City of North Adams, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Set out herein are the provisions of §§ 1 to 55, of Chapter 43 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, as amended to the date of this publication.
(Chapter 43, General Laws, as Amended.)
General Provisions.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Plan A form of government was accepted by the City of North Adams at the city election held November 2, 1965.

Sec. 1 Certain terms defined.

Sec. 2 Certain cities may adopt one of the plans of government provided.

Sec. 3 Legislative powers not abridged.

Sec. 4 Ordinances, etc., in effect until repealed, etc.

Sec. 5 Existing organization to continue until superseded.

Sec. 6 Number of wards to continue until changed according to law.

Sec. 7 Filing of petition calling for vote on adoption of plan.

Sec. 8 Form of petition.

Sec. 9 Proceedings after filing; submission at city election.

Sec. 9B Proceedings after filing petition for adoption of Plan F; appeals; submission at biennial state elections or city elections.

Sec. 10 One plan only may be considered at an election.

Sec. 11 Majority vote required; election of officers.

Sec. 12 Vote on other plans.

Sec. 13 Four-year period for plan adopted.

Sec. 14 Certain officials to carry out provisions, etc.

Sec. 15 Dates of elections.

Sec. 16 No primaries or caucuses to be held.

Sec. 16A Conduct of city primary and election under Plan F.

Sec. 17 Certain officials to be sworn, time, etc.

Sec. 17A Salaries of mayor, city manager, etc.

Sec. 17B Compensation of mayor and council members of Plan F cities.

Sec. 18 Legislative powers, proceedings, city clerk, etc.

Sec. 19 Information by mayor or city manager to city council, attendance at meetings, etc.

Sec. 20 Ordinances, passage, etc.

Sec. 21 Amendments, etc.

Sec. 22 Passage at one session.

Sec. 23 Ordinances, etc., to be published.

Sec. 24 Obligations, actions, legal acts, etc., to continue.

Sec. 25 Civil service laws not to apply to certain employees.

Sec. 26 Certain vacancies, how filled; acting mayor.

Sec. 27 Officials and employees prohibited from making or sharing in contracts; penalty.

Sec. 28 Proposals to be asked for certain contracts.

Sec. 29 Mayor or city manager to approve certain contracts; surety bond, etc.

Sec. 30 Purchase or taking of land for municipal and other purposes.

Sec. 31 School committee, number, term, etc.

Sec. 32 To appoint superintendent, etc.; members not to hold other offices.

Sec. 33 Powers and duties.

Sec. 34 Sites, plans, etc., for school buildings.

Sec. 35 Meetings to be public; yea and nay vote.

Sec. 36 May fill vacancy in their own body.

Sec. 37 Initiative petition.

Sec. 38 Signatures to initiative petitions; certification; transmission; objections.

Sec. 39 Action by city council or school committee if initiative petition is fully signed; referendum.

Sec. 40 Proceedings if petition not fully signed.

Sec. 41 Ballots to state nature of measure.

Sec. 42 Referendum petition.

Sec. 43 City council may submit questions to voters.

Sec. 44 Measures with conflicting provisions.

Sec. 44A Preliminary elections; nominations.

Sec. 44B Prerequisites for inclusion of name on official ballot.

Sec. 44C Candidates for nomination, persons eligible; statement and petition.

Sec. 44D List of candidates; official ballots.

Sec. 44E Counting, etc., of votes; duties of election officers and clerk.

Sec. 44F Candidates for election, how determined.

Sec. 44G Candidates for nomination, when deemed nominated; preliminary election, when unnecessary.

Sec. 44H Acceptance of section 44A to 44G, submission to voters, when.

Sec. 45 Certain provisions to apply to any plan adopted.

Sec. 46 Plan A.

Sec. 47 When plan takes effect.

Sec. 48 Mayor, election, term, etc.

Sec. 49 Party or political designations abolished.

Sec. 50 City council, number, election, etc.

Sec. 50A Filling of vacancies in city council.

Sec. 51 Repealed 1952, 257, § 3.

Sec. 52 Mayor may make appointments without confirmation.

Sec. 53 Certificates of appointment.

Sec. 54 Removals: certain officers exempted.

Sec. 55 Approval and veto by mayor of orders, etc.

Sec. 1 Certain terms defined.

[1915, 267, I, § 1; 1922, 237, § 1; 1938, 378, § 1; 1948, 459, § 1; 1959, 448, § 1, approved. Aug. 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter.]
The following words as used in this chapter shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the following meanings.
"Officer", "officers" and "administrative officers", when used without further qualification or description, any person or persons in charge of any department or division of the city. The said words when used in contrast with a board or members of a board, or with division heads, shall mean any of the persons in sole charge of a department of the city.
"Ordinance", a vote or order of the city council entitled "ordinance" and designed for the permanent regulation of any matter within the jurisdiction of the city council as laid down in this chapter.
"Plan A", a city government and legislative body composed of the mayor and a city council, the councillors being elected at large.
"Plan B", a city government and legislative body composed of a mayor and city council, the councillors being elected partly at large and partly from districts or wards of the city.
"Plan C", a city government and legislative body composed of mayor and commissioners as hereinafter specified.
"Plan D", a city government and legislative body, to be known as the city council, composed of seven or nine members, one of whom shall be mayor and shall be the official head of the city, and an administrative officer, called the city manager.
"Plan E", a city government and legislative body, to be known as the city council, composed of seven or nine members, one of whom shall be elected as mayor by and from such members and shall be the official head of the city, and an administrative officer, called the city manager; the members of the city council and the elective members of the school committee to be elected at large by proportional representation.
"Plan F", a city government and legislative body composed of a mayor and a city council, the councillors being elected partly at large and partly from wards of the city, with the mayor and city councillors to be nominated in party primaries.
"Elected at large", elected by and from all the voters of the city.
"Proportional representation", any proportional representation method of election authorized by sections 93 to 116, inclusive.
"Regular municipal election", the annual or biennial election of municipal officers for which provision is made in this chapter.

Sec. 2 Certain cities may adopt one of the plans of government provided.

[1915, 267, I, § 2]
Any city, except Boston, which shall adopt, in the manner hereinafter prescribed, one of the plans of government provided in this chapter shall thereafter be governed by the provisions thereof; and the inhabitants of such city shall continue to be a municipal corporation under the name existing at the time of such adoption, and shall have, exercise and enjoy all the rights, immunities, powers and privileges, and be subject to all duties, liabilities and obligations provided for in this chapter, or otherwise pertaining to or incumbent upon said city as a municipal corporation.

Sec. 3 Legislative powers not abridged.

[1915, 267, I, § 3]
None of the legislative powers of a city shall be abridged or impaired by this chapter; but all such legislative powers shall be possessed and exercised by such body as shall be the legislative body of the city under this chapter.

Sec. 4 Ordinances, etc., in effect until repealed, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 4]
Ordinances, resolutions, orders or other regulations of a city or of any authorized body or official thereof, existing at the time when such city adopts a plan of government set forth in this chapter, shall continue in full force and effect until repealed, modified or superseded.

