Outline of a Revised Charter from Marc Warner
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Like this? Share it with your network

Share

Outline of a Revised Charter from Marc Warner

  • 985 views
Uploaded on

Submitted on 3/7/11 by Marc Warner.

Submitted on 3/7/11 by Marc Warner.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
985
On Slideshare
983
From Embeds
2
Number of Embeds
2

Actions

Shares
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 2

http://northassoc.org 1
http://www.northassoc.org 1

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS NORTHAMPTON PROPOSED CHARTERARTICLE 1 INCORPORATION; SHORT TITLE; DEFINITIONSSECTION 1-1: INCORPORATIONSECTION 1-2: SHORT TITLESECTION 1-3: DISTRIBUTION OF POWERSSECTION 1-4: POWERS OF THE CITYSECTION 1-5: CONSTRUCTIONSECTION 1-6: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSSECTION 1-7: DEFINITIONSARTICLE 2 LEGISLATIVE BRANCHSECTION 2-1: COMPOSITION, TERM OF OFFICESECTION 2-2: COUNCIL PRESIDENTSECTION 2-3: PROHIBITIONSSECTION 2-4: COMPENSATION, EXPENSESSECTION 2-5: GENERAL POWERSSECTION 2-6: EXERCISE OF POWERSSECTION 2-7: ACCESS TO INFORMATIONSECTION 2-8: OFFICERS ELECTED BY CITY COUNCILSECTION 2-9: ORDINANCES AND OTHER MEASURESSECTION 2-10: COUNCIL REVIEW OF CERTAIN APOINTMENTSSECTION 2-11: FILLING OF VACANCIESARTICLE 3 EXECUTIVE BRANCHSECTION 3-1 MAYOR: QUALIFICATIONS; TERM OF OFFICE; COMPENSATIONSECTION 3-2 EXECUTIVE POWERS; ENFORCEMENT OF ORDINANCESSECTION 3-3: APPOINTMENTS BY THE MAYORSECTION 3-4: REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN OFFICIALSSECTION 3-5: TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS TO CITY OFFICESSECTION 3-6: COMMUNICATIONS; SPECIAL MEETINGSSECTION 3-7: APPROVAL OF MAYOR, EXEPTION (VETO)SECTION 3-8: TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF THE MAYORSECTION 3-9: VACANCY OF THE MAYORARTICLE 4 SCHOOL DEPARTMENTSECTION 4-1: SCHOOL COMMITTEE
  • 2. SECTION 4-2: SCHOOL COMMITTEE CHAIRSECTION 4-3: PROHIBITIONSECTION 4-4: COMPENSATION, EXPENSESSECTION 4-5: SCHOOL COMMITTEE POWERS AND DUTIESSECTION 4-6: FILLING OF VACANCIESARTICLE 5 FINANCE AND FISCAL PROCEDURESSECTION 5-1: FISCAL YEARSECTION 5-2: SCHOOL COMMITTEE BUDGETSECTION 5-3: SUBMISSION OF BUDGET AND BUDGET MESSAGESECTION 5-4: BUDGET MESSAGESECTION 5-5 THE BUDGETSECTION 5-6 ACTION ON THE BUDGETSECTION 5-7 SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGETS, OTHER APPROPRIATIONSSECTION 5-8 ALLOTMENTSSECTION 5-9 PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS OF APPROPRIATIONSSECTION 5-10 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMSECTION 5-11 INDEPENDENT AUDITARTICLE 6 ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATIONSECTION 6-1 ORGANIZATION OF CITY AGENCIESSECTION 6-2 MERIT PRINCIPLESECTION 6-3 DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPLE FINANCESECTION 6-4 DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENTSECTION 6-5 PLANNING & CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AND OTHER FACILITIESSECTION 6-6 DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCESSECTION 6-7 BOARD OF LICENCE COMMISIONERSSECTION 6-8 PARK AND RECREATION COMMISIONSECTION 6-9 PUBLIC SAFTEY COMMISIONARTICLE 7 ELECTIONS; ELECTION RELATED MATERIALSSECTION 7-1 CITY ELECTIONSSECTION 7-2 PRELIMINARY ELECTIONSECTION 7-3 BALLOT POSITIONSECTION 7-4 WARDSSECTION 7-5 APPLICATION OF STATE GENERAL LAWSSECTION 7-6 PETITIONS TO COUNCIL OR SCHOOL COMMITTEESECTION 7-7 CITIZEN INITIATIVE MEASURES
  • 3. SECTION 7-8 CITIZEN REFERENDUM PROCEDURESSECTION 7-9 INELIGIBLE MEASURESSECTION 7-10 SUBMISSION OF OTHER MATTERS TO VOTERSSECTION 7-11 CONFLICTING PROVISIONSSECTION 7-12 RECALL ELECTIONSARTICLE 8 GENERAL PROVISIONSSECTION 8-1 CHARTER CHANGESSECTION 8-2 SEVERABILITYSECTION 8-3 SPECIFIC PROVISION TO PREVAILSECTION 8-4 RULES AND REGULATIONSSECTION 8-5 REVIEW OF ORDINACNCESSECTION 8-6 RULES OF CONSTRUCTIONSECTION 8-7 CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION OR APPOINTMENTSECTION 8-8 OATH OF OFFICE OF MAYOR, COUNCILORS, & SCHOOL COMMITTEEARTICLE 9 TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONSSECTION 9-1 CONTINUATION OF EXISTING LAWSSECTION 9-2 CONTINUATION OF GOVERNMENT AND AMDINISTRATIONSECTION 9-3 TRANSFER OF RECORDS & PROPERTYSECTION 9-4 CONTINUATION OF PERSONNELSECTION 9-5 EFFECT ON OBLIGATIONS, TAXES, ETC.SECTION 9-6 TIME OF TAKING EFFECTSECTION 9-7 DISPOSITION OF CERTAIN SPECIAL LAWS
