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Session Law

2004

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Chapter 73 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A CHARTER FOR THE TOWN OF DUDLEY.

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 following shall be the charter of the town of Dudley:-

PART I. Incorporation and Authority

Section 1-1 Incorporation Continued

The inhabitants of the Town of Dudley, Massachusetts, within the 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 Dudley.

Section 1-2 Short Title

This charter may be cited and shall be known as the Dudley Special Act Charter.

Section 1-3 Division of Powers

All legislative powers of the town shall be exercised by a town meeting open to all voters. The administration of all town fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs shall be vested in the executive branch headed by the Board of Selectmen.

Section 1-4 Powers of the Town

The intent and purpose of this charter is to secure for the citizens of the Town of Dudley, through the adoption of this charter, all the powers possible to secure for their government under Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth and laws of the commonwealth, as fully and as though each such power were specifically and individually enumerated herein.

Section 1-5 Interpretation of Powers

The powers of the town under the charter shall be construed and interpreted liberally in favor of the town and the specific mention of any particular power is not intended to limit in any way the general powers of the town as stated in section 1-4.

Section 1-6 Intergovernmental Relations

The town may enter into agreements with any other unit of government to perform jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, any of its powers or functions.

PART II. Legislative Branch

Section 2-1 Open Town Meeting

The legislative powers of the town shall be vested in a town meeting open to all voters.

Section 2-2 Presiding Officer

All sessions of the town meeting shall be presided over by a Town Moderator, elected as provided in Part III. The Town Moderator shall regulate the proceedings, decide questions of order and make public declarations of all voters. The Town Moderator shall appoint such vote counters as deemed necessary to assist with the counting of votes. The Town Moderator shall have all of the powers and duties given to moderators by the constitution, the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

Section 2-3 Annual Town Meeting

The town meeting shall meet at least twice each calendar year. The first such meeting shall be held the third Monday in May and shall be deemed to be the Annual Town Meeting of the town and is expected to be primarily concerned with the determination of matters involving the expenditure and commitment of town funds, including but not limited to, the adoption of an annual operating budget for all town functions. The second such meeting, the powers of which shall be deemed to be those of the Annual Town Meeting, except that it shall not be construed to include the time for the election of town officers and other matters be determined by ballots, shall be held in September, October, or November or on a date fixed by by-law.

Section 2-4 Special Town Meetings

Special town meetings shall be held at the call of the Board of Selectmen at such times as it may deem appropriate and whenever a special meeting is requested by the voters in accordance with procedures made available by section 10 of chapter 39 of the General Laws.

Section 2-5 Clerk of the Meeting

The Town Clerk shall serve as the clerk to the town meeting. In the event of unavoidable absence, the Town Moderator shall appoint a clerk pro tempore. The Town Clerk shall give notice of all meetings to the public, keep a journal of its proceedings and perform such other functions as may be provided by the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

Section 2-6 Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee

(a) Composition, Mode of Selection

There shall be a Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee (FAA) composed of fifteen members appointed for terms of three years each. The FAA shall be appointed by the Town Moderator. No member of the FAA may be a town employee or hold an elective town office; but may be appointed to serve on a committee or board of the Town of Dudley as a representative of the FAA.

(b) Powers and Duties

The committee shall have such powers, duties and responsibilities as provided by the laws of the commonwealth, by by-law, by charter or otherwise.

PART III. Elected Town Officers

Section 3-1 Elected Town Officers, In General

(a) The election of Town Officers shall be held the first Monday of March.

(b) Elective Offices

The offices to be filled by the voters shall be a Board of Selectmen, a Town Moderator, a Town Clerk, the Dudley Housing Authority, and the Library Board of Trustees. As provided by law or agreement, voters shall also elect representative members of the Dudley-Charlton Regional School Committee and representative members of the Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational Technical High School (Baypath)

(c) Eligibility

Any registered voter from the Town of Dudley with the exception of town employees shall be eligible to hold any elective town office; no person shall simultaneously hold more than 1 elective town office.

Section 3-2 Board of Selectmen

(a) Composition, Term of Office

There shall be a Board of Selectmen composed of 5 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. Employees of the Town of Dudley shall not be eligible to serve as a selectperson.

(b) Powers and Duties

The executive powers of the town shall be vested in the Board of Selectmen who shall serve as the chief policy-making board of the town. The Board of Selectmen shall carry out its duties by the issuance of policy guidelines and directives. It is the intention of this provision that the Board of Selectmen shall act only through the adoption of policy directives and guidelines, which are to be implemented by the Town Manager. The Board of Selectmen shall continue to have and to exercise all the powers and duties vested in Boards of Selectmen by the laws of the commonwealth, and such additional powers and duties authorized by charter, by by-law, by town meeting vote, or otherwise.

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 all its official acts to be kept. The Board of Selectmen shall prepare reports of town business and distribute such reports to the voters, the town meeting, or to other town agencies as deemed appropriate. To administer its policies and aid the board in its official duties, the Board of Selectmen shall hire a Town Manager as provided in Part V of this charter. The Town Manager shall be the primary officer responsible for the implementation of policy directives and guidelines adopted by the Board of Selectmen. The daily administration of the affairs of the town shall be the exclusive responsibility of the Town Manager.

(c) Appointment Powers

The Board of Selectmen shall appoint volunteer committees as provided in section 4-1 of this charter.

(d) Investigative Powers

The Board of Selectmen may investigate or may authorize the Town Manager to investigate the affairs of the town and the conduct of any town department or function.

