Town of Abington, MA
Plymouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The organization of the town into operating agencies for the provision of services and the administration of the government may be accomplished through either of the methods provided in this article.
(a) 
By-Laws.
Subject only to express prohibitions in a general law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the provisions of this charter, the town meeting may, by by-law, reorganize, consolidate, create, merge, divide or abolish any town agency, in whole or in part, establish such new town agencies as it deems necessary or advisable, determine the manner of selection, the term of office and prescribe the functions of all such entities; provided, however, no function assigned by this charter to a particular town agency may be discontinued, or assigned to any other town agency, unless this charter specifically so provides.
(b) 
Administrative Code.
The Town Manager, after consultation with the Board of Selectmen, may from time to time prepare and submit to the annual town meeting, plans of organization or reorganization which establish operating divisions for the orderly, efficient or convenient conduct of the business of the town.
Whenever the Town Manager prepares such a plan, the Board of Selectmen shall hold one or more public hearings on the proposal giving notice by publication in a local newspaper, which notice shall describe the scope of the proposal and the time and place at which the hearing will be held, not later than fourteen days following said publication. Following such public hearing, the proposal, which may have been amended subsequent to the public hearing, shall be submitted to the annual town meeting by an appropriate warrant article. An organization or reorganization plan shall become effective at the start of the next fiscal year following the date of adjournment of the annual town meeting at which the proposal is submitted unless the town meeting, shall by a majority vote, vote to disapprove the plan. The town meeting may vote only to approve or disapprove the plan and may not vote to amend or alter it. If no vote is taken by town meeting for any reason, the plan shall deemed NOT to have been approved and shall not take effect.
The Town Manager may, through the administrative code, and subject only to express prohibitions in a law of the commonwealth or this charter, reorganize, consolidate or abolish any town agency, in whole or in part, establish such new town agencies as is deemed necessary to the same extent as is provided in Section 5-1(a), above, for by-laws, and for such purposes transfer the duties and powers and, so far as is consistent with the use for which the funds were voted by the town, transfer the appropriation of one town agency to another; provided, however, that no function assigned by this charter to a particular town agency may be discontinued or assigned to any other town agency unless this charter specifically so provides.
This section shall not interfere with the town meeting's power and ability to implement by-laws outside the scope of this section.
For the convenience of the public, the administrative code and any amendments thereto shall be printed as an appendix to the by-laws of the town of Abington.
A personnel staffing plan, prepared in conformity with Article 6, shall be published annually in the town report. The school committee shall provide the Town Manager with copies of its personnel and staffing plans annually for publication in the town report.
All appointments and promotions of town officers and employees shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness, demonstrated by examination or by other evidence of competence and suitability.
There shall be a treasurer-collector, appointed by the Town Manager, on the basis of his/her qualifications and fitness for service. For the purposes of this charter the treasurer-collector shall be considered a department head.
There shall be no defined term of office. In making an appointment to the office of treasurer-collector, the Town Manager shall establish specific goals and objectives to be met by the appointee at designated periods during the period of appointment. Failure to meet the stated goals and objectives shall constitute grounds for dismissal. A treasurer-collector may be removed from office in accordance with the procedures established in Article VII, Section 7-15 of this charter.
The treasurer-collector shall collect all accounts due, shall receive and take charge of all funds belonging to the town and shall have all of the powers and duties which treasurer-collectors may have under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The treasurer-collector may also exercise such additional powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to that office by the charter, by by-law or by other vote of the town meeting.
The police department in the Town of Abington shall be organized under the provisions of section 97A of chapter 41 of the General Laws. There shall be a Chief of Police, appointed by the Town Manager, for an indefinite term. The Chief of Police, once appointed may only be removed from office in accordance with the provisions of Article VII, section 7-14 of this charter. The Chief of Police, or his/her designee, shall serve as emergency management director for the Town of Abington.
The Town Manager may enter into a contract of employment with the Chief of Police, however, there shall be no defined term of office.
The Chief of Police and the Deputy Chief of Police shall be appointed on the basis of their qualifications and fitness for service. There shall be no defined term of office for either office and once appointed the Chief of Police and the Deputy Chief of Police can only be removed for just cause, as defined and after a hearing, as provided in Article VII, section 7-15; The Board of Selectmen shall determine the qualifications for appointment of the Office of Chief of police, provided however that the Town Manager shall use an assessment process using not less than three police professionals, not employed by the Town of Abington, in order to evaluate candidates for the position of Chief of police.
