selectmen shall cause the Town Meeting warrant to be posted on the Town’s website for the convenience of the residents of the Town; provided, however, that failure to post the warrant on the website or to post it one or more weeks prior to the date of the Town Meeting shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the legality or validity of the actions taken at the Town Meeting.

              ARTICLE IV

              ELECTED TOWN OFFICES

              Section 4.1               ELECTED TOWN OFFICES, IN GENERAL

              The offices to be filled by the voters shall be: a Board of Selectmen, consisting of five (5) members; a School Committee, consisting of seven (7) members; a Moderator; a Town Clerk; a Board of Assessors, consisting of three (3) members; a Board of Health, consisting of three (3) members; a Planning Board, consisting of seven (7) members; Constables, Trustees of the Sandwich Library, consisting of nine (9) members; Trustees of the Weston Memorial Fund, consisting of three (3) members; Sandwich Historic District, consisting of five (5) members; Housing Authority, consisting of (5) members, (4) of whom shall be elected, and (1) of whom shall be appointed by the Governor; and such other regional authorities, districts, or committees as may be required by the General Laws or inter-local agreement. All elected or appointed multiple member boards shall be arranged so that as nearly an equal number of terms as possible shall expire each year.  Notwithstanding any other provision of the Charter, all elected officials and officers shall have the powers and duties as prescribed by the General Laws.

              Section 4.2               BOARD OF SELECTMEN

              The Board of Selectmen shall be composed of five (5) members. Each member shall be elected from the town at-large to a three (3) year term.

              Section 4.2.1               QUALIFICATIONS

              In addition to any other qualifications prescribed by law, each Selectman shall be a qualified voter of the town, and shall reside within the town while in office.

              Section 4.2.2               COMPENSATION

              Selectmen shall receive such compensation as may be specified in the annual budget, provided, however, that they shall be entitled to all necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties upon approval by the Board of Selectmen.

              Section 4.2.3               CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN

              a)  A chairman shall be elected by the Board of Selectmen at the first meeting following each regular Town Election. The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board.  The chairman shall perform such other duties consistent with Massachusetts General Laws and this Charter, or as may be imposed on him by the Board.

              b)  A vice chairman shall be elected by the Board of Selectmen at the first meeting following each regular Town Election. The vice chairman shall act as chairman during the disability or absence of the chairman and in this capacity shall have the rights and duties conferred upon the chairman.

              Section 4.2.4               VACANCIES

              Vacancies in the office of Selectman shall be filled by special election if the vacancy occurs eight (8) months or more prior to the next annual election. If a vacancy occurs, the Board of Selectmen shall, within ten (10) days after the occurrence of a vacancy, call a special election that shall be held not less than sixty-five (65) days nor more than ninety (90) days after issuing the call. A vacancy which occurs less than eight (8) months prior to the next annual election shall be filled at the next annual election.

              Section 4.2.5               GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES

              a)  Except as otherwise provided by the General Laws or this Charter, all executive powers of the Town shall be vested in the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the Town by law.

              b)  At least a majority of the Board of Selectmen shall sign all official documents, and approve the financial warrants.

              c)  The Board of Selectmen shall serve as the Board of Directors and policy-making body of the Town. They shall appoint a Town Manager to carry out the day-to-day operations of the Town within the policies set by the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen shall appoint members of committees.

              d)  No member of the Board of Selectmen may serve in any other elected and/or appointed Town office or committee during his or her term as Selectman, excluding ex-officio positions, except that Selectmen may serve on committees when authorized by State law or Town By-Law. Service as a representative from the Town to another body other than

              the Town shall not be prohibited by this provision.

