Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law, bylaw or rule or regulation to the contrary, there is hereby established in the town of Brookline a department of finance, hereinafter referred to as "the department", which shall be responsible for the overall management and administration of the town's financial and administrative support services, subject to the policies of the board of selectmen and the direction of the town administrator.
SECTION 2. It is the intention of this act to consolidate all of the fiscal and financially related activities and functions of the town into a single department in order to attain efficiencies and economies of scale, to reduce or eliminate duplication and overlapping of services, responsibilities and functions, and to improve the communication and coordination between and among the various offices and agencies of the town. It is the further intention of this act that the director of finance, hereinafter described, shall be authorized to assign responsibilities and functions between and among personnel within the department, permanently or, from time to time, without regard to the lines of responsibilities which have previously been associated with the several offices herein consolidated.
SECTION 3. The department shall assume and be responsible for the present functions and statutory duties of the offices of comptroller, treasurer/collector, purchasing, assessing and information services. Said functions shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
i. coordination of all financial services and activities of the town;
ii. maintenance of all accounting records and other financial statements for the town;
iii. payment of all financial obligations on behalf of the town;
iv. investment of town funds and management of debt;
v. receipt of all funds due the town from any source;
vi. maintenance of the system of property valuation;
vii. rendering of advice, assistance, guidance and recommendations to all town offices and agencies in any financial or fiscal affairs;
viii. monitoring throughout the fiscal year the expenditure of funds by town offices and agencies;
ix. general supervision of the purchase and procurement of all goods, services, materials, supplies and equipment by the town;
x. general supervision of all data processing functions, activities and equipment of town offices and agencies; and
xi. such other activities as may be assigned by the town administrator, with the approval of the board of selectmen.
SECTION 4. A. There shall be a director of finance, hereinafter referred to as "the director", appointed by the board of selectmen in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and seventy of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-five. Such appointment shall be made annually for a term of one year commencing July first until the appointment and qualification of a successor.
B. The director shall be a person especially fitted by education, training and experience to perform the duties and exercise the powers of the office.
C. The director shall be responsible for the effective operation and coordination of operations within the department, including the assessing, purchasing, procurement, accounting, tax and associated collecting and treasury functions, and the development and maintenance functions of information services. Said director shall be responsible for all of the fiscal and financial affairs of the town. Said director shall exercise the responsibilities of the office in accordance with policies adopted by the board of selectmen and in accordance with all laws, statutes, bylaws, rules and regulations and in accordance with generally accepted governmental financial practices. Said director shall be cognizant of the statutory responsibilities and duties of the board of assessors and the statutory duties and responsibilities of all of the divisions and officers within said department and shall consult with such divisions and officers to ensure that these duties and responsibilities are properly exercised and discharged. Said director shall make recommendations to the town administrator concerning the appointment and removal of the comptroller, treasurer/collector, chief procurement officer, chief assessor, and manager of information services.
Each division head shall appoint and may remove all personnel within the division, subject to the approval of the director.
The director shall exercise administrative control and direction of the department. Said director shall be responsible to and shall report to the town administrator. The board of selectmen may appoint the director to serve as the head of any one division.
In addition to supervising and directing the effective functioning of the divisions of treasury, accounts, purchasing, assessing and information services, the director shall have the following specific powers and duties:
i. to assign and reassign all personnel within the department, including reassigning personnel between divisions;
ii. to be responsible for the efficient coordination and implementation of the town's financial functions and to advise the town administrator and board of selectmen of issues requiring their attention;
iii. to direct and oversee the accounting and auditing functions, including those set forth in sections fifty to sixty-one, inclusive, of chapter forty-one of the General Laws and to issue monthly reports to the board of selectmen, the town administrator, the school committee, the school superintendent and all department heads on the status of expenditures, revenues and financial policy;
iv. to process and record all departmental payrolls;
v. to review all invoices and payments to ensure that all expenditures are made in accordance with approved budgets and applicable laws;
vi. to coordinate, for all town offices and agencies, the purchase, lease or disposal of all goods, supplies or items pursuant to the provisions of chapter thirty B of the General Laws;
vii. to maintain a full and complete inventory of town property;
viii. to assist the town administrator in the preparation of the annual financial plan;
ix. to be responsible for the preparation of the department's annual budget and annual town report, the expenditures of said department, and the administration of the town's personnel rules for said department;
x. to oversee and coordinate the data processing operations and systems of the town in accordance with the directives and priorities of the board of selectmen, the town administrator and the town administrator's information services steering committee;
xi. to oversee the maintenance of assessments for all property in the town and the issuance of property tax and motor vehicle excise tax bills;
xii. to coordinate and oversee the collection, custody, investment and disbursement of all town funds;
xiii. to assist the town's independent auditor in conducting the town's annual audit by providing all the required financial records;
xiv. to administer the town's casualty and liability insurance program; and
xv. to perform such other duties as assigned by the board of selectmen or town administrator.
