[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Township Council of the Township of Dover (now Toms River) 6-22-2004 by Ord. No. 3884-04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The legislative power of the municipality shall be exercised by the Township Council ("Council") pursuant to the authority vested in N.J.S.A. 40:69A-36 and general law.
The Township Council, in addition to such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by this chapter or otherwise by general law, may:
Require any municipal officer, in its discretion, to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding his or her official duties in the performance thereof, and otherwise investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency of the municipal government.
Remove, by at least two-thirds vote of the whole number of the Township Council, any municipal officer, other than the Mayor or a member of Council, for cause, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.
Upon the submission of the budget to the Township Council by the Mayor, the Council may reduce any item or items in the Mayor's budget by a vote of a majority of the Council, but an increase in any item or items therein shall become effective only upon an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the members of the Council.
The Council shall, where practicable, provide for the maintenance of a system of work programs and quarterly allotments for operation of the budget. It shall be the duty of the officer or department administering any such program to develop or report appropriate unit cost of budgeted expenditures.
The Council shall provide, by ordinance, for the exercise of a control function in the management of the finances of the municipality by some officer other than the Business Administrator. The control function shall include provision for any encumbrance system of budget operation, for expenditures only upon written requisition, for the preaudit of all claims and demands against the municipality prior to payment, and for the control of all payments out of any public funds by individual warrants for each payment to the official having custody thereof.
The Council shall cause to be made an annual audit of its books, accounts and financial transactions to be made and completed in accordance with Local Fiscal Affairs Law. The Council shall employ a registered municipal accountant of New Jersey to prepare its annual audit.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:5-1 et seq.
[Added 2-9-2010 by Ord. No. 4241-10]
At its organization meeting, or any regular meeting subsequent thereto, the Council shall elect a Vice President of the Council from among its members. In the absence of the President of the Council, the Vice President shall preside at its meetings. The President of Council shall notify the Council whenever he or she shall be prevented by absence from the municipality, disability, or other cause from attending to the duties of his or her office. The designation shall be made in writing and filed with the Municipal Clerk prior to the effective date thereof. The Vice President of Council shall act as President whenever the President of the Council is absent from the municipality for a period of five or more calendar days.
[Amended 2-9-2010 by Ord. No. 4241-10]
At its organization meeting, or any regular meeting subsequent thereto, the Council shall elect a President of the Council from among its members. The President shall preside at its meetings and perform such other duties as the Council may prescribe.
The President of the Council shall preside at its meeting.
He or she shall preserve order and decorum at all meetings of the Council.
He or she shall state every question coming before the Council.
He or she shall announce the decisions of the Council.
He or she shall decide all questions of order.
He or she shall appoint all special committees of the Council.
He or she shall sign all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council during his or her presence.
He or she shall sign the minutes of each meeting, along with the Municipal Clerk.
He or she shall sign the bills list.
The Municipal Clerk shall serve as Clerk of the Council, keep its minutes and records of its proceedings, maintain and compile its ordinances and resolutions as the Optional Municipal Charter Act requires and perform such functions as may be required by law.
Regular meetings. The Council shall meet annually for organization on the first day of January at 12:00 noon or during the first seven days of January in any year. The Council shall designate by resolution the time of the holding of regular meetings, which shall be at least monthly.
Special meetings. The Mayor may, and upon written request of four Councilpersons, shall, call a special meeting of the Council. In the call, he or she shall designate the purpose of the special meeting, and no other business shall be considered.
Open to the public. All regular and special meetings of the Council shall be open to the public.
Quorum. A majority of the whole number of members of the Council shall constitute a quorum, but no ordinance shall be adopted by the Council without the affirmative vote of a majority of all of the members of the Council.
The agenda for each regular and special meeting of the Council shall be prepared by the Clerk. The agenda must be approved prior to the meeting by either the Council President or by four members of the Township Council. Except for emergency matters which may be added to the agenda at any time with the approval of the Council President or four members of the Township Council, the agenda for each regular meeting of the Council shall include only such matters of Council business as have been presented or delivered to the Clerk by Councilpersons no later than the Friday proceeding the meeting at 12:00 noon. As soon as the agenda for each meeting has been prepared, the Clerk shall provide a copy thereof to the office of each Councilperson, the Mayor, the Business Administrator and each department head.
