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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS IN THE TOWN OF ABINGTON.

       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.  Section 4-2-1 of Article IV of the charter of the town of Abington, 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 inserting after the words “park superintendent” the following words:- , director of the department of public works. 
       SECTION 2.  Section 4-2-2 of said Article IV of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the words “, sewer commission”.
       SECTION 3.  Article V of said charter is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
       Section 5-7 Department of Public Works Organization
       5-7-1.  (a) There shall be a department of public works under the supervision of a director.  The department shall include the board of sewer commissioners, board of parks and recreation, park superintendent, superintendent of highways, tree warden and trustees of veterans’ memorials and each of their respective functions.  The department of public works shall be responsible for: (i) the repair, alteration and maintenance of all town-owned public works-related equipment, property and vehicles; (ii) central purchasing of all public works-related supplies, materials and equipment; and (iii) management of all contracts and projects for the repair, alteration, remodeling, construction, reconstruction, maintenance or renovation of all town public ways, sewer lines, grounds, facilities and equipment except those under the jurisdiction of the school department and the board of water commissioners. 
       (b)  Notwithstanding that the board of sewer commissioners, board of parks and recreation, park superintendent, superintendent of highways, tree warden and trustees of veterans’ memorials shall be part of the department of public works, these multiple-member bodies and officers shall exercise their respective policy-making duties and responsibilities under the General Laws except as otherwise provided in this charter. 
       (c)  Additional public works functions, including solid waste collection and disposal, recycling, engineering and building maintenance, may be transferred to the department after a public hearing and by a vote of the board of selectmen upon a recommendation from the town manager and the director of the department of public works. 
       (d)  The department, with the approval of the town manager and the board of selectmen, may be organized into 1 or more operational divisions. 
       5-7-2.  (a) The director of public works shall exercise and perform, under the policy direction of the boards and committees identified in section 5-7-1 and the policy direction and supervision of the town manager, all of the powers, rights and duties to be exercised by the department in this section and said section 5-7-1 except as otherwise provided.  The director shall be appointed by the town manager pursuant to section 4-2-1 and may be removed by the town manager. 
       (b)  The director shall not hold any other elective or appointive office in the town and shall not be engaged in any other business or occupation; provided, however, that the director shall be eligible to be appointed as the head of any division of the department of public works and service in that division shall constitute a single position with the town.  The director shall give to 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 a sum and upon conditions as the town administrator shall require.  The director shall report to the town manager as to the doings of the office at times as the town manager may require.  The director shall supervise day-to-day operations and provide administrative coordination of the various boards and committees and functions assigned to the department and, for that purpose, shall supervise department division heads or directors.
       5-7-3.  The town manager, pursuant to sections 4-2-1 or 4-2-2, shall appoint department staff, including division heads, directors, principal deputies or principal agents, for any division or function of the department for which a multiple-member body or officer provides policy direction and, in addition to any requirements set forth in said section 4-2-1 or 4-2-2, the town manager shall consult with the director of the department and the appropriate policy-making multiple-member body or officer.  The town manager shall provide notice to any policy-making multiple-member board or officer of the department of any suspension or removal of employees assigned to a division of the department.  The decision of the town manager in suspending or removing a person appointed by the town manager shall be final. 
       SECTION 4.  To the extent that this act affects a particular appointed town office, position or employment, the town shall, subject to appropriation and the continued existence of the office, position or employment, retain the same and the individual holding that office, position or employment shall continue to perform the duties of the office, position or employment until provisions shall have been made for the performance of those duties by another person or agency, unless the individual is sooner removed pursuant to the charter, applicable collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, town by-law or otherwise; provided, however, that no person in the permanent full-time service or employment of the town shall forfeit that person’s pay grade or time in service.  Subject to appropriation and pursuant to any contracts or applicable collective bargaining agreements, any such person shall be retained in a capacity as similar to the capacity that person was serving in as of the effective date of this act.  Any reduction in the personnel needs of the town shall be accomplished through a policy of attrition unless specified otherwise. 
       SECTION 5.  No contracts or liabilities in force upon the effective date of this act shall be affected by the consolidation of public works functions authorized pursuant to this act.  All records, property and equipment of any office, department or part of any office or department assigned to the department of public works established in section 3 shall by operation of law be assigned to the department.
       SECTION 6.  Upon the effective date of this act, the offices and functions identified in this act shall, by operation of law, become part of the department of public works established in section 3.  The incumbent members of any of the boards or officers addressed in this act shall not be affected by the establishment of the department pursuant to said section 3. 
       SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, October 30, 2015.