Borough of Dumont, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Dumont as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Campaign and political party reports — See Ch. 9.
Ethics — See Ch. 31.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 52.
Personnel policies — See Ch. 69.
[Adopted 3-4-2008 by Ord. No. 1359]

§ 13-1 Title.

This article shall be known as and may be cited as the "Fairness in Employment and Elective Office Ordinance."

§ 13-2 Purpose.

A. 
The purpose of the following provisions of this article is to recognize that the residents of Dumont regard their elected officials with a level of trust that positions or contracts of employment or provision of services within the Borough will be awarded on the basis of merit and qualification and that no position or contract of employment or provision of services within the Borough will be awarded, or consideration for such employment or provision of services will be enhanced, upon the basis of familial, personal or political relationship.
B. 
Although professional services contracts and certain other contracts for goods and services are exempt from the competitive bidding requirements of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., the Borough of Dumont deems it appropriate and consistent with the provisions of recently enacted New Jersey Legislation, now codified at N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.1 et seq., to henceforth award such contracts through a competitive, quality-based, fair and open process, unless a specific determination to the contrary is made by the Borough of Dumont through a duly adopted ordinance or resolution.
C. 
Political contributions have a profound impact on government decisionmaking. A conflict of interest may arise between the business of political fund-raising and the business of government in Borough Hall and other government-owned premises which may cause a distraction from the people's business. The paramount public interest in a clean accountable government requires preventing this conflict and ensuring the integrity of government decisions by prohibiting political fund-raising on or by the use of public property.

§ 13-3 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CANDIDATE
Any individual seeking election to a public office of the federal government, state, county, municipality, school district and/or political organization at an election.
CONTRIBUTION
Includes all loans and transfers of money or other thing of value to or by any candidate, elected official or political organization and all pledges or other commitments or assumptions of liability to make any such transfer. Contributions shall be deemed to have been made upon the date when such commitment is made or liability assumed.
MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL, EMPLOYEE AND APPOINTEE
Any person holding elective office in the Borough of Dumont or holding an appointed position in the government of Dumont Borough, or in any agency, commission, board or office thereof, whether the position is full-time or part-time, compensated or uncompensated; and any employee in Dumont Borough government or in any agency, commission, board or office thereof, whether the position is full-time or part-time.
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
Any two or more persons acting jointly, or any corporation, partnership or any other incorporated or unincorporated association which is organized to, or does, aid or promote the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate or candidates for federal, state, county, municipal or school board office. "Political organization" includes, but is not limited to, organizations otherwise defined as a "political committee," "joint candidates committee," "legislative leadership committee" and "political action committee."
PROPERTY OF THE BOROUGH OF DUMONT
Buildings, land, vehicles, phones (land-line, cellular and otherwise), fax machines, computers or other office equipment or supplies and other real or personal property owned, leased or controlled by the municipality, except for public roads and open park land.
RELATIVE
In relationship to the elected official, the spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, grandchild, step-grandchild, in-law, sibling, child of sibling, or sibling of parent.
SOLICIT
To seek, by oral or written communication, a contribution, as same is defined herein.

§ 13-4 Prohibited promises and representations.

A. 
It shall be a violation of this article for an elected official to make promises or representations binding the Borough for expenditure of Borough funds, unless the elected official is acting within the usual course of business of the elected office or under the authority of a duly passed resolution or ordinance by the Borough.
B. 
This provision shall not apply to:
(1) 
Official Mayoral action as the Borough of Dumont representative;
(2) 
Speeches or reports delivered in the official discharge of duties; and
(3) 
Political/campaign speeches and advertising.

§ 13-5 Prohibited transactions.

It shall be a violation of this article for an elected official or a relative of the elected official or the Borough Administrator or a relative of the Borough Administrator of any department head or a relative of the department head, as herein defined to knowingly undertake or execute any contract, award or agreement for services or purchase either awarded or granted by the Borough or an agency or instrumentality thereof.

§ 13-6 Nonfamilial hiring.

No relative, as defined in § 13-3 of this article, of any Borough elected official of the Borough Administrator or any Borough Department Head, shall, after the effective date hereof, be hired by any Borough department or autonomous agency in any full-time or part-time, summer and/or seasonal position during the elected officials' holding of office.

