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. Article II of the charter of the town of Rockland, which is on file in the office of the archivist of the commonwealth as provided in section 12 of chapter 43B of the General Laws, is hereby amended by adding the following 3 sections:-
SECTION 2.17. The board of selectmen by an affirmative vote of at least 4 members shall appoint a town administrator for a 1-year probationary term. Subsequent terms of up to 3 years may be made following the probationary term.
(a) The town administrator shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive, administrative and municipal experience. His education should consist of a bachelor's degree in public or business administration or related field; a master's degree in public administration is preferred. In the absence of either degree, a minimum of 10 years actual work experience shall be required and shall consist of at least 5 years of progressively responsible experience in municipal management, 3 years of which shall be as a chief administrative or assistant administrator in a municipal organization. He shall not have served in an elective office in or for the town of Rockland for at least 12 months before his appointment.
(b) The town administrator shall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elected or appointed, nor engage in any other business, occupation, or profession during their term of office, unless the board of selectmen approves the action in advance in writing. The town may from time to time, by by-law establish additional qualifications as it considers necessary and appropriate.
(c) The town administrator shall execute a bond in favor of the town of Rockland for the faithful performance of his duties in such sum and with such surety or sureties as may be fixed by the board of selectmen. The town shall pay the cost of the bond.
SECTION 2.18. (a) The board of selectmen by affirmative vote of at least 4 members may suspend or remove the town administrator from office. If the board of selectmen affirmatively votes to suspend or remove the town's administrator, the board shall give at least 60 days notice as to the effective date of his suspension or termination, or provide 60 days of severance pay, or a combination of both notice and severance pay equivalent to at least 60 days. At least 30 days before the proposed suspension or termination becomes effective the board of selectmen shall file a preliminary written resolution with the town clerk setting forth in detail the specific reason for the proposed suspension or termination. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered to the town administrator. The town administrator may within 10 days of service of the resolution, reply in writing to the resolution and may request a public hearing. If the town administrator so requests, the board of selectmen shall hold a public hearing not earlier than 20 days nor later than 30 days after the filing of the request. After the public hearing, if any, otherwise at the expiration of 30 days following the filing of the preliminary resolution, the selectmen may suspend or terminate the town administrator from duty. In the event the town administrator is charged with a criminal act, alleged to have been perpetrated while performing his job, suspension without pay is immediate and if the town administrator is not exonerated of the charges, termination is immediate and no notice or severance shall be provided. Nothing contained herein shall limit the authority of the board of selectmen to suspend or terminate the town administrator as provided by state, federal or local law.
(b) If the office of town administrator is vacant, as a result of death, removal, resignation, or otherwise, or the town administrator is on a leave of absence exceeding 2 weeks, the board of selectmen by affirmative vote of at least 3 members, shall appoint a qualified town administrator officer, or employee to serve as acting town administrator. The acting town administrator shall receive compensation as set by the affirmative vote of at least 3 selectmen, but shall not exceed the rate of compensation approved for the town administrator being replaced. The appointment of the acting town administrator shall not exceed a 4-month period.
SECTION 2.19. (a) The town administrator shall be the administrative officer of the town of Rockland, reporting directly to the board of selectmen and acting as its agent. He shall be responsible for the effective and professional administration of the day-to-day affairs of the town in the absence of the board of selectmen as described herein.
(b) The town administrator shall administer this charter, either directly or through a person or persons appointed by the board of selectmen.
(c) The town administrator shall be responsible for the proper administration and development of the annual operating budget process.
(d) The town administrator shall recommend to the board of selectmen strategic plans and objectives for mitigation or other purposes. He shall have prepared multi-year forecasts on revenues and expenditures for use in analyzing financial impacts in collective bargaining issues, insurance costs, and other long-term costs. He shall commend to the board of selectmen, for their approval, debt management, and capital planning policies. He shall further recommend policies and long-range goals to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of town government.
(e) The town administrator shall keep the board of selectmen fully informed regarding all departmental operations, fiscal affairs, general problems, and administrative actions. He shall keep the board of selectmen and the finance committee informed as to the financial condition and the needs of the town.
(f) The town administrator shall act as the town's insurance coordinator. He shall be responsible for ensuring that all pertinent policies are in effect, see that adequate insurance coverage is provided, ensure that claims are properly processed, conduct cost benefit analyses on existing policies and propose changes. He shall render an annual report to the board of selectmen on all claims made and losses sustained.
(g) The town administrator shall act as grant coordinator for the town. He shall collect and distribute information concerning grants, establish uniform procedures for grant applications, prepare or assist in developing grant proposals and shall monitor all town grants to ensure fiscal and program compliance.
(h) The town administrator, in cooperation with other town officials selected by him, shall establish policies, procedures and guidelines for town procurements in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. He shall keep an inventory of the real and fixed assets of the town.
(i) The town administrator shall be responsible for the approval of the purchase of all supplies, materials, equipment, and other services, for departments or agencies under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen.
(j) The town administrator in the absence of the board of selectmen shall act as agent of the board of selectmen in coordinating activities, budgets, and day to day operations of the town departments, boards, committees, and commissions that come under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. He shall coordinate these activities with officers and boards elected by the voters, keeping all informed of ongoing activities and issues.
(k) The town administrator shall plan, organize and supervise the operational audits of the activities of town departments to evaluate the efficiency of resource utilization and the effectiveness of governmental services. Audit areas may include staffing, scheduling, vehicle management, and any other topic requested by the board of selectmen.
(1) The town administrator shall participate in the collective bargaining process and see that the provisions of the collective bargaining agreements are enforced in departments under his jurisdiction.
(m) The town administrator shall assist the board of selectmen in recruitment and selection of department heads under their jurisdiction.
(n) The town administrator shall ensure that the town maintains a professional personnel system by monitoring the effectiveness of policies, procedures and practices as required by law, in accordance with proper personnel practices. He shall ensure that the recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, discipline, and removal of employees are conducted in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, and with personnel by-laws and policies adopted pursuant to the same. He shall coordinate personnel administration with the personnel board.
(o) In the absence of the board of selectmen, and at its direction, he shall perform public relations functions for the board of selectmen by presenting the town's position of issues, responding to citizens complaints, preparing press releases, and representing the board at conferences, hearings, and meetings with county, state, and federal agencies. He shall act as its liaison to business, industrial and community groups.
(p) The town administrator shall be responsible for the use and maintenance of all town facilities and equipment under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen.
(q) The town administrator shall attend all regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen and have voice but no vote in all meetings. He shall attend all regular and special sessions of the town meeting to answer questions and provide information. He shall oversee the preparation of the annual town report and town warrants.
(r) The town administrator shall see that the General Laws, the Rockland town charter and Rockland town by-laws, and the votes of town meeting, and votes of the board of selectmen are carried out and performed.
(s) The town administrator shall perform all other duties as may be required by the board of selectmen.
SECTION 2. The town administrator of the town of Rockland holding office as of the effective date of this act shall continue to hold such office for the term of his appointment, unless he sooner resigns or is suspended or removed in accordance with the town charter.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.