II Form of Government
IIl Relations Between Legislative and Executive Branches
IV Departments in General
V Advisory Boards in General
VI General Terms and Conditions
VIII Appendix I – Budget Policies
Adopted by vote of the County Commissioners on August 9, 2000.
Amended by vote of the County Commissioners on December 11, 2002.
Amended by vote of the County Commissioners on September 10, 2008.
Amended by vote of the County Commissioners on December 8, 2010.
Amended by vote of the County Commissioners on November 16, 2011.
Section I. Intent
By this resolution, the County Commissioners intend to exercise to the fullest extent possible all organizational, legislative and administrative benefits available to resi-dents of Dukes County pursuant to provisions of The Dukes County Home Rule Charter (DCHRC).
The code herein set forth has the broad purpose of providing for the legislation structure and administration of Dukes County government. It is the intention and purpose of this code to provide a reasonable, practical and cost-effective plan of organization, which allows for effective delivery of County services and accountability of all County agencies. No provision of this code shall be interpreted to compromise the confidentiality required of any County agency or department in carrying out its functions.
The County Commissioners and the County Manager shall:
- Maintain a strong working and positive relationship with the Town Governments, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and regional organizations to create a forum for addressing issues of multi-town and regional concern;
- Consider income generating opportunities including fee-based services; aggressive pursuit of Federal, State and private grants, fees for use of County properties, the sale or leasing of County assets, participate in regional power and other utility initiatives as well as other innovative and creative ways for raising revenue.
Section II. Form of Government
The form of government provided shall be known as the “County Manager Plan” as detailed in Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) Chapter 34A Section 18. The County shall be governed by the legislative powers vested in an elected board of Commissioners and executive powers vested in an appointed County Manager and by such other officers and employees as may be duly appointed pursuant to M.G.L. or County laws.
1. The Legislative Body of the County of Dukes County shall be known as the Commission and shall consist of seven (7) Commissioners elected for non-concurrent terms of four years and elected at large, With the proviso that no more than two members may be elected and serve from any one town Powers and duties of the Dukes County Commissioners are set forth in M.G.L. adopted by title by The Dukes County Home Rule Charter (DCHRC),
2. Authorities and Responsibility of the Commission: The Commission
(a) shall appoint a County Manager under the provisions of the Massachusetts General Law and the Charter and they may create the office of Deputy Manager;
The county manager may be present at all board meetings and participate in all deliberations, without the right to vote.
(b) shall appoint a Clerk to the Commission who shall serve at its pleasure and keep the records and minutes of the Commission and whose term shall not exceed three years provided that an ordinance providing for the adoption of any such term shall not be enacted between October first of any year and January first of the succeeding year;
(c) shall appoint a County counsel, who shall head the county’s legal department, and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission not to exceed three years provided that an ordinance providing for the adoption of any such term shall not be enacted between October first of any year and January first of the succeeding year. An administrative code may also establish a term, not to exceed three years, for the posi-tion of assistant county counsel,
(f) shall approve the annual operating and capital budgets; prior to pre-senting them for advisory board appropriation; and
(g) shall select, at its organizational meeting each January, one of its members to serve as chair and one to serve as vice-chair for the year. The chair shall preside over Commission meetings except in his or her ab-sence the vice-chair shall preside.
(h) shall pass, in accordance with this chapter, whatever ordinances and resolutions it deems necessary and proper for the good governance of the County.
3. The legislative power of the county shall be vested in the board of commissioners. Such legislative power shall be exercised by ordinance, except for the exercise of the following powers, which are required to be, or are permitted to be, exercised by resolution:
The establishment of a municipal advisory council;
The conduct of an inquiry or investigation;
The expression of disapproval of the suspension or dismissal of officers or employees;
The adoption of rules for the board;
The establishment of times and places for board meetings; which shall be held in different towns from time to time during the year;
The establishment of the board as a committee of the whole and the delegation of any number of its members as an ad hoc committee.
