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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 191 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF CHELSEA.

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 charter of the city of Chelsea, as appearing in section 1 of chapter 103 of the acts of 1994, is hereby amended by striking out section 2-4 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2-4. - Filling of vacancies.

If a vacancy occurs in the office of city councillor, whether by failure to elect or otherwise, the remaining councillors shall, within thirty days following the date of such vacancy, act to fill said vacancy. The city council shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term by choosing the defeated candidate for said seat from the last regular city election; provided, however, that the defeated candidate shall have received at least twenty percent of the total ballots cast for the particular seat being vacated. For the purpose of this section, the twenty percent minimum threshold shall be calculated as a ratio of ballots cast for the particular office being vacated to votes obtained by the defeated candidate. If there was no other candidate for said office or the defeated candidate shall not have received at least twenty percent of the total ballots cast, the city council shall at its discretion choose an individual, who may be the defeated candidate, from among the voters entitled to vote for such office to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. Any person so chosen shall take the oath of office and commence to serve forthwith. No vacancy shall be filled, in the manner herein provided, if a regular city election is to be held within one hundred and twenty days following the date the vacancy is declared to exist.

SECTION 2. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 2-9, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2-9. - Prohibitions.

No councillor shall, while a member of the city council, hold any other office, including membership on a multiple-member body, or other position under the city. No former councillor shall hold any compensated appointive office or employment under the city until one year after the expiration of his service on the city council. This provision shall not prevent a city officer or employee who has been granted a leave of absence from such duties in order to serve as a member of the city council from returning to such office or employment following service as a member of the city council.

Any person who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall not be eligible to petition for or serve in any elective or appointive office or position under the city. Any councillor who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall be deemed to have vacated said office and shall be disqualified from serving in any other elective or appointive office or position under the city.

SECTION 3. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 3-2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 3-2. - Filling Vacancies.

If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the school committee whether by failure to elect or otherwise, the president of the city council shall, within thirty days following the date of such vacancy, call a joint meeting of the city council and the school committee to act to fill said vacancy. At any such joint meeting a majority of those present and voting shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term by choosing the defeated candidate for said seat at the last regular city election, provided however, that the defeated candidate shall have received at least twenty percent of the ballots cast for the particular seat being vacated. For the purpose of this section, the twenty percent minimum threshold shall be calculated as a ratio of ballots cast for the particular office being vacated to votes obtained by the defeated candidate. If there was no other candidate for said office or the defeated candidate shall not have received at least twenty percent of the total ballots cast, the city council and the school committee shall at their discretion choose an individual, who may be the defeated candidate, from among the voters entitled to vote for such office for the remainder of the unexpired term. Any person so chosen shall take the oath of office and commence to serve forthwith. No vacancy shall be filled, in the manner herein provided, if a regular city election is to be held within one hundred and twenty days following the date the vacancy is declared to exist.

SECTION 4. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 3-3, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 3-3. - Prohibitions.

No school committee member shall, while a member of the school committee, hold any other office, including membership on a multiple-member body, or position under the city. No former school committee member shall hold any compensated appointive office or employment under the city until one year after the expiration of his service on the school committee. This provision shall not prevent an officer or employee who has taken a leave of absence from such duties in order to serve as a member of the school committee from returning to such office or employment following service as a member of the school committee.

Any person who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall not be eligible to petition for or serve in any elective or appointive office or position under the city. Any school committee member who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall be deemed to have vacated said office and shall be disqualified from serving in any other elective or appointive office or position under the city.

SECTION 5. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 4-1, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 4-1. - Appointments; qualifications.

The city council shall appoint and may remove by an affirmative vote of seven members the city manager. The city manager shall be a person of proven administrative ability, especially qualified by education and training with at least five years prior experience as a city or town manager, or an assistant city or town manager or the equivalent public or private sector level experience, and shall hold a bachelors degree or similar or higher level degree from a recognized, accredited college or university. The city council may from time to time establish such additional qualifications as deemed necessary and appropriate.

The city council shall enter into an employment agreement with the city manager. Said employment agreement and any renewals of said employment agreement shall be for a period of at least two years.

The city manager shall devote full time to the duties of the office and shall not hold any other elective or appointive office, nor shall the city manager engage in any other business unless such action is approved in advance in writing by the city council.

The city manager need not be a resident of the city or of the commonwealth at the time of appointment, but shall establish residence within the city within twelve months following appointment, unless the city council shall waive such requirement.

SECTION 6. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 4-8, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 4-8. - Annual review of the city manager.

Annually the city council shall prepare and deliver to the city manager a written evaluation of the city manager's performance. The president of the Chelsea city council shall annually appoint a committee to perform the city manager's evaluation.

