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Town Charter
AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SELECTMEN-MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Section
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by authority of the same, as follows:   

SECTION 1. ELECTED OFFICIALS  

At the town election following the acceptance of this act the registered voters of the town of   Concord  shall elect the following officials:  

A.        A moderator for a term of one year;  

B.         Two selectmen for terms of three years each, two selectmen for terms of two years each and one selectman for a term of one year;  

C.        Two members of the school committee for terms of three years each, two members for terms of two years each, and one member for a term of one year.  At each annual town election thereafter a moderator shall be elected for a term of one year and selectmen and members of the school committee for terms of three years to replace those whose terms expire.  When a vacancy or vacancies occur in the membership of the board of selectmen, the board of selectmen shall call a special town election to fill the vacancy or vacancies for the unexpired term or terms, except that if such vacancy or vacancies occur less than one hundred days prior to the annual election and not less than three members of such board remain in office, the vacancy or vacancies shall remain unfilled until such annual election (See Note #1, Amendments).  When a vacancy or vacancies occur in the membership of the school committee, the board of selectmen shall call a special town election to fill the vacancy or vacancies for the unexpired term or terms, except that if such vacancy or vacancies occur less than one hundred days prior to the annual election and not less than three members of such committee remain in office, the vacancy or vacancies shall remain unfilled until such annual election (See Note #2, Amendments).  The powers, duties and responsibilities of elected officials shall be as now or hereafter provided by applicable statutes and bylaws and votes of the town, except as herein otherwise provided.

SECTION 2. APPOINTED OFFICIALS  

A.        The selectmen shall appoint a town manager as provided in Section 5, who may thereafter be removed as provided in Section 7.  

B.         The selectmen shall appoint a library committee, a planning board, a board of appeals, a town accountant, trustees of town donations, a personnel board, a public ceremonies and celebrations committee (see Note #3, Amendments), election officers, registrars of voters other than the town clerk and such other officers, boards and committees as they shall hereafter be directed to appoint by bylaw or vote of the town, and such temporary or ad hoc committees as in their judgment shall from time to time be necessary or desirable (see Note #3, Amendments).  The selectmen may, by majority vote, undertake an investigation of the affairs of any committee, board or official appointed by them or by the town manager, and they shall have access to all records and other documents which they may deem necessary or desirable for this purpose.  The selectmen may remove, after such hearing as the selectmen may deem advisable, any of the officers, boards or committees appointed by them under the provisions of this paragraph B, or any member thereof, other than the town clerk.   

            The selectmen shall, at the respective times specified in clauses 1 and 2 herein and at intervals of not more than ten (10) years thereafter appoint the following special committees:  

1.      within one year after this paragraph takes effect, a committee for the purposes of reviewing and recodifying the existing zoning bylaw and revising the building code of the town; and   

2.      within one year after this paragraph takes effect, a committee for the purpose of reviewing and recodifying all other existing bylaws of the town.     

(Clause 3 deleted.  See Note #8, Amendments)   

Within one year following its appointment, each such committee shall submit a report to the selectmen with specific recommendations for action to be taken to accomplish the purpose of such committee.  (See Note #5, Amendments)   

C.        The moderator shall appoint a finance committee and such other officers, boards and committees as he shall herein after be directed to appoint by bylaw or vote of the town.   

D.        The town manager shall appoint, upon merit and fitness alone, and may remove for cause:   

1.         a town clerk, a town treasurer, a town collector and a board of five assessors (see Note #7, Amendments), subject however, in each instance, to the approval of the selectmen;   

2.         all other officers, boards, committees and employees of the town, with the exception of the elected officials specified in Section 1, officials, boards and committees appointed by the school committee and by the selectmen and moderator as herein before in this Section 2 provided and employees of the same.   

SECTION 3. MEMBERSHIP; TERMS; POWERS, DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES; TERMINATION   

The membership of boards and committees appointed as provided in Section 2, the length of the term of each member thereof and of officers so appointed, and the powers, duties and responsibilities of the same shall be as now or hereafter provided by applicable statutes and bylaws and votes of the town, except as herein otherwise provided.  Upon appointment and qualification of the various officials as provided for in Section 2, the term of office and all powers and duties of each person theretofore holding each such office shall cease and be terminated.   