              e)  The Board of Selectmen shall set guidelines for the preparation of the annual budget and present the budget to the Town Meeting. The Board of Selectmen shall set the date and warrant articles for the Town Meeting and any Special Town Meeting. The Board of Selectmen shall make available sufficient copies of the warrant for the Town Meeting for

              all registered voters. The Board of Selectmen shall either provide direct mailings to households, or publish notice of the availability of and make available said warrants at town facilities and other common locations throughout the town at least two (2) weeks prior to the Town Meeting; provided, however, that failure to post the warrant on the website or to post it one or more weeks prior to the date of the Town Meeting shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the legality or validity of the actions taken at the Town Meeting.

              f)  The Board of Selectmen shall be a licensing board for the Town and shall have the power to issue licenses as authorized by law, to make all necessary rules and regulations regarding the issuance of such licenses, and to impose restrictions on any such license as it deems to be in the public interest, and to enforce all laws, rules, regulations, and

              restrictions relating to all such businesses for which it issues licenses.

              g)  The Board shall require bonds for all municipal officers and employees who receive or pay out any moneys of the town. The amount of such bonds shall be determined by the Board and the cost thereof shall be borne by the Town.

              h)  The Board of Selectmen shall be authorized to institute, prosecute, compromise or defend any claim, action, suit or other proceeding in the name of the Town and to settle any claim, action, suit or other proceeding brought by or on behalf or against the Town. In the event that a settlement requires the issuance of a permit or license or the transfer of property, and such matter is not within the Board of Selectmen’s jurisdiction, the Town board or officer with legal jurisdiction over the matter shall retain sole authority to act on behalf of the Town.

              i)  The Board of Selectmen shall annually review a Long Range Plan, including capital planning, to project the future needs of the Town and report on this at Town Meeting.

              j)  The Board of Selectmen shall serve as custodians of all Town property except as otherwise provided by the General Laws or by vote of the Town.

              k)  The Board of Selectmen shall be authorized to formally investigate cases of any suspected serious misconduct or criminal wrongdoing by the Town Manager, or other officers or employees of the Town, provided that such investigation is approved by a vote of four out of five Selectmen.

              l)  The Board of Selectmen shall exercise any other responsibilities as set forth in the General Laws.

              Section 4.2.6               MEETINGS OF THE BOARD

              a)  The Board of Selectmen shall hold at least two regular meetings each month. The Board shall fix, by resolution, the days, times and location of its regular meetings.

              c)  The Board of Selectmen may hold such special meetings as it deems necessary and appropriate, which may be called for by three members of the Board. In no event shall a regular or special meeting be held in any facility or at any locations which are not readily accessible to the public or handicap accessible.

              Section 4.2.7               RULES OF PROCEDURE

              a)  The Board of Selectmen shall by resolution, determine its own rules and order of business; provided however, the rules shall provide that citizens of the town shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any meeting in regard to any matter under consideration.     

              b)  Voting except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call if requested by a Selectman, and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes.

              c)  Three Selectmen shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of transaction of business.

              d)   No action of the Board of Selectmen shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of three or more members of the Board.      

              Section 4.2.8               PROHIBITIONS

              a)  Except where authorized by law, no Selectman shall hold any other town office or town employment during his term as Selectman, nor any former Selectman shall hold any compensated appointed town office or town employment until one year after the expiration of his term as Selectman.

              b)  The Selectmen shall not in any manner dictate the appointment or removal of any town administrative officers or employees whom the Town Manager or any of his subordinates are empowered to appoint. The Board of Selectmen may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the Town Manager anything pertaining to appointments and removal

              of such officers and employees.

              c)  Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations, The Board of Selectmen and its members shall deal with town officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the Town Manager, solely through the Town Manager, and neither the Board of Selectmen nor any of its members shall give orders to any such officer or

              employee, either publicly or privately.

              Section 4.3               SCHOOL COMMITTEE

              The School Committee shall be composed of seven (7) members. Each member shall be elected from the town at-large to a three (3) year term. The three (3) year terms of office for school committee shall be staggered. 

              4.3.1       QUALIFICATIONS

              In addition to any other qualifications prescribed by law, each member of the School Committee shall be a qualified voter of the town, and shall reside within the town while in office.

