City of Somers Point, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Somers Point 6-9-1977 by Ord. No. 7-1977 (Ch. 62 of 1967 compilation). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Civil service classifications — See Ch. 4.
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 14.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 34.
Residency requirements — See Ch. 51.
Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 55.

§ 38-1 Intent.

In its personnel notices and practices, it is the aim of the City of Somers Point to:
A. 
Seek and obtain for each position the best qualified person available without regard to race, creed, color, national origin or political affiliation.
B. 
Provide all employees with proper supervision, instruction and working conditions so that they may render the best possible service.
C. 
Base promotion and job security on ability, performance, experience, character and job attitudes.
D. 
Make the best possible use of employee skills and abilities.
E. 
Treat every employee with respect and consideration.
F. 
Expect each employee to consistently perform to the best of his ability, to be conscientious in his work, to conduct himself appropriately and to treat others with respect and courtesy.
G. 
Stimulate the self-betterment of each employee and to encourage him to seek all possible means of increasing his value to the community.
H. 
Pay fair and adequate salaries or wages for each position and in return to expect a consistently good job.
I. 
Impress on all employees that at all times they are serving the taxpayers of the community.
J. 
Promote in each employee a feeling of pride and job satisfaction in the service of the City of Somers Point.

§ 38-2 Personnel practices; hiring.

A. 
The Council must formally effect the creation of any new position and authorize the filling of it prior to any employment or engagement of any employee. In addition there must be provided, in the current budget or otherwise, specific and adequate funds to compensate the appointee before the employee is engaged.
B. 
The Council must formally approve by resolution the filling of any vacancy, and there must be provided, in the current budget or otherwise, adequate funds to compensate the employee before the employee is engaged.
C. 
Whenever a vacancy exists or a new position is created, anyone, including all city employees who believe they possess the necessary qualifications, may apply for the position if they so desire. The City Clerk shall be responsible for posting vacancies on all departmental bulletin boards. Such applications should be made by letter and resume addressed to the City Clerk and filed before the deadline specified. Due consideration shall be given by the department head or heads affected and by Council of each requested transfer of employee from one department to another. When applicable, this section shall be subject to the applicable civil service rules and regulations.
D. 
Application forms for employment as approved by the Council and the Division of Civil Service, when applicable, shall be obtained at the office of the City Clerk and should be completed by all persons applying for employment with the City of Somers Point.
E. 
As soon as practical after the final date specified for filing, all such applications received, including those from city employees, will be considered by the department head involved and the Councilman in charge.
F. 
The Mayor and members of Council, upon receipt of the recommendation received from the Councilman in charge, may prefer to interview personally the applicants who appear to be qualified and most desirable for the position and will tentatively select the one to be appointed, subject to a satisfactory medical examination and any further investigation as deemed necessary by the Council.
G. 
Prior to the medical examination, the selected applicant will receive a copy of this same Personnel Ordinance for the City of Somers Point. If, after a careful study of the policies, practices and rules set forth therein, the applicant agrees to conform with them, the applicant will sign the statement provided for that purpose and will proceed with the medical examination. Any applicant who will not conform to the authorized personnel policies, practices and rules of the City of Somers Point shall be considered ineligible for employment and will be so notified.
H. 
All tentatively selected applicants will be advised by the City of Somers Point that their appointment is being considered on the basis of the information contained in the application for employment and given in the personal interview. Any misstatements or pertinent information withheld will be considered as sufficient cause for immediate separation from the service of the city.
I. 
The City Clerk will then arrange to have the selected applicant examined by a physician designated by the city for a complete medical examination, at the expense of the city, if so required by Council.
J. 
If the medical examination is satisfactory, the entire file is to be referred to the Councilman in charge for reference to the Council for final action.
K. 
Except when statutory requirements direct otherwise, all new employees shall serve a period of probation for one year.
L. 
The City Clerk will check all papers and records for completeness and set up a personal history file for each employee. Person history files are confidential records, available only to the Mayor and City Council, and will be maintained in the office of the City Clerk in a locked file. The files will be in two groups: active representing employees on the current payroll and closed for employees no longer in the service of the city.
M. 
The foregoing requirements and practices are intended to cover all full-time and part-time employees. Such requirements and practices shall not interfere with or replace more stringent employment requirements hereafter established and are subject to existing state statutes, including civil service statutes and regulations.
N. 
It shall be the declared policy of the city to appoint all employees without regard to political consideration.
O. 
No city employee, whether full-time, part time, temporary, probationary or seasonal and whether elected or appointed, shall engage in any political activities during working hours or on municipal property. Violation of this subsection shall be deemed sufficient cause for suspension or dismissal from the city's service. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to prevent city employees from becoming or continuing to be members of any political party, club or organization; attending political meetings; expressing their views in private on political matters outside of working hours and off the city premises; or voting with complete freedom in any election.
P. 
Employees shall not accept donations, gifts, discounts, gratuities, contributions or the like.
Q. 
Offices, employment and positions which are held by any officer or employee protected by any tenure of office law shall remain in full force and effect; and nothing contained in this chapter shall affect the compensation, tenure or pension rights of any officer or employee employed under any protective tenure.