SECTION 4. MULTIPLE OFFICERS   

Neither the moderator nor any member of the board of selectmen, the school committee, or the finance committee may, during the term for which he was elected or appointed, be elected or appointed to any other town office, except as otherwise provided herein.  Any person appointed by the town manager to any town office under the provisions of this act or of any other statute of the Commonwealth shall be eligible during the term of said office to appointment to any other town office, except the town accountant shall not be eligible to hold the position of town treasurer or town collector.  Subject to the approval of the selectmen, the town manager may assume the powers, duties, and responsibilities of any officer, board or committee which he is authorized to appoint, such assumption to be evidenced by and effective upon the filing with the town clerk of a written declaration of such assumption signed by the town manager, and thereupon each officer, board or committee whose powers, duties and responsibilities are so assumed by the town manager shall be discharged and shall have no further powers, duties or responsibilities as such.  

SECTION 5. APPOINTMENT OF TOWN MANAGER     

The selectmen elected as provided herein shall appoint, as soon as practicable, for a term of three years, a town manager who shall be a person especially fitted, in their opinion, by education, training and experience to perform the duties of the office.  The town manager shall be appointed without regard to his political beliefs.  (Sentence deleted.  See Note #9, Amendments).  No holder of elective office in the town shall within two years of holding of such office be eligible for appointment as town manager.  The town manager may be appointed for successive terms of office.  Before entering upon the duties of his office, he shall be sworn, in the presence of a majority of the selectmen, to the faithful and impartial performance thereof by the town clerk or by a justice of the peace or notary public.  He shall execute a bond in favor of the town for the faithful performance of his duties in such sum and with such sureties as may be fixed or approved by the selectmen.     

SECTION 6. APPOINTMENT OF A TEMPORARY TOWN MANAGER    

In the event of the temporary absence or disability of the town manager, he may appoint, subject to the approval of the selectmen, a suitable person to perform the duties of the manager during such absence or disability.  If the town manager fails to make such appointment or the person so appointed fails to serve, the selectmen may appoint a suitable person, who may be a selectman, to perform such duties.  In the event of any vacancy in the office of town manager or the suspension of the town manager as hereinafter provided, the selectmen shall, within seven days, appoint the person to perform such duties.   

SECTION 7. REMOVAL OF TOWN MANAGER   

The selectmen may remove the town manager by the affirmative vote of at least three members of the board.  At least thirty days before such proposed removal shall become effective, the selectmen shall file a preliminary written resolution with the town clerk setting forth the specific reasons for his proposed removal.  The town clerk shall forthwith deliver a copy of such resolution to the town manager or mail the same to him by registered mail at his last known address.  The manager may file with the selectmen, within seven days after receipt of such copy, a written request for a public hearing not earlier than ten days nor later than twenty days after the filing of such request.  After such public hearings, if any, otherwise at the expiration of thirty days following the filing of the preliminary resolution and after full consideration, the selectmen, by the affirmative vote of at least three members of the board may adopt a final resolution of removal.  In the preliminary resolution, the selectmen may suspend the manager from duty, but shall in any case cause to be paid to him forthwith any unpaid balance of his salary for the then current month and, at the discretion of the selectmen, such additional amount not in excess of three months' salary, as the selectmen shall deem proper.  

SECTION 8. COMPENSATION OF TOWN MANAGER     

The town manager shall receive such compensation for all services performed by him as the selectmen shall determine, but it shall not exceed the amount appropriated therefor by the town.   

SECTION 9. POWERS AND DUTIES OF TOWN MANAGER   

In addition to specific powers and duties provided elsewhere in this act the town manager shall have the general powers and duties enumerated in this section:   

A.        The town manager shall supervise and direct and shall be responsible for the efficient administration of all officers, boards and committees appointed by him and their respective departments.  
  
B.         He may, with the approval of at least three of the selectmen, establish, combine, reorganize, or discontinue departments under his supervision; and, with the approval of both the selectmen and the finance committee, he may transfer all or part of the appropriation of a discontinued department to any other department, any balance not so transferred to be returned to the town treasury.  
  
C.        With respect to the wage or salary and classification of employees appointed by the town manager, he shall be governed by the provisions of the "Wage and Salary Classification Plan - Town of Concord, Massachusetts", as the same may be amended from time to time and for so long as the same may remain in force.  
  
D.        The town manager shall keep full and complete records of his office, and shall render as often as may be required by the selectmen a full report of all operations during the period reported on.   
E.   With the exception of property under the jurisdiction of the school committee, the town manager shall have full and exclusive jurisdiction over the rental and use of all town property, and shall be responsible for the proper maintenance and repair thereof; and, upon request by the school committee, he shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of property under its jurisdiction, but only to such extent and for such period as the school committee shall from time to time specify.  He shall be responsible for the preparation of plans and the supervision of work on existing and on new buildings and grounds, unless a special committee of the town is created for such purpose.    

