Skip to Content
The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CHARTER OF 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.  Chapter 259 of the acts of 2004 is hereby repealed.
      SECTION 2.  Chapter 113 of the Acts of 2015 is hereby repealed.
      SECTION 3.  The following shall be the charter of the town of Abington:

Article I. INCORPORATION

      Section 1-1. Incorporation
      The inhabitants of the town of Abington, within the corporate limits as now established, or as hereafter may be established in the manner provided by law, shall continue to be a body corporate and politic with perpetual succession under the name "Town of Abington."
      Section 1-2. Short Title.
      This instrument may be cited and shall be known as the Abington Home Rule Charter.
      Section 1-3. Form of Government.
      The administration of all the fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the town, with the government thereof, shall be vested in a legislative branch, to consist of a town meeting open to all registered voters of the town and an executive branch, to be headed by a board of selectmen and town manager.
      Section 1-4. Powers of the Town.
      The form of government provided by this charter shall be known as the Abington home rule charter plan. Pursuant to this charter, and subject to only limitations as may be imposed by the constitution and laws of the commonwealth, it is the intent and the purpose of this charter to confer on the town of Abington all of the powers it is possible to confer under the constitution and laws of the commonwealth, as fully and as completely as though each power was specifically and individually enumerated in this charter.
      Section 1-5. Interpretation of Powers.
      The powers of the town of Abington under this charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the town and the specific mention of particular powers is not intended, nor is it to be construed, as limiting the general powers of the town as stated in section 1-4.
      Section 1-6. Intergovernmental Relations
      Subject to the applicable requirements of the constitution or laws of the commonwealth, the town of Abington may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation by contract or otherwise, with any 1 or more states or civil divisions or agencies thereof or the United States government or any agency thereof.
      Section 1-7.  Definitions.
      As used in this charter, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
      “Appointing authority”, the board of selectmen, board of library trustees, school committee or town manager.
      “Charter”, this charter and any amendments to it made through any of the methods provided under article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution and chapter 43B of the General Laws.
      “Majority vote”, a majority of those present and voting; provided, however, that a quorum of the body shall be present.
      “Multiple-member body”, a board, commission or committee consisting of 2 or more persons, whether elected or appointed, but specifically excluding town meeting.
      “Town”, the town of Abington.
      “Town agency”, a board, commission, committee, department or office of the town government.
      “Town bulletin board”, the bulletin board located in the town office building on which official town notices are posted; provided, however, that whenever reasonably possible or required by law, official town notices shall be posted on the town's website.
      “Voters”, the registered voters of the town of Abington.

Article II. LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

      Section 2-1. Open Town Meeting.
      The legislative powers of the town shall be exercised by a town meeting open to all registered voters of the town.
      Section 2-2. Presiding Officer.
      The moderator, as provided for in section 3-3 of Article III, shall preside at all sessions of the town meeting, but the moderator shall not have a vote unless those voters present and voting are equally divided. The moderator shall at the first session of the town meeting following each annual town election, appoint a deputy moderator to serve in the event of the moderator’s absence or disability; provided, however, that the town meeting ratifies the appointment. In the event of the absence or disability of the moderator and deputy moderator the town meeting shall elect from those voters present at the town meeting a temporary moderator to act during the absences or disabilities. The moderator shall perform the duties as may from time to time be assigned to the office of moderator by by-law, rule or other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 2-3. Committees.
      2-3-1.  Subject to this charter and to the by-laws or other town meeting votes regarding committees, the moderator shall appoint for fixed terms the members of the committees of the town meeting, special or standing, as may from time to time be established, other than those appointed by vote of the town meeting. 
      2-3-2. There shall be a finance committee, the members of which shall be appointed by the moderator.  The number of members, the term of office and any other condition of appointment or service, as may be deemed necessary or desirable, shall be established by by-law.  The finance committee shall report its recommendations on every article contained in a town meeting warrant, in writing, not less than 10 days prior to a scheduled town meeting.  Prior to making its recommendations the finance committee shall hold 1 meeting and may hold additional meetings as necessary to permit discussion of the subject matter of all articles contained in the warrant, except those articles subject to public hearings by other multiple-member town bodies and not containing appropriations.  The finance committee shall have additional powers and duties as may be provided by the General Laws, by this charter or by by-law.
      Section 2-4. Annual Town Meeting. 
      There shall be an annual town meeting to transact business relating to the prudential affairs of the town which shall be held on the date fixed in the town by-laws.
      Section 2-5. Special Town Meetings.
      Special town meetings shall be held at the call of the board of selectmen as the board may deem appropriate or whenever a special town meeting is requested by the voters of the town in accordance with the law.
      Section 2-6. Clerk of the Meeting.
      The town clerk shall serve as the clerk of the town meeting.  In the event of unavoidable absence, the town clerk shall designate a substitute; provided, however, that if the clerk does not designate a substitute, then the moderator shall appoint a clerk pro tempore.  The town clerk shall give notice of all meetings to the public, keep a journal of the town meeting’s proceedings and perform other functions as may be provided by law, by the charter, by by-law or by other town meeting vote.
      Section 2-7. Warrant Articles.
      The board of selectmen shall receive all requests or petitions which are addressed to the board and which seek the inclusion of an article in a town meeting warrant and are filed by: (i) the town clerk or moderator; (ii) an elected or appointed multiple-member body, acting by a majority of its members; (iii) any 10 voters for a regular town meeting and any 100 voters for a special town meeting; or (iv) any other person or entity authorized by law. The original copy of each request or petition shall be retained by the board of selectmen until at least 90 days following the completion of the town meeting at which the request or petition is acted upon.  The board of selectmen shall have discretion to include on a warrant for any town meeting a request or petition filed by: (1) the town clerk or moderator; or (2) any elected or appointed multiple-member body, acting by a majority of its members.
