Section 103. The city council shall appoint a city manager who shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his duties and who shall be the chief administrative officer of the city and shall be responsible for the administration of all departments, commissions, boards and officers of the city, whether established before its adoption of this plan or thereafter, except that of the city clerk, city auditor, any official appointed by the governor or any body elected by the voters of the city. He shall be appointed on the basis of his administrative and executive qualifications only, and need not be a resident of the city or commonwealth when appointed. He shall hold office during the pleasure of the city council and shall receive such compensation as it shall fix by ordinance. No member of the city council shall during his term of office be chosen as city manager, and no person who has within two years been elected to or served in any elective office in the city or in the county in which the city is located shall be chosen as city manager.
Before the city manager may be removed, if he so demand, he shall be given a written statement of the reasons alleged for his removal and shall have the right to be heard publicly thereon at a meeting of the city council prior to the final vote on the question of his removal, but pending and during such hearing the city council may suspend him from office. The action of the city council in suspending or removing the city manager shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal in the city council. In case of the absence, disability or suspension of the city manager, the city council shall designate the head of some department to perform the duties of city manager during such absence, disability or suspension, and, in case the office of city manager becomes vacant, the city council shall designate the head of some department to serve as acting city manager until a new city manager is appointed.