Shrewsbury Home Rule Bill advances to governor’s desk


Region – On June 29, Representative Hannah E. Kane (R-Shrewsbury) and Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Legislature enacted a bill to amend the residency requirement for the town manager of the town of Shrewsbury. This legislation, which was filed pursuant to a Special Town Meeting vote on March 6, passed both the House and Senate unanimously, then was signed by Governor Charlie Baker July 7.

The original law, which was enacted in 1953, required that the town manager be a resident of Shrewsbury while serving in the position. The new legislation maintains that the town manager shall be a resident of the town during the term of office, unless a majority vote is taken by the Board of Selectmen to modify or suspend the residency requirement. There are currently 122 communities in the commonwealth with no residency requirement for a town manager. Another 12 communities have a residency requirement which can be waived or modified by the town’s executive branch. Shrewsbury’s vote to amend the residency requirement makes them the 13th town in the commonwealth to fall under this hybrid category.

“Shrewsbury Town Meeting members made the practical, smart choice to request this home-rule petition to change the town manager residency requirement,” stated Kane. “Shrewsbury has been incredibly fortunate to have had exemplary, highly qualified town managers, and this legislation allows us to maintain that history in our new hiring process, while being responsive to changing needs in the market, as evidenced by the hiring of our next Town Manager Kevin Mizikar.

“While it is preferred that the town manager be a Shrewsbury resident, I am confident that going forward, the Board of Selectmen will exercise their power in regards to waiving the residency requirement in a thoughtful, judicious manner and act in the best interest of Shrewsbury.”

“I am proud to have represented the residents of Shrewsbury by ushering this bill through the Legislature,” said Moore. “This legislation will give the town greater flexibility to hire the best candidate for the job. While Dan Morgado will certainly be missed, I look forward to working with Kevin Mizikar.”

The passage of this legislation comes just in time for longtime Town Manager Daniel Morgado’s retirement, and the start of Mizikar’s tenure. Mizikar most recently served as Leicester’s town administrator and before that as the assistant town administrator of Grafton from 2011-2013.

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