Town of Weymouth, MA
Norfolk County
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The fiscal year of the town shall begin on the first day of July and shall end on the last day of June, unless another period is required by general law.
Public Hearing - At least fourteen days before the meeting at which the school committee is scheduled to vote on its final budget request, the school committee shall cause to be published in a local newspaper a general summary of its proposed budget. The summary shall specifically indicate any major variations from the current budget and the reasons for such changes. It shall further indicate the times and places at which complete copies of its draft proposed budget are available for examination by the public, and the date, time and place, not less than seven nor more than fourteen days following such publication, when a public hearing will be held by the school committee on the proposed budget. The school committee shall not take its final vote on its proposed budget until all persons who desire to be heard concerning the budget proposal have had a reasonable opportunity to be heard.
Submission to Mayor - The proposed budget adopted by the school committee shall be submitted to the mayor at least fourteen days before the date the mayor is required to submit a proposed town budget to the town council, to allow the mayor sufficient time within which to consider the effect the school department's requested appropriation will have upon the total town operating budget the mayor is required to submit to the town council under this article.
The action of the school committee in adopting the proposed budget, following the public hearing, shall be summarized and the results of a roll call vote taken on each amendment to the proposed budget as may be offered shall be recorded.
Not later than seventy five days before the start of the town's fiscal year, the mayor shall submit to the town council a proposed operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year with an accompanying budget message and supporting documents. The mayor shall simultaneously provide for the publication in a local newspaper of a notice and a general summary of the proposed budget. The summary shall specifically indicate any major variations from the current operating budget and the reason for such changes. The notice shall further indicate the times and places at which complete copies of the proposed operating budget for the town are available for examination by the public.
The budget message of the mayor shall explain the budget for all town agencies both in fiscal terms and in terms of work programs. It shall outline proposed financial policies of the town for the ensuing fiscal year, describe important features of the budget, indicate any major variations from the current fiscal year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, summarize the town's debt position and include other material as the mayor deems desirable, or as may be required by the provisions of a town ordinance.
The proposed operating budget shall provide a complete financial plan for all town funds and town activities for the ensuing fiscal year. Except as may otherwise be required by general law, or this charter, it shall be in the form which the mayor deems desirable or as a town ordinance may require. In the presentation of the budget, the mayor shall utilize modern concepts of fiscal presentation so as to furnish an optimum level of information and the best financial control. The budget shall show in detail all estimated income from the proposed property tax levy and from all other sources and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the fiscal year. The budget shall be arranged to show the actual and estimated income and expenditures for the previous, current and ensuing fiscal years and shall indicate in separate sections:
Proposed expenditures for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by town agency and position, in terms of work programs, and the method of financing such expenditures;
Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by town agency, and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure;
The relationship of each proposed capital expenditure to the capital improvement program required to be submitted under section 6-10; and
Estimated surplus revenue and free cash at the end of the current fiscal year, including estimated balances in any special accounts established for specific purposes.
Public Hearing - Forthwith upon its receipt of the proposed operating budget the town council shall provide for the publication in a local newspaper of a notice stating the time and place, not less than seven nor more than fourteen days following such publication, at which it will hold a public hearing on the proposed operating budget as submitted by the mayor. To enable the voters of Weymouth to be as fully informed as is possible on the items contained in the proposed budget and on the legislative activities of the town council, the public hearing on the mayor's proposed budget shall be held in the form of a town meeting. The council president shall preside at each such meeting.
Review - The town council shall consider, in open public meetings, the detailed expenditures proposed for each town agency and may confer with representatives of each such agency in connection with its review and consideration. The town council may require the mayor, or any other town agency, to furnish it with such additional information as it may deem necessary to assist it in its review and consideration of the proposed operating budget.
Action by Town Council - The town council shall adopt the budget, with or without amendments, within ninety days following the day the proposed budget is received by it. In amending the budget, the town council may delete or decrease any programs or amounts except expenditures required by law, or for debt service, but, the town council shall have no authority to add programs or increase amounts. If the town council fails to take any action with respect to any item in the proposed budget within ninety days following the date of its receipt of the proposed budget, such amount shall, without any action by the town council, become a part of the appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year and shall be available for the purposes specified.
