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  • Acts
  • 2005
  • Chapter 105 AN ACT PROVIDING A CHARTER FOR THE CITY OF MELROSE.

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 for the city of Melrose:

ARTICLE 1

INCORPORATION; SHORT TITLE; DEFINITIONS

SECTION 1-1: INCORPORATION

The inhabitants of the city of Melrose, within the territorial limits established by law, shall continue to be a municipal corporation, a body corporate and politic, under the name "city of Melrose".

SECTION 1-2: SHORT TITLE

This act shall be known and may be cited as the city of Melrose Charter.

SECTION 1-3: DIVISION OF POWERS

The administration of the fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of elrose, with the government thereof, shall be vested in an executive branch headed by a mayor and a legislative branch consisting of a board of aldermen. The legislative branch shall never exercise any executive power, and the executive branch shall never exercise any legislative power.

SECTION 1-4: POWERS OF THE CITY

Subject only to express limitations on the exercise of any power or function by a municipal government in the constitution or General Laws of the commonwealth, it is the intention and the purpose of the voters of Melrose through the adoption of this charter to secure for themselves and their government all of the powers it is possible to secure as fully and as completely as though each such power were specifically and individually enumerated herein.

SECTION 1-5: CONSTRUCTION

The powers of the city of Melrose under this charter are to be construed liberally in favor of the city, and the specific mention of any particular power is not intended to limit the general powers of the city as stated in section 1-4.

SECTION 1-6: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

Subject only to express limitations in the constitution or general laws of the commonwealth, Melrose may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions, and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with the commonwealth or any of its agencies or political subdivisions, or with the United States government or any of its agencies.

SECTION 1-7: DEFINITIONS

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

(1) "Charter", this charter and any adopted amendments to it.

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

(3) "Full board of aldermen", "Full multiple member body", the entire authorized complement of the board of aldermen, school committee or other multiple member body notwithstanding any vacancy which might exist.

(4) "general laws", laws enacted which apply alike to all cities and towns, to all cities, or to a class of 2 or more cities, or cities and towns of which elrose is a member.

(5) "General Laws", the General Laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, a codification and revision of statutes enacted on December 22, 1920, and including all amendments thereto subsequently adopted.

(6) "Initiative measure", a measure proposed by the voters through the initiative process provided under this charter.

(7) "Local newspaper", a newspaper of general circulation within Melrose, with either a weekly or daily circulation.

(8) "Majority vote", when used in connection with a meeting of a multiple member body shall mean a majority of those present and voting, unless another provision is made by ordinance, by law, or by its own rules.

(9) "Measure", any ordinance, order, resolution, or other vote or proceeding adopted, or which might be adopted, by the board of aldermen or the school committee.

(10) "Multiple member body", any board, commission, committee, sub-committee or other body consisting of 2 or more persons whether elected, appointed or otherwise constituted, but not including the board of aldermen or the school committee.

(11) "Organization or reorganization plan", a plan submitted by the mayor to the board of aldermen which proposes a change in the organization of the administrative structure of the city government, or a change in the way in which a municipal service, or services are delivered.

(12) "Quorum", a majority of all members of a multiple member body unless some other number is required by law or by ordinance.

(13) "Referendum measure", a measure adopted by the board of aldermen or the school committee that is protested under the referendum procedures of this charter.

(14) "City", the city of Melrose.

(15) "City agency", any multiple member body, any department, division, or office of the city of Melrose.

(16) "City bulletin boards", the bulletin board in the city hall on which the city clerk posts official notices of meetings and upon which other official city notices are posted, and the bulletin boards at any other locations as may be designated city bulletin boards by the board of aldermen.

(17) "City officer", when used without further qualification or description, shall mean a person having charge of an office or department of the city who in the exercise of the powers or duties of that position exercises some portion of the sovereign power of the city.

(18) "Voters", registered voters of the city of Melrose.

ARTICLE 2

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

SECTION 2-1: COMPOSITION, TERM OF OFFICE

(a) Composition - There shall be a board of aldermen of 11 members which shall exercise the legislative powers of the city. Four of these members, to be known as aldermen-at-large, shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters at large. Seven of these members, to be known as ward aldermen, shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters of each ward, 1 such ward alderman to be elected from each of the 7 wards into which the city is divided under section 7-5.

(b) Term of Office - The term of office for all aldermen shall be for 2 years each, beginning on the first Monday after the first Tuesday in January in the year following their election, and until their successors have been qualified.

(c) Eligibility - Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of alderman-at-large. A ward alderman shall at the time of election be a voter of the ward from which elected, but if any ward alderman shall during the first 12 months of the term of office remove to another ward in the city, the office shall be deemed vacant and the balance of the unexpired term shall be filled in the manner provided in section 2-11. If the removal occurs after the first 12 months of the term of office such ward alderman may continue to serve for the balance of the term for which elected. If an alderman-at-large or a ward alderman removes from the city during the alderman's term, the office shall immediately be deemed vacant and filled in the manner provided in section 2-11.

SECTION 2-2: PRESIDENT

(a) Election and Term - As soon as practicable after the aldermen-elect have been qualified following each biennial election, as provided in section 9-11, the members of the board of aldermen shall elect from among its members a president who shall serve for 1 year. The method of election of the president shall be prescribed within the rules of the board of aldermen.

(b) Powers and Duties - The president shall preside at all meetings of the board of aldermen, regulate its proceedings and shall decide all questions of order. The president shall appoint all members of all committees of the board of aldermen, whether special or standing. The president shall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the board of aldermen as any other member of the board of aldermen. The president shall perform any other duties consistent with the office that may be provided by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the board of aldermen.

SECTION 2-3: PROHIBITIONS

(a) Holding Other City Office or Position - No member of the board of aldermen shall hold any other city office or city employment for which a salary or other emolument is payable from the city treasury. No former member of the board of aldermen shall hold any compensated appointed city office or appointed city employment until 1 year following the date on which the former member's service on the board of aldermen has terminated. This provision shall not prevent a city officer or other city employee who has vacated a position in order to serve as a member of the board of aldermen from returning to the same office or other position of city employment held at the time the position was vacated, but no such person shall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least 1 year following the termination of service as a member of the board of aldermen.

(b) Interference with Administration - No board of aldermen nor any member of the board of aldermen shall give orders or directions to any officer or employee of the city appointed by the mayor, either publicly or privately.

SECTION 2-4: COMPENSATION

(a) Compensation - The members of the board of aldermen shall receive such salary for their services as may from time to time be set by ordinance. No ordinance increasing the salary of aldermen shall be effective unless it shall have been adopted during the first 18 months of the term for which the board of aldermen is elected and unless it provides that the salary increase is to take effect upon the organization of the city government following the next municipal election.

SECTION 2-5: GENERAL POWERS

Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, all powers of the city shall be vested in the board of aldermen which shall provide for their exercise and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed upon the city by law.

SECTION 2-6: EXERCISE OF POWERS; QUORUM; RULES

(a) Exercise of Powers - Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, the legislative powers of the board of aldermen may be exercised in a manner determined by it.

(b) Quorum - The presence of 6 members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time. Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, the affirmative vote of 8 members shall be required to adopt any ordinance or appropriation order.

(c) Rules of Procedure - The board of aldermen shall from time to time adopt rules regulating its procedures, which shall be in addition to the following:

(i) Regular meetings of the board of aldermen shall be held at a time and place fixed by ordinance.

(ii) Special meetings of the board of aldermen shall be held at the call of the president or at the call of any 4 or more members, by written notice delivered in hand or to the place of residence of each member and which contains a listing of the items to be acted upon. Except in case of an emergency, of which the president shall be judge, this notice shall be delivered at least 48 weekday hours in advance of the time set for such meeting. A copy of the notice to members shall immediately be posted upon the city bulletin boards.