      Section 2-8. Warrants. 
      Every town meeting shall be called by a warrant issued by the board of selectmen which shall state the date, time and place at which the meeting is to be convened and, by separate articles, the subject matter to be acted upon. Notice of an annual or special town meeting shall be provided in the manner prescribed by the General Laws and town by-laws.  The original copies of all warrants for town meeting shall be kept in the office of the town clerk in a record book maintained for that purpose. 
      Section 2-9. Availability of Town Officials at Town Meetings.
      Every town officer, or in the case of a multiple-member body, a designated representative of a multiple-member body and every town department head shall attend all sessions of the annual town meeting and all special town meetings to provide the town meeting with information pertinent to matters appearing on the warrant, unless deterred for reasonable cause as determined by the town manager. If a person described above is so deterred, that person shall designate a designee to attend the town meeting in the person's place and shall notify the town manager of the identity of the designee.
      Notwithstanding the person’s status as a voter in the town, a person required to attend the sessions of the town meeting under this section shall be entitled to speak in order to provide the town meeting with information on pertinent warrant articles.

Article III. ELECTIONS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS

      Section 3-1. Elections: General Provisions.
      3-1-1. Elected Offices.
      The offices to be filled by the voters of the entire town by ballot shall be the board of selectmen, moderator, town clerk, school committee, board of assessors, board of health, board of library trustees, board of sewer commissioners, board of water commissioners, housing authority and planning board and such members of regional authorities or districts as may be established by law, inter-local agreement or otherwise.
      A voter shall be eligible to hold an elective town office, but an elected town official shall not hold more than 1 elected town office at a time.
      Notwithstanding the officer’s election by the voters, the town officers named in this section shall be subject to the call of the board of selectmen or the town manager at all reasonable times for consultation, conference and discussion on any matter relating to their respective offices.
      Such elected officials may be subject to recall as set forth in section 3-13 of Article III.
      3-1-2. Annual Town Election. 
      The regular annual election of town officers shall be held on a date as may from time to time be fixed in the town by-laws and shall be acted upon and determined by the voters on official ballots without party or other designation. 
      3-1-3. Nomination of Candidates.
      The number of signatures of voters required to place the name of a candidate for office on the official ballot for use at a town election shall be 50, unless a greater number is required by law.
      Section 3-2. Board of Selectmen.
      (a)  There shall be a board of selectmen consisting of 5 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. 
      (b)  The executive powers of the town shall be vested in the board of selectmen which shall be deemed to be the chief executive office of the town.  The board of selectmen shall have all of the executive powers permitted to a board of selectmen under the law.  The board of selectmen shall serve as the chief policy making agency of the town.  The board of selectmen shall be responsible for the formulation and promulgation of policy directives and guidelines to be followed by all town agencies serving under it, and in conjunction with other elected town officers and multiple-member bodies to develop and promulgate policy guidelines designed to bring the operation of all town agencies into harmony; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a member of the board of selectmen or a majority of the members to become involved in the day-to-day administration of a town agency. The board of selectmen shall act only through the adoption of broad policy guidelines, which are to be implemented by officers and employees serving under the board. The board of selectmen:
            (i)  shall cause the charter, by-laws, rules and regulations for the government of the town to be enforced and shall cause an up-to-date record of all its official acts to be kept;
            (ii)  shall appoint a town manager as provided for in Article IV and shall appoint a town counsel;
            (iii)  shall appoint those multiple-member bodies authorized by law and those authorized by section 7-8 of Article VII;
            (iv)  shall be the licensing board of the town and may issue licenses, make all necessary rules and regulations regarding the issuance of licenses and attach conditions and restrictions to the licenses as it deems to be in the public interest and shall enforce the laws relating to all businesses for which it issues a license; provided, however, that the board of selectmen may delegate their licensing authority, unless specifically prohibited by law; and
            (iv)  may investigate the affairs of the town and the conduct of a town agency, including doubtful claims against the town, and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence; provided, however, that the report of the results of such an investigation shall be placed on file in the office of the town manager and a report summarizing the results of such investigation shall be printed in the next annual town report.
      (c)  Vacancies in the office of selectmen, other than those occurring in the 3 months immediately preceding the annual town election, shall be filled by a special election in accordance with the General Laws.
      Section 3-3. Moderator.
      There shall be a moderator elected for a term of 3 years.  The moderator shall preside and regulate the procedure at all sessions of the town meeting and shall have all of the powers and duties that are given to moderators under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-4. Town Clerk.
      There shall be a town clerk elected for a term of 3 years.  The town clerk shall be the keeper of vital statistics of the town and the custodian of the town seal.  The town clerk shall be the clerk of the town meeting and shall have all of the powers and duties given to town clerks under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-5. School Committee.
      There shall be a school committee consisting of 5 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year.  The school committee shall have general charge and superintendence of the public schools and shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to school committees under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-6. Board of Assessors.
      There shall be a board of assessors which shall consist of 3 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that 1 term shall expire each year.  The board of assessors shall annually make a fair cash valuation of all property, both real and personal, within the town and shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of assessors under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-7. Board of Health.
      There shall be a board of health which shall consist of 5 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year.  The board of health shall be responsible for the formulation and enforcement of rules and regulations affecting the environment and the public health and shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of health under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-8. Board of Library Trustees.
      There shall be a board of library trustees which shall consist of 9 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The board of library trustees shall have general charge of the care and management of the town library and of all property of the town relating to the library, in consultation with the town manager. The board of library trustees shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to library trustees under the constitution, chapter 78 of the General Laws and any other relevant chapter of the General Laws and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting. The board of library trustees shall appoint, in consultation with the town manager, the library director who shall act in the capacity of the principal personnel officer of the town under section 4-1 of Article IV.
      Section 3-9. Board of Sewer Commissioners.
