Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-36, the legislative power of the Township shall be exercised by the Township Council, except as may be otherwise provided by general law, subject to the procedures set forth in this plan of government. Legislative powers shall be exercised by ordinance, except for the exercise of those powers that under this plan of government or general law do not require action by the Mayor as a condition of approval for the exercise thereof and may, therefore, be exercised by resolution, including but not limited to:
The override of a veto of the Mayor.
The exercise of advice and consent to the actions of the Mayor.
The conduct of a legislative inquiry or investigation.
The expression of disapproval of the removal by the Mayor of officers or employees.
The removal of any municipal officer for cause.
The adoption of rules for the Council.
The establishment of time and places for Council meetings.
The establishment of the Council as a committee of the whole and the delegation of any number of its members as an ad hoc committee.
The declaration of emergencies respecting the passage of ordinances.
The election, appointment, setting of salaries and removal of officers and employees of the Council, subject to any pertinent civil service requirements and any pertinent contractual obligations and within the general limits of the municipal budget.
The designation of official newspapers.
The approval of contracts presented by the Mayor.
The actions specified as resolutions in the Local Budget Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-1 et seq.) and the Local Finance Affairs Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:5-1 et seq.).
The expression of Council policies or opinions which require no formal action by the Mayor.
The Council has the general power and duties to:
Adopt the annual budget of the Township and salary ordinances establishing salaries for all department directors, Township employees, and salaries which are required by law to be fixed by ordinance.
At the discretion of Council, separate and apart from the required Township audit, cause to be made an annual audit of the Township's accounts and financial transactions as required by law. Such annual audit, if caused, shall be made by a registered municipal accountant of the State of New Jersey appointed by the Council and shall not be the same auditor as retained by the Township as the Township Auditor.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-37.1, deal with employees of the Department of Administration and other administrative departments solely through the Mayor or designee. All contact with the employees and all actions and communications concerning the administration of the government and the provision of municipal services shall be through the Mayor or designee, except as otherwise provided by law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Council's inquiry into any act or problem of administration of the Township. Any Council member may at any time require a report on any aspect of the government of the Township by making a written request to the Mayor.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-37(b), remove, by at least 2/3 vote of the whole number of the Council, any Township officer other than the Mayor or a member of the Council, for cause, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard, unless otherwise provided by state statutes.
Require any municipal officer, in its discretion, to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding said officer's official duties and the performance thereof and otherwise to investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency of the Township government. The Council may, by a majority vote of the whole number of its members, require the Mayor or designee to appear before Council, sitting as a committee of the whole, and to bring before the Council those records and reports and officials and employees of the Township as the Council may determine necessary to ensure clarification of the matter under study.
At the Council's discretion, by a majority vote of the whole number of its members, designate any number of its members as an ad hoc committee to consult with the Mayor or designee to study any matter and report to the Council President.
Appoint a Municipal Clerk as hereinafter set forth.
Adopt rules and regulations for conduct of business at its annual organization meeting.
Establish, alter or abolish such committees, commissions or agencies of the Township as permitted by law.
At the Council's discretion, separate and apart from Township-mandated committees or commissions or agencies, create advisory committees to assist it in its legislative function.
Reserve one business meeting in January for the Mayor to present the State of the Township Address to the Council and to the public.
[Amended 12-22-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-26]
The Township Council shall consist of five members, elected at-large by the voters of the Township at the regular nonpartisan municipal election to be held at the time of the November general election. The terms of the members of the Council shall be four years, beginning on January 1 following such election. Accordingly, the terms of the Council members holding office at the time of the adoption of this ordinance shall be extended until December 31 beyond the expiration of their present term of office.
Editor’s Note: "This ordinance" refers to Ord. No. 2011-26, adopted 12-22-2011.
[Amended 12-22-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-26]
The Council, at its annual organizational meeting, shall elect a President and a Vice President to serve for one-year terms and/or until the election and qualification of their successors. In the absence of the President of the Council, the Vice President shall be the presiding officer. In the absence of both the President and Vice President, the Council shall elect a temporary presiding officer, who shall have the functions, powers and duties of the President during the President's absence. Upon the arrival of the President, the officer presiding shall relinquish the chair immediately upon the conclusion of the particular item of business before Council. At its annual organizational meeting, the Council shall approve its rules of procedure and set forth the format of its formal agenda.
Legislative powers shall be exercised by ordinance, except for those powers that may be exercised by resolution or do not require action of the Mayor as a condition of approval.
Except as otherwise provided by law, all ordinances and/or resolutions shall be prepared by the appropriate department director or by the Township Attorney or reviewed by the Township Attorney upon direction of the Council or Mayor. Each proposed ordinance or resolution requiring or permitting administrative action may be submitted to the Business Administrator and the director concerned, who shall, if required, provide the basis for such ordinance/resolution to the Council.
An ordinance or resolution may be introduced by any member of the Council. Each ordinance and each resolution shall be limited to a single subject, which shall be expressed in its title.
