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. Chapter 439 of the acts of 1980 is hereby amended by striking out section 1 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 1. There shall be in Berkshire county, referred to in this act as the county, a public body politic and corporate to be known as the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, referred to in this act as the authority. The authority shall be managed, controlled and governed by a board of 9 members of which a simple majority shall constitute a quorum. Two members shall be appointed by the Berkshire regional planning commissioner, referred to in this act as the commission, with 1 of those members appointed for an initial term of 1 year and 1 of those members appointed for an initial term of 3 years. Three members shall be appointed by the mayor of the city of Pittsfield, with 1 member appointed for an initial term of 1 year, 1 member appointed for an initial term of 2 years and 1 member appointed for an initial term of 3 years. Two members shall be appointed by the mayor of the city of North Adams, 1 with an initial term of 1 year and 1 with an initial term of 2 years. Two members shall be appointed by the director of the department of housing and community development, 1 for an initial term of 2 years, and 1 with an initial term of 3 years. Successors shall be appointed in the same manner and by the same appointing entity for terms of 3 years from the expiration of the terms of the original appointees. The mayor of cities or the board of selectmen of towns in the county may nominate candidates for the authority and make recommendations to the appointing entities. A vacant seat on the authority shall not remain vacant if there is a qualified person nominated for the seat. The authority's membership shall be diverse and represent towns and cities of the county. No more than 2 members of the authority may reside in the same city or town unless no other qualified persons have been nominated. Approval of an authority member shall not be withheld unreasonably.
Membership in the authority shall be restricted to residents of the county who shall serve until the qualification of their respective successors unless sooner removed. Members may be removed or suspended by the commission in the same manner as removal by the city council or board of selectmen in accordance with section 6 of chapter 121B of the General Laws. A member of the authority who ceases to be a resident of the county shall be removed upon the date of his change of residence by operation of law.
The secretary of the commission shall, as soon as possible after the event occurs, file a certificate with the department and a duplicate certificate with the state secretary, of any appointment, resignation, or removal of a member of the authority. If the state secretary shall find that the authority has been organized and the members thereof appointed according to law, he shall issue to it a certificate of organization, and the certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the lawful organization of the authority and of appointment of the members thereof.
SECTION 2. The third paragraph of section 2 of said chapter 439 is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 2 and 3, the words, "county commissioners, to the department of community affairs" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Berkshire regional planning commission, to the department of housing and community development.
SECTION 3. The commission may appoint members of the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, hereinafter referred to as the authority, as authorized in said chapter 439. The commission shall be held harmless from any liability arising out of the operations or programs of the authority and shall have no power over the operations or policies of the authority.