(e) Coordination and Cooperation Responsibility

The Board of Selectmen shall be responsible for the coordination of town business affairs and policy considerations among town departments and with other municipal, regional, state, and federal governmental units.

The intention of this provision is to insure that town business affairs and policy considerations are coordinated and conducted in an effective manner and that the Board of Selectmen shall have the responsibility to foster such coordination and cooperation.

(f) Licensing Power

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

The Board of Selectmen may delegate to the Town Manager or 1 or more town officials or departments, the powers vested in the Board of Selectmen by the laws of the commonwealth to grant and issue licenses and permits, and may regulate the granting and issuing of licenses and permits by any such town agency and may at its discretion, rescind any such delegation without prejudice to any prior action which has been taken.

Section 3-3 Town Moderator

(a) Term of Office

A Town Moderator shall be nominated and elected by the voters for a term of 3 years.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Town Moderator shall annually appoint a deputy moderator who, in the event of absence of the Town Moderator, shall assume the powers and duties of the Town Moderator. The Town Moderator shall have the powers and duties provided to that office by the constitution and the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

(c) Appointment Powers

The Moderator shall appoint a Deputy Moderator, the Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee, the Fire and Police Evaluation Committee, the Zoning Board of Appeals, 1 member of the personnel Advisory Committee and other appointed Advisory Committee's (AAC) as deemed necessary by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

Section 3-4 Town Clerk

(a) Term of Office

There shall be a Town Clerk elected for a term of 3 years.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Town Clerk shall be the keeper of vital statistics for the town, the custodian of the town seal and all records of the town. The Town Clerk shall administer the oath of office to town officers, elected or appointed, supervise and manage the conduct of elections and matters relating thereto. Be clerk to the town meeting and keep its record. In the absence of the Town Clerk, the Town Moderator will issue the oath of office. The Town Clerk shall have all the powers and duties given to Town Clerks by the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

(c) Appointment Powers

The Town Clerk shall appoint an Assistant Town Clerk by working in conjunction with the Personnel Advisory Committee. The Town Clerk shall also appoint election workers.

Section 3-5 Library Board of Trustees

(a) Composition, Term of Office

There shall be a Library Board of Trustees composed of 3 members elected for terms of 3 years each so arranged that the term of 1 member expires each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Library Board of Trustees shall have control over the selection of library materials, and have custody and management of such. The Library Board of Trustees shall manage the town library in accordance with chapter 78 of the General Laws. All money and property that the town may receive for library purposes by gift or bequest shall be administered by the Library Board of Trustees in accordance with the provisions of the gift or bequest. The Library Board of Trustees shall continue to exercise all the powers and duties vested in the Library Board of Trustees by the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

(c) Appointment Powers

The Library Board of Trustees shall hire a Library Director by working in conjunction with the Personnel Advisory Committee. The Library Director will in turn hire library staff by working in conjunction with the Personnel Advisory Committee.

Section 3-6 Dudley Housing Authority

(a) Composition, Elected

There shall be a Housing Authority composed of 5 members serving terms of 5 years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number as is possible shall expire each year. Four members shall be elected and the fifth member shall be appointed as provided by state law.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Housing Authority shall have the powers and duties given to housing authorities under the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

Section 3-7 Recall of Elected Officials

(a) Application

Any holder of an elected office in the town, with more than 6 months remaining in the term of office for which the official was elected, may be recalled by the voters of the town in the manner provided in this section. No recall petition shall be filed against an official within 6 months after taking office.

(b) Recall Petition

A recall petition may be initiated by the filing of an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall, provided that, the affidavit is signed by at least 5 per cent of the total number of registered voters of the Town of Dudley at the last town election.

The Town Clerk shall deliver to the voters submitting the original affidavit, copies of petition blanks demanding such recall; the Town Clerk shall keep available copies of the petition blanks. The petition blanks shall be issued by the Town Clerk with signature and official seal attached. They shall be dated, addressed to the Board of Selectmen, and shall contain the names of all the persons to whom they are issued, the number of blanks so issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the office from which removal is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and shall demand the election of a successor in the said office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the Town Clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with the Town Clerk within 30 days after the filing of the affidavit, and shall have been signed by at least 25 per cent of the registered voters of the town as of the date of the most recent town election.

The Town Clerk shall within twenty-four hours of receipt, submit the petition to the Registrars of Voters, and the registrars shall within 5 working days, certify that the number of signatures are names of registered voters of the town.

(c) Recall Election

If the petition shall be certified by the Town Clerk to be sufficient, the Town Clerk shall submit the same with such certificate to the Board of Selectmen within 5 working days, and the Selectmen shall give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within 5 days, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than 60 and not more than 90 days after the date of the Town Clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within 100 days after the date of the certificate, the Board of Selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after recall election has been ordered, the election shall proceed as provided in this section.

(d) Nomination of Candidates

The nomination of candidates for election, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this section.

(e) Office Holder

The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If said incumbent is not recalled, the incumbent shall continue in office for the remainder of the un-expired term subject to recall as before. If recalled, the officer shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of the successor, who shall hold office during the un-expired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 days after receiving notification of election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.

(f) Ballot Proposition

Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following proposition: `tuc Are you for the recall of (name of officer)?
Yes ___ No ___

Under the proposition shall appear the word "Candidates", the directions to the voters required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, and beneath this the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

(g) Repeat of Recall

In the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, no recall petition shall be filed against such officer until at least 6 months after the election at which the officer's recall was submitted to the voters of the town.