  • 4. ARTICLE 1INCORPORATION; SHORT TITLE; DEFINITIONSSECTION 1-1: INCORPORATIONThe inhabitants of the city of Northampton shall continue to be a body politic and corporate under thename of the City of Northampton, and as such shall have, exercise, and enjoy all the rights,immunities, powers, and privileges, and shall be subject to all the duties and obligations nowincumbent upon and pertaining to the said city as a municipal corporation. Comment [M1]: Verbatim from C-1SECTION 1-2: SHORT TITLEThis instrument shall be known and may be cited as the Northampton Charter. Comment [M2]: New sectionSECTION 1-3: DISTRIBUTION OF POWERSThe administration of the fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of Northampton, with thegovernment thereof, shall be vested in an executive/administrative branch headed by a mayor, and alegislative branch to consist of a City Council. The legislative branch shall never exercise any Comment [M3]: From C-2executive/administrative power and the executive/ administrative branch shall never exercise anylegislative power. Comment [M4]: New section; modern charter language.SECTION 1-4: POWERS OF THE CITYSubject only to express limitations on the exercise of any power or function by a municipalgovernment in the constitution or general laws of the Commonwealth, it is the intention and thepurpose of the voters of Northampton through the adoption of this charter to secure for themselvesand their government all of the powers it is possible to secure as fully and as completely as thougheach such power were specifically and individually enumerated herein. Comment [M5]: New section; modern charter language.SECTION 1-5: CONSTRUCTIONThe powers of the city of Northampton under this charter are to be construed liberally in favor of thecity, and the specific mention of any particular power is not intended to limit the general powers ofthe city as stated in section 1-4. Comment [M6]: New section; modern charter language.SECTION 1-6: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSSubject only to express limitations in the constitution or general laws of the Commonwealth,Northampton may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions, and may participate inthe financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with the Commonwealth orany agency or political sub-division thereof, or with the United States government or any agencythereof. Comment [M7]: New section; modern charter language.SECTION 1-7: DEFINITIONSUnless another meaning is clearly apparent from the manner in which the word is used, the followingwords as used in this charter shall have the following meanings:(a) Charter- The word charter shall mean this charter and any amendments to it that may hereafter beadopted.(b) Days- The word days shall refer to business days, not including Saturdays, Sundays and legalholidays when the time set is less than seven days; when the time set is seven days or more, every
  • 5. day shall be counted. When the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday the period shallbe extended to the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.(c) Emergency- The word emergency shall mean a sudden, unexpected, unforeseen happening,occurrence, event or condition which necessitates immediate action.(d) general laws- The words general laws (all lower case letters) shall mean laws which apply aliketo all cities and towns, to all cities, or to a class of municipalities of which Northampton is a member.(e) General Laws- The words General Laws (used with initial capital letters) shall refer to theGeneral Laws of Massachusetts, a codification and revision of statutes enacted on December 22,1920, and including all amendments thereto subsequently adopted.(f) Local Newspaper- The words local newspaper shall mean a newspaper of general circulation inthe city of Northampton.(g) Majority Vote - The words majority vote shall mean a majority of those present and voting,provided that a quorum of the body is present when the vote is taken, unless a higher number isrequired bylaw.(h) Multiple Member Body - The words multiple member body shall mean any city body consistingof two or more persons and whether styled board, commission, committee, sub-committee, orotherwise and however elected or appointed or otherwise constituted.(i) Quorum - The word quorum, unless otherwise required by law or this charter, shall mean amajority of the members of a multiple member body notwithstanding any vacancies which mightthen exist(j) City - The word city shall mean the City of Northampton.(k) City Agency- The words city agency shall mean any board, commission, committee, department,division or office of the city government.(l) City Bulletin Board- The words city bulletin board shall mean the bulletin board in the city hall onwhich official city notices are posted and those at other locations within the city which may fromtime to time be designated as city bulletin boards by ordinance, or by other vote of the city council.(m) City Web Site - The words city web site shall mean the official web site of the City ofNorthampton.(n) City Officer- The words city officer when used without further qualification or description, shallmean a person having charge of an office or department of the city who in the exercise of the powersor duties of that position exercises some portion of the sovereign power of the city.(o) Voters - The word voters shall mean registered voters of the city of Northampton. Comment [M8]: New section; modern charter language. Compare this against Braintree, Easthampton. Web site is not standard but appropriate.
