Town of Weymouth, MA
Norfolk County
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(a) 
Composition - There shall be a town council of eleven members which shall exercise the legislative powers of the town. Five of these members, to be known as councillors-at-large, shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters at large. Six of these members, to be known as district councillors, shall be nominated and elected by and from the voters of each district, one such district councillor to be elected from each of the six districts into which the town is divided, in accordance with section 7-5.
(b) 
Term of Office - The term of office for all town councillors shall be for two years each, beginning on the first business day of January in the year following their election, and until their successors have been qualified.
(c) 
Eligibility - Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of councillor-at-large. A district councillor shall at the time of election be a voter of the district from which elected, provided, however, if any district councillor shall during the first sixteen months of the term of office remove to another district in the town such office shall be deemed vacant and the balance of the unexpired term shall be filled in the manner provided in section 2-11. If such removal occurs after the first sixteen months of the term of office such councillor may continue to serve for the balance of the term for which elected. If a councillor-at-large or a district councillor removes from the town during the term for which elected such office shall immediately be deemed vacant and filled in the manner provided in section 2-11.
(a) 
Election and Term - As soon as practicable after the councillors-elect have been qualified following each biennial election, as provided in section 8-10, the members of the town council shall elect from among its members a council president who shall serve during the current term of office.
(b) 
Powers and Duties - The council president shall preside at all meetings of the town council, regulate its proceedings and shall decide all questions of order. The council president shall appoint all members of all committees of the town council, whether special or standing. The council president shall have the same powers to vote upon all measures coming before the town council as any other member of the town council. The council president shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be provided by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the town council.
(c) 
Council Vice-President - The members of the town council shall also elect from among its members a council vice-president who shall serve as acting president during the temporary absence or disability of the council president during the current term of office. The powers of an acting council president shall be limited to only those powers of the office indispensably essential to the performance of the duties of the office during the period of such temporary absence or disability and no others.
(a) 
Holding Other Town Office or Position - No member of the town council shall hold any other town office or town employment for which a salary or other emolument is payable from the town treasury. No former member of the town council shall hold any compensated appointed town office or appointed town employment until one year following the date on which such former member's service on the town council has terminated. This provision shall not prevent a town officer or other town employee who has taken a leave of absence in order to serve as a member of the town council from returning to the same office or other position of town employment held at the time such leave of absence commenced; provided, however, no such person shall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least one year following the termination of service as a member of the town council.
(b) 
Interference with Administration - Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations pursuant to section 2-7, the town council and its members shall deal with the officers and employees serving under the mayor, solely through the mayor, and neither the town council nor any member of the town council shall give orders or directions to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.
(a) 
Salary - The members of the town council shall receive such salary for their services as may from time to time be set by ordinance. No ordinance increasing the salary of town councillors shall be effective unless it shall have been adopted during the first eighteen months of the term for which town councillors are elected and it provides that such salary is to take effect upon the organization of the town government following the next municipal election.
(b) 
Expenses - Subject to appropriation and to prior authorization, the council members shall be entitled to reimbursement of their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, all powers of the town shall be vested in the town council which shall provide for their exercise and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed upon the town by law.
(a) 
Exercise of Powers - Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter, the legislative powers of the town council may be exercised in a manner determined by it.
(b) 
Quorum - The presence of six members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time. Except as otherwise provided by general law or by this charter the affirmative vote of six members shall be required to adopt any ordinance or appropriation order.
(c) 
Rules of Procedure - The town council shall from time to time adopt rules regulating its procedures, which shall be in addition to the following:
(i) 
Regular meetings of the town council shall be held at a time and place fixed by ordinance.
(ii) 
Special meetings of the town council shall be held at the call of the council president, or, on the call of any four or more members, by written notice delivered in hand or to the place of residence of each member and which contains a listing of the items to be acted upon. Except in case of an emergency, of which the council president shall be judge, such notice shall be delivered at least forty-eight weekday hours in advance of the time set for such meeting. A copy of the notice to members shall, forthwith, be posted upon the town bulletin boards.
(iii) 
All sessions of the town council and of every committee or subcommittee thereof, shall at all times be open to the public and to the press, unless another provision is made by law.