(iii) All sessions of the board of aldermen and of every committee or subcommittee of the board shall at all times be open to the public unless another provision is made by law.

(iv) A full, accurate, up-to-date account of the proceedings of the board of aldermen shall be kept, which shall include a record of each vote taken, and which shall be made available with reasonable promptness following each meeting. The minutes of any executive session, shall be made available as soon as their publication would not defeat the lawful purposes of the executive session.

SECTION 2-7: ACCESS TO INFORMATION

(a) In General - The board of aldermen may make investigations into the affairs of the city and into the conduct and performance of any city agency.

(b) City Officers, Members of City Agencies, Employees - The board of aldermen may require any city officer, member of a city agency or city employee to appear before it to give any information that the board of aldermen may require in relation to the municipal services, functions, powers, or duties which are within the scope of responsibility of that person and within the jurisdiction of the board of aldermen.

(c) Mayor - The board of aldermen may require the mayor to provide specific information to it on any matter within the jurisdiction of the board of aldermen. The board of aldermen may require the mayor to appear before it, in person, to provide specific information on the conduct of any aspect of the business of the city. The mayor may bring to such meeting any assistant, department head or other city officer or employee the mayor may deem necessary to assist in responding to the questions posed by the board of aldermen.

(d) Notice - The board of aldermen shall give 48 hours notice to any person it may require to appear before it under the provisions of this section. The notice shall include specific questions on which the board of aldermen seeks information, and no person called to appear before the board of aldermen under this section shall be required to respond to any question not relevant or related to those presented in advance and in writing.

SECTION 2-8: APPOINTMENTS OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN

(a) City Clerk - The board of aldermen shall elect a city clerk to serve for a term of 3 years. The city clerk shall be the keeper of vital statistics of the city, the custodian of the city seal and of all records of the city, shall administer the oath of office to all city officers, and shall issue licenses and permits as may be provided by law. The city clerk shall have the powers and duties provided that office by the General Laws of the commonwealth, the charter, ordinances or other votes of the board of aldermen.

(b) Clerk of Committees - The board of aldermen shall elect a clerk of committees, who may, but need not be, the city clerk, to serve at the pleasure of the board of aldermen. The clerk of committees shall perform the duties as may be provided by ordinance or by other vote of the board of aldermen.

(c) Salary/Compensation - The city clerk and the clerk of committees shall receive such salary or other compensation as may from time to time be provided for these offices by ordinance.

SECTION 2-9: ORDINANCES AND OTHER MEASURES

(a) Emergency Ordinances - No ordinance shall be passed finally on the date it is introduced, except in case of emergency involving the health or safety of the people or their property. No ordinance shall be regarded as an emergency ordinance unless the emergency is defined and declared in a preamble to the ordinance, separately voted upon and receiving the affirmative vote of 8 or more members of the board of aldermen. Emergency ordinances shall stand repealed on the sixty-first day following their adoption, unless an earlier date is specified in the measure, or unless a second emergency measure adopted under this section is passed extending it, or unless a measure passed under this section has extended it.

(b) Measures, In General - The board of aldermen may pass a measure through all of its stages at any one meeting, except proposed ordinances, appropriation orders and loan authorizations, if no member of the board of aldermen shall object; but, if any single member objects, a vote on the measure shall be postponed to the next meeting of the board of aldermen. On the first occasion that the question of adopting any measure is put to the board of aldermen, except an emergency measure as defined in section 2-9(a), if a single member objects to the taking of a vote, the vote shall be postponed until the next regular or special meeting of the board of aldermen. This procedure shall not be used more than once for any measure notwithstanding any amendments made to the original measure.

(c) Posting - Every proposed ordinance, appropriation order or loan authorization, except emergency ordinances under section 2-9(a), shall be posted on the city bulletin board and made available at the office of the city clerk at least 10 days before its final passage.

SECTION 2-10: BOARD OF ALDERMEN REVIEW OF CERTAIN APPOINTMENTS

The mayor shall submit to the board of aldermen the name of each person the mayor desires to appoint to any city office as a department head or as a member of a multiple-member body, but not including any position which is subject to the civil service law. The board of aldermen shall refer each name submitted to it to a standing committee of the board which shall review each candidate for appointment and may make a report, with recommendations, to the full board of aldermen not less than 7 nor more than 45 days after the referral. The committee may require any person whose name has been referred to it to appear before the committee, or before the board of aldermen, to give any information relevant to the appointment that the committee, or the board of aldermen, may require. Appointments made by the mayor shall become effective on the forty-fifth day after the date on which notice of the proposed appointment was filed with the city clerk unless approved or rejected by the board of aldermen within the 45 days.

SECTION 2-11: FILLING OF VACANCIES

(a) Alderman-at-Large - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of alderman-at-large during the first 12 months of the term for which aldermen are elected, the vacancy shall be filled in descending order of votes received by the candidate for the office of alderman-at-large at the preceding city election who received the highest number of votes without being elected, provided such person remains eligible and willing to serve and provided such person received votes equal to at least 30 per cent of the vote total received by the person receiving the highest number of votes for the office of alderman-at-large at that election. The city clerk shall certify this candidate to the office of alderman-at-large to serve for the balance of the then unexpired term. If a vacancy shall occur in the office of alderman-at-large during the last 12 months of the term for which aldermen-at-large are elected, the vacancy shall be filled by the person at the biennial city election who receives the highest number of votes for the office of alderman-at-large and who is not then serving as a member of the board of aldermen. This person shall immediately be certified and shall serve for the remaining 2 months of the current term in addition to the term for which the person was elected.

(b) Ward Alderman - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of ward alderman, it shall be filled in the same manner as provided in section 2-11(a) for the office of alderman-at-large except that the list shall be of the candidates for the office of ward alderman in the ward in which the vacancy occurs, but if there be no candidate on such list who remains eligible and willing to serve, the next highest ranking candidate from among the candidates for election to the alderman-at-large who is a resident of the ward in which the vacancy exists shall be certified and shall serve until the next regular election provided such candidate remains a resident of the ward, is willing to serve as a ward alderman and received votes in the ward equal to at least 30 per cent of the vote total received by the person receiving the highest number of votes for the office of ward alderman at that election. The city clerk shall certify this candidate to the office of ward alderman to serve for the balance of the then unexpired term.

(c) Filling of Vacancies By Board of Aldermen - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of alderman-at-large or in that of ward alderman and there is no available candidate to fill the vacancy in the manner provided in section 2-11 (a) or (b), the vacancy shall be filled by the remaining members of the board of aldermen. Persons elected to fill a vacancy by the board of aldermen shall serve only until the next regular election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the voters and the person chosen to fill the vacancy shall immediately be sworn and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the term for which elected. Persons serving as aldermen under this section shall not be entitled to have the words "candidate for re-election" printed against their names on the election ballot.

ARTICLE 3

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

SECTION 3-1: MAYOR: QUALIFICATIONS; TERM OF OFFICE; COMPENSATION; PROHIBITIONS

(a) Mayor, Qualifications - The chief executive officer of the city shall be a mayor, elected by and from the voters of the city at large. Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of mayor. The mayor shall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other elective public office, nor shall the mayor be engaged in any other business, occupation or profession during the period of service as mayor.

(b) Term of Office - The term of office of the mayor shall be 4 years beginning on the first Monday after the first Tuesday in January following the biennial city election at which chosen and until a successor is qualified.

