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  • Acts
  • 1998
  • Chapter 186 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A BOARD OF SELECTMEN-TOWN ADMINISTRATOR FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN THE TOWN OF SPENCER.

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. The inhabitants of the town of Spencer, within its territorial limits as now or may hereafter be established by law, shall continue to be a body politic and corporate, known as the town of Spencer.

Section 2. This act shall be cited and shall be known as the Spencer Governmental Act.

Section 3. The intent and purpose of this act is to secure for the voters of the town of Spencer through the adoption of this act, all the powers possible to secure for their government under Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution and laws of the commonwealth, as fully and as though each such power were specifically and individually enumerated herein. To the extent that the provisions of this act modify or repeal existing general laws and special laws or the body of law which constitutes the town charter under Section 9 of Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution, this act shall govern.

Section 4. The legislative powers of the town shall continue to be exercised by a town meeting open to all voters of the town.

Section 5. There shall be a board of selectmen consisting of five members elected by the voters for three year terms, so arranged that the term of office of at least one member, but not more than two members, shall expire each year.

The executive powers of the town shall be vested in the board of selectmen. The board of selectmen shall have all of the powers and duties given to the boards of selectmen under the constitution and laws of the commonwealth and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by this act, by by-law or by other town meeting vote. The board of selectmen shall cause the laws and orders for the government of the town to be enforced and shall cause a record of its official acts to be maintained. The board of selectmen shall be the chief policy making board of the town and shall act by the issuance of policy statements and guidelines to be followed and implemented by all town agencies serving under the board.

The board of selectmen shall be the licensing authority of the town and shall have the power to issue licenses, to make necessary rules and regulations regarding the issuance of such licenses, and to attach such conditions and restrictions thereto as it deems to be in the public interest, and to enforce the laws relating to all businesses for which it issues licenses.

To aid the board of selectmen in the conduct of its official business and duties, the board of selectmen shall appoint a town administrator who shall serve at the pleasure of the board.

The board of selectmen shall also appoint a board of registrars, town counsel, and town auditor.

The town moderator shall make such appointments as authorized by town meeting vote and town by-laws.

Section 6. The town administrator shall be especially fitted by education, training and experience in public or business administration to perform the duties of the office. Any vacancy in the office of town administrator shall be filled as soon as possible by the board of selectmen. Pending the appointment of a town administrator or the filling of any vacancy, the board of selectmen shall appoint a suitable person to perform the duties of the office. In the event of temporary absence or disability of the town administrator, the board of selectmen may designate a qualified person to serve as acting town administrator and to perform the duties of the town administrator during such temporary absence or disability. The town administrator shall receive such compensation for services as the board of selectmen shall determine, but such compensation shall not exceed the amount appropriated therefor by the town.

Section 7. The town administrator shall be the chief administrative officer of the town, shall act as the agent for the board of selectmen and shall be responsible to the board of selectmen for the proper operation of town affairs for which the town administrator is given responsibility under this act. The town administrator, under the policy direction of the board of selectmen, shall supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all officers appointed by the town administrator and their respective departments and of all functions for which the town administrator is given responsibility, authority or control by this act, by by-law, by town meeting vote or by vote of the board of selectmen. The town administrator shall have the power to delegate, authorize or direct any subordinate or employee of the town to exercise any power, duty or responsibility which the office of town administrator is authorized to exercise under this act. All actions that are performed under such delegation shall be deemed to be the actions of the town administrator.

Section 8. Except as otherwise provided by this act, the town administrator shall appoint all department heads and officers, subordinates and employees except employees of the school district or department and those who are elected or are under the supervision of elected officials, elected boards or elected commissions. Appointments of department heads made by the town administrator shall become effective on the fifteenth day following the day notice of proposed appointment is filed with the board of selectmen unless the board of selectmen shall, within said period, by a vote of at least four members of the board reject such appointment or has sooner voted to affirm it. Copies of notices of proposed appointments as filed with the board of selectmen shall simultaneously be posted.

Section 9. Except as otherwise provided by this act, the town administrator may remove for cause all department heads and officers, subordinates and employees except employees of the school district or department and those who are elected or are under the supervision of elected officials, elected boards or elected commissions. Removals for cause by the town administrator shall be subject to due process requirements of federal, state or town laws and regulations or enforceable contract provisions. Removals of department heads by the town administrator shall become effective on the thirtieth day following the day notice of proposed removal is filed with the board of selectmen unless the board of selectmen shall within said period, by the vote of a least four members of the board reject such removal or has sooner voted to affirm it. Copies of notices of proposed removals as filed with the board of selectmen shall simultaneously be posted.

