Township of Stafford, NJ
Ocean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Stafford 6-25-1985 by Ord. No. 85-65. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Boards and commissions — See Ch. 10.
Committees — See Ch. 17.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 35.

§ 5-1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as and may be referred to as the "Administrative Code" and is herein referred to as "this Code."

§ 5-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter and in the interpretation and application of all other ordinances and resolutions heretofore adopted by the Township, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHARTER
Small Municipality Plan A of the Optional Municipal Charter Law, Chapter 210 of New Jersey Laws of 1950, N.J.S.A. 40:69A-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented, and any and all general laws as therein defined which are or may be applicable to the Township.
DEPARTMENT
An organizational unit of the Township government so designated by this Code.
DIVISION
An organizational unit within a department.
MAINTAIN
To file, codify, index or preserve.
MONTH
A calendar month, unless otherwise specifically provided.
MUNICIPAL OFFICER or TOWNSHIP OFFICER
Any person elected to, appointed to or employed in any position defined by this Code.
PERSON
Includes individuals, corporations, firms, organizations, companies, associations or any group acting as an individual or as a unit. The masculine shall include the feminine gender.
TOWNSHIP or MUNICIPALITY
The Township of Stafford, Ocean County, New Jersey.
YEAR
A calendar year, unless otherwise specifically provided.

§ 5-3 Legislative power.

All legislative power of the Township will be exercised by the Township Council. The Township Council, in addition to such powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by statute, may require any municipal officer to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding his official duties and the performance thereof and may investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency of the municipal government.

§ 5-4 Organization; presiding officer.

The Council will organize annually, at which time it will select a President of the Council from among its members, who shall serve in the place of the Mayor in the event of his absence, disability or refusal to act. The Mayor shall preside over all meetings of the Council. In the absence of the Mayor, the President shall preside. In the absence of the Mayor and the President, the Council shall select from among its members a temporary presiding officer.

§ 5-5 Duties of Clerk.

The Township Clerk shall maintain, prepare and sign the minutes of the Council, maintain the records of the Council, maintain personnel files for all employees of the Township and perform such other duties as shall be assigned. At public meetings of the Municipal Council, the Township Clerk shall, in the proper order of business, announce the subject and author of all correspondence received. At the request of any member, any item of correspondence shall be read in full.

§ 5-6 Agenda.

The agenda for each regular meeting of the Council shall be prepared by the Clerk and made available to the Council members prior to the opening of the meeting. Additional copies of the agenda shall be available to the public.

§ 5-7 Filling of Council vacancies.

Vacancies in the Council shall be filled as set forth in the Municipal Vacancy Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:16-1 et seq.

§ 5-8 Council meetings.

