[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cobleskill as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-17-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]
This article shall be entitled "A local law establishing training requirements for members of the Planning Board, Historic District Review Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Cobleskill."
The Board of Trustees (hereinafter the "Village Board") of the Village of Cobleskill (hereinafter the "Village") finds that appropriate training of the Village Planning Board (hereinafter "Planning Board"), the Village Historic District Review Commission (hereinafter "HDRC"), and the Village Zoning Board of Appeals (hereinafter "ZBA") members is essential to the proper functioning of said Boards/Commission.
The State of New York has recognized the importance of training in Village Law §§ 7-718, Subdivision 7-a, and § 7-712, Subdivision 7-a.
It is the purpose of this article to assist the Planning Board, HDRC, and ZBA members in obtaining appropriate training to enhance their ability to carry out their duties under applicable provisions of law, and to pay the reasonable costs of such training as a Village charge.
It is also the purpose of this article to establish minimum training and continuing education course requirements for such members.
Each member of the Planning Board, ZBA and HDRC shall complete, at minimum, four hours of training each year designated to enable such members to more effectively carry out their duties. Training received by a member in excess of four hours in any one year may be carried over by the member into succeeding years in order to meet the requirements of this section. Such training shall be approved by the Board of Trustees and may include, but not be limited to, training provided by a municipality, regional or county planning office or commission, county planning federation, state agency, statewide municipal association, college or other similar entity. Training may be provided in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to, electronic media, video, distance learning and traditional classroom training.
[Amended 2-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
Noncompliance with these minimum requirements relating to training shall be deemed a proper cause for removal from office.
The reasonable costs of such training courses, seminars, workshops or continuing education courses so designated shall be a Village charge. Members shall also be reimbursed for reasonable travel and meal expenses according to Village policies. Such training sessions shall be approved in advance by the Village Board.
Training sessions that relate to the duties of members of the Planning Board, members of the HDRC, and members of the ZBA may include programs offered by the New York State Department of State, New York State Conference of Mayors, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Planning Federation, the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the New York State Preservation League, the Schoharie County Department of Planning and Economic Development, the Schoharie County Cooperative Extension, the Schoharie County Village Officers Association and other such entities, as well as in-house updates or training seminars or municipal law seminars conducted by the Village Attorney of the Village of Cobleskill.
The Village Board, after consultation with the Codes Enforcement Officer and chairpersons of the Planning Board, HDRC, and ZBA shall designate such training courses, seminars, workshops, or continuing education courses that may be offered within a reasonable distance that may be helpful to or of assistance to the Planning Board, HDRC, and/or ZBA in carrying out their respective functions in a timely, fair, and lawful manner. Notice of such training opportunities shall be forwarded by the Village Board to the respective chairpersons as information becomes available.
Members of the Planning Board, HDRC, and ZBA must submit verification of training to the Village Clerk-Treasurer within 30 days after completion of the training, both for reimbursement of training expenses and for reporting to the Village Board.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the failure of a member of the Planning Board, HDRC, or ZBA to obtain such training shall not affect said person's appointment to serve on such Board/Commission, to entertain applications, to vote on such applications, the validity of such member's actions or the validity of any decision, order or action of such board/commission.
The Village Clerk-Treasurer shall notify the Village Board in writing on or about December 1 in any year of any member of the Planning Board, HDRC, or ZBA who fails to comply with the minimum requirements for training in any calendar year. In the event a member of the Planning Board, HDRC, or ZBA has failed to complete the minimum training requirements set forth in § 38-3, then the Village Board may remove such member for cause as herein provided:
Notice. Such member shall be mailed a written notice specifying the nature of the failure of such member to meet the requirements of § 38-3 above. Such member may elect to arrange a meeting with the Village Personnel Committee within 14 days of the date of the notice to review any pertinent information such member wishes to have considered in support of nonremoval. The Village Personnel Committee will then make its recommendation to the Village Board. If the recommendation is to allow the member to continue because the Personnel Committee determines that legitimate reason(s) for noncompliance exists, a reasonable date for compliance shall be established by which date the requirement is expected to be fulfilled. If the recommendation is to proceed with removal from the respective Board/Commission, then the removal process will continue.
Public hearing. Such notice shall specify a date, not less than 10 nor more than 30 days from the date of mailing such notice, when the Village Board shall convene and hold a public hearing on whether or not such member should be removed from service on such Board/Commission. Such notice shall also specify the time, date, and place of such hearing.
Public notice. Public notice of such hearing shall be published in the official newspaper at least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing.
Conduct of hearing. The public hearing on the charges shall be conducted before the Village Board. The member shall be given an opportunity to retain an attorney at his or her own expense, to present evidence, to call witnesses to refute the charges, and to cross-examine witnesses. A record of such hearing shall be made. The decision of the Village Board shall be reduced to writing, together with specific findings of the Village Board with respect to each charge against such member. A copy of such decision and such findings shall be filed in the Village Clerk's Office and mailed to the member.
Action by the Village Board. Following the hearing and upon a finding that such member has not met the minimum training established by this article, the Village Board may:
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to limit or restrict the Village Board's authority to remove a member from the Planning Board, HDRC, or ZBA for cause (i.e., for other than the reasons enumerated herein). The procedural provisions of § 38-6, Procedure for removal of member, of this article shall govern any hearing to remove a member for cause.
This article shall apply to all members of the Planning Board, HDRC, and ZBA, regardless of the date of their appointment to such Boards/Commission.
Prospective members of the Planning Board, HDRC, and ZBA shall be notified of the requirements of this article prior to their appointment to such Board/Commission.