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Town of Wakefield, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
(a) 
Elective Offices. The offices to be filled by the voters shall be the Town Council, School Committee, Town Moderator, the Board of Assessors, Town Clerk, Treasurer, Tax Collector, Planning Board, Board of Health, Housing Authority, Board of Library Trustees, Municipal Gas and Light Commissioners and three (3) Constables. Such other regional authorities, districts, or committees as may be established by law or interlocal agreement may also be filled by the voters.
(b) 
Eligibility. Any voter shall be eligible to hold any elective Town office, but no person shall simultaneously hold more than one elective Town office.
(c) 
Election. The regular elections for Town officers shall be held annually on the fourth Tuesday in April, or on such date as may from time to time be fixed in the by-laws of the Town.
(d) 
Compensation. Elected Town officers shall receive such compensation for their services as may be appropriated, annually, for such purpose.
(e) 
Vacancies in Office. Unless otherwise provided by this charter, any vacancy in any elective office shall be filled in the manner provided by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Town Council composed of seven (7) members elected, at large, for terms of three (3) years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible shall expire each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties - In General. The executive authority of the Town shall be vested in the Town Council which shall be deemed to be the chief executive office in the Town. The Town Council shall be the chief policy making agency of the Town and shall have all the powers and duties given to a board of selectmen as may be authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by bylaw or by other vote of the Town Meeting, except those powers granted to the Town Administrator under this charter. It is the intent of this charter that the Town Council be identical in all but name to a board of selectmen, as that term is used in Massachusetts law. Members of the Town Council shall be known as "Councilors." The Town Council shall act by the issuance of policy guidelines and directives. It is the intention of this provision that the Town Council shall act only through the adoption of policy directives and guidelines which are to be implemented by the officers and employees appointed by or under its authority. The Town Administrator shall be the primary officer responsible for the implementation of policy directives and guidelines adopted by the Town Council. The daily administration of the affairs of the Town shall be the exclusive responsibility of the Town Administrator.
[Amended 11-6-2017 RTM by Art. 5]
(c) 
Appointment Powers. The Town Council shall appoint a Town Administrator, Town Counsel, Advisory Board of Public Works, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, Council on Aging, Recreation Commission, Board of Registrars of Voters, all Poll Workers, Town Meeting workers, and Wardens (but not including the Town Clerk). The Town Council shall also appoint such other multiple member bodies as may be provided by by-law, by the laws of the Commonwealth or by this Charter.
(d) 
Approval Powers. The following positions shall be filled by appointment by the Town Administrator as provided in this charter, subject to the approval of the Town Council: Police Chief, Fire Chief, civil service positions within the police department, civil service positions within the fire department, Building Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Wire Inspector, Parking Clerk, Director of the Council on Aging, Director of the Department of Public Works, Recreation Director, and staff of the Town Council. The Town Council shall also have approval powers over the appointment of such other positions as may be provided by by-law.
(e) 
Licensing Authority. The Town Council shall be the licensing authority of the Town and shall have all the power to issue licenses as otherwise authorized by law, to make all necessary rules and regulations regarding the issuance of such licenses, to attach conditions and restrictions on any such license it may issue as it deems to be in the public interest, and to enforce all laws relating to all such businesses for which it issues any licenses.
(f) 
Investigative Powers. The Town Council may investigate or may authorize the Town Administrator to investigate the affairs of the Town and the conduct of any Town agency, and to take any appropriate action. A report of the results of such investigation shall be placed on file in the office of the Town Council and shall be published in the Annual Report.
(a) 
Term of Office. A Town Moderator shall be elected by the voters for a term of three (3) years.
[Amended 11-5-2018 RTM by Art. 30]
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Town Moderator shall be the presiding officer of all Town Meetings, regulate their proceedings, decide all questions of order, make public declaration of all votes, and shall have such additional powers and duties as may be provided for that office by law of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting. No person may address a Town Meeting without leave of the Moderator. The Moderator shall be a member of the Finance Committee Selection Committee, responsible for the appointment of the members of the Finance Committee, as provided by this charter.