(c) Compensation - The board of aldermen shall, by ordinance, establish an annual salary for the mayor. No ordinance altering the salary of the mayor shall be effective unless it shall have been adopted in the first 18 months of the term for which aldermen are elected and it provides that the salary is to become effective in January of the year following the next biennial city election.

(d) Prohibitions - The mayor shall hold no other city office or city employment for which a salary or other emolument is payable from the city treasury. No former mayor shall hold any compensated appointed city office or city employment until 1 year following the date on which the former mayor's city service has terminated. This provision shall not prevent a city officer or other city employee who has vacated a position in order to serve as mayor from returning to the same office or other position of city employment held at the time the position was vacated, but no such person shall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least 1 year after the termination of service as mayor. This prohibition shall not apply to persons covered under the leave of absence provisions of section 37 of chapter 31 of the General Laws.

SECTION 3-2: EXECUTIVE POWERS; ENFORCEMENT OF ORDINANCES

The executive powers of the city shall be vested solely in the mayor and may be exercised by the mayor either personally or through the several city agencies under the general supervision and control of the office of the mayor. The mayor shall cause the charter, the laws, the ordinances and other orders for the government of the city to be enforced, and shall cause a record of all official acts of the executive branch of the city government to be kept. The mayor shall exercise general supervision and direction over all city agencies, unless otherwise provided by law or by this charter. Each city agency shall furnish to the mayor, immediately upon request, any information, materials or otherwise as the mayor may request and as the needs of the office of mayor and the interest of the city may require. The mayor shall supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all city activities and functions placed under the control of the mayor by law or by this charter. The mayor shall be responsible for the efficient and effective coordination of the activities of all agencies of the city and for this purpose shall have authority, consistent with law, to call together for consultation, conference and discussion at reasonable times all persons serving the city, whether elected directly by the voters, chosen by persons elected directly by the voters, or otherwise. The mayor shall be, by virtue of the office, a member of every appointed multiple member body of the city. The mayor shall have a right, as an ex officio member, to attend any meeting of any appointed multiple member body of the city, at any time, including executive sessions, to participate in the discussions, to make motions and to exercise every other right of a regular member of such body, but not including the right to vote.

SECTION 3-3: APPOINTMENTS BY THE MAYOR

The mayor shall appoint, subject to the review of such appointments by the board of aldermen under section 2-10, all city officers and department heads and the members of multiple-member bodies for whom no other method of appointment or selection is provided by the charter, excepting only persons serving under the school committee, and persons serving under the board of aldermen. All appointments to multiple-member bodies shall be for terms established under section 5-1. Upon the expiration of the term of any member of a multiple member body, a successor shall be appointed in like manner. The mayor shall fill any vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term of any member of a multiple member body. All persons classified as department heads shall, subject to the consent of the mayor, appoint, promote and discipline all assistants, subordinates and other employees of the agency for which that person is responsible. All appointments and promotions made by the mayor shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness demonstrated by examination, past performance or by other evidence of competence and suitability. Each person appointed to fill an office or position shall be a person especially fitted by education, training and previous work experience to perform the duties of the office or position for which chosen.

SECTION 3-4: REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN OFFICIALS

(a) City Officers and Department Heads - The mayor may, in writing, remove or suspend any city officer, or the head of any city department appointed by the mayor by filing a written statement, with the city clerk, setting forth in precise detail the specific reasons for the removal or suspension. A copy of the written statement shall be delivered in hand, or mailed by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the city officer or department head. The city officer or department head may make a written reply by filing such a reply statement, with the city clerk, within 10 days after the date the statement of the mayor has been filed; but, this reply shall have no effect upon the removal or suspension unless the mayor shall so determine. The decision of the mayor in suspending or removing a city officer or a department head shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and to fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal solely in the mayor. The removal shall take effect 30 days after the date of filing in the office of the city clerk the notice of removal by the mayor.

(b) Other City Employees - Unless some other procedure is specified in a collective bargaining agreement or by civil service law, a department head may suspend or remove any assistant, subordinate or other employee of the agency for which that person is responsible. The decision of the department head to suspend or remove any assistant, subordinate or other employee shall be subject to review by the mayor. A person for whom a department head has determined a suspension or removal is appropriate may seek review of this determination by the mayor by filing a petition for review, in the office of the mayor, in writing, within 10 days following receipt of notice of this determination. The decision of the mayor shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and to fix all responsibility for suspension or removal solely in the mayor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be a bar to any other review as may be provided by law.

SECTION 3-5: TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS TO CITY OFFICES

Whenever a vacancy, either temporary or permanent, occurs in a city office and the needs of the city require that the office be filled, the mayor may designate the head of another city agency or a city officer or city employee or some other person to perform the duties of the office on a temporary basis until the position can be filled as otherwise provided by law or by this charter. The mayor shall file a certificate in substantially the following form, with the city clerk, whenever a person is designated under this section:

I designate (name of person) to perform the duties of the office of (designate office in which vacancy exists) on a temporary basis until the office can be filled by (here set out the regular procedure for filling the vacancy, or when the regular officer shall return). I certify that said person is qualified to perform the duties which will be required and that I make this designation solely in the interests of the city of Melrose.

(signed)

Mayor

Persons serving as temporary officers under this section shall have only those powers of the office essential to the performance of the duties of the office during the period of the temporary appointment. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no temporary appointment shall be for more than 90 days, but not more than 2 30-day extensions of a temporary appointment may be made when a permanent vacancy exists in the office.

SECTION 3-6: COMMUNICATIONS; SPECIAL MEETINGS

(a) Communications to the Board of Aldermen - The mayor shall, from time to time, by written communications, recommend to the board of aldermen for its consideration such measures as, in the judgment of the mayor, the needs of the city require. The mayor shall, from time to time, by written communication, keep the board of aldermen fully informed of the financial and administrative condition of the city and shall specifically indicate in these such reports any fiscal, financial or administrative problems of the city.

(b) Special Meetings of the Board of Aldermen - The mayor may at any time call a special meeting of the board of aldermen, for any purpose, by causing a notice of the meeting to be delivered in hand or to the place of business or residence of each member of the board of aldermen. This notice shall, except in an emergency of which the mayor shall be the sole judge, be delivered at least 48 weekday hours in advance of the time set and shall specify the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is to be held. A copy of each such notice shall, immediately be posted on the city bulletin board.

SECTION 3-7: APPROVAL OF MAYOR, EXCEPTION (VETO)

Every order, ordinance, resolution or vote adopted or passed by the board of aldermen relative to the affairs of the city, except memorial resolutions, the selection of city officers by the board of aldermen and any matters relating to the internal affairs of the board of aldermen, shall be presented to the mayor for approval. If the mayor approves of the measure, the mayor shall sign it; if the mayor disapproves of the measure, the mayor shall return the measure, with the specific reason or reasons for such disapproval attached to it, in writing, to the board of aldermen. The board of aldermen shall enter the objections of the mayor on its records, and not sooner than 10 days, nor later than 30 days from the date of its return to the board of aldermen, shall again consider the same measure. If the board of aldermen, notwithstanding the disapproval by the mayor, shall again pass the order, ordinance, resolution or vote by a 2/3 vote of the full board, it shall then be deemed in force, notwithstanding the failure of the mayor to approve it. If the mayor has neither signed a measure nor returned it to the board of aldermen within 10 days following the date it was presented to the mayor, the measure shall be deemed approved and in force.

SECTION 3-8: TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF THE MAYOR

(a) Acting Mayor - Whenever, by reason of sickness, absence from the city or other cause, the mayor shall be unable to perform the duties of the office, the president of the board of aldermen shall be the acting mayor.