      There shall be a board of sewer commissioners consisting of 5 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year. The board of sewer commissioners shall have general charge of the care and management of the municipal sewer system and of all property of the town relating thereto. The board of sewer commissioners shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of sewer commissioners under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-10. Board of Water Commissioners.
      There shall be a board of water commissioners consisting of 3 members elected for terms of 3 years each, so arranged that 1 term shall expire each year. The board of water commissioners shall have general charge of the care and management of the municipal water system and of all property of the town relating thereto. The board of water commissioners shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to boards of water commissioners under the constitution and the law and such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-11. Housing Authority.
      There shall be a housing authority consisting of 5 members whose composition shall be subject to section 3 of chapter 121B of the General Laws. The housing authority shall have all of the powers and duties which are given to housing authorities under the constitution and the law.
      Section 3-12. Planning Board.
      There shall be a planning board consisting of 5 members elected for terms of 5 years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year.  The planning board shall make studies and prepare plans concerning the resources, possibilities and needs of the town.  The planning board shall prepare, and may from time to time amend and perfect, a comprehensive plan which shall set forth in graphic and textual form information concerning the present development of the entire town and its parts. The comprehensive plan shall include recommendations of the planning board concerning the future development of the entire town and its parts including, but not limited to, the physical, economic and environmental aspects of development.
      The planning board shall annually report to the town on the condition of the town and any plans or proposals known to it affecting the resources, possibilities and needs of the town and shall specify amendments made to the comprehensive plan by the planning board during the preceding year. 
      The planning board shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to planning boards under the constitution and the law and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
      Section 3-13. Recall of Elected Officials
      3-13-1.  Who can be Recalled.
      A person who holds a town elective office listed in section 3-1 of Article III may be recalled by the voters as provided by this section.
      3-13-2.  Recall Affidavit and Petition.
      Twenty-five registered voters of the town may file with the town clerk an affidavit signed under oath or sworn to before a notary public bearing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for the recall. Within 3 days following this filing, the registrars of voters and town clerk shall determine whether the filing is sufficient and valid.
      If the filing is determined to be sufficient, the town clerk shall make available to the first voter who signed the affidavit, who shall be known as the lead petitioner, copies of petition blanks demanding the recall.  The petition blanks shall be available at the office of the town clerk. The petition blanks shall include the clerk’s signature and the official town seal. A copy of the petition shall be considered a permanent record of the town.
      The petition blanks shall be dated, addressed to the board of selectmen and contain the names of the first 10 signers of the affidavit, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit and demand the election of a successor to the office. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk not later than 5:00 p.m. on the twentieth day after the petitions are made available.  A valid petition shall include the signatures of not less than 20 per cent of the registered voters of the town, determined as of the date the affidavit was filed, and the number and street, if any, of the signatories’ residences.  
      The town clerk shall submit the recall petition to the registrars of voters in the town by the end of the next business day following the deadline for filing and the registrars shall certify the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town not more than 7 days after receipt.
      3-13-3.  Selectmen's Action on Receiving Petition.
      If the petition shall be found and certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient, the registrars shall submit the petition with their certificate to the board of selectmen without delay.  The board of selectmen shall meet and give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled.  If the officer does not resign within 7 days after receipt of the notice, the board of selectmen shall order an election to be held on a date fixed by the board of selectmen and in accordance with the General Laws. The recall election shall not be held more than 14 days after adherence to the minimum statutory requirements in section 10 of chapter 41 and sections 7 and 10 of chapter 53 of the General Laws; provided, however, that if another municipal election is scheduled to occur within 100 days of the date the board votes to schedule the election, the question of recall may be presented to the voters on the same date and on the same ballot, at the discretion of the board.  If a vacancy occurs in the office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall proceed as provided in this section.
      3-13-4.  Nomination of Candidates.
      The officer whose recall is sought may be a candidate in the recall election and, unless the officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place the name of the officer on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the election shall comply with the General Laws, unless otherwise provided in this section.
      3-13-5.  Incumbent Holds Office Until Election.
      The officer whose recall is sought shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If the officer is not recalled, the officer shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided for in section 3-13-7. If the officer is recalled, such person shall be deemed removed immediately.
      3-13-6.  Propositions on Ballot.
      Ballots used in a recall election shall state the proposition in the order indicated:
      For the recall of (name of officer, office)
      Against the recall of (name of officer, office)
      Immediately to the right of each proposition, there shall be a space in which the voter, by making a mark, may vote for either of the propositions. Under the propositions shall appear: (i) the word "Candidates”; (ii) the directions to voters required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws; and (iii) the names of candidates nominated for the office. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected and shall upon qualification serve the balance of the unexpired term. If the successor shall fail to qualify within 10 days of receiving notification of election, the office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled in the manner provided in section 3-14. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the negative, the officer whose recall was sought shall not be recalled and the ballots for candidates shall not be counted and shall have no legal effect.
      3-13-7.  Timing of Recall Petition.
      No recall petition shall be filed against an officer earlier than 3 months after the officer takes office or later than 6 months prior to the end of the officer’s elected term.  In the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled, a recall petition shall not be filed earlier than 3 months from the date of the election at which the question of recall was submitted to the voters of the town.
      3-13-8.  Appointment of Person Recalled.
      A person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office at any time after a valid recall affidavit has been certified shall not be appointed to a town office for at least 2 years after the recall or resignation.
      Section 3-14. Vacancy in Office.
      If there is a vacancy in the office of town clerk or town moderator the board of selectmen shall provide for notice of the vacancy as provided in section 7-9 of Article VII by posting the vacancy on the town bulletin board.  A person who wants to be considered to fill the vacancy shall, within 10 days following the date the notice is posted, file with the board of selectmen a statement which sets forth in clear and specific terms the qualifications which the person holds for the position. The board of selectmen shall fill the vacancy not sooner than 14 days and not later than 30 days from the date that the notice was posted. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be the person who receives a majority of the votes cast at a meeting of the board of selectmen called to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall hold office until the next regularly scheduled annual town election at which time the vacant position shall be included on the ballot as provided in section 3-1 of Article III.