(iv) 
A full, accurate, up-to-date account of the proceedings of the town council shall be kept, which shall include a record of each vote taken, and which shall be made available with reasonable promptness following each meeting. The minutes of any, so-called, executive session shall be made available forthwith upon the expiration of the basis on which such executive session was held.
(v) 
All business which is to come before the town council shall first be assigned to a standing committee for study and a report with its recommendations to the full council.
(a) 
In General - The town council may make investigations into the affairs of the town and into the conduct and performance of any town agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence.
(b) 
Town Officers, Members of Town Agencies, Employees - The town council may require any town officer, member of a town agency or town employee to appear before it to give such information as the town council may require in relation to the municipal services, functions, powers, or duties which are within the scope of responsibility of such person and within the jurisdiction of the town council.
(c) 
Mayor - The town council may require the mayor to provide specific information to it on any matter within the jurisdiction of the town council. The town council may require the mayor to appear before it, in person, to respond to written questions made available to the mayor at the time the request to attend is made to the mayor to provide specific information on the conduct of any aspect of the business of the town. The mayor may bring to such meeting any assistant, department head or other town officer or employee the mayor may deem necessary to assist in responding to the questions posed by the town council.
(d) 
Notice - The town council shall give not less than five days notice to any person it may require to appear before it under the provisions of this section. The notice shall include specific questions on which the town council seeks information and no person called to appear before the town council under this section shall be required to respond to any question not relevant or related to those presented in advance and in writing. Notice shall be by delivery in hand, or by registered or certified mail to the last known place of residence of any such person.
(a) 
Town Auditor - The town council shall choose a town auditor to serve for a term of three years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The town auditor shall conduct, or cause to be conducted, financial and performance audits following government auditing standards as promulgated by the Comptroller-General of the United States. The town auditor shall make periodic reports to the town council in such detail and with such frequency as the town council shall, by ordinance, by rule or by other vote, direct. All officials of the town shall cooperate with the town auditor in the performance of this audit function. The town auditor shall have such other powers and duties as may be provided by charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the town council.
(b) 
Town Clerk - The town council shall elect a town clerk to serve for a term of three years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The town clerk shall, with the approval of the town council, appoint an assistant town clerk to serve coterminously with the town clerk. The town clerk shall be the keeper of vital statistics for the town; the custodian of the town seal; shall administer the oath of office to all persons, elected or appointed, to any town office; shall issue such licenses and permits as are required by law to be issued by town clerks; supervise and manage the conduct of all elections and all other matters relating to elections; may, if so designated by the town council, be the clerk of the town council, keep its records and give notice of all of its meetings to its members and to the public. The town clerk shall have such other powers and duties as are given to municipal clerks by general law, by this charter, by ordinance or by other vote of the town council.
(c) 
Clerk of the Council - The town council shall elect a clerk of the council, who may be-the town clerk, to serve for a term of two years and until a successor is chosen and qualified. The clerk of the council shall give notice of its meetings to its members and to the public, keep the journal of its proceedings and perform such other duties as may be provided by ordinance or by other vote of the town council.
(d) 
Salaries/Compensation - The officers appointed or elected by the town council shall receive such salaries or other compensation as may from time to time be provided for such office, by ordinance.
(e) 
Removal/Suspension - Any person appointed or elected by the town council may be removed or suspended by the town council by the use of procedures substantially the same as those contained in the personnel ordinance for the removal of other town employees.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 10, Human Resources.
(a) 
Emergency Ordinances - No ordinance shall be passed finally on the date it is introduced, except in 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 and declared in a preamble to such ordinance, separately voted upon and receiving the affirmative vote of seven or more members of the town council.
Emergency ordinances shall stand repealed on the sixty-first day following their adoption, unless an earlier date is specified in the measure, or unless a second emergency measure adopted in conformity with this section is passed extending it, or unless a measure passed in conformity with the procedures for measures generally has been passed extending it.
(b) 
Measures, In General - The town council may pass a measure through all of its stages at any one meeting, except proposed ordinances, appropriation orders and loan authorizations, provided that no member of the town council shall object; but, if any single member objects, a vote on the measure shall be postponed to the next meeting of the town council.