A. 
Regular meetings. The Council shall meet on a regular basis at the Municipal Building, as shall be determined by resolution of the Council. Regular meetings shall be held at least monthly:
(1) 
All meetings of the Council shall be held in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
(2) 
The Township Clerk shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the Council and shall record the minutes of every meeting.
(3) 
An adjourned meeting shall be considered a continuation of the preceding meeting, and the business of Council shall be resumed at the point where it was left at the last adjournment.
B. 
Special meetings.
(1) 
The Mayor may, upon written request of a majority of the members of the Council, call a special meeting of the Council. In the call for said special meeting, the Mayor shall designate the purpose of the special meeting, and no other business shall be considered.
(2) 
The Mayor shall promptly direct the Clerk to serve notice, in writing, of any special meeting upon each member of the Council at least 24 hours prior to the time for which the meeting is called. Upon written waiver of notice executed by all members of the Council, a special meeting may be held without prior notice, notwithstanding the above provisions of this section.
C. 
Emergency meetings.
(1) 
Should the Mayor determine that a state of emergency exists affecting the health or safety of the people, which requires more immediate attention than permitted by a special meeting of the Council, the Mayor shall call an emergency meeting. The call may be filed with the Clerk at any time not less than three hours prior to the time set for the meeting, unless such prior notice is waived as provided under Subsection B, Special meetings. Whenever an emergency meeting is called, the Clerk shall forthwith serve written notice upon each member of the Council at his place of residence or at his regular place of business by leaving a copy thereof with the Council member personally or with a responsible adult, if such a person is present, stating the date and hour of the meeting and the purpose for which the meeting is called. The Police Department shall cooperate fully with the Clerk in serving such notice.
(2) 
An emergency meeting may take place only upon the affirmative vote of 3/4 of the members of the Council present. Such meeting may only occur if, in the opinion of the members of the Council, it is required in order to deal with matters of such urgency and importance that a delay for the purpose of providing adequate notice would be likely to result in substantial harm to the public interest; and the meeting is limited to discussion of an action with respect to such matters of urgency and importance; and notice of the meeting is provided as soon as possible following the calling of such meeting by posting written notice of the same in a public place, as provided in N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(d), and by notifying two newspapers circulating within the municipality by telephone, telegram or by delivering a written notice of same to such newspapers; and the Township Council could not reasonably have foreseen the need for such a meeting at a time when adequate notice could have been provided; or the Township Council failed to foresee the need for such a meeting at a time when adequate notice could have been provided.
D. 
Executive session. Any member of the Council may move for adjournment to a closed or executive session, and upon a vote of the Council, an executive session shall be held from which the general public shall be excluded, upon compliance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, et seq.
E. 
Meetings of Council; special public hearings. Any member of the Council may, when he deems it in the public interest, move for the holding of a special hearing for the purpose set forth in his motion. No ordinance, resolution or motion shall be voted upon at such special hearings, and such special hearings shall not include public hearings on ordinances which are a part of the order of business of regular meetings. Should a special public hearing be called, the Clerk shall cause the time, place and purpose of said hearing to be advertised once in the official newspaper of the Township, such advertisement to appear at least two days in advance of the date of the hearing.
F. 
Guidelines for the videotaping of the public portion of Council meetings. The following guidelines shall apply to any person who intends to videotape the public portion of any Township Council meeting:
[Added 5-1-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-47]
(1) 
No more than two persons, exclusive of the official Township videographer, shall be permitted to videotape, whether by handheld camera, camcorder or other equipment, the public portion of a Township Council meeting. Any person desiring to videotape the public portion of the meeting shall be considered a person counting towards the occupancy limit for fire code purposes of the venue of the meeting.
(2) 
Any person interested in videotaping the public portion of a Township Council meeting shall contact the Township Administrator by phone or in person to advise of his or her intent to videotape the meeting in question. Said contact must occur no later than 15 minutes prior to the official starting time of the meeting.
(3) 
Any person videotaping the public portion of a Township Council meeting shall videotape from, or set up videotape equipment, on the side aisle at the far right of the room where the meeting is to be held. In the regular meeting room, the designated area shall be the side aisle on the far right as a person is entering the room from the main doors. Under no circumstances may a person videotape or set up equipment so as to obstruct any view of any person in the audience, whether seated or standing. Any individual wishing to videotape or set up videotaping equipment shall not block, obstruct or interfere with the equipment used by Southern Regional High School or other designated official videographer who is broadcasting the public meeting live over the Township’s local access channel.
(4) 
For public meetings within the regular Township meeting room, two electrical outlets shall be available for use along the side aisle to the right as one enters the room from the main doors. Any person wishing to utilize these electrical outlets to videotape shall not overload the circuits provided. Said person shall not utilize extension cords or devices intended to increase the number of outlets without the prior approval of the Township Administrator. In the event the equipment that a person wishes to utilize to videotape the public portion of the Township Council meetings appears to be capable of damaging or overloading the electrical system, the Township may prohibit that person from utilizing that equipment to videotape the meeting.
(5) 
Any person who attempts to videotape or set up equipment in a manner contrary to these guidelines shall be asked to comply or remove the equipment in question. Any person who refuses to comply with the guidelines may be viewed as obstructing the meeting in question.
(6) 
Any person who is interested in videotaping a public portion of a Township meeting which is being officially videotaped by the Township may request that the Township provide a tape of the meeting. Said person shall reimburse the Township for the cost of the tape.
G. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided in these rules, the proceedings of the Council shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order.
[Added 11-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-38]

§ 5-9 Roll call votes; minutes.

The vote upon every motion, resolution or ordinance shall be taken by roll call, and the "ayes" and "nays" shall be entered on the minutes. Any member of the Council may abstain from voting at any time. All motions and resolutions shall be determined by a majority of those members voting, unless otherwise specified by ordinance or state law, but no ordinance shall be adopted by the Council without the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Council. The minutes of each meeting shall be signed by the officer presiding and the Township Clerk.

§ 5-10 Ordinance and resolution procedures.

