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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1976        FILED ON: 5/31/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1923

By Ms. Clark, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1923) of Katherine M. Clark, Paul J. Donato, Christopher G. Fallon and Stephen Stat Smith (with the approval of the Mayor and City Council) for legislation to amend the charter of the city of Malden . Municipalities and Regional Government. [Local Approval Received.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

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An Act amending the charter of the city of Malden.
 

              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. Section 24A through Section 24G of Chapter 169 of the acts of 1881, as added by Chapter 29 of the Acts of 1950, is hereby repealed and the following inserted in place thereof:

                                   Section 24A. Initiative and Referendum

                                   a) Definitions: As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

                                   Initiative: a measure proposed by voters through the initiative process provided in this section

                                   Measure: any ordinance, resolution, order or vote which has or may be adopted by the City Council or School Committee

                                   Referendum: a measure adopted by the City Council or School Committee which is protested under the referendum process provided in this section.

                                   b) Filing of Initiative or Referendum Petitions

                                   The papers constituting an initiative or referendum petition shall be filed in the office of the city clerk and shall include the names and addresses of three persons designated as having filed the same. With each signature on the petition, there shall also appear the residence, including street name and number, of the signer.

                                   Signatures to an initiative or referendum petition need not be all on one paper, nor must all papers be filed at the same time. A petition shall be considered filed when the persons designated as filing the petition notify the city clerk in writing that the filing is complete.

                                   Within five days after the filing of a petition, the registrars of voters shall determine by what number of voters the petition has been signed and the percentage that number is of the total number of voters. The Registrars shall attach a certificate to the petition showing the results of their examination and shall immediately transmit the certificate and petition to the City Council or School Committee, as the petition is addressed. A copy of the certificate shall also be sent to the persons designated as filing the

                                   peition.

                                   c) Referendum Petitions; time for filing; effect on final passage

                                   A referendum petition must be filed within 20 days of the final passage of the measure to which it relates; provided that no revenue loan order may be made the subject of a referendum.

                                   If a referendum petition signed by voters equal in number to twelve percent of the total number of voters is submitted to the City Council or School Committee, as the case may be, the measure protested against shall be suspended from taking effect.

                                   The City Council or School Committee shall immediately reconsider such measure and, if such measure is not entirely rescinded, the City Council shall submit the measure to a vote of the registered voters at either:

                                                        1. the next regular municipal election held not less than 45 days after submission of the referendum petition to the City Council or School Committee, or;

                                                        2. a special election which may, in the City Council=s discretion, be called for that purpose.

                                   Such measure shall become null and void unless it is approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon.

                                   d) Initiative Petition; passage by city or submission to voters

                                   If an initiative petition signed by voters equal in number to at least twenty percent of the total number of

                                   voters is submitted to the City Council or School Committee, the City Council or School Committee shall:

                                                        1. pass such measure without alteration within twenty days; or

                                                        2. the City Council shall call a special election to be held on a Tuesday not less than thirty nor more than forty five days from the date of qualification and shall submit such measure, without alteration, to a vote at that election; provided that, if a regular municipal election is to occur within ninety days after the date of qualification, the City Council may omit calling a special election and may submit the proposed measure to the voters at the regular municipal election.

                                   If an initiative petition signed by voters equal in number to at least eight percent but less than twenty percent of the total number of voters is submitted to the City Council or School Committee, the City Council or School Committee shall:

                                                        1 pass such measure without alteration within twenty days; or

                                                        2. the City Council shall submit the proposed measure to the voters at the regular municipal election.

                                   e) Initiative Petition; passage by voters

                                   An initiative shall become effective only if it is approved by:

                                                        1. a majority of the voters voting on such measure, but

                                                        2. no less than 25% of the total number of voters eligible to vote in that election.

