[Adopted by Ord. No. 96-05]
At an organizational meeting the Council by a majority vote shall elect from their number a president of the Council, who shall preside at all of 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. He shall have the right to debate and vote on all questions before the Council. If the Council at its annual meeting fails to elect a president, the Mayor shall appoint the president from the Council and in that case no confirmation shall be necessary. If the Mayor is absent from the borough for a period of three consecutive days or for any reason is unable to act, the president of the Council shall perform all the duties of the Mayor during his absence or disability. The Mayor, in case of his intended absence from the borough for more than three days at any one time, shall notify the president in writing of such intended absence, whereupon the president shall be and become acting Mayor from the receipt of such notice and continue to act until the Mayor's return. In case of the temporary inability of the president to so act, the Council member having the longest term of service as such may act temporarily for the president.
The Council sets all policy and provides the resources to implement the policy. This is accomplished with the input and advice of standing reference and special committees, which shall be appointed by the Mayor at the commencement of each annual meeting. The members thereof shall serve for the entire year unless otherwise ordered.
The standing reference committees shall consist of two Council members appointed by the Mayor, one of which shall be designated as chairman or liaison. The Mayor shall also be an ex-officio member of all standing committees.
All standing reference committees shall act as a liaison between the governing body and the agencies assigned to such committees. All standing reference committee members shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor, but no committee member shall be removed from his committee except for good cause.
The Mayor shall, at the yearly reorganization meeting, appoint standing committees to provide oversight and recommendations to the Council. The standing committees are as follows: ordinance and policy; finance and insurance; public utilities; personnel; public safety; community relations.
The standing committees may:
Review and suggest policy.
At the Council's request, investigate, study and make recommendations to the Council on issues or questions brought forward by the Mayor, Council or Administrator.
Make recommendations involving financial matters, including financial limits or thresholds.
Recommend short- or long-term planning goals.
Aid in the development, production, and public dissemination of material relating to the borough and its activities.
Provide liaison to outside organizations.
And will perform all statutory requirements.
The oversight responsibilities of the standing reference committees shall be:
Ordinance and policy. When so directed by the Mayor and Council, review all proposed drafts of ordinances prior to introduction at the Council level; suggest changes to text prior to final draft. Offer rationales to members of governing body and general public in justification for proposed ordinances under consideration.
Finance and insurance. Review all borough vouchers and purchase orders to determine completeness, accuracy, and compliance with existing purchasing policies of the borough; conduct ongoing reviews of existing borough insurance policies for possible cost savings and/or improved coverages.
Public utilities. Coordinate policy recommendations with the Administrator/Clerk, for the review of the governing body, including road department, water/sewer department, and public buildings and grounds.
Personnel. Recommend for action to the governing body, regarding all amendments or additions to the personnel policies of the borough; review all complaints referred by the Administrator/Clerk, through the Mayor, dealing with personnel matters of the borough.
Public Safety Committee: Police, Fire and EMS. Coordinate activities and policies dealing with police and fire equipment, crossing guards, traffic control, animal control, and Municipal Court.
Community relations. Conduct public relations with the various civic organizations, business and commercial enterprises, and other organizations, clubs and groups of the Chester community.
Special committees, involving typical subject matter usually assigned to each committee and general responsibilities of each committee insofar as the powers, functions, duties, operations, policies and procedures of such committee are concerned, may be established at the call of the incoming Mayor.
Special committees shall serve for a period of not more than one calendar year.
Committees of the Council shall review any matter or question referred to it by the Mayor and Council and report to the Council for its consideration on any such matter or question with or without recommendations.
Committees shall perform such other duties as may be necessary in the exercise of its responsibilities as the Mayor and Council may direct.
All committee appointments by the Mayor shall be pursuant to this article except those appointments provided for by state statutes.
Each standing committee may adopt rules for its own operation and the conduct of its business, including rules governing the operation and conduct of any subcommittee thereof, provided such rules are not inconsistent with this section.
The chairman of a standing committee may establish, and appoint the members of, such subcommittee of the committee as he may desire, for such purposes as he may specify. Members of a subcommittee shall serve at the pleasure of the chairman. A subcommittee may be dissolved at any time by the chairman.
Each standing committee shall meet at such time and place as its chairman shall designate; provided, however, such meetings comply with law and that no such meeting shall be scheduled by the chairman in conflict with the schedule established by the Mayor for day and time when the Council is in session.
All meetings at which official committee action is required with four or more members of the Mayor and Council in attendance shall be open to the public unless, by resolution pursuant to law, the governing body chooses to enter into closed session.
If required by the governing body, the chairman of each standing committee shall cause to report to the Mayor and Council no later than the next regular meeting of the Mayor and Council next following the committee meeting, a summary report of such meeting indicating:
The chairman of a standing committee shall cause notice to be given to the Administrator/Clerk whenever any matter or question of expending money is considered or referred to such standing committee. The Administrator/Clerk may furnish the standing committee or the Mayor and Council with a report stating the views of the Administrator/Clerk with respect to the fiscal implication of such matter or question.
Whenever a standing committee is directed by resolution of the Council or by order of the Mayor and Council to undertake any investigation or study, the chairman may request the Borough Administrator/Clerk to provide for such research service and cause to prepare such reports as the committee determines will facilitate its consideration of the matter under investigation or study.
Any motion or resolution which will result in relieving a committee of a matter or question referred to it shall not be entertained unless 14 days notice shall be given the Council of the introduction of such motion or resolution, debate shall be limited to whether or not the committee has given the matter of question fair and reasonable consideration. The chairman of the committee or another member, if the chairman is absent, shall be entitled to speak. A motion to table shall not be considered until such person(s) have been afforded the opportunity to so comment or respond, as the case may be. Such motion shall not prevail unless it shall receive an affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the Council.