Township of Bethlehem, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Bethlehem 8-14-1972 by Ord. No. 6-72 (Ch. 1, Part 4B, of the 1988 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Personnel policies — See Ch. 52.

§ 42-1 Creation of office.

The Office of Township Manager is hereby created by the Township of Bethlehem, subject to the right of the Township, by ordinance, at any time to abolish such office.

§ 42-2 Term of office.

[Amended 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
As soon as practicable after the enactment of this chapter, the Township Commissioners shall elect, by a majority vote of all its members, one person to fill the Office of Township Manager, who shall begin his or her term of office upon his or her appointment or as soon thereafter as possible, and he or she shall serve until the first Monday of January of the even-numbered year succeeding his or her appointment unless and until his successor is elected and qualifies. Said office shall be filled biennially thereafter. In case of a vacancy, the Commissioners shall fill said office by majority vote of all members. The Township Manager shall, however, be subject to removal at any time by a majority vote of all the members of the Board of Commissioners.

§ 42-3 Qualifications.

[Amended 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
The Township Manager shall be chosen solely on the basis of his or her executive and administrative qualifications, with special reference to his or her actual experience in or his or her knowledge of accepted practices in respect to the duties of the office as herein outlined. The Township Manager need not be a resident of the Township or of the State of Pennsylvania at the time of his or her appointment, but as soon as possible thereafter, he or she shall become and during his or her tenure as Manager shall remain a resident of the Township. No Commissioner shall be appointed as Township Manager during his or her term for which he or she shall have been elected nor within one year after the expiration of his or her term. The Township Manager shall have no interest in contracts of the Township, shall not be in debt to the Township and shall not at the time of his or her appointment be related to any of the Township Commissioners.

§ 42-4 Bond and surety.

[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 8-88; 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
Before entering upon his or her duties, the Township Manager shall give a bond to the Township, with a bonding company as surety, in an amount as amended from time to time by resolution, conditioned for the faithful performance of his or her duties, premium for the said bond to be paid for by the Township of Bethlehem. The bond of the Township Manager may be included in, and the Manager may be bonded under and covered by the blanket bond now in force and effect for all Township employees in the aforesaid amount, as amended from time to time by resolution.

§ 42-5 Compensation.

The Township Manager shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed from time to time by resolution.

§ 42-6 Manager as Chief Administrative Officer.

[Amended 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
The Manager shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Township, and he or she shall be responsible to the Board of Commissioners as a whole for the proper and efficient administration of the affairs of the Township. His or her powers and duties shall relate to the general management of all Township business not expressly by statute or ordinance imposed or conferred upon other Township officers.

§ 42-7 Powers and duties.