Sec. 5 Existing organization to continue until superseded.

[1915, 267, I, § 5; 1938, 378, § 2; 1948, 459, § 2]
Until superseded under this chapter, the organization of the executive and administrative departments, and the powers and duties of the officers and employees of any city adopting any of the plans provided for in this chapter, and the fiscal year of such city shall remain as constituted at the time of the adoption of such plan; but the city council or other legislative body may at any time by ordinance, consistent with general laws, reorganize, consolidate or abolish departments, in whole or in part; transfer the duties, powers and appropriations of one department to another, in whole or in part; establish new departments; and increase, reduce, establish or abolish salaries of heads of departments or members of boards. This section shall not authorize any action in conflict with chapter 31.
This section shall not authorize the city council in any city which adopts Plan D or E, to take any action to accomplish any result not contemplated by the provisions of the said plans.

Sec. 6 Number of wards to continue until changed according to law.

[1915, 267, 1, § 6]
The territory of a city adopting any of the plans of government provided for in this chapter shall continue to be divided into the same number of wards existing at the time of such adoption, which shall retain their boundaries until changed in accordance with general law.

Sec. 7 Filing of petition calling for vote on adoption of plan.

[1915, 267, I, § 7; 1939, 451, § 8; 1948, 459, § 3; 1954, 67]
A petition addressed to the city council, signed by qualified voters of the city to a number equal at least to 10% of the registered voters it the state election next preceding the filing of the petition and in the form provided in section 8 may be filed with the city clerk who shall forthwith transmit the same to the registrars of voters, who shall within 60 days certify the signatures thereon in accordance with the provisions of law and return the petition to the city clerk.
The petition shall be filed with the city clerk at least 140 days before the date of the election at which the question proposed by the petition is to be submitted to a vote of the voters.

Sec. 8 Form of petition.

[1915, 267, I, § 8; 1922, 237, § 2; 1938, 378, § 3; 1948, 459, § 4; 1959, 448, § 2, approved Aug. 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter.]
The petition shall be substantially in the following form: To the city council of the city of We the undersigned, qualified voters of the city, respectfully petition your honorable body to cause to be submitted to a vote of the voters the following question: — "Shall the city of ________________ adopt the form of government defined as Plan (A, B, C, D, E, or F, as it is desired by petitioners), and consisting of (describe plan briefly, as government by a mayor and nine councillors elected at large; or government by a mayor and councillors elected partly at large and partly from wards or districts; or government by five commissioners, one of whom shall be the mayor; or government by a city council, one member of which shall be the mayor, and having a city manager; or government by a city council to be elected at large by proportional representation, one member of which shall be the mayor, and having a city manager; or government by a mayor and councillors elected partly at large and partly from wards or districts with the mayor or councillors to be nominated in party primaries and elected in party elections, as the case may be), with elections to be held (in the case of Plan A, B, or C, annually, or biennially in every odd numbered year, as it is desired by the petitioners, or, in the case of Plan D, E, or F, biennially in every odd numbered year) (and in the case of Plan F) and the mayor and the members of the city council to receive for their services such salary, not exceeding (in the case of city having a population of less than 50,000 $15,000 annually, or, in the case of a city having a population of 50,000 or more, $20,000 annually) for the mayor and (in the case of a city having a population of less than 50,000, $2,000 annually, or, in the case of a city having a population of 50,000 or more, $3,000 annually) for a member of the city council, as the city council may by ordinance determine, according to chapter 43 of the General Laws relating to city charters?"
The petition may be in the form of separate sheet, each sheet containing at the top thereof the heading above set forth, and when attached together and offered for filing the several papers shall be deemed to constitute one petition, and there shall be endorsed thereon the name and address of the person presenting the same for filing.

Sec. 9 Proceedings after filing; submission at city election.

[1925, 188; 1941. 640, § 1; 1948, 459, § 5; 1954, 155; 1959, 448, § 3, approved August 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter; amended by 1961, 146, § 1, approved March 2, 1961, effective 90 days thereafter; 1962, 165, § 1, approved Feb. 28, 1962, effective 90 days thereafter.]
In the case of a petition for the adoption of Plan A, B, C, D or E, within 70 days after the petition has been filed with him by the petitioners the city clerk shall, except as provided in section 10, transmit a certified copy thereof to the city council, except that the signatures upon the petition need not be copied but in place thereof the city clerk shall state the number of signatures of registered voters thereon, certified as such by the registrars of voters. If any question arises as to the validity or sufficiency of the petition or of the signatures thereon, any registered voter of the city may appeal for a determination of said question to the applicable board referred to in section 12 of chapter 53, by filing a notice of such appeal with the city council and with the clerk of the board of registrars of voters within 80 days after the date the petition was filed with the city clerk by the petitioners, and the board so appealed to shall within 30 days render a decision thereon. The board shall submit notice of its decision forthwith to the city council.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the board under this section may appeal to the superior court sitting in equity, for the county in which the city is located; provided, that such appeal is filed in said court within 10 days after such decision is rendered. It shall hear all pertinent evidence and determine the facts and, upon the facts as so determined, annul such decision if found to be erroneous in law or not warranted by the evidence, or make such other decree as justice and equity may require. The foregoing remedy shall be exclusive, but the parties shall have all rights of appeal and exception as in other equity cases.
No costs shall be allowed against the board unless the court finds that it acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.
Within 10 days after the expiration of said period of 80 days, if no appeal has been taken, or after receipt of a decision on any appeal in favor of the validity or sufficiency of such petition or signatures, as the case may be, the city council shall, unless the number of valid signatures certified to it is found to be less than the number required by section 7, transmit such certified copy to the city clerk. If said certified copy is so transmitted to the city clerk at least 30 days before the regular city election, the question proposed by the petition shall be submitted upon the official ballot to a vote of the registered voters of the city at said regular city election, otherwise it shall be submitted at the regular city election next following the aforesaid election.

Sec. 9B Proceedings after filing petition for adoption of Plan F; appeals; submission at biennial state elections or city elections.

