Township of Franklin, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Franklin as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 11, Addendum A.
[Adopted 10-28-2003 by Ord. No. 3405]

§ 54-1 Prohibition concerning public contracts.

A. 
Any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the municipality or any of its purchasing agents or agencies or those of its independent authorities, as the case may be shall not enter an agreement or otherwise contract to procure services from any professional business entity, if that entity has solicited or made any contribution of money, or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions, to a campaign committee of any Franklin Township candidate or holder of the public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, or to any Franklin Township Party Committee in excess of the thresholds specified in Subsection D within one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the contract or agreement.
B. 
No professional business entity which enters into negotiations for, or agrees to, any contract or agreement with the municipality or any department or agency thereof or of its independent authorities for the rendition of professional services shall knowingly solicit or make any contribution of money, or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any Franklin Township candidate or holder of the public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, or to any Franklin Township party committee, between the time of first communications between that business entity and the Township regarding a specific professional service agreement and the later of the termination of negotiations or the completion of the contract or agreement.
C. 
For purposes of this article, a "professional business entity seeking a public contract" means an individual including the individual's spouse, if any, and any child living at home; person; firm; corporation; professional corporation; partnership; organization; or association. The definition of "business entity" includes all principals who own 10% or more of the equity in the corporation or business trust, partners, and officers in the aggregate employed by the entity as well as any subsidiaries directly controlled by the business entity.
D. 
Any individual meeting the definition of "professional business entity" under this section may annually contribute a maximum of $400 each for any purpose to any candidate, for Mayor or Council or $500 to the Franklin Township party committee without violating Subsection A of this section. However, any group of individuals meeting the definition of "professional business entity" under this section, including such principals, partners, and officers of the entity in the aggregate, may not annually contribute for any purpose in excess of $2,500 to all Franklin Township candidates and officeholders with ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, and all Franklin Township political parties combined, without violating Subsection A of this section.
E. 
For purposes of this section, the office that is considered to have ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract shall be:
(1) 
The Franklin Township Council, if the contract requires approval or appropriation from the Council.
(2) 
The Mayor of Franklin Township, if the contract requires approval of the Mayor, or if a public officer who is responsible for the award of a contract is appointed by the Mayor.

§ 54-2 Contributions made prior to effective date of chapter.

No contribution of money or any other thing of value, including in-kind contributions, made by a professional business entity to any municipal candidate for Mayor or Council, or municipal party committee shall be deemed a violation of this article, nor shall an agreement for property, goods, or services of any kind whatsoever be disqualified thereby if that contribution was made by the professional business entity prior to the effective date of this article.

§ 54-3 Contribution statement by professional business entity.

A. 
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure services with any professional business entity, the Township or any of its purchasing agents or agencies, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the professional business entity made under penalty of perjury that the bidder or offeror has not made a contribution in violation of § 54-1 of this article.
B. 
The professional business entity shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur during the negotiation or duration of a contract. The certification required under this section shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the Township and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.

§ 54-4 Return of excess contributions.

A professional business entity or Township candidate or officeholder or municipal party committee may cure a violation of § 54-1 of this article if, within 30 days after the general election, the professional business entity notifies the Township Council in writing and seeks and receives reimbursement of a contribution from the Township candidate or municipal political party.

§ 54-5 Concealing or misrepresenting contributions.

A. 
All Franklin Township professional service agreements shall provide that it shall be a breach of the terms of the government contract for a professional business entity as defined in § 54-1C to violate § 54-1B or to knowingly conceal or misrepresent contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution.
B. 
Any professional business entity as defined in § 54-1C and D who knowingly fails to reveal a contribution made in violation of this article, or who knowingly makes or solicits contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution, shall be disqualified from eligibility for future Franklin Township contracts for a period of four calendar years from the date of the violation.

§ 54-6 Prohibition of entering into or amending redevelopment agreements with certain contributors.

