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  • Acts
  • 2009
  • Chapter 148 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS IN THE TOWN OF HADLEY.

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 established in the town of Hadley a department of public works under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. The department of public works shall have charge of and responsibility for the management of all public works operations of the town including, but not limited to the following: highway, water, sewer, solid waste, engineering services, building maintenance of all town buildings except those under the jurisdiction of the school department, cemetery and other operations as may be deemed necessary or desirable. The board of selectmen shall have the power to make all policy decisions related to the operations of public works within the town of Hadley. All references herein to the “board” shall refer to the board of selectmen.

The board shall be responsible for: the repair, alteration and maintenance of all town-owned equipment, property and vehicles under the jurisdiction of the board, and those formerly under the board acting as water commissioners and water department, sewer commissioners and sewer department and cemetery committee and cemetery department; the central purchasing of all public works related supplies, materials and equipment and; the awarding of all contracts for the repair, alteration, remodeling, construction, reconstruction, maintenance or renovation of all town public ways, sewer lines, water lines, grounds, properties, facilities and equipment, except those under the jurisdiction of the school department.

The board shall appoint and may suspend, discipline or remove the director of public works and the division heads, assistants, laborers and employees thereof.
Upon the effective date of this act, the board shall have all the powers and duties now or from time to time vested by general law or special act in the following boards, departments and offices, or in boards, departments and offices having corresponding powers and duties in the town: road commissioners; surveyors of highways; superintendent of streets; water commissioners; sewer commissioners; municipal light board or commissioners thereof; cemetery commissioners; tree warden and; moth superintendent and forestry department. Such boards, departments and offices shall thereupon be abolished and the terms of any incumbent members of any such board shall be terminated. No contracts or liabilities then in force shall be affected by such abolition, but the board shall, in all respects, be the lawful successor of the boards, departments and offices so abolished.

SECTION 2. The board shall appoint the director of public works. Pending the appointment of the director, the board may appoint an acting director. The compensation of the director or acting director shall be fixed by the board, subject to appropriations therefore.

The board shall initiate a recruitment and selection process for the position of director of public works, who shall be responsible to the board. The board shall appoint a screening committee charged with recommending the appointment of the first director of public works for the town. The committee shall establish detailed qualifications for the position of director of public works and seek candidates for the position through advertisements in professional journals and other recruitment sources. The director of the department of public works shall be especially suited by education, training and experience to perform the duties of the office and shall have such other qualifications as the board may from time to time require. The director need not be a resident of the town. The director shall be a college graduate with an appropriate 4 year engineering degree. The committee shall report to the board and recommend candidates for consideration within a reasonable period of time after its appointment.

No member of the board shall be eligible for appointment as director of public works. While employed by the town of Hadley, the director of public works shall hold no other elective or appointive office, nor engage in any other business or occupation; provided, however, that director of public works shall serve as the tree warden. The board may waive this restriction by prior written authorization.

SECTION 3. The director of public works shall supervise and direct the operations of the department of public works. The director shall have full authority to carry out the policies of the board and shall be responsible for the efficient exercise and performance of the powers, rights and duties vested in the board by this act.

The director shall, unless the board deems it unnecessary or impractical by reason of cost or otherwise, give the town a bond with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth as surety for the faithful performance of the director’s duties in such sum and upon such conditions as the board may require.

The director shall serve at the pleasure of the board. On behalf of the town, the board may enter into an employment contract with any such director, the terms and conditions of which, including the length thereof shall not necessarily be limited to 1 calendar or fiscal year but shall be determined by the board, in its sole discretion.

The director shall keep full and complete records of the doings of his office and shall render to the board regular and full reports of all operations under the director’s control during the period reported upon and shall annually prepare a synopsis of such reports for publication in the town report. The director shall keep the board fully advised as to the needs of the town within the scope of the director’s duties and shall annually furnish to the board, not later than the last day of January, detailed estimates in writing of the appropriation required during the next ensuing fiscal year for the proper exercise and performance of all his powers, rights and duties; and shall annually furnish to the board not later than December detailed estimates in writing of the capital budget needs for the next 5 years. Each budget request shall be in such detail and such format as may be required by the board and shall, unless the board directs otherwise, be in such details and in such format as may be suggested by the finance committee.

SECTION 4. No person in the permanent full-time employment of the town, as of the effective date of this act, in any of the boards, positions or departments abolished or consolidated hereunder shall forfeit pay grade or time in service by virtue of the establishment of the department of public works. Each such person shall be retained in a capacity as similar to such person’s former capacity as is practical. No contracts or liabilities in force as of the effective date of this act shall be affected by this act, but the board shall be deemed the lawful successor of the aforesaid departments, commissions, board and offices relative to such contracts or liabilities. It shall be the duty of such departments, commissions, board and offices to turn over to the board property and records, including all contracts, papers, documents, permits, plans and property under their control and custody and each shall furnish to the board such information as may be required by the board of selectmen.

SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved November 19, 2009.