NORWOOD VOTERS TO MEET OCT 6
Will Act on Proposed Change in Government. —
Appointment of Town Manager by the Selectmen Important Feature.
NORWOOD, Sept 26—The voters of the town of Norwood are far more interested In the proposed change in the method of conducting town government, as as it is more commonly known, the s new town charter, on which they are to vote Oct 6, than in the State election.
It is comprised in House bill No. 1707, passed by the Massachusetts Legislature at the last session, and its title is “An act to change the time of holding the annual meeting of the town of Norwood,” to enlarge the power and duties of the Selectmen, to abolish certain offices and relative to the administration of town affairs.’’
It is commonly known as ’’the new town charter.’’ although it is not a new charter in the meaning of the words.
However, the changes in the method of conducting town government, while they do not take away the powers of the old-fashioned town meeting, are very decided, the first change being to alter the time of the annual meeting of the town from the first Monday in March for the third Monday in January, beginning with 1915.
The number of Selectmen is changed from three to five. At the first annual meeting two would be elected for three years, two for two years and one for one year, and at each annual meeting thereafter the election to fill the places of those whose terms are about to expire would be for three years. The Selectmen would continue to set as overseers of the poor and surveyor of highways.
These five Selectmen would have transferred to them, upon their election. all the powers, rights, duties, and liabilities of the prevent Boards of Water Commissioners, Sewer Commissioners, Park Commissioners, a Municipal Light Board and Tree Warden, and the above-named offices would be abolished. The office of town treasurer and collector of taxes would be combined and it would be an elective office.
One of the duties of the Selectmen would be to appoint a board of three assessors, one for one year, one for two and one for three years, and when one’s time expires his successor Is to be appointed for three years. The appointments are subject to the approval of the Tax Commissioner of the Commonwealth. The existing elective offices of town clerk and town accountant would be abolished, and the Selectmen would be empowered to appoint one person to serve as town clerk and accountant. The Selectmen would also appoint an unpaid board of charities to consist of three persons who would exercise the powers of overseers of the poor under the direction of the Selectmen.
Perhaps the most important change is in the appointment of a general manager of the town by the Selectmen, which is provided for in the act. This town manager would be the administrative head of all the departments of the town government, the conduct of which is placed on the Selectmen, except as provided for In the act.’ Under this act the town manager can organize or discontinue departments, appoint or discharge chiefs or superintendents and employees In departments under his supervision, and fix their salaries. He is to attend all regular meetings of the Selectmen and consult with them in regard to town affairs.
The manager may be removed by the Selectmen on five days’ notice, but he shall be allowed a hearing if desired.
There would be elected by the people a Finance Commission of three members.
The recall is provided for. Any voter may file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the official whom he wishes removed and the grounds for his removal. He must then secure the signatures of 200 qualified voters to a petition for the official’s removal. After this petition is submitted to the town clerk he shall certify it and file it with the Selectmen, who shall give notice to the official of such certificate and if he does not resign within five days, they shall order an election to be held within 25 or 35 days after the petition is filed with the town clerk. The official whose removal is sought can be a candidate to succeed himself.
Many of those who favor the acceptance of the act by the town organized some time ago, electing Town Counsel Halloran as chairman and John J. Coakley clerk.