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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE TOWN ADMINISTRATOR IN THE TOWN OF HINGHAM.

     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 any general or special law or by-law of the town of Hingham to the contrary, the board of selectmen of the town of Hingham shall appoint a town administrator for a 1-year term, 3-year term or a longer term that may be authorized by law and may, at its discretion, appoint the town administrator for successive terms thereafter; provided, however, that the board of selectmen may remove the town administrator at its discretion. The town administrator shall act by and for the board in a matter that the board may assign relating to the administration of the affairs of the town or of a town office or department under the supervision and control of the board and, with the approval of the board, may perform other duties that may be requested by another town officer, board, committee or commission. A town administrator appointed pursuant to this section shall be sworn to the faithful performance of the town administrator’s duties. While in office, the town administrator shall devote full-time to the position of town administrator and shall not engage in another business or occupation and shall not hold elective town office; provided, however, that the town administrator may be appointed to another town office or position consistent with this office by the board of selectmen or, with the board’s approval, by any other town officer, board, committee or commission.
     The town administrator shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications and shall be a person of proven professional ability fitted by education, training and previous full-time employment in a responsible public or business administrative position. An appointee shall not have held elective office within the town for a period of 12 months prior to appointment as town administrator.
     The position of town administrator shall not be subject to the personnel by-law of the town of Hingham. The board of selectmen shall enter into an employment contract with the town administrator.
     The board of selectmen shall provide the town administrator with an annual job performance review with input from department heads, employees and members of elected and appointed boards. As part of its annual review, the board shall evaluate the town administrator’s performance including the town administrator’s ability to: (i) supervise municipal employees properly; (ii) administer town government effectively; (iii) effectuate policy; and (iv) accomplish established goals. 
     SECTION 2.  (a) The town administrator shall be the chief administrative officer of the town of Hingham and shall be responsible for: (i) the administration and supervision of the town departments and appointed personnel under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and as otherwise provided by law or the by-laws of the town of Hingham; (ii) directing the overall activity of the municipality when exercising authority for finances, operations and oversight; and (iii) implementing town policies.
     (b)  Notwithstanding any general or special law or by-law of the town of Hingham to the contrary, the powers and duties of the town administrator shall include, but not be limited to, the authority and duty to:
          (i)  exercise overall responsibility for human resources for the town including, but not limited to: authority for hiring, supervision, evaluation, discipline and removal of town employees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen; and the responsibility to assist the personnel board in the implementation and administration of the personnel by-law of the town of Hingham and salary and classification plan;
          (ii)  coordinate the recruitment and screening of suitable candidates for consideration and appointment of the chief of police, the fire chief and the superintendent of public works by vote of the board of selectmen; provided, however, that the town administrator shall provide the board with relevant material for the evaluation of not more than 5 candidates; provided further, that if the board does not appoint any of the candidates, the town administrator shall continue to present candidates until 1 is appointed; and provided further, that the chief of police, the fire chief and the superintendent of the department of public works may be removed by vote of the board of selectmen after consultation with the town administrator; 
          (iii)  appoint and remove the department heads under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen except for the chief of police, the fire chief and the superintendent of public works and except as may otherwise be provided by law; provided, however, that the town administrator shall consult with the appropriate elected or appointed board, commission, committee or official, as well as the board of selectmen, prior to appointing a department head or undertaking a department head’s removal; provided further, that prior to finalizing a department head appointment, the town administrator shall provide notice to the board of selectmen of the anticipated appointment and the terms and conditions of employment for the appointment which the board of selectmen shall approve or disapprove within 14 days of the notice; provided, however, further, that a failure of the board of selectmen to act within this 14-day period shall be deemed approval of the appointment and the terms and conditions thereof; and provided further, that the termination or removal of a department head so appointed shall be subject to the same appointment notice and approval requirements;
          (iv)  directly or by designee, appoint and remove the other town employees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen except for civil service employees in the police department;