SECTION 5. The department of finance shall consist of the following divisions:
A. The division of accounts shall perform the auditing and accounting functions for the town, including those set forth in sections fifty to sixty-one, inclusive of chapter forty-one of the General Laws. The comptroller, shall be in charge of the division. Said comptroller shall be responsible to and shall report to the director. The division of accounts shall be responsible for the following:
i. the maintenance of accounts for all financial transactions of the town;
ii. the preaudit of all purchase orders, receipts and disbursements;
iii. the preparation of payrolls;
iv. the preparation of warrants for the town administrator's approval;
v. the preparation of monthly and annual financial reports on the status of departmental expenditures and revenues;
vi. the maintenance of centralized grant and contract files; and
vii. the performance of such other duties as prescribed by law or as may be assigned by the director.
B. The division of treasury shall be under the management and control of the treasurer/collector, who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and seventy of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-five. The treasurer/collector shall be responsible to and shall report to the director. The division of treasury shall be responsible for the following:
i. billing and collection of all taxes, special assessments, utility bills and other revenues due the town;
ii. custody and maintenance of all investments and town funds;
iii. responsibility for all borrowings and implementation of an effective cash management program;
iv. the rendering of timely reports to the comptroller on all receipts and disbursements and reconciliation of all accounts at least monthly; and
v. performance of such other duties as prescribed by law or as may be assigned by the director.
C. The division of assessing shall be under the management and control of the chief assessor, who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and seventy of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-five. There shall be a board of assessors, also appointed by the board of selectmen, which shall perform and discharge all of the duties and responsibilities assigned to assessors by law. The chief assessor shall be a member of and serve as the chairperson of said board of assessors. Said board of assessors shall exercise independent authority in the performance of its statutory duties and the establishment of assessing policies. The chief assessor shall be responsible for the proper administration of the office and shall ensure that all statutory and assigned duties and responsibilities are properly exercised. Said chief assessor shall be responsible to and shall report to the director. The division of assessing shall be responsible for the following:
i. establishing the valuation of all real and personal property;
ii. preparing and issuing commitments for property taxes and motor vehicle excises for collection by the treasurer/collector;
iii. preparing bills and issuing commitments for payments in lieu of taxes from projects undertaken pursuant to the provisions of chapter one hundred and twenty-one A of the General Laws and the Brookline housing authority, for collection by the treasurer/collector;
iv. acting on abatement and exemption applications and representing the town at the appellate tax board; and
v. performing such other duties as prescribed by law or as may be assigned by the director.
D. The division of purchasing shall be under the management and control of the chief procurement officer, who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and seventy of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-five. The chief procurement officer shall be responsible to and shall report to the director. The division of purchasing shall be responsible for the following:
i. procuring supplies and services and dispose of personal property in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty B of the General Laws;
ii. establishing standards and specifications relative to any items of purchase, which shall be binding upon the departments;
iii. maintaining a central stores system;
iv. coordinating the town's casualty and liability insurance program;
v. providing support services, including staffing when so designated, for the board of selectmen's insurance advisory committee;
vi. providing support services, including staffing when so designated, for the emergency medical services committee;
vii. maintaining a current inventory of certain town property and equipment;
viii. requiring an officer or department head to furnish information necessary for the operation of the division of purchasing; and
ix. performing such other duties as prescribed by law or as may be assigned by the director.
E. The division of information services shall be under the management and control of the manager of information services, who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen in accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and seventy of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-five. The manager of information services shall be responsible to and shall report to the director. The division of information services shall be responsible for the following:
i. providing and coordinating computer and information services for all departments;
ii. providing computer support services to all departments;
iii. developing new or enhanced programs to improve the efficiency of information processing;
iv. advising appropriate town officials on technological advances, new procedures or organizational changes that will improve the operations of the town; and
v. performing such other duties as may be prescribed by law or as may be assigned by the director.
The town administrator shall appoint an information services steering committee consisting of the heads of the major user departments, or their designees, which shall provide guidance to, and establish priorities for, the division of information services. The town administrator, or his designee, shall serve as chairperson of said committee.
SECTION 6. (A) This act shall take effect on July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-three, except as it applies to the appointment of the treasurer/collector.
The provisions of this act providing for the appointment of the treasurer/collector shall be placed on the ballot for approval of the following question, on a ballot, by a majority of the persons voting thereon in Brookline:
"Shall the provisions of an act providing for the appointment of Treasurer/Collector in the Town of Brookline be accepted "
Upon the approval of said question, the term of office of the present treasurer/collector shall expire and the office shall be filled by appointment by the board of selectmen. The position of treasurer/collector shall be subject to all other applicable requirements and provisions of this act.
Any person holding any office or position in a town agency affected by the provisions of this act shall continue in such office or position, subject to further assignment, order of the director or expiration of the current term of office. All such officers and employees serving in such town agencies shall be continued in the service of the town, subject to the foregoing, without loss of pay or benefit to which they might otherwise have been entitled. Positions within the department shall not be subject to the civil service law; provided, however, except that existing employees within the department with civil service status shall retain such civil service status.
(B) The town, by bylaw, may establish additional requirements and standards for the department of finance and may modify and amend the organization and structure of said department; provided, however, that all such modifications and amendments are consistent with the provisions and purposes set forth in sections two and three of this act or the provisions of any act relative thereto.