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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF CHELSEA

     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.  The charter of the city of Chelsea, 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 striking out section 2-4 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 2-4. - Filling of vacancies.
     If a vacancy occurs in the office of a city councilor, whether by failure to elect or otherwise, the remaining councilors shall, not more than 30 days after the date on which that vacancy is declared to exist, act to fill the vacancy. The city council shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term by choosing the defeated candidate for that seat from the last regular city election; provided, however, that the defeated candidate shall have received not less than 30 per cent of the total ballots cast for the seat being vacated. For the purpose of this section, the 30 per cent minimum threshold shall be calculated as a ratio of ballots cast for the office being vacated to votes obtained by the defeated candidate. If there was no other candidate for the office or if the defeated candidate did not receive at least 30 per cent of the total ballots cast, the city council shall at its discretion choose an individual, who may be the defeated candidate, from among the voters entitled to vote for that office to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. A person so chosen shall take the oath of office and commence to serve forthwith. No vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided in this section if a regular city election is to be held not more than 180 days after the date the vacancy is declared to exist.  In an election held to elect a candidate to a seat that is vacant at the time of the election, the candidate deemed the winner of that election shall be sworn in to serve the remainder of the term previously vacated at the first regularly scheduled city council meeting after the date the election results are officially certified.
     SECTION 2.  Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 3-2 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 3-2. - Filling vacancies.
     If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the school committee whether by failure to elect or otherwise, the president of the city council shall, not more than 30 days after the date on which that vacancy is declared to exist, call a joint meeting of the city council and the school committee to act to fill the vacancy. At the joint meeting, a majority of those present and voting shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term by choosing the defeated candidate for the seat at the last regular city election; provided, however, that the defeated candidate shall have received not less than 20 per cent of the ballots cast for the seat being vacated. For the purpose of this section, the 20 per cent minimum threshold shall be calculated as a ratio of ballots cast for the office being vacated to votes obtained by the defeated candidate. If there was no other candidate for the office or the defeated candidate did not receive at least 20 per cent of the total ballots cast, the city council and the school committee shall at their discretion choose an individual, who may be the defeated candidate, from among the voters entitled to vote for that office for the remainder of the unexpired term. A person so chosen shall take the oath of office and commence to serve forthwith. No vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided in this section if a regular city election is to be held not more than 180 days after the date the vacancy is declared to exist. In an election being held to elect a candidate to a seat that is vacant at the time of the election, the candidate deemed the winner of the election to that seat shall be sworn in to serve the remainder of the term previously vacated at the first regularly scheduled school committee meeting after the date the election results are officially certified.
     SECTION 3.  Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 4-2 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 4-2. - Powers of appointment.
     Except as otherwise provided by this charter, the city manager shall appoint, based upon merit and fitness alone, all officers and employees for whom no other method of selection is provided in this charter, except for employees of the school department.
     The city manager shall appoint all members of multiple-member bodies provided, however, that appointments made by the city manager shall become effective on the thirtieth day after the day on which notice of the proposed appointment is filed with the city council, unless the city council votes, within that period, by majority of the full city council to reject the appointment or unless the city council has sooner voted to affirm it. If the notice of appointment is filed after the city council has recessed for longer than 30 days, the appointment, if not acted upon, shall become effective the day after the next scheduled city council meeting; provided however, that the city manager may make a temporary appointment if the city manager determines that the position shall be filled to assure continuity of services or effective and prompt response to the city’s emergency needs. 
     SECTION 4.  Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 6-1 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 6-1. - Organization of city agencies.
     (a)  Methods of organization. The organization of city government into operating agencies for the provision of services and the administration of government shall be the responsibility of the city manager. Subject only to the express prohibitions by law or this charter, the city manager may, by administrative order, reorganize, consolidate, create, merge, divide or abolish a city department or agency, in whole or in part, establish a new city agency as the city manager deems necessary or advisable, and prescribe the functions and the administrative procedures to be followed by all such agencies.