(b) Powers of Acting Mayor - The acting mayor shall have only those powers of the mayor that are essential to the conduct of the business of the city in an orderly and efficient manner and on which action may not be delayed. The acting mayor shall have no authority to make any permanent appointment or removal from city service unless the disability of the mayor shall extend beyond 60 days, nor shall an acting mayor approve or disapprove of any measure adopted by the board of aldermen unless the time within which the mayor must act would expire before the return of the mayor. During any period in which any member of the board of aldermen is serving as acting mayor, that alderman shall not vote as a member of the board of aldermen.

SECTION 3-9: DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY BY MAYOR

The mayor may authorize any subordinate officer or employee of the city to exercise any power or perform any function or any duty which is assigned by this charter, or otherwise, to the mayor, and the mayor may rescind or revoke any such authorizations previously made, but all acts performed under any such delegation of authority during a period of authorization shall be and remain the acts of the mayor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a mayor to delegate his powers and duties as a school committee member, the power of appointment to city office or employment or to sign or return measures approved by the board of aldermen.

SECTION 3-10: VACANCY IN OFFICE OF MAYOR

(a) Special Election - If a vacancy in the office of mayor occurs during the first 2 years of the term for which the mayor is elected, whether by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, incapacity, or otherwise, the board of aldermen shall immediately, in the manner provided in section 7-1, order a special election to be held within 90 days following the date the vacancy is created, to fill the vacancy for the balance of the then unexpired term. If a regular city election is to be held within 120 days following the date the vacancy is created a special election need not be held and the position shall be filled by vote at such regular election.

(b) President of Aldermen To Serve As Mayor - If a vacancy in the office of mayor occurs in the third or fourth year of the term for which the mayor is elected, whether by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, or otherwise, the president of the board of aldermen shall become the mayor. Upon the qualification of the president of the board of aldermen as the mayor, under this section, a vacancy shall exist in that seat on the board of aldermen which shall be filled in the manner provided in section 2-11. A president serving as mayor under this subsection shall not be subject to the restrictions contained in the third sentence of section 3-1(a), nor shall that person be entitled to have the words "candidate for re-election" printed against their name on the election ballot.

(c) Powers, Term of Office - The mayor elected under Section 3-10(a) or (b) shall have all the powers of the mayor. A person elected under subsection (a), shall serve for the balance of the term unexpired at the time of election to the office. A person chosen under subsection (b), shall serve until the time of the next regular election at which time the person elected to fill the office for the ensuing term of office shall serve, in addition, for the balance of the then unexpired term.

ARTICLE 4

SCHOOL DEPARTMENT

SECTION 4-1: SCHOOL COMMITTEE

(a) Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a school committee which shall consist of 7 members. Six of these members shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters of the city at large. The mayor shall serve, by virtue of office, as the seventh member of the school committee with all of the same powers and duties as the members elected by the voters as school committee members.

(b) Term of Office - The term of office for the 6 school committee members elected by the voters shall be for 4 years, beginning on the first onday after the first Tuesday in January in the year following their election, and until their successors have been qualified. The terms of office shall be so arranged that 3 such terms are to be filled at each biennial election.

(c) Eligibility - A school committee member shall at the time of election be a voter. If a school committee member removes from the city during the term for which elected, the office shall immediately be deemed vacant and filled in the manner provided in section 4-6.

SECTION 4-2: SCHOOL COMMITTEE CHAIR

(a) Election and Term - As soon as practicable after the school committee members-elect have been qualified following each biennial city election, as provided in section 9-11, the school committee shall organize by electing 1 of the persons elected to the office of school committee member to serve as school committee chair.

(b) Powers and Duties - The school committee chair shall preside at all meetings of the school committee, regulate its proceedings and decide all questions of order. The school committee chair shall appoint all members of all committees of the school committee, whether special or standing. The school committee chair shall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the school committee as any other member of the school committee. The school committee chair shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be provided by this charter or by vote of the school committee.

SECTION 4-3: PROHIBITIONS

No member of the school committee shall hold any other city office or city employment for which a salary or other emolument is payable from the city treasury. No former member of the school committee shall hold any compensated appointed city office or city employment until 1 year following the date on which the member's service on the school committee has terminated. This provision shall not prevent a city officer or other city employee who has vacated a position in order to serve as a member of the school committee from returning to the same office or other position of city employment held at the time the position was vacated, but no such person shall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least 1 year following the termination of service as a member of the school committee.

SECTION 4-4: COMPENSATION

The board of aldermen may, by ordinance, establish an annual salary for members of the school committee. No vote increasing the salary of school committee members shall be effective unless it shall have been adopted during the first 18 months of the term for which school committee members are elected and unless it provides that the salary is to take effect upon the organization of the city government following the next municipal election. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, members elected to the school committee shall not be eligible to participate in the city's group health or life insurance programs.

SECTION 4-5: SCHOOL COMMITTEE POWERS AND DUTIES

The school committee shall have all powers which are conferred on school committees by general laws and such additional powers and duties as may be provided by the charter, by ordinance, or otherwise and not inconsistent with the grant of powers conferred by general laws. The powers and duties of the school committee shall include the following:

(1) To elect a superintendent of the schools who shall be charged with the administration of the school system, subject only to policy guidelines and directives adopted by the school committee and, upon the recommendation of the superintendent, to establish and appoint assistant or associate superintendents as provided in section 59 of chapter 71 of the General Laws.

(2) To make all reasonable rules and regulations for the management of the public school system and for conducting the business of the school committee as may be deemed necessary or desirable.

(3) To adopt and to oversee the administration of an annual operating budget for the school department, subject to appropriation by the board of aldermen. The school committee shall have general charge and superintendence of all school buildings and grounds and shall furnish all school buildings with proper fixtures, furniture and equipment. The school committee shall provide ordinary maintenance of all school buildings and grounds; unless a central municipal maintenance department which may include maintenance of school buildings and grounds is established in accordance with law. Whenever the school committee shall determine that additional classrooms are necessary to meet the educational needs of the community, at least 1 member of the school committee, or a designee of the school committee, shall serve on the agency, board or committee to which the planning or construction of such new, remodeled or renovated school building is delegated.

SECTION 4-6: FILLING OF VACANCIES

(a) Runner-Up to Succeed to Office - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of school committee member, the vacancy shall be filled in descending order of votes received by the candidate for the office of school committee member at the preceding city election who received the highest number of votes without being elected, provided such person remains eligible and willing to serve and provided such person received votes equal to at least 30 per cent of the vote total received by the person receiving the highest number of votes for the office of school committee member at that election. The city clerk shall certify this candidate to the office of school committee member to serve for the balance of the then unexpired term; but if the vacancy occurs during the first 12 months of the term for which school committee members are elected, the person so chosen shall serve only until the next biennial election at which election the remainder of the term shall be filled by the voters. If a vacancy shall occur in the office of school committee member during the last 6 months of the term for which school committee members are elected, the vacancy shall be filled by the person at the biennial city election who receives the highest number of votes for the office of school committee member and who is not then serving as a member of the school committee. This person shall immediately be certified and shall serve for the remaining 2 months of the current term in addition to the term for which the person was elected.

(b) Filling of Vacancies By Board of Aldermen and School Committee - Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of school committee member and there is no available candidate to fill the vacancy in the manner provided in section 4-6 (a), the president of the board of aldermen shall, within 30 days following the date of the vacancy, call a joint meeting of the board of aldermen and the school committee to act to fill the vacancy. Persons elected to fill a vacancy by the board of aldermen and school committee shall serve only until the next regular election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the voters and the person chosen to fill the vacancy shall immediately be sworn and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the term for which elected. Persons serving as school committee members under this section shall not be entitled to have the words "candidate for reelection" printed against their names on the election ballot.

