Section 128. Any person applying for tenure in an appointive city office shall file an application statement with the city clerk and shall deliver copies thereof in hand or send same by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to every city officer, or every member of any city board, commission or other body that is required to recommend, make, approve or confirm the applicant's office. Upon receipt of the application statement, the city clerk shall post a copy thereof in his office. The applicant shall forthwith and at his own expense cause a copy of his said statement to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city once a week for three consecutive weeks. Not less than thirty days after said posting and not less than seven days following the applicant's compliance with the publication requirement, the city council shall vote to approve or deny said application. If the city council approves said application, it shall then be presented to the mayor for his approval or denial. If the mayor approves the said application, at least one hundred and twenty days prior to the next municipal election, the city clerk shall cause to be printed on the ballot for such municipal election a question in substantially the following form:
Shall (name of applicant), incumbent of the position or positions of (title of office), be granted tenure pursuant to sections one hundred and twenty-six to one hundred and thirty-two, inclusive, of chapter forty-one of the General Laws?
If a majority of the votes cast in response to the question is in favor of granting tenure, the applicant shall thereupon have tenure in such office. If less than a majority of such votes cast is in favor of granting tenure, the applicant's request for tenure is denied. If the application statement is denied either by the vote of the city council, by the mayor or by vote of the electorate at a municipal election, the applicant shall be ineligible to apply for tenure in his said office for a period of two years following such denial.