§ 38-3 Working time; attendance.

A. 
Accurate time and attendance records shall be maintained on each employee by the person in charge of the department, office or unit, who will certify to the accuracy of the report each pay period to the Finance Chairman and City Treasurer of the city. The pay period for all permanent full-time employees shall be biweekly.
B. 
The regular scheduled work period for city employees is as follows:
(1) 
Administrative and clerical: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a one-hour lunch period per day.
(2) 
Police Department: as set by contract.
(3) 
Highway Department: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a one-half-hour lunch period per day.
(4) 
Fire Department: as set by schedule.
C. 
Overtime.
(1) 
It is the purpose of the City Council to minimize all overtime, and compensatory pay for employees not otherwise covered by contract shall not be permitted, except by the express vote of the majority of the Council present, by motion or resolution at a public meeting. Whenever said overtime compensation is authorized, it shall be based upon the employee's prevailing wage at straight time.
(2) 
Whenever it becomes necessary for an employee not covered by contract with the city to work outside the normal duty hours, said employee shall be so authorized by his or her respective department head. It shall only be authorized under emergency reasons. "Emergency," as used herein, shall include any unusual conditions caused by any circumstances or situation, including shortages in personnel or force caused by vacancies, sickness or injury or by the taking of accrued vacation or sick leave, or both, whereby the safety of the public is endangered or imperiled. In addition thereto, it is contemplated that certain personnel may be required to work overtime hours when their attendance is required at Council meetings, work sessions, caucuses, etc. Such nonemergency overtime may also qualify for compensatory time off or overtime pay at the prevailing straight-time wage when so authorized by the majority of Council present, by motion or resolution, at a public meeting.
(3) 
All overtime hours worked shall be certified to the Finance Chairman and City Treasurer of the city, and all compensatory time must be granted by motion or resolution by the majority of the Council present at a public meeting.

§ 38-4 Grievances.

A. 
It is the policy of the City of Somers Point that every employee shall be always treated fairly, courteously and with respect. Conversely, each employee shall always accord the same treatment to his fellow municipal employees, associates, department heads and to the general public.
B. 
Whenever an employee has a grievance, he should first present it verbally to his superior or department head. In the event that said grievance cannot be solved by the department head or supervisor, the employee will present his grievance in writing and will immediately be referred up the levels of authority necessary to solve the grievance, with the Mayor and Council making the final decision regarding the grievance.
C. 
This section shall in no manner be construed to abrogate any of the rights that an employee may have under the civil service statutes and regulations which are intended in all respects to be preserved by this chapter.

§ 38-5 Absences.

