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 town of Braintree shall have a town manager to be appointed by the vote of at least 3 members of the board of selectmen, from among candidates recommended to it by a search committee as defined in the town by-laws. The town manager shall be a person with executive and administrative qualifications and especially fitted by education, training, and experience to perform the duties of the office. The town may, by by-law, establish such additional qualifications as it deems necessary and appropriate. The board of selectmen shall set the compensation for the town manager, not to exceed the amount appropriated for that purpose. The town manager shall not engage in any other business or occupation or hold public office in any other jurisdiction except as authorized by the board of selectmen. The town manager shall not hold any other public office in the town of Braintree, except by appointment to committees as authorized by the board of selectmen.
SECTION 2. The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town. The powers, duties, and responsibilities of the town manager shall include, but not be limited to, the following:-
(1) Direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all functions and activities under the town manager's control, including those authorized by by-law by other town meeting vote, or by the board of selectmen and supervise all officers appointed by the town manager and their respective departments.
(2)(a) Appoint and remove all department heads under the board of selectmen at the time of the effective date of this act, and appoint and remove all department heads in the personnel, tax collector's and treasurer's departments. All appointments and removals by the town manager, except those subject to the civil service laws, shall be subject to rejection by a four-fifths vote of the board of selectmen taken within 15 days after written notice of the appointment or removal to all members of the board of selectmen.
(b) In departments under the town manager, all other employees not specified in this subsection who report to the department head shall be appointed and removed by their respective department head, subject to rejection by the town manager within 10 days after written notice of the appointment or removal to the town manager.
These actions shall be subject to the personnel by-laws, civil service laws and collective bargaining agreements, where applicable.
(c) Multi-member boards currently appointed by the board of selectmen will continue to be appointed by the board of selectmen.
(3) Attend all regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen and town meeting, unless excused by the board of selectmen. When recognized, the town manager shall be permitted to speak without time limit. The town manager shall be responsible for responding to all questions on matters that are under the manager's authority.
(4) Provide reports of current activities and current and long range issues to the board of selectmen and to town meeting.
(5) Identify opportunities for grants and participation in state and federal initiatives that may be advantageous to the town and pursue these opportunities as authorized by the board of selectmen.
(6) Be available at town hall during regular business hours and attend meetings as required by the board of selectmen.
(7) Administer the town's personnel by-laws and policies, including personnel evaluation policies, practices, enforcement of labor contracts, labor relations, and collective bargaining and compliance with state and local laws relative to employment, except for those governing the school department and the Braintree electric light department.
(8) Prepare the agenda and gather necessary information pertinent to matters coming before the board of selectmen for discussion and action.
(9) Be responsible for the rental, use, maintenance and repair of all town facilities under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and prepare a comprehensive maintenance program.
(10) Compile and submit the articles for the town warrant for consideration by the board of selectmen and distribute the warrant for town meeting in compliance with the town by-laws.
(11) Have access to all municipal books, papers, and documents or other information necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the town manager. The town manager may, without notice, cause the affairs of any town department or the job-related conduct of any officer or employee of the town to be examined.
(12) Negotiate all contracts which are subject to execution by the board of selectmen.
(13) Establish and administer a process to provide citizens with easy to understand and responsive access to town government and to receive and resolve citizen complaints and problems.
(14) Manage the town insurance programs.
(15) Create committees and delegate responsibilities to them as the town manager may see fit.
(16) Consolidate, create, or abolish town departments under the supervision of the town manager with the approval of the town meeting.
(17) Delegate and authorize any subordinate to exercise any power, duty, or responsibility which the office of town manager is authorized to exercise.
(18) Supervise enforcement of all provisions of the General Laws, town by-laws, town meeting votes, and board of selectmen votes that require enforcement by the town manager or officers and employees subject to town manager's supervision.
(19) Coordinate all activities under the authority of the town manager with the activities under the authority of other town officers or boards.
(20) Possess such other powers, duties, or responsibilities as may be created by a board of selectmen vote, by-law, or other town meeting vote.
