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  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 385 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF WESTBOROUGH.

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 charter of the town of Westborough, 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 striking out articles 3 to 5, exclusive, and inserting in place thereof the following 3 articles:-

ARTICLE 3

Section 3-1
General Provisions.
(a) Elected Offices - The offices to be filled by ballot of the whole town shall be a board of selectmen, a moderator, a school committee, a housing authority, a planning board, the town clerk, the trustees of the public library and such members of regional authorities or districts as may be established by statute, interlocal agreement or otherwise.
(b) Eligibility - Any voter shall be eligible to hold an elective town office, but no person shall at the same time serve in more than 1 elected office, as defined in subsection (a).
(c) Election - The regular elections for town offices shall be held annually on such date as may from time to time be fixed in the bylaws of the town.

Section 3-2
Selectmen: Composition, Term of Office, Compensation, Powers and Duties, etc.
(a) Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a board of selectmen consisting of 5 members to be elected by the voters for terms of 3 years so arranged that the terms of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year.
(b) Compensation - The selectmen shall receive for their services such compensation as may annually be provided for that purpose by appropriation.
(c) Powers and Duties in General - The executive powers of the town shall be vested in the board of selectmen and may be exercised by them jointly or through the town agencies and offices under their general supervision and control. As chief executive officers of the town, the board of selectmen shall be responsible for all aspects of the town's government that is not otherwise granted to another elected officer, board, commission or committee. The board of selectmen shall cause the laws and orders for the government of the town to be enforced and shall cause a record of all its official acts to be kept and, for that purpose and to aid it in its official duties, there shall be a town manager.
(d) Appointments - The board of selectmen shall appoint the following:
key personnel pursuant to subsection (a) of section 5-2; other personnel of the town, as defined in section 5-2; members of the town boards, commissions or committees for which the boards has explicitly designated as the appointing authority in said section 5-2; and any other members of any other town boards, commissions, or committees, special or standing, permanent or ad hoc as may from time to time be established by the board or by town meeting unless another appointing authority is designated in the town meeting or this charter.
(e) Investigations - The board of selectmen may investigate or may authorize the town manager to investigate the affairs of the town and the conduct of any town department, office or agency, including any doubtful claims against the town. A report of the results of any such investigation shall be placed on file in the office of the board of selectmen and a report summarizing the results of such investigation shall be printed in the next annual town report.
(f) Eligibility - Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a person employed by the town of Westborough shall not be eligible to hold the office of selectman in the town of Westborough while so employed.
An employee holding the office of selectman in the town of Westborough on the effective date of this act may serve the remaining period of his term, but shall be ineligible for re-election while so employed.

Section 3-3
Moderator: Term of Office, Compensation Powers and Duties, etc.
(a) Term of Office - At each town election at which the term of office expires, a moderator shall be chosen by the voters for a term of 3 years.
(b) Compensation - The moderator shall receive for his services such compensation as may annually be provided for that purpose by appropriation.
(c) Powers and Duties - The moderator shall have all the powers and duties provided for that office by statute, charter by by-law and town meeting.
(d) Appointments - The moderator shall appoint for fixed overlapping terms: all members of the advisory finance committee, all members of the personnel board, two members of the capital expenditure planning committee and such all members of any other special or standing committees as may from time to time be established by town meeting and designating the moderator as the appointing authority. These appointments shall be made such that the terms of office of as nearly an equal number of members shall expire each year.

Section 3-4
School Committee: Composition, Term of Office, Powers and Duties, etc.
(a) Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a school committee consisting of 5 members elected by the voters for 3-year terms so arranged that the terms of office of as nearly an equal number of members expire each year.
(b) Compensation - School committee members shall serve without salary.
(c) Powers and Duties - The school committee shall have all of the powers and duties school committees may have under the General Laws and it shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by charter or by-law.


Section 3-5
Housing Authority: Composition, Term of Office, Powers and Duties, etc.
(a) Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a housing authority consisting of 5 members, 4 of whom shall be elected by the voters and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the director of housing and community development or his designee for 5 year overlapping terms such that the term of office of 1 member shall expire each year.
(b) Powers and Duties - The housing authority shall have all of the powers and duties which such authorities may have under the General Laws.

Section 3-6
Planning Board: Composition, Term of Office, Powers and Duties, etc.
(a) Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a planning board consisting of 5 members elected by the voters for 5 year terms so arranged that the terms of office of as nearly an equal number of members shall expire each year.
(b) Powers and Duties - The planning board shall have all of the powers and duties planning boards may have under the General Laws. The board may also exercise such additional powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to them by the charter, by by-law or vote of the town meeting.
(c) Appointments - The planning board shall appoint the following: planning board personnel, as defined in section 5-2 of this charter and town boards, commissions, or committees for which section 5-2 of this charter has explicitly designated the planning board as the appointing authority.

