Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The charter of the city known as the town of Methuen which is on file in the office of the archivist of the commonwealth, as provided in section 12 of chapter 43B of the General Laws, is hereby amended by striking out Article 3 and inserting in place thereof the following Article: `tuc ARTICLE 3. EXECUTIVE BRANCH.
Section 3-1. Mayor - Qualifications - Term of Office; Compensation.
(a) Mayor; Qualifications - The Chief Executive Officer of the Town shall be a Mayor, elected by and from the qualified voters of the Town. Any voter domiciled in the Town shall be eligible to hold the office of Mayor. He shall devote his full time to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or appointive, nor engage in any other business activity whether or not such business activity is pursued for gain, profit or other pecuniary advantage, during his term.
(b) Term of Office - The term of the office of mayor shall be two years, beginning on the first Monday of January following his election and until his successor is qualified. No person shall hold the office of Mayor for more than three consecutive or non-consecutive terms.
(c) Compensation - The Town Council shall, by ordinance, establish an annual salary for the Mayor.
Section 3-2. Executive Authority and Duties.
The executive powers of the Town shall be vested solely in the Mayor, and may be exercised by him either personally or through the several Town agencies under his general supervision and control. The Mayor shall see that all of the provisions of the General Laws, of this Charter, of votes of the Town Council which require enforcement by him or officers subject to his direction and supervision are faithfully carried out and shall cause a record of all his official duties to be kept. He shall have the following authority and duties:
(a) He shall supervise and direct the administration of all departments, commissions, boards and offices, except the Town Council, the School Committee, the Town Accountant, the Town Solicitor, and Clerk of the Council.
(b) He shall fix the compensation of all Town officers and employees appointed by him within the limits established by Town ordinances and existing appropriations.
(c) He shall attend all regular meetings of the Town Council, unless excused at his own request, and shall have a voice but no vote in all of its deliberations.
(d) He shall keep full and complete records of his office, and shall render as often as may be required by the Town Council, but not less than once a year, a full report of all operations during the period reported on, which report shall be made available to the public.
(e) He shall keep the Town Council fully advised as to the needs of the Town and shall recommend to the Town Council for adoption such measures requiring action by them as he may deem necessary or expedient.
(f) He shall have full jurisdiction over the rental and use of all Town facilities under his control. He shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all Town property under his control.
(g) He shall be responsible for the appointment, subject to the approval of the Town Council, of any necessary building and facilities committees having to do with the preparation of plans and supervision of work on all construction, reconstruction, alterations, improvements and other undertakings authorized by the Town Council; provided, however, that the approval of the School Committee shall be obtained for school construction or improvement plans.
(h) He shall keep a full and complete inventory of all property of the Town, both real and personal.
(i) He shall negotiate and may execute contracts involving any subject within the jurisdiction. All contracts shall be awarded by the Mayor, however, all contracts, prior to said award, shall meet with approval, by vote, of the majority of the Town Council.
(j) He shall be responsible for the purchasing of all supplies, materials and equipment for all departments and activities of the Town, but not including food for schools, school books and other instructional materials, supplies and equipment; library books and related printed and audio-visual subject material, unless otherwise requested by the School Committee or the Library Trustees.
(k) The Town of Methuen shall have a board of no less than three (3) Assessors appointed by the Mayor and he shall designate one of his appointees as Chairman thereof.
(l) He shall perform any other duties required by the ordinances or other votes of the Town Council.
(m) He shall exercise general supervision and direction over all Town agencies unless otherwise provided by law. Each Town agency shall furnish to him, forthwith upon his request, any information, materials or otherwise as he may request and as needs of his office and the interests of the Town require.
Section 3-3. Appointments by the Mayor.
Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, the Mayor shall appoint, upon merit and fitness alone, and may remove subject to the provisions of the civil service laws, the provisions of this Charter, or other pertinent statutes where applicable, all officers and employees of the Town, except employees of the School Department. All appointments made by the Mayor shall be subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the full Council. The Mayor shall submit, in writing, to the Town Council, at least ten days prior to the next regular meeting when the appointment is to be made, the name of any person he desires to appoint to a Town position.
Section 3-4. Temporary Appointments to Town offices.
Whenever a vacancy, either temporary or permanent, occurs in a Town office and the needs of the Town require that such office be filled, the Mayor may designate the head of another Town agency or a Town officer or employee, or some other person, especially fitted by merit and fitness, to perform the duties of the office on a temporary basis until such time as the position can be filled as otherwise provided by law, Charter or ordinance. The Mayor shall file a certificate, in substantially the following form, with the Town Clerk whenever he makes a designation under this section:
I designate (name of person) to perform the duties of the office of (designate office in which vacancy exists) on a temporary basis until the office can be filled by (here set out the regular procedure for filling the vacancy, or when the regular officer shall return). I certify that said person is qualified to perform the duties which will be required and that I make this designation solely in the interests of the Town of Methuen.
