[This Charter consists of Chapter 201 of the Laws of New Jersey 1955, which was approved by the voters of the Township at an election held November 8, 1955. A uniform system of stylization (capitalization, punctuation, number clarification, etc.) has been employed, and a listing of section titles has been added preceding the text for the convenience of the user. No substantive changes have been made to the text of the Charter.]
This Act shall be known as the "Charter Supplement of the Township of Bloomfield, 1955," hereinafter referred to as the "Charter."
[Amended 10-6-2008 by Res. No. (9)6]
The provisions of this Act shall be construed as a reenactment of those provisions of the referendum act for the incorporation of towns (1895) (N.J.R.S. 40:123-1 et seq.) and all other legislation relating to the town form of government, which are incorporated herein either verbatim or by reference. Upon the adoption of this Charter Supplement by the voters, as hereinafter provided, the Township shall be governed by the provisions hereof and by such provisions of general law relating to towns or municipalities generally as are not inconsistent herewith. This Act shall not affect the determination of ward boundaries as heretofore established pursuant to law (N.J.R.S. 40:44-1 et seq.).
[Amended 10-6-2008 by Res. No. (9)6]
Upon the adoption of this Charter Supplement by the voters, as hereinafter provided, the inhabitants of the Township of Bloomfield in the County of Essex, within the territorial limits of the Township as heretofore prescribed by "An act to incorporate the Town of Bloomfield in the County of Essex," approved February 26, 1900 (Laws of 1900, Chapter 3), and any amendments thereof; shall continue as a body politic and corporate with perpetual succession under the name of "The Township of Bloomfield."
The Township Council shall consist of the Mayor and three (3) Councilmen elected at large and three (3) Councilmen elected by wards, one (1) from each of three (3) wards. At the first general election following the first primary election which is held not less than forty-five (45) days after this section takes effect, Councilmen to be elected for full terms shall be nominated and elected at large, and those to be elected for full terms at the next succeeding election of Councilmen shall be nominated and elected from wards as heretofore. Their respective successors shall thereafter be elected at large and from wards, as the case may be. The Township shall be governed by the Township Council, elected as above stated, and by such appointive officers and employees as may be constituted or authorized by general law, the Charter or ordinance.
Editor's Note: At the election held 11-8-1955, at which this Charter was approved by the Township voters, the provisions of Section 16 of Chapter 201 of the Laws of New Jersey 1955 were adopted in lieu of Section 4 as set out in that Act. The original Section 4 thus being inoperative, the provisions of Section 16 are set out herein as § C4.
The Mayor and Councilmen shall be elected at a general election to serve for terms of three (3) years, beginning January 1 next following their respective elections, and until the election and qualification of their respective successors. The Mayor and Councilmen elected at the general election in November 1956 shall serve for terms of three (3) years. The Mayor and Councilmen in office on January 1, 1957, or who take office on that date, shall continue in office for the remainder of the respective unexpired terms for which they were elected.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of Mayor or Councilman, the remaining members of the Council shall fill the vacancy by appointment of a qualified elector of the same political party to serve temporarily until the vacancy is filled by the election and qualification of a successor. The vacancy shall be filled by election of a qualified person at the next general election held not less than forty (40) days following the occurrence of the vacancy, to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term, provided that no election to fill a vacancy for the remainder of an unexpired term shall be held at any general election in which the same office is to be filled by election for a full term.
The Township Council, subject to the provisions of the Charter, shall:
Serve as the governing body of the Township.
Adopt the Township budget, authorize the issuance of bonds and other obligations and levy taxes as authorized by general law.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 125 of Title 40 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes (N.J.R.S. 40:125-1 through 40:125-40), have power to organize and regulate the internal affairs of the Township, with power to establish, alter and abolish offices, positions and employments and to define the functions, powers and duties thereof and to fix the terms and compensation of all Township officers and employees, except that this section shall not be construed to authorize compensation heretofore fixed by referendum to be modified without another referendum.
Appoint the Township Administrator and fill such other appointive offices, employments and positions as may be created by law or ordinance where no other provision is made for such employment.
Have power to appropriate and authorize the expenditure of Township moneys and to adopt, amend and repeal such ordinances and resolutions as may be required for the good government of the Township.
