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COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. HAMPDEN, ss. SUPERIOR COURT ACTION 2079CV00815, SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL vs. DOMENIC SARNO! MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 1 Introduction The Springfield City Council (the “City Council”) filed this action against Domenic Samo, in his capacity as the Mayor of Springfield (“the mayor"), seeking to compel him to implement an ordinance it passed, and which he has ignored, transferring the governance of the Springfield Police Department ("SPD") from a single police commissioner to a board of police commissioners. The City Council's complaint seeks declaratory judgment pursuant to G. L. ¢. 231A, § | (Count 1); injunctive relief under G. L. e. 214, § 1 (Count 2); and an order for relief in the nature of mandamus pursuant to G. L. ¢. 249, § 5 (Count 3). This matter is before me on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. The City Council maintains that it passed a valid ordinance under its legislative authority to reorganize municipal departments, then overrode the ‘mayor's veto of that ordinance, and therefore that the mayor is obligated to implement the ordinance. The mayor challenges the validity of the ordinance oa various grounds, but principally contends that it infringes on his executive authority to appoint and contract with department heads. After a hearing and consideration of the partis’ initial and supplemental submissions, | allow in part and deny in part the cross-motions for summary judgment, "in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Springfield. IL Background ‘The summary judgment record contains the following undisputed material facts? cation of Springfield's Legislative and Executive Powers In 1962, in accordance with G. L. c. 43, Springfield adopted as its charter a Plan A form of government in which the legislative body is the City Council and its chief executive officer is the mayor. Charter, §§ 48, 50; G. L. c. 43, §§ 46-55 (setting out Plan A charter provisions). The City Council "may at any time by ordinance, consistent with general laws, reorganize, consolidate or abolish departments, in whole or in part; establish new departments; and inerease, reduce or abolish salaries of heads of departments or members of boards." Charter, § 5; G. L. c. 43, § 5. The mayor appoints "all heads of departments and members of municipal boards . . . without confirmation by the city council.” Charter, § 52; G. L. ¢. 43, § 52. The mayor must file a certificate with the city clerk affirming that each such appointment is made solely in the interest of the city and attesting to each appointee’s qualifications by certifying that the person “is a recognized expert in the work which will devolve upon him" or that, in the mayor’s opinion, the appointee “is a person specially fitted by education, training or experience to perform the duties” of that office. Charter, § 53; G. L. ¢, 43, § 53. The mayor, as Springfield's appointing authority, also has power under G. L. ¢. 41, § 1080, to "establish an employment contract" with Springfield's "police chief or @ person performing such duties having a different title." "Said contract shall prevail over any conflicting provision of any local . . . ordinance. . .." G.L.¢. 41, § 1080, *Following the motion hearing, | ordered the parties to submit copies of al the ondinences in effect from at least 1962 t0 2005 conceming what has been referred to as the Springfield Police Commission and the Board of Pi Commissioners. The summary judgment record, even as supplemented, has gaps, The court's analysis is confined to the ordinances and other materials submitted as the summary judgment record. See Bank of New York v. Bailey, 460 Mass. 327, 329 (2011). The court cannot take judicial notice of other ordinances absent statutory authorization, See Commonveaith v. Bones, 93 Mass. App. Ct. 681, 685 (2018). 2 The mayor may veto any ordinance adopted by the City Council, which may then override the mayor's veto with a two-thirds vote of its members. Charter, § 55. B. History of Governance of SPD From 1902 until 1919, the SPD was overseen by the Springfield Police Commission, and from 1919 to August of 2005, it was under the control of a Board of Police Commissioners. During thet time, the growth of Springfield and the SPD was accompanied by a series of changes in Springfield's government, through the adoption of the 1962 Charter as discussed above, and in revisions to the laws and ordinances concerning the Springfield Police Commission and what later became the Board of Police Commissioners. In 2005, the Finance Control Board reorganized the SPD, abolished what it referred to as the Police Commission, and placed the SPD under the authority of a single police commissioner appointed by the mayor? By 2016, the City Council sought to revive the pre-2005 Board of Police Commissioners. ‘On December 5, 2016, the City Council adopted an ordinance establishing a five-member Board of Police Commissioners to replace the Office of the Police Commissioner. The 2016 Ordinance provided that the previously appointed police commissioner would continue to work for the SPD ners to the end of his contract, The 2016 under the authority of the Board of Police Commis Ordinance