      If there is a vacancy in an elected multiple-member body, other than the board of selectmen, the remaining members shall give notice of the vacancy to the board of selectmen.  The board of selectmen shall provide for notice of the vacancy as provided in section 7-11 of Article VII by posting the vacancy on the town bulletin board.  A person who wants to be considered to fill the vacancy shall, within 10 days after the date the notice is posted, file a statement which sets forth in clear and specific terms the qualifications which the person holds for the position with the board of selectmen and the board or committee with the vacancy. Not sooner than 14 days and not later than 30 days from the date that the notice is posted, the board of selectmen and the remaining members of the board or committee with the vacancy shall fill that vacancy at a joint meeting of the board of selectmen and the board or committee.  The filling of the vacancy shall be by a joint vote of the members of the board of selectmen and the remaining members of the board or committee who are in attendance; provided, however, that a quorum of the board of selectmen shall be present.  The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be the person who receives a majority of the votes cast at the meeting.  The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall hold office until the next regularly scheduled annual town election at which time the vacant position shall be included on the ballot as provided for in section 3-1 of Article III.
      An elected official who is no longer a resident of the town shall be deemed to have vacated the office to which the official was elected. When doubt exists as to the residency of an elected official, the board of registrars of voters of the town shall decide the issue of residency in accordance with the law.

Article IV. TOWN MANAGER

      Section 4-1. Appointment, Qualification, Term of Office.
      The board of selectmen shall appoint the town manager for a term of not more than 5 years.  A committee shall present to the board of selectmen not fewer than 3 candidates chosen from the applicants for the position of town manager; provided, however, that an interview of each applicant shall be conducted by the committee before the applicants are presented to the board of selectmen.  The committee shall consist of 1 member of the school committee selected by vote of the school committee, 1 member of the finance committee selected by vote of the finance committee and 5 residents appointed by the board of selectmen.
      The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town and shall be responsible to the board of selectmen for the administration of town affairs placed in the town manager’s charge under the charter. The town manager shall be a person especially qualified by education, which shall include a bachelor's degree from an accredited degree granting college or university.  The town manager’s professional experience shall include not less than 5 years of full-time, compensated service in a managerial capacity in public or business administration.  The town manager shall not have served in an elected office in the town of Abington during the 24 months prior to appointment.  The town manager shall not have to be a resident of the town or of the commonwealth; provided, however, that the town manager shall be a citizen of the United States.
      The town manager shall devote full time to the duties of the office and shall not hold any other elective or appointive town office, nor shall the town manager engage in any other business unless approved in advance, in writing by the board of selectmen.
      The town manager shall execute a bond in favor of the town for the faithful performance of the town manager’s duties in such sum and with such surety as shall be fixed or approved by the board of selectmen, who shall not waive the requirement of a performance bond.
      Section 4-2. Powers and Responsibilities, Generally.
      (a)  The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town.  The town manager shall be responsible and accountable to the board of selectmen generally and shall be responsible specifically for the efficient and orderly conduct of the departments, offices and functions placed in the charge of the town manager by this charter, a vote of the board of selectmen, by by-law or vote of the town meeting. 
      (b)  The town manager shall act as the personnel director of the town, including being responsible for the administration of personnel matters and adhering to personnel by-laws, policies and regulations that the board of selectmen may adopt.
      (c)  The town manager shall exercise general supervision of all town agencies for which the town manager is the appointing or employing authority.
      (d)  The town manager shall appoint and may remove, subject to the civil service laws and section 7-10 of Article VII, where applicable, all department heads, officers, subordinates and employees of the town, except those appointments for which another method of appointment is provided by this charter, including the library director under section 3-8 and employees of the housing authority under section 3-11 of Article III, and employees of the school department; provided, however, that appointments of department heads of elected multiple-member bodies shall be made after consultation with the respective multiple-member body.  Appointments of department heads or officers shall become effective 15 days after the date that notice of the appointment is filed with the board of selectmen, unless prior to that date the board of selectmen votes to reject the appointment by a vote of 2/3 of its members. The board of selectmen may waive its power to reject the appointment of a department head or officer if, prior to the effective date of the appointment, 2/3 of the members of the board of selectmen vote to waive the power to reject the appointment, in which case the appointment shall take effect immediately.  All other appointments shall become effective immediately.  
      (e)  The town manager shall make appointments based on merit and fitness.
      (f)  The town manager shall ensure that all appointments are submitted to the board of selectmen and posted on the town bulletin board.
      Section 4-3. Administrative Powers and Duties.