[Added 1962, 165, § 2, approved Feb. 28, 1962, effective 90 days thereafter.]
In the case of a petition for the adoption of Plan F, within 70 days after such petition has been filed with him by the petitioners, the city clerk shall, except as provided in section 10, transmit a certified copy thereof to the city council, except that the signatures upon the petition need not be copied but in place thereof the city clerk shall state the number of signatures of registered voters thereon, certified as such by the registrars of voters or the election commission.
If any question arises as to the validity or sufficiency of the petition or of the signatures thereon, any registered voter of the city may appeal to the state ballot law commission for a determination of said question, by filing a notice of such appeal with the city council and with the clerk of the election commission or the board of registrars of voters within 80 days after the date the petition was filed with the city clerk by the petitioners, and the state ballot law commission shall give such petitioner a hearing on said question and shall within 30 days render a decision thereon. Said commission shall submit notice of its decision forthwith to the city council.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the state ballot law, commission may appeal to the superior court sitting in equity for the county in which the city is located; provided, that such appeal is filed in said court 10 days after such decision is rendered. The court shall hear all pertinent evidence and determine the facts and, upon the facts as so determined, annul such decision if found to be erroneous in law or not warranted by the evidence, or make such other decree as justice and equity may require.
Within 10 days after the expiration of said period of 80 days, if no appeal has been taken, or after receipt of a decision on any appeal in favor of the validity or sufficiency of such petition or signatures, as the case may be, the city council shall, unless the number of valid signatures certified to it is found to be less than the number required by section 7, transmit such certified copy to the city clerk. If the said certified copy is so transmitted to the city clerk at least 30 days before the regular city election in the odd year, the question proposed by the petitioner shall be submitted upon the official ballot to a vote of the registered voters of the city at said regular city election; otherwise, the city clerk shall forthwith transmit such certified copy to the state secretary who shall cause it to be placed upon the official ballot for use in said city at the state election in the even year, next following the aforesaid city election.
If the said certified copy is so transmitted to the city clerk and then transmitted by him to the state secretary at least 60 days before the regular state election in the even year, the question proposed by the petitioner shall be caused to be placed by the state secretary upon the official ballot for use in said city at the state election in the even year; otherwise, the city clerk shall cause it to be placed upon the official ballot for use in said city at the regular city election in the odd year, next following the aforesaid state election.

Sec. 10 One plan only may be considered at an election.

[1915, 267, I, § 10: 1938, 378, § 4]
The question of the adoption of not more than one plan may be submitted at an election. If, pending the determination of the question proposed by petition already filed, another petition presenting the question of the adoption of a different plan shall be presented for filing with the city clerk, no action shall be taken upon the later petition, except to file it, until after the submission to a vote of the question proposed by the earlier petition. Should the result of such vote be adverse thereto, proceedings shall then be had upon the later petition as though it had been filed upon the day when such vote on the earlier petition was cast.
If, pending the determination of the question proposed by a petition already filed under chapter 54A, a petition presenting the question of the adoption of one of the plans provided for in this chapter shill be presented for filing with the city clerk, no action shall be taken upon the later petition, except to file it, until after the submission to a vote of the question proposed by the petition under said chapter 54A. Should the result of such vote be adverse thereto, proceedings shall then be had upon the later petition as though it had been filed upon the day when such vote on the petition under said chapter 54A was cast.

Sec. 11 Majority vote required; election of officers.

[1915, 267, I, § 11; 141, 640, § 2]
If a majority of the total number of votes cast at a regular city election for and against the adoption of one of the plans of government provided for in this chapter shall be in favor of its adoption, this chapter so far as applicable to the form of government under the plan adopted by the city, shall supersede the provisions of its charter and of the general and special laws relating thereto and inconsistent herewith, but not, however, until officers provided for under such plan shall have been duly elected and their terms of office shall have begun. The officers provided for under the plan so adopted shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of this chapter relating to such plan and in accordance with section 15, and their terms of office shall begin at 10:00 in the forenoon of the first Monday of January following their election.

Sec. 12 Vote on other plans.

[1959, 268, approved May 4, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter.]
Should a majority of the votes cast be against the adoption of the plan proposed, no petition proposing the same plan shall be filed within four years thereafter; but a petition proposing the adoption of one of the other plans provided for in this chapter may be filed at any time thereafter, and, subject to section 10, proceedings thereon shall be had as though no prior petition under this chapter had been filed.

Sec. 13 Four-year period for plan adopted.

[1915, 267, I, § 13]
Should any plan provided for in this chapter be adopted, it shall continue in force for at least four years from the beginning of the terms of office of the officials elected thereunder; and no petition proposing a different plan shall be filed until after three years and six months from such adoption.

Sec. 14 Certain officials to carry out provisions, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 14]
The mayor, the aldermen and the common council, the city council or other legislative body, and the city clerk in office when any plan set forth in this chapter has been adopted, or is proposed for adoption, shall comply with all requirements of this chapter relating to such proposed adoption and to the election of the officers specified in said plan, in order that all things necessary for the nomination and election of the officers first to be elected under the provisions of this chapter and of the plan so adopted may be done.

Sec. 15 Dates of elections.

[1915, 267, I, § 15; 1922, 237, § 3; 1933, 313, § 7; 1938, 378, § 5; 1941, 640, § 3]
After the adoption by any city of any plan provided for by this chapter.
(a) 
If the plan adopted provides for annual elections, regular municipal elections under said plan shall take place in the year following its adoption, and thereafter, on the Tuesday next following the first Monday of December in each year; provided, that if said city accepts or has accepted section 103A of chapter 54 all regular municipal elections under such plan following such acceptance shall take place on the third Tuesday of December in each year.
(b) 
If the plan adopted provides for elections to be held biennially in every even-numbered year, the regular municipal election next succeeding the adoption of such plan shall take place on Tuesday following the first Monday of December in the even-numbered year next succeeding the year of its adoption, and regular municipal elections thereafter shall take place on Tuesday next following the first Monday of December in every even-numbered year; provided, that in any such city which accepts or has accepted said section 103A all regular municipal elections under said plan following such acceptance shall take place biennially on the third Tuesday of December in every even-numbered year; and
(c) 
If the plan adopted provides for elections to be held biennially in every odd-numbered year, the first regular municipal election following its adoption shall take place in the odd-numbered year next succeeding the year of its adoption on the day fixed for the holding of such elections under the laws in effect in such city immediately prior to such adoption, and regular municipal elections thereafter shall take place in every odd numbered year on the day fixed as aforesaid; provided, that in any city which adopts Plan E all regular municipal elections shall take place as provided in section 109. In each city adopting any plan provided for by this chapter, the municipal year shall begin and end at 10:00 in the morning of the first Monday of January in each year.

Sec. 16 No primaries or caucuses to be held.

[1959, 448, § 5, approved Aug. 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter.]
No primary or caucus for municipal officers shall be held, except in a city under Plan F. Candidates for mayor, city council and school committee, and assessors, if elected by the people, shall, except in a city under Plan F, be nominated in accordance with section 6 of chapter 53.

Sec. 16A Conduct of city primary and election under Plan F.

[1959, 448, § 6, approved Aug. 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter.]
The city primary and election under Plan F shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, be conducted under the provisions of the statutes of the commonwealth relating to party primaries and elections. The city primary shall be held on the sixth Tuesday preceding the regular city election. At said primary each political party shall place in nomination a candidate for mayor, six candidates for school committeemen, as many candidates for councillor-at-large as there are councillors-at-large to be elected, and a candidate for councillor from each ward of the city. There shall not be printed on the ballot at such city primary the name of any person as a candidate for nomination for the office of mayor, school committee, or city councillor, unless a certificate from the registrars of voters of the city wherein such person is a registered voter that he is enrolled as a member of the political party whose nomination he seeks is filed with the city clerk on or before the last day for filing nomination papers.
Nominations of candidates, other than party nominations for any offices to be filled at a city election may be made by nomination papers containing the name of the candidate, his residence with street and number, if any, the office for which he is nominated and the principle, if any, which he represents in not more than three words. If a candidate is nominated otherwise than by a political party, the name of a political party shall not be used in his political designation, nor shall the name of any organization which has been adjudicated subversive under section 18 of chapter 264, be used in his political designation.
Such nomination papers shall be signed in the aggregate by not less than such number of voters as will equal 3% of the entire vote cast for governor at the preceding biennial state election in the electoral district or division for which the officers are to be elected, but in no event by less than 50 voters.
A nomination paper for city office shall be filed with the city clerk by a responsible person who shall sign his name and address. The written acceptance of the candidate shall be filed therewith.
Such independent nomination papers for city offices shall be filed not later than the last day fixed for the filing of party nomination papers for the city primaries.