§ 13-7 Former officials.

A. 
No Borough of Dumont board, agency, commission or other Borough body shall, for a period of one year subsequent to the completion, resignation, expiration or termination, of a Mayoral and/or Council members' elected or appointed term of office:
(1) 
Award to a former Borough Mayor and/or Council member any contract; or
(2) 
Allow a former Mayor and/or Council member to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before an authority; or
(3) 
Employ any former Mayor and/or Council member for compensation.
B. 
Neither the Borough of Dumont nor any autonomous agency or authority established by the Borough shall be subject to this restriction with respect to the award of any contract which is publicly bid, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq. or awarded pursuant to a "fair and open process," as defined herein in § 13-8, if the governing body shall award a contract to any former Borough Mayor and/or Council member, for a period of one year after the termination of office of said individual.

§ 13-8 Fair and open process award of public professional services and other no-bid contracts.

A. 
Process for award of professional services and other no-bid contracts. The Borough of Dumont, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall not enter into a contract, including a professional services contract or such other contract which is exempt from public bidding requirements having an anticipated value in excess of $17,500, as determined by the Borough of Dumont or any agency or instrumentality, with a business entity, except through a contract that is awarded pursuant to a fair and open process if during the preceding one-year period that business entity has made a contribution that is reportable by the recipient under N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1 et seq. to any municipal committee of a political party if a member of that political party is in office as a member of the governing body when the contract is awarded or to any candidate committee of any person serving in an elected public office of the Borough of Dumont when the contract is awarded. The fair and open process shall be quality-based and shall be as follows:
(1) 
Professional services may be awarded by virtue of a publicly advertised request for proposals (RFP) which will be issued as one document for those appointments which are made on an annual basis, such as, but not limited to, the positions of: Borough Attorney, Borough Engineer, Borough Planner, Borough Labor Council, Joint Land Use Board Attorney, Joint Land Use Board Engineer, and such other statutory and/or ordinance- and/or resolution-created public positions.
(2) 
For said positions, no contract shall be awarded unless and until the positions are:
(a) 
Publicly advertised in newspapers and on the Internet Web site maintained by the Borough at least 10 calendar days in advance, which shall be deemed sufficient time to give notice in advance of the solicitation for the contracts;
(b) 
Awarded under a process that provides for public solicitation of proposals and qualifications including the following:
[1] 
Experience and reputation in the field;
[2] 
Knowledge of the subject matter of the services to be provided to the Borough;
[3] 
Knowledge of the Borough, its affairs and operations;
[4] 
Availability to accommodate any required meetings of the Borough;
[5] 
Compensation proposal;
[6] 
Compliance with the minimum qualifications established by the Borough for the position;
[7] 
Other factors determined to be in the best interest of the Borough, included quoted fees, where applicable.
(c) 
The ultimate decision to award is decided by the governing body as it deems in its best interests and not subject to appeal;
(d) 
Awarded and disclosed under criteria established in writing by the Borough of Dumont prior to the solicitation of proposals or qualifications as set forth in this article;
(e) 
Publicly announced when awarded; and as to those RFPs which prove to be unsuccessful, the Borough Clerk shall retain a copy of same on file for a period of not less than 60 calendar days.
(3) 
For contracts which arise on an occasional basis, such as appraisals needed for the acquisition of land and/or open space, as well as title searches, surveying, and similar work associated with same; and comparable assignments, such as planning services needed for Master Plan updates, appraisals, special counsel, special project engineer contracts, etc., professional services contracts may be awarded without following the foregoing provisions, so long as:
(a) 
The anticipated value does not exceed the $17,500 threshold as set forth above; and
(b) 
The Borough Administrator makes every effort to solicit at least two proposals for said work.
B. 
Review of RFPs by review committee. A review committee shall be established by the Mayor consisting of not less than two Council members, one of which shall be the Council President, as well as the Mayor, to prepare, process and evaluate any RFP issued pursuant to the professional services contracting procedures set forth above. The review committee shall evaluate the respective qualifications and/or proposals, taking into consideration the designated qualifications and/or performance criteria, experience, reputation of vendor, quality of services, quoted fee and other relevant factors in making a recommendation of award to the governing body; and the Mayor or designee may, in his/her sole discretion, conduct negotiations with qualified vendors after receipt of proposals, in order to achieve the best possible contract terms and conditions for the Borough and its taxpayers. No contract shall be awarded, however, unless same is authorized by resolution duly adopted in public session by the governing body.
C. 
Contributions prohibited during term of contract. A business entity that has entered into a contract having an anticipated value in excess of $17,500 with the Borough of Dumont, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall not make such a contribution reportable by the recipient under N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1 et seq. to any municipal committee of a political party in the Borough of Dumont if a member of that political party is serving in an elective public office of the Borough of Dumont when the contract is awarded or to any candidate committee of any person serving in an elective public office of the Borough of Dumont when the contract is awarded, during the term of that contract, except a contract that is awarded pursuant to a fair and open process, which permits campaign contributions of a reportable nature to any elective public official.
D. 
Contribution statement by professional business entity.
(1) 
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure services, including banking or insurance coverage services, with any professional business entity, the Borough or any of its purchasing agents or agencies, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the professional business entity made under penalty of perjury that the bidder or offeror has not made a contribution in violation of this article;
(2) 
The professional business entity shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur during the negotiation or duration of a contract. The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the Borough and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.
E. 
Contracts issued without use of the RFP process.
(1) 
In circumstances where the Mayor or designee or the governing body determines that the use of the RFP process is not appropriate, such as, but not limited to, contracts with other government agencies, and agreements with public utilities, the Administrator shall use his/her best efforts to obtain at least two quotations for the work and shall require the contractor to fully comply with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.27.
(2) 
No business entity which enters into negotiations for or agrees to enter into any contract or agreement with the Borough of Dumont or any department or agency thereof or of its independent authorities for the rendition of professional, banking or insurance coverage services, or any other consulting services, shall solicit or make any contribution of money, or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any Borough of Dumont municipal candidate or holder of the public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, or campaign committee supporting such candidate or officeholder, or to any Dumont Borough party committee, between the time of first communications between that business entity and the Borough regarding a specific professional services agreement and the later of the termination of negotiations or the completion of the contract or agreement. This specifically and only relates to contact dealt with under this specific subsection.
F. 
Emergency exceptions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the governing body recognizes that the New Jersey Legislature has provided for certain emergencies and further recognizes that the procedure outlined above might not be capable of being achieved in the event of an emergency or other time constraints. Thus, should a situation arise and time does not permit resort to this procedure, and the immediate performance of services is necessary, then an award for same may be made in accordance with the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law[1] relating to emergency contracts and such rules and regulations as may be promulgated, from time to time, by the governing body with regard to same. No such emergency contracts, however, may be awarded without a resolution establishing a basis for the deviation from the procedures outlined herein.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.