      The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the town and shall be responsible to the board of selectmen for the effective management of all town affairs placed in the manager's charge by this charter, the board of selectmen, by by-law or vote of the town meeting, and for the implementation of town policies placed in the town manager's charge by the board of selectmen.  The administrative powers, duties and responsibilities of the town manager shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
            (i)  supervising, directing and being responsible for the efficient administration of all officers appointed by the town manager and their representative departments and of all functions for which the town manager is given responsibility, authority or control by this charter, by by-law, by town meeting vote or by vote of the board of selectmen;
            (ii)  administering and enforcing, either directly or through a person supervised by the town manager, all general or special laws applicable to the town, all by-laws and all regulations established by the board of selectmen;
            (iii)  coordinating operational and strategic planning for the town;
            (iv)  attending meetings of the board of selectmen, except when excused, and participating in discussions; provided, however, that the town manager shall not have the right to vote;
            (v)  attending all sessions of the town meeting and answering all questions addressed to the town manager which are related to the warrant articles and to matters under the general supervision of the town manager;
            (vi)  keeping the board of selectmen fully informed regarding all departmental operations, fiscal affairs, general problems, administrative actions and the availability of federal and state funds and how those funds may relate to unmet long-term needs and  submit quarterly reports to the board of selectmen;
            (vii)  ensuring the complete and full records of the financial and administrative activity of the town are maintained and rendering reports to the board of selectmen as may be required, including a full report of the town’s administrative operations during the period reported on and the report shall be submitted not less than quarterly and shall be made available to the public;
            (viii)  ensuring that a full and complete inventory of all property of the town, both real and personal, is kept, including all property under the jurisdiction of the school committee;
            (ix)  responsibility for the rental, use, maintenance, repair and the development of a comprehensive maintenance program for town facilities, except those under the jurisdiction of the housing authority, school committee, sewer commission or water commission, unless requested by those agencies;
            (x)  responsibility for purchasing for all functions and departments, pursuant to chapter 30B of the General Laws and all other applicable laws, procedures and by-laws; provided, however, that the town manager shall, at the request of the school committee, delegate the duties for school department purchasing to an employee of the school committee under said chapter 30B;
            (xi)  administering the town's personnel system, personnel evaluation policies and practices under section 4-2, enforcing labor contracts, labor relations, collective bargaining and state and federal employment laws; provided, however, that the town manager shall not administer or enforce school department agreements entered into by the town;
            (xii)  fixing annual compensation of all town employees and officers appointed by the town manager within the limits established by appropriation, any applicable compensation plan, collective bargaining agreements or town meeting; provided, however, that an interim revision to a compensation plan or collective bargaining agreement shall require approval of the board of selectmen;
            (xiii)  signing payroll and accounts payable warrants concerning the everyday operations of the town;
            (xiv)  negotiating all contracts with town employees relative to wages and other terms and conditions of employment, except employees of the school department; provided, however, that, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, the town manager may employ special counsel to assist in the performance of these duties; and provided further, that any contract negotiated by the town manager shall be subject to the approval of the board of selectmen;
            (xv)  preparing and submitting annual operating budgets and capital improvement programs as provided in Article VI;
            (xvi)  keeping the board of selectmen and finance committee fully informed as to the financial condition of the town and making recommendations to the board of selectmen as the town manager deems necessary;
            (xvii)  coordinating the activities of town agencies serving under the town manager and the board of selectmen with those under the control of other officers and multiple-member bodies elected directly by the voters; provided, however, that, for coordination and cooperation among all agencies, the town manager shall have the authority to require persons elected directly by the voters or their representatives, to meet with the town manager, at reasonable times, to submit reports of the agencies doings and summaries of action taken as may be deemed to be necessary or desirable for coordination;
            (xviii)  investigating or inquiring into the affairs of a town department or office;
            (xix)  litigating matters to which the town is a party, upon request and with approval of the board of selectmen;
            (xx)  delegating, authorizing or directing a subordinate or employee of the town to exercise a power, duty or responsibility which the town manager is authorized to exercise; provided, however, that acts that are performed under such delegation shall be deemed to be the acts of the town manager; and
            (xxi)  performing such other duties as may be necessary and assigned by this charter, by-law, town meeting vote or by vote of the board of selectmen.
      Section 4-4. Financial Powers and Duties.
      The town manager shall be the chief financial officer of the town and be responsible for the design and preparation of the annual budget, filing grant applications and controlling budget expenditures, including approval of the warrant and the payment of funds prepared by the town accountant in accordance with section 56 of chapter 41 of the General Laws; provided, however, that if the town manager is absent or a vacancy exists in the office of town manager, the board of selectmen shall approve all warrants prepared and signed by the town accountant.
      Section 4-5. Temporary Absence.
      The town manager may designate by filing a letter with the board of selectmen and the town clerk a qualified officer of the town to perform the duties of the town manager during a temporary absence or disability. If the temporary absence or disability exceeds 30 days, the designation made by the town manager shall be subject to the approval of the board of selectmen. If the town manager fails to make such a designation or if the person so designated is for any reason unable to serve, the board of selectmen may designate some other qualified person to perform the duties of town manager until the town manager returns.
      The powers of a temporary town manager appointed under this section shall be limited to matters not admitting of delay and shall include authority to make necessary temporary, emergency appointments or designations to town office or employment but shall not include the authority to make permanent appointments or designations.
      Section 4-6. Vacancy in Office and the Appointment of an Acting Town Manager.
      A permanent vacancy in the office of town manager shall be filled as soon as possible by the board of selectmen. The vacancy shall be filled under section 4-1.
      When there is a permanent vacancy in the office of the town manager, the board of selectmen shall appoint a qualified town administrative officer or employee or other qualified individual to perform the duties of the town manager on an acting basis until the appointment of a permanent town manager. The temporary appointment shall not exceed a term of 6 months; provided, however, that upon the expiration of the 6-month term, the board of selectmen may vote to extend the temporary appointment by a term of 6 months.  The term of an acting town manager shall not exceed 1 year.  Compensation for the acting town manager shall be set by the board of selectmen but shall not exceed the compensation paid to the most recent incumbent town manager. 
      The powers of an acting town manager appointed under this section shall be limited to matters not admitting of delay and shall include authority to make temporary, emergency appointments or designations to town office or employment but shall not include the authority to make permanent appointments or designations unless specifically authorized by the board of selectmen.
      Section 4-7. Suspension and Removal.
      The board of selectmen may terminate, remove or suspend the town manager from office by an affirmative vote of not less than 3 members and in accordance with conditions applicable to termination, removal or suspension that may be agreed to in a contract between the board of selectmen and the town manager.

Article V. ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

      Section 5-1. Police Department Organization.
      5-1-1.  Organization; Chief of Police.