  • 6. ARTICLE 2 LEGISLATIVE BRANCHSECTION 2-1: COMPOSITION, TERM OF OFFICE(a) Composition - There shall be a city council of nine members which shall exercise the legislativepowers of the city. One member of the City Council shall be elected by and from the qualified voters Comment [M9]: Modern charter languageof each ward. Two members of the City Council shall be elected by and from the qualified voters ofthe city and shall be known as Councilors-at-large. Comment [M10]: From section 2 of current charter; residency of councilors moved to Eligibility section, below.(b) Term of Office - The term of office for all city councilors shall be for two years each, beginningon the first secular day of January in the year following their election, and until their successors havebeen qualified. Comment [M11]: Modern charter language. Current charter allows members to hold office “until a majority of the succeeding council is chosen and(c) Eligibility - Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of councilor-at-1arge. A ward councilor qualified.”shall at the time of election be a voter of the ward from which elected, provided, however, if anyward councilor shall during the first eighteen months of the term of office remove to another ward inthe city such office shall be deemed vacant and the balance of the un-expired term shall be filled inthe manner provided in section 2-11. If such removal occurs after the first eighteen months of theterm of office such councilor may continue to serve for the balance of the term for which elected. If acouncilor-at-large or a ward councilor removes from the city during the term for which elected suchoffice shall immediately be deemed vacant and filled in the manner provided in section 2-11. Comment [M12]: Consistent with section 2 of current charter.SECTION 2-2: COUNCIL PRESIDENT(a) Election and Term - As soon as practicable after the councilors-elect have been qualifiedfollowing each biennial election the members of the city council shall elect from among its membersa council president who shall serve during the ensuing term of office. Comment [M13]: Modern charter language; no substantive change from current charter: “After being sworn to the faithful performance of their(b) Powers and Duties –The council president shall preside at all meetings of the city council, duties, the members of the City Council shall beregulate its proceedings and shall decide all questions of order. The council president shall appoint organized by electing from among their own number a president.”all members of all committees of the city council, whether special or standing. The council presidentshall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the city council as any other Comment [M14]: Substantive change: current charter calls for the mayor to preside over councilmember of the city council. The council president shall perform such other duties consistent with the meetings. Proposed charter could maintain currentoffice as may be provided by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the city council. charter intent by adding “In the absence of the mayor,” to the beginning of this sentence. (c) Council Vice-President - The members of the city council shall also elect from among its Comment [M15]: Modern charter languagemembers a council vice-president who shall serve as acting president during the temporary absenceor disability of the council president during the ensuing term of office. The powers of an actingcouncil president shall be limited to only those powers of the president as may be necessary to theconduct of the business of the city council in an orderly and efficient manner and which may not bedelayed. Comment [M16]: Substantive change; current charter has no reference to Council Vice-President(d) Vacancies - If a vacancy shall occur in the offices of either president or vice-president, thecouncil, at its next regularly scheduled meeting, shall elect from among its members, a successor tothe office of president or to the office of vice-president. If at such meeting the vice-president iselected to the office of president, the council, at the same meeting, shall elect a successor to the officeof vice-president. Comment [M17]: Substantive change; current charter has no provision for filling vacancy of council officers. See section 2-11 for filling of vacancies forSECTION 2-3: PROHIBITIONS general council seats.
