[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Egg Harbor 6-14-2000 by Ord. No. 21-2000. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The laws of the State of New Jersey do not presently prohibit solicitation or acceptance of political contributions by public office holders and employees while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties. The solicitation and acceptance of political contributions in rooms and buildings occupied in the discharge of official municipal business undermines the efficiency of government by taking officials and employees away from the people's business, and leads to the appearance of improper influence of political contributions on government functions.
The Township believes the prohibiting of solicitations and acceptance of political contributions in rooms of government buildings occupied in the discharge of official duties will address these harms and leave open ample alternative venues for political fund-raising.
Lastly, it is accordingly found and determined that the Township's interests in an independent and efficient government workforce and a government that is undermined by neither the fact nor appearance of improper influence of political contributions on government decisions require the prohibition of political fund-raising in rooms or buildings occupied in the discharge of official duties or through the use of public property.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The government of the Township, including any officer, department, board, commission, or agency, thereof.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL, EMPLOYEE AND APPOINTEE
- Any person holding elective municipal office or holding an appointed position in the municipal government, or in any agency, commission, board or office thereof, whether the position is full-time or part-time, compensated or uncompensated, and any employee of municipal government or of any municipal agency, commission, board or office thereof, whether the position is full-time or part-time.
- POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION
- Any loans and transfers of money or other things of value to any candidate, elected official, official, or representative of any political organization, or other commitments or assumptions of liability to make any such transfer. Political contributions shall be deemed to have been made upon the date when such commitment is made or liability assumed.
- POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
- Any two or more persons acting jointly, or any corporation, partnership or 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 or political party office. "Political organization" includes, but is not limited to, organizations defined in N.J.S.A. 19:44A-3 as a "political committee," "joint candidates committee," "continuing political committee," "political party committee," "candidate committee" or "legislative leadership committee."
- PUBLIC PROPERTY
- All personal property owned, leased or controlled by the municipal government, including but not limited to vehicles, phones, fax machines, computers, stationery, including municipal letterhead, postage and other office equipment.
- To ask for, by oral or written communication, a contribution, a contribution as that term is defined herein.
Prohibition against soliciting or accepting political contribution in rooms or buildings occupied in the discharge of public duties. No municipal official, employee or appointee may solicit, commit to pay or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any political contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official municipal business. This section shall include solicitation or acceptance of political contributions through or utilizing public property.
Prohibition against use of public property for political fund-raising. No municipal official, employee or appointee may solicit, commit to pay or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any political contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while utilizing public property.
[Amended 4-12-2006 by Ord. No. 20-2006]
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a minimum fine of $100 or a maximum of $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days. Each and every violation shall be considered a separate violation. Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter within one year of the date of a previous violation and who was fined for the previous violation may be sentenced by the Court to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed as a repeat offender shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine provided herein, and same shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of this chapter.