Session Law

2014

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Chapter 90 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF SOMERVILLE

     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.  Chapter 240 of the acts of 1899 is hereby amended by striking out section 7, as most recently amended by section 11 of chapter 400 of the acts of 2012, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 7.  If there is no choice of mayor or if the person elected mayor shall refuse to accept the office or shall die before qualifying, or if a vacancy in the office shall occur 5 months or more prior to any regular municipal election, the board of aldermen shall immediately order a special election and the same proceedings shall be had in all respects as are provided for the election of a mayor under this charter and shall be repeated until the election of a mayor is completed. If the vacancy in the office of mayor shall occur less than 5 months prior to any regular municipal election, it shall be filled by the board of aldermen from amongst its members by a majority vote of all its members.  If the full number of members in the office of alderman-at-large has not been elected, or if a vacancy occurs in the office of alderman-at-large for any cause, the city clerk shall within 5 calendar days notify the board of aldermen and the chairperson of the board of election commissioners of the vacancy.  Within 5 calendar days after notification, the chairperson of the board of election commissioners or a designee shall certify, in writing, to the city clerk that the defeated candidate for the office of alderman-at-large with the next highest number of votes at the regular municipal election at which aldermen-at-large were elected for the term in which the vacancy occurs shall serve as alderman-at-large. If the person is eligible and willing to serve, the city clerk shall administer the oath of office to the person within 15 calendar days after certification and the person shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the person who is eligible declines the office, is not eligible and willing to serve or fails to take the oath of office within the time period set forth in this section, then the person with the next highest number of votes at the election who is eligible and willing to serve shall fill the remainder of the unexpired term in the manner set forth in this section.  If there is no defeated candidate eligible and willing to serve who has taken the oath of office and the vacancy occurs more than 180 days prior to any regular municipal election, the board of aldermen shall immediately order a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
     If the full number of members in the office of alderman elected by ward has not been elected or if a vacancy occurs in the office of alderman elected by ward for any cause more than 180 days prior to any regular municipal election, the board of aldermen shall immediately order a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
     If a vacancy occurs 180 days or less prior to any regular municipal election in the office of alderman-at-large, for which there is no defeated candidate eligible and willing to serve and who has taken the oath of office, or in the office of alderman elected by ward for any cause then the person elected at the next regular municipal election for the office shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term and the city clerk shall administer the oath of office to the person at the next meeting of the board of aldermen.
     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, May 1, 2014.