Town/City Official Charter Transition Memorandum

M E M O R A N D U M

To:
Board of Selectmen
Robert J. Halpin, Town Manager
Mary Ellen Kelly, Chief Financial Officer
Valerie Mulvey, Town Clerk
Heather Connolly, Chair, School Committee
George P. King, Jr., Chair, Bylaw Review Committee


From:
Christopher J. Petrini
Town Counsel
Christopher L. Brown
Petrini & Associates, P.C.


Date:
November 6, 2017


Re:
Town/City Official Charter Transition Post-Election Tasks

We are writing this memorandum to the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, and several other officials to provide an update regarding the major tasks assigned to Town officials, the Mayor-elect and the Council-elect regarding the transition following the November 7, 2017 general election to the City government that will take effect on January 1, 2018. Aside from the specific transition tasks that will be outlined below, the Board and Town Manager should continue to abide by the Charter’s limitation on Town actions during the transition period under Article X, Section 7(a) of the Home Rule Charter, limiting their actions “to those matters essential and necessary to the current operations of the municipality, such as the annual budget, taking no actions contrary to or that frustrates the purpose of the adoption of this charter by the voters.” During the post-election phase of the transition period, the Board and Town Manager should be in our opinion particularly conservative in designating matters that the Board and Town Manager considers essential and necessary to current municipal operations, particularly with regard to any matters of policy-making or actions of the Board which reasonably can be deferred until after the new City government takes office on January 1 st.

Here is a list of post-election transition tasks set forth in the Charter that need to be addressed in the next eight (8) weeks:

Task # Task Description Charter Cite Due Date Comments
1. Selectmen - Continue to maintain sufficient board and commission memberships to assure a quorum for conduct of business plus one member. Article X, Section 7(a) Transition period 4/5/17 - 12/31/17 until January 1, 2018 No other appointments between 11/7/17 - 12/31/17 "unless necessary for matters not admitting of delay".
2. Selectmen - Provide a list of vacancies on boards and commissions to Mayor-elect Article X, Section 7(a) After November election Recommend that this list be provided to the Mayor-elect no later than December 1, 2017.
3. Selectmen - fill any vacancies in (1) housing authority, (2) regional vocational school committee, (3) planning board or (4) city clerk by making interim appointments not to exceed 90 days beyond January 1, 2018 Article X, Section 7(b) Up to January 1, 2018  
4. Clerk - provide copy of vote ratifying charter and petitions for "An Act Requiring Candidates for Mayor or Council in Framingham to Adhere to and Report in Accordance With Section 19 of Chapter 55" and "An Act to Clarify and Restate the Applicability of the Civil Service Laws to Employee Positions in the City of Framingham" to state legislators representing Framingham. Article X, Section 7(p) and 7(q) No later than 30 days following date of adopotion of charter (May 4, 2017) If this has not been done yet it should be done as soon as possible.
5. Bylaw Review Committee - The Bylaw Review Committee should submit its report to the Mayor-elect of its review of Town Bylaws, with recommendations regarding revisions or amendments to Town Bylaws to bring them into conformity with and fully implement provisions of the Charter. Article X, Sections 7(h)(ii) and 7(r) "Forthwith" after November election No specific due date cited in Charter but we recommend that this be completed by December 1, 2017.
6. Clerk/Council Elect - Clerk shall serve as adviser to the Council-elect in scheduling and holding meetings for (1) electing officers, (2) adopting interim rules for conduct of Council business, and (3) commencing review of Mayor-elect's nominees to board of license commissioners. Article X, Section 7(h)(i) "Forthwith" after November election No specific due date cited in Charter but we recommend that this be completed by December 1, 2017.
7. Selectmen/City Solicitor/Mayor-elect - keep Mayor-elect informed of recommendations of Bylaw Review Committee (in particular recommended highest priority revisions). Article X, Section 7(h)(ii) "Forthwith" after November election No specific due date cited in Charter but we recommend that this be completed by December 1, 2017.
8. Selectmen/School Committee/Mayor-elect - meet "regularly" with Mayor-elect Article X, Section 7(h)(ii) "Forthwith" after November election We recommend that the Mayor-elect be invited to attend the next open session of the Board of Selectmen on November 14, 2017 and the next regular meeting of the School Committee.
9. Municipal officials/agencies/employees/Mayor-elect - Meet with Mayor-elect upon request during regular business hours so that the Mayor-elect may acquire any advance knowledge and information necessary to assume full powers of Mayor on January 1, 2018. Article X, Section 7(h)(ii) "Forthwith" after November election Ongoing, but meetings should begin to occur on November 8, 2017 or thereafter.
10. Town (Facilities/Town Manager)  - provide suitable offices and access to clerical services and office equipment to Mayor elect and Council-elect to allow them to undertake their transitional assignments. Article X, Section 7(h)(iii) "Forthwith" after November election  
11. Selectmen - Keep Mayor-elect's nominees for board of license commissioners apprised of BOS's activities in the year-end renewal of licenses to acquaint board nominees with these procedures. Article X, Section 7(o) After Mayor-elect names nominees to Board of License Commissioners following November election BOS should invite Board of License Commissioners to BOS meeting where license renewal applications are considered and voted per Article X, Section 7(o)
12. Mayor - Negotiate amendment to existing regional school agreement with other member communities to allow the Mayor to appoint the Framingham members and submit amendment to Council. Article X, Section 7(b) None specified  
13. Councilors-elect - Meet for sole purposes of (1) electing officers, (2) adopting interim rules for conduct of council business, and (3) comence review of Mayor-elect's nominees to board of license commissioners. Meetings are called for by the Councilor-elect most senior in age. Article X, Section 7 (h)(i) Forthwith after November election Town Counsel will look for examples of interim rules of conduct governing Council business and provide such draft rules to Council for consideration.
14. Council - Adopt permanent rules for conduct of business of Council. Article X, Section 7 (h)(i) Within 6 months of assumption of office (June 30, 2018)  
15. Mayor - Appoint Board of License Commissioners Article X, Section 7(i) Within 15 days of assumption of office or by January 16, 2018 Nomination by Mayor-elect and review by Council-elect may occur prior to assumption of office as per Article X, Section 7(h)(i).
16. Mayor - Appoint Traffic Commission Article X, Section 7 (j) Within 60 days of assumption of office or by March 1, 2018  
17. Mayor/Board of License Commissioners - Meet; assume authority under G.L. c. 138 and c. 140 upon being administered oath of office, and any other authority delegated to it by ordinance on 30th day following assumption to office of Mayor (Mayor shall exercise authority to the extent necessary until board is duly constituted). Article X, Section 7 (o) Meeting "[a]s soon as practicable" after election but no later than 15 days for Mayor and Council take office. Nomination by Mayor-elect and review by Council-elect may occur prior to assumption of office.
18. Mayor/Mayoral Bylaw Review Committee/City Solicitor/Special Counsel - after election, Mayor shall appoint a 7-member-committee, including at least tow of the 2016 Charter Commission. Once Mayoral Bylaw Review Committee ("Mayoral BRC") Committee is appointed by the Mayor, the pre-City Bylaw Review Committee is terminated. Mayoral BRC to submit a report within one year following its creation. Review under supervision of city solicitor or special counsel. Article X, Section 7(r) Upon Mayor's Assumption of office  
19. Division Heads - may "promulgate rules and regulations providing details of the organization of their division as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the departments within each division's jurisdiction." Article X, Section 7(s) Pending adoption of an ordinance by the Council providing detail  
20. Division Heads - The provision of Article V reorganizing various departments or divisions shall take effect upon appointments by the Mayor of the first person to serve as head of such division per Article X, Section 7(s) Article X, Section 7(s)    
21. Council - create committee chaired by City Clerk to create and oversee a community-wide process to design a new seal or adapt the current seal for the City of Framingham by 2020. Article X, Section 7(w) None specified (aside from 2020 date for process for new/adapted seal to be completed)  
22. Mayor/Council - investigate feasibility and efficacy of actions recommended in the Charter. Article X, Section 8 Upon taking office  
23. Traffic Commission - examine potential to establish a Traffic and Transportation Department, holding at least 2 public hearings and presenting its findings and recommendations to Mayor and Council Article X, Section 10 Within tow years of the Commission's establishment