Plan E-Government by a City Council, including a Mayor elected from its number, and a City Manager, with all elective bodies elected at large by Proportional Representation.
(The electorate of Lowell on Nov.5, 1957 voted to eliminate Proportional Representation voting and instead hold primaries and elections under the majority form of voting.)
Section 93. The method of city government provided for in the following twenty-three sections shall be known as Plan E. Upon the adoption by a city of Plan E, it shall become operative as provided in sections one to forty-five, inclusive, except as otherwise provided by the following sections.
Section 94. The terms “city clerk” and “registrars of voters” when used in sections ninety-three to one hundred and sixteen, inclusive, shall have the respective meanings given them by section one of chapter fifty.
Section 95. The government of the city and the general management and control of all its affairs shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, be vested in a city council, which shall exercise its powers in the manner hereinafter set forth, but subject to sections one to forty-five, inclusive, insofar as not inconsistent; except that the city manager shall have the authority hereinafter specified, that the general management and conduct of the public schools of the city and of the property pertaining thereto shall be vested in the school committee, and that the city clerk, the city auditor, any official of the city appointed by the governor and any trustees or other officers whose election by the voters of the city is required by reason of the fact that the city has accepted any gift, devise or bequest shall have the powers and duties which may be conferred and imposed upon them by law.
Section 96. The city council shall consist of seven or nine members, as provided in this section, all of whom shall, at each regular municipal election, be elected at large for terms of two years each by proportional representation as hereinafter provided and shall serve until their successors are qualified. The city council in any city having seven wards or less at the time of adoption of this plan shall be composed of seven members and the city council in any city having more than seven wards at the time of adoption thereof, nine members. Section eight of chapter thirty-nine shall apply to members of the city council. All trustees or other officers mentioned in section ninety-five shall at each regular municipal election be elected at large for terms of two years each by proportional representation as hereinafter provided.
Section 97. The city council shall have and exercise all the legislative powers of the city, except as such powers are reserved by this chapter to the school committee and to the qualified voters of the city.
The city council, elected as aforesaid, shall meet at ten o’clock in the forenoon of the first Monday of January following the regular municipal election, and the members of the city council shall severally make oath, before the city clerk or a justice of the peace, to perform faithfully the duties of their respective offices, except that any member-elect not present shall so make oath at the first regular meeting of the city council thereafter which he attends. For the purposes of organization, the city clerk shall be temporary chairman until the mayor or vice-chairman has qualified. Thereupon the city council shall, by a majority vote of all the members elected, elect a mayor and a vice-chairman from its own members and the persons elected as such shall likewise make oath to perform faithfully the duties of the respective offices to which they are so elected, and they may so make oath at the same meeting at which they are so elected. The organization of the city council shall take place as aforesaid, notwithstanding the absence, death, refusal to serve or non-election of one or more of the members; provided, that a majority of all the members elected to the city council are present and have qualified. If the office of mayor or vice-chairman becomes vacant, the city council shall in like manner elect one of its members to fill such office for the unexpired term; provided, that no such vacancy shall be filled so long as there is any vacancy in the council.
Section 98. The city council shall fix suitable times for its regular meetings. The mayor, or the vice-chairman of the city council, or any four members thereof, or any three members thereof in the case of a city council composed of seven members, may at any time call a special meeting by causing written notices, stating the time of holding such meeting and signed by the person or persons calling the same, to be delivered in hand to each member of the city council, or left at his usual dwelling place, at least twelve hours before the time of such meeting. Meetings of the city council may also be held at any time when all the members of the city council are present and consent thereto. Except in the cases of executive sessions authorized by section twenty-three A of chapter thirty-nine, all meetings of the city council shall be open to the press and to the public, and the rules of the city council shall provide that citizens and employees of the city shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any such meeting in regard to any matter considered thereat.
Section 99. A majority of all the members elected to the city council shall constitute a quorum. The mayor, if present, shall preside at the meetings and may vote. In the absence of the mayor, the vice-chairman of the city council shall preside and, in the absence of both, a temporary chairman shall be chosen, who shall serve during the absence of both the mayor and the vice-chairman. The city clerk shall be, ex-officio, clerk of the city council, and shall keep records of its proceedings; but, in case of his absence or disability or of a vacancy in the office, the city council shall elect a temporary clerk, who shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duties and shall act as clerk of the city council until the city clerk resumes his duties or a new city clerk is qualified. All final votes of the city council on questions involving the expenditure of fifty dollars or more, or upon the request of any member any vote of the city council, shall be by yeas and nays and shall be entered on the records. The affirmative vote of a majority of all the members elected to the city council shall be necessary for the passage of any order, ordinance, resolution or vote, except that the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present shall be sufficient to adjourn any meeting of the city council.
Section 100. The mayor shall be recognized as the official head of the city for all ceremonial purposes and shall be recognized by the courts for the purpose of serving civil process and by the governor for military purposes. In time of public danger or emergency, as determined by the city council, he may, with its consent, take command of the police, maintain order and enforce the laws; and he shall have all the authority and powers conferred upon mayors by sections eighteen and nineteen of chapter thirty-three. He shall be chairman of the city council and chairman of the school committee. He shall have no power to veto but shall have the same powers as any other member of either such body to vote upon all measures coming before it. He shall perform such other duties consistent with his office and with sections ninety-three to one hundred and sixteen, inclusive, as may be imposed upon him by the city council. During the absence or disability of the mayor, or during the time such office is vacant, his duties shall be performed by the vice-chairman. In case, at any time, there shall be neither a mayor nor a vice-chairman, the member of the council senior in length of service, or, if more than one have so served, then the member senior both in age and length of service shall perform the duties of mayor until a new mayor has qualified. The mayor shall have no power of appointment, except of the employees mentioned in section twenty-five and except as provided in section one hundred and two.