Exercise such other powers of legislation and administration as are vested in the governing body by general law.
The Council shall act as a whole with respect to all matters within its jurisdiction, and there shall be no standing committees of the Council to perform administrative functions. Special committees and the Chairmen thereof, for legislative purposes, may be appointed by the Mayor at any regular or special meeting of the Council.
The Mayor shall have the powers and duties prescribed for the office by general law, the Charter and ordinances of the Township. Without limitation of the foregoing, the Mayor shall:
Have, exercise and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the Councilman at large in townships.
Preside at all meetings of Council at which he is present and appoint Council committees as authorized by the Charter.
Exercise such powers of approval and veto of ordinances and resolutions as are conferred upon the Mayor by general law.
Consult and advise with the Township Administrator during the preparation of the annual Township budget, and, upon the preparation of the budget in the manner and form required by the Charter, he shall introduce the budget ordinance in accordance with the Council's rules of procedure.
Have, exercise and discharge such other and different functions, powers and duties as the Council may delegate to him by ordinance, which it may adopt, amend and repeal as need appears.
The Township Administrator shall be appointed by the Council to serve for an indefinite term at the pleasure of the Council. He shall be chosen solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to his training and actual experience in or his knowledge of accepted practices in respect to the duties of his office. At the time of his appointment, he need not be a resident of the Township or state, but during his term of office he may reside outside the Township only with the approval of the Council. He may be removed by the Council by vote of a majority of the members of the Council after the service upon him of notice, in writing, stating the intention to remove him and the reasons therefor and giving him an opportunity to be heard at a public hearing not less than twenty (20) nor more than thirty (30) days after the service of such notice. The Township Administrator shall, under the general direction of the Township Council:
Be responsible for the preparation of the budget document and the compilation and analysis of budget costs and estimates, the maintenance of sound personnel policies and administrative practices; and the purchasing of materials, supplies and equipment to be furnished and work and labor to be done for the Township.
Supervise the administration of all departments, offices and agencies of the Township government.
Conduct prebudget public hearings during the month of November in each year, during which each department head shall have an opportunity to present and justify his budget requests.
Prepare the annual budget for introduction in such form and with such explanatory statements and schedules, consistent with the local budget law, as the Council shall provide.
Approve all bills and vouchers for payment, subject to audit and control in such manner as the Council shall provide.
Study the governmental and administrative operations and needs of the Township government and prepare and recommend to the Council necessary and desirable plans and programs with respect thereto.
Attend all meetings of Council and perform such other duties as the Council may prescribe.
The head of each department shall prepare and submit to the Township Administrator, on or before November 1 in each year, budget requests for the ensuing budget year, stating, separately, requests for current operations and for capital purposes. Such requests shall be in such form and shall be supported by such detail as the Township Administrator shall require.
The Council, by ordinance, shall continue and may, from time to time, modify provisions for the exercise of a control function, in the management of the finances of the Township by some officer other than the Administrator. The control function shall include provision for an encumbrance system of budget operation, for expenditures only upon written requisition, for the preaudit of all claims and demands against the Township 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 of the fund. Such ordinance or ordinances shall supersede, with respect to the Township of Bloomfield, the provisions of N.J.R.S. 40:125-15.
The Council, subject to the provisions of the Charter, shall, on or before the 60th day following the date this Charter takes effect, provide for the organization of the administrative functions of the Township government into not more than ten (10) departments. The Council shall also allocate and assign, by ordinance, the administrative functions, powers and duties of the Township among and within such departments, subject to the provisions of this Charter and general law. The Council may appoint the Township Administrator to be the head of a department, in which event the provisions of N.J.R.S. 40:125-38 shall be inapplicable to such appointment and the acceptance thereof.
All ordinances and resolutions of the Township, to the extent that they are not inconsistent with this Charter, shall remain in full force and effect following the adoption of the Charter until modified or repealed by the Council. All officers and employees shall continue in their respective offices and positions subject only to the express provisions of the Charter. The civil service status, tenure and pension rights of officers and employees of the Township and of any of its agencies and instrumentalities shall not be affected by the adoption of this Charter. All property rights and obligations, interests in litigation and pending matters of all kinds shall continue unaffected by the adoption of this Act.