Several counselors and candidates have expressed a belief that contracts for executive officers in a city are inappropriate. Mr. Leahy mentioned that he believed contracts were appropriate for school executive leadership, but not for city managers. I was curious, and did a quick internet search.
Cities other than Lowell with a “manager” form of government (Plan D or Plan E) include Worcester, Cambridge, Barnstable, Chelsea, Randolph, Watertown, Bridgewater, Winthrop, Southbridge, and Palmer. 9 of the 10 cities currently have a two-to-five year contract with their city managers, and Southbridge has a one-year contract. The most common term seems to be three years. Admittedly, Barnstable has had some controversy in their most recent negotiation, but it seems pretty clear that a multi-year contract is the norm, not the exception.
Those who know more, please comment!