All ordinances shall be introduced, read, heard and enacted in the manner provided by general law. Each ordinance passed by the Council shall within three calendar days be delivered by the Municipal Clerk to the Mayor for approval or veto, and the Mayor shall within 10 calendar days after receiving any ordinance either approve the ordinance by signing it or return it to the Council by delivering it to the Municipal Clerk, together with a statement setting forth the Mayor's objections thereto or to any part thereof. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-41, no ordinance or any item or part thereof shall take effect without the Mayor's approval unless the Mayor fails to return an ordinance to the Council within 10 days after it has been presented to the Mayor or unless the Council, upon reconsideration thereof on or after the third day following its return by the Mayor, shall by a vote of 2/3 of the entire membership of the Council resolve to override the Mayor's veto.
Passage over veto. Whenever an ordinance has been reconsidered by the Council following a veto by the Mayor, the Municipal Clerk shall append to such ordinance a certification of the action of the Council upon such reconsideration in substantially the following form:
Ordinances not returned by Mayor. Whenever an ordinance shall take effect without the Mayor's signature by reason of the Mayor's failure to return it to the Council by filing it with the Municipal Clerk within 10 days after it has been presented to the Mayor, the Municipal Clerk shall append to such ordinance a certificate in substantially the following form:
Filing of reports and resolutions. The Council shall file with the Municipal Clerk all petitions, resolutions or other papers considered by it on each matter. All reports to the Council and all resolutions shall be filed with the Clerk.
Council shall hold its regular public meetings and work sessions as per a resolution to be adopted at each yearly organizational meeting, but not less than one meeting per month. The yearly organizational meeting shall be held during the first week of July in years 2012 and 2013 and during the first week of January in all subsequent years. This resolution may be amended or modified by subsequent resolutions duly adopted.
[Amended 12-22-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-26]
In conformity with the Open Public Meetings Act, written notice of all meetings of the Council and every other public body as defined in the Act shall be noticed at least 48 hours in advance, giving time, date, location and, to the extent known, the agenda of any regular, special or rescheduled meeting. Such notice shall accurately state whether formal action may or may not be taken and shall be prominently posted on at least one place reserved for such or similar announcements on a bulletin board in the lobby of the Municipal Building and be mailed, telephoned, telegraphed or hand-delivered to at least two newspapers designated by the Township Council. Designated newspapers must publish often enough for the forty-eight-hour notice to be given to members of the public. Copies of the notice shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk.
Where the Council announces annual notice of its regular meetings, no further notice shall be required concerning such meetings. Such notice shall be in accordance with the schedule of the regular meetings of the Council to be held during the ensuing year, which the Municipal Clerk shall prepare, post and submit within seven days following the annual organization or reorganization meeting of the Council, or, if there be no such organization or reorganization meeting in the year, then not later than July 10 of such year in years 2012 and 2013 and not later than January 10 in all subsequent years, pursuant to the terms of the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. The Municipal Clerk shall, whenever a special meeting of the Council is called in accordance with the law, issue and cause notices thereof to be served upon the members of the Council and other persons whose presence may be required, pursuant to law.
[Amended 12-22-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-26]
Emergencies. Upon the affirmative vote of 3/4 of the members present, the Council may hold a meeting, notwithstanding the failure to provide adequate notice, if:
Such meeting is required in order to deal with matters of such urgency and importance that a delay for the purpose of providing adequate notice would be likely to result in substantial harm to the public interest.
The meeting is limited to discussion of and acting with respect to such matters of urgency and importance.
Notice of such meeting is provided as soon as possible following the calling of such meeting by posting written notice and notifying the two newspapers by telephone, telegraph or personal delivery.
Either the Council could not reasonably have foreseen the need for such meeting at a time when adequate notice could have been provided or, although the public body could reasonably have foreseen the need for such meeting at a time when adequate notice could have been provided, it nevertheless failed to do so.
Minutes. At the commencement of every meeting, the person presiding shall announce publicly and shall cause to be entered into the minutes an accurate statement to the effect that adequate notice for the meeting has been provided or that notice was not provided, in which case the reasons shall be stated. The Council shall keep reasonably comprehensive minutes of its meetings, showing time and place, the members present, subjects considered, actions taken and the votes of each member.
Quorum. A majority of the whole number of members of the Council shall constitute a quorum; however, no ordinance shall be adopted by the Council without the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the Council. If a quorum is not present 1/2 hour after the appointed time for any meeting, the presiding officer or the Municipal Clerk may declare the meeting adjourned.
Roll call votes; minutes. The vote upon every motion, resolution or ordinance shall, when requested, be taken by roll call, and the yeas and nays shall be entered on the minutes. The minutes of each meeting shall be signed by the Municipal Clerk.
Public participation. Public participation in the meetings of the Council shall be in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act.
Requests for schedules. Any person may request that the Council mail copies of any regular meeting schedule or revision thereof, including notice of regular, special or rescheduled meetings. The Council may pass a resolution to provide a reasonable prepayment fee for this service. All requests for meeting schedules shall terminate at 12:00 midnight, June 30 of each year, but shall be subject to renewal upon request to the Council.