City of Northampton, MA
Hampshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This charter may be replaced, revised or amended in accordance with any procedure made available under the state constitution or by statutes enacted in accordance with the state constitution.
This charter is severable. If any provision of this charter is held invalid, the other provisions shall not be affected by this holding. If the application of this charter to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the charter to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected.
To the extent that a specific provision of this charter conflicts with any provision expressed in general terms, the specific provision of the charter shall prevail.
A copy of all rules and regulations adopted by a city agency shall be placed on file in the office of the city clerk not later than the effective date of the rule or regulation and shall be available for review by any person who requests such information at any reasonable time. Unless an emergency exists as determined by the mayor, no rule or regulation adopted by a city agency shall become effective until at least 5 days following the date it is filed.
Not later than July 1, at 5-year intervals, in each year ending in a 5 or in a zero, beginning in 2015, the mayor and city council shall provide for a review to be made of some or all of the ordinances of the city to prepare a proposed revision or recodification of them. This review shall be made by a special committee to be established by ordinance. All members of the committee shall be voters of the city. The special committee shall file its report with the city clerk at a date specified by ordinance. The review of city ordinances shall be under the supervision of the city solicitor. Copies of any recommendations shall be made available to the public at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of the reproduction.
Not later than July 1, at 10-year intervals, in each year ending in a 9, the mayor and city council shall provide for a review to be made of the city charter. This review shall be made by a special committee to be determined by ordinance. All members of the committee shall be voters of the city. The special committee shall file its report with the city clerk at a date specified by ordinance. Copies of any recommendations shall be made available to the public at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of the reproduction.
(a) 
Meetings - All appointed multiple-member bodies of the city shall meet regularly at the times and places that the multiple-member body, by the body's own rules, prescribe. Special meetings of any multiple-member body shall be held on the call of the chairman or by a majority of the members of the body. Notice of the meeting shall be posted as required by law. Except as may otherwise be authorized by law, all meetings of all multiple-member bodies shall at all times be open to the public.
(b) 
Meeting Documents and Submissions - Each appointed multiple-member body shall determine its own rules and order of business within the bounds of any applicable ordinance that created it. Each multiple-member body shall provide for the keeping of agendas, minutes and related submissions of its proceedings. All such documents shall be a public record and certified copies shall be placed on file in the office of the city clerk within 15 days of approval.
(c) 
Voting - If requested by a member, a vote of an appointed multiple-member body shall be taken by a roll call vote and the vote of each member shall be recorded in the minutes, but if the vote is unanimous, only that fact need be recorded.
(d) 
Quorum - A majority of the members of an appointed multiple-member body shall constitute a quorum. Unless some other provision is made by the multiple-member body's own rules while a quorum is present, except on procedural matters, a majority of the full membership of the body shall be required to vote on a matter representing an exercise of the powers of the multiple-member body. General Laws related to a vote to meet in "executive session" shall always require a majority of members of the body.
(e) 
Residency - Unless otherwise allowed by law, regulation, ordinance or by this charter, all members of multiple-member bodies shall be residents of the city at all times during that members term of office. If a member of a multiple-member body removes from the city during the term for which appointed, such seat shall immediately be deemed vacant and filled under section 3-3.
Words importing the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things; words importing the plural number may include the singular.
All references to General Laws contained in the charter refer to the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are intended to refer to and to include any amendments or revisions to such chapters or sections or to the corresponding chapters and sections of any rearrangement, revision or recodification of such statutes enacted or adopted subsequent to the adoption of this charter.
In computing time under this charter the day of the act or event after which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period shall be included, unless it is Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the period shall be extended to the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. When the period of time designated is fewer than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall not be included, when the period is 7 days or more, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall be included.
A mayor-elect, the city council members-elect, the school committee members-elect and all other elected officials shall, on the first Monday in the January of each even-numbered year, except when the first Monday falls on a legal holiday, in which event on the following day, meet and take an oath or affirmation to the faithful discharge of the duties of their office by the city clerk. The city clerk shall first take the oath or affirmation to the discharge of the duties of the office by a judge of a court of record or by a justice of the peace. Upon receiving the oath or affirmation, each official shall document the same by entering the official's name in a journal maintained by the city clerk. In the case of the absence of the mayor-elect or any member-elect of the city council or school committee on the day the oath is administered, the oath or affirmation may at any time thereafter be administered to that person by the city clerk, the assistant city clerk, a judge of a court of record or by a justice of the peace. Additional inaugural procedures may be prescribed by ordinance.
Every person who is elected, including those elected by the city council, or appointed to an office of the city, shall receive a certificate of that election or appointment from the city clerk. Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who is elected, including those elected by the city council, or appointed to an office of the city, before performing any act under this appointment or election, shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation to qualify to enter upon the duties. A record of this oath shall be kept by the city clerk.
Unless otherwise allowed by law or this charter, no person shall simultaneously hold more than 1 city office or position of employment. This section may be waived by the mayor upon the appointment of a person to an additional office or position of employment by filing a notice of the waiver with an explanation and justification with the city clerk.
An elected official who has been convicted of a state or federal felony while holding office shall be deemed to have vacated the office.
It shall be the duty of the mayor to see that the charter is faithfully followed and complied with by all city agencies and city employees. Whenever it appears to the mayor that a city agency or city employee is failing to follow this charter the mayor shall, in writing, cause notice to be given to that agency or employee directing compliance with the charter. If it shall appear to the city council that the mayor personally is not following the charter it shall, by resolution, direct the attention of the mayor to those areas in which it believes there is a failure to comply with the charter. The procedures made available in chapter 231A of the General Laws may be used to determine the rights, duties, status or other legal relations arising under this charter, including any question of construction or validity which may be involved in such determination.