      The police department shall be organized under section 97A of chapter 41 of the General Laws. There shall be a chief of police, appointed by the town manager, for an indefinite term. The town manager, in consultation with the board of selectmen, shall determine the qualifications for appointment of the chief of police. The chief of police, once appointed, may only be removed from office for just cause and after a hearing under section 7-11 of Article VII.
      The town manager shall evaluate candidates for the position of chief of police using an assessment process that incorporates not less than 3 police professionals who are not employed by the town of Abington. The chief of police shall be appointed on the basis of qualifications and fitness for service.
      The town manager may enter into a contract for employment with the chief of police under clause (xiv) of section 4-3 of Article IV; provided, however, that the contract shall not include a defined term of office.
      5-1-2.  Deputy Chief of Police.
      The chief of police shall appoint a deputy chief of police. The chief of police shall determine the qualifications for appointment of the deputy chief of police; provided, however, that the chief of police shall evaluate candidates for the position of deputy chief of police using an assessment process that incorporates not less than 3 police professionals who are not employed by the town of Abington. The deputy chief shall be appointed on the basis of qualifications and fitness for service. The decision of the chief of police in the selection of the deputy chief of police shall be final. The deputy chief of police, once appointed, may only be removed from office for just cause and after a hearing under section 7-11 of Article VII.
      5-1-3.  Police Department Personnel and Officers.
      The chief of police shall appoint all other personnel and officers of the department. Sergeants and patrol officers shall be appointed under chapter 31 of the General Laws.
      Section 5-2. Fire Department Organization.
      There shall be a fire department organized under sections 42, 43 and 44 of chapter 48 of the General Laws. The town manager shall appoint a fire chief under said chapter 48 who shall be subject to chapter 31 of the General Laws.
      The fire chief shall be the appointing authority for all fire department personnel and shall have full authority to appoint, demote, suspend and terminate all fire department employees, including firefighters, captains, superior officers and the deputy fire chief. The officers and firefighters shall be appointed under and subject to said chapter 31.
      The fire chief shall be responsible for the management and supervision of fire department personnel and all operations of the fire department.  The fire chief shall serve as the town's forest fire warden and perform all fire-related duties and tasks considered necessary by the town manager.
      Section 5-3 Department of Public Works Organization.
      5-3-1.  Organization; Director of Public Works.
      (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. 
      5-3-2.  Director; Powers and Duties.
      (a)  The director of public works shall exercise and perform, under the policy direction of the boards and committees identified in section 5-3-1 of Article V 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 5-3-1 except as otherwise provided.  The director shall be appointed by the town manager pursuant to subsection (b) of section 4-2 of Article IV 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 on the activities 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.
      5-3-3.  Department Personnel; Appointment and Removal.
      The town manager shall, pursuant to subsection (b) of section 4-2 of Article IV, 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.  The town manager shall, in addition to any requirements set forth in said subsection (b) of said section 4-2 consult with the director of the department and the appropriate policy-making multiple-member body or officer when making appointments to department staff.  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 to suspend or remove a person appointed by the town manager in accordance with section 7-11 of Article VII shall be final. 

Article VI. FINANCE AND FISCAL PROCEDURES

      Section 6-1. Fiscal Year.
      The fiscal year of the town shall begin on July 1 and shall end on June 30, unless another period is required by the General Laws.
      Section 6-2. Submission of Budget.
      The town manager shall submit to the board of selectmen, 30 days prior to the date a budget is required to be submitted to the finance committee, as specified by by-law, a written proposed budget for town government for the next fiscal year, including the budget proposed by the school committee. The proposed budget shall detail all estimated revenues from all sources and all expenditures, including debt service for the previous, current and next fiscal years. It shall include proposed expenditures for both current operations and capital outlays during the next year, detailed by agency, department, committee, purpose and position together with estimated revenues and free cash available at the close of the fiscal year, including estimated balances in special accounts.  The town may establish by by-law additional financial reports to be provided by the town manager.
      The boards, officers and committees of the town, including the school committee, shall assist the town manager in preparing the proposed annual budget of revenues and expenditures by preparing a detailed estimate of the appropriations required and available funds, furnishing the relevant information in their possession and submitting it to the town manager in writing and in the form requested by the town manager. 
      The town manager shall report on the probable amount required to be levied and raised by taxation to defray all expenses and liabilities of the town, together with an estimate of the tax rate necessary to raise that amount.
      Within the time fixed by by-law, the town manager, with the advice and consent of the board of selectmen, shall submit to the finance committee a proposed, balanced operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year with an accompanying budget message and supporting documents. The town manager shall provide a general summary of the proposed budget on the town’s website. 
      Section 6-3. Budget Message.
      The budget message of the town manager shall explain the budget for all town agencies, both in fiscal terms and in terms of work programs. The budget message shall outline proposed financial policies of the town for the next fiscal year, describe important features of the budget, indicate major variations from the current year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues and the reasons for those changes, summarize the town's debt position and include other material as the town manager deems desirable or the board of selectmen may reasonably require.
      Section 6-4. The Budget.
      The proposed operating budget shall provide a complete financial plan for all town funds and activities for the next fiscal year. Except as may be otherwise required by the General Laws, this charter or by by-law, the proposed operating budget shall be in the form determined by the town manager or required by the board of selectmen. The town manager shall, when presenting the budget, utilize modern concepts of fiscal presentation so as to furnish maximum information and the best financial control.  The budget shall show in detail all estimated income from the proposed property tax levy and other sources and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the following year.  The budget shall be arranged to show the actual and estimated income and expenditures for the previous, current and next fiscal years and shall indicate in separate sections: (i) the proposed expenditures for current operations during the next fiscal year, detailed by town agency and position and the method of financing those expenditures; and (ii) the estimated surplus revenue and free cash anticipated at the end of the current fiscal year, including estimated balances in any special accounts established for specific purposes.
      Section 6-5. Action on the Budget.