     Administrative orders made by the city manager shall become effective on the thirtieth day after the day on which notice of the proposed administrative order is filed with the city council, unless the city council votes, within that period, by a majority of the full city council, to reject the administrative order or unless the city council has sooner voted to affirm it. If the notice of proposed administrative order is filed after the city council has recessed for longer than 30 days, the order shall become effective, if not acted upon, the day after the next scheduled city council meeting.
     (b)  Publication of administrative code. For the convenience of the public, the administrative orders establishing the nature of the city organization and any amendments thereto shall be printed as an appendix to, but not be an integral part of, the ordinances of the city of Chelsea.
     SECTION 5.  Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 6-3 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
     Section 6-3. - Traffic and parking commission.
     (a)  Establishment and composition of commission. Until such time as provided otherwise pursuant to paragraph (a) of section 6-1, there shall be a traffic and parking commission which shall consist of the police chief, who shall serve as chairperson, the fire chief, the director of public works, the director of community development, or their designees, and 3 resident members appointed in accordance with section 4-2. The officer or employee appointed as parking clerk shall serve as clerk to the traffic and parking commission.
     (b)  Powers and duties. The traffic and parking commission shall have exclusive authority, except as otherwise provided by this charter, to adopt, amend, alter and repeal rules and regulations, consistent with the General Laws, relative to vehicular traffic in the city and relative to the movement, stopping or standing of vehicles on, and their exclusion from, streets, ways, highways, roads and parkways under the control of the city.  The commission’s authority shall extend to rules and regulations designating a way or part of a way under the city’s control as a through way pursuant to section 9 of chapter 89 of the General Laws and to prescribing penalties for a violation of a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this section.
     All rules and regulations promulgated by authorized vote of the traffic and parking commission, except temporary or emergency rules and regulations promulgated for less than 30 days, shall become effective on the thirtieth day after the day on which notice of the proposed rule or regulation is filed with the city council, unless the city council votes within that period by majority of the full city council to reject the rule or regulation or unless the city council sooner votes to affirm it. If the notice of proposed rule or regulation is filed after the city council has recessed for longer than 30 days, then the rule or regulation, if not acted upon, shall become effective the day after the next scheduled city council meeting; provided, however, that the traffic and parking commission may make a temporary rule or regulation if the commission determines that the position shall be filled in order to assure continuity of services or effective and prompt response to the city’s emergency needs. 
     Ten residents of the city, who are not less than 18 years of age, may petition the traffic and parking commission relating to a rule or regulation adopted or proposed to be adopted provided the rule or regulation has not been in effect for 90 days or less. The traffic and parking commission shall hold a public hearing on the petition not more than 30 days after its filing with the traffic and parking commission.
     If a public hearing shall be held on a proposed rule or regulation, the proposed rule or regulation shall not be adopted until the public hearing has been concluded. After the public hearing has been held, any vote on the subject matter shall be passed by a majority of the full membership of the traffic and parking commission.
     All rules and regulations adopted after a public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city.
     SECTION 6.  Said charter is hereby further amended by striking out sections 10-1 to 10-6, inclusive and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sections:-
     Section 10-1. - Continuation of existing laws.
     All ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations and votes of the city council and all administrative orders adopted by the receiver which are in force at the time this charter is adopted, consistent with this charter, shall continue in full force until amended or repealed.
     Where this charter conflicts with city ordinances, rules, regulations, orders and special acts and local acceptance of the law, this charter shall govern. All city ordinances, rules, regulations, orders and administrative orders of the receiver not superseded by this charter shall remain in force.
     Section 10-2. - Continuation of obligations.
     All official bonds, obligations, contracts and other instruments entered into or executed by or to the city before the adoption of this charter and all taxes, special assessments, fines, penalties, forfeitures incurred or imposed, due or owing to the city, shall be enforced and collected and all writs, prosecutions, actions and causes of action, except as otherwise provided in this charter, shall continue and remain unaffected by this charter. No legal act done by or in favor of the city shall be rendered invalid by the adoption of this charter.

Approved, November 10, 2016