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 Weston the office of town manager, who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen for a term not to exceed 3 years, as the board may determine, and may be appointed for successive terms of office. The town manager shall be a person of demonstrated ability with administrative experience in public management or business administration and who is qualified by reason of education and experience. The town manager shall devote full time to the duties of said office and shall not engage in any other business or occupation during the term of his employment by the town. The town manager shall hold no elective office in the town during his tenure as town manager, but the board of selectmen may appoint the town manager to any nonelective office or position consistent with the responsibilities of the town manager. Before entering upon his duties, the town manager shall be sworn to the faithful and impartial performance thereof by the town clerk.
The board of selectmen may from time to time establish additional qualifications for the office of town manager. To the extent permitted by law, the terms of the town manager's employment may be the subject of a written agreement between the parties setting forth the length of service, compensation, vacation, sick leave, benefits, and such other matters, excluding tenure, as are customarily included in an employment contract.
The board of selectmen shall set the compensation of the town manager, not to exceed the amount appropriated by the town meeting.
SECTION 2. The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town. The town manager shall be responsible to the board of selectmen for the effective management of all town affairs placed in the town manager's charge by this act, the board of selectmen, or vote of the town meeting. The town manager shall be responsible for the implementation of town policies established by the board of selectmen. The functions and duties of the town manager shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Supervise all town departments under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and direct the operations of the town. The town manager may assume responsibilities falling under the jurisdiction of other officers, or elected or appointed boards or committees as those boards and the board of selectmen may jointly approve. This section shall not apply to employees of the school department and to the statutory responsibilities and functions of the school committee.
(b) Transfer personnel within departments under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, with its approval. The town manager may transfer personnel under the jurisdiction of other elected boards or commissions as the board of selectmen and such other boards or commissions having jurisdiction thereof jointly approve. All personnel transfers of positions shall be subject to chapter 31 of the General Laws.
(c) Appoint all town officers and employees whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in this act. The town manager shall also organize and implement the hiring process, which shall include the preparation of position descriptions in consultation with the relevant appointing authority, where applicable, and shall set compensation, recruit, interview and, where required, test.
(i) The board of selectmen shall appoint the town manager, town counsel, multimember boards and committees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, and the metropolitan area planning council representative, and shall retain the authority to appoint individuals to, to dismiss individuals from, and to fill vacancies in such positions without reference to the operation of paragraphs (ii) to (vi).
(ii) The town manager shall recommend to the board of selectmen for its appointment candidates for the positions of chief of the fire department, forest warden, police chief, and director of public works. The board of selectmen shall approve or disapprove the recommendation by a majority vote, and shall not appoint any individual to 1 of these positions who has not been recommended for that position by the town manager.
(iii) Positions of department heads, or in the absence of department heads, chief staff employees, for elected or appointed boards other than the board of selectmen, at Grade 6 or above in the town's personnel classification plan, shall be appointed by their respective board by majority vote, with the concurrence of the town manager.
(iv) The town manager may conduct interviews for positions described in paragraphs (ii) and (iii), with the relevant board, as the town manager and such board shall mutually agree. Neither the town manager nor the respective board shall dismiss an individual from 1 of the positions set forth in paragraphs (ii) and (iii) without the concurrence of the other.
(v) Notwithstanding the foregoing:
(1) the town clerk shall retain the authority to appoint, dismiss, and fill vacancies in the position of assistant town clerk;
(2) the town moderator shall retain the authority granted by town meeting vote or by by-law to appoint and fill vacancies in such offices, committees, or boards as specified thereby; and
(3) the library board of trustees, in consultation with the town manager, shall retain the authority to appoint and dismiss the library director, and all other library employees shall be appointed and dismissed by the library director in consultation with the town manager.
(vi) All other employees shall be appointed and dismissed by their respective department head, or in the absence of a department head, by the chief staff employee, in consultation and concurrence with the town manager and in accordance with employment practices established by the town manager.
(d) Except as to the board of selectmen, every elected or appointed town board shall directly supervise its department head, or in the absence of a department head, its chief staff employee, except with respect to personnel, financial and administrative technology practices in their departments, as to which the town manager shall have supervisory authority. All other employees shall be supervised by the town manager, his designee, or by the department head, or the chief staff employee of their department.