      The finance committee shall, upon receipt of the budget from the town manager, consider in public meetings detailed expenditures for each town department and agency and may require the town manager, or any other town agency, to furnish the committee with additional information as the committee may deem necessary to assist the committee in its review and consideration of the proposed budget. The finance committee shall file a report containing its recommendations for action to be taken on each line item in the proposed operating budget as submitted by the town manager with the town clerk not less than 10 days prior to town meeting. After the report is filed with the town clerk, the report shall be made available at town meeting and to the voters of the town in the manner provided in the town by-laws. The budget shall be voted on as required under the town by-laws.
      Section 6-6. Capital Improvement Program.
      The town manager shall submit a capital improvement program to the board of selectmen and the finance committee not less than 6 months before the start of the fiscal year.  The capital improvement program shall be based on material prepared by a capital improvement committee that may be established by by-law. The capital improvement program shall include:
      (i)  a clear, concise general summary of the program’s contents;
      (ii)  a list of the capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the next 5 years, with supporting information as to the need for each capital improvement;
      (iii)  cost estimates, methods of financing and recommended time schedules for each improvement; and
      (iv)  the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining each facility and piece of major equipment involved.
      The town manager shall annually revise the capital improvement program information to reflect capital improvements that are pending or that are in the process of being acquired, improved or constructed. 
      Section 6-7. Audits.
      The board of selectmen shall annually provide for an independent audit of the financial books and records of the town. The board of selectmen may order additional audits of the whole town or of any particular town agency if the board of selectmen determines additional audits are necessary.
      Audits of the town’s financial books and records shall be conducted by a certified public accountant, or firm of such accountants, having no interest, direct or indirect, in the affairs of the town.

Article VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Section 7-1. Charter Changes.
      This charter may be replaced, revised or amended in accordance with the procedures made available by Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution and chapter 43B of the General Laws.
      Section 7-2. Specific Provisions Shall Prevail.
      To the extent that a specific provision of the charter shall conflict with a provision expressed in general terms, the specific provision shall prevail.
      Section 7-3. References to General Laws.
      All references to the General Laws contained in the charter refer to the General Laws of the commonwealth and are intended to include any amendments or revisions to the General Laws enacted subsequent to the adoption of the charter.
      Section 7-4. Computations of Time.
      To compute time under the charter, if the time to be computed is not 7 days or more then the word “days” shall refer to secular days and shall not include Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays. If the time to be computed is more than 7 days then each day shall be counted.
      Section 7-5. Rules and Regulations.
      A copy of the rules and regulations adopted by a town agency shall be filed in the office of the town clerk and made available for review by any person who requests the information. The rules and regulations shall not become effective until 10 days after the date the rules and regulations are filed with the town clerk.
      Section 7-6. Periodic Review, Charter and By-laws.
      7-6-1.  Charter Review.
      Commencing in the year 2014 and not less than once every 10 years thereafter, a special charter review committee shall be established to review this charter and make a report, with recommendations, to the town meeting concerning proposed amendments which the committee may determine to be necessary or desirable.  The committee shall consist of 5 members who shall be chosen by the town moderator.  The committee shall meet following the final adjournment of the annual town meeting and shall report its recommendations to the annual town meeting the following year.
      7-6-2.  By-Law Review.
      At intervals of not more than 5 years from the date of adoption of this charter, proposed revisions or recodifications of the by-laws of the town shall be presented to the town meeting for re-enactment.  The revisions or recodifications shall be prepared by a special by-law review committee appointed by the board of selectmen for that purpose. The by-law review committee shall conduct its review under the supervision of the town counsel or, if the board of selectmen shall so direct, under the supervision of special counsel appointed for that purpose.  The committee shall be appointed immediately following the adjournment of the annual town meeting in the year preceding the year in which their report is to be filed.
      Not more than 8 months after the appointment of the by-law review committee members, the committee shall publish on the town’s website and in a newspaper of general circulation within the town: (i) notice of a report summarizing the committee’s recommendations; (ii) the times and places within the town where complete copies of the report are available for inspection by the public; and (iii) the date, time and place of a public hearing on the report.  The committee shall hold the public hearing not less than 2 weeks after the date of publication in the newspaper of general circulation.
      By-laws enacted by town meeting shall be forwarded to the attorney general of the commonwealth for review and approval. The town clerk shall make copies of the revised by-laws available for public distribution.  The town clerk shall annually publish a supplement that shall include all by-laws and amendments to by-laws that have been adopted during the previous year.
      Section 7-7. Procedures.
      7-7-1.  Meetings.
      All multiple-member bodies of the town, whether elected or appointed or otherwise constituted, shall meet regularly at times and places within the town as prescribed by the multiple-member body. Special meetings of any multiple-member body shall be held: (i) at the call of the respective chair; (ii) at the call of 1/3 of the members by suitably written notice delivered to the residence or place of business of each member of the body not less than 48 hours in advance of the meeting time; or (iii) upon the filing of a petition with the town clerk of not less than 50 voters that states the purpose for which a meeting shall be called.  A meeting called under clause (iii) shall convene not more than 1 week after the date the petition was filed with the town clerk. Meeting notices shall be posted on the town bulletin board and shall be subject to sections 18 to 25, inclusive, of chapter 30A of the General Laws.  Except as otherwise authorized by law, all meetings of multiple-member bodies shall be open and public.
      7-7-2.  Open Meeting Law.
      Multiple-member bodies shall be subject to sections 18 to 25, inclusive, of chapter 30A of the General Laws, the Open Meeting Law, as that law may from time to time be amended. 
      7-7-3.  Rules and Journal.
      Each multiple-member body shall determine its own rules and order of business unless otherwise provided by the charter or by-law and shall provide for the keeping of minutes at its proceedings. The minutes shall be voted on and approved within 60 days following the date of the proceedings. These rules and minutes shall be a public record kept available in a place convenient to the public at all reasonable times and copies shall be available in the town library.