SECTION 3. The town manager shall be the chief financial officer of the town and shall be responsible for designing and preparing of the municipal budget, filing grant applications and controlling budget expenditures including the authority to approve payment and expense warrants, as prepared by the town accountant, upon the treasury of the town under section 56 of chapter 41 of the General Laws, except for direct payments to the town manager that are not salary-related. The town manager shall convey to the selectmen a list of all these approved warrants at each meeting of the board. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the town manager shall have the following specific budgetary powers and duties:-
(1) The town manager shall submit to the board of selectmen and the finance committee a written proposed balanced budget for the town for the ensuing fiscal year, including the budget for the school department, but excluding the budget for the Braintree electric light department. The proposed budget shall detail all estimated revenue from all sources and all proposed expenditures, including debt service for the previous, current and ensuing years. It shall include proposed expenditures for both current operations and capital projects during the ensuing year, detailed by agency, department, committee, purpose, and position, together with the proposed financing methods; and the proposed budget shall include estimated surplus revenue and free cash available at the close of the fiscal year, including estimated balances in special accounts. The town may, by by-law, establish additional financial information and reports to be provided by the town manager. The budget shall include an estimate of the amount required to be levied and raised by taxation to defray all expenditures and liabilities of the town together with an estimate of the tax rate necessary to raise this amount.
(2) To assist the town manager in preparing the proposed annual budget and other reports required by this section, all boards, officers, and committees of the town, including the school committee, but excluding the Braintree electric light department, shall furnish to the town manager, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the town manager, a detailed estimate of the appropriations required, available funds and all other relevant information in their possession. The calendar dates on or before which the proposed budget, revenue statement, and tax rate estimate are to be submitted to the board of selectmen and the budget presented by the town manager to the finance committee shall be as specified by by-law. The town manager shall present the proposed annual budget to town meeting before the first budgetary vote is taken.
(3) The town manager shall submit annually to the board of selectmen and the finance committee a 5-year capital improvements program to include: (a) a list of all capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the next 5 years, together with supporting data; (b) cost estimates, methods of financing and recommended time schedule; and (c) the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining any facility to be constructed or acquired. A capital improvement shall be defined by by-law.
(4) The town manager or his designee shall serve as chief procurement officer and be responsible for approval of the purchase of all supplies, materials, and equipment for all departments, except the Braintree electric light department and activities of the town as provided in chapter 30B of the General Laws.
(5) The town manager shall develop and maintain a full and complete inventory of all town-owned real and personal property and be responsible for the disposal of all supplies, material, and equipment that have been declared surplus by any town department, except the Braintree electric light department.
SECTION 4. (1) Temporary Absence - By a letter on file with the town clerk, as approved by the board of selectmen, the town manager shall designate a qualified town employee who shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of town manager during a temporary absence. During a temporary absence, the board of selectmen may not revoke the town manager's designation until 10 working days have elapsed, whereupon it may appoint another qualified town employee to serve until the town manager returns.
(2) Vacancy - A vacancy in the office of town manager shall be filled as soon as possible by the board of selectmen. Pending a regular appointment, the board of selectmen shall appoint a qualified town employee to perform the duties of the office on an acting basis.
(3) The powers of a temporary or acting town manager shall include authority to make temporary appointments or designations to town offices or employment, but not to make permanent appointments or designations.
SECTION 5. The board of selectmen, by an affirmative vote of at least 4 of its members, may initiate the removal of the town manager by adopting a resolution to that effect. The resolution shall state the reason therefor; provided, however, that no such resolution shall be adopted within 90 days following a town election. Any such resolution shall be adopted only at a regularly scheduled public meeting and in open session. This resolution may suspend the town manager for a period not to exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered in hand or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the town manager. The town manager may request a public hearing within 7 days after receipt of the resolution by filing a written request with the board of selectmen. If a request for a public hearing is filed, the board of selectmen shall conduct a hearing within 14 days from receipt of the written request and, within 7 days after the hearing, may discharge the town manager by a vote of 4 selectmen. If the town manager does not request a public hearing within 7 days after receipt of such resolution, the selectmen may, by an affirmative vote of at least 4 members, vote to remove the town manager at any public meeting.
SECTION 6. The positions of town treasurer and tax collector of the town of Braintree shall be appointed by the town manager for a term not to exceed 3 years and shall be under the supervision of the town manager. Notwithstanding these provisions, the incumbents in the office of town treasurer and tax collector upon the effective date of this act shall hold their respective offices for 3 years from the effective date of this act, unless they shall earlier vacate the office.
SECTION 7. This act shall supersede any law, by-law, rule, or regulation that is contrary to or inconsistent with this act.
SECTION 8. The position of executive secretary shall cease to exist upon the effective date of this act as provided in section 9.
SECTION 9. This act shall be submitted to the voters of the town of Braintree for acceptance at the next town election, in the form of the following question which shall be placed on the official ballot to be used at said election: "Shall an act passed by the general court entitled 'An Act Establishing a Town Manager for the Town of Braintree' be accepted?". If a majority of votes cast in answer to this question are in the affirmative, this act shall take effect 90 days after the date of this vote.