[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hanover 1-28-2016 by Ord. No. 1-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The governing body hereby establishes a new Chapter 63 under Part I of the Code of the Township of Hanover entitled "Stoney Brook Community Farm and Garden Advisory Committee."
Purpose and intent. The purpose and intent of this chapter is twofold: first, to develop, operate and maintain a community farm and garden to permit residents to grow local produce for themselves and to provide an additional source of fresh vegetables to the Interfaith Food Pantry and other food pantries; and, secondly, to create a steering committee that will be responsible for the overall administration of operating the community farm and garden.
Appointment of members; terms of office; vacancies.
The Township Committee shall appoint up to nine regular members to the Stoney Brook Community Farm and Garden Advisory Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "Advisory Committee") one of whom shall be a member of the governing body and serving as Mayor. These individuals shall represent a cross section of the Township comprised of residents and members of the corporate sector and nonprofit service organizations such as the Interfaith Food Pantry. Each regular member shall have one vote in the decisionmaking process.
To assist the Advisory Committee with the development, implementation and maintenance of the community farm and garden, the governing body shall designate members of the Township's professional staff to serve as advisors in performing any services required by the Advisory Committee. These staff members shall serve as ex-officio nonvoting members.
In addition, with the approval of the Business Administrator, the Advisory Committee may request the assistance of the New Jersey Land Conservancy in providing technical services.
Terms of office. The members of the Advisory Committee shall serve two-year terms of office commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31 of the second year.
Vacancies. In the event a regular member seat becomes available, other than by expiration of a member's term, it shall be filled by the Township Committee for the balance of the two-year term.
The regular members shall serve without remuneration.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 22-16]
Election of officers and organization.
Upon its formation, following the adoption of this chapter, the Advisory Committee shall meet to organize. The regular members shall elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. In addition, the Chairperson shall designate from among its regular or ex-officio members a Recording Secretary and a Financial Secretary. These four officers shall serve one-year terms of office. It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson to set the meeting schedule after conferring with the members, establish an agenda for each meeting and conduct the meetings in an orderly and timely fashion. The Advisory Committee shall prepare and adopt bylaws and such other rules and regulations to govern its procedural operations and the operations of the community farm and garden.
The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining correspondence and preparing written minutes of all Advisory Committee meetings. However, in accordance with Township policy, before any correspondence or memoranda is sent to a third party under the auspices of the Advisory Committee, any draft letter or memoranda shall be submitted to the Business Administrator for his review and approval.
The Financial Secretary shall be responsible in maintaining the financial records of the Advisory Committee as it pertains to any annual or seasonal plot rental fees or other charges that are collected for the operation of the community farm and garden. The Financial Secretary shall submit all deposits to the Township's Chief Municipal Finance Officer and provide him/her with any financial documents or records that may be needed by the Finance Department.
In order to assist the Advisory Committee with adequate supervision over the operation of the community farm and garden, the Advisory Committee may designate one or more volunteer or paid garden managers who will provide supervisory, technical and administrative assistance. The garden manager(s) will report directly to the Advisory Committee concerning all community farm and garden activities.
Subsequent to its initial formation, the Advisory Committee shall meet in January of each year to reorganize and to determine when it shall meet and how often. In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act at N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq., the Advisory Committee shall publish a notice in two local newspapers, posted on the Township's official bulletin board and website and filed with the Municipal Clerk. The annual notice shall contain the dates, times and locations of each meeting to be held during the forthcoming years.
Duties and responsibilities:
To prepare rules, regulations and procedures governing the development, implementation, use and maintenance of the Stoney Brook Community Farm and Garden by members of the public including but not limited to the establishment of fees, the size of plots, access, environmental management practices and any other requirements deemed necessary and appropriate for the operation of the farm and garden.
The Advisory Committee shall meet at least once a month but may meet more often as issues warrant. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct business.
The Advisory Committee shall have no authority to enter into contracts on behalf of the municipality, or in any way obligate the municipality legally or financially. In this regard, the Committee may make recommendations to the Township's Business Administrator who, under his authority as the Township's Qualified Purchasing Agent, may act on such recommendations or, in the alternative, submit the recommendations to the governing body when a policy decision must be rendered.
Before assuming office, each member of the Advisory Committee shall take an oath of office that he/she will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of his/her office.
The Township Committee may appropriate such sum of money as may be determined in each year's Current Fund Operating Budget in order for the Advisory Committee to discharge its duties and responsibilities. The Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, following consultation with its members, shall submit a request for funding to the Business Administrator no later than January 10 of each year or sooner. Any approved out-of-pocket expenses shall be charged against the Advisory Committee's approved calendar year budget if such budgetary appropriation is granted by the Township Committee.