      7-7-4.  Voting.
      Except on procedural matters, votes of multiple-member bodies shall be taken by voice or roll-call vote, the result of which shall be recorded in the minutes; provided, however, that if the vote is unanimous, only that fact need be recorded.
      7-7-5.  Quorum.
      A majority of the members of the multiple-member body shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time.  No other action of the multiple-member body shall be valid or binding unless ratified by the affirmative vote of the majority of the full multiple-member body.
      Section 7-8. Committees; Appointing Authority, In General.
      Notwithstanding a vote of town meeting to the contrary, if a multiple-member body is establis+hed by a vote of town meeting or under a by-law with the primary purpose of performing an administrative or executive function, the members of the multiple-member body shall be appointed by the board of selectmen.
      Notwithstanding a vote of town meeting to the contrary, if a multiple-member body is established by a vote of town meeting or under a by-law with the primary purpose of performing a legislative function, the members of the multiple-member body shall be appointed by the moderator. 
      Nothing in this section shall prevent the town meeting, by vote or by by-law, to provide that a multiple-member body shall include, as a portion of its membership, certain persons to serve ex-officio if that authority is not used to defeat the clear purpose of this section.
      Section 7-9. Notice of Vacancies.
      Except as otherwise provided in this charter, if a vacancy occurs in a town office, in town employment or on a multiple-member body by reason of death, resignation, expiration of a fixed term for which a person has been appointed or otherwise, the board of selectmen or other appointing authority shall cause public notice of the vacancy to be posted on the town bulletin board; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to positions subject to the civil service laws of the commonwealth.  A permanent appointment to fill a position shall not be effective until at least 14 days have elapsed following the posting. A person who wants to be considered for appointment to a vacant position shall, not more than 10 days following the date the notice is posted, file with the board of selectmen or other appointing authority a statement which sets forth in clear and specific terms the qualifications which the person holds for the position.
      Section 7-10. Appointments and Removals.
      Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the town manager shall appoint, subject to section 4-2 of Article IV, all persons categorized as the head of a department.  Appointments made by the town manager shall be for a term of not more than 5 years; provided, however, that this shall not apply to positions subject to the civil service laws of the commonwealth. The town manager may suspend or remove a person appointed by the town manager in accordance with the procedure established in section 7-11. The decision of the town manager to suspend or remove a department head shall be final.
      Department heads shall, subject to the consent of the town manager, appoint all assistants, subordinates and other employees of the department. The department head may suspend or remove an assistant, subordinate or other employee of the department for which the department head is responsible under said section 7-11. The decision of the department head to suspend or remove an assistant, subordinate or other employee shall be subject to review by the town manager.  A person notified of the decision by a department head to suspend or remove that person may seek review of the determination by the town manager by filing a petition for review in the office of the town manager, in writing, not more than 10 days following receipt of notice of suspension or removal. The review by the town manager shall follow the procedures established in said section 7-11. The decision of the town manager shall be final.
      Section 7-11. Removals and Suspensions.
      An appointed town officer, member of a multiple-member body or employee of the town, whether appointed for a fixed or indefinite term, may be suspended for good cause or, after notice and the opportunity for a hearing, removed from office without compensation by the individual’s appointing authority; provided, however, that this section shall not apply if the civil service laws or terms of a collective bargaining agreement apply and provide for an alternative process.  As used in this section the term "good cause" shall include, but not be limited to, inefficiency, insubordination and conduct unbecoming the office.
      Any appointed officer, member of a multiple-member body or employee of the town may be suspended from office by the appointing authority if the suspension is deemed by the appointing authority to be necessary to protect the interests of the town; provided, however, that other than the town manager, as provided in section 4-7 of Article IV, no suspension shall be for more than 15 days.  Suspension may be coterminous with removal.
      Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting a right to a hearing when a person who has been appointed for a fixed term is not reappointed when the original term expires.
      Section 7-12. Loss of office, excessive absence.
      If a member of a multiple-member body fails to attend 4 or more consecutive meetings or 1/2 of the meetings of the multiple-member body convened in a calendar year, the remaining members of the multiple-member body may, by a majority vote of the remaining members, notify the appointing authority.  Prior to a vote to notify the appointing authority of the excessive absence, the multiple-member body shall mail notice of the proposed vote to the last known address of the person that is the subject of the vote.  Notice shall be provided not less than 10 days prior to the date of the vote.
      SECTION 4.  Upon the effective date of this act, the term of members elected to the parks and recreation commission and the board trustees of veterans’ memorials shall terminate and members of the parks and recreation commission and the board of trustees of veterans’ memorials shall be appointed as provided in the charter. Members of the park and recreation commission and board of trustees of veterans’ memorials serving on the effective date of this act shall become appointees to that respective multiple-member body for a term equal to the remainder of their elected terms or sooner resignation, retirement or removal.  As vacancies arise on those multiple-member bodies the vacancy shall be filled under section 7-9 of Article VII of the charter.
      SECTION 5.  No contracts or liabilities in force upon the effective date of this act shall be affected by the change in the manner of selection of the parks and recreation commission and the board of trustees of veterans’ memorials.  All records, property and equipment of an office, department or part thereof assigned to the elected parks and recreation commission and board of trustees of veterans’ memorials shall by operation of law be assigned to the department of public works and appointed successor multiple-member bodies.
      SECTION 6.  Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, shall be submitted to the voters of the town of Abington at the 2017 annual town election in the form of the following question:
      “Shall an act passed by the general court in the year 2017 entitled 'An Act Relative to the Charter of the Town of Abington' be accepted?”
      A fair and concise summary of the act prepared by town counsel shall appear beneath the question.  If a majority of votes cast in answer to that question is in the affirmative, sections 1 to 5, inclusive, shall take effect, but not otherwise.
      SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, January 13, 2017