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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE WILLIAMS-ROCKWELL EDUCATIONAL GIFT FUND IN THE CITY OF GARDNER

     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.  Notwithstanding section 53 of chapter 44 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city of Gardner may establish a special fund for the Gardner school department to be known as the Williams-Rockwell Educational Gift Fund.  The fund shall be used for the following purposes:
(i)  50 per cent for  providing scholarships for students pursuing  academic endeavors; support of academic and athletic programs in the Gardner public schools; professional development for faculty; and grant making and support for related programs throughout the Gardner school district; and 
    (ii)  50 per cent for providing scholarships for students pursuing the arts; support and promotion of arts education in the Gardner public schools including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, dance, music, theater and any and all related programs; professional development for faculty; and grant making in support of related programs throughout the Gardner school district. 
In any given year, the board of trustees, by a unanimous vote, may vary the percentage of funding for the purposes described in clause (i) or (ii) by not more than 15 per cent.
     SECTION 2.  The fund shall be kept separate and apart from all other monies and managed under the direction and control of a board of 9 trustees who are hereby designated as the custodians of the fund. The board shall be constituted as follows: the mayor of the city of Gardner or a designee; the president of the city council or a designee; the city’s treasurer; the superintendent of schools; and a school committee representative elected by the committee. Those board members shall be trustees during the terms of their respective offices. In addition, 4 members at large shall be appointed by the mayor and subject to confirmation by the city council.  Two  of the members at large shall serve for a term of 2 years and the other 2 members at large shall serve for a term of 3 years.  Each term of a member at large shall commence at the first meeting of the trustees. Upon the expiration of the terms of office of the members at large, a successor shall be appointed for a term of 3 years or until a successor is duly appointed and qualified. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in an at-large position by reason of death, resignation or otherwise, that vacancy shall also be filled in like manner for the unexpired term. Upon assuming the office of trustee, whether by virtue of one’s position, designation or appointment, each member shall be sworn to the faithful performance of the duties of a trustee of the Williams–Rockwell Educational Gift Fund in the same manner and to the same extent as other city officials.
     SECTION 3.  The trustees shall hold their first meeting within 90 days following the effective date of this act and shall meet at least 4 times per calendar year thereafter. Six trustees shall constitute a quorum.
     SECTION 4.  No member of the board of trustees shall receive compensation for their services as a trustee hereunder.
     SECTION 5.  The trustees shall have the full power to elect officers as the trustees may from time to time determine necessary or expedient; provided, however, that in any case, the trustees shall at their first meeting, elect a clerk whose duty it shall be to keep a full and fair record of the proceedings of the board and to discharge other duties as the trustees shall from time to time prescribe. The trustees shall determine the tenure of all offices, including the clerk, whose tenure shall be established at the first meeting. The trustees have full power and authority to establish rules, regulations and policies for the conduct of their meetings and all activities that the trustees may perform under this act.
     SECTION 6.  The trustees shall keep a full accounting of the fund and make an annual report thereof to the school committee and that report shall be incorporated into the school department’s annual budget presentation to the city council.  The report shall include the total amount of the fund and the investments, receipts and disbursements on account of same and shall set forth in detail the sources of all income and receipts, the purposes of expenditures and other information as the trustees deem appropriate.
     SECTION 7.  In addition to administering the proceeds of the sale from the Williams-Rockwell gift, the trustees may solicit, receive and deposit into the fund any other money donated to this fund including, but not limited to, any gifts designating a specific purpose.  It shall be the duty of the trustees to prudently invest the funds deposited in the Williams-Rockwell Educational Gift Fund in accordance with the standards set forth in chapter 203C of the General Laws. To assist the board in carrying out its duties, the board shall issue a request for proposals to assist it in the professional financial management of the fund and may enter into contracts with qualified investment managers, registered as such under the United States Investment Advisors Act of 1940, on such terms and conditions as the trustees determine shall assist them in carrying out the purposes of the fund. The board may seek and utilize the city’s purchasing department in preparing all documents related to such requests for proposals including, but not limited to, contracts, for issuing and reviewing the requests and for any other assistance the purchasing department customarily provides for other city boards or departments. 
     SECTION 8.  The trustees shall annually determine the number and criteria for scholarships, grants or other expenditures they wish to make from the income derived from this fund and establish requirements and deadlines for applicants and recipients of the annual distributions.  Not more than 90 per cent of the income so derived from the fund shall be so distributed in any 1 year and the remaining 10 per cent of such income shall be reinvested in the fund. Notwithstanding this provision, the trustees may determine that, due to unique or unusual circumstances, the educational needs of the city’s students would benefit from a deviation from this spending rule, the trustees may, upon making specific findings regarding such unique or unusual circumstances, and that such deviation is in keeping with the purpose and intent of this fund, deviate from this spending limitation. Any such deviation shall be approved by a unanimous vote of the trustees and may not exceed 10 per cent of the fund’s principal balance as of the end of the previous quarter.  Any such deviation shall not result in a remaining fund balance which is less than the amount of the principal balance as of the date of the fund’s inception, plus the principle sum of any subsequent donations, if so directed by the donor.  
     SECTION 9.  Expenditures made by the trustees in accordance with the terms of this act may be made without further appropriation.
     SECTION 10.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, December 23, 2015.