also provided that the mayor’s appointments to the Board of Police Commissioners "This change came a year after Springfield's dire financial straits led the Massachusetts Legislature to ereate a Finance Contro! Board to take control over Springfield's fiscal affairs. The Finance Control Board issued an executive order dated August 5, 2005, effective on August 25, 2005, abolishing the police commission and establishing in its place a single police commissioner. At that point, the Finance Conttol Board had authority to appoint all city employees and to reorganize or abolish municipal departments, The Finance Control Board amended Title 2 of the Revised Ordinances of Springfiekd, 1986, and deleted chapter 2.58 entirely, and in its place added « new chapter 2.58 (the 2005 Ordinance} which provided that the mayor shall appoint a single police commissioner who has at least seven years of experience as a captain or its equivalent and amaster’s degree or its equivalent. The 2005 Ordinance authorized the police commissioner to appoint, establish and organize the SPD and provided that the police commissioner would hold office until a successor was appointed are qualified. The Finance Control Board was dissolved in 2009. Since then, Springfield's mayors have continued to appoint police commissioners under the 2005 Ordinance. would be subject to confirmation by the City Council. That provision contravened the 1962 Charter, as later conceded by the City Council C. The 2018 Ordinance On December 3, 2018, the City Council adopted an amended ordinance ("the 2018 Ordinance") set forth as §§ 67-84 through 67-96 of the Springfield Code.‘ The 2018 Ordinance struck the prior 2005 Ordinance which had established the single police commissioner, replaced that position with a Board of Police Commissioners ("the Board”) and amended the 2016 Ordinance by, inter alia, deleting the invalid provision referenced above. Section 67-95 of the 2018 Ordinance provides, "This article shall take effect upon passage. Provided further, that in [sic] the employment agreement [between the City and the then-police commissioner] John Barbieri, dated April 1, 2014, shall remain in effect; however, he shall be subject to the Board of Police Commissioners as set forth above." Under the 2018 Ordinance, the Board is to consist of five members appointed by the mayor, to serve at the pleasure of the mayor, without compensation, §§ 67-84, 67-86. The 2018 Ordinance at § 67-86 requires that “No person shall be appointed a member of such Board who has not been a resident of the city for at least three years next prior to his/her appointment, who is a member of the city council, an employee of [the] city, or who holds any municipal or political office for which he receives compensation.” ‘The 2018 Ordinance states in § 67-89, emtitled Powers of Mayor to be Exercised by Board, that "The powers and duties vested in the Mayor and the City Council by Chapter 244 of ion refers to the sections of the 2018 Ordinance as they are numbered in the Springfield Code, Article XVII, §§ 67-84 through 67-96, which appear in the Joint Appendix at pp. 143-145, The 2018 Ordinance is also sot forth as §§59-72, with some additional information, in the Joint Appendix at pp. 105-109, ‘See Joint Appendix, p. 105. the Acts of 1909 shall be exercised and performed by the Board of Police Commissioners." ‘The powers of the Board under the 2018 Ordinance are not apparent fiom that provision, and require a reading of the referenced legislation, St.1909, c. 244 ("the 1909 statute”).* The first section of the 1909 statute gives the mayor and aldermen the power to appoint and remove Springfield's constable, the constable's assistants, the police chief, the police chief assistants, the deputy police chief, "with the powers and duties of constables," and all other police officers, The second section states that the powers of the mayor and aldermen as set forth in § 1, "in relation to the establishment and maintenance" of the SPD and the appointment of the officers listed above, "may be exercised . . . by the city council, in such a manner as it may from time to time prescribe, and wholly or in part through the agency of any persons acting as a board whom it may . .. designate. ..." Therefore, under the 1909 statute, the City Council had the authority to appoint a constable, a police chief, and many others but could delegate that authority, in whole or in part, to a board which the City Council could designate. Pursuant to § 67-89 of the 2018 Ordinance, the Board "shall" exercise and perform that authority. The other powers and duties of the Board are set forth in other sections of the 2018 Ordinance as follows. Section 67-90 provides that "The Board of Police Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of this article, have the appointment, management and contro! of the The text of 1909 statute, §§ 1-2, reads as follows: "Section 1. The mayor and aldermen of Springfield shall have exclusive power to appoint a constable and. assistants, or a chief of police, a deputy chief of police and assistants, with the powers and duties of constables, and all other police officers, and to remove the same in the manner provided by law. "Section 2. The powers and duties conferred and imposed by section one of this act upon the mayor and aldermen