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  • Acts
  • 1998
  • Chapter 171 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS IN THE TOWN OF HATFIELD.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. There shall be established in the town of Hatfield a department of public works, hereinafter called the department, which shall be under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen.

SECTION 2. The board of selectmen of said town shall have and exercise all powers, rights, and duties now or from time to time vested by any general or special law in the highway department, vehicle maintenance department, sewer department, water department, tree department and health department, but as to the health department only the extent of the operation, maintenance and repair of the town's refuse transfer station.

The board of selectmen shall have all the powers and duties now and from time to time vested by general or special law or town by-law in the following boards, commissions, or positions: water commission, sewer commission, and tree warden, which commissions, boards, and positions are hereby abolished in said town.

No contracts or liabilities in force on the effective date of this act shall be affected hereby, but the board shall be deemed the lawful successor of said departments, commissions, boards and offices relative to such contracts or liabilities. It shall be the duty of said departments, commissions, and offices to turn over to the board of selectmen property and records, including all contracts, papers, documents, plans and property in their custody and control and each shall furnish to the board of selectmen such information as may be requested by the board of selectmen.

In addition the board of selectmen shall be responsible for the repair, alteration, and maintenance of the town's refuse transfer station now under the jurisdiction of the board of health and health department; for the repair and maintenance of all town-owned equipment, property and vehicles under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and those formerly under the water department, sewer department, and tree department and board of health specific to the operation, repair, alteration, and maintenance of the refuse transfer station; for the central purchasing of all public works related supplies, material, and equipment; and for awarding of all contracts for the repair, alteration, remodeling, construction, reconstruction, maintenance or renovation of all town public ways, grounds properties, facilities or equipment now placed under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen.

SECTION 3. The board of selectmen shall initiate a recruitment and selection process for the position of director of public works who shall be responsible to said board. The board of selectmen shall appoint a screening committee charged with recommending the appointment of the first director of public works for the town. The committee shall establish detailed qualifications for the position of director of public works and seek candidates for the position through advertisements in professional journals and other recruitment sources. Within a reasonable period of time after its appointment, the committee shall report to the board of selectmen and recommend candidates for consideration.

The board of selectmen shall appoint the director of public works, pending the appointment of a director, said board may appoint an acting director. The compensation of the director or acting director shall be fixed by said board, subject to appropriations therefor.

No member of the board of selectmen shall be eligible for appointment as director of public works. During his tenure the director shall hold no elective or other appointive office, nor shall he engage in any other business or occupation without express written prior authorization of the board of selectmen.

The director shall have full authority to carry out the policies of the board of selectmen, and shall be responsible for the efficient exercise and performance of the powers, rights and duties vested in said board by this act.

The director shall be specially fitted with education, training and experience necessary to perform the duties of such office, and need not be a resident of the town. He shall be a college graduate with an appropriate four year engineering degree. Before entering upon the duties of his office, he shall be sworn to the faithful and impartial performance thereof.

Such director shall, unless the selectmen deem it unnecessary or impractical by reason of cost or otherwise, give the town a bond with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth as surety for the faithful performance of his duties in such sum and upon such conditions as the board of selectmen may require.

The directors shall serve at the pleasure of the board of selectmen if and to the extent allowed by then applicable law, the selectmen on behalf of the town may, but need not, enter into an employment contract with any such director, the terms and conditions of which including length not necessarily limited to one calendar or fiscal year shall be determined by the selectmen in their sole discretion, subject only to law applicable at the time of entering into any such contract.

SECTION 4. The director of public works shall appoint and may suspend or remove division heads, assistants, laborers, and employees as he deems necessary. All such appointments and removals shall require the prior approval of the board of selectmen.

The director shall keep full and complete records of the doings of the office and render to the board of selectmen regular and full reports of all operations under his control during the period reported upon; and annually shall prepare a synopsis of such reports for publication in the town report. He shall keep said board fully advised as to the needs of the town within the scope of his duties, and shall annually furnish to said board not later than the first day of January of each year detailed estimates in writing of the appropriation required for the next fiscal year for the proper exercise and performance of all said powers, rights and duties. Each budget request shall be in such detail and in such format as may be required by said board and shall, unless the board of selectmen directs otherwise, be in such detail and in such format as may be suggested by the finance committee.

Approved July 16, 1998.