Whenever the mayor shall submit to the town council a request for a new appropriation of any sum of money, either as a supplement to some item in the annual operating budget or for an item, or items, not included in the annual operating budget as adopted, the town council shall not act upon such request until it has (1) given notice by publication in a local newspaper of the request, and (2) held a public hearing concerning such request. The publication of the notice and the public hearing shall be generally in conformity with the provisions of section 6-6 concerning the proposed annual operating budget.
On or before August first of each year, or within ten days after the approval by the town council and the mayor of the annual appropriation order for such fiscal year, whichever shall occur later, the town officials in charge of departments or agencies including the superintendent of schools for the school department, shall submit to the chief financial officer, with a copy to the town clerk, in such form as the chief financial officer may prescribe, an allotment schedule of the appropriations of all personnel categories included in said budget, indicating the amounts to be expended by the department or agency for such purposes during each of the fiscal quarters of said fiscal year, or such shorter time periods as the mayor or chief financial officer, may prescribe.
Whenever said chief financial officer determines that any department or agency including the school department, will exhaust or has exhausted its quarterly or shorter time period allotment and any amounts unexpended in previous periods, he shall give notice in writing to such effect to the department head, the mayor, the town solicitor, and to the town clerk who shall forthwith transmit the same to the town council. Upon such a determination and notice thereof, said chief financial officer shall provide such officers additional reports on at least a monthly basis indicating the status of such accounts.
The mayor, within seven days after receiving such notice, shall determine whether to waive or enforce such allotment. If the allotment for such period is waived or is not enforced, as provided above, the department or agency head shall reduce the subsequent period allotments appropriately. If the allotment for such period is enforced or not waived, thereafter the department shall terminate all personnel expenses for the remainder of such period. All actions, notices, and decisions provided for in this section shall be transmitted to the town council and the town clerk within seven days.
No personnel expenses earned or accrued, within any department, shall be charged to or paid for such department's or agency's allotment of a subsequent period without approval by the mayor, except for subsequently determined retroactive compensation adjustments, approval of a payroll for payment of wages, or salaried or other personnel expenses which expenditure in excess of the allotment shall be a violation of this section by the department or agency head, including the superintendent of schools and the school committee. If the continued payment of wages, salaries or other personnel expenses is not approved in a period where a department head has exhausted the period allotment or allotments as specified above, or, in any event, if a department has exceeded its appropriation for a fiscal year, the town shall have no obligation to pay such personnel cost or expense arising after such allotment or appropriation has been exhausted.
No official of the Town of Weymouth, except in the case of an emergency involving the health and safety of the people or their property, shall intentionally expend in any fiscal year any sum in excess of the appropriations duly made in accordance with law, nor involve the town in any contract for the future payment of money in excess of such appropriations. It is the intention of this section that the provisions of section thirty-one of chapter forty-four of the General Laws shall be strictly enforced.
Any official who violates the provisions of this section shall be personally liable to the town for any amounts so expended to the extent the town does not recover such amounts from the person to whom such sums were paid.
The mayor shall submit a capital improvement program to the town council at least one hundred twenty days before the start of each fiscal year. The capital outlay program shall be based on material prepared by the capital planning committee established by ordinance. It shall include:
a clear and concise general summary of its contents;
a list of all capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the next ensuing five years, with supporting information as to the need for each capital improvement;
cost estimates, methods of financing and recommended time schedules for each improvement; and,
the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining each facility and piece of major equipment involved.
This information is to be annually revised by the mayor with regard to the capital improvements still pending or in the process of being acquired, improved or constructed.
The town council shall annually provide for an outside audit of the books and accounts of the town to be made by a certified public accountant, or a firm of certified public accountants, who have no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the town or any of its officers. The mayor shall annually provide to the town council a sum of money sufficient to satisfy the estimated cost of conducting the audit as presented to the mayor, in writing, by the town council. The award of a contract to audit shall be made by the town council, on the recommendation of its budget/management committee on or before September fifteenth of each year. The budget/management committee shall coordinate the work of the individual or firm selected with the municipal officials. The report of the audit shall be filed in final form with the town council and the budget/management committee not later than March first in the year following its award.