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June 21, 2024 Clouds | 76°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF DEDHAM

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. Subsection (b) of section 2-2 of article 2 of the charter of the town of Dedham, 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 the words “registrars of voters”, each time they appear, and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following words:- board of registrars of voters.

SECTION 2. Subsection (b) of section 2-7 of said article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the second and third sentences and inserting in place thereof the following 3 sentences:- If no such election is to be held within 120 days, the vacancy shall be filled by the properly nominated candidate for town representative receiving the highest number of votes at the last annual town election in that district, but who was not elected or appointed under this section. A town representative filling a vacancy provided in this paragraph shall serve until the next regular annual election, at which time the remainder of the term, if any, shall be filled by official ballot. If no such candidate exists, the vacancy shall be filled at a district caucus on or before the date of the next town meeting.

SECTION 3. Clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of section 2-9 of said article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The duties of the finance and warrant committee shall include those listed under paragraph (2) of this subsection and section 5A-6.

SECTION 4. Clause (ii) of said paragraph (1) of said subsection (c) of said section 2-9 of said article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the figure “3-8” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 3-9.

SECTION 5. Clause (iii) of said paragraph (1) of said subsection (c) of said section 2-9 of said article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “precinct”, each time it appears, and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following word:- district.

SECTION 6. Subsection (h) of said section 2-9 of said article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the word “precinct” and inserting in place thereof the word:- district.

SECTION 7. The fourth paragraph of section 2-12 of said article 2 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The question submitted shall be stated on the ballot in substantially the same language and form in which it was stated when presented by the moderator to the representative town meeting as appearing in the records of the town meeting and shall be similar to the following: “Shall the voters of the town confirm the action taken by the representative town meeting at the town meeting held on [insert date] to [insert here the question as stated when presented by the moderator]?”.

SECTION 8. Section 3-10 of article 3 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out subsection (c).

SECTION 9. Section 3-12 of said article 3 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out subsection (a) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
         (a) Composition, Term of Office – There shall be a housing authority, which shall consist of 5 members elected or appointed under section 5 of chapter 121B of the General Laws or as otherwise provided by law.

SECTION 10. The second paragraph of paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of section 3-13 of said article 3 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the words “and the said registrars” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- , who.

SECTION 11. Subsection (c) of said section 3-13 of said article 3 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the words “registrars of voters” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- board of registrars of voters.

SECTION 12. Paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of section 4-2 of article 4 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the words “, board of library trustees, and the parks and recreation commission”.

SECTION 13. Said section 4-2 of said article 4 of said charter is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (s) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
         (s) To supervise and direct all appointed department heads, directors, principal deputies and principal agents of elected and appointed multiple-member bodies, with respect to the day-to-day operational and administrative matters, in a manner consistent with the town’s personnel by-laws and policies and, if applicable, contracts or collective bargaining agreements. The town manager shall, in connection therewith, provide for an annual review of such department heads, directors, principal deputies and principal agents with respect to day-to-day operational and administrative matters, following consultation with the respective multiple-member body or its designee.

SECTION 14. Section 6-4 of article 6 of said charter is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- If a vacancy occurs in any town office or town employment or on any multiple-member body, except for positions covered under laws governing civil service, whether by reason of death, resignation, expiration of a fixed term for which a person has been appointed or otherwise, the appointing authority shall cause public notice of the vacancy to be posted on the town bulletin boards, town website and other available electronic media.

SECTION 15. Said section 6-4 of said article 6 of said charter is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:- Further, the town shall provide written or electronic notice to those members of appointed multiple-member bodies whose terms are expiring not later than 90 days prior thereto; provided, however, that failure to provide such notice on or before the date indicated shall not extend the term of such appointment.

SECTION 16. Said article 6 of said charter is hereby further amended by striking out section 6-7 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
         6-7. Role of Multiple-Member Bodies
         (a) Multiple-Member Bodies. Nothing in this charter shall be construed to authorize any individual member of an elected or appointed multiple-member body, nor a majority of members of such body, to become involved in the day-to-day operation and administration of any town agency, including appointment and supervision of department heads and staff. Instead, day-to-day operations shall be subject to oversight by the town manager under section 4-2 and department heads under sections 6-5 and 6-6. It is the intention of this section to affirmatively establish that such bodies shall act only through the adoption of broad policy guidelines that are to be implemented by officers and employees serving under such body.
         (b) Department Heads. Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a) of section 6-7 or paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of section 4-2 to the contrary, department heads appointed by the town manager under the provision of paragraph (1) of said subsection (b) of said section 4-2 shall be responsible to the appropriate elected or appointed multiple-member body for implementation of policy decisions made and policy guidance given. Each department head shall report regularly to such multiple-member body concerning department operations, actions taken and the status of new or ongoing issues. Each department head shall work cooperatively with the chair of the appropriate multiple-member body and the town manager to ensure the body has appropriate administrative and operational support.

Approved, November 8, 2023.