  • 7. No member of the city council shall hold any other city office or city employment for which a salaryor other emolument is payable from the city treasury. No former member of the city council shall Comment [M18]: Modern charter language;hold any compensated appointed city office or city employment until one year following the date on consistent with section 14 of current charterwhich such former member‘s service on the city council has terminated. This provision shall notprevent a city officer or other city employee who has taken a leave of absence in order to serve as amember of the city council from returning to the same office or other position of city employmentheld at the time such leave of absence commenced; provided, however, no such person shall beeligible for any other municipal position until at least one year following the termination of service asa member of the city council. Comment [M19]: Substantive change.SECTION 2-4: COMPENSATION, EXPENSES(a) Salary - The city council may, by ordinance, provide an annual salary for its members. No Comment [M20]: Consistent with currentordinance increasing such salary shall be effective, however, unless it shall have been adopted during charterthe first twelve months of a term of office and it provides that such salary is to take effect with theorganization of the city government following the next biennial election. Comment [M21]: Substantive change; no such delay provision in current charter(b) Expenses - Subject to appropriation, the council members shall be entitled to reimbursement oftheir actual and necessary expenses in the performance of their duties. Comment [M22]: Substantive change; current charter says members “shall receive no other compensation [other than salary] from the city.SECTION 2-5: GENERAL POWERSExcept as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, all powers of the city shall be vestedin the city council which shall provide for their exercise and for the performance of all duties andobligations imposed upon the city by law. Comment [M23]: Substantive change?SECTION 2-6: EXERCISE OF POWERS; QUORUM; RULES(a) Exercise of Powers - Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, thelegislative powers of the city council may be exercised in a manner determined by it.(b) Quorum - The presence of five members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, Comment [M24]: Consistent with currentbut a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time. Except as otherwise provided by chartergeneral law or by this charter the affirmative vote of five members shall be required to adopt anyordinance or appropriation order. Comment [M25]: Substantive change(c) Rules of Procedure- The city council shall from time to time adopt rules regulating its procedures,which shall be in addition to the following:(i) Regular meetings of the city council shall be held at a time and place fixed by ordinance. Comment [M26]: Modern charter language(ii) Special meetings of the city council shall be held at the call of the council president, or, on thecall of any three or more members, by written notice delivered in hand or to the place of residence ofeach member and which contains a listing of the items to be acted upon. Except in case of anemergency, of which the council president shall be judge, such notice shall be delivered at leastforty-eight hours in advance of the time set for such meeting. A copy of the notice to members shall,forthwith, be posted upon the city bulletin board and the city web site. Comment [M27]: Substantive change; current charter gives mayor the power to call special meetings of the city council. Current charter gives(iii) All sessions of the city council and of every committee or sub-committee thereof, shall at all no provision for written or advance notification.times be open to the public, unless another provision is made by law. Comment [M28]: Substantive change; current charter requires that all council sessions are public without reference to committees and sub- committees.
  • 8. (iv) An agenda for each city council meeting will be posted on the city bulletin board and city website. The agenda will include the date, time, and location of the meeting and a list of items to bediscussed.(v) A full, accurate, up-to-date account of the proceedings of the city council shall be kept, whichshall include a record of each vote taken, and which shall be made available and posted on the citybulletin board and web site with reasonable promptness following each meeting. Comment [M29]: Modern charter language; no provision in current charter(vi) Provision shall be made for a specific portion of time to be available, at all regular meetings ofthe city council, for citizens to address the council. Comment [M30]: Modern charter language; no provision in current charterSECTION 2-7: ACCESS TO INFORMATION(a) In General - The city council may make investigations into the affairs of the city and into theconduct and performance, of any city agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses,administer oaths and require the production of evidence.(b) City Officers, Members of City Agencies, Employees - The city council may require any cityofficer, member of a city agency or city employee to appear before it to give such information as thecity council may require in relation to the municipal services, functions, powers, or duties which arewithin the scope of responsibility of such person and within the jurisdiction of the city council.(c) Mayor - The city council may require the mayor to provide specific information to it on anymatter within the jurisdiction of the city council. The city council may require the mayor to appearbefore it, in person, to provide specific information on the conduct of any aspect of the business ofthe city and to respond to written questions made available to the mayor at the time the demand toattend is made to the mayor. The mayor may bring to such meeting any assistant, department head or Comment [M31]: Substantive change; currentother city officer or employee the mayor may deem necessary to assist in responding to the questions charter leaves disclosure at mayor’s discretion: “He may, from time to time, communicate to the Cityposed by the city council. Council, or either branch thereof, such information, and recommend such measures, as the business and interests of the city may in his opinion require.”(d) Notice - The city council shall give not less than five days notice to any person it may require toappear before it under the provisions of this section. The notice shall include specific questions on Comment [M32]: Modern charter language, no such provision in current charter.which the city council seeks information and no person called to appear before the city council underthis section shall be required to respond to any question not relevant or related to those presented inadvance and in writing. Notice shall be by delivery in hand, or by registered or certified mail to thelast known place of residence of any such person. Comment [M33]: Modern charter language; no such provision in current charter.SECTION 2-8: OFFICERS ELECTED BY CITY COUNCIL(a) Budget/Management Analyst - The city council shall elect a budget/management analyst to servefor a term of three years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The budget/managementanalyst shall perform a legislative oversight and a post audit function and shall not be involved in theday-to-day administrative detail of the financial operations of the city. The budget/managementanalyst shall have free access to all books, accounts, bills and vouchers of the city and shallcontinuously review and examine the same. The budget/management analyst shall make periodicreports thereon to the city council, with such frequency as the city council by ordinance, by rule or byother vote may direct, but not less frequently than quarterly. All officials of the city shall cooperatewith the budget/management analyst in the performance of this oversight function. Thebudget/management analyst shall have such other powers and duties as may be provided by charter,by ordinance or by other vote of the city council.