                                   f) Submission of questions to the electorate by the Council or School Committee

                                   The City Council may, on its own motion, and shall, upon the request of the School Committee if a measure originates with that committee and pertains to affairs under its administration, submit to a vote of registered voters of the city for adoption or rejection at a regular or special municipal election, any proposed measure or proposition for the repeal or amendment of any measure, in the same manner and with the same force and effect as provided for by initiative or referendum.

                                   g) Conflicting provisions

                                   If two or more proposed measures passed at the same election contain conflicting provisions, the

              measure receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall take effect.

                                   SECTION 2. Section 9 of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 1881 is hereby amended by striking out the last paragraph, as inserted by Section 2 of Chapter 255 of the Acts of 1964, and inserting in place thereof the following:

                                   A vacancy, arising from any cause, in the office of Councillor At Large or Ward Councillor shall be filled by special election to be held not less than 60 nor more than 90 days from the date of notification that a vacancy exists; provided that a vacancy arising between March 1 and July 1 in a municipal election year shall be filled at the regular election and the person so elected shall fill the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the next regular term. If a vacancy to be filled at the regular municipal election arises in the office of Councillor At Large or Ward Councillor, the person elected to the next regular term of office for the vacant position or, in the case of Councillor At Large, the person who received the highest number of votes for Councillor At Large in the municipal election and is not presently serving, shall be sworn to office immediately upon certification of the results of the regular municipal election.

                                   SECTION 3. Section 24 of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 1881 is hereby amended by striking out the sixth sentence, as inserted by Section 3 of Chapter 255 of the Acts of 1964, and inserting in place thereof the following:

                                   A vacancy, arising from any cause, in the office of School Committee shall be filled by special election to be held not less than 60 nor more than 90 days from the date of notification that a vacancy exists; provided that a vacancy arising between March 1 and July 1 in a municipal election year shall be filled at the regular election and the person so elected shall fill the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the next regular term.

                                   If a vacancy to be filled at the regular municipal election arises in the office of School Committee, the person elected to the next regular term of office for the vacant position shall be sworn to office immediately upon certification of the results of the regular municipal election.

                                   SECTION 4. Section 9 of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 1881 is hereby amended by striking out the fourth and fifth sentences and inserting in place thereof the following:

              A vacancy, arising from any cause, in the office of Mayor shall be filled by special election to be held not less than 60 nor more than 90 days from the date of notification that a vacancy exists; provided that a vacancy arising between March 1 and July 1 in a municipal election year shall be filled at the regular election. If a vacancy to be filled at a regular municipal election arises in a year during which a Mayoral election would not ordinarily be held, the person so elected shall fill the remainder of the unexpired term. If a vacancy to be filled at a regular municipal election arises in a year during which a Mayoral election would ordinarily be held, the person so elected shall fill the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the next regular term. In either of the aforesaid events, the person elected to the vacant position shall be sworn to office immediately upon certification of the results of the regular

              municipal election.

                                   SECTION 5. Section 4 of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 1881, as amended by Chapter 264 of the Acts of 1998, is hereby amended by adding at the end of section 4 the following sentence: ANo person shall be a candidate for nomination to more than one office at any regular or special municipal election.

                                   SECTION 6. Section 11 of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 1881 is hereby amended by striking out the words Aafter it has been presented to him@ as appearing in the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the words Aafter final passage by the City Council.

                                   SECTION 7. The provisions of Sections 1 through 5 of this act shall be submitted to the voters of the City of Malden at the regular municipal election to be held in the year 2011 in the form of a series of questions which shall be placed on the official ballot to be used for the election of city officers at said election as follows: AShall section 1 of an act passed by the general court relative to initiative and referendum in the City of Malden be accepted?@; AShall sections 2, 3 and 4 of an act passed by the general court relative to filling of vacancies in elective office in the City of Malden be accepted?; AShall Section 5 of an act passed by the general court relative to candidacy for more than one office be accepted?@. If a majority of the votes cast in answer to any question is in the affirmative, that section shall take effect, but not otherwise.

                                   The provisions of Section 6 shall become effective upon passage.

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