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Borough of Rutherford, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough of Rutherford Council 10-27-2009 by Ord. No. 3191-09.[2] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Administrative offices — See Ch. 4.
Personnel policies and practices — See Ch. 70.
Purchasing — See Ch. 81.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 5, Advertising, adopted 7-7-1936 by Ord. No. 1383, was repealed 11-10-1998 by Ord. No. 2855-98.
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that divisions of it shall take precedence over any other part of the Code which is specifically modified by the terms hereof, or is in conflict with said terms.
A. 
The Mayor and Council shall hold an annual meeting on the first day of January at 12:00 noon, or during the first seven days of January in any year.
B. 
At its annual meeting the Council shall, by the vote of a majority of its number, elect a President of the Council who shall preside at all its meetings when the Mayor does not preside. The President of the Council shall hold office for one year and until the next annual meeting and shall have the right to debate and vote on all questions before Council. If the Council fails to elect a President at the annual meeting, the Mayor shall appoint the President from the Council and, in that case, no confirmation by the Council shall be necessary.
C. 
The President of the Council shall perform all the duties of the Mayor during any period in which the Mayor is absent from the Borough for three days or more, or is unable to perform the duties of his or her office. Where such absence is intended, the President of the Council shall become the Acting Mayor until the Mayor's return. If the President of the Council is unable to perform the duties of the Acting Mayor, then the member of Council with the longest term of service may act temporarily for the President of the Council.
D. 
Three Council members and the Mayor or, in the absence of the Mayor, four Council members, shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.
E. 
The Council may, at its annual meeting, establish for its members such committees of the Council as will assist it for the ensuing year.
F. 
The Council shall hold such other meetings, at such time and place as it may by resolution direct, but all regular meetings shall be held within the Borough.
G. 
The Mayor shall, when necessary, call special meetings of the Council. In case of his or her neglect or refusal, any four members of the Council may call such meeting at such time and place in the Borough as they may designate, and in all cases of special meetings notice shall be given to all the members of the Council, or left at their places of residence.
A. 
The Mayor shall be the head of the municipal government.
B. 
The Mayor shall have all those powers designated by general law.
C. 
The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the Council and may vote to break a tie.
D. 
Every ordinance adopted by the Council shall, within five days after its passage, Sundays excepted, be presented to the Mayor by the Borough Clerk. The Mayor shall, within 10 days after receiving the ordinance, Sundays excepted, either approve the ordinance by affixing the Mayor's signature thereto, or return it to the Council by delivering it to the Clerk, together with a statement setting forth the Mayor's objections thereto or any item or part thereof. No ordinance or any item or part thereof shall take effect without the Mayor's approval unless the Mayor fails to return the ordinance to the Council, as prescribed above, or unless the Council, upon consideration of the ordinance following its return shall, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of Council, resolve to override the veto.
E. 
No ordinance shall be passed, or appointment of any subordinate officer of the Borough be confirmed, except by a vote of a majority of the members of the Council present at the meeting provided that at least three affirmative votes shall be required for such purpose, the Mayor voting only in the case of a tie.
F. 
If any ordinance contains more than one distinct section, clause, or item, the Mayor may approve one or more thereof and veto the rest.
G. 
The Mayor shall nominate and, with the advice and consent of Council, appoint all subordinate officers of the Borough, unless the specific terms of the general law clearly require a different appointment procedure. He or she shall make his or her nomination to any such office within 30 days of that office becoming vacant.
H. 
The Mayor shall see to it that the laws of the State, and the ordinances of the Borough, are faithfully executed. He or she shall recommend to the Council such measures as he or she may deem necessary or expedient for the welfare of the Borough. He or she shall maintain peace and good order, and have the power to suppress all riots and tumultuous assemblies in the Borough.
A. 
The Council shall be the legislative body of the municipality.
B. 
The Council may, subject to general law and the provisions of this act:
(1) 
Pass, adopt, amend and repeal any ordinance or, where permitted, any resolution for any purpose required for the government of the municipality, or for the accomplishment of any public purpose for which the municipality is authorized to act under general law;
(2) 
Control and regulate the finances of the municipality and raise money by borrowing or taxation;
(3) 
Create such offices and positions as it may deem necessary. The officers appointed thereto shall perform the duties required by law and the ordinances of the Council;
(4) 
Investigate any activity of the municipality;
(5) 
Remove any officer of the municipality, other than those officers excepted by law, for cause; and
(6) 
Override a veto of the Mayor by a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Council.