of the said city in relation to the establishment and maintenance of a police department, the appointment of constable, a chief of police, deputy chief of police and assistants, and all ather police officers, may be exercised and performed by the city council, in such manner as it may from time to time prescribe, and wholly or in part through the agency of any persons acting as a board whom it may from time to time designate, and with such limitation of power as it may by ordinance determine.” members and employees of the Police Department and of the Superintendent of the Police Signal System." Section 67-91 adds in relevant part that the Board “shall make such lawful rules for the maintenance of the Police Department, , .. including the regulation, government, and discipline of such members and employees, and for the direction and control of those having charge of such signal system, including employees thereof, as it deems wise and proper.” The 2018 Ordinance contains a severability provision, § 67-96, as follows: "Any provision of this article that conflicts with applicable law or the City Charter shall be interpreted in such a manner and to such an extent as to be effective and valid under applicable law. If any provision of this article is prohibited by or invalid under applicable law or the City Charter, such provision shall be ineffective only to the extent of such prohibition or invalidity, thereby leaving the remainder of this article effective."” D. Mayor's Rejection of 2018 Ordinance and His Contract with Police Commissioner On December 3, 2018, the City Council adopted the 2018 Ordinance. Two days later, the mayor vetoed it, and on December 17, 2018, the City Council overrode that veto. The mayor has ignored the 2018 Ordinance. On September 20, 2019, the mayor entered a nearly five-yeer employment contract with Cheryl Clapprood to serve as the new police commissioner, replacing John Barbieri. Under the contract, Clapprood is the "Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the [SPD] reporting to the Mayor as the Chief Executive Officer of the City.” As such, she exercises “control of the government, administration, disposition and discipline of the Police Department, and of the Police Force."* Clapprood’s annual salary as police commissioner is $ 190,000. Her contract "The 2018 Ordinance, when proposed, was followed by 2 notation that it “effectively restores the Board of Police ‘Commissioners ordinance that was contained in Chapter 2.58 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Springfield, 1986 as amended.” ‘Clapprood's responsibilities include: (1) supervising the SPD’s daily operations and ail its personnel; (2) preparing the SPD budget and submitting funding proposals to Cty officials; (3) reporting to City officials: (4) managing all departmental expenditures, disbursements, and collected funds in accordance with al pertinent laws and administrative procedures; (5 establishing weapons, ammunivon, uniform, equipment and vehicle specifications for the SPD; (6) managing all ofthe SPD's equipment, including motor vehicles; (7) taining and education programs: 6 provides that she may only be removed from her office for just cause. E. Police Reform Efforts In 2020, nationwide protests, sparked by outrage over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, accompanied urgent demands for police reform. In Massachusetts, legislators responded with a sweeping police reform bill, which the governor signed into law on. December 31, 2020.” Calls for police reform in Springfield have become more vocal in recent years amid highly publicized incidents of abuse and corruption. On July 8, 2020, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") issued a scathing report on its investigation of the SPD's Narcotics Bureau.'® The DOJ found reasonable cause to believe that the Narcotics Bureau officers "engage in a pattem or practice of excessive force” in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, due to systemic deficiencies in policies, accountability systems, and training. In 2020, the City Council renewed its demand that the mayor enforce the 2018 Ordinance, to no avail, and the City Council voted to file this lawsui IH. Discussion Summary judgment is appropriate when the material facts are undisputed and “the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Mass. R. Civ. P. 56 (c); Godfrey v. Globe Newspaper Co., Inc., 457 Mass. 113, 118-119 (2010). Although discovery has not been (8) planning, organizing, directing, staffing and coordinating police operations; (9) assigning shifts and duties of SPD personnel; (10) discipline of SPD personnel; (11) formulating department rules, regulations and procedures for the SPD; (12) attending municipal board hearings; and (13) commaunications with the public. °Chapter 253 of the Acts of 2020, entitled An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth, spans 129 pages. Among its many provisions, it establishes an independent commission to ‘oversee the certification and decertification of police officers and to investigate alleged police misconduct; imposes requirements related to, inter alia, racial discrimination, comportment in correctional facilites, the execution of search warrants; and it expands protections under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act ‘The July 8, 2020, report was issued by the DOd's Civil Rights Division, with the United States Attomey's Office, District of Massachusetts completed, the parties agree that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the court can resolve this controversy on the summary judgment record. Local ordinances enacted pursuant to enabling statutes are presumed to be valid. See Beard v. Town of Salisbury, 378 Mass, 435, 439 (1979). A party challenging the validity of an ordinance bears a heavy burden. Springfield Preservation Trust, Inc. v. Springfield Library and Museums Assoc'n, 447 Mass. 408, 418 (2006). "Whether the ordinance is wise or effective is not within the province of this court." Commonwealth v. Lammi, 386 Mass. 299, 300 (1982). For an ordinance to be invalid, it must sharply conflict with a statute. See Easzhampron Savings Bank v. City of Springfield, 470 Mass. 284, 289 (2014). Among the possible challenges to the validity of an ordinance, relevant here is the question of whether "a local enactment extends beyond the authority conferred by its enabling statute." Beard, 378 Mass at 440, ‘The court should interpret an ordinance, even where ambiguous, in a manner that avoids violating its enabling statute. Springfield Preservation Trust, Inc., 447 Mass. at 423. Where a literal reading of a statute or ordinance would lead to an absurd or unreasonable result, the court rejects that literal interpretation in favor of one that comports with the purpose of those terms. Id. The mayor argues that the 2018 Ordinance is invalid because the change it purports to make in the governance of the SPD would encroach upon his authority to enter employment contracts with department heads under G. L. ¢. 41, § 1080, and on his authority to appoint department heads pursuant to the Charter. He further contends that the City Council's "limited legislative power" to reorganize the SPD does not include reestablishing the Board.'! "ip a footnote in his motion papers, the mayor questions whether the Cty Council has standing wo bring this ation Standing is treated as an isue of subject matter jurisdiction, Sullvan v. Chief Justice for Admin. & Mam. ofthe Trial Court, 488 Mass. 15, 21 (2006). To have standing in any capacity, a litigant muist show that the challenged action nas caused the litigant injury. Slama v. At. Gen., 384 Mass, 620, 624 (1981). "Injuries tht are speculative, remote, and indirect, are insufficient to confer standing.” Ginther v. Comm of Is. 427 Mass. 319, 323 (998). The injury alleged must be a direct consequence of the complained of action, /d. The City Council seeks relief from the mayor's feilure to implement the 2018 Ordinance. That failure can be construed asan encroachment an the City 8 ‘A. Mayor's Authority to Enter Contracts Under G. L. ¢. 41, § 1080 ‘The mayor contends that the 2018 Ordinance would impermissibly replace Police ‘Commissioner Clapprood by abolishing her oftice and, in its stead, establish the Board. In doing so, according to the mayor, the City Council oversteps onto his exclusive authority to contract with the head of the SPD pursuant to G. L. c. 41, § 1080. As set forth above, G. Lc. 41, § 1080, provides that the mayor, as the appointing authority, may establish an employment contract with the police chief or a person performing such duties under a similar title, such as a police commissioner, and that such contract prevails over any conflicting provision in a local ordinance. The mayor's position on this issue is unavailing. The 2018 Ordinance became effective in December 2018, nine months before he executed the contract with Clapprood. The 2018 Ordinance could not have interfered with a contract which had not yet been executed when the ordinance was passed. In September of 2019, when the mayor entered the contract with Clapprood, he knew that the City Council had passed the 2018 Ordinance establishing the Board, but chose to ignore it. In these circumstances, and absent any legal challenge by the mayor before defending this lawsuit, if there were a conflict between his authority under G. L.c. 41, § 1080, and the City Council's authority to reorganize a department, the conflict was of the mayor's own making. ‘The mayor next points out that G. L. c. 41, § 1080, directs that where a conflict exists between the mayor's contract authority and a local ordinance, such as the 2018 Ordinance, the mayor's statutorily based authority trumps the local ordinance. That rule has little force here, Council's legislative authority. This constitutes the sort of “injury” which imparts standing to entities such as the City Couneil. Similar claims have not been dismissed for lack of standing. Cf. City Council of Boston v. Mayor of Boston, 383 Mass. 716, 721 (1981) (affirming declaratory judgment that certain portions of ordinance were invalid as they infringed on mayor's right to appoint his own staf) 9 where the mayor's challenge questions not just the validity of the 2018 Ordinance, but the statute upon which it is based, G. L. e. 43, § 5, which authorizes city councils to reorganize municipal departments, ‘The mayor has not shown that his contract authority under G. L. 41, § 1080, automatically prevails over the City Couneil’s authority to reorganize departments pursuant to G. 1.6.43, § 5. Cf. Gabriel v. Mayor of Fitchburg, 14 Mass. App. Ct. 984, 984 (1982) (city council may by ordinance under G. L. ¢. 