The declaration of emergencies;
The identification of emergency situations;
The establishment of county personnel policies;
The election, appointment and removal of such officers and employees as the board is permitted by law;
Designation of newspapers; for required advertisements and notices.
Approval of contracts presented by the county manager
Actions specified as resolutions; and
The expression of such board policies or opinions as require no formal board action.
4. Ordinances Required, When: In addition to such other acts as required by general laws the following acts of the Commissioners are required to be by ordinance and shall be introduced with the enacting clause “The Commissioners of the County of Dukes County hereby ordain:”
(h) To adopt, alter or abandon any ordinances, with or without amendment, proposed by any initiative or referendum as provided in this document.
5. Ordinance Process
1) Such emergency ordinances shall be submitted in the same manner as other proposed ordinances, but, every emergency measure shall be plainly designated as such and shall contain a preamble, which shall be separately voted upon, which declares that an emergency exists and which describes the emergency in clear and specific terms.
2) Such ordinance shall only be passed by a two-thirds vote of the Commissioners and shall stand repealed on the ninety-first day following its passage.
6. Resolutions: The Commissioners shall exercise their power by ordinance except for the exercise of the following powers which shall be exercised by resolution and shall contain the enacting clause “Therefore be it Resolved by the Commissioners of the County of Dukes County”. Resolutions may be passed for:
(g) T he declaration of emergencies;
(h) The establishment and modification of county personnel policies;
(i) The election, appointment and removal of such officers and employees as the Commission are permitted by law;
(j) Designation of newspapers for required advertisements and notices;
(k) Approval of contracts presented by the County Manager;
(l) Actions specified as resolutions; and
(m) The expression of such Commission opinions that require more formal Commission action.
7. Commission Meeting Protocol:
(a) The Chair of the Commissioners shall conduct the meeting and shall insure such meetings are held in accordance with the Commonwealth’s open meetings law.
(e) Meetings of the Commissioners are dedicated solely to the official business of the legislative branch of the Home Rule Charter government of the County of Dukes County. Citizens of the County are urged to attend all Commission meetings. Public comments about any item on the meeting agenda are not required but the Chair may, upon majority vote by the Commissioners and with due consideration to meeting time constraints, establish a period of the meeting which may be devoted to public comment.
(a) Commissioners are expected to attend each meeting of the Commission fully prepared to vote on all items on any agenda matter which properly is the business of the Commissioners and lawfully may come before them.
B. County Manager
1. The County Manager shall be qualified by administrative and executive experience and ability to serve as the chief executive of the county. The County Manager shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Commissioners and shall serve at the pleasure of the Commissioners. The County Manager may be removed by a majority vote of the Commission subject to due notice and public hearing. Such notice shall be in writing and shall be ac-companied by a written bill of particular charges and complaints. The public hearing on these charges shall be held no less than fifteen nor more than thirty days after personal service of notice and charges. At the time of the County Manager’s appointment the manager need not be a resident of the county but must reside within the County after the manager’s’ initial probationary period.
2. The position of the County Manager may be a full or part-time position. The salary of the County Manager shall be fixed by the commissioners; shall be reasonable and shall reflect whether the position is full or part-time. The salary of the County Manager may not be lowered during his tenure in office unless the work hours are reduced.
3. The office of the County Manager shall be deemed vacant if: the incumbent moves his residence from the county without Board permission; or he is by physical or mental illness or other casualty unable to continue to serve as County Manager. Any vacancy in the office of County Manager shall be filled in the manner prescribed by Clause 1 of Subsection B of this section. The Commissioners may appoint the deputy manager or any department head to serve as Acting County Manager until a successor has been appointed. During the temporary absence or temporary disability of the County Manager the deputy manager or a department head designated by the manager if there be no deputy manager, shall serve as Acting County Manager.
4. The executive power of the County of Dukes County shall be exercised by the County Manager. The County Manager shall:
(a) Report annually to the Commissioners, the advisory board on county expenditures, and to the people, on the state of the county, the work of the previous year, and he shall also recommend to the Commission whatever action or programs he deems necessary for the improvement of the county and welfare of its residents. He may from time to time at his discretion recommend any course of action or programs he deems necessary or desirable for the county to undertake;
(f) Sign all contracts, bonds or other instruments requiring the consent of the County
(g) Organize the work of county departments subject to the administrative code adopted by the Commission. He shall further review their administration and operation and make recommendations pertaining thereto to the Commissioners.