              4.3.2      COMPENSATION

              School Committee members shall receive no compensation, provided, however, that they shall be entitled to all necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties upon approval by the School Committee.

              4.3.3      CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN

              A chairman shall be elected by the School Committee at the first meeting following each regular Town Election. The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Committee.  The chairman shall perform such other duties consistent with Massachusetts General Laws and this Charter, or as may be imposed by the Committee.

              A vice chairman shall be elected by the School Committee at the first meeting following each regular Town Election. The vice chairman shall act as chairman during the disability or absence of the chairman and in this capacity shall have the rights and duties conferred upon the chairman.

              Section 4.3.4              VACANCIES

              Vacancies in the School Committee shall be filled by special election if the vacancy occurs eight (8) months or more prior to the next annual election. In this case, the Board of Selectmen shall, within ten (10) days after the occurrence of a vacancy, call a special election that shall be held not less than sixty-five (65) days nor more than ninety (90) days after issuing the call. Any vacancy which occurs less than eight (8) months prior to the next annual election shall be filled at the next annual election.

              Section 4.3.5               GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES 

              a)  The School Committee shall have all the powers and duties given to school committees by the General Laws. The School Committee shall have the power to select, oversee, and to terminate the Superintendent of Schools, establish educational goals and policies for the schools consistent with requirements of the General Laws and standards established by the Commonwealth.

              b)  The Superintendent of Schools shall be chosen upon the basis of the individual’s executive and administrative training, education, experience and ability, and any other factors the School Committee deems appropriate. The Superintendent of Schools shall be bonded at town expense.

              c)  The Superintendent of Schools shall have the duties and responsibilities provided by the General Laws, this Charter, and vote of the School Committee.

              Section 4.3.6     MEETINGS OF THE BOARD

              The School Committee shall hold at least one regular meeting each month while school is in session. The Committee shall fix the days, times and location of its regular meetings.

              The School Committee may hold such special meetings as it deems necessary and appropriate, which may be called by the Chair or four members of the Committee. In no event shall a regular or special meeting be held in any facility or at any locations which are not readily accessible to the public or handicap accessible.

              Section 4.3.7     RULES OF PROCEDURE

              The School Committee shall determine its own rules and order of business; provided however, the rules shall provide that citizens of the town shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any meeting in regard to any matter under consideration.     

              Voting except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call if requested by a School Committee member and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes.

              Section 4.3.8              BUDGET HEARING

              The School Committee shall prepare an annual line-item operating budget and hold a public hearing on its proposed annual budget pursuant to, Section 38N of Chapter 71 of General Laws by March 1.

              Section 4.4               MODERATOR

              A Moderator shall be elected by the voters for a term of three years. In the event of absence of the Moderator, the Town Meeting may elect a temporary Moderator, for the purpose of presiding over the Town Meeting.

              Section 4.4.1               POWERS AND DUTIES

              a)  The Moderator shall have the powers and duties provided by the General Laws, by this Charter, by By-law or by any other Town Meeting vote.

              b) The Moderator shall appoint members of the Finance Committee which shall consist of nine (9) members.   If the Moderator fails to fill a vacancy on the Finance Committee within forty-five (45) days of having been notified in writing by the Town Clerk of said vacancy, a majority of the remaining members of the Finance Committee may nominate a person for each such vacancy. Should the Moderator fail to take action on said nomination within 21 days, the nominee shall become a member of the Finance Committee. 

              c)  To assist in the application and appointment process and/or to better prepare potential committee members, the Moderator may at his discretion include participation by the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Chairman of the Finance Committee, or the Chairman of the School Committee or their designated representatives.

              d)  The Moderator shall appoint members to other committees as directed by Town Meeting.

              Section 4.5 TOWN CLERK

              A Town Clerk shall be elected by the voters at the annual town election, for a term of three years.