43, § 5, reorganize certain municipal departments). The mayor’s interpretation of G. L. c. 41, § 1080, would render G. L. c. 43, § 5, meaningless, He has not shown that the Legislature intended that his contract authority under G. L. c. 41, § 1080, could be used to eviscerate the City Council's authority under G. L. ¢. 43, § 5, al any time by entering a contract after the City Couneil has passed an ordinance reorganizing a department. B. Mayor's Authority to Appoint Department Heads ‘The mayor asserts that the Legislature did not intend to authorize the City Council to reorganize the governance of the SPD because that would conflict with his power to appoint department heads. That argument is undercut by the plain language and the effect of the 2018 Ordinance and G. L. c. 43, §§ 5 and 52. See Finch v, Comm. Health Insurance Connector Auth, 461 Mass. 232, 236 (2012) (Legislature's intent is found most obviously in words of law, interpreted according to their ordinary and approved usage). The unambiguous language of G. L. ¢. 43, § 5, accords the City Council authority to reorganize municipal departments. There can be no serious dispute that by abolishing the office of the police commissioner and replacing it with the Board, the City Council, through the 2018 Ordinance, effected a reorganization of a ‘municipal department. Such a reorganization, even altering the titles and positions, does not diminish the mayor's power to make appointments to those head department positions. Under the 2018 Ordinance, the department head of the SPD is the Board, not a police chief or commissioner of police, and the mayor appoints the Board members. See Daley v. Judge of District of Western Hampden, 304 Mass. 86, 88-89 (1939) (where charter placed police department under control of police commission, that commission and not chief of police was department head): Prince v. City of Boston, 148 Mass. 285, 288 (1889) (board of police is head of police department). Cf. Bryson v. Mayor of Waltham, 329 Mass. 524 (1952) (head of city's assessing department was entire board of assessors, not its chairperson). ‘The mayor insists that he alone can decide whether to appoint one or twenty persons to lead the SPD. He ignores the tinction between a department's organizational structure and the persons who are appointed to lead it. The reorganization of a municipal department, as here, dictates whether that department head will be an individual or a particular entity comprised of more than one person. See Daley, 304 Mass. at 88-89. In contrast, the mayor's appointment authority concerns individuals or groups of individuals who will fll those roles within the reorganized structure. See G. L. c. 43, § 53 (mayor appoints individuals deemed qualified for positions). The mayor has not cited any exception to these principles with respect to the SPD. Had the Legislature intended to exclude from the City Council's reorganization authority any department head position, it presumably would have expressly so provided in the statute. CE. Jancey v. Sch, Committee of Everett, 421 Mass. 482, 500 (1995) (if Legislature had intended to exclude public employees from coverage of statute, it could have done so by express language). Because the 2018 Ordinance provides that the mayor will appoint the Board members, he has not shown that it infringes upon his authority to appoint the SPD department head or that there is any real conflict between his appointment authority and the City Council's reorganization authority. See Zasthampton Savings Bank, 470 Mass. at 289. C. Eligibility Criteria for Board Members rt ‘The 2018 Ordinance at § 67-86 lists what are referred to as qualifications for Board members, but actually are disqualifying criteria, as follows: “No person shall be appointed a member of such Board who has not been a resident of the city for at least three years next prior to his/her appointment, who is a member of the city council, an employee of [the] city, or who holds any municipal or political office for which he receives compensation.” The mayor challenges these disqualifying factors as constraining his discretion in exercising his executive authority to appoint department heads pursuant to the Charter. He argues that any restriction or requirement would be illegal. The City Council defends the disqualifying factors, but neither side cites case law which definitively resolves this issue." ‘The mayor enjoys broad, but not limitless authority in appointing department heads. His appointments do not need confirmation by the City Council, see G. L. ¢. 43, § 52, but they are subject to other requirements. He must file a certificate with the city clerk affirming that each appointment is made solely in the interest of the city, and he must attest to the appointee’s qualifications by certifying that the appointee “is a recognized expert in the work" or that, in the mayor's opinion, the appointee “is a person specially fitted by education, training or experience to perform the duties” of that office. Charter § 53; G. L. ¢. 