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City of Fall River, MA
Bristol County
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(a) 
Mayor Qualifications - The chief executive officer of the city shall be a mayor, elected by the voters of the city at large. Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of mayor. The mayor shall devote full-time to the office and shall not hold any other elective public office.
(b) 
Term of Office - The term of office of the mayor shall be 2 years, beginning on the first Monday in the January succeeding the mayor's election, except when that first Monday falls on a legal holiday, in which event the term shall begin on the following day and shall continue until a successor has been qualified.
(c) 
Compensation - The city council shall, by ordinance, establish the compensation for the mayor. No ordinance increasing or reducing the compensation of the mayor shall be effective unless it has been adopted during the first 18 months of the term for which the mayor is elected, provides that the compensation increase or reduction is to take effect upon the organization of the city government following the next regular city election, and has been adopted by a minimum of 6 votes of the city council.
(d) 
Prohibitions - The mayor shall hold no other compensated city position. No former mayor shall hold a compensated appointed city office or city employment until 1 year following the date on which the former mayor's city service has terminated. This subsection shall not prevent a city officer or other city employee who has vacated a position in order to serve as mayor from returning to the same office or other position of city employment held at the time such position was vacated; provided, however, that no such person shall be eligible for any other municipal position until at least 1 year following the termination of service as mayor. This prohibition shall not apply to persons covered by a leave of absence under section 37 of chapter 31 of the General Laws.
The executive powers of the city shall be vested solely in the mayor and may be exercised by the mayor either personally or through the several city agencies under the general supervision and control of the office of the mayor. The mayor shall cause the charter, ordinances and other orders of the city government to be enforced and shall cause a record of all official acts of the executive branch of the city government to be kept. The mayor shall exercise general supervision and direction over all city agencies, unless otherwise provided by law or by this charter. Each city agency shall furnish to the mayor, upon request, any information or materials the mayor may request and as the needs of the office of mayor and the interests of the city may require. The mayor shall supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all city activities and functions placed under the control of the mayor by law or by this charter. The mayor shall be responsible for the efficient and effective coordination of the activities of all agencies of the city and may call together for consultation, conference and discussion, at reasonable times, all persons serving the city, whether elected directly by the voters, chosen by persons elected directly by the voters or otherwise. The mayor shall be, by virtue of the office, a member of every appointed multiple-member body of the city. The mayor may, as such ex officio member, attend a meeting of an appointed multiple-member body of the city, at any time, including executive sessions, so called, to participate in the discussions of that body, but shall not have the right to vote.
The mayor shall appoint, subject to review by the city council under Article 2, section 2-10, all department heads and the members of multiple-member bodies for whom no other method of appointment or selection is provided by the charter; provided, however, that this shall not include persons serving under the school committee and persons serving under the city council. All appointments to multiple-member bodies shall be for terms established under Article 5. Upon the expiration of the term of any member of a multiple-member body, a successor shall be appointed under Article 5. The mayor shall annually post on the city's web site in February a list of all vacancies on multiple-member bodies. Such listing shall include guidance on applying to serve on a multiple-member body. The mayor may also notify any civic, business, neighborhood, or service organizations in the city of multiple-member body vacancies. Members of multiple-member bodies and appointments made by the mayor to other committees as established by the charter and ordinances must be city residents. If a member resigns from a multiple-member body, removes from the city, or is otherwise unable to complete the term to which appointed, the mayor shall fill such resulting vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The mayor shall file notice of removal of any member from a multiple-member body with the city clerk.
The method of appointment for all other city employees shall be prescribed by administrative order under Article 5.
Whenever a vacancy, either temporary or permanent, occurs in a city office and the needs of the city require that such office be filled, the mayor may designate a person to perform the duties of the office on a temporary basis until the position can be filled as provided by law or by this charter. When the mayor designates a person under this section, the mayor shall file a certificate with the city clerk in substantially the following form:
I designate (name of person) to perform the duties of the office of (designate office in which vacancy exists) on a temporary basis until the office can be filled by (here set out the regular procedure for filling the vacancy, or when the regular officer shall return). I certify that this person is qualified to perform the duties which will be required and that I make this designation solely in the interests of the city of Fall River.
Persons serving as temporary officers under this section shall have only those powers of the office indispensable and essential to the performance of the duties of the office during the period of temporary appointment and no others. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no temporary appointment shall be for more than 90 days; provided, however, that not more than 2 extensions of a temporary appointment, which together shall not exceed a total of 60 days, may be made when a permanent vacancy exists in the office.
Unless some other procedure is specified in a collective bargaining agreement or by civil service law, the mayor may, in writing, remove or suspend any city officer, or the head of any city agency or department appointed by the mayor by filing a written statement, with the city clerk, setting forth the reasons for the removal or suspension. A copy of the written statement shall be delivered in hand, or mailed by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the city officer or agency or department head. The decision of the mayor in suspending or removing a city officer or an agency or department head shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and to fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal solely with the mayor.
(a) 
Communications to the City Council - The mayor shall, by written communications, recommend to the city council for its consideration measures as, in the judgment of the mayor, the needs of the city require. The mayor shall, by written communication, keep the city council fully informed of the financial and administrative condition of the city and shall specifically indicate in any such reports any fiscal, financial or administrative issues facing the city.
(b) 
Special Meetings of the City Council - The mayor may call a special meeting of the city council for any purpose. Notice of the meeting shall, except in an emergency declared by the mayor, be delivered at least 48 weekday hours in advance of the time set and shall specify the date, time and location of the meeting and the purpose for which the meeting is to be held. A copy of the notice shall be posted immediately or as required by the General Laws relative to such a posting.