(h) Review, analyze and forecast trends of county services and finances and programs of all boards, commissions, agencies and other County bodies, and report and recommend thereon to the Commission;
(i) Develop, install and maintain centralized budgeting, personnel and purchasing procedures as may be authorized.
(j) Negotiate contracts for the County subject to Commission’s and where appropriate, advisory board approval and make recommendations concerning the nature and a location of County improvements and execute improvements determined by the Commissioners,
(k) Assure that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the County or its inhabitants in any statute, franchise or other contract, are faithfully kept and performed
(l) Serve, as ex-officio, nonvoting member of all appointive bodies in County government.
5. The County Manager:
(a) Shall supervise, direct and control all County administrative departments;
(b) Shall appoint the Deputy Manager, if that position is created by the Commission, the heads of all County departments and divisions created within such departments, and all other administrative officers and County personnel the manner of whose appointment is not prescribed elsewhere in this section;
(e) May require and examine the accounts, records and operation of any agency of County government; and
6. Deputy Manager.
Section III Relations between the Legislative and Executive Branches.
B. The Commissioners further may, by majority vote of the whole number of its members, delegate any number of its members as an ad hoc committee to consult with the County Manager to study any matter and to report to the Commission thereon. It is the intent of this section to confer on the Commission general legisla-tive and such investigative powers as are germane to the exercise of its legislative powers, but to retain in the head of the executive branch full control over the County administration and over the administration of county services provided for in this section
The board further may, by majority vote of the whole number of its members, delegate any number of its members as an ad hoc committee to consult with the head of the executive branch to study any matter and to report to the board thereon.
It is the intent of this chapter to confer on the board general legislative and such investigative powers as are germane to the exercise of its legislative powers, but to retain in the head of the executive branch full control over the county administration and over the administration of county services provided for in this chapter.
Appointments and dismissal; suspension procedure:
Section IV. County Departments in General
Departments and Responsibilities.
There have been created the following de-partments and responsibilities.
Administration: Shall include all activities pertinent to the activities of the County Manager as set forth in DCHRC Section ll,B and to promote regional service delivery opportunities in the County. It shall be responsible for preparing the annual budget. Any administrative responsibility or function not assigned by law or this administrative code to a department or office, unless otherwise provided by the DCHRC, shall be assumed by the County Manager or the manager’s designee.
Department of County Airport:
(b) Business Park - shall be responsible for supervi-sion and operation of the property known as the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Busi-ness Park as well as the property on the County Airport that is used as non-aviation commercial property.
(c) Department of Wastewater Treatment: The Department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the County wastewater treatment facility. Additionally, the Department must provide test results to pertinent Commonwealth agencies and maintain all local, state and federal records as required. The Department shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to such departments by the general laws of the commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this administrative code.
3. Office of Clerk to the Commission: Shall serve as the chief records keeper for the County, shall coordinate the sending of all notices and other correspondence from the County to the several within the County and shall receive all notices and other official correspondence from such municipalities directed to the County, shall coordinate and supervise all election-related matters affecting the County with the municipal clerks, boards of registrars of voters, election commissions and other local officers performing similar duties. The County Clerk shall have such other powers and duties as may be provided by County ordinance or this administrative code.
4. Department of Emergency Management: Shall serve as the Department responsible for county planning as it relates to response to natural disasters. The Department shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to such de-partments by the general laws of the Commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this administrative code.
5. Department of County Engineering: Shall serve as an engineering and construction resource for professional engineering needs in County Departments, Towns, special dis-tricts and other
organizations on the island. The engineer shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to professional engineers by the general laws of the Commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this administrative code.