              Section 4.6        BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES

              The Board of Library Trustees shall be composed of nine (9) members.  Each member shall be elected from the town at-large to a three (3) year term.

              Section 4.6.1        QUALIFICATIONS

              a)  Each member of the Board of Library Trustees shall be a qualified registered voter of the town and shall reside within the Town while in office.

              Section 4.6.2         GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES

              a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter to the contrary, the Board of Library Trustees shall have all the powers and duties given to boards of library trustees by G.L. c.78 and any other applicable law, except as otherwise provided herein.  The Board of Library Trustees shall, except in case of those employees subject to the provisions of G.L. c.150E, appoint the director of the library and all employees thereof, and may enter into a contract with said director, provided, however, that such contract shall meet minimum legal standards established by the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager.  The Board of Library Trustees shall implement such human resources practices and standards as established by the Town Manager for all other Town employees, and employees of the library shall be subject to the personnel policies and procedures adopted by the Town and such other personnel policies and procedures agreed upon in writing by the Board of Library Trustees and Town Manager.  The Town Manager shall be responsible for the procurement of all contracts on behalf of the library.

              Section 4.6.3       VACANCIES

              Vacancies shall be filled by election in accordance with the provisions of G.L. c41, §10, or by the Board of Selectmen and the remaining members of the Board of Library Trustees in accordance with the provisions of G.L. c41, §11.

              Section 4.7               BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND OFFICERS

              a)  Each board or committee will be organized and charged with the powers and duties specified in the General Laws and Special Acts of the Commonwealth, Town By-law or elsewhere in this Charter. The Board of Selectmen may also, from time to time, establish boards or committees to address specific needs or issues. Each board or committee shall, at its annual organization meeting, elect a presiding officer and shall cause the Board of Selectmen and the Town Clerk to be notified of its selection. Such boards and committees shall make a written annual report of its activities to the Board of Selectmen.

              b)  Members of permanent committees shall be elected for a staggered term of three years unless otherwise provided for by the General Laws or this Charter. Appointees to temporary and special committees shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for the duration of the charge of the board or committee. Boards, committees or officers specifically provided for by the General Laws or this Charter may be continued or terminated only by the Board of Selectmen.

              c)  No resignation of any town officer, including members of a board or committee, shall be deemed effective unless and until such resignation is filed with the Town Clerk or such later time certain as may be specified in such resignation.  In the event an appointed board or committee member misses three (3) consecutive meetings without the permission of the chair, the chair shall notify the Board of Selectmen, which board may, after opportunity for a hearing, deem such position to be vacant.

              ARTICLE V

              ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

              Section 5.1               TOWN MANAGER

              Section 5.1.1              APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATIONS

              The Board of Selectmen shall by majority vote of the entire Board appoint a Town Manager.   The method of selection shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Selectmen so long as the method of selection insures orderly, nonpartisan action toward securing a competent and qualified person to fill the position. The Town Manager shall be chosen solely upon the basis of the individual’s executive and administrative training, education, experience and ability and need not, when appointed, be a resident of the Town of Sandwich; provided however, that the Town Manager shall establish such residence within six (6) months following the effective date of appointment, and provided further that the Board of Selectmen may, by a unanimous vote of all members of the Board of Selectmen then in office, extend to a time certain the time for establishing residence or waive this requirement in its entirety. The Town Manager shall be bonded at town expense.

              Section 5.1.2               COMPENSATION

              The Town Manager shall receive compensation as may be fixed by the Board of Selectmen according to his expertise, education and training. Any contract between the Board of Selectmen and the Town Manager shall be made pursuant to Section 108N of Chapter 41 of the General Laws.

              Section 5.1.3               TERM AND REMOVAL

              The Town Manager may be appointed for a definite term but may be removed at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen, by vote of the majority of the entire Board. The action of the Board of Selectmen in suspending or removing the Town Manager shall be final. It is the intention of this Charter to invest all authority and fix all responsibilities of such suspension or removal in the Board of Selectmen.