  • 9. (b) City Clerk - The city council shall elect a city clerk to serve for a term of three years and until asuccessor is chosen and qualified. The city clerk shall have the powers and duties relating to thekeeping of records and vital statistics, the regulation and conduct of elections and the issuance oflicenses as are provided to city clerks by general laws and such additional powers and duties as maybe provided by general laws, by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the city council.(c) Clerk of the Council - The city council shall elect a clerk of the council, who may be-the cityclerk, to serve for a term of two years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The clerk of thecouncil shall give notice of its meetings to its members and to the public, keep the minutes of itsproceedings and perform such other duties as may be provided by ordinance or by other vote of thecity council.(d) Salaries/Compensation - The officers elected by the city council shall receive such salaries orother compensation as may from time to time be provided for such office, by ordinance.(e) Removal/Suspension -Any person elected by the city council may be removed or suspended bythe city council by the use of procedures substantially the same as those contained in section 3-4(b).SECTION 2-9: ORDINANCES AND OTHER MEASURES(a) Emergency Ordinances - No ordinance shall be passed finally on the date it is introduced, exceptin case of emergency involving the health or safety of the people or their property.No ordinance shall be regarded as an emergency ordinance unless the emergency is defined anddeclared in a preamble to such ordinance, separately voted upon and receiving the affirmative vote ofsix or more members of the city council.Emergency ordinances shall stand repealed on the sixty-first day following their adoption, unless anearlier date is specified in the measure, or unless a second emergency measure adopted in conformitywith this section is passed extending it, or unless a measure passed in conformity with the proceduresfor measures generally has been passed extending it.(b) Measures, In General - The city council may pass a measure through all of its stages at any onemeeting, except proposed ordinances, appropriation orders and loan authorizations, provided that nomember of the city council shall object; but, if any single member objects, a vote on the measureshall be postponed to the next meeting of the city council.On the first occasion that the question of adopting any measure is put to the city council, except anemergency measure as defined in section 2-9(a), if a single member objects to the taking of a vote,the vote shall be postponed until the next meeting of the city council regular or special. If when thematter is next taken up for a vote, four or more members object to the taking of the vote, the mattershall be further postponed for not less than an additional five days. This procedure shall not be usedmore than once for any measure notwithstanding any amendments made to the original measure.
  • 10. Comment [M35R34]: Substantive change;(c) Publication - Every proposed ordinance, appropriation order or loan authorization (except current charter has no provisions for any of this.emergency ordinances as provided in section 2-9(a)), shall be published once in full in a localnewspaper, and in any additional manner as may be provided by ordinance, at least ten days beforeits final passage. After final passage it shall be posted on the city bulletin board, city web site, andotherwise published as may be required by ordinance. Provided, however, that whenever a proposedordinance or codification of ordinances or other measure would exceed in length more than tencolumn inches of ordinary newspaper notice print, then in lieu of publication in a local newspaper,the same may be published and made available at the office of the city clerk in booklet or pamphletform, and if so published and available at least ten days before its final passage shall be deemedsufficient notice. Whenever the city council provides for publication in a booklet or pamphlet in lieuof the newspaper publication, it shall, at least ten days before final passage publish in a localnewspaper a general summary of the proposed ordinance, or ordinances, and a notice stating thetimes and places at which copies of the booklet or pamphlet may be obtained by the public. Comment [M36]: Modern charter language; no provision in current charterSECTION 2-10: COUNCIL REVIEW OF CERTAIN APPOINTMENTSThe mayor shall submit to the city council the name of each person the mayor desires to appoint as amember of a multiple-member body, The city council shall refer each such name as is submitted to itto a standing committee of the city council which shall investigate each such candidate forappointment and shall make a report, with recommendations, to the full city council not less thanseven nor more than thirty days following such referral.Appointments made by the Mayor shall become effective on the thirty-fifth day following the date onwhich notice of the proposed appointment was filed with the clerk of the council, unless the citycouncil shall within the said thirty days vote to reject such appointment. The votes of at least sixmembers shall be necessary to reject an appointment proposed by the mayor. The question onrejection of any appointment made by the mayor shall not be subject to the procedure of charterobjection provided in section 2-9(b) of this charter. Comment [M37]: Substantive change; current charter has no reference to council review. Note that other modern charters have some differencesSECTION 2-11: FILLING OF VACANCIES in terms of numbers of days for submission and(a) Councilor-at-Large - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of councilor-at-large before the last six effectiveness (e.g., Braintree 21 days).months of the term for which councilors are elected the vacancy shall be filled in descending order ofvotes received by the candidate for the office of councilor-at-large at the preceding city election whoreceived the largest number of votes without being elected, provided such person remains eligibleand willing to serve and provided such person received votes at least equal to thirty percent .of thevote total received by the person receiving the largest number of votes for the office of councilor-at-large at the said election. The city clerk shall certify such candidate to the office of councilor-at-largeto serve for the balance of the then un-expired term. Comment [M38]: Substantive change: currentIf a vacancy shall occur in the office of councilor-at-large during the last six months of the term for charter calls for city council to “order an election to fill a vacancy, unless less than six months remains ofwhich councilors-at-large are elected, such vacancy shall be filled by the person at the biennial city the term for which such member has been elected.”election who receives the highest number of votes for the office of councilor-at-large and who is notthen serving as a member of the city council. Such person shall forthwith be certified and shall servefor the last two months of the concluding term in addition to the term for which such person waselected.(b) Ward Councilor - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of ward councilor it shall be filled in thesame manner as provided in section 2-11(a) for the office of councilor-at-large except that the listshall be of the candidates for the office of ward councilor in the ward in which the vacancy occurs,provided however, if there be no candidate on such list who remains eligible and willing to serve the