Consent agenda. Items listed on the agenda which are considered routine by the Council shall be placed under a subheading entitled "Consent Agenda." Prior to voting upon any item on the consent agenda, the President or presiding officer shall open the meeting to the public and the Council to entertain requests for removal from the consent agenda. There shall be no separate discussion of items on the consent agenda unless a Councilperson so requests, in which event the item shall be removed from the consent agenda and considered in its normal sequence on the agenda. Those items which appear on the consent agenda are not required to be read at the public meeting in their entirety but may be read by description only. Those items so approved under the consent agenda shall appear in the Council minutes in their complete and proper form.
General procedure. Except as otherwise provided herein, meetings of the Council shall generally be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order except as modified by Township Council.
Mayor's participation. The Mayor may attend meetings of Council and may take part in discussions of Council to the extent authorized under N.J.S.A. 40:69A-41, but shall have no vote except in the case of a tie on the question of filling a vacancy in the Council, in which case he or she may cast the deciding vote.
Presiding officer. The President or presiding officer shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of being a Councilperson by reason of his or her acting as the presiding officer or President. The President or presiding officer shall have the privilege of closing debate.
No member of the public may address the Township Council except during the portion of the meeting set aside for public comment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-12 and during the opportunity to be heard upon second reading of an ordinance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-2. Any person desiring to address the Council shall first seek to be recognized by the Council President. Upon recognition of said person, remarks during the public comment portion of the meeting shall be within the time limits set by Council by resolution in accordance with N.J.S.A. 10:4-12 for public comment on any governmental issue that a member of the public feels may be of concern to the residents of the municipality.
Legislative powers shall be exercised by ordinance, except for the exercise of those powers that, under the Mayor-Council Plan of government or by general law, do not require action by the Mayor as a condition of approval for the exercise thereof, and may, therefore, be exercised by resolution. Those actions which may be exercised by resolution shall include, but not be limited to:
The override of a veto of the Mayor.
The exercise of advice and consent to actions of the Mayor.
The conduct of a legislative inquiry or investigation.
The expression of disapproval of the removal by the Mayor of officers or employees.
The removal of any municipal officer for cause in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:69A-37.
The adoption of rules for the Council.
The establishment of the Council as a committee of the whole and the delegation of any number of its members as an ad hoc committee.
The election, appointment, setting of salaries and removal of officers and employees of Council, subject to any pertinent civil service requirements and any pertinent contractual obligations and within the general limits of the municipal budget.
Designation of the official newspapers.
Approval of contracts presented by the Mayor.
The expression of Council policies or opinions which require no formal action by the Mayor.
Creation of and appointments to ad hoc and/or advisory committees whose purpose is to assist the Council in exercising its legislative functions.
Creation of, to the extent allowed by law, and appointment to any and all statutory boards and commissions to which appointment authority rests with Council.
Drafting. Ordinances and resolutions shall be drafted by the Township Law Department, any member of Council, Special Counsel or any person designated by Counsel.
Procedure for introduction of ordinances. Ordinances may be introduced and read on first reading by reading the title only. After publication and notice of hearing and upon the opening of the hearing, the ordinance shall be given a second reading which may be by title, and thereafter it may be passed with or without amendments or rejected. Prior to the second reading, a copy of the ordinance shall be posted on the bulletin board or other public place upon which public notices are customarily posted in the municipal building, and copies of the ordinance shall be made available to members of the general public of the Township who shall request such copies.
Procedure for adoption of ordinances. An ordinance may be adopted by the Council only by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of all members of the Council. Each ordinance shall be published by the Clerk, considered and adopted by the Council, and become effective according to the procedure prescribed by the charter.
Voting. The vote of the Council upon every ordinance and resolution shall be taken by the Clerk by roll call.
All ordinances shall be introduced, read, heard and enacted in the manner provided by general law. Each ordinance adopted by Council shall be promptly delivered by the Clerk to the Mayor. Each ordinance shall be returned by the Mayor to the Clerk after the Mayor has affixed his or her signature thereto or after the expiration of 10 days from the date of its delivery to the Mayor in any event.
No ordinance or any item or part thereof shall take effect without the Mayor's approval, unless the Mayor fails to return an ordinance to the Council within 10 days after it has been presented to him, or unless Council, upon reconsideration thereof on or after the third day following its return by the Mayor, shall by a vote of two-thirds of the members resolve to override the Mayor's veto.
All reports to the Council and all resolutions shall be filed with the Township Clerk and entered into the minutes of the Council.