§ 13-9 Political activity.

A. 
Partisan political activity prohibited. No Borough officer or Borough employee, who has a fixed or regular Borough set work schedule, shall engage in partisan political activity for or on behalf of any individual or political organization during paid working hours. This provision shall not apply to the activities of any elected official during the course of his official duties.
B. 
Solicitation of political contributions on public property prohibited. No Borough official, employee or appointee may solicit, commit to pay or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while in or on the property of the municipality, whether owned or leased, or utilizing the property of the Borough of Dumont, whether owned or leased.
C. 
Prohibited forms of fund-raising. Prohibited forms of fund-raising shall include, but are not limited to:
(1) 
Soliciting or accepting contributions using municipal phones, fax machines and/or computers;
(2) 
Soliciting or accepting contributions using personal telephones while on the property of the Borough of Dumont;
(3) 
Soliciting or accepting contributions through the use of publicly owned or leased computers or privately owned or leased personal computers while on the property of the Borough of Dumont;
(4) 
Using Borough of Dumont letterhead to solicit or accept contributions;
(5) 
Sending correspondence from Borough of Dumont municipal buildings or by the use of municipal services, equipment or postage;
(6) 
Face-to-face soliciting of an individual or an owner or representative of a business entity while on the property of the Borough of Dumont;
(7) 
Use of automobiles owned or leased by the Borough of Dumont to accept or solicit contributions.