A. 
Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the Township of Franklin (hereinafter "Township") or any of its purchasing agents or agencies or those of its independent authorities, as the case may be, shall not enter into an agreement, amend an agreement, or otherwise contract with any redeveloper for the planning, replanning, construction or undertaking of any redevelopment project, including the acquisition or leasing of any public property in conjunction with the redevelopment of any area within the Township pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, if that redeveloper has made any contribution of money or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions, during the applicable time period as specified below, to a campaign committee of any Township candidate or holder of public office within the Township having responsibility for arranging, entering into, or approving the redevelopment agreement, or for appointing those who enter into the agreement on behalf of the Township, or to any municipal political campaign committee, or to any Somerset County party committee, or to any political action committee which regularly engages in the support of municipal elections and/or municipal parties or which engages in the support of Township municipal campaigns (PAC). For purposes of this section, the "applicable time period" shall be defined as the time period between the date that the property which is the subject of the redevelopment project has been included in a memorializing resolution adopted by the governing body directing the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if the site is in need of redevelopment pursuant to and in accordance with the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., and the date of entering into the redevelopment agreement.
B. 
All redevelopment agreements or amendments thereto entered into by the Township shall contain a provision prohibiting redevelopers as defined in Subsection C to solicit or make any contribution of money or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any Township candidate or holder of public office within the Township having responsibility for arranging, entering into, or approving the redevelopment agreement, or for appointing those who enter into the agreement on behalf of the Township, or to any Township political campaign committee, or to any Township or Somerset County party committee, or to any political action committee which regularly engages in the support of municipal elections and/or municipal parties or which engages in the support of Township municipal campaigns (PAC), between the time of first communication between that redeveloper and the municipality regarding a redevelopment project and the later of the termination of negotiations or the completion of all matters specified in the redevelopment agreement.
C. 
As defined in N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-3, a "redeveloper" means any person, firm, corporation or public body that shall enter into or propose to enter into a contract with a municipality or other redevelopment entity for the redevelopment or rehabilitation of an area in need of redevelopment, or an area in need of rehabilitation, or any part thereof, under the provisions of this Act, or for any construction or other work forming part of a redevelopment or rehabilitation project. For the purposes of this article, the definition of a "redeveloper" includes all principals who own 10% or more of the equity in the corporation or business trust, partners, and officers in the aggregate employed by the provider as well as any affiliates or subsidiaries directly controlled by the redeveloper. Spouses and adult children at home shall also be included. For the purposes of this article the definition of "redeveloper" shall exclude any person, firm, or corporation that is the owner of the real property that is the subject of the redevelopment agreement. In order to qualify for this exclusion, the owner of the real property must be the sole owner of all the real property which is the subject of the redevelopment contract or agreement on the date they were designated the redeveloper, and no provision of the redevelopment contract or agreement shall:
(1) 
Require or in any way authorize the use of the powers of eminent domain by the redevelopment entity or the Township;
(2) 
Provide for any tax abatement, tax exemption;
(3) 
Require the expenditure or contribution of any public funds;
(4) 
Provide for redevelopment area bond financing;
(5) 
Provide for the establishment of a revenue allocation district; or
(6) 
Provide for an Urban Enterprise Zone grant.
D. 
For the purposes of this section, the office that is considered to have responsibility for arranging and entering into the redevelopment agreement under the Act shall be:
(1) 
The Township Council, if the redevelopment agreement requires approval or appropriation from the Council, or a public officer who is responsible for arranging and entering into the redevelopment agreement, if that public officer is appointed by Council; or
(2) 
The Franklin Township Redevelopment Agency, if it is the designated redevelopment entity.

§ 54-7 Contributions made prior to the effective date.

No contribution of money or any other thing of value, including in-kind contributions, made by a redeveloper to any Township candidate for Mayor or Township Council or Township political campaign committee shall be deemed a violation of this section nor shall an agreement for redevelopment projects of any kind whatsoever be disqualified thereby if that contribution or agreement was made by the redeveloper prior to the effective date of this section.

§ 54-8 Notice given by municipality; sworn statement of redeveloper.

A. 
It shall be the municipality's continuing responsibility to give notice of this section when the municipality gives notice of redevelopment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-6 and when the municipality adopts a resolution directing the Planning Board to prepare a redevelopment plan and at the time that the municipality adopts the ordinance to implement the redevelopment plan.
B. 
Prior to arranging and entering into the redevelopment agreement with any redeveloper, the Township or any of its purchasing agents or agencies or independent authorities, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the redeveloper that the redeveloper has not made any contribution in violation of § 54-6A above. Furthermore, the redeveloper shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur while arranging and entering into the redevelopment agreement, and until all specified terms of the agreement have been completed. The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the agreement with the municipality and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.

§ 54-9 Contribution restrictions and disclosure requirement applicability to consultants.

A. 
The contribution and disclosure requirements in this article shall apply to all redevelopers as well as professionals, consultants or lobbyists contracted or employed by the business entity ultimately designated as the redeveloper to provide services related to:
(1) 
Lobbying of government officials in connection with the examination of an area and its designation as an area in need of redevelopment or in connection with the preparation, consultation and adoption of the redevelopment plan;
(2) 
Obtaining the designation or appointment as redeveloper;
(3) 
Negotiating the terms of a redevelopment agreement or any amendments or modifications thereto; and
(4) 
Performing the terms of a redevelopment agreement.
B. 
It shall be a breach of the consultant's contract, and shall require immediate termination, for a consultant to violate the contribution limits and disclosure requirements in this article.
C. 
A redeveloper who participates in, or facilitates, the circumvention of the contribution restrictions through consultants or professionals shall be deemed to be in breach.

§ 54-10 Return of excess contributions.

A redeveloper or municipal candidate or officeholder or municipal or county party committee or PAC referenced in this article may cure a violation of § 54-6 of this Act, if, within 30 days after the date on which the applicable ELEC Report is published, the redeveloper notifies the Municipal Council in writing and seeks and receives reimbursement of a contribution from the municipal candidate or municipal or county political party or PAC referenced in this article.

§ 54-11 Violations and penalties.

A. 
It shall be a breach of the terms of the Township redevelopment agreement for a redeveloper to: a) make or solicit a contribution in violation of this article; b) knowingly conceal or misrepresent a contribution given or received; c) make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution; d) make or solicit any contribution on the condition or with the agreement that it will be contributed to a campaign committee of any candidate or holder of the public office of Township; e) engage or employ a lobbyist or consultant with the intent or understanding that such lobbyist or consultant would make or solicit any contribution which if made or solicited by the redeveloper itself would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article; f) fund contributions made by third parties, including consultants, attorneys, family members, and employees; g) engage in any exchange of contributions to circumvent the intent of this article; or h) directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, do any act which would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article.
B. 
Furthermore, any redeveloper who violates Subsection A shall be disqualified from eligibility for future Township redevelopment agreements for a period of four calendar years from the date of the violation.