Sec. 17 Certain officials to be sworn, time, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 17; 1916, 68, § 2; 1922, 237, § 4; 1938, 378, § 6]
On the first Monday in January following a regular municipal election, at 10:00 in the forenoon, the mayor-elect if elected by the people, the councillors-elect, and the assessors-elect if elected by the people, shall meet and be sworn to the faithful discharge of their duties. The oath may be administered by the city clerk or by a justice of the peace, and a certificate thereof shall be entered in the journal of the city council. At any regular council meeting thereafter the oath may be administered in the presence of the city council to the mayor, or to any councillor absent from the meeting on the first Monday in January; provided, that under Plan E, the oath may be so administered to the mayor and vice-chairman at the same meeting at which they are respectively elected.

Sec. 17A Salaries of mayor, city manager, etc.

[1952, 259, § 2; 1958, 72, § 2; 513, § 2; 1959, 448, § 7, approved Aug. 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter; 1963, 731, § 1, approved October 1, 1963]
The mayor or city manager and the members of the city council shall receive for their services such salary as the city council shall by ordinance determine, and they shall receive no other compensation from the city. No increase or reduction in the salaries of mayor or city councillors shall take effect during the year in which such increase or reduction is voted, and no change in such salaries shall be made between the election of a new council and the qualification of the new council. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable in a city under Plan F.

Sec. 17B Compensation of mayor and council members of Plan F cities.

[1959, 448, § 8, approved August 10, 1959; effective 90 days thereafter.]
In a city under Plan F the mayor and the members of the city council shall receive for their services such salary as the city council shall by ordinance determine, and they shall receive no other compensation from the city. The compensation for the mayor shall not exceed $15,000 annually in cities having a population of less than $50,000 or $20,000 annually in cities having a population of 50,000 or more. The compensation for city councillors shall not exceed $2,000 annually in cities having a population of less than 50,000, or $3,000 annually in cities having a population of 50,000 or more.

Sec. 18 Legislative powers, proceedings, city clerk, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 18; 1938, 378, § 7: 1949, 723, § 1; 1958, 626, § 5]
Except as otherwise provided in this section, the legislative powers of the city council may be exercised as provided by ordinance or rule adopted by it.
1. 
Quorum, etc.—Every member of the council may vote on any question coming before it. A majority of the council shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the council shall be necessary to adopt any motion, resolution or ordinance.
2. 
Proceedings, etc.—The city council shall, from time to time, establish rules for its proceedings. Regular and special meetings of the council shall be held at a time and place fixed by ordinance. Except as otherwise authorized by section 23A of chapter 33, all sessions of the council shall be open to the public and to the press, and every matter coming before the council for action shall be put to a vote, the result of which shall be duly recorded. A full and accurate journal of the proceedings of the council shall be kept, and shall be open to the inspection of any registered voter of the city.
3. 
City, Clerk, Election, etc.—The council shall, by a majority vote, elect a city clerk to hold office for three years and until his successor is qualified. He shall have such powers and perform such duties as the council may prescribe, in addition to such duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall keep the records of the meetings of the council.
City Clerk to Hold Office Until Successor Is Qualified.—The person holding the office of the city clerk at the time when any of the plans set forth in this chapter have been adopted by such city shall continue to hold office for the term for which he was elected and until his successor is qualified.
4. 
City Auditor—The council in any city adopting Plan D or E, shall, by a majority vote, elect a city auditor to hold office for three years and until his successor is qualified. He shall keep and have charge of the accounts of the city and from time to time audit the books and accounts of all departments, commissions, boards and offices of the city, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as the council may prescribe, in addition to such duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19 Information by mayor or city manager to city council, attendance at meetings, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 19; 1938, 378, § 8; 1948, 459, § 6]
The city council at any time may request from the mayor, or, under Plan D or E, from the city manager, specific information on any municipal matter within its jurisdiction, and may request him to be present to answer written questions relating thereto at a meeting to be held not earlier than one week from the date of the receipt by the mayor, or, under Plan D or E, by the city manager, of said questions. The mayor, or, under Plan D or E, the city manager, shall personally, or through the head of a department or a member of a board, attend such meeting and publicly answer all such questions. The person so attending shall not be obliged to answer questions relating to any other matter. The mayor, or, under Plan D or E, the city manager, may attend and address the city council in person or through the head of a department, or a member of a board, upon any subject.

Sec. 20 Ordinances, passage, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 20]
No ordinance shall be passed finally on the date on which it is introduced, except in cases of special emergency involving the health or safety of the people or their property.
No ordinance shall be regarded is an emergency measure unless the emergency is defined and detailed in a preamble thereto separately voted on and receiving the affirmative vote of two thirds of the members of the city council.
No ordinance making a grant, renewal or extension, whatever its kind or nature, of any franchise or special privilege shall be passed as an emergency measure, and except as provided in section 70 and 71 of chapter 164 and in chapter 166, no such grant, renewal or extension shall be made otherwise than by ordinance.

Sec. 21 Amendments, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 21]
No ordinance shall be amended or repealed except by an ordinance adopted in accordance with this chapter.

Sec. 22 Passage at one session.

[1915, 267, I, § 22]
Any ordinance, order or resolution may be passed through all its stages of legislation at one session, provided that no, member of the council objects thereto; but if any member of the council objects, the measure shall be postponed for that meeting.

Sec. 23 Ordinances, etc., to be published.

[1915, 267, I, § 23; 1917, 162; 1935, 68, § 1]
Every proposed ordinance or loan order, except emergency measures as hereinbefore defined and revenue loan orders, shall be published once in full in at least one newspaper of the city, and in any additional manner that may be provided by ordinance, at least 10 days before its final passage. After such final passage, it shall, in the same manner as before, again be published once, as amended and completed, except in the case of an emergency ordinance which may be passed as hereinbefore provided and which shall take effect on its passage, and shall be so published at the earliest practicable moment; provided, that if any ordinance or proposed ordinance, or codification of ordinances or proposed ordinances, shall exceed in length eight octavo pages of ordinary book print, then, in lieu of the advertising required by this section, the same may be published by the city council in a municipal bulletin or printed pamphlet, and if so published in full at least 10 days before its final passage, and thereafter, as amended and completed, again published in such bulletin or pamphlet, said publications shall be deemed sufficient without the newspaper publication as herein required.

Sec. 24 Obligations, actions, legal acts, etc., to continue.

