Administrative Code

  1. Intent
  2. Form of Government
  3. Relations Between Legislative and Executive Branches
  4. Departments in General
  5. Advisory Boards in General
  6. General Terms and Conditions
  7. Definitions
  8. 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 residents-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     
    1. 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.
    2. 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;
    3. 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 position- of assistant county counsel, shall appoint members of all boards and commissions and other bodies whose manner of appointment is not otherwise specified in this section in an open meeting. The appointments that MGL specifies be made solely by the Chair shall also be made in an open meeting. Unless otherwise required by MGL, there shall be a limit to one appointment of a County Commissioner to a given organization. County Commissioners cannot be appointed to an agency that compensates its members. All open positions shall be advertised in January and the appointments made in March, except where specified by MGL. may pass a resolution of disapproval of a suspension or dismissal;
    4. Shall approve the annual operating and capital budgets; prior to pre-presenting them for advisory board appropriation; and
    5. 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-absence the vice-chair shall preside.
    6. Shall pass, in accordance with this chapter, whatever ordinances and resolutions it deems necessary and proper for the good governance of the County.
    7. Shall abide by the Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law and any “Code of Ethics” the Commissioners approve subsequent to the adoption of the Administrative Codes. Every elected and appointed official is prohibited from participating in any particular matter in which he or she or any member of their immediate family has a financial interest.
  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:
    1. The establishment of a municipal advisory council;
    2. The conduct of an inquiry or investigation;
    3. The expression of disapproval of the suspension or dismissal of officers or employees;
    4. The adoption of rules for the board;
    5. The establishment of times and places for board meetings; which shall be held in different towns from time to time during the year;
    6. 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.
    7. The declaration of emergencies;
    8. The identification of emergency situations;
    9. The establishment of county personnel policies;
    10. The election, appointment and removal of such officers and employees as the board is permitted by law;
    11. Designation of newspapers; for required advertisements and notices.
    12. Approval of contracts presented by the county manager
    13. Actions specified as resolutions; and
    14. 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:”
    1. To establish, alter or abolish any County department or agency;
    2. To provide for fine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed,
    3. To grant, renew or extend a franchise;
    4. To regulate the rate charged for any service provided to any other governmental unit;
    5. To authorize the borrowing of money;
    6. To authorize the rental, purchase, sale or lease of any real estate belonging to the County;
    7. To authorize bilateral or multilateral contracts with other governmental units within the County or for the performance of any governmental function or activity by another government;
    8. 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

A proposed ordinance may be introduced by any member of the Commission or by the County Manager at any regular or special meeting of the Commission. The Clerk of the Commissioners shall forthwith distribute- copies of the proposal at least 3 days prior to meetings to each Commissioner. After an ordinance- has been introduced and unless it is rejected at the same meeting by the negative vote of at least two-thirds of the Commissioners, present and voting, its title and synopsis shall be legally published together with a notice stating a time and place at which a public hearing will be held on its consideration.

The public hearing on a proposed ordinance shall follow the required publication by at least two weeks. At the public hearing copies of the proposal shall be available for distribution to interested persons and all persons present shall be given the opportunity to be heard, subject only to time constraints.

The Commissioners may adopt by a minimum of 4 Commissioners, with or without amendment, or reject any proposed ordinance following the public hearing and shall declare the ordinance- to be law of the County on the thirty-first day after its passage.

Emergency Ordinances, when: The Commissioners may adopt emergency- ordinances under appropriate circumstances affecting lives, health or property.

  • 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.
  • 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.               
  1. 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:
  • The establishment of municipal advisory board, committee or 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 Commission;
  • The establishment of times and places for Commission meetings;
  • The establishment of the Commission 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 establishment and modification of county personnel policies;
  • The election, appointment and removal of such officers and employees as the Commission are 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 Commission opinions that require more formal Commission action.
  1. Commission Meeting Protocol:
    1. 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.