(h) Office Holder Recalled

No person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against such person, shall be appointed or elected to any town office within 1 year after such recall or such resignation.

Part IV. Appointed Town Officers

Section 4-1 Appointed Town Officers, In General

(a) Eligibility

Registered voters of Dudley shall be eligible to hold any appointive position.

(b) Appointment by the Board of Selectmen

Letters of interest are to be directed to the Town Manager who will screen, qualify and forward recommendations to the Board of Selectmen for appointment. The officers and multiple-member bodies to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen shall be:

Board of Selectmen
Board of Registrars Constables

Council on Aging

Cultural Council
Historical Commission Veteran's Agent Youth Commission Cable Access Coordinator

Board of Registrars

Cable Access Coordinator

Constables

Council on Aging

Cultural Council

Historial Advisory Committee

Veteran's Agent

Youth Commission

The Board of Selectmen shall appoint other such officials, committees and boards as may be needed.

(c) Appointment by the Town Manager

Letters of interest are to be directed to the Town Manager who will screen, qualify and appoint. The officers and multiple-member bodies to be appointed by the Town Manager shall be:

Town Manager
Assessor Advisory
Committee
Board of
Health
Cable Advisory
Committee
Capital Improvement
Committee
Cemetery Advisory Committee
Central Planning
Committee
Civil Defense
Coordinator
Conservation
Advisory
Committee
Disability Advisory
Committee
Fence Viewer
Hazardous
Waste Coordinator
Insurance Advisory
Committee
Parks and Rec.
Advisory
Committee
Personnel
Advisory Committee
Planning
Board
Water Advisory
Committee
Sewer Committee



Board of Assessors

Board of Health*

Cable Advisory Committee

Capital Improvement Committee

Cemetery Advisory Committee (Cemetery Commission)*

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission

Civil Defense Coordinator

Conservation Commission

Disability Advisory Committee (Disability Commission)

Fence Viewer

Hazardous Waste Coordinator

Insurance Advisory Committee

Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (Parks and Recreation)

Personnel Advisory Committee (2 of the 5 members)

Planning Board*

Sewer Advisory Committee (Sewer Commission)*

Water Advisory Committee (Water Commission)*

*Represents a change from elected to appointed

The Town Manager shall appoint other such officials, committees and boards as may be needed.

Town Manager appointments are subject to 4/5th veto by the Board of Selectmen.

(d) Appointment by the Town Moderator

Letters of interest are to be directed to the Town Moderator for consideration and appointment. The officers and multiple-member bodies to be appointed by the Town Moderator shall be:

Moderator
Deputy Moderator
Zoning Board of Appeals
Fire and Police
Evaluation Committee
Finance Advisory and
Appropriations Committee
Personnel Advisory Committee
(One Member)

Deputy Town Moderator

Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee

Personnel Advisory Committee (One of Five Members)

Fire and Police Evaluation Committee

Zoning Board of Appeals

(e) The officers and multiple-member bodies to be appointed by the Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee shall be:

Personnel Advisory Committee (Two of Five Members)

Section 4-2 Water Advisory Committee

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be a Water Advisory Committee composed of 3 members appointed for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of 1 member expires each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Water Advisory Committee shall advise the Town Manager and the Director of the DPW on matters pertaining to the water systems of the town.

Section 4-3 Sewer Advisory Committee

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be a Sewer Advisory Committee composed of 3 members appointed for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of 1 member expires each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Sewer Advisory Committee shall advise the Town Manager and the Director of the DPW on matters pertaining to the sewer systems of the town.

Section 4-4 Planning Board

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be a Planning Board composed of 5 members appointed for terms of 3 years each so arranged that the term of as nearly an equal number as is possible shall expire each year.

(b) Power and Duties

The Planning Board shall make careful studies of the resources, possibilities and needs of the town and shall make plans for the development of the town. The Planning Board shall follow and implement the Town Master Plan, setting forth policies to govern the future growth and development of the entire town. The board shall regulate the subdivision of land within the town by adoption of rules and regulations. The Planning Board shall make recommendations to the town meeting on all matters affecting land use and development, including the zoning by-laws of the town.

The Planning Board's annual report, shall give information regarding the condition of the town and any plans or proposals for its development and estimates of their impact. The Planning Board shall have all of the other powers and duties planning boards are given by the laws of the commonwealth, by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise.

Section 4-5 Board of Assessors

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be an Assessor Advisory Committee composed of 3 members appointed for terms of 3 years each so arranged that the term of 1 member shall expire each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Assessor Advisory Committee shall advise the Town Manager on all matters pertaining to property assessment.

Section 4-6 Cemetery Advisory Committee

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be a Cemetery Advisory Committee composed of 3 members appointed for terms of 3 years each so arranged that the term of 1 member shall expire each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Cemetery Advisory Committee shall advise the Town Manager and the Director of the DPW on all matters pertaining to the town cemeteries.

Section 4-7 Board of Health

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be a Board of Health composed of 3 members appointed for terms of 3 years each so arranged that the term of 1 member shall expire each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Board of Health shall have such powers, duties and responsibilities as provided by the laws of the commonwealth.

Section 4-8 Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee

(a) Composition, Appointed by the Town Manager

There shall be a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee composed of 5 members serving terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of as nearly an equal number as is possible shall expire each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee shall be responsible for and shall plan, conduct and promote programs of recreation, play, sport and physical education for all age groups in the Town of Dudley.

