Legislation changes Shirley Town Collector from an elected to an appointed position

Rep. Benson at event in Shirley, MA

BOSTON—H4433, An Act providing for the appointment of the town collector in the Town of Shirley, was signed into law by Governor Patrick, allowing for the town to change the town clerk from an elected to an appointed position. This legislation, sponsored by Representative Benson (D-Lunenburg) and Senator Eldridge (D-Acton), will allow for the board of selectmen to appoint a town collector for a term of no more than three years.

“This bill was a home rule petition request, per Shirley’s June Town Meeting. The Senator and I were able to push the bill through the Legislature fairly quickly,” said Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg). “I’m pleased the Governor was able to sign H4433 into law before the holidays and the end of the legislative session.”

“I am pleased that Representative Benson and I were able to help pass this home rule petition passed by the people of Shirley before the end of the legislative session,” said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton).

At their Annual Town Meeting, on June 2, 2014, the residents of Shirley approved the request, under Article 14 of the warrant, to change the manner of selection for the office of Town Collector. The Town Clerk was also included in Article 14, but after deliberation, was not approved by the Town Meeting.

The Town sent a request to file the legislation to Representative Benson and Senator Eldridge in August 2014. Both the Representative and Senator advocated for the bill through the legislature.

Per the Town Meeting approved language, the bill states that the town collector will have a maximum term appointment of three years, and may be removed by the board of selectmen for cause at any point. The appointed town collector will have the powers and duties imposed by law upon town collectors.

The current elected incumbent, in the office of town collector, will continue to hold the position, and perform the duties, until the expiration of the elected term.