Commission meeting events shall generally follow the format of:

  • Call to Order
  • Adoption of minutes of previous meeting, if any
  • County Manager’s report
  • Chair’s report and communications
  • Subcommittee reports
  • Old business
  • New business
  • Commissioner’s requests, if any, and approved by Chair for placement on agenda
  • Calendar
  • Correspondence
  • Public comment, and
  • Adjournment                    

Additional protocol designed to establish meeting for information dissemination, requests for action, debate, quorum, and votes shall be made upon adoption of appropriate guidelines as provided in Robert’s Rules of Order.

Any motion shall be restated by the Chair after its second, and, again, prior to vote

(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.

Upon the declaration of a vacancy in the position of Commissioner, the surviving Board members and County Clerk shall direct that a public notice be prepared announcing the vacancy and requesting interested and qualified citizens to apply to the County with a letter of interest, according to provisions in the Law.

Qualification will consist of:

  • Residence in one of the towns, which, at the time of the vacancy, has less than two representatives on the Board of Commissioners.
  • Minimum age of eighteen years.
  • Within sixty (60) days of the declaration of a vacancy, the Commissioners shall name a replacement who shall be sworn to fill the remainder of the vacant term.

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:
    1. 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;

Prepare and submit to the Commission for its consideration and adoption an annual operating budget, and a capital budget, establish schedules and procedures to be followed by all county departments, offices and agencies in connection therewith, and supervise and administer all phases of the budgetary process.

  • Enforce the county charter, the county’s laws and all general laws applicable thereto:
  • Supervise the care and custody of all county property, institutions and agencies;
  • Through the County Treasurer, have oversight on the collection of revenues, audit and control all disbursements and expenditures and shall prepare a complete account of all expenditures;
  1. Sign all contracts, bonds or other instruments requiring the consent of the County     
  2. 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.
  3. 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;
  4. Develop, install and maintain centralized budgeting, personnel and purchasing procedures as may be authorized.
  5. 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,
  6. 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
  7. Serve, as ex-officio, nonvoting member of all appointive bodies in County government.      


  1. The County Manager:
    1. Shall supervise, direct and control all County administrative departments;
    2. 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;
    3. May, at his discretion, remove or suspend any official in the unclassified service of the County over whose office the County Manager has power of appointment
    4. May, at his discretion, but subject to any pertinent provisions of the gen-general laws and civil service regulations delegate any department head powers of appointment and removal of their departmental employees. If the County Manager does not so delegate his power he may appoint and remove, subject to civil service regulation, all employees whose positions have been created.
    5. May require and examine the accounts, records and operation of any agency of County government; and
    6. May, at his discretion, order any agency under his jurisdiction to under-take any task for any other agency on a temporary basis if he deems it necessary for the proper and efficient administration to do so.
  2. Deputy Manager.

Subject to creation of such position the County Manager may appoint a Deputy Manager who shall serve at his pleasure; the Board may not prevent his suspension or dismissal by passage of a resolution of dis-approval.

The Deputy Manager shall by education, experience and ability be qualified to perform the duties established for him. He need not be a resident of the County at the time of his appointment, but during his tenure may live outside the County only with the permission of the Manager.

The Deputy Manager shall be responsible only to the Manager. He shall, under the direction and supervision of the Manager, undertake to assist in the orderly and efficient administration of the County, performing whatever supervisory or administrative duties the Manager deems necessary- and proper. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the Deputy Manager’s being appointed to head one or more departments on a temporary or permanent basis.

Section III Relations between the Legislative and Executive Branches.

The Commissioners shall deal with county employees only through the officials responsible for the overall executive management of the county’s affairs as designated in sections of this chapter --, through the county executive, the county manager, and the board chairperson respectively.  All contact with county employees, all actions and communications concerning the administration of the county’s government and provision of services shall be through the aforementioned officials, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.  Nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the board’s inquiry into any act or problem of the county’s administration.  Any commissioner may require a report on the aspect of the government of the county at any time by making a written request to the head of the executive branch of county government.  The board may, by majority vote of the whole number of its members, require the head of the executive branch to appear before the board sitting as a committee of the whole, and to bring before the board such records and reports and such officials and employees of the county as the board shall deem necessary to insure clarification of the matter under study. 