F.  The town manager shall purchase all supplies and materials and equipment and award all contracts for all departments of the town, but he shall make purchases for departments not under his supervision only upon requisition duly authorized by the head of such department.   

G.  The town manager shall administer either directly or through a person or persons appointed by him in accordance with this act all provisions of general and special laws applicable to the town and bylaws and votes of the town, within the scope of his duties, and all rules and regulations made by the selectmen.   

H.   The town manager, subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, shall have authority to prosecute, defend and compromise all litigation to which the town is a party, and to employ counsel whenever in his judgment it may be necessary.   

I.          The town manager shall perform such other duties consistent with his office as may be required by bylaw or vote of the town or by vote of the selectmen.   

SECTION 10. INVESTIGATION BY TOWN MANAGER   
The town manager may without notice cause the affairs of any committee, board, or official under his control or the conduct of any officer or employee thereof to be examined.  The town manager shall have access to all town books and papers for information necessary for the performance of his duties.   

SECTION 11. RELATIVE TO DUTIES OF BOARDS AND OFFICERS APPOINTED BY TOWN MANAGER   

Except as otherwise herein provided, each committee, board and officer appointed by the town manager shall, in the performance of their duties, be subject to the general supervision and direction of the town manager.  Such committees and boards shall promptly organize for the proper conduct of their respective offices.  Each committee and board member and each officer appointed by the town manager shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and qualifies, unless his office shall have become vacant by reason of his resignation or removal.   

SECTION 12. VACANCIES TO BE FILLED BY TOWN MANAGER   
Any vacancy in an office or committee or board over which the town manager has power of appointment shall be filled by the town manager, as hereinbefore provided.  

SECTION 13. OATH OF OFFICE OF TOWN OFFICIALS   

All elected officials shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their respective duties by the town clerk or a justice of the peace or notary public, except that the town clerk shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his duties by the chairman of the Board of Selectmen or by a justice of the peace or notary public.   

SECTION 14. WARRANTS   

A copy of each warrant for the payment of town funds prepared by the town accountant shall be submitted to the town manager who shall make recommendation to the selectmen with respect to the approval or disapproval by them of each such warrant or of any item or items in any such warrant.   

SECTION 15. RECEIPTS PAID TO TREASURY   

Every official shall pay into the treasury of the town all amounts received by him on behalf of the town and all fees received by him in accordance with the provisions of any general or special law and shall make a full and true return thereof to the town accountant.   

SECTION 16. ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURES   

Not less than 90 days before the annual town meeting each year (See Note #4, Amendments), the town manager shall submit to the selectmen a careful detailed estimate in writing of the probable expenditures of the town government for the ensuing fiscal year, stating the amount required to meet the interest and maturing bonds and notes or other outstanding indebtedness of the town, and showing specifically the amount necessary to be provided for each fund and department, together with a statement of the expenditures of the town for the same purposes in the two preceding years and an estimate of the expenditures for the current year.  He shall also submit a statement showing all revenues received by the town in the two preceding fiscal years together with an estimate of the receipts of the current year and an estimate of the amount of income from all sources of revenue exclusive of taxes upon property in the ensuing year.  He shall report 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 said amount.  For the purpose of enabling the town manager to make up the annual estimates of expenditures, all boards, officers, and committees of the town shall, upon his written request, furnish all information in their possession and submit to him in writing a detailed estimate of the appropriations required for the efficient and proper conduct of their respective departments during the next fiscal year.   

SECTION 17. ANNUAL BUDGET   

The selectmen shall consider the tentative budget submitted by the town manager and make such recommendations relative thereto as they may deem expedient and proper in the interests of the town.  Not less than 60 days before the annual town meeting each year the selectmen shall transmit a copy of the budget together with their recommendations relative thereto to each member of the finance committee.  (See Note #6, Amendments)   

SECTION 18. DUTIES OF CERTAIN TOWN OFFICIALS RELATIVE TO ELECTION   

It shall be the duty of the selectmen and the town clerk in office and any other town official upon whom by reason of his office a duty devolves under the provisions of their act, when this act is accepted by the registered voters as herein provided, to comply with all the requirements of law relating to elections, to the end that all things may be done necessary for the nomination and election of the officers first to be elected under this act.   