ARTICLE 5

ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

SECTION 5-1: ORGANIZATION OF CITY AGENCIES

The organization of the city into operating agencies for the provision of services and the administration of the government may be accomplished only through an administrative order filed with the board of aldermen by the mayor. No administrative order may originate with the board of aldermen. The mayor may, subject only to express prohibitions in a general law or this charter, propose to reorganize, consolidate or abolish any city agency, in whole or in part, or to establish such new city agencies as is deemed necessary, but no function assigned by this charter to a particular city agency may be discontinued or assigned to any other city agency unless this charter specifically so provides. The mayor may from time to time prepare and submit to the board of aldermen administrative orders that establish operating divisions for the orderly, efficient or convenient conduct of the business of the city. These administrative orders shall be accompanied by a message of the mayor which explains the benefits expected to ensue and advises the board of aldermen if any provision of an administrative order shall require amendments, insertions, revisions, repeal or otherwise of existing ordinances. Whenever the mayor proposes an administrative order, the board of aldermen shall hold one or more public hearings on the proposal giving notice by publication in a local newspaper, which notice shall describe the scope of the proposal and the time and place at which the public hearing will be held, not less than 7 nor more than 14 days following said publication. An organization or reorganization plan shall become effective at the expiration of 60 days following the date the proposal is submitted to the board of aldermen unless the board of aldermen shall, by a majority vote, within such period vote to disapprove the plan. The board of aldermen may vote only to approve or to disapprove the plan and may not vote to amend or to alter it.

SECTION 5-2: MERIT PRINCIPLE

All appointments and promotions of city officers and employees shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness demonstrated by examination, past performance or other evidence of competence and suitability.

ARTICLE 6

FINANCE AND FISCAL PROCEDURES

SECTION 6-1: FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the city shall begin on the first day of July and shall end on the last day of June, unless another period is required by general law.

SECTION 6-2: ANNUAL BUDGET POLICY

The mayor shall call a joint meeting of the board of aldermen and school committee before the commencement of the budget process to review the financial condition of the city, revenue and expenditure forecasts, and other relevant information prepared by the mayor in order to develop a coordinated budget. The superintendent of schools shall be present at this meeting.

SECTION 6-3: SUBMISSION OF OPERATING BUDGET; BUDGET MESSAGE

At least 45 days before the beginning of the fiscal year, the mayor shall submit to the board of aldermen a proposed operating budget for all city agencies, which shall include the school department, for the ensuing fiscal year with an accompanying budget message and supporting documents. The budget message submitted by the mayor shall explain the operating budget in fiscal terms and in terms of work programs for all city agencies. It shall outline the proposed fiscal policies of the city for the ensuing fiscal year, describe important features of the proposed operating budget and indicate any major variations from the current operating budget, fiscal policies, revenues and expenditures together with reasons for these changes. The proposed operating budget shall provide a complete fiscal plan of all city funds and activities and shall be in the form the mayor deems desirable. The school budget, as adopted by the school committee shall be submitted to the mayor at least 30 days before the submission of the proposed operating budget to the board of aldermen. The mayor shall notify the school committee of the date by which the budget of the school committee shall be submitted to the mayor. The mayor and the superintendent of schools shall coordinate the dates and times of the school committee's budget process under the laws of the commonwealth.

SECTION 6-4: ACTION ON THE OPERATING BUDGET

(a) Public Hearing - The board of aldermen shall publish in at least 1 newspaper of general circulation in the city a notice of the proposed operating budget as submitted by the mayor. The notice shall state (1) the times and places where copies of the entire proposed operating budget are available for inspection by the public, and (2) the date, time and place not less than 14 days after its publication, when a public hearing on the proposed operating budget will be held by the board of aldermen.

(b) Adoption of the Budget - The board of aldermen shall adopt the operating budget, with or without amendments, within 45 days following the date the budget is filed with the city clerk. In amending the operating budget, the board of aldermen may delete or decrease any amounts except expenditures required by law, but except on the recommendation of the mayor, the board of aldermen shall not increase any item in or the total of the proposed operating budget, unless otherwise authorized by the laws of the commonwealth. If the board of aldermen fails to take action on any item in the operating budget within 45 days after receipt of the budget, that amount shall, without any action by the board of aldermen, become a part of the appropriations for the year, and be available for the purposes specified.

SECTION 6-5: CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

The mayor shall submit a capital improvement program to the board of aldermen at least 120 days before the start of each fiscal year. The capital improvement program shall include:

(1) a clear and concise general summary of its contents;

(2) a list of all capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the next ensuing 5 years, with supporting information as to the need for each capital improvement;

(3) cost estimates, methods of financing and recommended time schedules for each improvement; and,

(4) the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining each facility and piece of major equipment involved.

This information is to be annually revised by the mayor with regard to the capital improvements still pending or in the process of being acquired, improved or constructed.

SECTION 6-6: INDEPENDENT AUDIT

The board of aldermen shall annually provide for an outside audit of the books and accounts of the city to be made by a certified public accountant, or a firm of certified public accountants, which has no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the city or any of its officers. The mayor shall annually provide to the board of aldermen a sum of money sufficient to satisfy the estimated cost of conducting the audit as presented to the mayor, in writing, by the board of aldermen. The award of a contract to audit shall be made by the board of aldermen on or before September fifteenth of each year. The clerk of committees shall coordinate the work of the individual or firm selected. The report of the audit shall be filed in final form with the board of aldermen not later than March first in the year following its award.

SECTION 6-7: EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS OF APPROPRIATIONS

Except as otherwise may be provided by law, no official of the city of elrose shall knowingly and intentionally expend in any fiscal year any sums in excess of the appropriations duly made in accordance with law, or involve the city in any contract for the future payment of money in excess of these appropriations. It is the intention of this section that section 31 of chapter 44 of the General Laws shall be strictly enforced. Any official who violates this section shall be personally liable to the city for any amounts so expended to the extent that the city does not recover these amounts from the person to whom the sums were paid.

ARTICLE 7

ELECTIONS

SECTION 7-1: CITY ELECTIONS: GENERAL, PRELIMINARY FOR OFFICE OF MAYOR

The regular general city election shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in each odd-numbered year. A preliminary election for the purpose of nominating candidates for mayor shall be held on the third Tuesday in September in each odd-numbered year in which a mayor is to be elected, but the city clerk may, with the approval of the board of aldermen, reschedule this election to the fourth Tuesday to avoid a conflict with any civil or religious holiday. Whenever a special election to fill a vacancy in the office of mayor is to be held, a preliminary election shall be conducted, if necessary, 28 days before the date established for the special election.

SECTION 7-2: NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS

All elections for city offices shall be non-partisan, and election ballots shall be printed without any party mark, emblem, or other designation.

SECTION 7-3: PRELIMINARY ELECTION

(a) Ballot Position - The order in which names of candidates appear on the ballot shall be determined by a drawing, by lot, conducted by the city clerk which shall be open to the public.

(b) Determination of Candidates - The 2 persons receiving at a preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for mayor shall be the sole candidates for that office whose names shall be printed on the official ballots to be used at the regular general city election at which the office is to be voted upon, and no acceptance of a nomination shall be necessary to its validity. If the preliminary election results in a tie vote among candidates for nomination receiving the lowest number of votes which, but for the tie vote, would entitle a person receiving the same to have his name printed on the official ballots for the election, all candidates participating in the tie vote shall have their names printed on the official ballots, even though the ballots will have a number of candidates exceeding twice the number to be elected.

