[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Attendance and Training Standards for Appointed Boards
[Adopted 5-10-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
Pursuant to the authority granted by Municipal Home Rule Law § 10, Subdivision 1(ii)(a)(12) and (d)(3), §§ 267 and 271 of the Town Law and § 239-x of the General Municipal Law, and other applicable provisions of law now or hereinafter enacted to supersede and/or expand upon the applicable provisions of the aforementioned sections of Town Law and General Municipal Law and any other applicable or successor law, the Town Board is authorized to set appropriate regulations for appointed boards in the Town.
The Town Board has determined that it is proper to impose minimum training and attendance standards for appointed members of the Town of Wappinger Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Conservation Advisory Council, Recreation Committee and such other committees, councils or boards as may be duly formed by the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger from time to time hereafter (hereinafter the "boards"). The Town Board recognizes that New York State law requires that all municipal bodies conduct business by resolution or motion duly adopted by a majority of the whole number of such boards. Accordingly, regular attendance by members who are appointed to such boards is essential to fulfill the statutory duties, function and orderly processing of applications and matters before such boards. Failure to have a quorum present for the conduct of business before such boards may result in unnecessary expense and hardship to applicants, residents or interested parties who appear before such boards and may expose the Town to potential legal liability and expense, especially for those applications which are time sensitive or which may have state-mandated time requirements.
The New York State Town Law and the New York State General Municipal Law authorize the removal for cause of members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board or Conservation Advisory Council following a public hearing pursuant to a local law or ordinance adopted by the Town Board. Persistent, unexcused absenteeism by such members could prevent the boards from properly conducting vital business.
The purpose of this article is to require minimum standards of attendance and training by persons who are appointed to such boards and to adopt a policy for their removal in the event they fail to comply with the established minimum standards of attendance and training.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Conservation Advisory Council, Recreation Committee, and such other boards, councils or committees as may be duly formed or created by the Town Board.
The Town Board hereby determines that any duly appointed member of a board created by the Town Board is expected to attend all duly called regular and special meetings of such board unless such board member has been granted an excused absence by the Town Board as hereinafter authorized.
The Town Board hereby determines that it shall be cause for removal from any such board if any board member has attended fewer than 80% of all duly called regular and special meetings within any consecutive twelve-month period or if such board member is absent from five consecutive duly-called regular or special meetings unless his or her absence at such meetings has been excused by the Town Board as hereinafter provided.
Only absences occurring on and after the effective date of this article shall be counted as cause for removal.
Each member of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall complete, at a minimum, four hours of training each year designed to enable such members to more effectively carry out their duties. Training received by a member in excess of four hours in any one year may be carried over by the member to succeeding years in order to meet the requirements established herein. Such training shall be approved by the Town Board and may include, but not be limited to, training provided by a municipality, regional or county planning office or commission, county planning federation, state agency, statewide municipal association, college or other similar entity. Training may be provided in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to, electronic media, video, distance learning and traditional classroom training. To be eligible for reappointment to such board, such member shall complete the training promoted by the Town pursuant to this section. The training required by the Town may be waived or modified by resolution of the Town Board when, in the judgment of the Town Board, it is in the best interest of the Town to do so. No decision of the Planning Board or Zoning Board shall be voided or declared invalid because of a failure of any member thereof to comply with this section.
The Town Board hereby determines that members of such boards may be subject to removal for cause by a majority vote of the Town Board.
Cause shall be deemed to include, but not be limited to, excessive absenteeism, excessive tardiness, inefficiency, neglect of duties or malfeasance in this office, or failure to attend yearly minimum training. For the purposes of this article, "excessive absenteeism" shall mean a failure to attend at least 80% of all duly-called regular or special meetings within any consecutive twelve-month period or failure to attend five consecutive duly called regular or special meetings unless such board member has been excused from attendance by the Town Board.
Every board member sought to be removed from office shall receive written notice of the reasons or grounds for his or her removal and shall be entitled to a public hearing within 20 days of service of such notice.
Any board member who has been or will be absent from his or her respective board may request that the Town Board excuse such absence for just cause, which just cause shall include, but not be limited to, job or business assignment, military assignment, jury duty, illness, medical reason, hospitalization or the death of an immediate family member or domestic partner, or for such other circumstances as may be deemed reasonable and appropriate by the Town Board.
In the event such absence is excused by the Town Board, such absence shall not be used as a cause for removal.
The Town Board is also authorized to grant approved leaves of absence for any cause deemed reasonable and appropriate by the Town Board. Any approved leave of absence shall not be deemed an absence for calculating mandatory minimum attendance requirements.