[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lumberton 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established within the Township of Lumberton an Agricultural Advisory Board, which will serve as an ad hoc advisory board to the Township Committee and Land Development Board. Its purpose shall be to keep the Township Committee and Planning Board informed of developments in the farming community; to respond to the Planning Board on any ordinances introduced by the Township Committee that may impact upon the farming community; to assist the Township Committee and Land Development Board by offering it advise with regard to matters such as, e.g., farmland preservation and the enrollment of certain properties in a Farmland Preservation Program; offering input with regard to land use applications relating to farmland and particularly qualified farm assessed properties; to generally consider and make recommendations regarding the economic viability, economic needs and establishment and/or review of programs aimed at minimizing restraints on the agricultural industry and improving its opportunities; and such other duties, responsibilities and matters which the Township Committee wishes to delegate to said Board.
Meetings. The Agricultural Advisory Board shall meet no fewer than four occasions per year to discuss matters of interest to the farming community, as described in § 3-1 above. The Agricultural Advisory Board shall report to the Township Committee and Land Development Board, at least three times per year, on its activities, and provide the Committee and Land Development Board with a summary of the issues it has discussed and the positions it believes should be advanced on behalf of farming community. The Agricultural Advisory Board shall be strictly advisory in its recommendations, decisions, comments or other observations and shall not be binding in any way upon the Township Committee and Land Development Board or any other municipal body, board or agency.
Composition. The Agricultural Advisory Board shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Township Committee in the following fashion: initially, one member shall be appointed for one year, two members shall be appointed for two years, and two members shall be appointed for three years. Terms shall expire on December 31 of the appropriate year. Thereafter each member shall serve a term of three years. A majority of members of the Agricultural Advisory Board must be either actively engaged in farming or own a portion of the land they farm. The members shall choose a Chairman, who shall serve as liaison between the Board and the Township Committee and Land Development Board. The Chairman shall keep notes of the meeting which shall be deemed to be the property of the Township. The Chairman shall serve as the spokesperson for the Board in discussions with the Township Committee and Land Development Board.
It is the intent of this chapter that the Agricultural Advisory Board shall be solely an advisory board consisting of volunteers appointed as aforedescribed. The Board shall have no authority to expend any public funds, and no funds shall be required to be appropriated in the annual budget for this Board. Moreover, because the Board serves in an advisory capacity and is not authorized to perform any governmental functions affecting the rights, duties, obligations, privileges, benefits or other legal relations of any person, it is the intent of this chapter that the Board shall not be considered a public body within the meaning and intent of the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. Accordingly, there shall be no obligation for the Board to provide any advance notice of its meeting, although nothing herein contained shall be precluded from doing so.
Limitation on powers. It is expressly intended that the Agricultural Advisory Board is created as an ad hoc group to assist the Township Committee in addressing issues and problems facing the farming community. Nothing herein contained shall permit, or be intended to permit, the Agricultural Advisory Board to render suggestions, opinions, recommendations or in any other way communicate with any other agency, board or body of the Township of Lumberton except for the Township Committee.