The following provisions apply to ordinances and/or resolutions:
A. 
Each ordinance or resolution shall be introduced in writing and shall be read and considered as provided by general law. The vote upon every motion, resolution or ordinance shall be taken by roll call, and the "ayes" and "nays" shall be entered into the minutes.
B. 
All ordinances shall be published, pursuant to general law, in full in at least one newspaper having circulation within the Township, unless otherwise provided by law. All members of the public shall have the opportunity to speak on the ordinance at the time of final reading prior to its adoption.
C. 
No ordinance, other than the local budget ordinance, shall take effect less than 20 days after its final passage by Council and approval by the Mayor, where such approval is required, unless the Council shall adopt a resolution declaring an emergency and at least 2/3 of all members of the Council vote in favor of such resolution.
D. 
The Township Clerk shall record all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council, and at the close of each year, with the advice and assistance of the Township Attorney, shall bind, compile or codify all of the ordinances and resolutions, or true copies thereof, of the municipality which then remain in effect. The Township Clerk shall also properly index the record books, compilation or codification of ordinances and resolutions.
E. 
Prior to its introduction, any proposed ordinance permitting or requiring administrative action shall be submitted to the Mayor and to the department head concerned.
F. 
An ordinance or resolution may be introduced by any member of the Council. The Clerk shall forthwith provide each member of the Council with a copy thereof and shall provide the Municipal Attorney with a copy. Each ordinance and resolution shall be limited to a single (object), which shall be clearly expressed in its title.

§ 5-11 Rules of procedure.

The Council may determine its own rules of procedure not inconsistent with ordinance or general law, which rules may be adopted by resolution of the Council.

§ 5-12 Election of Mayor.

The Mayor shall be elected at large by the voters of the municipality, as provided by statute.

§ 5-13 Duties of Mayor as chief executive.

The Mayor shall be the chief executive of the Township. He shall:
A. 
Enforce the Charter and all laws and ordinances in effect within the Township.
B. 
Supervise all of the departments of the Township government.
C. 
Ensure the efficient and effective operation of all of the departments of the Township government, in accordance with general law, the Charter, this Code and other municipal ordinances.
D. 
Ensure that all inquiries to the Township government are promptly assigned to the appropriate department for action.
E. 
Appoint a Finance Committee and such other committees of the Council as he may deem necessary.
F. 
Require each department, board, committee, commission or other municipal body to make an annual report and such other reports of its work as he may deem desirable.
G. 
Make such other reports to the Council and to the public and such recommendations to the Council for action as he may deem in the public interest.
H. 
Provide liaison with agencies of the State of New Jersey and with official bodies of other municipalities on matters affecting the Township and/or its citizens.
I. 
Prepare the annual budget with the assistance of the Treasurer and with the cooperation of department directors and the other members of the Council.

§ 5-14 Duties of Mayor as member of Council.

The Mayor shall be a member of the Council. He shall:
A. 
Participate in meetings of the Council and vote as other Council members.
B. 
Preside over the meetings of the Council.

§ 5-15 Delegation of power.

All of the administrative functions, powers and duties of the Township shall be allocated and assigned among and within the departments established and constituted by the Code or any amendments and supplements thereto. The Mayor may delegate to other officers of the Township such functions, powers and duties as he may deem appropriate and which are permitted by law, except for the duties required by the Charter to be performed by the Mayor.

§ 5-16 Acting Mayor.

The President of the Council shall serve in place of the Mayor in the event of the absence of the Mayor or his disability or refusal to act. When serving as Acting Mayor, the President of Council shall have all of the rights, powers and duties of the Mayor.

§ 5-17 Departments.

The Township Council may establish such departments and divisions as it shall deem necessary. Each department or division shall be created by ordinance and shall have, exercise and discharge such functions, duties and powers as may be provided by the Charter, this Code or by other ordinance.

§ 5-18 Appointment and removal of department heads.

[Amended 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-20]
A. 
Department heads shall be appointed in accordance with the requirements of state law, and in the absence of state law, in accordance with this Code or other ordinance. Department heads shall not have the power to hire or discharge subordinate employees, unless the power is given to them by ordinance.
B. 
Nothing in this Code shall be construed to prevent the Mayor from appointing to any position for which the Mayor has the responsibility for making appointments any otherwise qualified person, including himself, Council members, or other municipal officers, except as specifically prohibited by the Charter, general law or this Code.

§ 5-19 Powers and duties of department heads.