Section 4-9 Constables

(a) Term of Office, Appointed by the Board of Selectmen

There shall be 5 Constables appointed for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number as is possible shall expire each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The Constables may serve such civil writs and processes as are authorized by law. The Constables shall serve warrants and other legal processes.

Section 4-10 Fire and Police Evaluation Committee

(a) Term of Office, Appointed by the Town Moderator

There shall be a Fire and Police Evaluation Committee composed of 5 members serving terms of 5 years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number as is possible shall expire each year.

(b) Powers and Duties

The role of the Police Evaluation Committee will be expanded to include the Fire Department. The Fire and Police Evaluation Committee shall be governed by the Fire and Police Rules and Regulations.

Part V. Town Manager

Section 5-1 Appointment, Qualifications

The Board of Selectmen shall hire, by a four-fifths vote, a Town Manager from a list of qualified candidates prepared by the Personnel Advisory Committee. The Board of Selectmen shall hire the Town Manager to serve at the pleasure of the board and who shall be the chief executive officer of the town. The Town Manager shall be selected on the basis of demonstrated executive and administrative ability. The Town Manager shall be a person deemed to be qualified by education, training and previous experience to perform the duties of the office.

The Town Manager is responsible to the residents of Dudley and is charged with providing for the efficient, effective and economical operation of all governmental agencies and personnel under the control and supervision of the Town Manager.

The Town Manager shall attend and shall be a non-voting active participant in meetings of the Board of Selectmen.

The Town Manager need not be a resident of the town or of the commonwealth. The Town Manager shall not have served as a member of the Dudley Board of Selectmen for at least 12 months prior to appointment. The town may establish by by-law, charter revision, or vote at town meeting such additional qualifications as seem necessary and proper.

The Town Manager shall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or appointive, nor be actively engaged in any other business or occupation during such service, unless such action is approved in advance and in writing by the Board of Selectmen.

The Board of Selectmen shall provide for an annual review of the job performance, unless otherwise specified by the employment contract, of the Town Manager which shall, at least in summary form, be a public record.

Section 5-2 Powers and Duties

The powers and duties of the Town Manager shall include, but are not to be limited to, the following:

(a) To supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all functions and activities for which the office of town manager is given authority, responsibility or control by this charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, by vote of the Board of Selectmen, or otherwise. In furtherance of these duties, the Town Manager may inquire, at any time, into the conduct or performance of duties of any officer or employee, board, or town department.

(b) To appoint, hire, or remove, subject to applicable statutory provisions or collective bargaining agreements, all department heads, officers, members of boards and committees and employees for whom no other method of selection or removal is provided by this charter or by by-law. Copies of the notices of all such appointments shall be posted on the town bulletin board.

(c) Serve as Personnel Administrator, be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the personnel system, and administer and enforce collective bargaining contracts, the personnel by-law, and rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Selectmen.

(d) Work with the Personnel Advisory Committee to fix, subject to appropriations, the compensation of all officers and employees appointed by the Town Manager unless such compensation is otherwise fixed.

(e) To have full jurisdiction over the rental and use of all town facilities and property except property under the control of the Dudley-Charlton Regional School Committee, the Board of Library Trustees or the Conservation Commission.

The Town Manager shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all town buildings and facilities placed under the Town Manager's control by this charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, by vote of the Board of Selectmen, or otherwise.

(f) To negotiate all contracts involving any subject within the jurisdiction of the office of town manager, including contracts with town employees, involving wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.

(g) To be responsible for purchasing all supplies, material and equipment for all departments and activities of the town, but not including supplies for the regional school district, or library books or other uniquely library related supplies, unless otherwise specifically requested by the Dudley-Charlton Regional School Committee or by the Board of Library Trustees, as appropriate.

The Town Manager shall examine, or cause to be examined, the quantity, quality and condition of all supplies, material and equipment delivered to or received by any town department, except schools and libraries.

The Town Manager shall be responsible for the disposal of all supplies, material and equipment, which have been declared surplus by any town department.

(h) To expand, reorganize, consolidate or abolish town departments, boards or committees serving under the supervision of the Town Manager, in whole or in part. Make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen for new town departments, boards, and committees, which may include reassignments of powers, duties, and responsibilities. The Board of Selectmen may recommend the changes to town meeting for implementation by adoption or revision of the town's bylaws or of this charter, as may be applicable.

(i) To coordinate the activities of all town agencies serving under the office of town manager and the office of board of selectmen with those under the control of other officers and multiple member bodies elected directly by the voters.

(j) To inquire, at any time, into the conduct or performance of duties of any officer or employee, department, board or committee.

(k) To coordinate the efforts of, or provide direction to elected boards and officials to ensure cohesion within town functions as it relates to the Master Plan, the town operating budget, capital improvements, and long or short term goals and objectives for the town.

(l) To perform any other duties as required to be performed by the Town Manager by charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, by vote of the Board of Selectmen, or otherwise.

In addition, the Town Manager shall appoint or hire, based upon merit and qualifications alone, all officers, subordinates, employees, professional services and all appointed multiple member bodies for whom no other method of selection is provided in this charter.

Section 5-3 Appointment Powers

The Town Manager shall hire all town employees, professional services or officials, other than those elected, receiving compensation for time or services by the Town of Dudley.

Section 5-4 Delegation of Authority

The Town Manager may authorize any subordinate officer or employee to exercise any power or perform any function or duty which is assigned to the office of town manager, provided, however, that all acts performed under any such delegation shall at all times be deemed to be the acts of the Town Manager.