[Amended 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
Subject to recall by ordinance, the powers and duties of the Manager shall include the following:
A. 
He or she shall supervise and be responsible for the activities of all Township departments, except such departments the supervision of which shall not have been delegated to the Manager by the Board of Commissioners.
B. 
He or she shall appoint and, when he or she shall deem it necessary for the good of the Township, shall suspend or discharge, all employees under his or her supervision; provided, nevertheless, that persons covered by the Civil Service provisions of the First Class Township Code shall be appointed, suspended or discharged in accordance with such provisions. Prior to appointing, suspending or discharging any employee, the Township Manager shall provide the Board of Commissioners with written notice of his or her intention to take such action, which notice shall include an independent, professional, written rationale therefor. Such notice shall be given to the Board of Commissioners not less than 48 hours in advance of a regular public meeting of the Board of Commissioners which is held prior to the Township Manger taking such action; provided, nevertheless, that the Township Manager may temporarily suspend any employee under his or her supervision, with or without pay or other compensation, when he or she shall deem such temporary suspension necessary for the good of the Township, without providing prior notice to the Board of Commissioners. In the event of such temporary suspension, he or she shall notify the Board of Commissioners of the same and the reasons therefor, in writing, within 48 hours. In the event the Township Manager shall deem the creation of a new position of employment or the appointment of any additional employees to current positions of employment to be necessary for the good of the Township, he or she shall obtain the prior approval of the Board of Commissioners therefor; provided, nevertheless, that the selection of the person for such new position or of such additional employees shall be the responsibility of the Township Manager subject to the provisions of this subsection. No person shall be appointed by the Township Manager to fill any vacancy in any position of employment at a rate of pay which is more than 5% higher than that received by the previous employee holding such position without the prior approval of the Board of Commissioners.
C. 
He or she shall prepare and submit to the Board of Commissioners before the close of the fiscal year or on such alternate date as the Board of Commissioners shall determine, but no later than November 30, a budget for the next fiscal year and an explanatory budget message. In preparing the budget, the Township Manager, or an officer designated by him or her, shall obtain from the head of each department, agency, board or officer, estimates and may revise them before submitting the budget to the Board of Commissioners.
[Amended 3-6-2017 by Ord. No. 01-17]
D. 
He or she shall be responsible for the administration of the budget after its adoption by the Board of Commissioners.
E. 
He or she shall, under the direction of the Board of Commissioners, execute and enforce, the nonpenal laws of the commonwealth and nonpenal ordinances, resolutions and bylaws of the Township, and he shall establish necessary procedures and forms, violation notices and other documents.
F. 
He or she shall attend all meetings of the Township Board of Commissioners and of its committees, with the right to take part in the discussion and he or she shall receive notice of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Commissioners and of its committees.
G. 
He or she shall prepare the agenda for each meeting of the Board of Commissioners and supply facts pertinent thereto.
H. 
He or she shall keep the Board of Commissioners informed as to the condition of the Township affairs, submit periodic reports on the condition of the Township finances and such other reports as the Board of Commissioners shall request and shall make such recommendations to the Board of Commissioners as he or she deems necessary.
I. 
He or she shall submit to the Board of Commissioners, as soon as possible after the close of the fiscal year, a complete report on the financial and administrative activities of the Township for the preceding year.
J. 
He or she shall see that the provisions of all franchises, leases, permits and privileges granted by the Township are observed.
K. 
He or she may employ, by and with the approval of the Board of Commissioners, experts and consultants to perform work and to advise in connection with any of the functions of the Township.
L. 
He or she shall attend to the letting of contracts in due form of law, and he or she shall supervise the performance and faithful execution of the same except insofar as such duties are expressly imposed upon some other Township officer by statute.
M. 
He or she shall see that all money owed the Township is promptly paid and that proper proceedings are taken for the security and collection of all the Township's claims.
N. 
He or she shall be the purchasing officer of the Township and he or she shall purchase, in accordance with the provisions of the Township Code, all supplies and equipment for the various agencies, boards, departments and other offices of the Township. He or she shall have authority to make purchases without prior approval of the Board of Commissioners to the extent and within the limitations established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and, except as authorized by such resolution, shall make purchases only upon and with the prior approval of the Board of Commissioners. He or she shall keep an account of all purchases and shall, from time to time or when directed by the Board of Commissioners, make a full written report thereof. He or she shall also issue rules and regulations subject to approval of the Board of Commissioners governing the requisition and purchasing of all Township supplies and equipment.
[Amended 3-5-2001 by Ord. No. 2-01]
O. 
All complaints regarding services or personnel of the Township shall be referred to the Office of the Manager. He or she, or an officer designated by him or her, shall investigate and dispose of such complaints and the Manager shall report thereon to the Board of Commissioners, in writing.
P. 
He or she shall perform such other duties as may be required by the Board of Commissioners not inconsistent with the First Class Township Code, the law relating thereto and ordinances of the Township.
Q. 
The Township Manager shall, every three years, commencing in 2017, conduct an internal review of the top 10 by dollar value of reoccurring Township vendors, and it shall thereafter be presented to the Board of Commissioners. The internal review shall include 1) a brief summary of the vendor; 2) the services they provide; 3) the current rate structure; 4) three comparative cost bases; and 5) a statement regarding the Township staff's level of satisfaction. Any conflicts that would prevent this internal review for a top-ten vendor should be explained to the Board of Commissioners as part of the internal review process, (i.e., multiyear contracts and agreements, etc.).
[Added 3-6-2017 by Ord. No. 01-17]

§ 42-8 Appointment, suspension and discharge of Township employees; board communications with Township employees.

[Amended 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
Neither the Board of Commissioners nor any of its members shall publicly or privately influence or attempt to influence the decision of the Township Manager relating to the appointment, suspension or discharge of any Township employee, except as may be necessary to ensure that the written employment policies of the Township and the requirements of law are duly complied with, request or require the Township Manager to interview or otherwise consider for appointment any specific employment applicant or otherwise exert influence to gain, or attempt to gain, preferential treatment on behalf of any such applicant or request or require the Township Manager to suspend or discharge any Township employee. For the purpose of assuring a clear line of administrative authority, neither the Board of Commissioners nor any of its members shall give orders or directives, publicly or privately, directly to any Township employee under the supervision of the Township Manager. All orders and directives of the Board of Commissioners shall be issued at a duly convened public meeting and shall be given to the Township Manager for execution. While other communications between members of the Board of Commissioners and Township employees should ordinarily take place in the form of inquiry to the Township Manager for further communication to the heads of Township departments and from the heads of Township departments to subordinate employees, for reply by the Township Manager to the Board of Commissioners, the members of the Board of Commissioners shall have the right, for the purposes of inquiry and information exchange, to communicate with Township employees under the supervision of the Township Manager and such employees shall have the right to communicate with the members of the Board of Commissioners for such purposes. Any official action resulting from such communication shall be taken at a duly convened public meeting of the Board of Commissioners following reasonable notice to and receipt of independent, professional written recommendations from the Township Manager. In the event any member of the Board of Commissioners becomes aware of circumstances pursuant to which a Township employee may be suspended or discharged from his or her employment with the Township, such member shall not communicate with such employee with respect to such circumstances except at a duly convened meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

§ 42-9 Absence or disability.

[Amended 3-6-2000 by Ord. No. 1-00]
In case of illness or absence of the Manager from the Township, the Board of Commissioners shall designate the replacement who shall perform the duties of the Manager during his or her absence or disability.

§ 42-10 Severability; conflict with other provisions.

If any section, subsection or sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held invalid, such decision or decisions shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. All ordinances of the Township prescribing the duties of heads of departments shall remain in full force and effect insofar as they do not conflict with the provisions of this chapter in which case the provisions of this chapter shall govern.