  • 11. next highest ranking candidate from among the candidates for election to the council at large who is aresident of the ward in which the vacancy exists shall be certified and shall serve until the nextregular election provided such candidate remains a resident of the ward, is willing to serve as a wardcouncilor and received votes in the ward at least equal to thirty percent of the vote total received bythe person receiving the largest number of votes for the office of ward councilor at the said election.The city clerk shall certify such candidate to the office of ward councilor to serve for the balance ofthe then un-expired term.(c) Councilor-large or in that of ward councilor and there is no available candidate to fill suchvacancy in the manner provided in section 2-11(a) or (b), the vacancy shall be filled by the remainingmembers of the city council. Persons elected to fill a vacancy by the city council shall serve onlyuntil the next regular election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the voters and the personchosen to fill such vacancy shall forthwith be sworn and shall serve for the remainder of the un-expired term in addition to the term for which elected. Persons serving as city councilors under thissection shall not be entitled to have the words candidate for re-election printed against their names onthe election ballot. Comment [M39]: Substantive change; current charter has no provision other than that described in previous comment.ARTICLE 3EXECUTIVE BRANCHSECTION 3-1: MAYOR: QUALIFICATIONS; TERM OF OFFICE; COMPENSATION(a) Mayor, Qualifications—The chief executive officer of the city shall be a mayor, elected by andfrom the voters of the city at large. Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of mayor. The mayorshall devote full time to the office and shall not hold any other elective public office, nor shall the Comment [M40]: Modern charter languagemayor be actively engaged in any other business, occupation or profession during the period ofservice as mayor. Comment [M41]: Substantive change; current charter has no such provision.(b) Term of Office - The term of office of the mayor shall be two years beginning on the firstbusiness day of January following the biennial city election at which chosen and until a successor isqualified. Comment [M42]: Modern charter language; no change.(c) Compensation - The city council shall, by ordinance, establish an annual salary for the mayor. Noordinance-increasing or decreasing the salary of the mayor shall be effective unless it shall have beenadopted in the first twelve months of the term for which councilors are elected and it provides thatsuch salary is to become effective in January of the year following the next biennial city election. Comment [M43]: Modern charter language (“or decreasing” added to ensure consistency with current charter.SECTION 3-2: EXECUTIVE POWERS; ENFORCEMENT OF ORDINANCESThe executive powers of the city shall be vested solely in the mayor, and may be exercised by themayor either personally or through the several city agencies under the general supervision andcontrol of the office of the mayor. The mayor shall cause the charter, the laws, the ordinances andother orders for the government of the city to be enforced, and shall cause a record of all official actsof the executive branch of the city to be kept.The mayor shall exercise a general supervision and direction over all city agencies, unless otherwiseprovided by general law, by the charter or by ordinance. Each city agency shall furnish to the mayor,forthwith upon request, any information, materials or otherwise as the mayor may request and as theneeds of the office and the interest of the city may require. Comment [M44]: Modern charter language
  • 12. The mayor shall be the chief procurement officer for the city responsible for buying, purchasing,renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring all supplies and all services for all departments and allactivities of the city and including all functions that pertain to the obtaining of a supply or a service,including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award ofall contracts and all phases of contract administration. The mayor may delegate all or any portion ofsuch powers and duties to a subordinate officer, but no such delegation, shall in any way absolve themayor from the ultimate responsibility for all procurement activities. Comment [M45]: This clause not in BraintreeThe mayor shall supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all cityactivities and functions placed under the control of the mayor by general law, by this charter, byordinance or otherwise. The mayor shall be responsible for the efficient and effective coordination ofthe activities of all agencies of the city of Northampton and for this purpose shall have the authority,to call together for consultation, conference and discussion at all reasonable times all persons servingthe city, whether elected directly by the voters, chosen by persons elected directly by the voters, orotherwise.The mayor shall hold no other city office or city employment for which a salary or other emolumentis payable from the city treasury. No former mayor shall hold any compensated appointed city officeor city employment until one year following the date on which such former mayor‘s city service hasterminated. This provision shall not prevent a city officer or other city employee who has taken aleave of absence in order to serve as mayor from returning to the same office or other position of cityemployment held at the time such leave of absence commenced; provided, however, no such personshall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least one year following the termination