City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
188396
Approved as Amended.
Mar 10, 2011 7:00 PM

15 Requesting Approval of a Home Rule Petition to Amend the City Charter to Bring it into Conformity with Current State Law and Streamline Enactment of Administrative Matters.

Information

Department:Clerk of CommitteesSponsors:
Category:Mayor's CommunicationFunctions:Communication

Attachments

  1. SKMBT_50010121004390
  2. HRP Charter revisions FINAL 3 9 11 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. Charter strikethrough version FINAL 3 9 11 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  4. Revisions to City Charter HRP Approved 3-10-2011

Body

Requesting approval of a Home Rule Petition to amend the City Charter to bring it into conformity with current state law and streamline enactment of administrative matters.

Meeting History

Jun 3, 2010 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

The committee discussed ward boundaries and who should be responsible for setting them. In the past, the city has accepted the recommendation of the Election Commission. It was suggested that the City Solicitor consult with the Election Commissioner and the State Legislature to determine if there is any applicable state law relevant to the issue. Alderman Gewirtz expressed her desire to not take the power away from the Board of Aldermen, since commissions are appointed by the mayor and thus, could be too political.

The members discussed the proposed changes in Section 11 and Solicitor Wright discussed increases in Aldermen’s salaries, the deletion of Section 14 (which deals with a city messenger) and the difference between having something in the charter as opposed to the administrative code. Alderman White stated his preference that items have a 2/3 vote for passage and his objection to having anything pass automatically if not acted on in a specified period of time.

Alderman White’s motion that the Director of Constituent Services (311) be included in the Administrative Code, was approved.

Alderman White’s motion to adopt Section 22, as submitted, was approved.

Solicitor Wright explained the reasoning for deleting Section 23 and members of the committee expressed disagreement, believing that there should be an appeals process. Alderman Gewirtz would like a point of view provided from someone other than the solicitor (but from the Mayor's office). Alderman White pointed out that the Charter Commission did not recommend removing Section 23. The committee asked what department heads were not appointed and also that a definition of “department head” be provided.

Chairman Taylor made a motion not to remove Section 23 from the City Charter.

Alderman White’s motion that Section 23 be left in the City Charter and renamed to "Suspension and Removal of Officers confirmed by the Board of Aldermen pursuant to Section 21”, was approved.

Mayor Curtatone advised the committee that there are new positions in the city that are department heads but are not officers.

Solicitor Wright and Mayor Curtatone explained the language in the proposed Section 27, dealing with the mayor’s inability to perform the duties of the office, and suggested that the Board of Aldermen review this matter and decide how it would like to handle it. There was some discussion about strengthening the language to ensure that it deals with situations where the Mayor is unable to serve and Solicitor Wright informed the members that he would draft some new language for this section.

Alderman White’s motion that Section 28 be amended to make it clear that the School Committee shall act in accordance with state law, was approved.

Alderman White made a motion to add the words “by the Board of Aldermen” at the end of Section 31.

The committee adopted Sections 29, 30, 32, 33 and 34 as submitted. Section 35 was removed from the document (and the new document will be renumbered). Section 36 (b) was adopted.

Alderman White made a motion to add the words “by law” at the end of Section 36 (c).

Solicitor Wright will review Section 36 (g).

Sep 28, 2010 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

The members reviewed the City Charter, suggesting various changes and/or deletions, and asked Mr. Wright to research some specific areas to provide clarification. The Law Department will prepare a draft revision of the Charter for the Committee's further review.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Jan 25, 2011 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

See Item 190570, below.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Feb 8, 2011 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

The committee reviewed the most recent changes and made additional changes to sections 22, 26 and 43B. A revised version encompassing all changes will be presented with this report at the February 10th BOA meeting.

RESULT:APPROVED AS AMENDED
Feb 10, 2011 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:LAID ON THE TABLENext: 2/24/2011 7:00 PM
Feb 24, 2011 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:LAID ON THE TABLENext: 3/10/2011 7:00 PM
Mar 10, 2011 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting

AMENDED:

1. In Title 2 Section 7, the phrase "from amongst its members" is inserted between the words "aldermen" and "by" in the second sentence.

2. In Title 4 Section 27, the phrase ", and then only in case of exigency requiring an immediate appointment or removal, make any permanent appointment or removal" is added at the end of the third sentence.

RESULT:APPROVED AS AMENDED. [UNANIMOUS]
AYES:John M. Connolly, Bruce M. Desmond, Dennis M. Sullivan, William A. White Jr., William M. Roche, Maryann M. Heuston, Thomas F. Taylor, Walter F. Pero, Sean T. O’Donovan, Rebekah L. Gewirtz
ABSENT:Robert C. Trane