Section 101. Repealed, 1952, 259, Sec. 3. Chapter 43, Section 17A provides: 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, except that a member of a city or town council in a municipality with a city or town council form of government may receive a salary for serving as a municipal employee of said municipality in lieu of receiving compensation for serving as a member of said council. 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.
Section 102. Except as provided in this section, a vacancy in any elective body shall be filled in the manner provided in section thirteen of chapter fifty-four A. If, under said section, no regularly nominated candidate of the city council or school committee remains, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the remaining members, except that if the remaining members fail to fill such vacancy within thirty days after they shall have been notified by the city clerk that such vacancy exists, such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of any qualified voter of the city by the mayor, or, if there is no mayor, by the vice-chairman, or if there is no mayor or vice-chairman, by the member of the council or of the school committee, as the case may be, senior in length of service, or, if more than one have so served, then the member senior both in age and length of service.
Section 103. The city council shall appoint a city manager who shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his duties and who shall be the chief administrative officer of the city and shall be responsible for the administration of all departments, commissions, boards and officers of the city, whether established before its adoption of this plan or thereafter, except that of the city clerk, city auditor, any official appointed by the governor or any body elected by the voters of the city. He shall be appointed on the basis of his administrative and executive qualifications only, and need not be a resident of the city or commonwealth when appointed. He shall hold office during the pleasure of the city council and shall receive such compensation as it shall fix by ordinance. No member of the city council shall during his term of office be chosen as city manager, and no person who has within two years been elected to or served in any elective office in the city or in the county in which the city is located shall be chosen as city manager.
Before the city manager may be removed, if he so demand, he shall be given a written statement of the reasons alleged for his removal and shall have the right to be heard publicly thereon at a meeting of the city council prior to the final vote on the question of his removal, but pending and during such hearing the city council may suspend him from office. The action of the city council in suspending or removing the city manager shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal in the city council. In case of the absence, disability or suspension of the city manager, the city council shall designate the head of some department to perform the duties of city manager during such absence, disability or suspension, and, in case the office of city manager becomes vacant, the city council shall designate the head of some department to serve as acting city manager until a new city manager is appointed.
Section 104. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, it shall be the duty of the city manager to act as chief conservator of the peace within the city; to supervise the administration of the affairs of the city; to see that within the city the laws of the commonwealth and the ordinances, resolutions and regulations of the city council are faithfully executed; and to make such recommendations to the city council concerning the affairs of the city as may to him seem desirable; to make reports to the city council from time to time upon the affairs of the city; and to keep the city council fully advised of the city’s financial condition and its future needs. He shall prepare and submit to the city council budgets as required of the mayor by section thirty-two of chapter forty-four and, in connection therewith, may, to the extent provided by said section thirty-two in the case of a mayor, require the submission to him, by all departments, commissions, boards and offices of the city, of estimates of the amounts necessary for their expenses. He shall make all appointments and removals in the departments, commissions, boards and offices of the city for whose administration he is responsible, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this chapter or be required of him by ordinance or resolution of the city council. The city manager shall have and possess, and shall exercise, all the powers, rights and duties, other than legislative, had, possessed or exercised, immediately prior to the adoption of this plan, by the mayor, board of aldermen, common council and all other boards, commissions and committees of the city and their members, severally or collectively, except such as are by this chapter conferred upon the school committee or are otherwise provided for thereby.
Section 105. Such officers and employees as the city council, with the advice of the city manager, shall determine are necessary for the proper administration of the departments, commissions, boards and offices of the city for whose administration the city manager is responsible shall be appointed, and may be removed, by the city manager. The city manager shall report every appointment and removal made by him to the city council at the next meeting thereof following such appointment or removal. The city manager may authorize the head of a department, commission or board, or the holder of an office, for whose administration he is responsible, to appoint and remove subordinates in such department, commission, board or office. All appointments by, or under the authority of, the city manager, if subject to chapter thirty-one and the rules and regulations made under authority thereof, shall be made in accordance therewith, and all other appointments as aforesaid shall be on the basis of executive and administrative ability and training and experience in the work to be performed.
Section 106. Officers and employees of the city appointed by, or under the authority of, the city manager shall perform the duties required of them by the city manager, under general regulations of the city council. Any violation of this section shall constitute sufficient grounds for removal of any such officer or employee.
Section 107. Neither the city council nor any of its committees or members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the city manager or any of his subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in that portion of the service of said city for whose administration the city manager is responsible. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the city council and its members shall deal with that portion of the service of the city as aforesaid solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager either publicly or privately. Any member of the city council who violates, or participates in the violation of, any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, and upon final conviction thereof his office in the city council shall thereby be vacated and he shall never again be eligible for any office or position, elective or otherwise, in the service of the city.
Section 108. No employee of any department, board or commission of the city shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or receive, or in any manner be concerned in soliciting or receiving any assessment, subscription or contribution for any political party, for any candidate for city office or for any political committee organized on behalf of such candidate. This section shall not prevent such persons from being members of political organizations or committees. The soliciting or receiving of any gift, payment, contribution, assessment, subscription or promise of money or other thing of value by a non-elected political committee organized to promote the candidacy for city office of an employee of any department, board or commission of the city shall not be deemed to be a direct or indirect solicitation or receipt of such contribution by such person, provided, however, that no such gift, payment, contribution, assessment, subscription or promise of money or other thing of value may be solicited or received on behalf of such a person from any person or combination of persons if such person so employed knows or has reason to know that the person or combination of persons has an interest in any particular matter in which the person so employed participates or has participated in the course of such employment or which is the subject of his official responsibility. A person who violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, and upon final conviction thereof the office or position in the service of the city held by such person shall be vacated and such person shall not be eligible for an office or position, elective or otherwise, in the service of the city.