6. Department of Human Resources/Personnel: Shall be responsible for the design, planning
implementation and maintenance of all local, County, Commonwealth and Federal rules and
regulations pertaining to the hiring, training, and reporting of personnel in the County government. The Department shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to human resource departments by the general laws of The Commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this admin-istrative code.
Department of Legal Services: County Counsel shall perform such duties as may be required and directed by the Commissioners to meet the general legal service needs of the County including the prosecution, defense or compromise of claims, actions and proceedings by direction of the Commissioners and shall gener-ally advise the Commissioners, departments and agencies of the County and have such powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by general laws or the DCHRC.
Department of Health & Human Services: The Department shall facilitate and manage locally funded public health needs and programs provided the residents of the County, seek public and private funding for public health & human services provision, generate and disseminate public health & human services educational information, collect and provide health & human services data as may be needed, and serve as coordinator to the Dukes County Health and Human Services Advisory Council.
Office of the County Sheriff: There shall be a County Sheriff elected as provided by law and The County Sheriff shall have the general care and superintendency of all jails, communication centers, and process service maintained by the County. The County Sheriff shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to county sheriffs by the general laws of the commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this administrative code.
Department of Environment: The Department shall have the responsibility for superintendence of County owned beaches and recreational property and flora and fauna thereon. Further, it shall be responsible for testing the public and pri-vate water sources of the County, any and all environmental and recreational responsibilities as may be provided the County residents, and monitoring the legal issues pertinent to endangered species and beach environment. The Department shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to such departments by the general laws of the Commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this administrative code.
Office of the County Register of Deeds: There shall be a Register of Deeds elected as provided by law. The Department shall have general charge and superintendence of the County Registry of Deeds and all of the books, records, deeds, and other papers belonging thereto and shall be responsible for the management and exercise of all the powers, duties and responsibilities assigned to registers of deeds by the M.G.L. including chapters thirty six and one hundred and eighty-five thereof. The Department shall also have responsibil-ity for collecting deeds excise taxes in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 64D and specific laws of the DCHRC. The department shall have such additional responsibilities as may be provided by general laws of the Com-monwealth, County ordinance or this document.
Office of County Treasurer: There shall be a County Treasurer elected as provided by law and shall exercise all the powers and duties given to County Treasurers by MGL Chapter 35.
This office shall be responsible for maintaining all accounting, financial and budgetary records of the County to include but not be limited to management of payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledger, investment and borrowing of funds, management of cash, and preparation of reports on the County’s financial status. The County Treasurer shall supervise and serve as the department head for the office of the Martha’s Vineyard Parking Clerk.
13. Department of Veterans Affairs: The Department provides for the provision of Federal Veter-ans Administration and general laws governing the financial support of local veterans. The Department shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to such departments by the general laws of the Commonwealth and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as may be provided by County ordinance or this Administrative Code.
14. Department of Pest Control: The Department provides for pest control service and education
on a regional level and oversees integrative pest control management in school, towns, and
County buildings and surroundings.
Responsibilities of Department Heads and Office Supervisors:
Each County De-partment Head or Supervisor of an office is subject to the administrative and su-pervisory direction of the County Manager in accordance with the general laws of the Commonwealth, this document and the Dukes County Home Rule Charter. It is recognized that certain Department Heads, both elected and ap-pointed, have statutory authority and responsibilities apart from or in addition to those, which derive from the Dukes County Home Rule Charter, Nothing in this code shall reduce their responsibility and authority under those statutes. De-partment Heads and office supervisors shall:
1. Organize the operations and the work of their respective departments or of-fices;
2. Direct, supervise and coordinate the work of the department or office in order to meet the mission of the department or office;
Plan and implement the most efficient and effective use of personnel and activities in order to meet County goals and provide services to the residents of the county;
Coordinate work activities, assignments and projects with other County de-partments and offices in order to maximize resources and services and minimize taxes or fees;
Insure that policies of the department or office are consistent with those of the County, Commonwealth and Federal government;
Circulate all grant applications to the County Manager prior to the submis-sion of such applications;
Follow all personnel, purchasing and other administrative procedures of the County;
Manage budgeted resources in a manner consistent with appropriations and County policies;
Keep the County Manager informed concerning departmental or office ac-tivities;
Make periodic reports to the County Manager and special reports as neces-sary;
Identify and report opportunities to the County Manager for non tax revenue enhancements within all departmental operations;
Identify and report opportunities for inter-local cooperation and regional and shared service delivery to the County Manager;
Notify the County Manager of any legal proceeding brought or expected to be brought against the County or any officer of the County as soon as pos-sible after having knowledge of any such legal proceeding.