          (v)  be responsible for: the supervision, management, evaluation and discipline of the other town employees under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen; the annual performance evaluations of the department heads; and overseeing the performance evaluation program conducted by the department heads for employees within their respective departments;
          (vi)  act as hearing officer for appeals of civil service disciplinary suspensions of not more than 5 days and act on behalf of the board of selectmen in the grievance process pursuant to collective bargaining agreements;
          (vii)  prepare, develop and assemble, in a timely manner, the town budget for the non-school departments and accounts; provided, however, that following the development of the budget, the town administrator shall submit the entire budget document to the board of selectmen for review; and provided further, that the town administrator shall forward the budget document, including alterations approved and incorporated therein by the board of selectmen, to the advisory committee;
          (viii)  act as the chief procurement officer for the town; provided, however, that the town administrator shall: exercise full authority for procurement pursuant to chapter 30B of the General Laws; be responsible for the purchase of supplies, materials, services and equipment; and have the authority to award and sign contracts that do not exceed $50,000, commonwealth highway contracts and state and federal grants; provided further, that a contract that exceeds $50,000 shall require the approval of the board of selectmen; provided further, that the town administrator shall have the authority to sign a contract approved by the board of selectmen on behalf of the town; and provided further, that contracts and grants signed by the town administrator shall be promptly reported, in writing, to the board of selectmen;
          (ix)  attend the regular and special meetings of the board of selectmen, unless unavailable for reasonable cause, have a voice, but not a vote, in its proceedings and keep full and complete records of the same;
          (x)  fully inform the board of selectmen as to the needs of the town and make recommendations to the board with regard to such needs;
          (xi)  fully inform the board of selectmen as to departmental operations, fiscal matters and administrative actions, provide regular reports to the board on such matters and provide special reports to the board at the board’s request;
          (xii)  coordinate collective bargaining negotiations under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, on behalf of and at the direction of the board of selectmen;
          (xiii)  administer and enforce collective bargaining agreements and other employment agreements under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen, at the direction of and on behalf of the board of selectmen;
          (xiv)  manage the real and personal property of the town under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen;
          (xv)  oversee the purchase of supplies, materials, services and equipment and approve the award of contracts for the town departments exclusive of the schools, subject to clause (viii);
          (xvi)  determine the compensation of non-school employees within the limits of the town’s salary and classification plan, collective bargaining agreements and other employment agreements and subject to the personnel by-law of the town of Hingham;
          (xvii)  coordinate the activities of appointed and elected boards, committees and commissions and may require such bodies and individuals to meet with and provide information to the town administrator, at reasonable times, to coordinate and for financial planning; provided, however, that the town administrator shall be a resource to elected and appointed boards and departments;
          (xviii)  reorganize, abolish, consolidate or establish a department or position under the town administrator’s authority as the town administrator deems appropriate, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen before implementation and funding by town meeting, if necessary;
          (xix)  supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of the town departments under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and for the functions for which the town administrator is given responsibility, authority or control by the board of selectmen;
          (xx)  delegate, authorize or direct any employee appointed under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen to exercise any power, duty or responsibility which the office of the town administrator is authorized to exercise;
          (xxi)  administer and enforce, directly or through a person supervised by the town administrator, the laws of the commonwealth applicable to the town, the by-laws of the town of Hingham and the regulations and policies established by the board of selectmen;
          (xxii)  investigate or inquire into the affairs of a town department under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen and have access to the books and records of the same;
          (xxiii)  attend the sessions of town meeting, whether regular or special, unless unavailable for reasonable cause, and answer questions addressed to the town administrator, particularly the questions related to town finances, warrant articles and matters under the general supervision of the town administrator; and
          (xxiv)  coordinate the prosecution, defense and compromise of litigation to which the town is a party at the direction of and on behalf of the board of selectmen.
     (c)  The town administrator shall exercise such additional authority and perform such other duties as are lawfully assigned by the board of selectmen.
     SECTION 3.  If there is a vacancy in the position of town administrator, the board of selectmen of the town of Hingham shall appoint an interim town administrator to serve until a town administrator is appointed; provided, however, that the appointment shall not be longer than 8 months.
     SECTION 4.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, September 9, 2016