[1915, 267, I, § 24]
All official bonds, recognizances, obligations, contracts and other instruments entered into or executed by or to the city before its adoption of a plan provided by this chapter, and all taxes, special assessments, lines, penalties, forfeitures incurred or imposed, due or owing to the city, shall be enforced and collected, and all writs, prosecutions, actions and causes of action, except as herein otherwise provided, shall continue without abatement and remain unaffected by this chapter; and no legal act done by or in favor of the city shall be rendered invalid by its adoption of a plan provided by this chapter.

Sec. 25 Civil service laws not to apply to certain employees.

[1915, 267, I, § 25]
The civil service laws shall not apply to the appointment of the mayor's secretaries or of the stenographers, clerks, telephone operators and messengers connected with his office, and the mayor may remove such appointees without a hearing and without making a statement of the cause of their removal.

Sec. 26 Certain vacancies, how filled; acting mayor.

[1915, 267, I § 26; 1937, 224, § 1, 1938, 378, § 9; 1959, 448, § 9]
Except as otherwise provided in sections 50A, 59A, 86, 102 and 121, if a vacancy occurs in the office of the mayor or city council before the last six months of the term of office, the city council shall order an election for a Mayor or a member of the council to serve for the unexpired term: and if such vacancy occurs in the office of mayor in the last six months of the term, the president of the city council shall succeed to said office for the unexpired term. If the mayor is absent or unable from any cause temporarily to perform his duties they shall be performed by the president of the city council. The person upon whom such duties shall devolve shall be called "acting mayor," and he shall possess the powers of mayor only in matters not admitting of delay, but shall have no power to make permanent appointments.
Whenever, under Plan C, any councillor shall be temporarily unable for any, cause to perform the duties of his office, the council may appoint one of its members to exercise his powers and perform his duties during such disability. Should an appointive officer of the city be temporarily unable for any cause to perform his duties, the council or the mayor, leaving the power of original appointment may make a temporary appointment of some person to act until such official resumes his duties.

Sec. 27 Officials and employees prohibited from making or sharing in contracts; penalty.

[1915, 267, I, § 27]
No mayor or member of the city council or school committee and no officer or employee of the city shall directly or indirectly make a contract with the city or receive any commission, discount, bonus, gift, contribution, or reward from or any share in the profits of any person making or performing such contract, unless the mayor, such member, officer or employee, immediately upon learning of the existence of such contract, or that such contract is proposed, shall notify in writing the mayor, city council or school committee of the nature of his interest in such contract, and shall abstain from doing any official act on behalf of the city in reference thereto. In case of such interest on the part of an officer whose duty it is to sign such contract on behalf of the city, the contract may be signed by any other officer of the city duly authorized thereto by the mayor, or if the mayor has such interest, by the city clerk; provided, that when a contractor with the city is a corporation or a voluntary stock association, the ownership of less than 5% of the stock or shares actually issued shall not be considered as involving an interest in the contract within the meaning of this section, and such ownership shall not affect the validity of the contract unless the owner of such stock or shares is also an officer or agent of the corporation or association, or solicits or takes part in the making of the contract.
A violation of any provision of this section shall render the contract in respect to which such violation occurs voidable at the option of the city. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Sec. 28 Proposals to be asked for certain contracts.

[1915, 267, I § 28; 1928, 399, § 1: 1951, 25, § 1: 1967, 79, § 3, approved March 27, 1967, effective 90 days thereafter.]
No contract for construction work or for the purchase of equipment, supplies or materials, whether for repairs or original construction, the estimated cost of which amounts to $2,000 or more, except in cases of special emergency involving the health or safety of the people or their property, shall be awarded unless proposals for the same have been invited by advertisements in at least one newspaper published in the city once a week for at least two consecutive weeks, the last publication to be at least one week before the time specified for the opening of said proposals. Such advertisements shall state the time and place where plans and specifications of proposed work or supplies may be had and the time and place for opening the proposals in answer to said advertisements and shall reserve to the city the right to reject any or all of such proposals. All such proposals shall be opened in public. No bill or contract shall be split or divided for the purpose of evading any provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 29 Mayor or city manager to approve certain contracts; surety bond, etc.

[1915, 267, 1 § 29: 1928, 300, § 2: 1938, 378, § 10; 1949, 723, § 2; 1951, 25, § 2; 1959, 448, § 10, approved Aug 10, 1959, effective 90 days thereafter; 1967, 79, § 4, approved March 27, 1967, effective 90 days thereafter.]
All contracts made by any department board or commission where the amount involved is $2,000 or more shall be in writing, and no such contract shall be deemed to have been made or executed until the approval of the mayor under Plan A, B, C or F. or of the city manager under Plan D or E, and also of the officer or the head of the department or of the chairman of the board, as the case may be, making the contract is affixed thereto. Any contract made as aforesaid may be required to be accompanied by a bond with sureties satisfactory; to the board or official having the matter in charge, or by a deposit of money, certified check or other security for the faithful performance thereof, and such bonds or other securities shall be deposited with the city treasurer until the contract has been carried out in all respect and no such contract shall be altered except by a written agreement of the contractor, the sureties on his bond, if any and the officer department or board, as the case may be, making the contract, with the approval of the mayor under Plan A. B, C, D or F, or of the city manager under Plan E, affixed thereto.

Sec. 30 Purchase or taking of land for municipal and other purposes.

[1915, 267, I, § 30; 1938, 378, § 11; 194, 4598, § 7; 1959, 448, § 11, approved Aug. 10, 1959, effective 90 days thereafter; 1967, 59, § 2, approved with emergency preamble, March 21, 1967]
At the request of any department, and with the approval of the mayor and city council under Plan A, B, C or F, or with the approval of the city manager and the city council under Plan D or F, the city council may, in the name of the city, purchase, or take by eminent domain, under chapter 79, any land within its limits for any municipal purpose, and, without the request of any department, but with like approval, the city council may, in the name of the city, purchase or take by eminent domain, under chapter 79, any land within its limits for the purpose of conveying the same, with or without consideration, to the commonwealth for the use of a regional community college. Whenever the price proposed to be paid for land for any municipal purpose is more than 25% higher than its average assessed valuation during the previous three years the land shall not be purchased, but shall be taken as aforesaid. No land shall be taken or purchased until an appropriation by loan or otherwise for the general purpose for which land is needed has been made by the city council, by a 2/3 vote of all its members; nor shall a price be paid in excess of the appropriations, unless a larger sum is awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction. All proceedings in the taking of land shall be under the advice of the land department, and a record thereof shall be, kept by said department.

Sec. 31 School committee, number, term, etc.

[1915, 267, I, § 31; 1922, 237, § 5; 1938, 378, § 12; 1959, 448, § 12, approved August 10, 1959, effective 90 days thereafter.]
The school committee shall consist of the mayor, who shall be the chairman and six members elected at large. At the first regular municipal election held in any city after its adoption of one of the plan as provided in this chapter, there shall be elected, except as provided in this section, two members to serve for one year, two for two years and two for three years, and annually thereafter there shall be elected two members to serve for three years. If the plan adopted provides for elections to be held biennially, there shall, except under Plan E, or F, be elected at the first regular municipal election held under the provisions of such plan, three members to serve for two years and three members to serve for four years, and biennially thereafter three members to serve for four years. After the adoption of Plan E, by a city, the six members other than the mayor shall be elected at large for terms of two years each by proportional representation as hereinafter provided.

