This charter may be replaced, revised or amended in accordance with the procedures made available by Article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and any legislation to implement the said amendments.
The provisions of the charter are severable. If any provision of the charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the charter and its provisions to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
To the extent that any specific provision of the charter shall conflict with any provision expressed in general terms, the specific provision shall prevail.
All references to the General Laws contained in the charter refer to the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are intended to include any amendments or revisions to such chapters and sections or to the corresponding chapters and sections of any rearrangement of the General Laws enacted subsequent to the adoption of the charter.
In computing time under the charter, if seven days or less, "days" shall refer to secular days and shall not include Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays. If more than seven days, every day shall be computed.
Words importing the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things, words importing the plural number may include the singular, and words importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender.
Unless another meaning is clearly apparent from the manner in which the word is used, the following words as used in the charter shall have the following meanings:
"Administrative Code," plans of organization or reorganization which establish operating divisions for the orderly, efficient or convenient conduct of the business of the town.
"Appointing authority," one of the following elected bodies, where appropriate, Board of Selectmen, Board of Assessors, Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Planning Board.
"Charter," this charter and any amendments to it made through any of the methods provided under article LXXXIX of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
"Majority vote," a majority of those present and voting, provided that a quorum of the body is present.
"Multiple member body," any board, commission or committee consisting of two or more persons, whether elected or appointed, but specifically excluding town meeting.
"Town," the Town of Abington.
"Town agency," any board, commission, committee, department or office of the town government.
"Town bulletin board," the bulletin board, on which official town notices are posted, located in the town office building. Whenever reasonably possible, official town notices shall be posted on the town's website.
"Voters," the registered voters of the Town of Abington.
A copy of all rules and regulations adopted by any town agency shall be filed in the office of the town clerk and made available for review by any person who requests such information. Such rules and regulations shall not become effective until ten days following the date they are so filed.
Whenever, whether under the provisions of a town meeting vote or by by-law, a multiple member body is established, the primary purpose of which is to perform an administrative or executive function, notwithstanding the provisions of any such vote to the contrary, the members of such committee shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Whenever, whether under the provisions of a town meeting vote or a by-law, a multiple member body is to be established, the primary purpose of which is to perform a legislative function, notwithstanding any provision in such vote to the contrary, the member of such multiple member body shall be appointed by the moderator. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the town meeting, by vote or by by-law, to provide that a multiple member body shall include, as a portion of its membership, certain persons to serve ex-officio, provided that such authority is not used to defeat the clear purpose of this provision.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in any town office or town employment, or as a member of any multiple member body, except for positions covered under the civil service law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, whether by reason of death, resignation, expiration of a fixed term for which a person has been appointed, or otherwise, the Board of Selectmen or other appointing authority shall cause public notice of the vacancy to be posted on the town bulletin board. No permanent appointment to fill such a position shall be effective until at least fourteen days have elapsed following such posting. Any person who desires to be considered for appointment to the position may, within ten days following the date the notice is posted, file with the Board of Selectmen or other appointing authority a statement which sets forth in clear and specific terms the qualifications which he/she holds for the position.
Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the Town Manager shall appoint, subject to the provisions of Article IV, section 4-2 of this charter all persons categorized as head of departments. Except as may otherwise be required by the civil service law, appointments made by the Town Manager shall be for periods not to exceed five years. The Town Manager may suspend or remove any person appointed by the Town Manager in accordance with the procedure established in Section 7-15. The decision of the Town Manager in suspending or removing a department head shall be final.
All persons categorized as department heads shall, subject to the consent of the Town Manager, appoint all assistants, subordinates and other employees of the department for which such person is responsible. The department head may suspend or remove any assistant, subordinate or other employee of the department for which such person is responsible in accordance with the procedures established in Section 7-15. The decision of the department head to suspend or remove any assistant, subordinate or other employee shall be subject to review by the Town Manager. A person for whom a department head has determined that suspension or removal is appropriate may seek review of such determination by the Town Manager by filing a petition for review in the office of the Town Manager, in writing, within ten days following receipt of notice of such determination. The review by the Town Manager shall follow the procedures established in Section 7-15. The decision of the Town Manager shall be final.
Any appointed town officer, member of a multiple member body or employee of the town, not subject to the provisions of the state civil service law or covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement which provides a different method, and whether appointed for a fixed or an indefinite term, may be suspended or removed from office, without compensation, by the appointing authority for good cause. The term "good cause" shall include, but not be limited to incapacity other than temporary illness, inefficiency, insubordination and conduct unbecoming the office.
Any appointed officer, member of a multiple member body or employee of the town may be suspended from office by the appointing authority if such action is deemed, by said appointing authority, to be necessary to protect the interests of the town. However, other than the Town Manager as provided in Section 4-7, no suspension shall be for more than fifteen days. Suspension may be coterminous with removal and shall not interfere with the rights of the officer or employee under the removal procedure provided.
The appointing authority when removing any such officer, member of a multiple member body or employee of the town shall act in accordance with the following procedure:
A written notice of the intent to remove and a statement of the cause or causes therefore shall be delivered in hand, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person sought to be removed.
Within five days following delivery of such notice, the officer, member of a multiple member body or employee of the town may request in writing that a public hearing be held, at which hearing such person may be represented by legal counsel and shall be entitled to present evidence, call witnesses and to question any witnesses appearing at the hearing. Said public hearing shall be held within ten days after the receipt of a written request for a public hearing.
Between one and ten days after the public hearing is adjourned, or if the officer, member of a multiple member body or employee of the town fails to request a public hearing between six and fifteen days after delivery of the notice of intent to remove, the appointing authority shall take final action, either removing the officer, member of a multiple member body or employee of the town or notifying such person that the notice is rescinded. Failure of the appointing authority to take any action within the time periods as stated in this section shall be deemed to be a rescission of the original notice and the officer, member or a multiple member body or employee shall, forthwith, be reinstated.
If any person appointed as a member of a multiple member committee shall fail to attend four or more consecutive meetings, or one-half of all of the meetings of such committee held in one calendar year, the remaining members of the multiple member committee may, by a majority vote of the remaining members of such committee, declare the office vacant, provided, however, that not less than ten days prior to the date said vote is scheduled to be taken the committee has given in hand, or mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, notice of such proposed or pending vote to the last know address of such person.