On the first occasion that the question of adopting any measure is put to the town council, except an emergency 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 town council regular or special. This procedure shall not be used more than once for any measure notwithstanding any amendments made to the original measure.
(c) 
Publication - Every proposed ordinance, appropriation order or loan authorization [except emergency ordinances as provided in section 2-9(a)], shall be published once in full in a local newspaper, and in any additional manner as may be provided by ordinance, at least ten days before its final passage. After final passage it shall be posted on the town bulletin board and otherwise published as may be required by ordinance. Provided, however, that whenever a proposed ordinance or codification of ordinances or other measure would exceed in length more than ten column 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 town clerk in booklet or pamphlet form, and if so published and available at least ten days before its final passage shall be deemed sufficient notice. Whenever the town council provides for publication in a booklet or pamphlet in lieu of the newspaper publication, it shall, at least ten days before final passage publish in a local newspaper a general summary of the proposed ordinance, or ordinances, and a notice stating the times and places at which copies of the booklet or pamphlet may be obtained by the public.
The mayor shall submit to the town council the name of each person the mayor desires to appoint to any town office, as a department head, or as a member of a multiple-member body, but not including any position which is subject to the civil service law. The town council shall refer each such name as is submitted to it to a standing committee of the town council which shall investigate each such candidate for appointment and may make a report, with recommendations, to the full town council not less than seven nor more than twenty-one days following such referral. The committee may require any person whose name has been referred to it to appear before the committee, or before the town council, to give such information relevant to such appointment as the committee, or the town council, may require.
Appointments made by the Mayor shall become effective on the thirtieth day following the date on which notice of the proposed appointment was filed with the clerk of the council, unless eight members of the town council shall within the said thirty days vote to reject such appointment, or unless the town council has sooner voted to affirm the appointment. Rejection by the town council shall require a two-thirds vote of the full council (eight members so voting). The question on rejection of any appointment made by the mayor shall not be subject to the procedure of charter objection provided in section 2-9(b) of this charter.
(a) 
Councillor-at-Large - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of councillor-at-large during the first eighteen months of the term for which councillors are elected the vacancy shall be filled in descending order of votes received by the candidate for the office of councillor-at-large at the preceding town election who received the largest number of votes without being elected, provided such person remains eligible and willing to serve and provided such person received votes at least equal to thirty percent of the vote total received by the person receiving the largest number of votes for the office of councillor-at-large at the said election. The town clerk shall certify such candidate to the office of councillor-at-large to serve for the balance of the then unexpired term.
If a vacancy shall occur in the office of councillor-at-large during the last six months of the term for which councillors-at-large are elected, such vacancy shall be filled by the person at the biennial town election who receives the highest number of votes for the office of councillor-at-large and who is not then serving as a member of the town council. Such person shall forthwith be certified and shall serve for the last two months of the concluding term in addition to the term for which such person was elected.
(b) 
District Councillor - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of district councillor it shall be filled in the same manner as provided in section 2-11(a) for the office of councillor-at-large except that the list shall be of the candidates for the office of district councillor in the district in which the vacancy occurs, provided however, if there be no candidate on such list who remains eligible and willing to serve the next highest ranking candidate from among the candidates for election to the council at large who is a resident of the district in which the vacancy exists shall be certified and shall serve until the next regular election provided such candidate remains a resident of the district, is willing to serve as a district councillor and received votes in the district at least equal to thirty percent of the vote total received by the person receiving the largest number of votes for the office of district councillor at the said election. The town clerk shall certify such candidate to the office of district councillor to serve for the balance of the then unexpired term.
(c) 
Filling of Vacancies By Town Council - Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of councillor-at-large or in that of district councillor and there is no available candidate to fill such vacancy in the manner provided in section 2-11(a) or (b), the vacancy shall be filled by the remaining members of the town council. Persons elected to fill a vacancy by the town council shall serve only until the next regular election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the voters and the person chosen to fill such vacancy shall forthwith be sworn and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the term for which elected. Persons serving as town councillors under this section shall not be entitled to have the words "candidate for reelection" printed against their names on the election ballot.