C. 
The Council shall have all the executive responsibilities of the municipality not placed by general law or this act in the office of the Mayor.
D. 
The Council, whenever it fails to confirm the nomination by the Mayor of any official to a subordinate office of the Borough within 30 days of being presented such nomination, shall make the appointment to that office provided that at least three affirmative votes shall be required for such purpose, the Mayor to have no vote thereon except in the case of a tie.
E. 
The Borough Council may create such advisory councils to the municipality as it may choose, including councils for the functions absorbed by it of any heretofore existing boards, commissions or districts (N.J.S.A. 40A:60-7).
The Borough Clerk shall attend all meetings of the Council, keep a correct record of all its proceedings, and perform such other duties as the Council may require, or as may be directed by law.
A quorum must be present for a meeting of the governing body. Three or more Council members and the Mayor, or four or more Council members without the Mayor, shall constitute a quorum.
A. 
Any and all matters which members of the governing body wish to bring to the attention of the Mayor and Council at any meeting shall be filed with the Borough Clerk not later than 48 hours before the meeting. Any item of business not on the agenda which a member of the governing body wishes to be considered by the Mayor and Council shall only be considered upon consent of a majority of the Council members present. The Borough Clerk shall prepare a written agenda of all such matters to be brought before any meeting of the Mayor and Council. The agenda shall include the following:
(1) 
A consent agenda consisting of any matters which may be approved collectively upon one motion, duly made and seconded; provided, however, that the Mayor or any member of the Council may remove a matter from the consent agenda for full discussion of such matter by the governing body;
(2) 
A list of bills presented for payment;
(3) 
A copy of any ordinance proposed to be introduced on first reading;
(4) 
A copy of any written resolution intended to be acted upon by the Mayor and Council; and
(5) 
Any other item requested to be included by the Mayor or a Council member.
B. 
Members of the public shall be given the opportunity to speak on any subject relevant to the business of the governing body at every meeting of the Mayor and Council. Said opportunity to speak shall be limited to five minutes unless a majority of the Council agrees to a longer period.
C. 
No item of business shall be introduced at a Council meeting which does not appear on the agenda unless approved by a majority of those members of the Council present; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be deemed to restrict the right of a citizen to bring a matter before the Council.
D. 
A copy of the list of bills, any ordinance proposed to be introduced on first reading, any written resolution intended to be acted upon by the Mayor and Council, and any other items included on the agenda shall be made available for inspection by the general public at the regular meeting of the Mayor and Council.
A. 
Annual organizational meeting. The Mayor and Council shall hold an annual meeting on January 1, or during the next following weekday not a legal holiday, and such other meetings, or adjourned meetings, at such time and place as they may by resolution direct. At the organizational meeting, the Mayor and Council shall adopt a resolution authorizing the "annual notice" required by N.J.S.A. 10:4-8d containing the time, date and, to the extent known, the location of each meeting to be held during the forthcoming year. All meetings held in accordance with the "annual notice" shall be considered regular meetings of the Mayor and Council.
B. 
Regular meetings. There shall be two regular meetings each month:
(1) 
A meeting known as the first regular meeting of the month, conducted on a date set by resolution at the annual organizational meeting and advertised pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-8d(l), for the purpose of considering any matters as may properly come before the Council. Unless otherwise modified by the governing body, the order of business at this meeting shall be as follows:
(a) 
Roll call.
(b) 
Salute to the flag.
(c) 
Provisions of Open Public Meetings Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
(d) 
Borough Engineer's report.
(e) 
Borough Administrator's report.
(f) 
Review of changes to proposed agenda.
(g) 
Scheduled presentations.
(h) 
Hearing of citizens.
(i) 
Review of minutes, payment of bills.
(j) 
Committee agenda items and general discussion.
(k) 
New, unfinished and/or miscellaneous business.
(l) 
Motion to approve agenda items.
(m) 
Ordinances on first reading.
[Added 7-26-2011 by Ord. No. 3232-11[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsection B(1)(m) as Subsection B(1)(o).
(n) 
Ordinances on second reading, including public hearing.
[Added 7-26-2011 by Ord. No. 3232-11]
(o) 
Adjournment.