              Section 5.1.4               POWERS AND DUTIES

              The Town Manager shall be responsible to the Board of Selectmen for the proper administration of all the affairs of the Town consistent with the General Laws and this Charter, and shall:

              a)  appoint, discipline, suspend, or remove Town employees, including Civil Service positions, except that the approval of the Board of Selectmen shall be required for appointment of Department Heads and the Assistant Town Manager;

              b)  supervise and direct all appointed Department Heads and organize and structure all town departments accordingly;

              c)  administer and enforce all provisions of General Laws or Special Acts of the Commonwealth, or Town By-laws, and all regulations established by the Board of Selectmen;

              d)  coordinate activities of all town departments;

              e)  attend all sessions of the Town Meeting and answer all questions addressed to the Town Manager which are related to the warrant articles and to matters under the general supervision of the Town Manager;

              f)  keep the Board of Selectmen fully informed as to the needs of the town, and recommend to the Selectmen for adoption such measures requiring action by them or by the Town as the Town Manager deems necessary or expedient;

              g)  ensure that complete and full records of the financial and administrative activity of the Town are maintained and render reports to the Board Selectmen as may be required;

              h)  be responsible for the rental, use, maintenance, repair and the development of a comprehensive maintenance program for all Town facilities;

              i)  serve as the chief procurement officer and be responsible for the purchase of all supplies, materials, and equipment, and approve the award of all contracts. Any contract over $500,000  $1,000,000 will require approval by the Board of Selectmen;

              j)  develop and maintain a formal and complete inventory of all Town-owned real and personal property and equipment;

              k)  administer personnel policies, practices, rules and regulations, any compensation plan and any related matters for all municipal employees and to administer all collective bargaining agreements entered into by the Town;

              l)  fix the compensation of all Town employees and officers appointed by the Town Manager; within the limits established by appropriation and any applicable compensation plan and collective bargaining agreements;

              m)  be responsible for the negotiation of all contracts with Town employees regarding wages, and other terms and conditions of employment, except employees of the School Department. The Town Manager may, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, employ special counsel to assist in the performance of these duties.  Collective bargaining agreements shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, and to Chapter 150E of the General Laws;

              n)  prepare and submit an annual operating budget and capital improvement program as provided in paragraph (b) of Section 7.1 of this Charter and be responsible for its administration after its adoption. The Town Manager may transfer funds between individual line items within a department account at any time during the fiscal year, and further, may transfer during the last two (2) months of any fiscal year or during the fifteen (15) days of the new fiscal year to apply to the previous fiscal year, any amount appropriated for the use of any department other than a municipal light department or the school department to the appropriation for any other department, but the amount transferred from one department to another may not exceed three per cent (3%) of the annual budget of the department from which the transfer is made, with the approval of the Selectmen and Finance Committee;

              o)  keep the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee fully informed as to the financial condition of the town and make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen;

              p)  prepare and submit to the Board of Selectmen at the end of the fiscal year a comprehensive report on the finances and the activities and operations of all departments, boards and committees of the town;

              q)  investigate or inquire into the affairs of any Town department or office;

              r)  have full authority to act on behalf of the town during emergencies,  including direction of Town personnel, declaring states of emergency, opening the emergency operations center and shelters, and the emergency expenditure of funds;

              s)  delegate, authorize or direct any subordinate or employee in the town to exercise any power, duty, or responsibility which the office of Town Manager is authorized to exercise, provided, that all acts performed under such delegation shall be deemed the acts of the Town Manager; and

              t)  perform such other duties as necessary or as may be assigned by this Charter, Town Bylaw, Town Meeting vote, or vote of the Board of Selectmen.

              Section 5.1.5               ACTING TOWN MANAGER

              The Assistant Town Manager shall perform the duties of the Town Manager in the Town Manager’s absence. In the event of long-term disability, resignation, termination, or vacancy of both the Town Manager and the Assistant Town Manager at the same time, the Board of Selectmen shall appoint an Acting Town Manager for the duration of any such disability, or until appointment of a permanent Town Manager or Assistant Town Manager. No member of the Board of Selectmen shall serve as Acting Town Manager.