A. 
All full-time municipal employees, whether elected or appointed, are expected to be prompt in attendance to work or duty, being at their assigned stations or appointed places at the time designated.
B. 
Recording absences. Absences from duty are classified as "illness," "vacation" or "other" are to be so noted on the daily time reports. The reason for each absence listed on the daily time reports as "other" will be noted thereon with a statement as to whether or not it is approved by the department head.
C. 
Notification of absence. Each employee must notify his or her department head of any absence from duty. If it is not possible to do so in advance of the working day, the report shall be made by telephone or otherwise as early as possible on the day when the employee is absent. If it is impossible to contact his department head, the employee shall so notify the City Clerk,.
D. 
Leaves of absence. Leave of absence without pay may be requested by any employee, who shall submit, in writing, all facts bearing on the request to his department head, who will append his recommendation and forward the request to the Mayor and/or Councilman in charge for consideration by the Mayor and/or Council. Each case will be considered on its merits and without establishing a precedent.
E. 
Annual vacation.
(1) 
Amount.
(a) 
All permanent full-time employees shall be granted the following annual leave for vacation purposes, with pay, in and for each calendar year, except as otherwise herein provided:
[1] 
Up to one year of service, one working day's vacation for each month of service, provided that the employee has had a minimum of six months' satisfactory service.
[2] 
After one year and up to 10 years of service, 12 working days' vacation.
[3] 
After 10 years and up to 20 years of service, 15 working days' vacation.
(b) 
The vacation time of part-time employees shall be prorated according to the hours worked based upon the department's required hours reflected in § 38-3B aforesaid.
(2) 
Only full-time employees and permanent part-time employees shall be entitled to vacation benefits. Seasonal employees shall not be entitled to vacation benefits.
(3) 
All vacation time shall be scheduled as the needs of the city require, on the basis of seniority. Each and every full-time employee, without exception, must take the authorized annual vacation, and compensation will not be allowed in place of vacation time. All vacation time must be used in the year earned, except by express permission of the majority of the City Council.
F. 
Holidays.
(1) 
The official holidays for all city employees shall be as follows:
New Year's Day
Lincoln's Birthday
Washington's Birthday
Good Friday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
General Election Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
(2) 
If a holiday falls on a Sunday, it shall be observed on the following Monday; and if a holiday falls on a Saturday, it shall be observed on the preceding Friday. Any change or modification must be approved in advance by motion or resolution by a majority of the entire Council at a public meeting.
(3) 
In the event that an official holiday is observed during the employee's vacation, he shall be entitled to an additional vacation day; and should an official holiday occur while an employee is on sick leave, he shall not have that holiday charged against his sick leave. If an employee is required to work on a holiday, he shall receive compensatory time for said work period.
G. 
Sick leave.
(1) 
"Sick leave" is hereby defined to mean absence from post duty of an employee because of illness, accident, exposure to contagious disease, attendance upon a member of the employee's immediate family who is seriously ill and requires the care or attendance of such employee or absence caused by death in the immediate family of such employee. A certificate of a reputable physician in attendance shall be required as sufficient proof of need of leave of absence of the employee or the need of the employee's attendance upon a member of the employee's immediate family. In the case of a death in the family of the employee, any reasonable proof required by the department head shall be sufficient.
(2) 
Sick leave shall only be granted to full-time provisional or full-time permanent employees or part-time permanent employees. With the respect to said full-time provisional or permanent employees, such leaves of absence with pay shall be granted as follows: one working day for every month of service during the first calendar year of service and 15 working days every continuous calendar year thereafter. With respect to part-time permanent employees, said sick leave shall be granted on a prorated basis based upon hours worked in accordance with the provisions of § 38-3B aforesaid. Where an employee has left the city's employ and, subsequently was reemployed, the date of reemployment is to be used as the employee's service date with the city, for purposes of crediting sick leave, but unused sick leave prior to termination shall remain vested; and the employee will be given credit for said unused sick leave upon his return.
(3) 
The City Clerk will maintain cards for each employee upon which there will be accurately recorded the total sick leave for each employee. All absences will be maintained upon these cards, and all sick leave earned and consumed or used for each completed continuous service year will be recorded on this record, and copies will be supplied on a regular basis to the Finance Chairman and City Treasurer.
(4) 
Yearly sick leave may be allowed to accumulate indefinitely to provide for medical conditions that require extensive leave of absence. However, there will be no entitlement for payment of accumulated sick leave upon termination of employment.
(5) 
Nothing contained herein shall be considered in derogation or restrictive of any statute now in effect limiting the period during which municipal employees may be compensated for leave on account of disability or illness, but these provisions are to be construed and administered in conjunction therewith.
(6) 
Maternity leave. Maternity leave without pay may be granted to an employee with a minimum of one year's service. It shall be the responsibility of any employee on maternity leave to advise the City Clerk of the date of return to work one month prior to returning. Any employee returning from maternity leave will resume employment at the same step as when her leave commenced.
(7) 
Jury duty.
(a) 
It is the public policy of the city to encourage city employees to perform all their duties and responsibilities of citizenship and, accordingly, if any municipal employee is legally selected for jury duty, every effort shall be made to enable such employee to serve as a juror.
(b) 
To that end, the department heads of the city government shall use every reasonable endeavor to aid said employee in performing jury duty. Each employee shall be paid for time served as a juror in such amount as will compensate the employee for any loss sustained by the employee, being the difference between the amount of salary and the juror's compensation for the days required in service as a juror.

§ 38-6 Separation.

A. 
Employees who resign will tender their resignation, in writing to the City Clerk, if possible at least two weeks prior to the effective date of the resignation in order to provide sufficient time for appointing and instructing a successor.
B. 
All employees will, when leaving the service of the city, complete and sign a termination receipt when receiving their final compensation. This receipt will be filed in the employee's personal history file as evidence of the satisfaction of all claims against the city.

