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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING THE APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL OF CERTAIN PERSONNEL IN DARTMOUTH FIRE DISTRICT NUMBER TWO.

      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.  (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, Dartmouth Fire District Number Two shall be headed by a chief of the fire department. The chief shall be appointed by the prudential committee of the district for a term of not more than 3 years; provided, however, that the chief may be reappointed for a successive term as often as the prudential committee, in its discretion, desires; and provided further, that a reappointment shall only be made in the final year of the chief’s current term. The chief shall receive such salary as may be determined through the execution of a contract with the prudential committee for the term of the appointment, subject to appropriation by the district meeting.
      (b)  The prudential committee may suspend or remove the chief for just cause at any time after a hearing; provided, however, that the failure to reappoint the chief shall not constitute a removal and shall not require a hearing. The prudential committee shall appoint a hearing officer for a hearing. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact that shall be binding upon the prudential committee but shall not make any decision with respect to what, if any, discipline shall be merited by the findings.  If the discipline results in the suspension or removal of the chief, the chief may appeal the suspension or removal. The notice of appeal shall be made in writing to the chair of the prudential committee within 10 business days after receipt of notice of the suspension or removal and the appeal shall be subject to mandatory binding arbitration. Upon the timely receipt of a written notice of appeal, the chair of the prudential committee and the chief may agree upon a different arbitrator. There shall be no right to a hearing for, and no right of appeal of, any lesser discipline.
      (c)  The chief shall hire all members of the fire department. The chief shall appoint a deputy and any other officers that the chief deems necessary. The chief may suspend or remove any subordinate officer or member for just cause at any time after a hearing.  Any subordinate officer or member may appeal a removal to the prudential committee.  There shall be no appeal of any lesser discipline. The prudential committee shall appoint a hearing officer for a hearing. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact that shall be binding upon the prudential committee but shall not make any decision with respect to the findings of fact that is binding upon the prudential committee and shall not make any decision with respect to what, if any, discipline shall be merited by the findings.  There shall be no right of appeal from the prudential committee’s decision.
      (d)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, sections 42 and 43 of chapter 48 of the General Laws shall apply to the chief of the fire department.
      SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the treasurer of Dartmouth Fire District Number Two shall be appointed by the prudential committee of the district for a term of not more than 3 years; provided, however, that the treasurer may be reappointed for a successive term as often as the prudential committee, in its discretion, desires; and provided further, that a reappointment shall only be made in the final year of the treasurer’s current term.  The treasurer shall receive such salary as may be determined through the execution of a contract with the prudential committee for the term of the appointment, subject to appropriation by the district meeting. The prudential committee may suspend, terminate or otherwise discipline the treasurer pursuant to the terms set forth in the employment contract.
      SECTION 3.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be no auditors of Dartmouth Fire District Number Two.  Any powers and duties of an auditor shall be held and exercised by a qualified professional auditor selected by the prudential committee.
      SECTION 4.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the clerk of Dartmouth Fire District Number Two shall be appointed by the prudential committee of the district for a term of not more than 3 years; provided, however, that the clerk may be reappointed for a successive term as often as the prudential committee, in its discretion, desires; and provided further, that a reappointment shall only be made in the final year of the clerk’s current term. The clerk shall receive such salary as may be determined through the execution of a contract with the prudential committee for the term of the appointment, subject to appropriation by the district meeting. The prudential committee may suspend, terminate or otherwise discipline the clerk pursuant to the terms set forth in the employment contract.
       SECTION 5.  Notwithstanding sections 2 and 4, the prudential committee may appoint a single individual to serve as both treasurer and clerk of Dartmouth Fire District Number Two

Approved, March 31, 2016.