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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 41 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TOWN ADMINISTRATOR IN THE TOWN OF HANSON.

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. There shall be an administrative officer in the town of Hanson known as the town administrator. The town administrator, reporting directly to and supervised by the board of selectmen, shall be the chief administrative and operating officer of the town of Hanson. The town administrator shall not set town policy but shall ensure that there is appropriate coordination in the implementation of town policy, working with the board of selectmen and all elected and appointed boards and commissions.

The town administrator shall supervise, manage and coordinate the day-to-day activities of all town departments and employees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and coordinate all activities of these town departments with the activities of other departments under the jurisdiction of other elected town officials, boards and commissions.

SECTION 2. The town administrator shall be appointed by the board of selectmen solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications and experience. The town administrator shall be a person especially suited by a combination of education, training and professional experience to perform the duties of the office. The town administrator shall not have served in elective office in the town's government for at least 12 months before the appointment. The town administrator shall devote fulltime to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or appointive, nor engage in any other business or occupation during the term, unless that other service is approved in advance by vote of the board of selectmen. The office of town administrator shall not be subject to the personnel by-law, and the board of selectmen shall fix compensation for the office within the amount appropriated by the town. The board of selectmen may enter into a contract with the town administrator setting forth the terms and conditions of the town administrator’s employment.

SECTION 3. The town administrator shall be responsible to the board of selectmen, and shall be accountable to the board, for the efficient and orderly conduct of the departments, offices, and functions placed in the charge of the town administrator by this act and for the proper execution of the following powers and duties:-

(a) Oversee the efficient administration of all offices and departments appointed by the board of selectmen and report on any matters requiring the board's attention;

(b) Attend all regular or special board of selectmen meetings, unless requested or allowed to be excused, and have the right to speak but not vote;

(c) Attend all sessions, annual and special, of town meeting and be prepared to answer all questions concerning warrant articles that are directed to the town administrator and which relate to matters under the general supervision of the town administrator;

(d) Implement town meeting votes regarding articles under the control of the board of selectmen and provide written progress reports quarterly to the board of selectmen as to the status of implementation of all prior town meeting votes;

(e) Under the direction of the chair of the board of selectmen, prepare and distribute agendas for board of selectmen meetings;

(f) Work in conjunction with the chair of the board of selectmen and with town counsel regarding any litigation or other legal matters in which the town has an interest, act as liaison between town counsel and the board of selectmen and affected town departments or officials, review and approve new requests, other than board of selectmen requests, for use of town counsel on new matters, and provide the board of selectmen with monthly status reports on legal issues and concerns;

(g) Serve as the personnel director of the town, responsible for the administration of all personnel matters, including personnel by-laws and all personnel policies and regulations that the board of selectmen may adopt. This shall include the enforcement of personnel policies, rules and regulations and managing personnel costs, including salaries, benefits, overtime, and use of town-owned vehicles for employees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen;

(h) Recommend the appointment or removal, subject to the civil service law where applicable, of the following positions to the following appointing authorities:

(1) Town accountant, board of selectmen

(2) Treasurer/collector, board of selectmen

(3) Building commissioner, board of selectmen

(4) Animal control officer, board of selectmen

(5) Veterans agent, board of selectmen

(6) Burial agent, board of selectmen

(7) Director of elder affairs, board of selectmen

(8) Camp Kiwanee caretaker, recreation commission

(9) Conservation agent, conservation commission

(10) Assessor/appraiser, board of assessors

(11) Inspector of animals, board of health

(12) Librarian, library trustees

(13) Planner, planning board

(14) Health agent, board of health

(15) Water superintendent, water commission

(16) Administrative and clerical employees in the offices and departments under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and town administrator;

(i) Recommend appointments or removals based on merit or illness alone. All recommendations are subject to an affirmative vote of the relevant body as the appointing body;

(j) Evaluate, at least annually, the job performance of all town officers and department heads after seeking input and recommendation from the relevant body and any appointive committee served by those officers and department heads. Evaluations will be reviewed with the town officer, town administrator and a representative selected by the relevant body;

(k) Serve as the town's Americans with Disabilities Act director and affirmative action officer, and administer the town's affirmative action program;

(1) Exercise a general day-to-day supervision over all town agencies consistent with the policy and direction of the relevant body;

(m) Fix the compensation of all town officers and employees within the limits established by existing appropriations and adopted policies and procedures;

(n) Administer all applicable general or special laws, all applicable by-laws, and all applicable regulations and implement all goals and policies established by the board of selectmen;

(o) Be responsible for keeping full and complete records of the administrative activities of the town, and render a full report to the board of selectmen at the end of each fiscal year and otherwise as the board may require;

(p) Keep the board of selectmen informed as to the financial condition and needs of the town and make recommendations to the board of selectmen that the board considers to be necessary or expedient;

(q) Have access to all town books and records necessary for the performance of the duties of the office;

(r) Keep a full and complete inventory of all property of the town, both real and personal;

(s) Serve as the chief procurement officer responsible for purchasing all supplies, materials and equipment for all departments and activities of the town, excluding schools;

(t) Serve as arbiter of grievances and chief union negotiator for all collective bargaining agreements under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, but the board of selectmen shall provide guidelines, advice, and direction to the town administrator;

(u) Facilitate crisis intervention in emergency situations working with the key administrators in town including the chair of the board of selectmen, police chief, fire chief, highway surveyor, water superintendent, superintendent of schools and town counsel;

(v) Establish and maintain positive community relations with community organizations and groups and with individual citizens;

(w) Receive and act on questions and complaints filed with the board of selectmen or the town administrator and report back to the board of selectmen regarding resolution of complaints or questions;

(x) Prepare press releases for the board of selectmen, or its designee, for review and approval as directed;

(y) Prepare written reports for the board of selectmen on outstanding matters from time to time as directed; and

(z) Perform any other duties required by the by-laws or votes of the town meeting or the board of selectmen.

SECTION 4. The town administrator shall have the following budgetary powers and responsibilities:-

(a) Prepare, assemble and present annually to the board of selectmen for its review, approval and recommendation to the finance committee, detailed budgetary estimates of the amounts necessary for the administration of all town boards, officers, committees and departments, for the ensuing fiscal year, including both capital and expense items, with the exception of the water and school departments;

(b) Insure that complete and full records of the financial activity of the town are maintained in accordance with state and federal laws and town by-laws, and render monthly reports to the board of selectmen; and

(c) Seek out, prepare, coordinate, and file applications for state and federal grants.

SECTION 5. During a temporary absence, the town administrator shall designate by letter filed with the board of selectmen, a qualified administrative employee or officer to exercise the powers and perform the duties of town administrator. If the town administrator fails to do so, or the person appointed fails to serve to the satisfaction of the board of selectmen, the board of selectmen may appoint a qualified administrative employee or officer to so serve. In the event of suspension of the town administrator or a vacancy in the office, the board of selectmen shall appoint an acting town administrator.

Approved March 15, 2006 .

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