Township of North Brunswick, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Township Council of the Township of North Brunswick as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Contribution disclosure statements — See Ch. 153.
Political fund-raising — See Ch. 182.
[Adopted 2-7-2005 by Ord. No. 05-1[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Requirements Prior to Award of Contracts Exempt from Public Bidding, adopted 5-17-2004 by Ord. No. 04-10.

§ 70-1 Prohibition on awarding public contracts to certain contributors.

A. 
To the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law, the Township of North Brunswick (the Township) and any of its purchasing agents or departments, as the case may be, shall not enter into any agreement or otherwise contract to procure services from any professional business entity if such professional business entity has solicited or made any contribution of money, or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions, to a campaign committee of any Township candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract or any Township party committee or any political action committee (PAC) that is organized solely for the purpose of promoting or supporting Township municipal candidates or municipal officeholders 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 who submits a proposal for, enters into negotiations for or agrees to any contract or agreement with the Township or any departments thereof, for the rendition of professional services shall knowingly solicit or make any contribution of money, pledge of contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any Township candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract any Township party committee or any political action committee (PAC) that is organized solely for the purpose of promoting or supporting Township municipal candidates or municipal officeholders in excess of the thresholds specified in Subsection D, between the time of first communication between that professional business entity and the Township regarding a specific professional services agreement and the later of the termination of negotiations or rejection of any proposal, or the completion of the contract or agreement.
C. 
For purposes of this article, a "professional business entity" seeking a public contract shall mean 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 a business entity shall include 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 article may contribute a maximum of $400 for each election in any year, for any purpose, to any candidate for Mayor or Council or $500 for each election in any year to the Township of North Brunswick party committee or to a PAC referenced in this article without violating Subsection A of this article. However, any group of individuals meeting the definition of "professional business entity" under this article, including such principals, partners and officers of the entity in the aggregate, may not contribute for any purpose in excess of $2,500 for each election in any year to all Township candidates and officeholders with ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, and all Township political parties and/or PACs referenced in this article combined, without violating Subsection A of this article.
E. 
As provided in N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20, no individual, either alone or jointly with one or more other individuals, and no corporation, partnership, membership organization or other incorporated or unincorporated association shall loan or advance to any individual, group of individuals, corporation, partnership, membership organization or other incorporated or unincorporated association any money or other thing of value expressly for the purpose of inducing the recipient thereof, or any other individual, group, corporation, partnership, organization or association, to make a contribution, either directly or indirectly, of money or other thing of value to a campaign committee of any Township candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract or any Township party committee or any political action committee (PAC) that is organized solely for the purpose of promoting or supporting Township municipal candidates or municipal officeholders. No person shall contribute, or purport to contribute, to a campaign committee of any Township candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract or any Township party committee or any political action committee (PAC) that is organized solely for the purpose of promoting or supporting Township municipal candidates or municipal officeholders which does not actually belong to him and is not in his full custody and control; which has been given or furnished to him by any other person or group for the purpose of making a contribution thereof, except in the case of group contributions by persons who are members of the contributing group; or which has been loaned or advanced expressly for the purpose of inducing the making of a contribution to a campaign committee of any Township candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract or any Township party committee or any political action committee (PAC) that is organized solely for the purpose of promoting or supporting Township municipal candidates or municipal officeholders.
F. 
For purposes of this article, all prohibitions and limitations on contributions to Township of North Brunswick candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract shall be applicable, in the case of dual office-holding, to contributions to or for the benefit of the dual officeholder regardless of office.
G. 
For purposes of this article, the office that is considered to have ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract shall be:
(1) 
The Township Council of the Township of North Brunswick, if the contract requires approval or appropriation from the Township Council.
(2) 
The Mayor of the Township of North Brunswick, 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.

§ 70-2 Contributions made prior to the effective date.

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

§ 70-3 Contribution statement by professional business entity.

A. 
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure services with any professional business entity and any contract or agreement to procure services from a professional business entity, the Township or its purchasing agents and departments, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the professional business entity that the bidder or offeror has not made a contribution in violation of § 70-1 of this article and the Municipal Clerk shall certify as to the receipt of such sworn statement.
B. 
The professional business entity shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur during the negotiation, proposal process or duration of a contract. The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the Township of North Brunswick, or prior to the provision of services, and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.

§ 70-4 Return of excess contributions.

A professional business entity or Township candidate or officeholder or Township party committee or PAC referenced in this article may cure a violation of § 70-1 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 the contribution from the relevant Township candidate or officeholder, Township political party or PAC referenced in this article.

§ 70-5 Limitation on employee contributions.

To the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law, no Township employee shall knowingly solicit or make any contribution of money, pledge of contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any Township candidate or holder of public office or to any Township party committee or to any PAC that is organized for the purpose of promoting or supporting Township municipal candidates or municipal officeholders in excess of the thresholds specified in § 70-1D of this article.

§ 70-6 Disclosure required on major subdivision and site plan applications.

At the time of filing an application for major subdivision and site plan approval, all applicants therefor shall also file with the Township of North Brunswick Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board, as the case may be, a disclosure setting forth the amounts of all contributions to any Township candidate or holder of public office or to any Township party committee or to any PAC referenced in this article, made by such applicant within two calendar years of the date of such application.

§ 70-7 Retroactivity of future clarifications adopted.

A. 
It is anticipated that there may be some professional business entities which determine to attempt a legalistic adherence to the letter, rather than the spirit, of this article. It is the declared intent of this municipal governing body to remain vigilant to recognize such attempts to subvert the underlying purposes for which this article was adopted. Any professional business entity which may attempt such creative subversion does so at its peril. If and in the event creative actions are taken in order to defeat the purposes of this article, it is the intention of the governing body to enact appropriate clarification of this article, which clarification shall be retroactive to the initial effective date of this article, thereby disqualifying such creative professional business entities from serving the Township. Changes to this article which are not for purposes of clarification, but which are amendments to the provisions hereto, shall become effective upon adoption and publication according to law.
B. 
It is the express legislative intent of the governing body of the Township of North Brunswick to avoid the perception of any improper influence on local elections. Therefore, to the extent that any portion of provision of the Ordinance is adjudged by the courts to be invalid, it is the express hope and desire of the governing body that any professional business entities seeking public contracts with the Township will voluntarily comply with this express legislative intent.

§ 70-8 Violations and penalties.

A. 
All Township of North Brunswick professional service agreements shall provide that it shall be a breach of the terms of the government contract for a professional business entity to violate § 70-1B or to knowingly conceal or misrepresent contributions given or received or to make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution.
B. 
Any professional business entity as defined in § 70-1C 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 Township of North Brunswick contracts, agreements or provision of goods and services for a period of four calendar years from the date of the violation.