Section 5-5 Acting Town Manager

(a) Temporary Absence - By letter filed with the Town Clerk, the Town Manager with the approval of the Board of Selectmen shall designate a qualified municipal manager during a temporary absence.

(b) Vacancy - Any vacancy in the office of town manager shall be filled as soon as possible by the Board of Selectmen in the manner provided in Part V, Section 5-1, but, pending such regular appointment the Board of Selectmen shall appoint a qualified municipal administrative officer or employee to perform the duties of the office on an acting basis until a qualified town manager is hired. Such temporary appointment may not exceed 3 months but one renewal may be voted by the Board of Selectmen not to exceed a second 3 months. Compensation for such person shall be set by the Board of Selectmen following recommendations by the Personnel Advisory Committee.

Section 5-6 Removal and Suspension

The Board of Selectmen, by the affirmative votes of 4 or more members, may terminate and remove, or suspend, the Town Manager from office in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) The Board of Selectmen shall adopt a preliminary resolution of removal by the affirmative vote of at least 4 of its members, which must state the reason or reasons for removal. This preliminary resolution may suspend the Town Manager for a period not to exceed 45 days. The Board of Selectmen may, at its option, suspend the Town Manager with or without full pay and benefits as part of the preliminary resolution. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered to the Town Manager immediately.

(b) Within 5 days after receipt of the preliminary resolution the Town Manager may request a hearing by filing a written request for such hearing with the Board of Selectmen. This hearing shall be held at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen not later than 30 days after the request is filed nor earlier than 20 days. The Town Manager may file a written statement responding to the reasons stated in the resolution of removal with the Board of Selectmen provided the same is received at its office more than 48 hours in advance of the hearing.

(c) The Board of Selectmen may adopt a final resolution of removal, which may be made effective immediately, by the affirmative votes of 4 of its members not less than 10 nor more than 21 days following the date of delivery of a copy of the preliminary resolution to the Town Manager, if the Town Manager has not requested a hearing; or, within 10 days following the close of the hearing if the Town Manager has requested one. Failure to adopt a final resolution of removal within the time periods as provided in this section shall nullify the preliminary resolution of removal and the Town Manager shall, at the expiration of said time, resume the duties of the office.

(d) The action of the Board of Selectmen in suspending or removing the Town Manager shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal solely in the Board of Selectmen.

Part VI. Administrative Organization

Section 6-1 Employees, Professional Services, In General

(a) Eligibility

Employees and those providing Professional Services to the town need not be residents of the town or commonwealth.

(b) Process

The employees and officials listed in this section will be hired by the Town Manager subject to 4/5th veto by the Board of Selectmen. The Town Manager will work in conjunction with the Personnel Advisory Committee to fill town employee positions.

(c) The following officials/professional services presently appointed by the Board of Selectmen will be hired by the Town Manager:

Town Manager
Auditor
Building Inspector
Assistant
Electrical Inspector
Electrical
Inspector Assistant
Fuel/Oil
Inspector
Gas
Inspector
Plumbing
Inspector
Assistant
Gas
Inspector Assistant
Scale of
Weights and Measures

Auditor

Building Inspector Assistant

Electrical Inspector

Electrical Inspector Assistant

Fuel/Oil Inspector

Gas Inspector

Gas Inspector Assistant

Plumbing Inspector

Plumbing Inspector Assistant

Sealer of Weights and Measures

Town Counsel

(d) The following officials and town employees shall be appointed by the Town Manager:

Town Manager
Accountant
Board of Health Agent
Building Clerk
Building Inspect
Clerk to the
Board of Selectmen
Fire Chef
MIS Coordinator
Police Chef

Accountant

Board of Health Agent

Building Clerk

Building Inspector

Clerk to the Board of Selectmen

Fire Chief

MIS Coordinator

Police Chief

(e) The following officials and town employees shall be appointed by the Town Manager:

Town Manager
Assessor
Cemetery Clerk
Conservation Clerk
FAA Clerk
Personnel Clerk
Town Planner

Assessor

Cemetery Clerk

Conservation Clerk

FAA Clerk

Personnel Clerk

Town Planner

(f) The Town Manager shall appoint the Collector and Treasurer.

Collector

Treasurer

Section 6-2 Department of Public Works

There shall be established a Department of Public Works (DPW) under the direction of the Town Manager. The principal objectives of creating a Department of Public Works (DPW) are to (a) improve the quality of the services the Town provides to its citizens; (b) to eliminate the conflicts between departments and ensure coordination for efficiency; and (c) to reduce the operating costs of town government.

The Town Manager shall hire a Director of Public Works who shall be a person especially suited by education, training and previous experience to perform the duties of the office. The director shall be responsible for the supervision and coordination of all public works operations of the town that are placed under control of the director by this charter, by by-law, by vote at town meeting, or otherwise. The department shall assume all of the powers and duties now vested in or exercised by the Cemetery Commission by the Board of Selectmen acting as the Highway Commission, Highway Department, the Sewer Commission, the Water Commission, the Recycle Center, the Animal Control facility, the Tree Warden, the facility maintenance function of the Parks and Recreation committee and all other related functions. In addition, the DPW shall be responsible for engineering services and such other functions assigned by the Town Manager to the department.