Section 3-7
Town Clerk: Term of Office. Powers and Duties. etc.
(a) Term of Office - There shall be a town clerk elected by the voters for a term of 3 years.
(b) Powers and Duties - The town clerk shall have all the powers and duties town clerks may have under the General Laws. The clerk may also exercise such additional powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to the clerk by the charter, by by-law or by vote of the town meeting.

Section 3-9
Board of Library Trustees: Composition, Term of Office, Powers and Duties, etc.
(a) Composition, Term of Office - There shall be a board of library trustees to consist of 9 members elected by the voters for 3 year terms so arranged that the terms of 3 members shall expire each year.
(b) Powers and Duties - The board of library trustees shall have custody and management of the public library and all property of the town relating thereto.
(c) Appointments - The board of library trustees shall appoint library personnel, as provided in subsection (b) of section 5-2.

ARTICLE 4

Town Manager

Section 4-1
Appointment, Qualifications, Term.
The board of selectmen shall appoint a town manager for a term not to exceed 3 years and shall fix his compensation within the amount appropriated by the town. The town manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications. He shall be especially fitted by education, training and experience to perform the duties of the office.
The town manager need not be a resident of the town or the commonwealth at the time of his appointment but shall establish residence in the town of Westborough or in a town contiguous to the town of Westborough within 1 year following the date of appointment. Failure to establish such residence shall be deemed to be a resignation from the office of the town manager.
The town manager shall not have served as a member of the board of selectmen for the 18 months prior to his appointment. He shall be bonded by a surety company and the cost of the bond shall be borne by the town. He shall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other public office, elective or appointive, nor engage in any other business or occupation during his term, unless such action is approved in advance in writing by the board of selectmen. The town may from time to time establish by by-law such additional qualifications as it deems necessary and appropriate.

Section 4-2
Powers and Duties.
The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town and shall be responsible to the board of selectmen for the administration of all town affairs placed in his charge pursuant to the charter.
(a) The town manager shall appoint the following:-
(i) town boards, commissions and committees and other town personnel for
which section 5-2 of this charter has explicitly designated the town manager as the appointing authority;
(ii) members of other town boards, commissions and committees and other personnel for which the board of selectmen, by-laws and town meeting have the town manager to act as appointing authority as long as that appointing authority does not conflict with this charter; and
(iii) members of any advisory committee formed by the town manager as allowed in the town's organization plan, as described in section 5-2.
These appointments shall take effect 15 days after the day that notice of the appointment was filed with the board of selectmen unless the board of selectmen shall, within that period by a majority of all of its members, vote to reject the appointment.
The town manager:
(1) shall participate fully in the duties and obligations of the town manager as described in the town's organization plan described in section 5-2 of this charter;
(2) shall direct and supervise the administration of all functions under his control;
(3) shall administer the compensation and benefits of all town officers and employees appointed by him, within the limits established by appropriation and by by-laws as set by the salary administration plan;
(4) shall attend all regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen, unless excused at his own request, and shall have a voice, but no vote, in all of its discussions;
(5) shall attend all sessions of the open town meeting and answer all questions directed to him by the voters of the town which relate to his office;
(6) shall see that all provisions of the General Laws, the charter vote of the town meeting and vote of the board of selectmen which require enforcement by him or officers subject to his direction and supervision, are faithfully carried out;
(7) shall prepare and submit both the annual budget and the capital improvement program as provided in article 6;
(8) shall be responsible for the keeping complete records of the finances and administrative activities of the town and shall render a full report to the board of selectmen at the end of each fiscal year and otherwise as the board may require;
(9) shall keep the board of selectmen informed as to the financial condition and needs of the town and shall make such recommendations to the board of selectmen as he deems necessary or expedient;
(10) shall have full jurisdiction over the rental and use of all town facilities, except schools and libraries and lands held for conservation purposes and shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all town property, excluding school and library buildings, placed under his control by this charter or by-laws or statutes;
(11) shall be responsible for the appointment, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, of any necessary building and facilities committees relative to the preparation of plans and supervision of work on all construction, reconstruction, alterations, improvements and other undertakings authorized by the town, except schools and libraries;
(12) may inquire at any time into the conduct of office of any officer, employee, department, board or commission under his control;
(13) shall keep a complete inventory of all property of the town, both real and personal, within his jurisdiction;
(14) shall negotiate, purchase and service contracts involving any subject within his jurisdiction, but the proposed contracts shall be subject to final approval and execution by the board of selectmen;
(15) shall purchase or acquire all equipment, supplies and services required by town agencies under his control and may make such purchases for agencies not under his control upon receipt of a proper requisition; and
(16) shall perform any other duties required by the by-laws, votes of the town meeting or votes of the board of selectmen.

