Township of Florence, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 4-6 Legislative powers.

Pursuant to the Charter, the legislative power of the municipality will be exercised by the Council.

§ 4-7 Election of officers; duties of President.

Pursuant to the Charter, the Council, at its first meeting after each election for Councilmen, shall elect a President of the Council from among its members to serve until the election and qualification of his successor. At the same time, the Council may elect a Vice President of the Council to serve until the election and qualification of his successor, who shall have all of the functions, powers and duties of the President of the Council whenever the President may be absent. In the absence of both the President and Vice President of the Council, the Council shall elect a temporary presiding officer, who shall have all of the functions, powers and duties of the President during his absence. The President of the Council shall preside at its meetings. He shall preserve order and decorum at all meetings of Council. He shall state every question coming before the Council, announce the decisions of the Council and decide all questions of order subject to appeal to the Council. He may vote on all questions, his name being called last. He shall appoint all special committees of the Council and shall sign all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council during his presence.

§ 4-8 Responsibilities of Clerk.

[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
The Township Clerk shall keep a journal of Council proceedings and record the minutes of every meeting and shall have such other functions, powers and duties as are provided by the code.

§ 4-9 Meetings.

A. 
Regular meetings. The regular meetings of the Council will be held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 8:00 p.m.
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
B. 
Special meetings. As provided by the Charter, the Mayor may, and upon written request from the majority of the members of the Council shall, call a special meeting of the Council. In the call, he shall designate the purpose of the special meeting, and no other business shall be considered at such meeting. The call for a special meeting shall be filed with the Township Clerk during regular business hours at least 48 hours before the time for which the meeting is called, and the Clerk shall forthwith serve notice thereof upon each of the Councilmen by leaving a copy of the call at their respective places of residence and/or by telephone communication, if possible, at such place as each Councilman, in writing, may designate. The Clerk shall also forthwith release copies of the call to the press and post at least one copy in a prominent place near the entrance of the Clerk's office.
C. 
Location. All meetings of the Council shall be held in the Council chambers in the municipal building, except that, in case of an emergency making it impracticable to conduct the business of the Council at such chambers with respect to the physical conditions of the chambers or overcrowding due to the number of people desiring to attend the meeting, the Council, upon such reasonable public notice as the circumstances permit, may meet in or adjourn a meeting to any other public building.
D. 
Meetings open to the public; executive session. All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public. In order to prepare for meetings, study matters before it and gather information, the Council may convene as a committee of the whole and in informal conference, which shall be open to the public, although public comment shall not be permitted unless the President of Council invites comments. Such conferences and meetings shall be designated as "executive sessions" of the Council.
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
E. 
Scheduling of special sessions and rescheduling of meetings that fall on holidays are scheduled and advertised by the Council on a need basis.
[Added 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]

§ 4-10 Agenda conference.

On the Wednesday preceding each regular meeting, the Council will hold an agenda conference at 8:00 p.m. at the municipal building. All reports, communications, ordinances, resolutions, contract documents or other matters to be submitted to the Council shall be delivered to the Clerk, whereupon the Clerk shall immediately furnish a copy thereof to each member of the Council, the Mayor, the Business Administrator and the Director of the Division of Law as far in advance of the meeting as time for preparation will permit.

§ 4-11 Conduct of meetings.

A. 
Call to order. The President of the Council or, in his absence, the Vice President shall take his chair precisely at the hour appointed for the meeting and shall immediately call the Council to order. In the absence of the President and Vice President, the Clerk or his assistant shall call the Council to order, whereupon the members of the Council present shall elect a temporary Chairman, who shall forthwith assume the chair and proceed with the meeting and who shall immediately relinquish the chair upon conclusion of the particular business before the Council as soon as the President or Vice President is present.
B. 
Roll call. As soon as a meeting is called to order, the Clerk or his Deputy shall call the roll of the members, and the names of those present shall be entered in the minutes.
C. 
Quorum. The majority of all of the members elected for the Council shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting of the Council, but a lesser number may adjourn any meeting from time to time.
D. 
Order of business. The business of the Council at each regular meeting shall be taken up for consideration and disposition in the following order:
[Amended 3-1-1989 by Ord. No. 1989-4; 3-15-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-6]
(1) 
Call to order and flag salute.
(2) 
Sunshine statement and roll call.
(3) 
Approval of minutes of previous meeting(s).
(4) 
Financial correspondence.
(5) 
Regular correspondence and petitions.
(6) 
Approval of applications, permits and licenses.
(7) 
Public meeting.
(8) 
Introduction and adoption of resolutions and ordinances.
(9) 
Reports of officers, boards and committees.
(10) 
Reports of administration.
(a) 
Mayor.
(b) 
Administration.
[1] 
Administrator.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Subsection D(1)(b)[2], Deputy Administrator, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32.
[2] 
Assistant Municipal Administrator.
[3] 
Division of Law.
[4] 
Division of Engineering.
[5] 
Division of Water and Sewer Utilities.
(11) 
Unfinished business.
(12) 
New business.
(13) 
Report of local Board of Health.
(14) 
Miscellaneous.
(15) 
Adjournment.
E. 
Minutes. Unless a reading of the minutes of the previous meeting is requested by a member of the Council, such minutes may be approved without a reading if the Clerk has previously furnished each member with a copy thereof.
F. 
Rules of debate.
(1) 
The President or such other member of the Council as may be presiding may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are by these rules imposed on all members and shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of the Councilmen by reason of his acting as the presiding officer.
(2) 
Every member desiring to speak shall address the chair and, upon recognition by the presiding officer, shall confine himself to the question under debate, avoiding all personalities and indecorous language.
(3) 
A member, once recognized, shall not be interrupted when speaking unless it is to call him to order or as herein otherwise provided. If a member, while speaking, is called to order, he shall cease speaking until the question of order is determined, and, if in order, he shall be permitted to proceed.
(4) 
The Councilman moving the adoption of an ordinance or resolution shall have the privilege of closing the debate.
(5) 
A motion to reconsider any action taken by the Council may be made only on the day such action was taken. It may be made either immediately during the same session or at a recessed or adjourned session thereof. Such motion must be made by one of the prevailing side but may be seconded by any member and may be made at any time and have precedence over all other motions or while a member has the floor, and it shall be debatable. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent any member of the Council from making or remaking the same or any other motion at a subsequent meeting of the Council.
(6) 
A Councilman may request, through the presiding officer, the privilege of having an abstract of his statement on any subject under consideration by the Council entered in the minutes. If the Council consents thereto, such statement shall be entered in the minutes.
(7) 
The Clerk may be directed by the presiding officer, with consent of the Council, to enter in the minutes a synopsis of the discussion on any question coming regularly before the Council.
(8) 
A motion to adjourn shall always be in order and shall be decided without debate.
(9) 
Any matter not covered by these rules shall be governed by Roberts' Rules of Order, as revised.