Sec. 32 To appoint superintendent, etc.; members not to hold other offices.

[1915, 267, I, § 32; 1918, 257, § 157: 1919, 5; 1920, 2; 1949, 318]
The school committee shall elect a superintendent of schools annually except as provided in section 41 of chapter 71, and may, under chapter 31, appoint, suspend or remove, at pleasure such subordinate officers or assistants, including janitors of school buildings, as it may deem necessary for the proper discharge of its duties and the conduct of its business; it shall define their terms of service and their duties, and shall fix their compensation. No member of the school committee, except the mayor, shall, while a member thereof, hold any other office or position the salary or compensation for which is payable out of the city treasury. The committee shall organize annually on the first Monday in January, and shall elect one of its members as vice-chairman, who shall preside at all meetings of the committee at which the mayor is not present.

Sec. 33 Powers and duties.

[1915, 267, I, §§ 33,35]
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and subject to any laws which limit the amount of money that may be appropriated in any city for school purposes, the school committee, in addition to the powers and duties conferred and imposed by law on school committees, may provide, when necessary, temporary accommodations for school purposes, may make all repairs, the expenditures for which are made from the regular appropriation for the school department, shall have control of all school buildings and grounds connected therewith and shall make all reasonable rules and regulations, consistent with law, for the management of the public schools of the city and for conducting the business of the committee.

Sec. 34 Sites, plans, etc., for school buildings.

[1915, 267, I, § 34]
No site for a school building shall be acquired by the city unless the approval of the site by the school committee is first obtained. No plans for the construction of or alterations in a school building shall be accepted, and no work shall be begun on the construction or alteration of a school building, unless the approval of the school committee and the mayor is first obtained. This section shall nor require such approval for the making of ordinary repairs.

Sec. 35 Meetings to be public; yea and nay vote.

[1915, 267, I, § 36; 1958, 626, § 6]
All meetings of the school committee shall be open to the press and to the public, except as otherwise authorized by section 23A of chapter 39. The vote on any particular measure shall be by yeas and nays, when requested by two members.

Sec. 36 May fill vacancy in their own body.

[1915, 267, I, § 37: 1922, 237, § 6; 1938, 378, § 13]
Except as provided in this section, if a vacancy occurs in the school committee by failure to elect, or otherwise, the city council and the remaining members of the school committee shall meet in joint convention and elect a suitable person to fill the vacancy until the first Monday in January following the next regular municipal election; and, if there would be a vacancy on said first Monday, it shall be filled at such regular municipal election for the balance of the unexpired term. The mayor, if present, shall preside at the convention.
Whenever under Plan E a vacancy occurs in the school committee by failure to elect, or otherwise, such vacancy shall be filled as provided in section 102.

Sec. 37 Initiative petition.

[1915, 267, I, § 38]
A petition conforming to the requirements hereinafter provided and requesting the city council to pass a measure, except, an order granting under section 70 or 71 of chapter 164 or chapter 166, or requesting the school committee to pass a measure, therein set forth or designated, shall be termed an initiative petition, and shall be acted upon as hereinafter provided. In this and the eight following sections, "measure" shall mean an ordinance, resolution, order or vote passed by a city council, or a resolution, order or vote passed by a school committee, as the case may be.

Sec. 38 Signatures to initiative petitions; certification; transmission; objections.

[1915, 267, I, § 39; 1967, 406, § 1, approved June 27, 1967, effective 90 days thereafter.]
Signatures to initiative petitions need not be all on one paper. All such papers pertaining to any one measure shall be fastened together and shall be filed in the office of the city clerk as one instrument, with the endorsement thereon of the names and addresses of three persons designated as filing the same. With each signature to the petition shall be stated the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number if any.
Within five days after the filing of said petition the registrars of voters shall ascertain by what number of registered voters the petition is signed, and what percentage that number is of the total number of registered voters, and shall attach thereto their certificate showing the result of such examination.
The city clerk shall forthwith transmit the said certificate with the said petition to the city council or to the school committee, according as the petition is addressed, and at the same time shall send a copy of said certificate to one or more of the persons designated on the petition as filing the same.
When such certificate has been so transmitted, said petition shall be deemed to be valid unless written objections are made thereto by a registered voter of the city within 48 hours after such certification by filing such objections with the city council or the school committee, and a copy thereof with the registrars of voters or the board or commission having similar duties. A copy of the objections so filed shall forthwith be transmitted to the state ballot law commission which shall hold a public hearing on said objections, shall render a decision on the matter referred to it within 14 days after the objections were filed and transmit a copy of its decision to the city council or the school committee.

Sec. 39 Action by city council or school committee if initiative petition is fully signed; referendum.

[1915, 267, I, § 40]
If any initiative petition is signed by registered voters equal in number to at least 20% of the whole number of registered voters, the city council or the school committee shall, within 20 days after the date of the certificate of the registrars as that effect:
(a) 
Pass said measure without alteration, subject to the referendum vote provided by this chapter, or
(b) 
The city council shall call a special election to be held on Tuesday fixed by it not less than 30 nor more than 45 days after the date of the certificate hereinbefore mentioned, and shall submit the proposed measure without alteration to a vote of the registered voters of the city at that election; provided, that if any city election is otherwise to occur within 90 days after the date of said certificate, the city council may, at its discretion, omit calling the special election and submit the proposed measure to the voters at such approaching election.

Sec. 40 Proceedings if petition not fully signed.

[1915, 267, I, § 41; 1922, 237, § 7; 1931, 426, § 158]
If an initiative petition is signed by registered voters equal in number to at least 8% but less than 20% of the total number of registered voters, and said measure be not passed without alteration within 20 days by the city council or the school committee, is provided in the preceding section, such proposed measure, without alteration, shall be submitted by the city council in a vote of the registered voters of the city at the next regular municipal election. A measure proposed under this section or section 39 shall become effective if it shall be approved by registered voters of the city equal in number to 1/3 of the whole number thereof and also by a majority of the voters voting on such measure, but not otherwise.

Sec. 41 Ballots to state nature of measure.

[1915, 267, I, § 46; 1931, 426, § 159]
The ballots used when voting upon a proposed measure under section 39 or 40, or a measure or part thereof protested against under the following section, shall state the nature of the measure in terms sufficient to show the substance thereof.

Sec. 42 Referendum petition.