(e) The town manager may reorganize, consolidate, establish, or abolish any department or position under the town manager's direction or supervision, at his discretion and with the board of selectmen's approval. With the approval of both the board of selectmen and finance committee, the town manager may transfer all or part of any unexpended appropriation of a discontinued department, board or office to any other town department, board or office under the board of selectmen's jurisdiction.
(f) The town manager, may, at his discretion and with the approval of the board of selectmen, establish a consolidated department of finance responsible for the coordination and overall supervision of all fiscal and financial affairs of all agencies of town government and may appoint a director of finance; but the terms of persons holding the position of accountant, auditor or comptroller, treasurer, collector or assessor on the effective date of this act shall not be shortened by reason of the consolidation.
(i) The department of finance may include the functions of the offices of accountant, treasurer and collector, and assessors, and may also include the following: coordination of all financial services and activities; maintenance of all accounting records and other financial statements; payment of all obligations; receipt of all funds due; assistance to all other town departments and offices in any matter related to financial affairs; monitoring of the expenditure of all funds, including periodic reporting to appropriate agencies on the status of accounts; supervision of all purchases of goods, materials and supplies and maintenance of inventory controls; supervision of data processing facilities; and any other matter relating to municipal finance as the town manager may determine necessary or desirable.
(ii) The town manager may appoint a director of finance for a term of 1 year. The director of finance shall be especially fitted by education, training, and experience to perform the duties of the office, and, may, at the discretion of the town manager, serve as the head of any division within the department, or the town manager may designate a person to serve as head of 1 or more divisions within the department. The director of finance, in consultation and concurrence with the town manager, may hire such other personnel as necessary to staff the department. The powers and duties of the director of finance as designated by the town manager may include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) coordinate and operate, in accordance with applicable statute, by-law, code and accepted practice, the financial functions of all town departments and agencies, and supervise the following functions of accounting, treasury, tax collections, assessing, budgeting and procurement;
(2) work with the town manager and board of selectmen to develop strategic financial plans and policies;
(3) plan, organize, and provide administrative direction for all financial functions;
(4) receive all requests made for the expenditure of town funds from every office and agency and assemble all such requests into a complete projected budget for all town funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year;
(5) compile and submit an annual operating budget to the town manager, which shall show in detail the estimated income from the proposed property tax levy and from every other source by category; and
(6) provide general oversight, throughout the year, of the expenditure of all town funds pursuant to such budgets and expenditures as authorized by town meeting.
(g) Administer, either directly or through a person appointed by him, all provisions of general and special laws applicable to the town, and by-laws and votes of the town within the scope of his duty, and all rules and regulations made by the board of selectmen.
(h) Establish control and data systems appropriate to monitoring expenditures by town boards and departments to enable the town manager to make periodic reports to the board of selectmen and the finance committee on the status of the town's finances.
(i) Develop and administer a personnel system, including, but not limited to, the development and implementation of an ongoing training program, personnel and hiring policies, practices, and regulations for town employees.
(j) Oversee preparation of the draft town budget and submit it with written comments and recommendations to the board of selectmen and finance committee by such date or dates as may be determined by the board of selectmen.
(k) Negotiate collective bargaining contracts on behalf of the board of selectmen, which contracts shall be subject to approval, ratification and execution by the board. The board of selectmen may authorize use of additional persons to assist the town manager in the negotiations at its discretion.
(l) Administer and enforce collective bargaining agreements, and personnel rules and regulations, and by-laws adopted by the town.
(m) Act as the chief procurement officer under the provisions of chapter 30B of the General Laws, responsible for the purchasing of all supplies, materials, and equipment for the town, including the bidding and awarding of all contracts, except for the school department.
(n) Attend all regular and special town meetings, unless excused therefrom by the board of selectmen.
(o) Cause full and complete records of meetings of the board of selectmen to be taken and maintained, and compile reports of the meetings as requested by the board of selectmen.
(p) Exercise general supervision over the personnel, organization, systems and practices of the board of selectmen's office.