(c) 
State of the City - The mayor shall in each year on or before the third Wednesday in March make an address to a joint meeting of the city council and school committee, and shall include the city's multiple-member bodies, city officers and department heads, to report on the state of affairs of the city. Such address shall be open to the public.
Every order, ordinance, or vote adopted or passed by the city council relative to the affairs of the city, except resolutions, the selection of city officers by the city council and any matters relating to the internal affairs of the city council, shall be presented to the mayor for approval within 3 business days of such adoption or passage. If the mayor approves of the measure, the mayor shall sign it; if the mayor disapproves of the measure, the mayor shall return the measure with the specific reason for such disapproval attached to the measure in writing to the city council. The city council shall enter the objections of the mayor on its records and not less than 10 business days nor more than 30 days from the date of its return to the city council, shall again consider the same measure. If the city council, notwithstanding such disapproval by the mayor, shall again pass the order, ordinance, or vote by a minimum of 6 votes of the city council, it shall then be deemed in force, notwithstanding the failure of the mayor to approve the same. If the mayor has neither signed a measure nor returned it to the city council within 10 days following the date it was presented to the mayor, the measure shall be deemed approved and in force.
(a) 
Acting Mayor - Whenever, by reason of sickness or other cause, the mayor is unable to perform the duties of the office, the president of the city council shall be the acting mayor unless the president of the city council is unable or unwilling to serve; in such instance, the provisions of section 3-8 (c) shall apply. The city council, by the affirmative vote of 7 members, shall determine whether the mayor is unable to perform the duties of the office. The vote shall be taken in public session by a roll call vote.
(b) 
Powers of Acting Mayor - The acting mayor shall have only those powers of the mayor as are indispensable and essential to conduct the business of the city in an orderly and efficient manner and on which action may not be delayed. The acting mayor shall have no authority to make a permanent appointment or removal from city service unless the disability or absence of the mayor shall extend beyond 60 days, nor shall an acting mayor approve or disapprove of any measure adopted by the city council unless the time within which the mayor must act would expire before the return of the mayor. The city council president or any other city councilor who may be serving as acting mayor pursuant to section 3-8(c) shall not act as a member of the city council.
(c) 
Succession - In the event that the city council president is unable or unwilling to serve as acting mayor under this section, the vice president of the city council shall serve as acting mayor; if either the city council president or vice president is unable or unwilling to serve, the city council shall then elect, from among its membership, a councilor to serve as acting mayor.
The mayor may authorize a subordinate officer or employee of the city to exercise a power or perform a function or a duty which is assigned by this charter, or otherwise, to the mayor and the mayor may rescind or revoke an authorization previously made; provided, however, that all acts performed under any such delegation of authority during the period of authorization shall be and remain the acts of the mayor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a mayor to delegate the powers and duties of a school committee member, the power of appointment to city office or employment or to sign or return measures approved by the city council.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor by death, removal, resignation or any other reason during the first 18 months of the term for which the mayor was elected, the city council shall call a special election to be held within 90 days following the date the vacancy is created to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. Between the date of the declaration of the vacancy and the certification of the results of the special election, the vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled as provided in section 3-8 (a). If the council president is unable or unwilling to serve, the provisions of section 3-8 (c) shall apply. The candidate elected as mayor in such special election shall be sworn to office immediately upon certification of the results of the special election.
If a regular city election is to be held within 150 days after the date the vacancy is created, a special election need not be held and the position shall be filled by vote at the regular city election and the candidate elected as mayor shall be sworn to office immediately upon certification of the results of the regular city election, and shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term in addition to the term to which elected.
If a vacancy occurs after the eighteenth month through the end of the term for which the mayor was elected, the vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled as provided in section 3-8 (a). If the vacancy cannot be filled under section 3-8 (a), the provisions of section 3-8 (c) shall apply. The acting mayor, shall exercise all the rights and powers of the mayor and shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of the mayoral duties. Any city councilor serving as acting mayor under this section shall not be entitled to have the words "candidate for reelection" printed with that councilor's name on the election ballot. Any councilor serving as mayor under this section shall receive the compensation then in effect for the office of mayor.
At least once in every 5 years, the mayor shall consult with all city officers, multiple-member bodies, agencies, departments and offices with responsibility for land use policy, development, or regulation concerning the priorities for city planning initiatives, including but not limited to land use, development, transportation, housing, and the environment; such consultations shall include an assessment of the need for new plans or revisions to plans currently in effect. The mayor shall advise the city council on or before December 1 in the year the consultations are held of any proposals to prepare or revise one or more plans to address the city's planning needs and priorities.
The Mayor, in conjunction with agency and department heads, multiple-member bodies, the city council, school committee, and residents, shall prepare a long range strategic plan every 10 years in the year ending in a zero. The committee shall be composed of 9 members; the mayor shall appoint no more than 3 members who shall be city department heads, city officers or employees, or members of multiple-member bodies. The mayor shall also appoint 2 members who shall be city residents. The city council and the school committee shall each appoint 2 members, who shall be city residents. The strategic plan shall address fiscal, financial, service, and management needs of the city, including but not limited to, personnel practices and use of technology. The committee shall complete its work within 1 one year of its appointment, including preparation of a plan addressing its findings and recommendations. The mayor shall oversee the update of the plan every 3 years. The mayor shall submit the plan and any updates to the city council, and such plan and any updates thereto shall be posted on the city website when submitted to the city council.