§ 38-7 Training; promotions.

A. 
It is the policy of the city to encourage city employees to raise the level of their competence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Therefore, in-service training courses and conferences may be attended by any city employee, including the Mayor and members of the City Council. Should any employee of the city, including the Mayor and members of the City Council, desire to attend said courses or conferences for which they also desire reimbursement by the city for fees and costs, said employee shall, at least 15 days prior to the inception of said conference or course, submit a written request to the President of the City Council setting forth the reasons for wishing to attend said course or conference and the estimated fees and costs for which reimbursement is requested. No reimbursement shall be authorized unless affirmatively approved by a majority of the entire Council at a public meeting.
B. 
It is the policy of the city that, whenever it is practical to do so, promotions shall be made from the ranks of city staff of municipal employees, provided that there are qualified employees available capable of performing the required duties in a satisfactory manner. Employees are encouraged to file with their respective department heads a list of their skills and special training in order that the city may make the best possible use of all capabilities and potentialities of its personnel.
C. 
Subject to applicable Division of Civil Service rules and regulations, promotions from within the ranks will be based upon merit, character, qualifications and work habits as determined by the governing body after the impartial review of all available facts.

§ 38-8 Disciplinary actions.

A. 
Whenever a supervisor, department head or member of the governing body believes that an employee is not conforming to the letter or spirit of the city's policies and rules or to specific instructions given to him or has acted improperly, the supervisor, department head or member of the governing body should first privately discuss the matter with the employee concerned. The supervisor, department head or member of the governing body should then, if possible, obtain assurance that there will not be a repetition of the incident. If the matter is not serious and the supervisor, department head or member of the governing body is satisfied, the matter may then be dropped.
B. 
If the supervisor, department head or member of the governing body, after duly conferring with the employee, believes that harsher action is warranted, said supervisor, department head or member of the governing body may serve the employee with a written memorandum of censure, which shall be placed in the employee's personal history file. Alternately, the supervisor, department head or member of the governing body may request a conference between the employee and the Mayor and Council. Additionally, any employee may be suspended without pay for a period up to five days by the supervisor, department head or City Council. If, after conferring with the employee, the Mayor and Council believes that the matter is not serious, the matter may be dropped. If the Mayor and Council believes that some action is warranted, said Mayor and Council may serve the employee with a letter of admonition, a copy of which shall be placed in the employee's personal history file.
C. 
Suspension or removal.
(1) 
No permanent employee of the city shall be suspended, removed, transferred or demoted from his office, employment or position or separated from the service of the city for political reasons. An employee may be suspended, removed, transferred or demoted for cause, including the following:
(a) 
Neglect of duty.
(b) 
Incompetency or inefficiency or incapacity due to mental or physical disability.
(c) 
Insubordination or serious breach of discipline.
(d) 
Intoxication while on duty.
(e) 
Commission of a criminal act.
(f) 
Disobedience of a rule or regulation of the city.
(g) 
Conduct unbecoming a public employee.
(2) 
With respect to those employees with jurisdiction under the Division of Civil Service, said suspension, removal, transfer or demotion from his office, employment or position shall be governed by the applicable sections of Title 11 of the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. With respect to those employees not under the jurisdiction of the Division of Civil Service, said employees shall be served with a written complaint setting forth the charge or charges against him, with notice of a designated hearing thereon by the proper city authorities, which shall be not less than 15 nor more than 30 days from the date of service of the complaint.
D. 
Notwithstanding the aforesaid, unless otherwise provided by law, any employee may be summarily suspended prior to said hearing, with or without pay, if it is deemed that the circumstances so warrant. If, after the hearing, it appears that said suspension was not proper, the City Council may order reinstatement with back pay.
E. 
The removal and suspension of members and officers of the Somers Point Police Department shall be governed by the provisions of NJ.S.A. 40A:14-147 et seq.

§ 38-9 Bonding.

A. 
Every officer or employee of the City who, by virtue of his office or position, is entrusted with the receipt, custody or expenditure of public moneys or funds and any other officer or employee who may be required so to do by the Council shall, before entering upon the duties of his office or position, execute and deliver a surety bond in an amount as may be fixed by the City Council binding him to the City in its corporate name and conditioned upon the true and faithful performance of his duty. Each officer or employee required by law to give bond shall execute the bond with sufficient surety and deliver it to the Clerk, except that the Clerk shall deliver her bond to the Treasurer before she enters upon the discharge of her duties of the office or employment.
B. 
If any officer or employee shall neglect to execute and deliver his bond as herein required within 30 days after due notification of his election or appointment, his office or position may be declared vacant.
C. 
In every case in which any person is required by the laws of the state or by any ordinance of the City to give a bond for the faithful performance of his duties the bond shall be secured by a corporate surety authorized to do business in this state, and the premium therefor shall be paid by the City. Each bond shall be approved by the City Attorney as to form and sufficiency, and nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the use of one or more blanket bonds when so approved.