[Amended 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-20]
The Department head, under the supervision of the Township Administrator, and subject to the Charter and to this Code shall:
A. 
Prescribe the internal organization of the department or division and the duties of subordinate officers and employees within the department, except as provided by the Charter, this Code or by ordinance.
B. 
Ensure that all powers, functions and duties assigned to the department or division are carried out with diligence.
C. 
Operate his department or division in an efficient and effective manner.
D. 
Report in writing to the Township Administrator recommendations for improving departmental or division performance, requirements of the department or division and the results of assignments made to the department or division.
E. 
Report promptly to the Township Administrator, Council and the Chief Municipal Finance Officer projected deviations in the financial performance of the department or division.
F. 
Report at least annually to the Township Administrator and Council, in such form as shall be approved by the Township Administrator, on the work of the department or division during the preceding year.
G. 
Cooperate with the Township Administrator, Chief Municipal Finance Officer and Council in the preparation of the annual budget, providing supporting information for all budgetary requirements and explanations of all deviations from previous budgets.
H. 
Assign functions, powers and duties to subordinate officers and employees within the department or division and modify such assignments as need appears.
I. 
Assign priorities to the conduct of the functions, powers and duties allocated to the department or division.
J. 
Supervise the work of the department through divisions established by this Code and supervise and direct the work of the employees of the department.
K. 
Delegate to other officers or employees of his department or division such of his powers as he may deem necessary for efficient administration and operation.
L. 
Prohibit the expenditure of municipal funds or the commitment of municipal funds by the department or division, except as provided by law.
M. 
Provide liaison with other departments, divisions, boards, etc., as required for the efficient and effective operation of the administrative branch.
N. 
Familiarize himself with general law affecting his department or division and with funds available for the performance of the functions of his unit from sources outside the Township.

§ 5-20 Surety bonds.

Any officer of the Township who is required by state law shall give bond at the expense of the Township, in accordance with general law.

§ 5-21 Conflict of interest.

A. 
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the Township shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract or job for work or for materials or the profits thereof to be furnished or performed for the Township; and no such officer or employee shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract or job for work or for materials or the profits thereof to be furnished or performed for any person operating any interurban railway, street railway, gasworks, waterworks, electric light or power plant, heating plant, telegraph line, telephone exchange or other public utility within the territorial limits of the Township.
B. 
No officer or employee shall accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any person operating within the territorial limits of the Township any interurban railway, street railway, gasworks, waterworks, electric light or power plant, heating plant, telegraph line, telephone exchange or other business using or operating under a public franchise, any frank, free pass, free ticket or free service or accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any terms more favorable than is granted to the public generally, except that such prohibition of free transportation shall not apply to policemen or firemen in uniform.
C. 
No officer or public employee elected or appointed in the Township shall accept or solicit anything of value as consideration for or in connection with the discharge of his official duties, other than the fee or compensation prescribed pursuant to law.
D. 
No official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or accept any private employment or commitment or shall have any financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties in the public interest or would tend to impair his independence or judgment or action in the performance of his official duties.
E. 
No official or employee shall accept any gift or gratuity, whether in the form of service, loan or promise or in any other form, from any person, firm or corporation which, to his knowledge, is interested, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever in business dealings with the Township, nor shall any official or employee accept from any person, firm or corporation any such gift or gratuity which may tend to influence him in the discharge of his duties.
F. 
No official or employee shall represent private interests before the Township Council or before any board, commission or agency of the Township.
G. 
No official or employee shall represent private interests in action or proceeding against the interest of the Township in any litigation in which the Township is a party. Nothing herein provided shall prohibit any Township official or employee from engaging in litigation against the Township to vindicate a personal right granted to said official or employee by the general law or from acting in an adverse capacity to the Township to vindicate the rights of the general public.
H. 
No Council member or member of any Township agency, board, commission or other body shall vote for the adoption or defeat of any resolution or ordinance or for the payment or nonpayment of any indebtedness owing or allegedly owing by the Township in which he has any financial or other personal interest, directly or indirectly, other than emoluments of office to which one is entitled or reimbursable expenses, nor shall any official or employee recommend or lobby for the adoption or defeat of any such measure or for the institution of defense of any legal or quasi-legal action whatever in which he has or may have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect.

§ 5-22 Disclosure of interest.

Any official or employee who has or may have an interest, direct or indirect, in any measure, indebtedness or action and who participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the Council or to any municipal agency with respect thereto shall disclose on the records of the Council or Agency the nature and extent of such interest.

§ 5-23 Prohibited actions.