(2) 
A meeting known as the second regular meeting of the month, conducted on a date set by resolution at the annual organizational meeting, and advertised pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-8d(l), for the purpose of considering any matters as may properly come before the Council. Unless otherwise modified by the governing body, the order of business at this meeting shall be as follows:
(a) 
Citizen awards and commendations (Council chambers): 7:00 p.m.
(b) 
Roll call 7:15 p.m., or immediately following awards (work room).
(c) 
Salute to the flag and silent prayer.
(d) 
Provisions of Open Public Meetings Act.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
(e) 
Review of changes to proposed agenda.
(f) 
Hearing of citizens.
(g) 
Review of minutes and payment of bills.
(h) 
Committee agenda items and general discussion.
(i) 
Relocate to council chambers.
(j) 
Monthly committee reports.
(k) 
Hearing of citizens (agenda items only).
(l) 
Motion to approve consent agenda and vote on other agenda items.
(m) 
New, unfinished and/or miscellaneous business.
(n) 
Ordinances on first reading.
(o) 
Ordinances on second reading, including public hearings.
(p) 
Adjournment.
(3) 
The order of business at any meeting of the Mayor and Council may be modified with the consent of a majority of those present.
C. 
Executive sessions. The Council may, at any time during any meeting, on motion of a majority of those present, go into executive session and exclude the public, when permitted by applicable law to do so. Matters discussed in executive session shall not be disclosed to the public until disclosure is required by law or a majority of the Council agrees that the matter should be made public, and there is no law which requires that the matter not be made public.
D. 
Rules of order at meetings. The following rules of order shall be observed at all Council meetings:
(1) 
No resolution or motion shall be put to a vote unless seconded.
(2) 
No member shall occupy more than five minutes at a time without the majority of the Council present.
(3) 
No person shall speak more than twice on the same subject without a majority of the Council present.
(4) 
While a member is speaking, no member shall entertain any private discourse.
(5) 
When a question has been put and decided, it shall be in order for any member who voted with the majority to move for reconsideration thereof, provided the same shall be moved the same day, or at the next regular meeting.
(6) 
The deliberations of the Council shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order as revised.
(7) 
No member of the public shall speak for more than five minutes on any subject without the approval of the Mayor or a majority of the Council present.
(8) 
A curfew of 11:00 p.m. will be observed for all committee of the whole or regular meetings. It may be waived by a vote of 2/3 of those present.
A. 
Pursuant to the authority granted by N.J.S.A. 40A:60-7, the Council hereby organizes itself into the following standing committees: Finance, Police, Fire, Public Works, Buildings and Utilities, and Human Resources. Each committee shall have a primary and a secondary member. The Council, from time to time, may modify, eliminate or appoint additional standing committees by consent of the Council.
B. 
Committee members appointed pursuant to Subsection A above shall act as liaisons to those municipal organizations which fall under the responsibilities assigned to their committees, unless the power to act as liaisons to a municipal organization is otherwise granted to the Mayor by law or statute.
C. 
All committees, both standing and special, shall make oral reports of their activities at regular meetings during the year, and an annual report in writing at the end of the year. Nothing in this rule shall prevent the presentation of divergent reports from the two members of a committee.
D. 
Responsibilities.
(1) 
Standing committees appointed by the Council shall have the following responsibilities:
(a) 
Police Department. The Committee on Police shall report on matters connected with the Police Department and the preservation of the peace and good order. This Committee shall also report to the Council on matters connected to the following Borough entities: OEM, crossing guards, Auxiliary Police, Violations Bureau and Municipal Court, and shall act as Council liaison to the Pedestrian Safety Task Force.
(b) 
Finance. The Committee on Finance shall examine and report on budget matters, and from time to time shall report on the financial condition of the Borough. This Committee shall report to the Council as necessary on matters connected to the following Borough departments: Finance, Purchasing, Tax Collection, Tax Assessment, and shall act as Council liaison to the Citizens Finance Committee, and the local assistance board.
(c) 
Department of Public Works. The Committee on Public Works shall report on matters concerning the Department of Public Works and its activities, including solid waste, recycling, streets, parks, stormwater management, and shall act as Council liaison to the Shade Tree Committee, and Recycling and Environment Committee.
(d) 
Buildings, Grounds and Public Utilities. The Committee on Buildings and Utilities shall report on the activities of the Building Department and the condition of publicly owned or operated buildings and utilities. This Committee will also report on the Borough of Technology Upgrade Subcommittee, and shall act as Council liaison to the Nereid Boat Club, Passaic River Coalition.