Section 4-3 Acting Town Manager (Temporary Absence).
By letter filed with the town clerk, the town manager shall designate a qualified town administrative officer or employee to perform the routine duties of the town manager during his temporary absence who shall have no appointive powers. During the town manager’s absence, the board of selectmen shall not revoke such designation until at least 15 days have elapsed, whereupon the board may appoint another qualified town administrative officer or employee to serve until the town manager return. If a letter has not been filed with the town clerk, the board of selectmen, by a majority vote, may appoint an acting town manager to serve in the absence of the town manager for a period of 60 days with not more than 1 extension.

Section 4-4 Removal.
The board of selectmen may remove the town manager from office in accordance with the procedures described in this section.
The board of selectmen shall adopt a preliminary resolution of removal by the affirmative vote of a majority of all of its members, which shall state the reasons for removal. This preliminary resolution may suspend the town manager for a period not to exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered to the town manager forthwith.

Within 5 days following delivery of the preliminary resolution, the town manager may request a public hearing by filing a written request therefor with the board of selectmen. The hearing shall be held at a meeting of the board of selectmen not later than 30 days after the request is filed nor earlier than 20 days. The town manager may file a written statement in justification of his time in office with the board of selectmen, provided that the statement is received in the selectmen’s office more than 48 hours in advance of the public hearing.

The board of selectmen may adopt a final resolution of removal, which may be made effective immediately, by the affirmative vote of a majority of all of its members at any time after l0 days following the date of delivery of a copy of the preliminary resolution to the town manager if he has not requested a public hearing, or any time after the public hearing if he has requested one. Within 10 days following the board’s vote to make its resolution final but not later than 45 days after the date of adoption of the first resolution, the board shall, by majority vote of the full membership, either affirm or dismiss the final resolution of removal. Failure to affirm a final resolution of removal shall nullify the vote to dismiss the town manager. The town manager shall continue to receive his salary until the effective date of a final resolution of removal. The action of the board of selectmen in suspending or removing the town manager shall be final.

ARTICLE 5

Administration Organization

Section 5-1
Creation of Departments, Divisions, Agencies and Offices.
The organization or reorganization of the town into operating departments, divisions, offices and agencies shall be accomplished in the following manner subject to the express prohibitions in the General Laws or this charter.
(a) By-laws - The town meeting may, by by-law, reorganize, consolidate or abolish any town agency, in whole or in part, establish new town agencies as it deems necessary or advisable and prescribe the functions of all such agencies.
(b) Organization Plan - The board of selectmen, after consultations with the town manager, may from time to time prepare and submit to the town meeting, plans of organization which establish operating divisions for the orderly, efficient or convenient conduct of the business of the town.
(c) Whenever the board of selectmen prepares such a plan, it shall hold 1 or more public hearings on the proposal giving notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the town at least 7 days prior to the hearing. This notice shall describe the scope of the proposal and the time and place at which the hearing will be held. Following such public hearing, the board of selectmen shall submit to the town meeting by a warrant article, its proposal which may have been amended subsequent to the public hearing. To the extent any such plan contains features that conflict with this charter, the warrant articles shall include proposed charter amendments to accurately reflect and allow the proposed changes.
(d) An organization or reorganization plan shall take effect 30 days after the action of the town meeting.

Section 5-2
Organization Plan: Appointing Authorities.
Elected officials shall be responsible for determining and evaluating the policies, priorities and programs of their respective departments and for the effective administration, management and operation of their respective departments; provided, however, that such elected officials may rely on the work of other commissions, committees, groups and employees to carry out their responsibilities.