A. 
No municipal officer or employee shall engage in political activity during his hours of duty, with respect to any candidate.
B. 
No municipal officer or employee shall use, nor shall permit others to use, the facilities of the Township for the preparation, storage or distribution of campaign material.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an elective officer from campaigning at any time.
D. 
No municipal officer or employee shall use, nor shall permit others to use, the facilities of the Township for the conduct of private business. With the approval of the Mayor, nonprofit public service and civil organizations shall be allowed to use such Township facilities as may be deemed appropriate.
E. 
No municipal officer or employee shall, without proper legal authorization, disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the Township, nor shall he use such information to advance the financial or other private interest of himself or of others. The Council may, from time to time, as it deems appropriate, determine by resolution what information shall be deemed confidential for the purposes of this subsection.

§ 5-24 Pensions.

Pension fund membership and the rights of any officer or employee shall not be adversely affected due to the adoption of this Code, or of any amendments or supplements thereto. In the event of the termination of employment of any officer or employee prior to his retirement, for whom funds have been set aside for a pension or for retirement benefits during the period of his employment, such funds shall be paid to such officer or employee at the time of such termination of employment.

§ 5-25 Tenure.

Any officer or employee of the Township, who has acquired tenure in his position through any provision of law or of ordinance, shall retain said tenure in the same position without effect due to the adoption of this Code.

§ 5-26 Annual audit.

The Council shall have an annual audit made of the Township accounts and financial transactions as required by law. Such annual audit shall be made by a registered municipal accountant of New Jersey, selected by the Mayor and Council.

§ 5-27 Regulations to take effect upon filing.

No rule or regulation made by any department, officer, agency or authority of the municipality, except such as related to the organization or internal management of the Township government or a part thereof, shall take effect until it is filed with the Township Clerk. The Council shall provide for the prompt publication of such regulations and rules.

§ 5-28 Public records.

A. 
All of the books, maps, papers, accounts, statements, vouchers and other documents whatsoever acquired or produced in any department shall be carefully and conveniently filed, kept and preserved and shall be and remain the sole property of the Township and shall not at any time be removed from the offices of such department except when required for use in official business, and shall then be returned to such office without delay. Each department head shall be responsible for enforcing the requirements of this section in his department. This section shall be subject to the provisions of the Destruction of Public Records Law (1953), N.J.S.A. 47:3-15 et seq.
B. 
All public documents and records shall, during office hours, be open to public search, inspection and examination, subject to and within limitations prescribed by law, and provided that such search, inspection and examination may be made under such regulations as the officer having custody of such records, books and documents shall establish for the safety and preservation thereof.

§ 5-29 Delivery of funds and records to successor.

Upon termination of the term of office of any officer or the employment of any employee, he shall forthwith deliver to his successor or, if there is no successor, to the Clerk or other person who may be designated by the Council to receive the same all moneys, papers, books, memoranda, accounts and data of any nature whatever pertaining to his office or to his employment.

§ 5-30 Public office hours.

The public administrative and executive business offices of the Township shall be open for the transaction of public business on a regular schedule, as prescribed by the Mayor with approval of the Council, except as otherwise provided by law. Notice of the regular office hours of the Township offices shall be given to the public, and the schedule shall be included in the annual Township directory.

§ 5-31 Establishment of departments, divisions and offices.

There shall be such departments, divisions and offices as may be established by Council.

§ 5-32 Departments established.

[Amended 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-20]
The following departments are hereby established:
A. 
Administration: supervised by the Township Administrator.
B. 
Finance: supervised by the Chief Municipal Finance Officer.
C. 
Public Safety: supervised by the Chief of Police.
D. 
Public Works: supervised by the Superintendent of Public Works.
E. 
Recreation: supervised by the Recreation Director.
F. 
Tax Assessment: supervised by the Tax Assessor.
G. 
Tax Collection: supervised by the Tax Collector.
H. 
Building Inspection Department: supervised by the Construction Official.
I. 
Purchasing Department: supervised by the Purchasing Agent.
J. 
Animal Control Department: supervised by the Chief Animal Control Officer.
K. 
Community Development Department: supervised by the Community Development Director.
L. 
Fire Prevention Bureau: supervised by the Fire Prevention Officer.
M. 
Municipal Court: supervised by the Municipal Court Administrator.
N. 
Network Administration Department: supervised by the Network Administrator.
O. 
Township Clerk's Department: supervised by the Township Clerk.