SECTION 19. SUBMISSION OF ACT AND TIME OF TAKING EFFECT   

This act shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the town of   Concord  for acceptance at the first annual town election occurring not less than thirty days after the passage of this act.  The vote shall be taken by ballot in answer to the question which shall be printed on the official ballot:  "Shall an act passed by the General Court in the year nineteen hundred and fifty-two entitled 'AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SELECTMEN-MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE TOWN OF CONCORD'  be accepted?"  If this act shall be so accepted by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon it shall become and be in full force and effect immediately after the final adjournment of the annual town meeting held in the year following the year in which this act is so accepted, provided, however, that said annual town meeting shall be held in conformance with the provisions of this act.  If this act is rejected by the qualified voters of the town of Concord when first submitted to said voters under this section, it shall be submitted for acceptance in like manner to such voters at the next following annual town election in said town, and if it is not accepted at said annual election, it shall again be submitted for acceptance in like manner to such voters at the next following annual election and, if accepted by a majority of such voters voting thereon at either of said elections, shall take effect as hereinbefore provided.   

SECTION 20. BYLAWS, RULES, ETC.    

All laws, bylaws, votes, rules and regulations in force in the town of Concord when this act takes effect, not inconsistent with its provisions, whether enacted by authority of the town or any other authority, shall continue in full force and effect until otherwise provided by law, bylaw, or vote;  all other laws, bylaws, votes, rules and regulations, so far as they refer to the town of Concord, are hereby repealed and annulled, but such repeal shall not revive any pre-existing enactment.   

SECTION 21. REVOCATION OF ACCEPTANCE   

At any time after the expiration of three years from the date on which this act is accepted, and not less than sixty days before the date of an annual meeting, a petition, signed by not less than twenty percent of the registered voters of the town, may be filed with the selectmen, requesting that the question of revoking the acceptance of this act be submitted to the voters at the next annual town meeting.  At said election the question shall be printed on the official ballot:  "Shall the acceptance by the town of   Concord  of an act passed by the General Court in the year nineteen hundred and fifty-two entitled 'AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SELECTMEN-MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE TOWN OF CONCORD' be revoked?"  If such revocation is favored by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon, the acceptance of this act shall be revoked and this act shall become null and void beginning with the annual town meeting next following such vote, provided that all town officers holding office under this act shall continue to hold office until their successors have been duly qualified.  At the first annual town election following such vote of revocation the registered voters of the town shall elect by ballot all elective officers, boards, and committees whose election to office was required immediately prior to the acceptance of this act, provided however, that the town does not vote to accept other plans which provide for a different arrangement from that existing immediately prior to the acceptance of this act.  It shall be the duty of the selectmen and the town clerk in office and any other town official upon whom by reason of his office a duty devolves when this act is revoked, to comply with all of the requirements of this section relating to elections to the end that all things may be done necessary for the nomination and election of the officers required to be elected following the revocation of this act.  The said revocation shall not affect any contract then existing or any action at law or any suit in equity or any other proceedings then pending, with the exception of any contract made by the town with the town manager then in office, whose contract shall be terminated immediately upon such vote, but who shall receive three months' compensation from the date following such vote.  The board of selectmen shall be charged with all the powers and duties of the town manager which duties and responsibilities may be discharged by themselves or by a temporary town manager appointed by them.  Any special laws relative to said town which are repealed by this act shall be revived by such revocation.  All laws, bylaws, votes, and rules and regulations repealed and annulled, as provided in Section 20, shall be revived by such revocation.  Bylaws, votes and rules and regulations in force when said revocation takes effect, so far as consistent with the general laws respecting town government and town officers and with special laws, shall not  be affected thereby.   

Approved May 5, 1952  




NOTES ON CHARTER AMENDMENTS  

Section Amended Noted Below   

1.   Article 2,  Town Meeting,  October 10, 1972;  passed by the General Court,  Acts 1973,  Chapter 179  (Section 1C amended)  
  
2.   Article 3,  Town Meeting,  October 10, 1972;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1973  (Section 1C amended)  
  
3.   Article 4,  Town Meeting,  October 10, 1972;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1973  (Section 2B amended)  
  
4.   Article 5,  Town Meeting,  October 10, 1972;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1973  (Section 16 amended)  
  
5.   Article 18,  Town Meeting,  March 6, 1973;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1974  (Section 2B amended)  
  
6.   Article 8,  Town Meeting,  May 6, 1974;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1975  (Section 17 amended)  
  
7.   Article 39,  Town Meeting,  April 4, 1978;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1979  (Section 2D amended)  
  
8.   Article 48,  Town Meeting,  April 9, 1984;  accepted by the Town of   Concord  at Town Election 1985  (Section 2B amended)  
  
9.   Article 69,  Town Meeting, May 8, 2003;  passed by the General Court, Acts 2004, Chapter 347, September 16, 2004;  (Section 5 amended)   
  




 
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