ofservice as mayor.The mayor shall be, by virtue of office, a member of every multiple member body of the city. Themayor shall have a right, as such ex-officio member, to attend any meeting of any multiple memberbody of the city, at any time, including, so called, executive sessions, to participate in thediscussions, to make motions and to exercise every other right of a regular member of such body, butnot including the right to vote. Comment [M46]: Modern charter languageSECTION 3-3: APPOINTMENTS BY THE MAYORThe mayor shall appoint, subject to the review of such appointments by the city council as providedin section 2-10, all city officers, department heads and the members of multiple-member bodies forwhom no other method of appointment or selection is provided by the charter, excepting onlypersons serving under the school committee, and persons serving under the city council. Except asmay otherwise be required by the civil service law, appointments made by the mayor shall be forindefinite terms. All persons categorized as department heads shall, subject to the consent of themayor, appoint all assistants, subordinates and other employees of the agency for which such personis responsible.All appointments and promotions made by the mayor shall be made on the basis of merit and fitnessdemonstrated by examination, past performance, or by other evidence of competence and suitability.Each person appointed to fill an office or position shall be a person especially fitted by education,training and previous work experience to perform the duties of the office or position for whichchosen. Comment [M47]: Modern charter language;SECTION 3-4: REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN OFFICIALS may be other exceptions beyond school committee; e.g., Forbes Library trustees.(a) City Officers and Department Heads - The mayor may, in writing, remove or suspend any cityofficer, or the head of any city department appointed by the mayor by filing a written statement, with
  • 13. the city clerk, setting forth in precise detail the specific reasons for such removal or suspension. Acopy of the written statement shall be delivered in hand, or mailed by certified mail, postage prepaid,to the last known address of the said city officer; or head of a department. The said city officer, orhead of a department may make a written reply by filing such a reply statement, with the city clerk,within ten days following the date the statement of the mayor has been filed; but such reply shallhave no effect upon the removal or suspension unless the mayor shall so determine. The decision ofthe mayor in suspending or removing a city officer or a department head shall be final, it being theintention of this provision to vest all authority and to fix all responsibility for such suspension orremoval solely in the mayor. The removal shall take effect on the thirtieth day following the date offiling by the mayor of the notice of removal in the office of the city clerk. Comment [M48]: Substantive change—current section C-11 allows mayor “for a period not exceeding seven days, suspend, and with theor consent of the appointing power, for cause remove [The Mayor may remove any person appointed by the Mayor by filing written notice thereof any officer over whose appointment he, or his predecessor has, in accordance with the provisions with the City Clerk.] of this charter, exercised the power of nomination.(b) Other City Employees - Unless some other procedure is specified in a collective bargaining May also want to substitute human resources officer or department in place of city clerk.agreement or by the provisions of the civil service law, a department head may suspend or removeany assistant, subordinate or other employee of the agency for which such person is responsible in Comment [M49]: Extent of section in Newton charter. This lacks detail about removing peopleaccordance with the procedures established for suspension and removal in the personnel ordinance. appointed by past mayors.The decision of the department head to suspend or remove any assistant, subordinate or otheremployee shall be subject to review by the mayor. A person for whom a department head hasdetermined a suspension or removal is appropriate may seek review of such determination by themayor by filing a petition for review, in the office of the mayor, in writing, within ten days followingreceipt of notice of such determination. The review by the mayor shall follow the proceduresestablished for suspension and removal in the personnel ordinance. The decision of the mayor shallbe final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and to fix all responsibility forsuch suspension or removal solely in the mayor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be a barto any other review as may be provided by general law. Comment [M50]: Modern charter languageSECTION 3-5: TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS TO CITY OFFICESWhenever a vacancy, either temporary or permanent, occurs in a city office and the needs of the cityrequire that such office be filled, the mayor may designate the head of another city agency or a cityofficer or city employee, or some other person to perform the duties of the office on a temporarybasis until such time as the position can be filled as otherwise provided by law, by the charter or byordinance. The mayor shall file a certificate in substantially the following form, with the city clerk,whenever a person is designated under this section:I designate (name of person) to perform the duties of the office of (designate office in which vacancyexists) on a temporary basis until the office can be filled by (here set out the regular procedure forfilling the vacancy, or when the regular officer shall return). I certify that said person is qualified toperform the duties which will be required and that I make this designation solely in the interests ofthe city of Northampton.(signed) MayorPersons serving as temporary officers under the authority of this section shall have only those powersof the office as may be necessary to the conduct of the business of the city in an orderly and efficientmanner and which may not be delayed. No acting city officer shall have authority to make anypermanent appointment or removal from city service. No temporary appointment shall be for more