The Chief of Police shall appoint the Deputy Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall determine the department's qualifications for appointment of Deputy Chief of Police, provided, however, that the Chief of Police shall use an assessment process, using not less than three police professionals, not employed by the Town of Abington, in order to evaluate candidates and select the Deputy Chief. The decision of the Chief of Police in the selection of the Deputy Chief of Police shall be final.
The Chief of Police shall appoint all other personnel and officers in accordance with the provisions of chapter 31 of the General Laws, provided however, that the Chief of Police shall use an assessment process to evaluate candidates and select superior officers above the rank of patrol officer.
There shall be a Fire Department organized under sections 42, 43 and 44 of chapter 48 of the General Laws. As provided in said chapter 48 there shall be a Fire Chief who shall be appointed by the Town Manager, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 31 of the General Laws and the rules made thereunder.
The Fire Chief shall be responsible for the appointment, management and supervision of personnel, shall be responsible for all operations of the Fire Department, shall serve as the Town's forest fire warden, and shall perform all fire related duties and tasks considered necessary by the Town Manager.
The Fire Chief shall be the appointing authority for all fire department personnel and shall have full authority to appoint, demote, suspend and terminate all employees, including firefighters, captains, superior officers and the Deputy Fire Chief. The officers and firefighters shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of chapter 31 of the General Laws.
The Deputy Fire Chief shall work under the direction of the Fire Chief and shall serve as acting Fire Chief in the absence of the Fire Chief.
[Added 10-30-2015 by Chapter 113, Acts of 2015]
5-7-1. (a)
There shall be a department of public works under the supervision of a director. The department shall include the board of sewer commissioners, board of parks and recreation, park superintendent, superintendent of highways, tree warden and trustees of veterans' memorials and each of their respective functions. The department of public works shall be responsible for: (i) the repair, alteration and maintenance of all town-owned public works-related equipment, property and vehicles; (ii) central purchasing of all public works-related supplies, materials and equipment; and (iii) management of all contracts and projects for the repair, alteration, remodeling, construction, reconstruction, maintenance or renovation of all town public ways, sewer lines, grounds, facilities and equipment except those under the jurisdiction of the school department and the board of water commissioners.
(b)
Notwithstanding that the board of sewer commissioners, board of parks and recreation, park superintendent, superintendent of highways, tree warden and trustees of veterans' memorials shall be part of the department of public works, these multiple-member bodies and officers shall exercise their respective policy-making duties and responsibilities under the General Laws except as otherwise provided in this charter.
(c)
Additional public works functions, including solid waste collection and disposal, recycling, engineering and building maintenance, may be transferred to the department after a public hearing and by a vote of the board of selectmen upon a recommendation from the town manager and the director of the department of public works.
(d)
The department, with the approval of the town manager and the board of selectmen, may be organized into 1 or more operational divisions.
5-7-2. (a)
The director of public works shall exercise and perform, under the policy direction of the boards and committees identified in section 5-7-1 and the policy direction and supervision of the town manager, all of the powers, rights and duties to be exercised by the department in this section and said section 5-7-1 except as otherwise provided. The director shall be appointed by the town manager pursuant to section 4-2-1 and may be removed by the town manager.
(b)
The director shall not hold any other elective or appointive office in the town and shall not be engaged in any other business or occupation; provided, however, that the director shall be eligible to be appointed as the head of any division of the department of public works and service in that division shall constitute a single position with the town. The director shall give to the town a bond with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth as surety for the faithful performance of the director's duties, in a sum and upon conditions as the town administrator shall require. The director shall report to the town manager as to the doings of the office at times as the town manager may require. The director shall supervise day-to-day operations and provide administrative coordination of the various boards and committees and functions assigned to the department and, for that purpose, shall supervise department division heads or directors.
5-7-3.
The town manager, pursuant to sections 4-2-1 or 4-2-2, shall appoint department staff, including division heads, directors, principal deputies or principal agents, for any division or function of the department for which a multiple-member body or officer provides policy direction and, in addition to any requirements set forth in said section 4-2-1 or 4-2-2, the town manager shall consult with the director of the department and the appropriate policy-making multiple-member body or officer. The town manager shall provide notice to any policy-making multiple-member board or officer of the department of any suspension or removal of employees assigned to a division of the department. The decision of the town manager in suspending or removing a person appointed by the town manager shall be final.