§ 38-10 Code of Ethics.

A. 
No elected or appointed official, officer or employee of the City shall engage in any business transactions, professional activity or have a financial or other private interest, either direct or indirect, which is in conflict with the proper discharge of his official duties, unless full disclosure is made as to interest, in writing, to the Mayor and City Council.
B. 
Employment or investments affecting duties. No elected or appointed official, officer or employee of the City shall accept employment, engage in a business transaction or make any investment which will be detrimental to the City in the exercise of his official duties or which will interfere in any manner whatsoever with the discharge of his official duties.
C. 
In the event that any elected or appointed official, officer or employee of the City has a direct or indirect financial or personal interest in any proposed or pending legislation, he shall publicly disclose on the official records of the City the nature and extent of that interest and shall disqualify himself from participating in the deliberation and voting on said matter.
D. 
No elected or appointed official, officer or employee of the City shall improperly use his official position in order to obtain a personal discount or other benefit from any person whatsoever.
E. 
Any private employment by any employee in off-duty time should not conflict with the City's interest and should not be such as to reduce the employee's ability to adequately perform his duty of employment with the City. Employees who accept outside employment shall indicate the extent and nature of such paid employment to their respective department heads.

§ 38-10.1 Ethics provisions for officers and employees under jurisdiction of Local Finance Board.

[Added 9-8-2005 by Ord. No. 11-2005]
A. 
The Council herewith endorses the ethics standards set forth in the LGEL[1] set forth above and elsewhere in the act, in addition to the ethics standards already set forth in the City's Code of Ethics found in this Chapter, 38 § 38-10, of the City's codified ordinances, and herewith makes them a part of the City's Code of Ethics;
[1]
Editor's Note: See the Local Government Ethics Law and specifically N.J.S.A. 40A:90-22.5.
B. 
This Council hereby requests that local government officers or employees utilize the services of the Local Finance Board in connection with the seeking of an advisory opinion pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.8 before embarking on action that reasonably may result in an infraction under the ethics standards herewith made a part of the City's Code of Ethics;
C. 
The Council shall make every reasonable effort to assure that its local government officers and employees abide by the ethics standards, herewith made a part of the City's Code, which may include the filing of a complaint to the Local Finance Board pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.9 when appropriate.
D. 
With respect to any and all redevelopment matters taking place in the City, any elected or appointed official of the City shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 38, § 38-10, concerning the City Code of Ethics and the LGEL, including but not limited to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.5(d) of the LGEL, which requires any official to refrain from acting in any manner whatsoever with respect to any matter in which he/she or a member of his/her immediate family, or a business organization in which he/she has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement, that might reasonably be expected to impact his/her objectivity or independence of judgment. For purposes of the City's Code of Ethics as amended by this section, said section of the LGEL shall be interpreted also to require any such official to refrain from all communications with professionals and officials and attendance at and participation in any meetings with professionals and officials working on or involved in the redevelopment matter that is the subject of the disqualification to that official.

§ 38-11 Administration; records.

A. 
Each full-time employee shall receive a copy of the personnel policies and practices of the City of Somers Point, as contained herein, and he will study the policies, practices and rules set forth therein and in this chapter. He is expected to sign the statement signifying that he received a copy of this chapter, agreeing to conform with it, and return said statement to his department head to be placed in his personal history file.
B. 
All changes, additions or deletions will be made by means of amendments to this chapter, copies of which will be issued to each employee to be kept with his copy of the personnel policies and practices of the City of Somers Point. Each employee will sign a note acknowledging receipt of said change, to be given the City Clerk for placement in the employee's personal history file.
C. 
Only the Mayor and the members of City Council may have access to any or all of the personal history files. Any employee may, at reasonable times, examine his own personal history file. Nothing in the personal history file shall be permanently removed therefrom by an individual.

§ 38-12 Interpretation.

This chapter shall not be construed in derogation of any federal or state statutes or rules promulgated thereunder, nor shall it be construed in derogation of any lawful provision of any contract duly executed between the City of Somers Point and any of its employees.