43, §53. The mayor's appointments are also subject to any applicable laws, depending on the context "2 The same disqualifying faciors were set forth in the last revision of the ordinances governing the Board before the Financial Control Board created the office of the single police commissioner in place ofthe Board. See June 9, 2003, amendment to Title 2, Chapter 2.58 ofthe Revised Ordinances of Springfield, 1986, delcting the prior chapter 2.58.030 and substituting "a new section 2.58,030--Board of Police Commissioners.” "The parties debate whether the two cases cited by the mayor a his argument. In Cy Council of Boston v. Mayor of Boston, 383 Mass, 716, 721-723 (1981), where the charter evinced a legislative intent to give the mayor discretion to determine the size and salary of his own staff, ihe ety council could not by ordinance limit the number of employees and salaries ofthe mayors staff. Unlike the City Council of Boston case, which involved the mayors own staff, the ease here concerns a municipal deparment, the SPD, over which the City Couneil has some control over finances. Inthe other case cited by the mayor, Fauléner v. Sisson, 183 Mass. $24, 526 (1903), the court ruled that the city couneil which had authority to appoint an employee ofthe board of public works als had authority to reduce that employee's compensation pursuant tothe city counei's express statutory authority to increase or decrease the powers ofthe board of public works. This case is inapposite and says nothing about a mayor's appointment authority under a charter such as that which Springfield has adopted. 12 The provisions in G. L. c. 43, § 52, and the Charter signal that the mayor's decision to appoint department heads must be free from the restrictions imposed by the City Council. The disqualifying criteria enumerated in § 67-86 of the 2018 Ordinance may be practical and well intended. They are an updated version of restrictions which have been in place since 1904, long before the 1962 Charter gave the mayor power to appoint department heads without confirmation by the City Council. The iterations of these and more obsolete provisions which are inconsistent with the 1962 Charter does not legitimize them. The mayor has established that the disqualifying factors in § 67-86 of the 2018 Ordinance exceed the City Council’s legislative authority to reorganize departments and impermissibly transgress his broad appointment power. G. L. c. 43, §§ 52-53. See MeNeil v. Mayor and City Council of Peabody, 297 Mass. 499, 502-503 (1937) (where ordinance exceeds authority conferred by law, it lacks binding force). Accordingly, those eligibility criteria for Board members are invalid and without effect. The invalidity of § 67-86 is not fatal to the rest of the 2018 Ordinance, due to its severability provision, § 67-96, as noted by the City Couneil D. Board's Powers and Duties Perhaps the most significant provision establishing the Board's powers in the 2018 Ordinance is its most oblique, § 67-89, which provides that "The powers and duties vested in the Mayor and the City Council [by the 1909 statute] shall be exercised and performed by the Board of Police Commissioners.” Rather than spell out the scope of the Board's authority, § 67-89 gives the Board all the same powers which the mayor and the City Council had under the 1909 statute. Referring to the 1909 statute to state the Board's scope of authority is tortuous and creates more confusion than clarity. The 1909 statute was a special act which amended the 1852 Charter, but both the 1852 Charter and the 1909 statute were superseded when Springfield adopted the 1962 Charter. See Gilliat v. City of Quincy, 292 Mass. 222, 223-224 (1935) (adoption of Plan A charter is intended to be exclusive; "All that has been theretofore enacted is revoked except as preserved in the new charter"); King v. Mayor of Quincy, 270 Mass. 185, 187-188 (1930). Under the 1909 statute, the City Council had authority to appoint a constable, police chief and other police officers, and to designate a board to undertake all or part of that power. Under the 1962 Charter, only the mayor can appoint the head of the SPD, Contrast City Council af Boston v. Mayor of Boston, 24 Mass. App. Ct. 663, 668 (1987) (1948 charter did not address reorganization of city departments so left intact 1909 statute which gave both mayor and city council reorganization power). It makes little sense that the 2018 Ordinance would describe the Board's power by reference to a statute which has long been superseded, particularly with respect to an authority to appoint which is no longer held or delegable by the City Council.'* Moreover, a literal reading of § 67-89 with the 1909 statute would produce some odd results, such as the Board being required to designate another board to perform its work. The court, of course, must reject those literal interpretations which lead to absurd and unreasonable results. See Springfield Preservation Trust, Inc., 447 Mass, at 423 Setting aside all these difficulties with § 67-89, it is possible to construe the 2018 Ordinance as giving the Board the authority and the duty to appoint to the SPD all its police officers, as well as a constable, the constable's assistant, a police chief, a deputy police chief, and assistants, as § 67-89 provides that the Board shal! exercise and perform the powers and duties conferred upon the City Council in the 1909 statute. The anachronisms in § 67-89 render its precise meaning less than certain, "The 1909 statute was similarly referenced in Springfield's ordinances in 1919, 1957, and as late as 2005, This and other arcane legal provisions appear to have been cut and pasted into the 2018 Ordinance, even though they no longer belong, such as the references to aldermen and the police signal system. 