(e) 
Fire Department. The Committee on Fire shall report on matters concerning the Bureau of Fire Safety and the Fire Department and its activities, and shall act as Council liaison to the Ambulance Corps.
(f) 
Recreation Department. The Committee for Recreation shall report on the activities of the Recreation Department, including recreation youth sports, league sports, field and sports facilities maintenance, and community events, and shall act as Council liaison to Green Acres, Felician College.
(2) 
Where there is a question regarding which standing committee should have responsibility for a particular issue, municipal activity, or municipal organization, a majority of the full Council shall determine which committee shall have responsibility.
A. 
A copy of any proposed ordinance shall be presented to each member of the governing body before it is presented for introduction.
B. 
All proposed ordinances shall generally be introduced by a member of the committee to which the subject matter has been assigned. The member shall introduce the ordinance, and briefly describe it on first reading or on second reading. The Clerk shall read and introduce the ordinance by title only. The member shall then move that the ordinance be passed on first or second reading, which motion shall require a second.
C. 
After introduction and reading, and motion and second for passage, the Mayor shall request that the Clerk take roll call as to each member's aye or nay vote on passage of each ordinance. The Clerk shall take the roll call vote on passage or nonpassage of each ordinance.
D. 
All ordinances, whether on first or second reading, shall be read by the Clerk by title only. Any member may request that an ordinance be read in its entirety at the time of its introduction on first reading, or on second reading. Such request shall be honored upon the unanimous consent of all Council present.
E. 
An ordinance passed on first reading shall be published in the Borough's official newspaper in accordance with law. Following passage of an ordinance on second reading, the Clerk shall endorse on the ordinance the date of passage thereof, and shall present the ordinance to the Mayor for his or her signature within five days from passage thereof.
F. 
Upon passage, every ordinance or the title, together with a notice of the date of passage, shall be published at least once in the Borough's official newspaper. The ordinance shall take effect in accordance with law.
G. 
After the passage of an ordinance, it shall be properly numbered and recorded at length by the Borough Clerk in the ordinance book, and proof of publication of the same shall be attached to the original ordinance.
H. 
The Borough Clerk shall enter only the title of any ordinance and reference to amendments into the minutes of the meetings.
[Amended 2-23-2010 by Ord. No. 3196-10]
A. 
All purchases must comply with the bidding requirements, and other requirements, imposed by the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1, et seq.
B. 
Prior to committing to any purchase, a requisition signed by the department head of the requesting department shall be presented to the Chief Financial Officer to ensure the availability of funds and that the proper budgetary account is charged, and to the Borough Administrator, or in the absence of a Borough Administrator by anyone the Council designates by resolution. Requisitions under the current bid threshold ($40,000 at the time of the most recent amendment to this subsection) shall be signed by the department head of the requesting department, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Borough Administrator, or in the absence of a Borough Administrator by anyone the Council designates by resolution. Requisitions above the current bid threshold ($40,000 at the time of the most recent amendment to this subsection) shall also be presented to the appropriate Councilperson and are subject to Council approval. However, a Councilperson's signature is not required for any requisitions that are statutory and contractually negotiated, including but not limited to requisitions for health benefit payments, insurance payments, distribution of tax levies, sewer utilities, pension payments and debt payments.
[Amended 6-26-2018 by Ord. No. 3464-18]
C. 
The Borough Administrator or, in the absence of a Borough Administrator, the Council may delegate the review and approval of requisitions for purchases costing less than $1,000 to the Purchasing Agent or other appropriate individual. That delegation by the Administrator must be in writing or resolution of the Council and filed with the Borough Clerk, specifying the classes of requisitions over which authority is delegated.
D. 
For all requisitions, the Borough Administrator or his or her delegate or the Council's delegate shall review the requisition to determine that it is necessary and appropriate for purchase at that time, and/or is a planned and budgeted expenditure.
E. 
Whenever possible, written quotations shall be obtained for all purchases. If the cost of purchasing the material is below the bid threshold established by New Jersey Public Contracts Law N.J.S.A. 40A:11, but over $3,150 (or present quote threshold), a reasonable effort must be made to obtain at least three written quotes before entering into any contract.
F. 
Upon receipt of a certification of availability of funds, the requisition shall be filed in the Purchasing Office, and shall be available for review by any member of the Council.