              Section 5.2              TOWN COUNSEL

              The Board of Selectmen shall appoint a competent and duly qualified and licensed attorney practicing in the Commonwealth to be the counsel for the town. Town counsel shall receive such compensation for his services as may be fixed by the Board of Selectmen and shall hold office at the pleasure of the Board. The Town Counsel shall be the legal adviser of all of the offices and departments of the Town, and shall represent the Town in all litigation and legal proceedings; provided however, that the Board of Selectmen may retain special counsel at any time they deem appropriate and necessary. The Town Counsel shall review and concur or dissent upon all documents, contracts, and legal instruments in which the Town may have an interest. The Town Counsel shall perform other duties prescribed by this Charter, Town By-law, or as directed by the Board of Selectmen. No employee, committee or board, elected or appointed, other than the Board of Selectmen, shall contact or otherwise interact with the Town or Labor Counsel in a manner inconsistent with the policy relative to access to counsel established by the Town Manager.  This provision shall not limit the School Committee from retaining its own legal counsel.

              ARTICLE VI

              COMPLIANCE WITH LAW - PUBLIC RECORDS, OPEN MEETINGS, AND

              CONFLICT OF INTEREST

              All boards, committees, and commissions shall comply with Sections 23A to 23C inclusive of Chapter 39 of the General Laws in the conduct of any town business.

              All officers or employees of any agency, office, department, board, commission, bureau, division or authority of the Town shall comply with the provisions of clause twenty six (26) of Section 7 of Chapter 4 and Section 10 of Chapter 66, of the General Laws.

              All employees of the Town, as that term is defined in Section 1 of Chapter 269A, shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 268A of the General Laws.

              All boards, committees, and commissions shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 30A, Sections 18 through 25 of the General Laws, the so-called Open Meeting Law.

              All board members, committee members and employees shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 268, Sections 1 through 29, the so-called Ethics Law.

              ARTICLE VII

              FINANCIAL PROVISIONS AND ADMINISTRATION

              Section 7.1              SUBMISSION OF BUDGET AND BUDGET MESSAGE   

              a)  After the Massachusetts Department of Revenue certifies surplus revenue (a.k.a. free cash), but before October 1, the Town Manager shall meet with the School Superintendent to prepare a Projected Revenue and Expenses Report for the next fiscal year and submit it to the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Finance Committee.

              a) The Town Manager and School Superintendent shall meet within ten (10) business days of state certification of surplus revenue or finalization of October 1st enrollment whichever comes last occurs later.  Within ten (10) business days of that meeting, the Town Manager and School Superintendent shall submit a draft budget in a mutually agreed format to the Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Finance Committee.

              b)  Annually, before November 1, the Town Manager shall establish and issue a budget schedule which shall set forth the calendar dates for developing the annual budget for the next fiscal year.

              c)  On or before December 15, the Board of Selectmen shall meet in joint session with the School Committee.  At this meeting the Board of Selectmen shall set guidelines for the preparation of the annual budget. 

              d)  On or before February 1, the Town Manager and School Committee shall each submit to the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee a proposed line item budget and accompanying message.

              e)  The Budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all Town funds and activities, including details on debt and debt service, anticipated income, and proposed expenditures. The Budget shall include proposals for capital improvements for the next five (5) years. The budget message shall begin with a clear general summary of its content, and explain in both fiscal terms and program objectives, proposed expenditures for each department, capital expenditures, and the projected tax rate.

              f)  The Board of Selectmen shall review the proposed Town Budget and refer it, including the School Department Budget and recommendations, to the Finance Committee, on or before March 1.

              g)  After the annual Town Meeting but before June 15, the Board of Selectmen shall meet in joint session with the Finance Committee to review the assumptions used to project budgets for the next two (2) fiscal years.  If necessary, the Board of Selectmen shall vote to reset any of those assumptions.