Section 3-5. Communications; Special Meetings.
(a) Communications to the Town Council - Within six weeks following the start of each fiscal year, the Mayor shall submit to the Town Council, and make available for public distribution, a complete report on the financial and administrative activities and status of the Town for the preceding fiscal year. He shall from time to time, and, whenever requested by the Town Council, by written communication, keep the Town Council fully informed of the financial condition and administrative issues of the Town and shall recommend to them such measures for their consideration as, in his judgment, the needs of the Town require.
(b) Special Meetings of the Town Council - The Mayor may at any time call a special meeting of the Town Council for any purpose by causing a notice thereof to be delivered in hand or residence of each member of the Town Council. Such notice shall, except in an emergency as determined by the Mayor, be delivered at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the time set and shall specify the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is to be held.
Section 3-6. Approval of Mayor; Exception (Veto).
Every order, ordinance, resolution or vote adopted or passed by the Town Council relative to the affairs of the Town shall be presented to the Mayor for his approval. If approved, he must sign it. If not, he shall return it, with his written objections, to the Town Council who shall, again, consider it. To override the Mayor's objections, a two-thirds vote is required. Further, the failure of the Mayor to submit his disapproval of the measure with written objections within ten (10) days after it is presented to him shall be deemed valid and in full force and effect. This section shall not apply to emergency measures as provided in Sections 2-9(a) and 2-9(b) of this Charter.
Section 3-7. Temporary Absence of Mayor.
(a) Acting Mayor - Whenever, by reason of sickness, absence from Town or other unexpected cause, the Mayor shall be unable to perform the duties of his office for a period of three (3) successive working days or more, the Town Council shall appoint from among its members an Acting Mayor to serve in the Mayor's absence.
(b) Powers of an Acting Mayor - The Acting Mayor shall have all the powers of the Mayor except that he shall not make any permanent appointment or removal to or from any office unless the disability of the Mayor shall have continued for sixty (60) days or more without having resigned, nor shall he approve or disapprove of any measure passed by the Town Council unless the time within the Mayor must act would expire before the return of the Mayor.
Section 3-8. Vacancy in Office of Mayor.
(a) Special Election - If a vacancy in the office of Mayor occurs in the first year of the term for which the Mayor is elected, whether by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, incapacity, or otherwise, the Town Council shall forthwith order a special election to be held within sixty (60) days following the date the vacancy is created to fill such vacancy for the balance of the then unexpired term.
(b) Council Election - If a vacancy in the office occurs in the second year of the term for which the Mayor was elected, whether by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, or otherwise, a meeting of the Town Council shall be called forthwith and they shall elect, by a majority vote, one of its members as Mayor for the unexpired term. Failing to so elect at said meeting, or, sixty (60) days thereafter, the Chairman of the Town Council as the Mayor under this section, a vacancy shall exist in his seat on the Town Council which shall be filled in the manner provided in Section 2-6.
(c) Powers; Term of Office - The Mayor elected under Section 3-8(a) and 3-8(b) shall have all the powers of the Mayor. He shall serve for the balance of the term unexpired at the time of his election to the office.
SECTION 2. Section 2-1(c) of Article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- No person shall hold the office of Town Councillor for more than three consecutive or non-consecutive terms.
SECTION 3. References to the word "Town" in said charter shall mean "City" and references to the term "Town Manager" in said charter shall mean "Mayor".
SECTION 4. There shall be called a special municipal election in said city known as the town of Methuen, the date of which shall be set by the Town Council, but which shall not be less than sixty days prior to the regular municipal election to be held in November nineteen hundred and ninety-three. There shall be placed on the ballot for such special election the following question as follows: "Shall an act passed by the general court in the year 1992 entitled 'An Act Providing for the Election of a Mayor in the City Known as the Town of Methuen and Establishment of Limitation of Terms of Town Councillors' be accepted ".
If a majority of the votes cast in answer to said question is in the affirmative, then this act shall take effect, but not otherwise.
In the instance where this question shall be approved by the citizens, then the term of office of the then current town manager shall cease on or before the first secular day of January, nineteen hundred and ninety-four.
Further, if the question is answered in the affirmative there shall appear on the regular municipal election ballot, as applicable, both at the preliminary election and the regular election, provisions for election of a mayor for the city known as the town of Methuen whose term of office shall commence the first secular day of January, nineteen hundred and ninety-four.