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 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 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:

No Commissioner shall individually or collectively seek to influence the County Manager to dismiss any person from, or appoint, or to promote any person to any position in the executive branch of County government, except that the Commissioners may, by a resolution of disapproval adopted by two-thirds vote of the whole number of the board, prevent the dismissal of certain employees under conditions as set forth in clause 2.of this section.

Suspensions will take effect immediately upon personal service of notice setting forth the order of suspension or dismissal. Dismissal or suspension for a definite term shall occur automatically in thirty calendar days from receipt of notice. But, if the officer or employee request a public hearing on his dismissal or suspension for a definite term, no action beyond temporary suspension may be taken until the in-individual to be suspended or dismissed is given a public hearing not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days after personal service of written notice of contemplated action. A copy of such notice shall be filed with the Clerk to the Commission immediately upon service of notice the individual to be suspended or dismissed. In the event that within thirty-five days of receiving such notice the Commissioners shall pass by a two-thirds vote of the whole number of the Commission, a resolution of disapproval, all proceedings and any suspension or dismissal of the individual shall be voided. In terms of recompense to the individual, a vote of disapproval shall be deemed to negate the suspension or dismissal order and for purposes of pay and civil service standing the action shall be deemed never to have transpired. If, however, the suspension-pension or dismissal order shall allege that the individual against whom action is contemplated or pending has committed a criminal act in the conduct of his public trust, no resolution of the Commissioners shall stay proceedings and the matter shall be brought to a public hearing in the manner described above. If, at the hearing probable cause for prosecution is found, all evidence shall immediately be forwarded to the District Attorney for further action, If any suspension or dismissal or-der is resolved upon hearing in favor of the office or employee, he shall be restored to his original position without record of the action, or prejudice therefrom, and shall receive full compensation retroactive to the date of his suspension.

Section IV. County Departments in General

Departments and Responsibilities.

There have been created the following departments- and responsibilities.

  1. 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.
  2. Department of County Airport:
  3. Operations - shall be responsible for meeting all Federal and Commonwealth rules and regulations for the provision of a public commercial airport. The Department is also responsible for the providing for the customer- service of all private and commercial passengers, taxicab regulations-, airplane fueling and air traffic control contracting. The department shall have all of the other powers and duties which are given to airport 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.
  4. Business Park - shall be responsible for supervise-sion and operation of the property known as the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Business-ness Park as well as the property on the County Airport that is used as non-aviation commercial property.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.    
  7. 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 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.
  8. Department of County Engineering: Shall serve as an engineering and construction resource for professional engineering needs in County Departments, Towns, special dis-districts and other   
  9. 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.
  10. 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-administrative code.
  11. 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 generally-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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 private- 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.
  15. 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 responsibility- 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-Commonwealth, County ordinance or this document.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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-Department Head or Supervisor of an office is subject to the administrative and supervisory- 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 appointed-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-Department Heads and office supervisors shall:

  • Organize the operations and the work of their respective departments or of-offices;
  • 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 departments- 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 submission-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-activities;
  • Make periodic reports to the County Manager and special reports as necessary-;
  • 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 possible- 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 provision-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:

  1. The word “Charter” shall mean Massachusetts General Law c. 34A Sections 15, 16, 18, 20, adopted as the Dukes County Home Rule Charter (DCHRC)
  2. County – the word “County” shall mean the County of Dukes County.
  3. 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.
  4. General Laws – the words “General Laws” shall refer to the General Laws of Massachusetts
  5. Local Newspapers – Shall mean at least one weekly newspaper of general circulation in one or more parts of the county
  6. 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.
  7. 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 Board approval.

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.

  1. 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.    

  1. No out of state travel will be reimbursed for attendance at conferences or conventions.
  2. Out of state travel for educational seminars must be approved by the County Manager prior to commencement of travel.

Capital Expenses

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
Approved 4/2/01
Amended 9-10-08
Amended 12-8-10