  • 14. than thirty days and not more than one renewal of a temporary appointment may be made when apermanent vacancy exists in the office Comment [M51]: Modern charter languageSECTION 3-6: COMMUNICATIONS; SPECIAL MEETINGS(a) Communications to the City Council - Within ten weeks following the start of each fiscal year themayor shall submit to the city council, and make available for public distribution, a complete reporton the financial and administrative activities of the city for the preceding fiscal year. The mayorshall, from time to time throughout the year, by written communications, recommend to the citycouncil for its consideration such measures as, in the judgment of the mayor the needs of the cityrequire: The mayor shall, from time to time throughout the year; but at least quarterly, by writtencommunications, keep the city council fully informed of the financial and administrative condition ofthe city and shall specifically indicate in any such reports any fiscal, financial or administrativeproblems of the city.(b) Special Meetings of the City Council - The mayor may at any time call a special meeting of thecity council, for any purpose, by causing a notice of such meeting to be delivered in hand or to theplace of business or residence of each member of the city council. Such notice shall, except in anemergency of which the mayor shall be the sole judge, be delivered at least forty-eight weekdayhours in advance of the time set and shall specify the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is tobe held. A copy of each such notice shall, forthwith, be posted on the city bulletin board and city website. Comment [M52]: Modern charter languageSECTION 3-7: APPROVAL OF MAYOR, EXCEPTION (VETO)Every order, ordinance, resolution or vote adopted or passed by the city council relative to the affairsof the city, except memorial resolutions, the selection of city officers by the city council and anymatters relating to the internal affairs of the city council, shall be presented to the mayor forapproval. If the mayor approves of the measure the mayor shall sign it; if the mayor disapproves ofthe measure, the mayor shall return the measure, with the specific reason or reasons for suchdisapproval attached thereto, in writing, to the city council. The city council shall enter the objectionsof the mayor on its records, and not sooner than ten days, nor after thirty days from the date of itsreturn to the city council, shall again consider the same measure. If the city council, notwithstandingsuch disapproval, by the mayor, shall again pass the order, ordinance, resolution or vote by a two-thirds vote of the full council, it shall then be deemed in force, notwithstanding the failure of themayor to approve the same. If the mayor has neither signed a measure nor returned it to the citycouncil within ten days following the date it was presented to the mayor, the measure shall bedeemed approved and in force. Comment [M53]: Consistent with section C-12. The only substantive addition is the 30 day deadline for council action. Current charter also allowsIf any ordinance, order, resolution, or vote embraces distinct subjects the Mayor may approve the separate treatment of distinct subjects. See nextprovisions relating to one or more of the subjects, and not approve of the other provisions, and so comment.much of the same as the Mayor may not approve of shall be reconsidered as above provided. Comment [M54]: Added section from current charter C-12.SECTION 3-8: TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF THE MAYOR(a) Acting Mayor - The mayor shall, by a letter filed with the city council and a copy filed with thecity clerk, designate a qualified city officer or city employee to exercise the powers and perform theduties of the office during the temporary absence of the mayor for periods of less than ten businessdays and to serve only when the needs of the city require and only to the extent necessary under thethen circumstances.
  • 15. Whenever, by reason of sickness, absence from the city or other cause, the mayor shall be unable toperform the duties of the office for a period of ten successive business days, or more, the president ofthe city council shall be the acting mayor. In the event of the absence or disability of the president ofthe city council, the vice-president of the city council shall serve as acting mayor.(b) Powers of Acting Mayor - The acting mayor shall have only those powers of the mayor as may benecessary to the conduct of the business of the city in an orderly and efficient manner and which maynot be delayed. The acting mayor shall have no authority to make any permanent appointment orremoval from city service unless the disability of the mayor shall extend beyond sixty days nor shallan acting mayor approve or disapprove of any measure adopted by the city council unless the timewithin which the mayor must act would expire before the return of the mayor. During any period inwhich any member of the city council is serving as acting mayor, such councilor shall not vote as amember of the city council. Comment [M55]: Substantive change; current charter makes no reference to acting mayor. Reference to “vice-president fo the city council”SECTION 3-9: VACANCY IN OFFICE OF MAYOR may not apply.(a) Special Election - If a vacancy in the office of mayor occurs in the first fifteen months of the termfor which the mayor is elected, whether by reason of death, resignation, removal from office,incapacity, or otherwise, the city council shall forthwith order a special election, to be held withinninety days following the date the vacancy is created, to fill such vacancy for the balance of the thenun-expired term.(b) Council Election - If a vacancy in the office of mayor occurs in the last nine months of the termfor which the mayor is elected, whether by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, orotherwise, the president of the city council shall become the mayor. Upon the qualification of thepresident of the city council as the mayor, under this section, a vacancy shall exist on the city councilwhich shall be filled in the manner provided in section 2-11. A council president serving as mayorunder this sub-section, shall not be subject to the restriction contained in the third sentence of sub-section 3-1(a) ―actively engaged in any other business, occupation or profession.(c) Powers, Term of Office - The mayor elected under Section 3-9 (a) or (b) shall have all the powersof the mayor. A person elected pursuant to subsection (a), above, shall serve for the balance of theterm un-expired at the time of election to the office. A person chosen pursuant to subsection (b),above, shall serve until the next regular election at which time the person then elected to serve asmayor for the ensuing term of office shall serve, in addition, for the balance of the then unexpiredterm. Comment [M56]: Substantive change; current charter also calls for council president to fill a vacancy in the mayor’s office, but it does not stipulate the time frame for any special elections..