              Section 7.2               FINANCE COMMITTEE

              a)  There shall be a permanent committee known as the Finance Committee, composed of nine (9) registered voters of the town appointed by the Moderator. They shall serve for three (3) year terms which shall be staggered. Members shall serve without compensation and no member shall be an employee of the Town nor hold an elected or appointed town position during their term of office, excluding ex-officio positions.

              b)  The Finance Committee shall conduct a detailed line item review of the Town and School budgets and submit a written budget report to the Annual Town Meeting and a written report to the Annual Town Meeting and any Special Town Meeting with its advisory recommendations on all financial warrant articles, and the projected tax impact consistent with its recommendations.

              c)  The Finance Committee can require that the Town Manager, School Committee, any Town department, office, board, commission or committee furnish appropriate additional financial information, as needed.  This request shall be made in writing and include a reasonable deadline for submission of the additional information.

              d)  The Finance Committee shall elect a Chairman and such other officers from among its members and form subcommittees as it deems necessary to accomplish its duties.

              Section 7.3               PUBLIC NOTICE AND PUBLIC HEARING

              a)  The Finance Committee shall within sixty (60) days following the submission of the draft budget by the Town Manager, review the proposed budget, and return it to the Board of Selectmen with its recommendations.

              b)  The Board of Selectmen shall conduct at least one two public hearings.  The first shall be held in February to consider budget matters generally and notice of the time, date and place therefor shall be posted in Town Hall and on the Town website and published in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the Town.

              An additional public hearing shall be held prior to Town Meeting on the proposed budget, including the school budget, and Finance Committee recommendations, which hearing shall be posted and published as described above, with the following additional information included:  the times and places where copies of the message and budget are available for inspection by the public.

              c) Two public hearings shall be held, one at the beginning of the draft budget discussions and one for the final proposed budget, both publicized as follows in d(1) and d(2).

              d)  The Board of Selectmen shall post in the Town Hall and publish in a daily newspaper of general circulation and on the Town website, a summary of the proposed budget and notice stating:

              1)  the times and places where copies of the message and budget are available for inspection by the public, and

              2)  the date, time and place where the Board of Selectmen shall conduct the public hearing on the budget.

              Section 7.4               BUDGET ADOPTION

              Town Meeting shall adopt the annual operating budget, with or without amendments before the beginning of the fiscal year.

              Section 7.5               ANNUAL AUDIT

              At the close of each fiscal year, and at such times as it may be deemed necessary, the Board of Selectmen shall cause an independent audit to be made of all accounts of the Town by a certified public accountant. The certified public accountant so selected shall have no personal interest, directly or indirectly in the financial affairs of the Town or any of its offices. Upon completion of the audit, the results in a summary form shall be placed on file in the Town Clerk's office and on

              the Town website as a public record and in the Sandwich Public Library for public information.

              Section 7.6               EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS, REDUCTIONS, and TRANSFERS

              Any and all emergency appropriations, reductions, and transfers shall be made in accordance with the General Laws and the Town By-laws.

              ARTICLE VIII

              RECALL

              Section 8.1               RECALL

              A holder of an elected office in the Town of Sandwich may be recalled there from by the qualified voters of the Town as provided in Chapter 408 of the Acts of 1987 for reasons which shall include but are not limited to the following: embezzlement; influence peddling; refusal to comply with clause Twenty-six of section 7 of chapter 4, section 10 of chapter 66, sections 23A to 23C, inclusive, chapter 39 of chapter 268A of the General Laws or any rules and regulations thereto, and the By-laws of the Town of Sandwich which pertains to same; destruction or alteration of public records; nepotism; conviction for a felony; failure to perform the duties of the elected office; or other willful acts of omission or commission which betray the public trust.

