The County Legislature, and all officers and employees thereof, shall comprise the Legislative Branch of Dutchess County government.
All meetings of the County Legislature shall be open to the public, and its records open to public inspection.
If the County Legislature shall fail to select a Chair within 30 days after that office shall have become vacant for any reason, the Clerk of the County Legislature, on the 31st day after its occurrence, shall certify in writing that the position of the Chair has been vacant for 30 days, and shall cause such certification to be delivered by hand that same day to the office of the County Executive. The County Executive, as soon thereafter as practicable, shall appoint a member of the County Legislature to serve as its Chair for the balance of the calendar year. Such appointment shall be in writing and filed with the Clerk of the County Legislature and the County Clerk. The Clerk of the County Legislature, upon receipt of such appointment, shall notify each member of the County Legislature of the County Executive's action by written notice of appointment duly mailed to the address of each member of the Legislature as given to the Clerk of the County Legislature.
Whenever a vacancy in the membership of the County Legislature shall occur, the Clerk of the County Legislature shall, within five days of the occurrence of such vacancy, notify in writing the following persons:
In single-town districts, the town clerk of said town and the town supervisor;
In multiple-town districts, the town clerks and town supervisors of all towns within the district;
In the City of Poughkeepsie, the City Clerk of said city, and the presiding officer of the Common Council;
In the City of Beacon, the City Clerk of said city, and the presiding officer of the City Council.
The town supervisor in single-town districts, or the town supervisor of the most populous town in multiple-town districts, or the presiding officer of the Poughkeepsie Common Council, or the presiding officer of the Beacon City Council, as the case may be, shall, within 20 days after receipt of such notification, convene and preside at a meeting of persons designated by Section 2.13 of the Charter to select an interim successor.
When such interim successor has been selected at such meeting, the presiding officer of such meeting shall certify in writing to the Clerk of the County Legislature the name of the interim successor. The person selected shall take and file his/her oath of office pursuant to law, and shall be entitled to take his/her seat on the County Legislature at its next meeting, and hold such office pursuant to Section 2.13 of the Charter.
In the event an interim successor has not been selected during the first 30 days after the occurrence of the vacancy, the Clerk of the County Legislature shall certify in writing to the Board of Elections that such vacancy has existed for 30 days consecutively, and the Board of Elections shall conduct a special election pursuant to Section 2.13 of the Charter.
The County Legislature may authorize any member, officer or employee of the Legislative Branch to attend any convention, conference, school, or other function for the betterment of County government. Within the appropriation therefor and when so authorized, all necessary and actual expenses in connection therewith shall be paid from County funds.
The County Legislature may establish a revolving petty cash fund, in such amount as it may determine, for any officer or unit of County government, except the Dutchess Community College. Expenditures from a petty cash fund may be made only for payment in advance of audit of properly itemized and verified bills or claims. After audit of such bills or claims by the Comptroller, the Commissioner of Finance shall reimburse to such petty cash fund, from the appropriate budgetary item or items, the amount so audited and allowed.
The Seal of the County of Dutchess shall be the Seal of the County Legislature. Such Seal shall be used for all authorized and required purposes.