14 ‘The parties have not included in the summary judgment materials an ordinance establishing the composition of the SPD under the Board, and specifically whether the SPD must have a police chief, a constable, or other personnel indirectly referenced in the 2018 Ordinance, Contrast Stebbins v. Police Commission of City of Springfield, 196 Mass. 365, 367 (1907) (ordinance provided that police commission "shall annually elect in January a marshal" and others to "continue in office until their successors are elected and qualified, unless sooner removed"); Daley, 304 Mass. at 89 (ordinance stated that police department "shall consist" of police commission, police chief," and others). Even assuming the 2018 Ordinance requires the Board to appoint a police chief, questions about its implementation remain unanswered. The 2018 Ordinance provides that the former police commissioner, Barbieri, would work under the Board for the duration of his, contract which ended in 2019. The 2018 Ordinance was not implemented before Barbieri’s contract ended and it does not expressly provide for the timing or process of the transition. between the current police commissioner, Clapprood (whose contract does not expire until May 11, 2024), and the Board once it is appointed. It may be that the parties would agree that the provisions related to Barbieri would apply to Clapprood, but that result is uncertain from the text and the timeline of this controversy. A clear transition process would facilitate the competent and efficient operation of the SPD as its control is transferred from a single, experienced, highly paid police commissioner to a board of unpaid individuals who are not required to have experience in administration, policing, or the law. None of these concerns impair the validity of the 2018 Ordinance. The record does not expose a sharp conflict between these provisions and any statute. See Easthampton Savings Bank, 470 Mass. at 289. The lack of clarity in the 2018 Ordinance may, however, impact how the mayor is able to exercise his authority to appoint the Board members. E. Mayor’s Obligations and Powers Under 2018 Ordinance ‘What remains to be determined are the mayor's obligations and authority with respect to implementing the valid portions of the 2018 Ordinance. It directs that a “Vacancy in such Board shall be filled in the manner of an original appointment within 30 days from its occurrence.” The ‘mayor must in good faith exercise his appointment authority. Cf. Mayor of Revere v. Civil Service Comm'n, 31 Mass. App. Ct. 315, 321 n.11 (1991) (presumption of good faith and honesty attaches to discretionary acts of public officials). "If the means of carrying out a statutory duty are within the discretion of a publie official, courts normally will not tell that official how to exercise his discretion." Gannon v. Mayor of Revere, 401 Mass. 232, 233 (1987) The mayor must certify that each of his appointees “is a recognized expert in the work" at issue, or that, in the mayor's opinion, the appointee “is a person specially fitted by education, training or experience to perform the duties” of the position in question. Charter, § 53; G. L. e. 43, § 53. His assessment of candidates’ expertise, education, training, or experience to perform the duties of the Board is inextricably linked to the nature and scope of those duties and powers. It follows from the discussion above that the mayor must seek appointees pursuant to an ordinance which could be fairly read as leaving open questions with respect to the Board's scope of authority and the transition process. Moreover, the 2018 Ordinance does not direct the mayor to fill all vacancies in all circumstances. It does not establish a procedure in the event that the mayor is unable to identify Board appointees who not only have the expertise, education, training or experience to perform the work, but who are also willing and able to do so without pay. The mayor is not obligated to fill Board vacancies unless he can attest to the fitness of eligible, qualified, and willing 16 candidates. On this record, the court cannot order the mayor to appoint five Board members. See Gannon, 401 Mass. at 235 (mayor not obliged to appoint police sergeant from anyone on list of eligible persons where ordinance did not mandate mayor to fill all vacancies in all circumstances and where it was unclear if there were lawful civil service list of eligible persons). The mayor must exercise in good faith his obligation to seek qualified and willing appointees and to appoint those who meet that criteria. See id, IV. Remedies This directive falis short of what the City Council seeks or expects. This is not to be construed as minimizing either the City Council's authority to reorganize municipal departments or the extremely serious concerns behind its effort to reorganize the SPD leadership. The successful reorganization and transition of a large and critical municipal department such as the SPD, however, demands clarity in mandates and procedures. The same clarity is necessary to facilitate--and, if necessary, compel--compliance with the ordinance and to ensure a safe and efficient transition through the reorganization process. The City Council is free, if it wishes, to revise the 2018 Ordinance to eliminate areas of ambiguity. The court now tums to consider the City Couneil's three claims for relief. A. Declaratory Judgment (Count 1) Declaratory relief may be used to secure a determination of rights under a charter, a statute, or an ordinance and resolve questions about its validity and construction. G. L.