The city council shall publish in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the city a notice stating the date and time of the city council meeting when the city manager's annual review shall be scheduled. Such notice shall appear at least fourteen days before said meeting.

SECTION 7. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 6-2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 6-2. - Licensing commission.

(a) Establishment; composition of commission. Until such time as provided by paragraph (a) of section 6-1, there shall be a licensing commission which shall consist of four residents of the city and the director of inspectional services. One resident member shall serve as chairman. The four resident members shall be appointed in accordance with section 4-2.

(b) Powers and duties. Except as otherwise provided by this charter, the licensing commission shall act as the licensing authority for the city with all power to grant, suspend or revoke licenses and permits for intoxicating liquors, and all licenses and permits now or hereafter vested by law in the mayors and city councils of cities of the commonwealth.

SECTION 8. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 6-3, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 6-3. - Traffic and parking commission.

(a) Establishment composition of commission. Until such time as provided otherwise by paragraph (a) of section 6-1, there shall be a traffic and parking commission which shall consist of the police chief, who shall serve as chairperson, the fire chief, the director of public works, the director of community development, or their designees, and three resident members appointed in accordance with section 4-2. The officer or employee appointed as parking clerk in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth shall serve as clerk to the traffic and parking commission.

(b) Powers and duties. The traffic and parking commission shall have exclusive authority, except as otherwise provided by this charter, to adopt, amend, alter, and repeal rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the General Laws, relative to vehicular traffic in the city, and to the movement, stopping or standing of vehicles on, and their exclusion from, all or any streets, ways, highways, roads and parkways under the control of the city, including rules and regulations, designing any way or part thereof under said control as a through way under and subject to the provisions of section nine of chapter eighty-nine of the General Laws, and may prescribe penalties for violation of any rule or regulation adopted hereunder.

All rules and regulations promulgated by authorized vote of the traffic and parking commission, except temporary or emergency rules and regulations promulgated for less than thirty days, shall become effective on the thirtieth day following the day on which notice of proposed rule or regulation is filed with the city council, unless the city council shall within such period by majority of the full city council vote to reject such rule or regulation or has sooner voted to affirm it. Upon passage of any rule or regulation by the traffic and parking commission, said rule or regulation shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the city.

Ten residents of the city, who are eighteen years of age or older, may petition the traffic and parking commission relating to any rule or regulation adopted or proposed to be adopted provided the rule or regulation has not been in effect for a period no longer than ninety days. The traffic and parking commission shall hold a public hearing thereon within thirty days after the filing with the traffic and parking commission of such petition.

If a public hearing shall be held on any proposed rule or regulation, the proposed rule or regulation shall not be adopted until the public hearing has been concluded. After the public hearing has been held, any vote on the subject matter must be passed by a majority of the full membership on the traffic and parking commission.

All rules and regulations adopted after any public hearing shall be published in a least one newspaper of general circulation in the city.

SECTION 9. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 7-2, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 7-2. - Preliminary election.

(a) Signature requirements. The number of signatures of voters required to place the name of a candidate on the official ballot to be used at a preliminary election shall be as follows: For the office of councillor-at-large the signature requirement shall be not less than fifty. For the office of school committee member, the signature requirement shall be not less than fifty. For the office of district councillor the signature requirement shall be not less than fifty signatures from said district.

(b) Ballot position. The order in which names of candidates appear or the ballot for each office shall be determined by a drawing by lot conducted by the city clerk in the presence of such candidates or their representatives as may choose to attend such drawings. The city clerk shall provide notice to candidates of their ballot position.

(c) Determination of candidates for election. The two persons receiving at a preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for an office shall be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed in the official ballot to be used at the regular election at which such office is to be filled, and no acceptance of a nomination at a preliminary election shall be necessary to assure its validity.

If two or more persons are to be elected to the same office at such regular election, the several persons in number equal to twice the number to be so elected receiving at such preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for that office shall be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot.

If the preliminary election results in a tie vote among candidates for nomination receiving the lowest number of votes, which but for said tie vote would entitle a candidate receiving the same to have such candidate's name printed upon the official ballot for the election, all candidates participating in said tie vote shall have their names printed upon the official ballot, although in consequence thereof, there be printed on such ballots the names of candidates exceeding twice the number to be elected.

(d) Nomination of candidates. If at the expiration of the time for filing petitions of candidates to be voted for at any preliminary election, not more than twice as many such petitions have been filed with the city clerk for an office as are to be elected to such office, the candidates whose petitions have thus been filed shall be deemed to have been nominated to said office and their names shall be voted on for such office at the succeeding regular election, and the city clerk shall not print said names upon the ballot to be used at said preliminary election and no other nomination to said office shall be made.