(c) Condition Making Preliminary Unnecessary - If at the expiration of time for filing statements, the number of candidates for mayor to be voted upon at any preliminary election is not greater than 2, then no preliminary election shall be held. The candidates whose statements have been filed with the city clerk shall be deemed to have been nominated to the office, their names shall be voted upon for the office at the succeeding general election, and the city clerk shall not print their names on the ballots to be used at the preliminary election.

SECTION 7-4: BALLOT POSITION, REGULAR CITY ELECTION

The order in which names of candidates appear on the ballot for each office shall be determined by a drawing, by lot, conducted by the city clerk. The drawing shall be open to the public and conducted on or before the thirtieth day preceding the date of the election.

SECTION 7-5: WARDS

The territory of the city shall be divided into 7 wards so established as to consist of as nearly an equal number of inhabitants as it is possible to achieve based on compact and contiguous territory, bounded as far as possible by the center line of known streets or ways or by other well-defined limits. Each such ward shall be composed of voting precincts established in accordance with general laws. The board of aldermen shall from time to time, but at least once in each 10 years, review these wards to insure their uniformity in number of inhabitants.

SECTION 7-6: APPLICATION OF STATE GENERAL LAWS

Except as otherwise expressly provided in this charter and authorized by law, all city elections shall be governed by the laws of the commonwealth relating to the right to vote, the registration of voters, the nomination of candidates, the conduct of preliminary, general and special elections, the submission of charters, charter amendments and other propositions to the voters, the counting of votes, the recounting of votes, and the determination of results.

ARTICLE 8

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION MECHANISMS

SECTION 8-1 FREE PETITION

The board of aldermen or the school committee shall hold a public hearing and act with respect to every petition which is addressed to it, which is signed by 50 or more voters, and which seeks the passage of a measure. The hearing shall be held by the board of aldermen or the school committee, or, in either case, by a committee or sub-committee thereof, and the action by the board of aldermen or the school committee shall be taken not later than 6 weeks after the petition is filed with the city clerk or the school committee. Hearings on 2 or more petitions filed under this section may be held at the same time and place. The city clerk or the school committee shall mail notice of the hearing to the 10 persons whose names appear first on the petition at least 7 days before the hearing. Notice, by publication, of all such hearings shall be at public expense.

SECTION 8-2: CITIZEN INITIATIVE MEASURES

(a) Commencement - Initiative procedures shall be started by the filing of a proposed initiative petition with the city clerk or the secretary of the school committee. The petition shall be addressed to the board of aldermen or to the school committee, shall contain a request for the passage of a particular measure which shall be set forth in full in the petition, and shall be signed by at least 250 voters. At least 25 signatures must be certified from each ward. The petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit signed by 10 voters and containing their residential address stating they will constitute the petitioners committee and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form.

(b) Referral to City Solicitor - The city clerk or the secretary of the school committee shall immediately following receipt of a proposed petition deliver a copy of the petition to the city solicitor. The city solicitor shall, within 15 days following receipt of a copy of the petition, in writing, advise the board of aldermen or the school committee whether the measure as proposed may lawfully be proposed by the initiative process and whether, in its present form it may be lawfully adopted by the board of aldermen or the school committee. If the opinion of the city solicitor is that the measure is not in proper form, the reply shall state the reasons for this opinion, in full. A copy of the opinion of the city solicitor shall also be mailed to the person designated as clerk of the petitioners committee.

(c) Submission to City Clerk - If the opinion of the city solicitor is that the petition is in a proper form, the city clerk shall provide blank forms for the use of subsequent signers, and shall print at the top of each blank form a fair, concise summary of the proposed measure, as determined by the city solicitor, together with the names and addresses of the first 10 voters who signed the originating petition. Within 30 days following the date the blank forms are issued by the city clerk, the petitions shall be returned and filed with the city clerk signed by at least 15 per cent of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent city election. Signatures to an initiative petition need not all be on 1 paper, but all papers pertaining to any one measure shall be fastened together and shall be filed as a single instrument, with the endorsement on it of the name and residence address of the person designated as filing the same. With each signature on the petition there shall also appear the street and number of the residence of each signer. Within 10 days following the filing of the petition, the board of registrars of voters shall ascertain by what number of voters the petition has been signed, and what percentage that number is of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent city election. The board of registrars of voters shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the results of its examination and shall return the petition to the city clerk, or the secretary of the school committee, depending on how the petition is addressed. A copy of the board of registrars of voters' certificate shall also be mailed to the person designated as clerk of the petitioners committee.

(d) Action on Petitions - Within 30 days following the date a petition has been returned to the city clerk or the secretary of the school committee, and after publication under subsection (f), the board of aldermen or the school committee shall act with respect to each initiative petition by passing it without change, by passing a measure which is stated to be in lieu of the initiative measure, or by rejecting it. The passage of a measure which is in lieu of an initiative measure shall be deemed to be a rejection of the initiative measure. If the board of aldermen or the school committee fails to act with respect to any initiative measure which is presented to it within 30 days following the date the measure is returned to it, the measure shall be deemed to have been rejected on the thirtieth day. If an initiative measure is rejected, the city clerk or the secretary of the school committee shall promptly give notice of that fact to the person designated as the clerk of the petitioners committee, by certified mail.

(e) Supplementary Petitions - Within 60 days following the date an initiative petition has been rejected, a supplemental initiative petition may be filed with the city clerk or the secretary of the school committee, but only by persons constituting the original petitioners committee. The supplemental initiative petition shall be signed by a number of additional voters which is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent city election, and the signatures on the initial petition filed under subsection (c), and the signatures on the supplemental petition filed under this subsection, taken together, shall contain the signatures of at least 20 per cent of the total number of voters in the city. If the number of signatures to this supplemental petition is found to be sufficient by the city clerk, the board of aldermen shall call a special election to be held on a date fixed by it not less than 35 nor more than 90 days following the date of the certificate of the city clerk that a sufficient number of voters have signed the supplemental initiative petition and shall submit the proposed measure, without alteration, to the voters for determination, but if any other city election is to be held within 120 days following the date of the certificate, the board of aldermen may omit the calling of such special election and cause the question to appear on the election ballot at the approaching election for determination by the voters.

(f) Publication - The full text of any initiative measure which is submitted to the voters shall be published in at least 1 newspaper of general circulation in the city not less than 7 nor more than 14 days preceding the date of the election at which the question is to be voted upon. Additional copies of the full text shall be available for distribution to the public in the office of the city clerk.

(g) Form of Question - The ballots used when voting on a measure proposed by the voters under this section shall contain a question in substantially the following form: Shall the following measure which was proposed by an initiative petition take effect?

(Here insert a fair, concise summary prepared by the petitioners, and approved by the city solicitor.)

o YES

o NO

(h) Time of Taking Effect - If a majority of the votes cast on the question is in the affirmative, the measure shall be deemed to be effective immediately, unless a later date is specified in the measure.

SECTION 8-3: CITIZEN REFERENDUM PROCEDURES

(a) Petition, Effect on Final Vote - If, within 21 days following the date on which the board of aldermen or the school committee has voted finally to approve of any measure, a petition signed by a number of voters equal to at least 12 per cent of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent general city election and addressed to the board of aldermen or to the school committee as the case may be, protesting against the measure or any part of it is filed with the secretary of the school committee or city clerk, the effective date of such measure shall be temporarily suspended. The school committee or the board of aldermen shall immediately reconsider its vote on the measure or part of it, and, if the measure is not rescinded, the board of aldermen shall provide for the submission of the question for a determination by the voters either at a special election which it may call at its convenience, or within such time as may be requested by the school committee, or at the next regular city election, but pending this submission and determination, the effect of the measure shall continue to be suspended.

