SENATE DOCKET, NO. 2762 FILED ON: 8/26/2010
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 2617
[LOCAL APPROVAL RECEIVED.]
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Marc R. Pacheco
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 passage of the accompanying bill:
An Act amending the charter of the Town of Mi ddleborough.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand and Nine
An Act amending the charter of the Town of Middleborough.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as
SECTION 1. Chapter 592 of the acts of 1920, as amended by section 3 of chapter 443 of the acts of 1935, is hereby amended by striking out section 9 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 9: The board of selectmen shall appoint a suitable qualified person to the office of town treasurer and collector of taxes. The existing elective office of town treasurer and collector of taxes shall be continued until the person appointed to the office of town treasurer and collector o f taxes is qualified, at which time the elective office of town treasurer and collector of taxes shall terminate. The town treasurer and collector of taxes shall have and exercise all the powers and rights and be subject to all the duties and liabilities now or hereafter conferred or imposed by law upon town treasurers and town collectors of taxes. The board of selectmen by majority vote after notice and hearing may remove the town treasurer and collector of taxes from office for cause. The board of sele ctmen may appoint a suitable qualified person to fill any vacancy in the office of town treasurer and collector of taxes resulting from death, resignation, retirement, removal or other cause. The board of selectmen shall determine the compensation of the town treasurer and collector of taxes and may establish an employment contract with the town treasurer and collector of taxes for a period of time to provide for salary, fringe benefits and other conditions of employment including, but not limited to, seve rance pay, relocation expenses, reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of duties of office, liability insurance, vacation and leave.
SECTION 2. Section 17 of said chapter 592 is hereby amended by striking out subsections (a) and (b) and ins erting in place thereof the following 2 subsections:-
(a) The board of selectmen shall annually appoint and determine the compensation of an attorney or law firm to act as town counsel.
(b) The board of selectmen shall have the authority to prosecute, defe nd, and compromise all litigation, to which the town is a party, and to appoint and determine the compensation of special counsel to assist the town counsel whenever in their judgment it may be necessary.
The town counsel shall draft all bonds, deeds, leas es, obligations, conveyances and other legal instruments, and do every professional act which may be required of him, by vote of the town or any board of town officers. Also, when so required by said boards or any committee of the town, he shall furnish a written opinion on any question that may be submitted to him, and he shall at all times furnish legal advice to any officer of the town who may require his opinion upon any subject concerning the duties of such officer.
He shall prosecute all suits or oth er legal proceedings ordered to be brought by the town or board of selectman, and shall appear before any court in the commonwealth in defense of all actions or suits brought against the town or its officers in their official capacity, and shall try and ar gue any and all causes in which the town shall be a party, before any tribunal, whether in law or in equity, in the commonwealth, or before an board of referees or commission, and shall appear at any and all hearings on behalf of the town whenever his serv ices may be required.
SECTION 3. Section 19 of said chapter 592 is hereby amended by adding the following 3 subsections:-
(k) To prepare and submit an annual operating budget to the board of selectmen. The proposed budget shall include, but not be limite d to, a listing of the funds requested by all boards, committees, officers and departments of the town; provided, however, that the proposed budget shall be balanced and show both proposed expenditures and anticipated revenues. The board of selectmen, aft er reviewing the proposed budget and making changes it deems appropriate, shall submit its recommended budget to the finance committee by the twentieth day of January of each year for review and recommendation to town meeting.
(l) To prepare annually a 5-y ear financial forecast of town revenue, expenditures and general finance condition of the town. The forecast shall be submitted to the board of selectman who shall make it available to the public.
(m) To be responsible on behalf of the board of selectmen for the negotiation, administration and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements and other employment agreements, exclusive of agreements made by the school committee and the municipal light board. The town manager in carrying out duties hereunder may engage labor counsel as the town manager deems necessary and as approved by the board of selectmen; provided, however, that the board of selectmen shall retain sole authority to approve and execute all collective bargaining agreements negotiated by the town manager on the board of selectmen’s behalf.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the board of selectmen of the town of Middleborough shall appoint the person serving in the elective office of town treasurer and colle ctor of taxes on the effective date of this act as the initial appointee as town treasurer and collector of taxes; provided, however, that the person shall receive not less than the compensation and benefits to which the elected town treasurer and collecto r of taxes was entitled unless modified by an employment contract which may be established.