Section 5-2
(a) Elected Officials: Appointing Boards, Commissions and Committees.
An elected official or board, as designated in article 3 may appoint committees to gather, provide or otherwise report on information of interest to the official or board unless a different appointing authority is specified in this charter or in the town by-laws.
As chief executive officers of the town, the board of selectmen shall be the appointing authority for and shall appoint, for fixed overlapping terms, the members of the following boards, commissions and committees:-
zoning board of appeals;
conservation commission;
recreation commission;
country club operating committee;
representative to the capital expenditure planning committee;
council on aging;
chapter 6lA study committee;
emergency planning committee;
historical commission;
housing partnership committee;
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority advisory board;
open space preservation committee;
central Massachusetts regional planning commission - Westborough members;
Westborough members of the Westborough/Shrewsbury wastewater treatment plant board;
water resources management committee;
trustees of soldiers' memorials;
veterans advisory board;
walkup-robinson fund committee;
Sandra pond/conservation area wardens;
youth commission, known as Westborough youth and family service;
Westborough cultural council;
industrial development commission; and
Westborough TV, Inc, independent nonprofit town representatives.
Those members of the insurance advisory committee to be appointed by the town shall be appointed by the board of selectmen, in accordance with section 3 of chapter 32B of the General Laws.
In accordance with its planning functions, the planning board shall be the appointing authority for the design review board.

Section 5-2 (b)
Elected Officials: Appointing Town Employees.
The elected officials and boards shall appoint employees to manage and perform duties for their respective departments in the following manner:
Board of Selectmen. The board of selectmen shall appoint the following department heads, known as "key personnel" for terms not to exceed 3 years, except for the fire chief who shall be appointed for an indefinite term:-
town manager, as defined in section 4-1;
town counsel;
police chief;
fire chief; and
department of public works, to be known as the DPW manager.
For the purposes of this section, the term key personnel shall be used to determine the appointing authority and the appointment process and shall have no effect on compensation, benefits, privileges, term, renewals of term, job description, responsibilities, authority, duties or performance.
The board of selectmen shall also appoint the following:
police officers upon nomination by the police chief;
police dispatchers upon nomination by the police chief;
election officials for fixed terms, upon nomination by the town clerk; and
registrars of voters for fixed overlapping terms, upon nomination by the town clerk.
The board of selectmen, in consultation with the town manager, shall appoint the animal control officer for a fixed term and shall nominate for appointment, in accordance with section 151 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, the animal inspector.
Housing Authority. The housing authority shall appoint its department head who shall be the director of the housing authority. The housing authority may appoint other employees of the housing authority or may, in writing, delegate such appointments to the director of the housing authority.
Planning Board. The planning board shall appoint its department head who shall be the town planner. The planning board may, in writing, appoint other employees of the planning department or, with express written consent, may delegate such appointments to the town planner.
Town Clerk. The town clerk shall act as a department head and shall appoint all employees in the town clerk's department. The town clerk shall nominate candidates for election officials and registrars of voters to the board of selectmen.
Board of Library Trustees. The board of library trustees shall appoint its department head who shall be the library director. The board of library trustees may appoint other employees of the town's library department or may, in writing, delegate such appointments to the library director.

Section 5-2 (c)
Boards, Commissions or Committees Appointed by the Board of Selectmen: Appointing Town Employees.
Any board, commission, or committee appointed by the board of selectmen that has a department head shall appoint the department head and any assistants to the department head with the concurrence of the town manager.
Other employees of such departments shall be appointed by the respective department heads.

Section 5-2 (d)
Appointed Key Personnel: Appointing Town Employees.
The town's key personnel shall be responsible for the management and operation of their respective departments. The key personnel shall appoint the employees in their respective departments in a manner consistent with this section.
The town manager, with the concurrence of the board of selectmen, shall appoint, for fixed terms, the following positions:-

  1. assistant town managers;
  2. chief assessor;
  3. town accountant;
  4. treasurer collector;
  5. commissioners of trust funds; and
  6. veterans' agent, director of veterans' services, burial agent and graves officer.

The town manager shall appoint, for fixed terms, the following positions:

  1. building commissioner;
  2. zoning enforcement officer;
  3. building inspectors;
  4. MIS/GIS director;
  5. wiring inspectors;
  6. plumbing and gas inspectors;
  7. affirmative action officer;
  8. sexual harassment officer;
  9. constables;
  10. fence viewer;
  11. insect and pest control officer;
  12. measurer of wood;
  13. municipal hearings officer;
  14. sealer of weights and measures; and
  15. weight masters at Tate & Lyle.

    The police chief shall nominate candidates for the positions of police officers and police dispatchers to the board of selectmen. The police chief shall appoint all other employees of the police department.
    The fire chief shall appoint all employees of the fire department.
    The department of public works manager shall appoint all employees of the department of public works.
    The town counsel shall appoint the employees of the town's legal department.

    Section 5-2 (e)
    Town Manager: Appointing Administrative Boards, Commissions and Committees.
    As the chief administrative officer of the town, the town manager shall appoint, for fixed overlapping terms, the members of the following boards, commissions and committees:-
  1. board of assessors;
  2. board of health;
  3. municipal building committee; and
  4. disability affairs committee.