(b) Certain Initiative Provisions to Apply - The petition described in this section shall be termed a referendum petition and the applicable provisions of section 8-2 as they relate to the filing and certification of signatures shall apply to such referendum petitions, except that the words "measure or part thereof protested against" shall be deemed to replace the word "measure" and the word "referendum" shall be deemed to replace the word "initiative". The measure or part protested against shall be null and void unless a majority of those voting on the question shall vote in favor of the measure or part protested against at the election.

SECTION 8-4: INELIGIBLE MEASURES

None of the following shall be subject to the initiative or the referendum procedures:

(1) proceedings relating to the internal organization or operation of the board of aldermen or of the school committee;

(2) an emergency measure adopted under the charter;

(3) the city budget or the school committee budget as a whole;

(4) any appropriation for the payment of the city's debt or debt service;

(5) an appropriation of funds to implement a collective bargaining agreement;

(6) proceedings relating to the appointment, removal, discharge, employment, promotion, transfer, demotion, or other personnel action;

(7) any proceedings repealing or rescinding a measure or part of it which is protested by referendum procedures;

(8) any proceedings providing for the submission or referral to the voters at an election;

(9) memorial resolutions and other votes constituting ordinary, routine matters not suitable as the subject of a referendum petition; and

(10) setting of property tax rate.

SECTION 8-5: SUBMISSION OF OTHER MATTERS TO VOTERS

The board of aldermen may of its own motion, and shall at the request of the school committee if a measure originates with that body and pertains to affairs under its jurisdiction, submit to the voters at any regular city election for adoption or rejection any measure in the same manner and with the same force and effect as are hereby provided for submission by petitions of voters.

SECTION 8-6: CONFLICTING PROVISIONS

If 2 or more measures passed at the same election contain conflicting provisions, only the one receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall take effect.

ARTICLE 9

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 9-1: CHARTER CHANGES

This charter may be replaced, revised or amended in accordance with any procedure made available under the state constitution, or by statutes enacted in accordance with the state constitution.

SECTION 9-2: SEVERABILITY

The provisions of this charter are severable. If any provision of this charter is held invalid the other provisions shall not be affected by this holding. If the application of this charter, or any of its provisions, to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the charter and its provisions to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

SECTION 9-3: SPECIFIC PROVISION TO PREVAIL

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

SECTION 9-4: RULES AND REGULATIONS

A copy of all rules and regulations adopted by any city agency shall be placed on file in the office of the city clerk and shall be available for review by any person who requests such information at any reasonable time. Unless an emergency exists as determined by the mayor, no rule or regulation adopted by any city agency shall become effective until 5 days following the date it is so filed.

SECTION 9-5: PERIODIC REVIEW OF ORDINANCES

Not later than the first day of July, at 5 year intervals, in each year ending in a 5 or in a zero, the mayor and board of aldermen shall provide for a review to be made of the ordinances of the city for the purpose of preparing a proposed revision or recodification of them, without substantive change. This review shall be made by a special committee to consist of 9 members, 4 of whom shall be appointed by the board of aldermen president and 5 of whom shall be appointed by the mayor. At least 2 of the persons appointed by the board of aldermen president shall be members of the board of aldermen and the remaining members shall be voters of the city. The special committee shall file its report with the city clerk not later than the first day of May in the year following the year in which the committee is appointed. The recommendations of the special committee shall appear on the board of aldermen agenda for action before the fifteenth day of June in that year and if not so scheduled by the city clerk the matter shall come before the board of aldermen for action at its next meeting held following the fifteenth day of June, and no other business shall be in order until the report has been acted upon, by roll call vote. The review of city ordinances shall be under the supervision of the city solicitor. A revision, recodification or republication of the ordinances shall be made at 5 year intervals. Copies of the revision, recodification or republication shall be made available to the public at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of the reproduction. In each year between these reenactments, an annual supplement shall be published which shall contain all ordinances and amendments to ordinances adopted in the preceding year.

SECTION 9-6: PERIODIC REVIEW OF CHARTER

Not later than the first day of July, at 10 year intervals, in each year ending in a 9, the mayor and board of aldermen shall provide for a review to be made of the city charter. This review shall be made by a special committee to consist of 9 members, 4 of whom shall be appointed by the board of aldermen president and 5 of whom shall be appointed by the mayor. At least 2 of the persons appointed by the board of aldermen president shall be members of the board of aldermen and the remaining members shall be voters of the city. The special committee shall file its report with the city clerk, not later than the first day of May in the year following the year in which the committee is appointed. The recommendations of the special committee shall appear on the board of aldermen's agenda for action before the fifteenth day of June in that year and if not so scheduled by the city clerk the matter shall come before the board of aldermen for action at its next meeting held following the fifteenth day of June, and no other business shall be in order until such report has been acted upon, by roll call vote.

SECTION 9-7: UNIFORM PROCEDURES GOVERNING MULTIPLE-MEMBER BODIES

(a) Meetings - All appointed multiple member bodies of the city shall meet regularly at the times and places that they by their own rules prescribe. Special meetings of any multiple member body shall be held on the call of the chairman or by one-third of the members of the body by written notice delivered in hand or to the place of residence of each member at least 48 hours in advance of the time set, which shall contain notice of the subjects to be acted upon. A copy of the notice, shall also be posted on the city bulletin board. Except as may otherwise be authorized by law, all meetings of all multiple member bodies shall at all times be open to the public.

(b) Rules and Journals - Each appointed multiple member body shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings. These rules and journals shall be a public record, and certified copies shall be placed on file in the office of the city clerk and in the elrose Public Library.

(c) Voting - If requested by any member, any vote of any appointed multiple member body shall be taken by a call of the roll and the vote of each member shall be recorded in the journal, but if the vote is unanimous, only that fact need be recorded.

(d) Quorum - A majority of the members of an appointed multiple member body shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time. Unless some other provision is made by the multiple member body's own rules while a quorum is present, except on procedural matters, a majority of the full membership of the body shall be required to adopt any vote representing an exercise of the powers of the multiple member body.

SECTION 9-8: NUMBER AND GENDER

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

SECTION 9-9: REFERENCES TO GENERAL LAWS

All references to General Laws contained in the charter refer to the General Laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts and are intended to refer to and to include any amendments or revisions to such chapters or sections or to the corresponding chapters and sections of any rearrangement, revision or recodification of such statutes enacted or adopted subsequent to the adoption of this charter.

SECTION 9-10: COMPUTATION OF TIME

In computing time under this charter the day of the act or event after which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the period shall be extended to the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. When the period of time designated is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall not be included, when the period is 7 days or more, every day shall be counted.

SECTION 9-11: OATH OF OFFICE OF MAYOR, BOARD OF ALDERMEN, AND SCHOOL COMMITTEE

A mayor-elect, the board of aldermen-elect, and the school committee members-elect shall, on the first Monday after the first Tuesday in January of each even-numbered year, meet and be sworn to the faithful discharge of their duties. The oath may be administered to the mayor by the city clerk, or by a judge of a court of record, or by a justice of the peace. The oath may be administered to the members of the board of aldermen and the school committee by the mayor, after the mayor has been duly sworn, or by any of the above-named officials. A certificate that the oath or oaths have been taken shall be entered in the journal of the board of aldermen. In case of the absence of the mayor or mayor-elect, as the case may be, or any member-elect of the board of aldermen or school committee on the day the oath of office is administered, the oath may at any time thereafter be administered to that person. A certificate of each oath subsequently taken shall be entered in the journal of the board of aldermen. After the oath has been administered to the board of aldermen present, they shall organize by electing from among their number a person to serve as the president, as provided in section 2-2. If the city clerk is unable to preside during this election the board of aldermen member senior in years of service on the board of aldermen shall preside during this election. If 2 or more members are equally senior in years of service on the board of aldermen, the member senior both in years of service and age shall preside. The president shall be sworn by the city clerk, or, in the case of the absence of the city clerk, by any person qualified to take oaths or affirmations. After the oath has been administered to the school committee members present, they shall organize by electing from among their number a person to serve as the chair, as provided in section 4-2. If the city clerk is unable to preside during this election the member senior in years of service on the school committee shall preside during the election. If 2 or more members are equally senior in years of service on the school committee the member senior both in years of service and age shall preside. The chair and the vice-chair shall be sworn by the city clerk, or, in the case of the absence of the city clerk, by any person qualified to take oaths or affirmations.