(q) Act as the liaison with and represent the board of selectmen before state, federal and regional authorities.
(r) Approve all warrants or vouchers, including payroll warrants, for payment of town funds submitted by the town accountant.
(s) Perform any other duties consistent with his office as may be required by by-law or vote of the town or by vote of the board of selectmen.
The chief staff employee of each town department shall be a member of the town manager's administrative staff for the purpose of assuring common town personnel, financial, administrative and technology use practices, and for the purpose of fostering effective communications among town departments.
SECTION 3. A vacancy in the office of town manager shall be filled as soon as practicable by the board of selectmen. When a vacancy exists, the board of selectmen may appoint by a majority vote of the entire board a suitable person as acting town manager during the period of the vacancy.
SECTION 4. The procedure for filling a vacancy in the office of town manager shall be as follows:
(a) The board of selectmen may reappoint an incumbent town manager without a screening committee.
(b) The board of selectmen shall appoint a screening committee to consider applicants for the position. The committee shall be composed of 5 registered voters of the town of Weston.
(c) The screening committee shall:
(i) receive and review all applications for the position of town manager;
(ii) select applicants for interviews;
(iii) conduct 1 or more preliminary interviews with the selected applicants;
(iv) investigate the experience, qualifications and reputation of applicants deemed eligible for consideration as finalists;
(v) evaluate the applicants in relation to the established job description for the position and criteria specified by the board of selectmen;
(vi) report in writing to the board of selectmen a summary of its activities; and
(vii) present to the board of selectmen in writing a list of not more than 5 nor, if reasonably practicable, fewer than 3 applicants deemed qualified for the position of town manager.
(d) The board of selectmen shall then interview in public meeting the applicants recommended by the screening committee. The board of selectmen may conduct such further investigation and examination of applicants as it determines and may appoint a town manager from the screening committee's list. If the board does not appoint a town manager from the list, it shall prepare and file in its records a written statement of the reasons for its decision. The screening committee shall then be requested to provide a recommendation of not more than 3 other applicants whom it considers qualified. The board of selectmen shall consider such applicants in the same manner as those first recommended.
(e) The board of selectmen shall not appoint to the position of town manager a person who has not received a recommendation from the screening committee except by unanimous vote of the board.
SECTION 5. The board of selectmen may remove the town manager by the majority vote of the entire board. At least 30 days before such proposed removal shall become effective, the board of selectmen shall file a preliminary written resolution with the town clerk setting forth the specific reasons for such proposed removal. The town clerk shall forthwith deliver to the town manager a copy of such resolution, or cause it to be delivered by registered mail at his last known address. The town manager may file with the board of selectmen, within 7 days after receipt of the copy, a written request for a public hearing to be held not earlier than 10 nor later than 20 days after the filing of the request. After such public hearing, if any, or otherwise at the expiration of 30 days following the filing of the preliminary resolution, and after full consideration, the board of selectmen, by the majority vote of the entire board, may adopt a final resolution of removal. In the preliminary resolution, the board of selectmen may suspend the manager from duty, and at its discretion, shall determine whether the suspension will be with or without pay.
SECTION 6. Section 4 of chapter 582 of the acts of 1978 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "employees", in line 2, the following words:- with the concurrence of the town manager.
SECTION 7. Section 1 of chapter 261 of the acts of 1995 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "selectmen", in line 10, the following words:- or town manager.
SECTION 8. Section 2 of said chapter 261 is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the words "said board of selectmen" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- the town manager.
SECTION 9. Section 5 of said chapter 261 is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 5 and 6, the words "; supervision of engineering services of the town".
SECTION 10. Paragraph (b) of section 6 of said chapter 261 is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the words "town engineer,".
SECTION 11. Section 7 of said chapter 261 is hereby repealed.
SECTION 12. All special acts, by-laws, rules and regulations which are in force on the effective date of this act that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act shall continue in full force until amended or repealed. If any provision of this act conflicts with any provisions of any special act, by-law, rule or regulation of the town, the provisions of this act shall govern.
SECTION 13. This act shall take effect upon its passage.