Council shall deal with employees of the Department of Administration and other administrative departments solely through the Mayor or his or her designee. All contact with the employees and all actions and communications concerning the administration of the government and the provision of municipal service shall be through the Mayor or his or her designee, except as otherwise provided by law and Township Code § 5-15 below.
Council may require any municipal officer to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding his or her official duties in the performance thereof and otherwise investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency of the Township government. Nothing within § 5-15 herein shall be construed as to prohibit the Council's inquiry into any act or problem of the administration of the Township or as to deprive any member of Council of his or her rights as a citizen of the Township. Any Councilperson may, at any time, require a report on any aspect of the government of the Township by making a written request to the Mayor. Council may, by a majority vote of the whole of its members, require the Mayor or his or her designee to appear before the Council sitting as a committee to the whole, and to bring before the Council those records and reports and officials and employees of the Township as the Council may determine necessary to ensure clarification of the matter under study. Council may further, by a majority of its members, consult with the Mayor or his or her designee to study any matter and to report to Council thereon. Council President may submit to Council a list of proposed subcommittees to consist of up to three members of Council on each subcommittee for the purpose so designated by Council. A Council member may be appointed to more than one subcommittee. Upon approval of the assignments to the subcommittees by the majority of Council, said subcommittees shall inquire into, investigate and/or report on those matters within their designated subject matter to the Council as a whole.
Where required by law or in any part of this Code, Council is to exercise its powers of advice and consent.
Time for submission of nominees.
Mayor shall submit department head names within 30 days of adoption of this Code.
In the case of a vacancy in any office or position to which the advice and consent of the Council is required as to the appointment, Mayor shall submit a nominee for the position to the Council within 45 days after the vacancy occurs.
If Council denies consent to the appointment of any nominee, either expressly or by Subsection C below, Mayor shall be required to submit the name of another nominee for the office or position within 30 days from the date of the denial. The date of the denial shall be either the date the denial was formally acted upon by Council or 30 days after the submittal of the name by the Mayor, as applicable. Mayor shall not resubmit the name of any nominee for which consent to the appointment was denied by Council. In the event this nominee is denied approval by Council, the procedure herein shall be repeated until an appointment is approved.
Time for consent of nominees. If Council fails to grant consent to a proposed nominee within 30 days after the submittal of the name by Mayor, consent shall be deemed denied.
In the event a position or office remains vacant for more than 60 days, an acting department head must be appointed by the Mayor with advice and consent of Council from within the existing employees of the Township. The appointment of an acting department head shall be for a term of 60 days or until a permanent department head is approved pursuant to Subsection B above, whichever is sooner. This procedure for appointment of acting department head as delineated herein may be repeated at the expiration of the sixty-day term, if necessary. Mayor shall not resubmit the name of any nominee for which consent to the appointment was denied by Council. If any position or office requires special licensing or certifications, and no current employee of the Township holds such qualifications, the position shall remain vacant until consent is granted by Council.
If the Mayor, in his or her discretion, intends to remove a department head or any other municipal executive officer who is not a subordinate officer or employee, including any tenured employee other than the Municipal Clerk or an employee of whom Council is the appointing authority, Mayor must provide notice and opportunity to be heard. Mayor must file written notice of his or her intention to remove with Council by filing such notice with the Municipal Clerk. The Municipal Clerk shall stamp the notice with the date received and immediately forward copies to all members of Council. Council may disapprove the removal by adopting a resolution affirmatively voted by no less than five Council members prior to the 20th day after the filing of notice by the Mayor. The 20 days shall run from the date the notice is stamped received by the Municipal Clerk. If Council adopts such a resolution disapproving the removal, the person shall retain his or her terms and conditions of employment as existed prior to the time the Mayor expressed his or her intent to remove. If Council does not adopt such resolution prior to the 20th day after the filing of the notice with Council, the removal shall become effective.
Each Councilperson shall receive a salary within the range provided in the current Salary Ordinance.
[Added 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 4061-06]
Pursuant to the Mayor-Council Plan of the Optional Municipal Charter Law duly adopted by the voters on November 5, 2002, municipal elections for the members of the Township Council shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November during odd-numbered years, and the terms of the elected Council members duly elected shall begin on January 1 next following their election. It is the intent of this section to provide that during the two-year period that the duly elected Council members sit together, the Council shall be deemed to be a continuous body politic, and all local legislation introduced in a year where no municipal elections for Council members are held may be finally adopted in the succeeding year pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-2 et seq.