The director shall coordinate activities with the Water, Sewer and Cemetery Advisory Committees to insure effective utilization of town resources. Those reporting to the director are: `ts

Director of Department of Public Works
Dog Officer
Cemetery Clerk
Parks & Recreation Occasional Employees
Recycling Agent
Tree Warden
Highway Superintendent
Sewer Superintendent
Water Superintendent
Highway
Department
Clerk
Highway
Foreman
Sewer
Department
Clerk
Assistant
Plant
Operator
Water
Plant
Operator

Assistant
Plan
Operator


Dog Officer

Cemetery Clerk

Highway Superintendent

Parts and Recreation Occasional Employees

Recycling Agent

Sewer Superintendent

Tree Warden

Water Superintendent

The day-to-day management and control over all personnel and assets of the Cemeteries, Parks, Water Department, Sewer Department, Recycle Center, Highway Department, and the Animal Control Facility shall be transferred to DPW as soon as the DPW is established pursuant to section 9-5 (d). These assets include, but are not limited to, the following:

-Physical plant and equipment

-Tools and spare parts

-Mechanical equipment (including pumps, compressors, etc.)

-Transportation vehicles

-Grounds keeping equipment

-Office equipment and supplies; office furniture

-Balances of appropriations and projection of income and expenses

-Contracts in force

The day-to-day management and control over all personnel and assets of the departments outlined above shall be transferred to the Department of Public Works within the first year after charter adoption. The Water, Sewer and Cemetery Commissions shall become appointed advisory bodies and the management of all elements of the sewer, water and cemetery systems shall be transferred to the department of public works within 1 year after the charter adoption.

The day-to-day management and control over all personnel and assets as outlined above of the Solid Waste Transfer Station; and supervision of contracts for municipal refuse disposal, and recycling shall be transferred to the Department of Public Works within 1 year after the charter adoption.

The Director of the DPW shall direct said transfer of personnel and assets and shall establish a schedule for this transition. The Town Manager will meet with the Director of DPW to review all descriptions/statements of responsibility to draft amendments as appropriate for review and approval by the Board of Selectmen. Insofar as any changes in job description or requirements may affect bargaining unit personnel, the Personnel Advisory Committee shall bargain with the appropriate union representatives(s) relative to impact, if any, on work conditions.

No person in the full time service or employment of the town shall forfeit pay grade or time in service. Each such person shall be retained in a capacity as similar to the person's former capacity as is practical. The incumbents in the office of the Sewer, Water and Cemetery Commission shall continue to serve until such time as these departments are transferred into the DPW at which time the Commissioners shall become Appointed Advisory Committee members. They shall have the power to provide advice to the Town Manager and Director of DPW. No contracts or liabilities in force on the date when the DPW becomes fully effective shall be affected.

Section 6-3 Director of Public Works Powers and Duties

(a) Definition

Administrative and supervisory work in the planning, directing and managing the operations of a consolidated Department of Public Works; all other related work as required.

(b) Distinguishing Characteristics

Works under the administrative direction of the Town Manager.

Performs highly responsible duties requiring the exercise of considerable independent judgment in the planning, direction, and control of the operation and maintenance of public works, infrastructure, and the development of capital projects for the improvement of infrastructure.

Makes frequent contacts requiring perceptiveness and discretion with other town officials, town boards, state and federal agencies, contractors, engineers, and with the general public to avoid errors in administrative decisions.

Has access to extensive department-related confidential information such as personnel records and bid proposals.

Some physical effort is required to perform supervisory duties with exposure to hazards associated with construction sites and bad weather.

(c) Examples of Work

Working through subordinates, the Director of the DPW supervises, plans, directs, prepares budgets, and manages the activities of the Sewer, Water, Highway, Cemetery, Parks and Recreation, Recycling, Animal Control departments, and public buildings and grounds. Confers with department heads concerning ongoing and future projects; manages department personnel, labor relations, training, staffing, and evaluation of employees. Manages departmental finances and budgets; maintains department records and correspondence.

Administers all engineering, design and construction projects for the DPW; provides engineering services and other technical assistance to all other town departments engaged in the capital projects as required; works closely with the Planning Board, Board of Health, and the Conservation Advisory Committee concerning development matters, subdivisions, and review of plans submitted.

Section 6-4 Fire Department

The Town Manager shall hire the Fire Chief who shall act under authority of sections 42 and 44 of chapter 48 of the General Laws, relating to the operation of a Fire Department.

Section 6-5 Police Department

The Town Manager shall hire the Police Chief who shall act under authority of section 97A of chapter 41 of the General Laws relating to the operation of a Police Department.

Section 6-6 Personnel Advisory Committee

(a) Composition, Term of Office

There shall be a Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC) composed of 5 members appointed as follows: One member by the Town Moderator, 2 members by the Town Manager, and 2 members by the FAA. The 5 members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years each so arranged that the term of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. No person shall serve on the Personnel Advisory Committee who is at the same time, an employee or an elected or appointed official of the town. One member of the FAA may be appointed to serve on the PAC.

(b) Purpose

The Personnel Advisory Committee's mission is to establish equitable personnel and employee relation practices for the people who work for the Town of Dudley.

(c) Scope

The provisions of this charter section shall apply to all employees, committees and departments of the Town, including employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.

(d) Powers and Duties

. The PAC shall be responsible for the establishment of personnel policies and procedures, including, but not limited to: employment, job classification, hours of work and overtime, benefits, leaves, promotions, reductions in force, performance evaluation, transfers, corrective action and or employment related practices and policies.

. The PAC shall be responsible for the development of new budgeted positions to be presented for approval at town meeting prior to implementation.