§ 13-10 Whistleblower protection.

It shall be unlawful for any employee, elected official or appointee to be dismissed, reprimanded, retaliated against or otherwise intimidated for reporting any violations of this article.

§ 13-11 Violations and penalties.

Each violation of any provision of this article shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $2,000, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq. All reported violations of this article shall be referred to the Borough of Dumont Board of Ethics for review and investigation in accordance with the procedure and disposition set forth in the Code of Ethics, Resolution No. 07-01.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Code of Ethics is on file in the office of the Borough Clerk.

§ 13-12 Severability; enforceability.

To the extent that any provision hereof is found to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision shall be severed from this article and render the remainder of said ordinance effective and enforceable.
[Adopted 7-20-2010 by Ord. No. 1411]

§ 13-13 Awarding public contracts to certain contributors prohibited; definitions; contribution provisions; award responsibility.

A. 
To the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law, the Borough of Dumont and any of its purchasing agents or departments or instrumentalities of the municipality thereof; as the case may be, shall not enter into any agreement or otherwise contract to procure services from any professional business entity, including those awarded pursuant to any process, including a fair and open process, if such professional business entity has made any contribution of money, including in-kind contributions, to a campaign committee of any municipal candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract or campaign committee supporting such candidate or office holder.
B. 
No professional business entity or vendor who submits a proposal for, enters into negotiations for or agrees to any professional service contract or contract or agreement (including nonemergency contracts awarded by N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., or the fair and open process pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20 et seq.) with the municipality or any departments thereof for the rendition of professional services, or goods and services, as the case may be, shall knowingly make any contribution of money, including in-kind contributions, to:
(1) 
Any Dumont candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract; or
(2) 
Any Dumont party committee between the time of first communication between that professional business entity or vendor and the municipality regarding a specific professional services agreement or goods and services agreement, as the case may be, and the later of the termination of negotiations or rejection of any proposal or the completion of the contract or agreement.
C. 
For purposes of this article, a "professional business entity" and a "vendor" seeking a public contract mean an individual, including the individual's spouse, if any, and any child living at home; person; firm; corporation; professional corporation; partnership; organization; or association. The definition of a business entity and vendor includes all principals who own 10% or more of the equity in the corporation or business trust, partners and officers (in the aggregate) employed by the entity or vendor, as well as any subsidiaries directly controlled by the business entity or vendor.
D. 
Any individual meeting the definition of "professional business entity" or "vendor," or a group, organization or committee meeting the definition of a "candidate committee, political party committee or continuing political committee," under this section may annually contribute a maximum of $300 each per election cycle, primary and general, for any purpose to any candidate for mayor or governing body, or $300 to the Borough of Dumont party without violating Subsection A of this section, provided the donations are deposited in the applicable candidates' committee accounts prior to the election for which it is intended. However, any group of individuals meeting the definition of "professional business entity" or "vendor" under this section, including such principals, partners, employees and officers of the entity or vendor, or a group, organization or committee meeting the definition of a candidate committee, political party committee or continuing political committee in the aggregate, may not annually contribute for any purpose in excess of $5,000 to all Borough of Dumont candidates, political party committees and officeholders with ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract.
E. 
For the purpose of this article, the term "candidate committee" shall be defined as a committee or fund established by candidates for all elected public offices, whether state, county, municipal, school or fire districts, individuals holding elected office or those, engaged in pre-candidacy or exploratory activities prior to formally launching a candidacy. "Candidate committee" shall include individual and joint candidate committees, but shall not include candidates for federal or political party offices, such as municipal, county, or state committees or delegates to national party conventions. The term "political party committee" shall be defined as the state committee of a political party organized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:5-4; any county committee of a political party organized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:5-3; or any municipal committee of any political party organized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:5-2. The term "continuing political committee" shall be defined as any group of two or more persons acting jointly, or any corporation, partnership or any other incorporated or unincorporated association, including a political club, political action committee, civic association or other organization which aids or promotes the candidacy of individuals for elective office or advocates the passage or defeat of public questions appearing on the ballot for general elections.
F. 
Within 10 days after any contribution regulated under this section, the recipient shall advise the Borough Clerk by providing a copy of the contribution instrument, whether check, money order, draft, wire transfer confirmation, in-kind contribution or any other donation, in any amount, with a letter identifying the contributor, his/her employer, nature of the employer's business, business address and telephone contact information. Any contributions made after the 13th day prior to a primary or general election shall be so reported within 48 hours after the said contribution.
G. 
For purposes of this section, the office that is considered to have ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract shall be:
(1) 
The Borough of Dumont Mayor or governing body, if the contract requires approval or appropriation from the Mayor or governing body.
(2) 
The Mayor of the Borough of Dumont, if the contract requires approval of the Mayor or if a public officer who is responsible for the award of a contract is appointed by the Mayor.