Section V. Advisory Boards and Commissions
In accordance with provisions of DCHRC, the Commissioners shall appoint boards and commissions by Resolution as set forth in Section Il,A,5, of this document. The functions, purposes, and responsibilities of such body, the number of members appointed, terms of office, operational bylaws, record keeping and reporting, and life of the board or commission (if any) shall be established in the enabling resolution.
Appointees are required to periodically brief the Commission at least once annually on their functions, activities, and issues of concerns, including the submission of a written report for inclusion in the Annual Reports for the County of Dukes County.
Any officials appointed by the County of Dukes County Commissioners to a multiple member body may be removed from office by the County Commissioners if said official fails to attend regularly scheduled meetings for a period of three consecutive meetings without express leave from the chairman of such multiple member body, unless the County Commissioners shall determine otherwise. Any such appointed official shall be automatically removed from office if such person is convicted of a felony or if such person is absent from such duties for the period of six consecutive months notwithstanding the permission from the chairman to be absent. This rule shall become effective when voted and shall ultimately be included in the County of Dukes County Administrative Code.
Filling a Vacancy – Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the membership of an appointed multiple member body, the remaining members shall forthwith within 15 days, give written notice of such vacancy to the appointing authority. The appointing authority will attempt to fill the vacancy within 30 days of such written notice.
Section VI. General Terms and Conditions
Severability: The provisions of this administrative code are severable. If any provi-sion of this administrative code is held to be invalid, its remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby. If the application of this administrative code, or any of its provisions, to any person or circumstance is held. To be invalid, the application of said administrative code and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Rules of Interpretation: The following rules shall apply when interpreting this administrative code.
Specific Provisions to Prevail: to the extent that any specific provision of the administrative code shall conflict with any provision expressed in general terms, the specific provision shall prevail.
Number and Gender: Words imparting the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things; words imparting the plural number may include the singular; words imparting the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender.
References to Laws: All references to the general laws or other acts of the Commonwealth contained in this administrative code are intended to include any amendments thereto and any revisions to chapters and sections or to the corresponding chapters and sections of any rearrangement of such laws or acts enacted subsequent to the enactment of this administrative code.
Section VII. Definitions
Unless another meaning is clearly apparent from the manner in which the word is used, the following words as used in the Administrative Code shall have the following meaning:
A. The word “Charter” shall mean Massachusetts General Law c. 34A Sections 15, 16, 18, 20, adopted as the Dukes County Home Rule Charter (DCHRC)
B. County – the word “County” shall mean the County of Dukes County.
C. County Bulletin Boards – Shall mean the bulletin board in the County of Dukes County Courthouse building or the County Administration building on which official notices is posted.
D. General Laws – the words “General Laws” shall refer to the General Laws of Massachusetts
E. Local Newspapers – Shall mean at least one weekly newspaper of general circulation in one or more parts of the county
F. Majority Vote – more than 50.0% of the vote actually cast in a meeting possessing a quorum. Failure to vote or abstention votes are not counted as cast, but do count toward a quorum.
G. Quorum – A majority of the total number of members of the Commission, Board, or Committee.
Section VIII. Appendix I – Budget Policies
The Commission shall:
- conduct an annual Countywide public meeting to discuss County programs and the budget, prior to formal approval by the County Commission.
- establish County objectives and prepare the annual budget with the input from the County Advisory Board
BUDGET POLICIES: MGL Chapter 35 Section 32
It is the Department Head's responsibility to be aware of the balance in each appropriation. Invoices will not be processed unless the appropriation balance is adequate. No equipment shall be purchased with insufficient appropriation. If this occurs the potential exists that the equipment will be returned.