. The PAC shall classify all jobs and positions, and execute a wage and salary administration system.

. The PAC shall propose wage and salary rates each year.

. The PAC shall administer a final, binding problem-solving system, by which the Town employees may present and resolve grievances.

. The PAC shall participate in the negotiation of labor agreements between the Town and recognized unions.

. The PAC shall research and propose a method to evaluate the performance of town employees and appointed officials.

. The PAC shall recommend compensation for all presently compensated town positions, elected and appointed, not otherwise covered by the Town's wage and salary system.

The PAC shall research and prepare proposed rules and regulations, or amendments on their own initiative, or as requested by town departments, the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, or employees. The PAC shall then notify any affected official or employee in writing, post notices in prominent locations and schedule a public meeting with at least 10 days notice. The PAC will consider all relevant information for the meeting, then vote on the proposals. A majority vote (when a quorum of the PAC is present) shall be considered sufficient for adoption.

No rule or regulation promulgated by the PAC shall be adopted until prior notification is made to all affected officials or employees.

Any provision of the PAC under section 6-6 may be rescinded by a majority vote of town meeting.

(e) Severability

The provisions of the charter and any rules and regulations adopted under its authority are severable. If any section of the charter provision or regulation is declared invalid, the remaining provisions and regulations shall be unaffected.

(f) PAC Regulations

On the third and every subsequent third year following charter adoption, a committee of 3 qualified town residents appointed by the Town Manager, shall be formed to review the provisions outlined in section 6-6 to determine if they continue to meet the needs of the Town of Dudley.

Part VII. Financial Provisions

Section 7-1 Budget Process

Within a time fixed by the Board of Selectmen prior to the Annual Town Meeting, the Town Manager under the policy direction of the Board of Selectmen shall prepare and submit a proposed budget and capital improvement program for the ensuing fiscal year with an accompanying budget message and supporting documents to the Board of Selectmen. It shall outline the proposed fiscal policies of the town for the ensuing fiscal year; describe important features of the proposed budget and indicate any major variations from the current budget, fiscal policies, expenditures and revenues together with reasons for such change.

The Board of Selectmen shall review the proposed town budget and budget message and consider alterations as deemed necessary or appropriate. The Town Manager shall submit the proposed town budget to the Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee (FAA). The Town budget submitted to the FAA shall reflect the policies of the Board of Selectmen and shall be the proposed operational budget for the Town of Dudley to be presented for adoption at town meeting.

Section 7-2 Finance Appropriations and Advisory Committee Action

The FAA shall, upon receipt of the budget and capital improvement program, consider in public meetings the detailed expenditures for each town department proposed by the Town Manager. The FAA may confer with representatives from any town department in connection with its deliberations. The FAA may request the Town Manager or any town officer to provide additional information. The FAA shall forward to the Town Manager for publication, a report of the proposed budget and article recommendations. The budget to be acted upon by the town meetings shall be the budget proposed by the Town Manager as recommended by the FAA. The FAA shall make the initial motion in the form of their recommendation for the budget line item.

Section 7-3 Capital Improvements Program

There shall be a Capital Improvement Committee consisting of three members appointed by the Town Manager for a term of three years each so arranged that the term of one member expires each year. Working in conjunction with the Capital Improvement Committee, the Town Manager shall submit a five-year capital improvement program, updated annually, to the Board of Selectmen at the date fixed by the Board of Selectmen for the submission of the proposed operating budget.

Section 7-4 Approval of Warrants

Warrants for payments of town funds prepared by the Town Accountant shall be submitted to the Town Manager for approval. The approval of any such warrant by the Town Manager shall be sufficient authority to authorize payment by the town.

Section 7-5 Annual Audit

The Board of Selectmen shall provide for an annual audit of the books and accounts of the town to be made by a certified public accountant or firm of accountants.

Part VIII. General Provisions

Section 8-1 Charter Revision or Amendment

The charter may be replaced, revised or amended in accordance with any procedure made available by Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution and any laws of the commonwealth enacted to implement said constitutional amendment.

Section 8-2 Charter Review

At last once in every 10 years following charter adoption, the Town Moderator shall appoint a Charter Review Committee whose 5 members shall consist of 1 representative of the FAA, 1 representative of the Board of Selectmen and 3 residents at large. This committee shall be established for the purpose of reviewing this charter and to make a report, with recommendations to the town meeting concerning any proposed amendments, which said committee might determine to be necessary or desirable.

Section 8-3 Severability

The provisions of this charter are severable. If any of the provisions of this charter are held to be unconstitutional or invalid, the remaining provisions of this charter shall not be affected. If the application of this charter or any of its provisions, to any person or circumstances is held to be invalid, the application of said charter and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.

Section 8-4 Rules of Interpretation

The following rules shall apply when interpreting the charter:

(a) Specific Provisions to Prevail

To the extent that any specific provision of the charter shall conflict with any provision expressed in general terms, the specific provision shall prevail.

(b) Number and Gender

Words imparting the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things; words imparting the plural number may include the singular; words imparting the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender.

(c) References to General Laws

All references to the General Laws or the laws of the commonwealth contained in the charter refer to the general laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are intended to include any amendments or revisions to such chapters and sections or to the corresponding chapters and sections of any rearrangement of the General Laws enacted subsequent to the adoption of the charter.

(d) Computation of Time

In computing time under the charter, if 7 days or less, only business days, not including Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays, shall be counted; if more than 7 days, every day shall be counted.