¢. 231A, §§ l- 2. See Tri-Nel Management, Inc. v. Bd. of Health of Barnstable, 433 Mass. 217, 226 & n.11 (2001). In Count 1, the City Couneil seeks a declaration thal the 2018 Ordinance was duly adopted and that the mayor's failure to implement it is unlawdil. 7 Apart from the invalid eligibility criteria in § 67-86, the mayor has not shown that the 2018 Ordinance is invalid. For its part, the City Council has not established on this summary judgment record that the implementation of the ordinance requires the mayor to do more than use ‘200d faith efforts to identify and appoint qualified candidates to serve without compensation on the Board. B, Injunetive Relief (Count 2) ‘The City Council requests an order that the mayor implement the 2018 Ordinance. Where, as here, injunctive relief is sought to compel a public official to act, courts decline to grant the relief when those duties of the public official have been judicially defined, and assume that the public official will act in accordance with the judicial determination. Mayor of New Bedford v. City Council of New Bedford, 13 Mass. App. C1. 251,257 (1982); Boston Teachers Union v. School Committee of Boston, 370 Mass. 455, 471 (1976) (ordering court to make explicit duties of mayor and others, but declining request for injunctive relief because "Our practice is not to order public officials to act when their duties have been defined by a court decree, because we assume that public officials will act in conformity with the court’s determination of their obligations”), Thave explained above the mayor's obligation to seek, in good faith, qualified and willing appointees to the Board positions. Because I assume that the mayor will act in conformity with that directive, I decline to grant the City Council's request for an injunction. See Morgan v, Town of Stoughton, 18 Mass. App. Ct. 977, 978 (1984) (“acting on the assumption that the town officials will abide by our ruling. .. we decline to order injunctive relief"). Consequently, with respect to Count 2, the City Couneil's motion for summary judgment will be denied and the mayor's cross-motion for summary judgment will be allowed. 18 C. Mandamus Relief (Count 3) In Count 3, the City Council seeks an order compelling the mayor to implement the 2018 Ordinance. Relief in the nature of mandamus does not lie to compel a municipal officer to exercise his or her discretion in a particular way. Urban Trans. Ine. v. Mayor of Boston, 373 Mass. 693, 697-698 (1977). Moreover, "[mJandamus relief is not a matter of right but of sound judicial discretion.” Lutheran Serv. Assoc'n of New England, Ine. v. Metro. Dist. Comm'n, 397 Mass. 341, 345 (1986). ‘The mayor cannot ignore or refuse to implement the 2018 Ordinance. He must use good faith in secking qualified candidates for the Board positions and in exercising his discretion to appoint Board members. It is beyond his control whether he will be able to find qualified Board ‘members to serve without compensation. In these circumstances, where the mayor's obligations under the 2018 Ordinance have been explained, and where the City Council is on notice of the difficulties with the 2018 Ordinance, granting mandamus relief is neither necessary nor appropriate. See id. Accordingly, summary judgment shall enter for the mayor and against the City Couneil on Count 3. ORDER For all the foregoing reasons, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment on the Plaintiff Springfield City Council's complaint are allowed in part and denied in part as follows. (1) With respect to Count 1, the Springfield City Council's Motion for Summary Judgment and Mayor Samo’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment are both DENIED in part and ALLOWED in part as follows. It is DECLARED that the eligibility criteria for members of the Board of Police Commissioners as set forth in § 67-86 are invalid and without effect, and that 19 in all other respects, the 2018 Ordinance is valid and enforceable as more fully explained in this, decision. It is further DECLARED that Mayor Samo must without further delay and in good faith endeavor to identify and appoint qualified individuals to serve on the Board of Police Commissioners. (2) With respect to Count 2, seeking injunctive relief under G. L. ¢. 214, § 1, the Springfield City Council's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENJED and Mayor Sarno's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment is ALLOWED. (3) With respect to Count 3, seeking relief in the nature of mandamus pursuant to G. L. e. 249, § 5, the Springfield City Council's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED and Mayor ‘Samo's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment is ALLOWED. April 16, 2021 Francis B. Flannery Justice of the Superior Court 20