[1913, 267, I, § 42; 1935, 68, § 2: amended by 1961, 550 approved May 27, 1961, effective 90 days thereafter; amended by 1967, 406, § 2, approved June 27, 1967, effective 90 days thereafter.]
If, within 20 days after the final passage of any measure, except a revenue loan order, by the city council or by the school committee, a petition signed by registered voters of the city, equal in number to at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, and addressed to the city council or to the School committee, as the case may be, protesting against such measure or any part thereof taking effect, is filed with the city clerk, the same shall thereupon and thereby be suspended from taking effect: and the city council or the school committee, as the case may be, shall immediately reconsider, such measure or part thereof: and if such not entirely rescinded, the city council shall submit the same, by the method herein provided, to a vote of the registered voters of the city, either at the next regular city election, or at a special election which may, in its discretion, be called for the purpose, and such measure or part thereof shall forthwith become null and void unless a majority of the registered voters voting on the same at such election vote in favor thereof.
PROCEDURE, ETC.
The petition described in this section shall be termed a referendum petition and section 38, with the exception of the last paragraph, shall apply to the procedure in respect thereto, except that the words "measure or part thereof protested against" shall for this purpose be understood to replace "measure" in said section wherever it may occur, and "referendum" shall be understood to replace the word "initiative" in said section.

Sec. 43 City council may submit questions to voters.

[1913, 267, I, § 44]
The city council may, of its own motion, and shall, upon request of the school committee if a measure originates with that committee and pertains to the affairs under its administration, submit to a vote of the registered voters of the city for adoption or rejection at a general or special city election any proposed measure, or a proposition for the repeal or amendment for any measure, in the same manner and with the same force and effect as are hereby provided for submission on petition.

Sec. 44 Measures with conflicting provisions.

[1915, 267, 1, § 45]
If two or more proposed measures passed at the same election contain conflicting provisions, only the one receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall take effect.

Sec. 44A Preliminary elections; nominations.

[1922, 282, § 1; 1933, 313, § 8; 1934, 30; 1938, 378, § 14; 1941, 640, § 4; 1959, 448, § 13, approved. Aug. 10, 1959: effective 90 days thereafter.]
In every city, governed on September 1st, 1992, by any plan provided by this chapter, which accepts sections 44A to 44G, inclusive, in the manner provided by section 44H, and in every city, except Boston, which, after said date adopts any such plan, except Plan E or F, in the manner provided in this chapter, the provisions of section 44A to 44G, inclusive, shall apply. In such a city which accepts section 103A of chapter 54, on the fourth Tuesday, and in any other such city, on the third Tuesday, preceding every regular city election, and, in all such cities, on the third Tuesday preceding any special election, at which any office mentioned in this chapter is to be filled, there shall be held, except as otherwise provided in section 44G, a preliminary election for the purpose of nominating candidates therefor, and section 16, shall not apply.
Notices or warrants for regular, preliminary and special elections shall specify by name all the offices to be voted for and state, in the form in which it will appear upon the ballot, any question submitted to the voters. They shall specify the time when the polls will be opened and when the polls will be closed. The polls at such elections shall be open during such hours as the city council may prescribe; provided, that they shall be opened not earlier than 15 minutes before six o'clock in the forenoon nor later than 10 o'clock in the forenoon and shall be kept open at least six hours, but in no event later than eight o'clock in the evening. The ballots to be used at such elections shall be governed by the provisions of section 49.

Sec. 44B Prerequisites for inclusion of name on official ballot.

[1922, 282, § 1]
Except as otherwise provided in section 44G, there shall not be printed on the official ballot to be used at any regular or special election the name of any person as a candidate for any office unless such person has been nominated as such at a preliminary election for nomination, held as provided in sections 44A to 44G, inclusive. There shall not be printed on the official ballot for use it such preliminary election the name of any candidate for nomination at such election, unless he shall have filed, within the time limited by section 44C, the statement and petition therein described.

Sec. 44C Candidates for nomination, persons eligible; statement and petition.

[1922, 282, § I; 1937, 147; 1943, 229, § 1]
Any person who is qualified to vote for a candidate for any elective municipal office and who is a candidate for nomination thereto, shall be entitled to have his name as such candidate printed on the official ballot to be used at a preliminary election; provided, that within the time prescribed by section 10 of chapter 53 in the case of preliminary elections in cities he shall file with the city clerk a statement in writing of his candidacy, and with it the petition of at least 50 voters, qualified to vote for a candidate for the said office. Said statement and petition shall be in substantially the following form: — 
STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE
Form of statement — I (___________________), on oath declare that I reside at (number if any) on (name of street) in the city of _______________; that I am a voter therein, qualified to vote for a candidate for the hereinafter mentioned office; that I am a candidate for the office of (name of office) for (state the term) to be voted for at the preliminary election to be held on Tuesday, the _____ day of ______________, 1900 and _____ and I request that my name be printed as such candidate on the official ballot for me at said preliminary election.
(Signed)
ss.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Subscribed and sworn to on this _____ day of __________, 1900 and ________ before me, __________
(signed)
Justice of the Peace
or (Notary Public.)
PETITION ACCOMPANYING STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE
Form of petition — Whereas (name of candidate) is a candidate for nomination for the office of (state the office) for (state the term), we, the undersigned, voters of the city _____________ of _____________, duly qualified to vote for a candidate for said office, do hereby request that the name of said (name of candidate) as a candidate for nomination for said office be printed on the official ballot to be used at the preliminary election to be held on the _______ Tuesday of __________ 1900 and ____________
We further state that we believe him to be of good moral character and qualified to perform the duties of the office.
No acceptance by the candidate for nomination named in the said petition shall be necessary to its validity or its filing, and the petition, which may be on one or more papers, need not be sworn to.

Sec. 44D List of candidates; official ballots.

[1922, 282, § 1]
On the first day, other than Sunday or a legal holiday, following the expiration of the time for filing the above described statement and petition, the city clerk shall post in a conspicuous place in the city hall the names and residences of the candidates for nomination who have duly qualified as candidates for nomination, as they are to appear on the official ballots to be used at the preliminary election, except as to the order of the names, and shall cause the ballots which shall contain said names, in their order as drawn by the clerk, and no others, with a designation of residence, and of the office and term of service, to be printed, and the ballots so printed shall be official and no others shall be used at the preliminary election. In drawing for position on the ballot the candidates shall have an opportunity to be present in person or by one representative each. Blank spaces shall be left at the end of each list of candidates for nomination for the different offices equal to the number to be nominated therefor, in which the voter may insert the name of any person not printed on the ballot for whom he desires to vote for nomination for such office. There shall be printed on such ballots such directions as will aid the voter, as, for example: "vote for one", "vote for two", and the like, and the ballots shall be headed as follows: — 
OFFICIAL PRELIMINARY BALLOT
Candidates for nomination for the offices of (______________________________) in the city of __________ at a preliminary election to be held on the ________ day of __________________ in the year of 19 ___ and __________.
(The heading shall be varied in accordance with the offices for which nominations are to be made.)

Sec. 44E Counting, etc., of votes; duties of election officers and clerk.

[1922, 282, § 2]
The election officers shall, immediately upon the closing of the polls at preliminary election, count the ballots and ascertain the number of votes cast in the several voting places for each candidate, and forthwith make return thereof upon blanks to be furnished, as in regular elections, to the city clerk who shall canvas said returns and shall forthwith determine the result thereof, insert the same in one or more newspapers published in the city, and post the same in a conspicuous place in the city hall.

Sec. 44F Candidates for election, how determined.