Section 8-5 Definitions

Unless another meaning is clearly apparent from the manner in which the word is used, the following words as used in the charter shall have the following meanings:

(a) Charter

The word "charter" shall mean 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) Town

The word "town" shall mean the Town of Dudley.

(c) Voters

The word "voters" shall mean registered voters of the Town of Dudley.

(d) Majority Vote

The words "majority vote" shall mean a majority of those present and voting, provided a quorum, as defined by by-law, is present when a vote is taken, unless a higher number is required by law, this charter, or by its own rules.

(e) Days

The word "days" shall refer to business days, not including Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays when the time is set for less than 7 days; when the time set is 7 days or more, every day shall be counted.

(f) Appoint

The word "appoint" shall refer to the filling of volunteer committee positions for which there are no benefits or formal employment with the Town of Dudley.

(g) Hire

The word "hire" shall refer to the formal employment of a town employee.

(h) Multiple member body

The words "multiple member body" shall mean any board, or committee consisting of 2 or more persons, whether elected or appointed.

(i) Professional Service

The words "professional service" shall mean an outside agency, firm or individual hired to provide a particular service to the Town of Dudley.

(j) Employee

The word "employee" shall mean an individual hired to fill a town position that receives compensation.

Section 8-6 Multiple Member Bodies

(a) Removal

Any member of an appointed multiple member body may be removed by the appointing authority if said member fails to attend 3 regularly scheduled meetings of such multiple member body over a period of 3 consecutive months without express leave from the appointing authority.

(b) Appointments

Appointments to multiple member bodies shall only be made by appointing authorities established under Part Four or under other provisions expressly provided for by this charter.

Part IX. Transitional Provisions

Section 9-1 Continuation of Existing Laws

All by-laws, resolutions, rules, regulations, and votes of town meeting which are in force at the time this charter is adopted, that are not superceded by this charter, shall continue in full force until amended or repealed. Where provisions of this charter conflict with provisions of town by-laws, rules, regulations, orders and special acts and acceptances of General Law, the charter provisions shall govern.

Section 9-2 Existing Officials and Employees

Any person holding a town office or employment under the town shall retain such office or employment and shall continue to perform the duties of the office until provisions have been made in accordance with this charter for the performance of the said duties. No person in the permanent full-time service or employment of the town shall forfeit pay grade or time in service. Each such person shall be retained in a capacity as similar to the person's former capacity as is practical.

Section 9-3 Continuation of Government

All town officers, boards, commissions or committees shall continue to perform their duties until re-appointed, re-elected, until successors to their respective positions are fully appointed or elected or until their duties have been transferred and assumed in accordance with the provisions of this charter.

Section 9-4 Transfer of Records and Property

All records, property and equipment whatsoever of any office, board, commission, committee or part thereof, the powers and duties of which are assigned in whole or in part to another town office, board, or committee, shall be transferred to such office, board, committee or department in accordance with the provisions of this charter.

Section 9-5 Time of Taking Effect

This charter shall become fully effective upon ratification by the voters, except as otherwise provided in this section:

(a) Until such time as the Town Manager is hired, the Board of Selectmen shall exercise all the powers, duties and responsibilities necessary to insure the orderly operation of town government.

(b) Upon charter adoption by election, the Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC) shall begin screening for the position of Town Manager. The PAC shall undertake a wide search, shall review applications received and shall conduct such interviews as deemed desirable or necessary. The PAC shall submit to the Board of Selectmen, such number of candidates that the committee deems best suited to perform the duties of the Town Manager.

(c) The Town Administrator shall continue to serve until such time as a Town Manager is hired and assumes the role.

(d) Thirty-days after the appointment of a Director of the Department of Public Works by the Town Manager, the Department of Public Works (DPW) shall be established except as otherwise provided in this charter.

(e) The incumbent in the office of Tree Warden shall continue to serve for the balance of the term for which the Tree Warden was elected. Upon the expiration of the term of office of the Tree Warden, or if a vacancy shall occur, the office shall be appointed by the Director of the DPW.

(f) The Water Commission shall continue to exercise its powers and duties until the Water Department is transferred into the Department of Public Works within the first year following the adoption of this charter. At such time the responsibilities of the Water Commission shall be transferred to the department of public works and the Water Commission shall become an advisory committee to the DPW and the Town Manager.

(g) The Sewer Commission shall continue to exercise its powers and duties until the Sewer Department is transferred into the Department of Public Works within the first year following the adoption of this charter. At such time the responsibilities of the Sewer Commission shall be transferred to the department of public works and the Water Commission shall become an advisory committee to the department of public works and the Town Manager.

(h) Upon the adoption of this charter, the Board of Selectmen shall appoint a committee of 5 members 3 of which shall come from the Transition Committee to review town by-laws and report back to the town meeting with recommendations to bring by-laws in conformity with the provisions of this charter.

(i) Unless otherwise provided by this charter, the composition and term of office of any town board, committee or department shall continue as it has been until such time as a different form of organization is provided in accordance with the procedures made available in Part III and IV of this charter.

SECTION 2. This act shall be submitted for acceptance to the qualified voters of the town of Dudley at a special election to be held within 45 days after the effective date of this act in the form of the following question which shall be placed on the official ballot:

"Shall an act passed by the general court in the year 2004 entitled 'An Act providing for a charter for the town of Dudley' be accepted?"

If a majority of the votes cast in answer to this question is in the affirmative, this act shall take full effect, but not otherwise.

SECTION 3. Section 2 shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved April 21, 2004.

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