SECTION 9-12: CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION OR APPOINTMENT

Every person who is elected, including those elected by the board of aldermen, or appointed to an office of the city, shall receive a certificate of such election or appointment from the city clerk. Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who is elected, including those elected by the board of aldermen, or appointed to an office of the city before performing any act under this appointment or election, shall take and subscribe to an oath to qualify to enter upon the duties. A record of this oath shall be kept by the city clerk.

SECTION 9-13: LIMITATION ON OFFICE HOLDING

No person shall simultaneously hold more than 1 full-time city office or position of employment. Any hours worked in any part-time position shall not be the same or otherwise conflict with the hours worked in a full-time position.

SECTION 9-14: ENFORCEMENT OF CHARTER PROVISIONS

It shall be the duty of the mayor to see that the charter is faithfully followed and complied with by all city agencies and city employees. Whenever it appears to the mayor that any city agency or city employee is failing to follow any provision of this charter the mayor shall, in writing, cause notice to be given to that agency or employee directing compliance with the charter. If it shall appear to the board of aldermen that the mayor personally is not following the provisions of the charter it shall, by resolution, direct the attention of the mayor to those areas in which they believe there is a failure to comply with charter provisions. The procedures made available in chapter 231A of the General Laws may be used to determine the rights, duties, status or other legal relations arising under this charter, including any question of construction or validity which may be involved in such determination.

ARTICLE 10

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 10-1: CONTINUATION OF EXISTING LAWS

All general laws, special laws, city ordinances, and rules and regulations of or pertaining to Melrose, including special acts creating regional entities and arrangements of which the city is a member, that are in force when this charter takes effect, and not specifically or by implication repealed by this charter, shall continue in full force and effect until amended or repealed, or rescinded by law, or until they expire by their own limitation. In any case in which the provisions of this charter are found to be inconsistent with the provisions of any general or special law that would otherwise be applicable, the provisions of this charter shall be deemed to prevail. Every inconsistency between the prior law and this charter shall be decided in favor of this charter.

SECTION 10-2: CONTINUATION OF GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

All city agencies shall continue to perform their duties until re-elected, reappointed, or until successors to their respective positions are duly appointed or elected, or until their duties have been transferred and assumed by another city agency.

SECTION 10-3: TRANSFER OF RECORDS AND PROPERTY

All records, property and equipment whatsoever of any city agency, or part thereof, the powers and duties of which are assigned in whole or in part to another city agency, shall be transferred immediately to that agency.

SECTION 10-4: EFFECT ON OBLIGATIONS, TAXES, ETC.

All official bonds, recognizances, obligations, contracts, and other instruments entered into or executed by or to the city before the adoption of this charter, and all taxes, assessments, fines, penalties, forfeitures, incurred or imposed, due or owing to the city, shall be enforced and collected, and all writs, prosecutions, actions and causes of action, except as otherwise provided in this charter, shall continue without abatement and remain unaffected by the charter; and no legal act done by or in favor of the city shall be rendered invalid by reason of the adoption of this charter.

SECTION 10-5: DISPOSITION OF CERTAIN SPECIAL LAWS

(a) Certain Special Laws Recognized and Retained - The following special acts are hereby especially recognized and retained: chapter 124 of the acts of 1936, chapter 39 of the acts of 1962, chapter 150 of the acts of 1984, and chapter 71 of the acts of 1992.

(b) Certain Special Laws Recognized and Retained, in part - the following special acts which amended the original city charter of 1899, relating to the organization of the city's government, are recognized and retained in part as follows: so much of chapter 144 of the acts of 1920 and chapter 78 of the acts of 1926 as relates to the establishment of the committee in charge of the care of emorial Hall, until such time as the mayor may act pursuant to Article 5 of this charter.

SECTION 10-6: TIME OF TAKING EFFECT

This charter shall take effect upon its ratification by the voters and in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) All city officers and employees shall continue to perform their duties in the same manner and to the same extent as they have performed the same prior to the ratification by the voters of the home rule charter.

(2) The first election of officers under this charter shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November 2007 for the purpose of electing a mayor, a board of aldermen and members of the school committee. A preliminary election for the purpose of nominating candidates to be elected mayor at such election shall be held on the third Tuesday of September 2007, if necessary, as provided in Article 7 of this charter. At the city election held in November 2007, the 3 school committee candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to a 4 year term and the 3 candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be declared elected to a 2 year term. Thereafter at each city election 3 candidates shall be elected to the office of school committee member for terms of 4 years each.

(3) On the first Tuesday following the first Monday in January the persons elected as mayor, board of aldermen members, and school committee members shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties.

(4) Not later than 30 days following the date of the ratification of this charter by the voters the city clerk shall give to each member of the General Court who represent any part of Melrose a copy of the vote ratifying this charter.

(5) Immediately after the election at which this charter is adopted, the board of aldermen shall appoint 4 persons to be a committee to begin a review of the city ordinances for the purpose of preparing such revisions and amendments as may be needed or necessary to bring them into conformity with the provisions of this charter and to fully implement the provisions of this charter. The city clerk shall be the fifth member and chair of this committee. The committee shall submit a report, with recommendations, within 1 year following its creation and may submit interim reports with recommendations at any time. The review shall be conducted under the supervision of the city solicitor, or by special counsel appointed for that express purpose.

(6) No later than June 30, 2008, the mayor shall promulgate a series of administrative orders providing for the organization of city government into operating agencies in accordance with section 5-1.

(7) The mayor and board of aldermen shall have authority to adopt measures that clarify, confirm or extend any of the transitional provisions in order that such transition may be made in the most expeditious manner possible.

SECTION 2. Chapter 162 of the acts of 1899, chapter 235 of the acts of 1902, chapter 155 of the acts of 1906, chapter 102 and chapter 431 of the acts of 1922, chapter 407 of the acts of 1924, chapter 294 of the acts of 1929, chapter 266 of the acts of 1937, chapter 87 of the acts of 1938, chapter 85 of the acts of 1939, chapter 5 and chapter 115 of the acts of 1947, chapter 20 of the acts of 1956, chapter 682 of the acts of 1968, chapter 177 and chapter 363 of the acts of 1977, chapter 399 of the acts of 1978, chapter 163 of the acts of 1984, chapter 112 of the acts of 1995, and chapter 409 of the acts of 2004 are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. This act shall be submitted for acceptance to the qualified voters of the city of Melrose at the biennial municipal election in the year 2005 in the form of the following question:-

"Shall an act passed by the General Court in the year 2005, entitled 'An Act providing a charter for the city of Melrose' be accepted?" If a majority of votes cast in answer to this question is in the affirmative, this act shall take effect, but not otherwise.

SECTION 4. Section 3 shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved September 29, 2005.