§ 13-14 Contributions made prior to effective date.

No contribution of money or any other thing of value, including in-kind contributions, made by a professional business entity or vendor to any Borough of Dumont candidate for Mayor or governing body or Borough of Dumont or county party committee or PAC referenced in this article shall be deemed a violation of this article, nor shall an agreement for property, goods or services of any kind whatsoever be disqualified thereby if that contribution was made by the professional business entity or vendor prior to the effective date of this article.

§ 13-15 Contribution statement by professional business entity and vendor.

A. 
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure services with any professional business entity and any contract or agreement to procure goods and services from a vendor, the Borough of Dumont or its purchasing agents and departments, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the professional business entity or vendor, made under penalty of perjury, that the bidder or offeror has not made a contribution in violation of § 13-13 of this article.
B. 
The professional business entity and vendor shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur during the negotiation, proposal process or duration of a contract. The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the Borough of Dumont, or prior to the provision of services or goods, as the case may be, and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.

§ 13-16 Return of excess contributions.

A professional business entity, vendor or municipal candidate or officeholder, or Borough of Dumont or county party committee or PAC referenced in this article, may cure a violation of § 13-13 of this article if, within 30 days after the date on which the applicable ELEC report is published, the professional business entity or vendor notifies the municipality, in writing, and seeks and receives reimbursement of the contribution from the relevant municipal candidate or officeholder or Borough of Dumont political party referenced in this article.

§ 13-17 Exemptions.

The contribution limitations prior to entering into a contract in § 13-13A do not apply to contracts which are required by law to be awarded to the lowest bidder.

§ 13-18 Violations and penalties.

A. 
It shall be a breach of the terms of the Borough of Dumont professional service agreement or agreement for goods or services for a business entity to:
(1) 
Make or solicit a contribution in violation of this article;
(2) 
Knowingly conceal or misrepresent a contribution given or received;
(3) 
Make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution;
(4) 
Make or solicit any contribution on the condition or with the agreement that it will be contributed to a campaign committee of any candidate or holder of the public office of the Borough of Dumont;
(5) 
Engage or employ a lobbyist or consultant with the intent or understanding that such lobbyist or consultant would make or solicit any contribution, which if made or solicited by the business entity itself would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article;
(6) 
Fund contributions made by third parties; including consultants, attorneys, family members and employees;
(7) 
Engage in any exchange of contributions to circumvent the intent of this article; or
(8) 
Directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, do any act which would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article.
B. 
Furthermore, any professional business entity who knowingly violates Subsection A(1) through (8) shall be disqualified from eligibility for future Borough of Dumont contracts for a period of 18 months from the date of the violation.
C. 
It shall be a violation of this article for a Dumont municipal candidate or office holder to:
(1) 
Make or solicit a contribution in violation of this article;
(2) 
Knowingly conceal or misrepresent a contribution given or received;
(3) 
Make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution;
(4) 
Make or solicit any contribution on the condition or with the intent that it will be contributed directly into the account of any candidate or holder of office or to a campaign committee of any candidate or holder of the public office either within or outside of the Borough of Dumont;
(5) 
Engage in any exchange of contributions to circumvent the intent of this article; or
(6) 
Directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, do any act which would circumvent the restrictions set forth herein or otherwise circumvent the intent of this article.
D. 
Any Dumont municipal candidate or office holder who accepts a donation in violation of this section shall return the donation within 30 days of notification or shall be in violation hereof.