SECTION 10. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 9-3, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 9-3. - Definitions.

As used in this charter the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

(a) "Charter", this charter and any amendments to it made through any methods provided under Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth.

(b) "City", the city of Chelsea.

(c) "City agency or agency", any board, commission, committee, department or office of city government, whether elected, appointed or otherwise constituted.

(d) "City bulletin board", the bulletin board located outside the office of the city clerk.

(e) "Emergency", a sudden, unexpected, unforeseen happening, occurrence or condition which necessitates immediate action.

(f) "Majority vote", a majority of those present and voting, provided a quorum is present when a vote is taken, unless a higher number is required by law, this charter, or by the city council's own rules.

(g) "Multiple-member body", any board, commission or committee, except advisory bodies, appointed by the city manager.

(h) "Resident", an inhabitant of the city.

(i) "Remove from the district", a person's place of regular domicile is not within the territorial limits of the district.

(j) "Remove from the city", a person's place of regular domicile is not within the territorial limits of the city.

(k) "Voters", registered voters of the city as defined by the laws of the commonwealth, including but not limited to, the residency, age, and citizenship requirements of voters.

SECTION 11. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 9-5, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 9-5. - Multiple-member bodies.

(a) Multiple-member bodies; composition; terms of office. Except as otherwise provided by this charter, all multiple-member bodies shall consist of three or more members appointed for terms of three years each, so arranged that the term of one-third of the members, or as nearly that number as may be possible, shall expire each year. All members of multiple-member bodies shall take the oath of office within four weeks of their appointment and must take the oath of office prior to entering upon the duties of their office. Unless a member of a multiple-member body serves by virtue of office or employment, all members shall be residents of the city. This requirement may be waived upon the recommendation of the city manager with the approval of the city council.

(b) Method of appointment. All appointments to multiple-member bodies shall become effective in accordance with section 4-2.

Any officials appointed to serve on multiple-member bodies may be removed from office by the city manager for such cause as the city manager deems sufficient and such cause shall be stated in the order of removal. A member of a multiple-member body shall be deemed to have vacated office if said member fails to attend regularly scheduled meetings for a period of three consecutive months without express leave from the chair of such multiple-member body or if such member is absent from such duties for the period of one year notwithstanding the permission from the chair to be absent. Any member of a multiple-member body shall be deemed to have vacated office if such member is finally convicted of any felony and shall not be eligible to serve in any other elective or appointive office or position under the city.

(c) Uniform procedures applicable to multiple-member bodies. In order to acquaint new members of multiple-member bodies with the affairs which will come before them, the chair of each such multiple-member body shall make available to each new member, the minutes of the meetings of the two prior years and copies of any applicable laws, rules, or regulations governing such multiple-member body.

All multiple-member bodies shall meet regularly at such times and places as they shall determine, unless some other provision is made by administrative order. Special meetings of any multiple-member body shall be held on the call of the chair or by a majority of its members, by written notice delivered in hand or to the place of residence of each member and which contains notice of the matters to be acted upon. Except in the case of any emergency, all notices shall be delivered at least forty-eight hours in advance of the time set for such meeting. A copy of such notice shall, forthwith, be posted upon the city bulletin board.

Each multiple-member body shall determine its own rules of order of business unless another provision is made by administrative order, and shall provide for the keeping of a journal of its proceedings. Such rules and journals shall be available for public inspection.

If requested by any member, any vote of any multiple-member body shall be taken by a call of the roll and the vote shall be recorded in the journal; provided, however, if the vote is unanimous, only that fact need be recorded.

A majority of the members of a multiple-member body shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time.

(d) Notice of vacancies. Whenever a vacancy occurs on a multiple-member body, whether because of death, resignation, removal from the city, removal by the city manager or the pending expiration of a term for which a person has been appointed, public notice of the vacancy or pending expiration of the term shall be given in the following manner: by publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the city, by title, length of term, brief description of duties and a general indication of the qualifications desired of candidates. Such notice shall also state the time in which persons who desire to be considered for appointment of such offices shall file a statement of interest, with whom, and shall indicate the form in which such applications should be made. A copy of all such notices shall be posted on the city bulletin board and in one or more public places within the city.

SECTION 12. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 9-6, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 9-6. - Disqualification from office.

Any person who has been finally convicted of a state or federal felony shall not be eligible to petition for or serve in any elective or appointive office or position under the city.

SECTION 13. Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 9-7, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 9-7. - Charter review.

In every year ending in zero the city council shall establish a charter review committee consisting of members of the city council, the school committee and residents of the city to examine and review the charter and report to the city council findings, conclusions and recommendations.

SECTION 14. Section 10-6 of said charter, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subsections (g), (h) and (i).

Approved August 1, 2002.