The determination of whether a particular board, commission or committee not specifically listed in this subsection is primarily related to the administration of the town shall be determined by the board of selectmen.

Section 5-3
Organization Plan: Processes.
The processes described in this section shall be used to implement the town's organization plan.

Section 5-3
(a) Determination of Key Personnel.
The addition or deletion of positions from the list of key personnel specified in subsection (b) of section 5-2 may be enacted by the town meeting adoption of a warrant article that modifies said subsection (b).

Section 5-3 (b)
Use of Search Committees.
The process of appointing key personnel shall incorporate the use of a search committee except in the case of a reappointment.
The town manager shall be a member of any search committee established to fill the position of town counsel, police chief, fire chief, or department of public works manager. Appointing authorities may specify the use of a search committee for other town employees in their respective departments. Where no specific search committee process is prescribed by the general or special laws, this charter, the town's by-laws or action of the town meeting, the search committee process shall be determined by the appointing authority.

Section 5-3 (c)
Town-Wide Management Team.
As chief administrative officer of the town, the town manager shall lead the town-wide management team consisting of the town's key personnel and the head of each town department.
Notwithstanding the manner of their appointment, the head of each town department shall be considered a member of the town manager's management team for the purpose of assuring common town personnel, financial, administrative and technology use practices, and for the purpose of fostering effective communications among town departments.
The town manager shall participate in the performance review process of the town's key personnel and shall provide evaluative comments to the chairman of the board of selectmen during this process. The town manager shall provide evaluative comments to the appointing authority of each department head for use in the respective performance review process.

Section 5-3 (d)
Town Appointment Processes.
Precedence of Appointing Authority. Notwithstanding any appointment process provided for in this charter, if a state statute prescribes an appointing authority or appointing process or if the town has accepted a statute covering any appointments or positions mentioned in this charter and that statute prescribes an appointment process for that appointment or position, the state appointing process shall control.
Filling vacancies: Key Personnel and Department Heads. A vacancy in a key personnel or department head position shall be filled in the manner prescribed for its initial appointment, but the appointing authority may appoint an acting key personnel or department head for not more than 4 three-month periods for a maximum of 1 year. In the event the appointment of the permanent position requires the concurrence of another body or officer, that body or officer shall concur with the appointment of any acting key personnel or department head. Any such temporary appointment by the appointing authority shall cease upon the filling of the vacancy by the prescribed method.

Section 5-3 (e)
Processes Related to Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Appointing Authority for new Boards, Commissions and Committees. Boards, commissions and committees created by the board of selectmen shall be appointed in one of two ways, depending on the primary nature of the board, commission, or committee. Members of bodies that are primarily of a policymaking nature shall be appointed by the board of selectmen. Members of bodies that are primarily of an administrative nature shall be appointed by the town manager.
With regard to a board, commission or committee newly created by the board of selectmen, the determination of the appointing authority shall be made by the board of selectmen unless town meeting action indicates a specific appointing authority.
Appointing Authority for Administrative Advisory Boards. The town manager may create and appoint ad hoc committees that are solely advisory to the town manager.
Filling Vacancies on Boards, Commissions or Committees. Notwithstanding any contrary special or general or special law to the contrary, a vacancy, on a board, commission or committee for a permanent temporary position shall be filled in the same manner as prescribed for the initial appointment.

Section 5-4
Staffing Plan.
The town manager shall cause to be prepared a plan establishing staffing requirements within the town agencies created by administrative reorganization or by by-law, and it shall become effective within 30 days after the date of town meeting action. To the extent any such staffing plan conflicts with this charter, the warrant articles shall include proposed charter amendments so that plan will conform to the charter as so amended.

Section 5-5
Publication of Administrative Organization and Staffing Plan.
For the convenience of the public, the administrative organization and any amendment thereto shall be printed as an appendix to, but not an integral part of, the salary administration plan of the town of Westborough.


Section 5-6 Merit Principle.
All appointments and promotions of town officers and employees shall be made solely on the basis of merit and fitness demonstrated by examination or other evidence of competence and suitability including, but not limited to, past performance or seniority.

SECTION 2. Section 6-2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordinator” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

SECTION 3. Section 6-3 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordinator”, each time it appears, and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

SECTION 4. Section 6-4 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordinator”, each time it appears, and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

SECTION 5. Section 6-6 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordinator” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

SECTION 6. Section 6-7 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordinator” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

SECTION 7. The second paragraph of subsection (a) of section 7-7 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordinator” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

SECTION 8. The first paragraph of section 7-8 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “Coordination” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- Manager.

Approved December 16 , 2008