              Section 8.2               RECALL PETITION

              A recall petition shall be initiated by request of ten (10) qualified voters. The recall petition shall be signed by twenty-five percent (25%) of the qualified voters and returned within twenty (20) days in accordance with Chapter 408 of the Acts of 1987.

              ARTICLE IX

              CHARTER

              Section 9.1               SEVERABILITY

              If any section, or part of a section of this Charter, shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remainder of this Charter.

              Section 9.2              CHARTER REVIEW COMMITTEE

              At least every five (5) years, the Selectmen shall appoint a Charter Review Committee to be composed of seven (7) members for a period not longer than six (6) months, who shall submit their recommendations to the Board of Selectmen and shall file proceedings of their deliberations.

              Section 9.3              AMENDMENT TO CHARTER

              This Charter may be amended or revised by special act of the General Court, upon the recommendation of Town Meeting and/or pursuant to Chapter 43B of the General Laws.

              Section 9.4        INTERPRETATION OF THE CHARTER

              Any question related to the interpretation of the Charter shall be presented to the Board of Selectmen for such action as it deems appropriate.

              Section 9.5     TIME OF TAKING EFFECT AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

              The amendments to the Town Charter as approved by the May 6, 2013 Annual Town Meeting shall take effect immediately upon approval by the voters under G.L. c43B [or, if submitted as special legislation, upon the effective date of the legislation], except that the amendments to sections 4.1 and 4.5 of the Town Charter with respect to the manner of selection of the town clerk shall be implemented as follows.

              The individual elected as town clerk at the 2013 Annual Town Election (the “incumbent”) shall hold said office and perform the duties thereof until the expiration in 2016 of the elected term, or the incumbent’s sooner resignation, recall or retirement.  At the expiration of the incumbent’s elected term in 2016, or said sooner resignation, recall or retirement, the position of elected town clerk shall be abolished.

              Should said incumbent serve out the remainder of the elected term through the 2016 Annual Town Election, the incumbent shall be deemed to be the first appointed town clerk, and in that position shall be subject to the Town’s Personnel Policies and Procedures as would any other department head.  In the event that the incumbent resigns, retires or is recalled prior to the 2016 Annual Town Election, appointment of the first appointed town clerk shall be made in accordance with Section 5.1.4(a) of the Town Charter.

              In order to implement the provisions of Section 4.6.2, the personnel policies and procedures agreed upon in writing by the Board of Library Trustees and the Town Manager and on file with the Town Clerk as of the effective date of this act shall be operative for all employees of the library until such time as the personnel policies and procedures applicable to library employees are amended in accordance with the provisions of said Section 4.6.2.

              Carol Johansen of Oxford Road moved to amend Article 14.

              Move that the Town amend Article 14 to keep the Town Clerk position elected by retaining the position of Town Clerk in the list of elected town offices in Section 4.1, retaining Section 4.5, and in Section 9.5 relating to the transitional process for an appointed Town Clerk, delete all text in the first paragraph following “G.L. c43B” and the second two paragraphs.

              Motion to amend was seconded.

              COUNTED VOTED: That that the Town accept the amendment. This was a counted vote and declared carried by the Moderator. The vote was 219 Yea and 88 Nay.

              UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: That the Town amend the Sandwich Town Charter, as printed in the Warrant under Article 14, by deleting those portions of the Town Charter highlighted with strikethrough formatting and inserting those portions of the Town Charter with underline formatting; and further, authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the General Court to the end that legislation be adopted precisely as set forth in the Warrant in accordance with the special act charter process; provided, however, that the General Court may make clerical or editorial changes of form only to the bill, unless the Board of Selectmen approves amendments to the bill before enactment by the General Court, and provided further that the Board of Selectmen is authorized to approve amendments which shall be within the scope of the general public objectives of this petition. This was a voice vote and declared carried unanimously by the Moderator.

              A TRUE COPY ATTEST:

                

              ___________________________

              Taylor D. White, Town Clerk

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