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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL FINANCE IN THE TOWN OF DENNIS.

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) There shall be a department of municipal finance in the town of Dennis. The department shall be responsible for the performance of all fiscal and financial activities of the town, including those duties and responsibilities related to municipal finance activities that before the effective date of this act were performed by or under the authority of the finance director and the town treasurer-collector. The assessing department and the director of assessing of the town shall be part of the department of municipal finance; provided, however, that the assessing department shall continue to exercise all of the duties and responsibilities of a board of assessors under the General Laws, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c). The department of municipal finance shall have such additional powers, duties and responsibilities with respect to municipal finance-related functions and activities as the town may from time to time provide by by-law.

(b)  The department of municipal finance shall be under the direct control and supervision of a director of municipal finance who shall be appointed by and be responsible to the board of selectmen. The director of municipal finance shall be a person especially fitted by education, experience and training to perform the duties of the office. The educational qualifications shall consist of a Master’s degree, preferably in accounting or business administration, granted by an accredited degree-granting college or university. The professional experience shall include not less than 3 years of prior full-time compensated service in accounting or business administration. Alternatively, 5 years or more of such professional experience and a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline shall qualify an applicant. Seven years or more of prior full-time compensated experience in accounting or business administration shall also qualify any applicant. The salary, fringe benefits and other conditions of employment of the director of municipal finance, including, but not limited to, severance pay, relocation expenses, reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties or office, liability insurance, conditions of discipline, termination, dismissal, reappointment, performance standards and leave, may be established by contract.

(c)  The director of municipal finance shall be responsible for the supervision and coordination of all activities of the department in accordance with the General Laws, town by-laws, administrative codes and rules and regulations. The director may serve as the town accountant and have all the powers, duties and responsibilities of, and be subject to the liabilities and penalties conferred and imposed by law on, the office of town accountant. The director shall be responsible for coordinating the fiscal management procedures of the offices of the town treasurer-collector, assessing department and accounting and shall be the administrator of budgeting, including financial reporting, accountability and control, as well as an advisor on financial and programmatic implications of current and future policies to all town departments, the town administrator and the board of selectmen. The director shall be responsible for coordinating all financial tasks required by the General Laws and shall accomplish such tasks in accordance with the dates specified in the department of revenue municipal calendar, as it may be amended from time to time.

SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, except as provided in this act, there shall be a treasurer-collector in the town of Dennis who shall have the powers, duties and responsibilities of, and be subject to the liabilities and penalties conferred and imposed by law on, the offices of treasurer and collector under the General Laws. The board of selectmen shall appoint the treasurer-collector. The treasurer-collector shall be a person especially fitted by education, experience and training to perform the duties of the office.

SECTION 3.  Upon the effective date of this act, the appointed finance director holding office shall become the director of municipal finance in the town of Dennis. The appointed incumbent holding the office of treasurer-collector for the town of Dennis, as of the effective date of this act, shall continue to hold the office and to perform the duties thereof; provided, however, that this act shall have no effect on the incumbent’s salary or benefits. Thereafter, appointments to the position of treasurer-collector shall be made in accordance with section 2 of this act. The treasurer-collector and director of assessing shall be employees of the department of municipal finance under the direction and supervision of the director of municipal finance.

SECTION 4.  Contracts or liabilities in force on the effective date of this act shall not be affected by the consolidation of certain financial functions of the town of Dennis under this act.

SECTION 5.  Chapter 11 of the acts of 1996 is hereby repealed.

SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, February 27, 2020.