Section 10. Annually, for the ensuing year, the board of selectmen in conjunction with the town administrator shall define goals and performance objectives which both parties determine necessary for the proper operation and welfare of the town and in the attainment of the policy objectives of the board. The board of selectmen and town administrator shall further establish a relative priority among those various goals and objectives. Said goals and objectives shall be reduced to writing. During the first year of employment, the board of selectmen and the town administrator will meet and set goals and objectives after six months. The board of selectmen shall review and evaluate the performance of the town administrator on a formal basis once annually under the terms and conditions of this act. Said review and evaluation shall include, but not be limited to: the town administrator's progress and performance on the annual goals and objectives as described in this section; budgetary and financial administration; personnel administration; supervision and leadership; staff development; public relations; employee and labor relations; policy execution; and interaction with the board of selectmen as well as the governmental officials, departments, boards and committees. The town shall provide the town administrator with a written evaluation report after each formal review and evaluation and shall provide the town administrator with an opportunity to discuss his review and evaluation with the board of selectmen in a workshop session and submit written comments in relation thereto.

Section 11. The town administrator shall:-

(a) prepare and submit, after consultation with all town departments, an annual operating and capital budget and a capital improvement plan for all town departments;

(b) insure that complete and full records of the financial and administrative activity of the town are maintained and to render reports to the board of selectmen as may be required;

(c) approve warrants for payments of town funds prepared by the town accountant;

(d) keep the board of selectmen and finance committee fully informed as to the financial condition of the town and to make recommendations to the board of selectmen and to other elected and appointed officials as the town administrator deems necessary or expedient in regard to such matters;

(e) prepare, annually, a financial forecast of town revenue, expenditures and the general financial condition of the town;

(f) develop and maintain a full and complete inventory of all property of the town, both real and personal;

(g) be responsible for the efficient use, maintenance and repair of all town facilities, including oversight of all insurance policies for the same, except for those facilities under the jurisdiction of the school committee;

(h) attend all regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen, unless excused. The town administrator shall attend all sessions of the town meeting and answer all questions addressed to him which are related to the warrant articles and to matters under his general supervision;

(i) administer either directly or through a person or persons supervised by the town administrator, provisions of general or special laws, by-laws and other votes of the town meeting;

(j) coordinate activities of all town departments, officers, boards or commissions of the town and to facilitate interdepartmental communication among them. The town administrator shall investigate or inquire into the affairs of any town department or office under his supervision and make reports in regard to such matters to the board of selectmen, if he deems it necessary and expedient;

(k) administer personnel policies, practices, rules and regulations, any compensation plan including benefits and insurance programs, and any related matters for all municipal employees including all provisions of the personnel by-laws and all collective bargaining agreements subject to his jurisdiction;

(l) be responsible, with the board of selectmen, for the negotiation of all contracts with town employees over wages and other terms and conditions of employment, except employees of the school department; such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the board of selectmen. The town administrator shall resolve union grievances according to provisions of the union contracts with the town except for school department contracts. The town administrator may, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, employ special counsel to assist in the performance of these duties;

(m) award, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, all town contracts, with the exception of contracts involving the school department and other elected departments, elected boards and elected commissions. The town administrator shall serve as and perform the duties of the contract compliance officer of the town;

(n) be responsible for the purchase of all supplies, materials and equipment for all town departments except the school department. He shall examine and inspect, or cause to be examined and inspected, the quality, quantity and condition of supplies, materials and equipment delivered to or received by any town agency. He may examine services performed for any town agency secured through the purchasing procedure. The town administrator shall serve as and perform all the duties of the chief procurement officer of the town;

(o) serve as liaison with regional, state and federal governmental organizations, local business and community leaders and the general public;

(p) serve as grants person for the town; to seek out, be responsible for the preparation of applications and administer any grants that shall become available to the town;

(q) appoint and supervise the department heads and other non-elected officials and personnel of the town that are under the jurisdiction of the town administrator. He shall evaluate the performance of all department heads annually. The town administrator shall establish procedures by which the department heads will evaluate the performance of their subordinates annually;

(r) receive correspondence and answer routine daily inquiries. He shall set priorities among issues that demand the board of selectmen's attention. The town administrator shall organize the agenda for the board of selectmen's meetings and perform research on issues when necessary. He shall prepare selectmen for meetings with briefing memos, including a list of pertinent issues with supporting data;

(s) assemble town meeting articles and town warrants in concert with the town counsel. He shall present such articles on the town warrant to the appropriate town boards or committees for review and recommendation;

(t) compile the town report;

(u) review and make recommendations on the status of all license applications under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, and to make site inspections as necessary; and

(v) perform such duties as necessary, or as may be assigned by this act, by-law, town meeting vote, or vote by the board of selectmen.

Section 12. The registered voters of the town of Spencer shall elect town officials in accordance with any applicable laws, by-laws, votes of the town or interlocal agreement.

Section 13. All laws, by-laws, votes, rules and regulations, whether enacted by authority of the town or any other authority, which are in force in the town of Spencer on the effective date of this act, or any portion or portions thereof, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act shall continue to be in full force and effect until otherwise provided by other laws, by-laws, votes, rules and regulations, respectively. Nothing contained herein shall impair contractual rights established prior to the adoption of this act, or any amendment thereto.

Approved July 24, 1998.