[HISTORY: Adopted by Town Meeting of the Town of Bethel 2-23-1961. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Golf Authority — See Ch. 9.
There is hereby established in the Town of Bethel, Connecticut, a Park and Recreation Commission consisting of seven members, who shall be electors of the Town of Bethel, not more than four of whom shall be members of the same political party, and two ex officio members who shall be the First Selectman of said Town of Bethel and a member of the Board of Education of said Town of Bethel, who shall be selected by said Board of Education each year for a one-year term. Said ex officio members shall have no vote in the proceedings of said Commission.
The Board of Selectmen of said Town of Bethel shall initially appoint one member of said Commission for a term of one year, appoint two members for two years, appoint one member for three years, appoint two members for four years and appoint one member for five years, all of which terms shall end on March 14 of the year designated for the end of said term.
As the term of each member shall expire, his or her successor shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for a term of five years from the date of such expiration, and all terms shall commence as of March 15 of each year.
All members shall continue in office until their successors shall have been duly appointed and shall have qualified. Vacancies shall be filled by the Board of Selectmen for the unexpired portion of any such vacant term. Any member of the Commission may be removed by the Board of Selectmen for cause and, on request of such member, after public hearing.
The Commission shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its meetings. A majority of the members of said Commission shall constitute a quorum, and said Commission shall hold regular meetings once a month. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman at any time and shall be called upon request of any two members.
The powers and duties of the Park and Recreation Commission shall be exercised and performed as herein provided and in conformity with state law.
The Commission shall be charged with the control, development, management, operation and maintenance of a system of public parks, recreational areas and facilities and shall be charged with the supervision, development and maintenance of playgrounds, playfields, swimming pools, recreation centers and other recreation and park activities, areas and facilities and shall have the power to expend for these purposes any funds appropriated by the Board of Finance for such purpose.
The Park and Recreation Commission shall conduct and supervise public playgrounds, playfields, indoor recreation centers and other recreation areas and facilities owned and controlled by the Town of Bethel. It shall have the power to conduct any form of recreational or cultural activity that will employ the leisure time of the people in a constructive and wholesome manner. It may conduct such activities on properties under its own control, on public properties with the consent of the authorities thereof and on private properties with the consent of the owners.
The Commission shall have, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, the power to employ such personnel who are properly qualified in experience and education in recreational and park work and such other personnel as it may deem necessary and proper. The salaries of the personnel shall be fixed by said Park and Recreation Commission.
The Commission shall have, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, the power to cooperate with, sponsor and assist any privately owned, operated or sponsored park or recreational activity in any way it may determine to be proper and upon such terms and conditions as it may determine to be necessary or convenient.
The Park and Recreation Commission shall have the power to conduct outdoor and indoor social and recreational activities and facilities on the grounds and in the buildings in charge of the Board of Education, subject to the consent of such Board of Education.
The Park and Recreation Commission shall have the privilege to call upon any other department of the Town government for assistance in performing its duties, and it shall be the duty of such other departments to comply with the proper request of said Commission. Any question as to what shall constitute a proper request for assistance shall be decided by the Board of Selectmen.
The Park and Recreation Commission, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, shall have the authority to make rules and regulations governing the use of park and recreational facilities under its control and supervision and to make reasonable charges for the use of such facilities as are provided for the amusement, entertainment, refreshment and/or transportation of the public and may let or rent out privileges and concessions therefor, but such privileges and concessions shall be subject to the supervision and control of the Commission.
The Commission shall be charged with the control, maintenance and development of public parks and recreational areas now in existence and those that may hereafter come into existence and/or be acquired.
The Park and Recreation Commission may make, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, all contracts necessary to carry out the objectives and purposes of the Commission and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Selectmen, but said Commission shall not, however, expend or enter into any contract by which the Town shall become liable for any sum which shall exceed the appropriation for said Commission. Any financial obligation to be incurred by said Commission over a period of more than one year must first be approved by the Board of Finance of said Town.
Prior to the preparation of the annual Town budget by the Board of Finance, the Park and Recreation Commission shall submit a detailed statement of the amount of money which it will require to meet the obligations thereof and provide for its expenses for the ensuing fiscal year, together with recommendations for the development of the Park and Recreation Commission and such recreational facilities as it may deem advisable, and shall prepare an annual report of its proceedings and expenditures during the preceding year, and file copies of all the above with the Board of Selectmen and the Secretary of the Board of Finance.
The Park and Recreation Commission shall cause to be maintained accurate records of the Commission's work. It shall keep a record of the minutes of all meetings, procedures and accounts of the Commission, and such record shall be open to the public.
Said Commission shall be authorized to consider the acceptance of gifts, donations or devises of land or other personal or real property for park or recreational purposes and may recommend to the Town the acceptance or rejection thereof.
All other ordinances, resolutions or parts thereof heretofore enacted by the Town of Bethel pertaining to any park or recreational commission or committee in conflict with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed, and the Park and Recreation Commission hereby created shall succeed to all of the rights, obligations, liabilities, contracts, privileges and undertakings of any previous park and/or recreation commission or committee of the Town of Bethel.