§ 4-12 Enforcement of decorum.

The President of the Council may request the Police Department to designate a police officer to serve as Sergeant at Arms at Council meetings. He shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the presiding officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at Council meetings, and it shall be his duty to place any person under arrest who violates the order and decorum of a meeting and to cause him to be prosecuted under the provisions of this Code upon a complaint signed by the presiding officer.

§ 4-13 Silence recorded as affirmative vote; abstentions.

[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
Unless a member of the Council states, upon the call of the roll, that he is abstaining, his silence shall be recorded as an affirmative vote. A member of Council may abstain from voting on any matter. An abstention, for all purposes, shall not be counted as an "aye" or "nay" vote nor as a vote either for or against the particular matter in which the abstention is given. The Council member abstaining from the vote shall be deemed to have taken a strict neutral position on the matter.

§ 4-14 Standing committees.

There shall be no standing committee of the Council other than the Committee of the Whole. The President of the Council shall be the presiding officer of the Committee of the Whole, and the rules of proceeding in the Council shall be observed in the Committee of the Whole as far as the same may be applicable.

§ 4-15 Appointments.

A. 
Nominations submitted by the Mayor will be considered in the Committee of the Whole at an agenda conference or executive session and may be reported to the Council at a regular meeting. Any member of the Council may move a nomination.
B. 
With respect to appointments to be made by the Council, any member of the Council may nominate as many candidates as there are offices to be filled. The Council will consider such nominations as Committee of the Whole, which will report to a regular meeting of the Council. Where there is a single office to be filled, the sense of the Council on the appointment shall be taken as to each nominee, and the nominee receiving a majority shall be deemed appointed. Where there is more than one office to be filled, such as on a board, commission or authority, the same procedure shall be followed with respect to each office separately until the total number of appointments to be made has been completed. In the discretion of the chair, a group of nominations may be considered at once where there is no apparent division in the Council as to the nominees included in the group.

§ 4-16 Removals.

A. 
The Council may, for cause, remove any municipal officer other than the Mayor or a member of the Council. A two-thirds vote of Council, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-37, shall be required for the removal of any municipal officer.
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
B. 
The Council will consider a motion to remove for cause only after removal has been duly proposed and considered at a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.
C. 
A motion for removal shall set forth the alleged cause for removal, making specific charges, and provide for notice and an opportunity to be heard to the affected officer. The Clerk shall forthwith cause a copy of the motion for removal, together with a statement of the causes and charges involved and notice of the time and place fixed for the hearing, to be served personally or by registered mail upon the officer affected. A hearing shall be held not less than 10 days nor more than 15 days after the date of such service and may be adjourned from time to time. Such hearing shall be open to the public, and the officer charged shall be entitled to be represented by his own counsel. Following the conclusion of the hearing, the Chairman shall call for a vote on the motion, which shall be determined by a majority vote of the Council.

§ 4-17 Investigations.

Pursuant to the Charter (N.J.S.A. 40:69A-37), the Council may, in its discretion, require any municipal officer to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding his official duties and performance thereof, and the Council may otherwise investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency of the municipal government.

§ 4-18 Annual audit.

The Council shall cause to be made an annual audit of the municipality's accounts and financial actions as required by law. Such annual audit shall be made by a registered municipal accountant of New Jersey selected by the Council.