Section 24. There shall be a metropolitan area planning council, in this section and in sections twenty-five to twenty-nine, inclusive, called the council. Said council shall consist of one representative from each city and town of the metropolitan area planning district who shall be appointed by the mayor or, if the city has a manager, by the city manager, and in the case of a town, by the board of selectmen or, if the town has a manager, by the town manager, twenty-one persons to be appointed by the governor of which number there shall be sufficient representation of minority and low-income groups so as to substantially represent their viewpoints in the area to be served by the council; and the following officers or their respective designees who shall be members ex officiis: — the chairman of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the chairman of the Massachusetts Port Authority, the chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation, the chairman of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the commissioner of highways, the secretary of housing and economic development, the director of housing and community development, the commissioner of environmental protection, the chairman of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the commissioner of public works of the city of Boston and the executive director of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission.
The municipal appointing authority of any city or town may designate an alternate representative to serve coterminously with the representative appointed under this section. Upon the expiration of the term of any appointed or alternate member, his successor shall be appointed in like manner for a term of three years. The appropriate appointing authority shall fill any vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.