Town of Mansfield, MA
Bristol County
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The Charter may be replaced, revised or amended in accordance with the procedures made available by Article 89 of the amendments to the state constitution and any legislation enacted to implement the said amendment.
The provisions of this Charter are severable. If any provision of this Charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the Charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the Charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of this Charter and its provisions to any other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
To the extent that any specific provision of the Charter shall conflict with any provision expressed in general terms, the specific provision shall prevail.
All references to the General Laws contained in the Charter refer to the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are intended to include any amendments or revisions to such chapters and sections or to the corresponding chapters and sections of any rearrangement of the General Laws enacted subsequent to the adoption of the Charter.
A copy of all rules and regulations adopted by any Town agency shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk before any such rule or regulation shall become effective and copies shall be made available for review by any person who requests such information.
Any holder of an elective office, as defined in Section 3-1, may be recalled therefrom by the voters as herein provided.
Any qualified voter of the Town may file with the Town Clerk an affidavit containing the name of the official to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The Town Clerk shall thereupon deliver to the said voter making such affidavit a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which they shall keep available. The blanks shall be issued by the Town Clerk with their signature and Town Seal attached thereto. They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the Select Board member, and shall contain the name of the person to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and shall demand the election of a successor to said office. A copy of the petition shall be kept in the office of the Town Clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the Town Clerk within twenty days of the filing of the affidavit. Said petition before being returned and filed shall be signed by at least five percent of the registered voters of the town.
The Town Clerk shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt, submit the petition to the registrars of voters, and the registrars shall forthwith validate thereon the number of signatures.
If the petition shall be found and certified by the Town Clerk to be sufficient, they shall submit the same with their certificate to the Select Board without delay, and the Select Board shall forthwith give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the official sought to be recalled. If the official sought to be recalled does not resign within five days thereafter, the Select Board shall order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than twenty-five nor more than thirty-five days after the date of the Town Clerk's certificate; provided, however, that if any other Town election is to occur within sixty days after the date of the certificate, the Select Board may, at their discretion, postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
Any official sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed themselves, and unless they request otherwise in writing, the Town Clerk shall place their name on the official ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same shall be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this Charter.
Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of official)
Against the recall of (name of official)
Immediately at the right of each proposition there shall be a square in which the voter, by making a crossmark (x), may vote for either of the said propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates" and the direction "Vote for One", and beneath this the names of the candidates. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If a majority of votes on the question is in the negative, the official sought to be recalled shall continue in office.
No recall petition shall be filed against an official within three months after they take office, nor in the case of an official subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least three months after that election.
No person who has been recalled from an office, or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against them, shall be appointed to any Town office within two years after such recall or resignation.
Any appointed official of the Town appointed for a fixed term, may be removed from office by the appointing authority for cause.
The appointing authority when removing an official of the Town shall act in accordance with the following procedure:
A written notice of the intent to remove and a statement of the cause or causes thereof shall be delivered by registered mail to the last known address of the person sought to be removed.
Within five days of delivery of such notice the official may request a public hearing at which they may be represented by counsel, shall be entitled to present evidence, call witnesses and to question any witness appearing at the hearing.
Between one and ten days after the public hearing is adjourned, or if the official fails to request a public hearing, between six and fifteen days after delivery of the notice of the intent to remove, the appointing authority shall take final action either removing the official or notifying them that the notice is rescinded.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting a right to such written notice or hearing when a person who has been appointed for a fixed term is not reappointed when their original term expires.
The above provisions of this section shall also apply to the Town Manager.
Any person duly appointed to a position in the Town for an indefinite term of office may be removed or suspended from office at the discretion of the appointing authority subject to any employment agreement and/or the General Laws.