[1922, 282, § 1]
The two persons receiving at a preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for an office shall, except as provided by section 44G, be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot to be used at the regular or special election at which such office is to be filled, and no acceptance of a nomination at a preliminary election shall be necessary to its validity.
If two or more persons are to be elected to the same office at such regular or special election the several persons in number equal to twice the number so to be elected receiving at such preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for that office shall, except as provided by, section 44C, be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot.
If the preliminary election results in a tie vote among candidates for nomination receiving the lowest number of votes, which, but for said tie vote, would entitle a person receiving the same to have his name printed upon the official ballot for the election, all candidates participating in said tie vote shall have their names printed upon the official ballot, although in consequence there be printed thereon candidates to a number exceeding twice the number to be elected.

Sec. 44G Candidates for nomination, when deemed nominated; preliminary election, when unnecessary.

[1922, 282, § 1]
If at the expiration of the time for filing statements of candidates to be voted for at any preliminary election not more than twice as many such statements have been filed with the city clerk for an office as are to be elected to such office, the candidates whose statements have thus been filed shall be deemed to have been nominated to said office, and their names shall be voted on for such office at the succeeding regular or special election, as the case may be, and the city clerk shall not print said names upon the ballot to be used at said preliminary election and no other nomination to said office shall be made. If in consequence it shall appear that no names are to be printed upon the official ballot to be used at any preliminary election in any ward or wards of the city, no preliminary election shall be held in any such ward or wards.

Sec. 44H Acceptance of section 44A to 44G, submission to voters, when.

[1922, 282, § 1; 1932, 180, § 7, 1941, 640, § 5]
If, in a city governed on September 1st, 1922, by one of the plans provided by this chapter, there is filed with the city clerk, not later than one month before a regular city election, a petition conforming so far as possible to the provisions of sections 8 and 9, requesting that such city accept the provisions of section 44A to 44G, inclusive, and bearing the signatures of registered voters thereof, duly certified by the registered voters thereof at a biennial state election next preceding such filing, the following question shall be placed upon the official ballot to be used in such city at the next regular city election: — "Shall sections 44A to 44G, inclusive, of chapter 53 of the General Laws, relative to the nomination by preliminary election of candidates for elective municipal offices in cities governed under a standard form of city charter, be accepted by the city of _______________________?" If a majority of the voters voting thereon in such city vote in the affirmative, said sections shall take effect therein.

Sec. 45 Certain provisions to apply to any plan adopted.

[1915, 267, I, § 47; 1922, 282, § 2]
Section 1 to 44G, inclusive, shall upon the adoption by any city of any of the plans hereinafter set forth, apply to the plan so adopted, except as is otherwise provided in such plan.
PLAN A—GOVERNMENT BY MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL ELECTED AT LARGE

Sec. 46 Plan A.

[1915, 267, II, § 1; 1939. 451, § 9]
The method of city government provided for in the 10 following section shall be known as Plan A.

Sec. 47 When plan takes effect.

[1915, 267, II, § 2]
Upon the adoption of Plan A, it shall become operative as provided in sections 1 to 45, inclusive.

Sec. 48 Mayor, election, term, etc.

[1915. 267, II, § 3]
There shall be a mayor, elected by and from the qualified voters of the city, who shall be the chief executive officer of the city. He shall hold office for the term of two years from the first Monday of January following his election, and until his successor is qualified.

Sec. 49 Party or political designations abolished.

[1915, 267, II. § 4; 1931, 394, § 213]
No ballot used at any annual, biennial or special city election shall have printed thereon any party or political designation or mark, and there shall not be appended to the name of any candidate any such party or political designation or mark, or anything showing how he was nominated or indicating his views or opinions.

Sec. 50 City council, number, election, etc.

[1915, 267, II, § 5: 1922, 237, § 8]
The legislative powers of the city shall be vested in a city council, consisting of nine persons, elected at large by and from the qualified voters of the city. One of its members shall be elected by the council annually as its president. At the first election held in a city after its adoption of Plan A, except as otherwise provided in this section, the five candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall hold office for two years, and the four receiving the next largest number of votes shall hold office for one year. Thereafter, as these terms expire, there shall be elected at each annual city election a sufficient number of members to fill the vacancies created by the expiration of said terms, each member so elected to serve for two years.
If the plan adopted provides for elections to be held biennially, at the first regular municipal election held under the provisions of such plan and at each biennial election thereafter, there shall be elected nine members of the city council to serve for two years from the first day of January following their election and until their successors are qualified.

Sec. 50A Filling of vacancies in city council.

[1936, 135]
Vacancies in the city council shall be filled by the remaining members thereof for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Sec. 51 Repealed 1952, 257, § 3. [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: For subject matter of repealed § 51, relative to salaries of the mayor and council see § 17A of this chapter, and G.I. C. 30, § 6A.

Sec. 52 Mayor may make appointments without confirmation.

[1915, 267, II § 7]
Upon the adoption of Plan A, all heads of departments and members or municipal boards, except the school committee, officials appointed by the governor and assessors if elected by vote of the people, as their terms of office expire, shall be appointed by the mayor with out confirmation by the city council.

Sec. 53 Certificates of appointment.

[1915, 267, II § 8]
In making his appointments the mayor shall sign and file with the city clerk a certificate in the following form:
CERTIFICATE OF APPOINTMENT
I appoint (name of appointee) to the position of (name of office) and I certify that in my opinion he is a recognized expert in the work which will devolve upon him, and that I make the appointment solely in the interest of the city.
Mayor.
or in the following form, as the case may be:
CERTIFICATE OF APPOINTMENT
I appoint (name of appointee) to the position of (name of office), and I certify that in my opinion he is a person specially fitted by education, training or experience to perform the duties of said office, and that I make the appointment solely in the interest of the city.
Mayor.

Sec. 54 Removals: certain officers exempted.

[1915, 267, II, § 9]
The mayor may remove the head of a department or member of a board by filing a written statement with the city clerk setting forth in detail the specific reasons therefore a copy of which shall be delivered or mailed to the person thus removed, who may make a written reply, which, if he desires, may be filed with the city clerk; but such reply shall not affect the action taken unless the mayor so determines. This section shall not apply to the school committee, or to officials appointed by the governor, or to assessors if elected by the people.

Sec. 55 Approval and veto by mayor of orders, etc.

[1915, 267, II, § 10]
Every order, ordinance, resolution and vote relative to the affairs of the city, adopted or passed by the city council, shall be presented to the mayor for his approval. If he approves it he shall sign it; if he disapproves it he shall return it, with his written objections to the city council, which shall enter the objections at large on its records, and again consider it. If the city council, notwithstanding such disapproval of the mayor, shall again pass such order, ordinance, resolution or vote by a two thirds vote of all its members, it shall then be in force, but such vote shall not by taken for seven days after its return to the city council. Every such order, ordinance, resolution and vote shall be in force if not returned by the mayor within 10 days after it has been presented to him. This section shall not apply to budgets submitted under section 32 of chapter 54 or to appropriations by a city council under section 33 of said chapter.