(a) 
Term of Office. A Town Clerk shall be elected by the voters for a term of three (3) years.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Town Clerk shall be the keeper of vital statistics of the Town, the custodian of the Town seal and of all records of the Town, shall administer the oath of office to all Town officers, shall issue licenses and permits as may be provided by law, and shall be responsible for the conduct of elections and all matters relating thereto. The Town Clerk shall have the powers and duties provided that office by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(c) 
Clerk of Town Meeting. The Town Clerk shall serve as the Clerk of all special and standing Town Meetings, as provided by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(d) 
Staff. The staff of the Town Clerk shall be appointed by the Town Administrator, upon recommendation of the Town Clerk.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Board of Assessors composed of three (3) members elected to terms of three (3) years each, so arranged that the term of one (1) member expires each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Board of Assessors shall have the powers and duties set forth for such Boards by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(c) 
Staff. The Board of Assessors shall appoint a Director of Assessments. The staff of the Board of Assessors shall be appointed by the Town Administrator, upon recommendation of the Director of Assessments.
(a) 
Term of Office. A Tax Collector shall be elected by the voters for a term of three (3) years.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Collector shall have the powers and duties set forth for that office by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(c) 
Staff. The Collector's staff shall be appointed by the Town Administrator, upon the recommendation of the Collector.
(a) 
Term of Office. A Treasurer shall be elected by the voters for a term of three years.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Treasurer shall have the powers and duties set forth for that office by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(c) 
Staff. The Treasurer's staff shall be appointed by the Town Administrator, upon the recommendation of the Treasurer.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a School Committee composed of seven (7) members elected for terms of three (3) years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible expire each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The School Committee shall have all the powers and duties school committees may have under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth, and it shall have such additional powers and duties as may be authorized by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting. The powers of the School Committee shall include, but need not be limited to:
(1) 
the power to appoint and terminate a superintendent of schools, and all other officers and employees associated with the schools except as otherwise provided by the laws of the Commonwealth, fix their compensation, define their duties, and discharge them; and,
(2) 
the power to make all reasonable rules and regulations, consistent with law, for the administration and management of the public schools of the Town.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Board of Health composed of three (3) members, elected for terms of three (3) years each, so arranged that the term of one (1) member expires each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Board of Health shall be responsible for the formulation and enforcement of rules and regulations affecting the public health. It shall have all the powers and duties given to boards of health by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection (c), Staff, was repealed 11-5-2018 RTM by Art. 33.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Planning Board composed of five (5) members elected for terms of five (5) years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible expire each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Planning Board shall make careful studies of the resources, possibilities and needs of the Town, and shall make plans for the development of the Town. The Board shall have the power to make a comprehensive or master plan, setting forth in graphic and textual form policies to govern the future growth and development of the Town. The Board shall have the power to regulate the subdivision of land within the Town by the enactment of rules and regulations. The Planning Board shall make recommendations to the Town Meeting on all proposed warrant articles which affect land use and development, including, but not limited to, proposals to amend the zoning by-law and zoning map. The Planning Board shall have all the powers and duties given to planning boards by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(c) 
Staff. If such positions are budgeted by Town Meeting, the Town Planner and the staff of the Planning Board shall be appointed by the Town Administrator.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Housing Authority composed of five members who shall be elected and appointed in accordance within M.G.L. c. 121B, §§ 5 and 5a.
[Amended 11-5-2018 RTM by Art. 34]
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Housing Authority shall make studies of the housing needs of the Town and shall provide programs for housing. The Housing Authority shall have all the powers and duties given to housing authorities under the laws of the Commonwealth, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Board of Library Trustees composed of nine (9) members elected for terms of three (3) years, so arranged that the terms of three (3) of the members expire each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties. The Board of Library Trustees shall have control over the selection of library materials, and have custody and management of such. All money and property that the Town may receive for library purposes by gift or bequest shall be administered by the Board in accordance with the provisions of the gift or bequest. The Board shall continue to exercise all the powers and duties vested in the Board of Library Trustees by the laws of the Commonwealth, by this charter, by by-law, or by other vote of Town Meeting.
(c) 
Staff. The Board of Library Trustees shall appoint a Library Director, who shall appoint all other library staff.
[Amended 11-5-2018 RTM by Art. 35]
(a) 
Composition, Term of Office. There shall be a Municipal Gas and Light Commission composed of five (5) members elected for terms of three (3) years, so arranged that the terms of as nearly an equal number of members as is possible expire each year.
(b) 
Powers and Duties
The Municipal Gas and Light Commission shall have charge of all of the real estate, facilities, personnel and equipment of the Town pertaining to the production and transmission of electrical and gas power, both within the Town and elsewhere.
The Municipal Gas and Light Commission shall have all of the powers and duties given to cities and towns in respect to municipal lighting and gas plants under M.G.L. Chapter 164, s. 34 et seq. and other general and special acts pertaining thereto.