G. 
The appropriate standing committee may specify in writing, filed with the Borough Administrator, that certain classes of requisitions shall require its specific approval prior to a purchase order being given. If so specified, a member of the committee shall review all requisitions falling into that class.
H. 
An objection to any requisition must be made in writing. If an objection is unable to be reconciled, or if the standing committee fails to approve the requisition, the requisition shall be presented to the governing body for consideration at the next council meeting by the Borough Administrator, or any Councilmember who believes that the purchase is in the best interests of the Borough
I. 
If no objections are noted, or if any noted objection is resolved, the Chief Financial Officer or Purchasing Agent may proceed to issue a purchase order as soon as expedient, and purchase the material. The purchase order and descriptive information will appear on the bill list (in accordance with Article Eleven) for payment approval by the Council.
J. 
Any purchase over $21,000 or such higher amount as set by statute or administrative code, must be advertised in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11.
K. 
If the cost of purchasing supplies and equipment is above the bidding threshold, written specifications shall be prepared for approval by the Council. Upon approval of the specifications, the Administrator or his or her delegate, or in the absence of an Administrator an individual named by a majority of the council, shall procure the materials pursuant to public bidding.
L. 
To ensure compliance with the Local Public Contract Law N.J.S.A. 40A:11, a Resolution will be presented to the Mayor and Council, along with a certification of funds, for any purchase(s) over $21,000 or such higher amount as set by statute or administrative code. Resolutions for lesser amounts may be presented to the governing body at request, or at the discretion of the CFO, the Borough Administrator, or his/her delegate.
M. 
The Borough Administrator or his or her delegate or the Council's delegate is authorized, upon consultation with the Committee Chair, to approve requisitions for the emergency purchase of materials, or provision of services, before review by the Council when the purchase is deemed necessary to maintain essential Borough operations.
A. 
All bills and claims against the Borough shall be fully itemized and submitted on the legal voucher provided by the Borough. The claimant shall certify the correctness of his or her demand, and shall present the same to the Chief Financial Officer and/or Borough Administrator, or his or her delegate, before it is presented for payment at a Council meeting.
B. 
In order to determine the validity of bills and claims, prevent duplication of the same, and to establish their propriety, invoices shall be presented with the voucher. Where applicable, the department head shall execute the voucher certifying that the service had been rendered, or that the materials, supplies, or equipment has been delivered. The Borough Administrator, or his or her delegate, shall approve all vouchers, and evidence same with his or her signature.
C. 
All claims shall be audited by the Chief Financial Officer for accuracy compliance with law and with budgetary controls.
D. 
Upon approval of the Chief Financial Officer, the bill or claim and all supporting documentation shall be filed with the Purchasing Department, and shall be available for review by the Council. The Chief Financial Officer shall prepare a list of all vouchers which he or she has approved for payment (the "bill list") and shall provide such list to the Borough Clerk for inclusion by the Borough Clerk in the agenda materials of each Council member.
E. 
The members of the Council shall review the bill list prior to the work session or regular meeting. Whenever possible, any objection to or question regarding any payment should be resolved. Any objection or question raised at the meeting shall be resolved before the Council approves any payment. If not resolved, the voucher shall be removed from the bill list at that meeting for further evaluation.
F. 
If no objections are noted, or if any noted objection is resolved, the Council may proceed to authorize payment of the bill list in whole, or in part, on the consent agenda.
G. 
The Chief Financial Officer may then disburse payment of the claim after he or she has determined that all required procedures have been followed, and procedures received.
Upon every vote of the Council on resolutions and motions, the ayes and nays shall be taken and recorded. No member shall be permitted to vote unless present when the member's name is called in regular order. A voice vote may be taken on any motion or resolution. A roll call vote shall be required upon the demand of one or more members of the governing body.
A. 
The seal of the Borough shall be circular in form and shall contain the following: "The Borough of Rutherford, Incorporated September 21, 1881," and may contain a device.
B. 
The seal shall be in the custody of the Borough Clerk and shall be affixed only by the Borough Clerk.
These bylaws may be amended by a vote of a majority of the Council, but only at a meeting of the Council where notice of said proposed amendment has been presented to the entire governing body at least 14 days prior. The bylaws may be amended temporarily for a specific meeting, but only by an affirmative vote of two thirds of Council members present at that meeting.