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 in the town of Merrimac a department of public
works under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. The department shall have charge of and responsibility for the management of public works operations of the town not assigned to other departments of the town including, but not limited to, the following: highway department; parks and recreation department; solid waste and recycling; wastewater department; water department; and all other related construction and operations as may be assigned from time to time by the board of selectmen when deemed necessary and desirable.
The board of selectmen may make all policy decisions relating to the department of public works except as may be reserved to the parks and recreation commissioners.
SECTION 2. The board of selectmen shall appoint a director of public works, who shall recommend to the board of selectmen all employees of the department of public works. The compensation of such employees shall be set in the same manner as is set for other employees of the town, except as provided in section 5.
SECTION 3. The director of public works shall supervise and direct the operations and employees of the department of public works in accordance with the town’s personnel by-law and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. The director of public works shall be especially qualified by education, training and experience to perform the duties of the office and shall have such other qualifications as the town may require from time to time. While employed by the town, the director of public works shall not hold an elective office nor shall the director engage in a business or occupation relating to public works unless approved in advance by the board of selectmen. Nothing in this section shall prevent the director of public works from serving on special ad hoc committees in order to represent the department of public works.
SECTION 4. On the effective date of this act, the wastewater commissioners and the water commissioners and the appointed position of water manager shall be abolished and their powers, duties, responsibilities and compensation shall be transferred to the director of public works.
SECTION 5. No person in the regular, permanent full-time or part-time service or employment of the town shall forfeit the rate of compensation, grade, step or time of service on account of the establishment of the department of public works. Each such person shall be retained in a capacity as similar to the person’s former capacity as practical. No collective bargaining agreement, contract or liability in force on the effective date of this act shall be affected by this act.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved December 17, 2008