[Adopted 8-1-1978 by L.L. No. 2-1978; amended in its entirety 3-21-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
The Town Board holds, as a necessary objective, the preservation and improvement of the physical environment within the Town of Woodstock. The intent of this article is to establish a commission which will define those areas of the environment that require protection and to advise the Town Board when action is needed. The establishment of an environmental advisory commission is viewed as a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental concerns.
The Town Board of the Town of Woodstock hereby creates a commission which shall be known as the "Woodstock Environmental Commission," hereinbelow called the "Commission." The Commission may also be referred to as the "WEC."
The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by resolution of the Town Board. Only persons residing within the Town of Woodstock shall be eligible for appointment as members of the Commission. Town Board members may serve as additional nonvoting ex officio members.
The appointment of members to the Commission shall be for terms so fixed as to expire at the end of a calendar year.
At the time of the establishment of the Commission, or the reestablishment of terms of an existing Commission, the terms of appointment shall be as follows:
All subsequent appointments, other than appointments to fill vacancies occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office, shall be made for a term of two years.
A vacancy, occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office, shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The Town Board shall, by resolution, annually designate the Chairperson of the Commission. The Commission shall annually elect a member to serve as Vice Chairperson. In the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson, the members of the Commission shall designate a member to serve as Acting Chairperson.
The Town Board shall, by resolution, designate a secretary for the Commission.
Compensation for staff and payments and/or reimbursements for expenses authorized by this article shall be paid from the appropriation made by the Town Board for such purposes, provided that such compensation, payments and reimbursements shall not exceed the annual budget and appropriation authorized therefor.
The members of the Commission, including ex officio members, shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof.
The members of the Commission, upon written authorization by the Chairperson, may submit a written request to the Town Board for reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties.
The Town Board shall provide compensation for the secretary designated pursuant to § 43-5B of this article.
The Town Board may provide for payment of such other expenses as the Town Board shall, by resolution, approve as necessary and proper.
Subject to the provisions of the Open Meetings Law, the Commission may prescribe reasonable rules, regulations and procedures for the conduct of its affairs.
Editor's Note: See Art. 7 of the State Public Officers Law.
The secretary of the Commission shall:
Keep accurate written minutes of the meetings of the Commission and shall ensure the timely submission of all such minutes, after approval by the members of the Commission, to the office of the Woodstock Town Clerk.
Maintain accurate written and, where applicable, graphic and/or pictorial records of all projects, actions and activities of the Commission.
Prepare an annual report detailing all actions and activities conducted by the Commission and, where applicable, listing such documents generated by the Commission as referenced in Subsection B. Said annual report shall be submitted to the Town Board on or before the 31st day of December of each year.
The functions of the Commission in its dealings with other local agencies shall be advisory only.
Research and inventories. The Commission shall:
Aid in the protection of the beauty, quality and biologic integrity of the environment of the Town of Woodstock by calling to the attention of the Town Board any major threat to the environment proposed by human activities and developments.
Conduct researches, studies and surveys and create inventories of natural and fabricated features within the Town of Woodstock such as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this article. The Commission shall:
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks; glacial and other geomorphic and physiographic features; streams and their floodplains; unique biotic communities; and scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value.
Keep an inventory and map of all open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands and recommend to the Town Board a program for ecologically suitable utilization of all such areas, in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines.
Keep an inventory of the ownership, present use and proposed use of such open areas so as to provide a base of information for recommendations to the Town Board by the Commission for the preservation and/or ecologically suitable utilization of such open spaces.
Obtain and maintain, in orderly fashion, maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Commission into local environmental conditions.
Work independently or in cooperation with the Woodstock Planning Board and/or other local agencies as may be appropriate to formulate recommendations to the Town Board of proposals with regard to:
Features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Woodstock.
Appropriate and desirable changes to existing local laws, policies, rules and regulations relating to environmental control.
Appropriate and desirable new local laws, policies, rules and regulations relating to environmental control.
Recommend to the Town Board that the Town of Woodstock accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property or interests in property, both real and personal, in order that open spaces and other land or water resources within the boundaries of the Town may be properly conserved and used.
Programs and outreach. The Commission shall:
Develop and conduct, subject to approval by resolution of the Town Board, a program of public information in the community which shall be designed to foster increased understanding of environmental problems and issues and to support their solutions and implementation. Such programs as are so authorized by the Town Board may involve preparation, printing and distribution of books, maps, charts, plans, pamphlets and advertising in accordance with and furtherance of the purposes of this article.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts and activities of individuals and of private groups and institutions organized for similar purposes within the Town of Woodstock in accordance with the purposes of this article.
Maintain liaison and communications with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state and national scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the local environment or which can be of assistance to the Commission.
The Commission shall carry out such other duties, tasks and responsibilities, consistent with the objectives of this article, as may from time to time be assigned to the Commission by resolution of the Town Board.