Overdrafts without any increase in appropriation:
Since transfers can be made between 2, 3 and 4 expense groups without Dukes
County Advisory Board approval, overdrafts in these accounts are not permitted.
Any transfer to/from expense groups 1,5,6 and 7 requires Dukes County Advisory
In an emergency and on a case-by-case basis, "pre-approval" MAY occur with a 3 way Agreement between the County Manager, County Treasurer and Department Head. See attached sample agreement, which includes targeted account that will cover overdraft.
Food Reimbursement Policy:
No midday meals will be reimbursed unless an employee is away from home for more than 24 hours or is transporting prisoners.
2. No more than 2 employees may be reimbursed for midday meals at the same meeting.
Reimbursement requests MUST be accompanied by detailed receipts and will be limited by the following:
Breakfast $ 6.50 +5%(meals tax) +15%(tip) = $ 7.80
Lunch $ 9.00 +5%(meals tax) +15%(tip) = $10.80
Dinner $16.00 +5%(meals tax) +15%(tip) = $19.20
or up to $35.00 per day
Providing meals for attendees at local meetings is NOT a permitted expense of the County.
Travel Reimbursement Policy:
Employee expenses for travel within the state will be reimbursed when submitted on the county travel reimbursement form and includes detailed receipts and meeting agenda.
Mileage will be reimbursed for use of personal cars when put on the county travel reimbursement form. The rate will be $.50 per mile (June, 2010). Submitted miles to and from meeting location must not exceed those prescribed in the Commonwealth's mileage chart.
3. No out of state travel will be reimbursed for attendance at conferences or conventions.
4. Out of state travel for educational seminars must be approved by the County Manager prior to commencement of travel.
There seems to be confusion about what is a supply and what is in the 5,6 or 7 capital expense groups (equipment, furniture, etc.) The following should be your guideline.
Supplies vs. Capital
Supplies: Use and go away
i.e., paper, pencils, toner, ribbons, cleaning solvents, oil, gas, and water.
Capital: Itemized in expense groups 5,6 and 7 and/or
Anticipated life more than one year and/or
Costs more than $1,000.00
i.e., file cabinets, chairs, desks, tables, printers, computers, tools (not manual
hand tools), vehicles, buildings and land improvements.
Budget Process Guidelines
September 15-30 Joint meeting(s) with Dukes County Commission (DCC), County Manager, County Treasurer and County Advisory Board (CAB) to develop guidelines for the next fiscal year budget
October 1-15 Treasurer to prepare budget worksheets and gives to County Manager
October 15-30 County Manager’s Guidelines and budget worksheets to be distributed to the Department Heads and the Airport
NLT Nov 15 County Manager finds out the deadline dates for submission of warrant articles to each town for IPM and VHCAP
October – Nov 30 Department Head Budget Analysis
NLT Nov 30 Deadline for Department Heads to turn completed budget worksheets to County Manager
December 1-14 County Treasurer to input requests
December 1-31 County Manager to evaluate requests and meet with Department Heads
NLT Dec 31 County Manager to issue Draft Advisory to DCC, CAB and Town FinComs (budget projection – if needed to be funded from reserve fund, override request, new programs, ideas etc.)
January 1-20 County Manager to present Draft Budget including Airport’s Budget to DCC & CAB
January 20 – 30 County Manager receives comments from DCC & CAB
Feb 1 – 15 County Manager presents final Budget to DCC.
Feb 15- 28 DCC & CAB hold joint public hearing on the budget
March 1 – 15 DCC votes on budget
March 15-31 CAB votes on budget
March –May Warrant articles for IPM and VHCAP vetted at town meetings
May County Manager revises the budget if some warrant articles don’t pass at the town meeting
NLT May 31 County Manager presents revised budget to DCC if needed
NLT June 15 DCC votes on revised budget and presents to CAB
NLT June 30 CAB votes on the revised budget
Appendix I - Budget Policies