[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mansfield 5-9-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Mansfield Township Ethics Code."
It is the purpose of this chapter to provide a method of assuring that standards of ethical conduct and financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of the Township of Mansfield shall be clear, consistent, uniform in their application and enforceable and to provide those officers or employees with advice and information concerning possible conflicts of interest which might arise in the conduct of their public duties.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any agency, board, governing body, including the chief executive officer, office, commission or other instrumentality within the Township and any independent local authority created by or appointed under the authority of the Township which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature.
- The Mansfield Township Ethical Standards Board, which is created by this chapter pursuant to the provisions of the Act.
- BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
- Any corporation, partnership, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust, sole proprietorship, union or other legal entity.
- Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, employed by or serving on an agency who is not a local government officer.
- The ownership or control of more than 10% of the profits, assets or stock of a business organization, but shall not include the control of assets in a nonunion profit entity or labor union.
- MEMBER OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- The spouse or dependent child of an officer or employee residing in the same household.
- Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, who is one of the following;
- A. Member of the Township Committee.
- B. Township Administrator/Manager.
- C. Deputy Township Administrator/Manager.
- D. Chief financial officer.
- E. Construction Official and inspectors.
- F. Superintendent, Department of Public Works.
- G. Superintendent, Department of Recreation.
- H. Chief of Police.
- I. Lieutenant of Police.
- J. Tax Assessor.
- K. Assistant Tax Assessor.
- L. Tax Collector.
- M. Township Clerk.
- N. Deputy Township Clerk.
- O. Township Solicitor.
- P. Township Engineer (as well as inspectors, engineering assistants and engineering consultants).
- Q. Township planning consultant.
- R. Township Auditor.
- S. Municipal Judge.
- T. Court Clerk.
- U. Deputy Court Clerk.
- V. Township Prosecutor.
- W. Township Public Defender.
- X. Member of Planning Board.
- Y. Planning Board Solicitor.
- Z. Member of Zoning Board of Adjustment
- AA. Zoning Board of Adjustment Solicitor.
- BB. Local Assistance Board member.
- CC. Director of Public Assistance.
- DD. Municipal Utilities Authority member.
- EE. Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director.
- FF. Board of Fire Commissioners member.
- GG. Fire Chief.
- HH. Assistant Fire Chief.
- II. Board of Fire Commissioners Solicitor.
- JJ. Library Board of Trustees member
- KK. Director of Public Library.
- LL. Ambulance corps officers.
- MM. Township Forester.
- NN. Members of Ethical Standards Board.
- OO. Any other person who is a managerial, executive or confidential employee, as defined in Section 3 of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act (N.J.S.A. 34:13A-3), of the Township of Mansfield or of any agency created under the authority of or appointed by the Township of Mansfield.
- OFFICER or EMPLOYEE
- An officer or employee of the Township or of an agency under the authority of or appointed by the Township.
- The Township of Mansfield, in the County of Burlington and State of New Jersey.
Officers and employees of the Township shall comply with the following provisions:
No officer or employee of the Township or member of his/her immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction or professional activity which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his/her duties in the public interest.
No officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself/herself or others.
No officer or employee shall act in his/her official capacity in any matter where he/she, a member of his/her immediate family or any business organization in which he/she has an interest has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his/her objectivity or independence of judgment.
No officer or employee shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his/her independence of judgment in the exercise of his/her official duties.
No officer or employee, member of his/her immediate family or any business organization in which he/she has an interest shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, political contribution, service, promise of future employment or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing him/her, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his/her official duties. This provision shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office if the officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the officer in the discharge of his/her official duties.
No officer or employee shall use or allow to be used his/her public office or employment or any information not generally available to the members of the public which he/she receives or requires in the course of and by reason of his/her office or employment for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself/herself, any member of his/her immediate family or any business organization with which he/she is associated.
No officer or employee or any business organization in which he/she has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the Township in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency of the Township. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit an employee from representing another employee where the representation is within the context of official labor union or similar representation or responsibility; nor shall this provision be applicable to the Township's Public Defender with respect to representation of defendants in the Municipal Court.
No officer shall be deemed in conflict with these provisions if, by reason of his/her participation in the enactment of any ordinance, resolution or other matter required to be voted upon or which is subject to executive approval or veto, no material or monetary gain accrues to him/her as a member of any business, profession, occupation or group to any greater extent than any gain could reasonably be expected to accrue to any other member of such business, profession, occupation or group.
No elected officer shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information on behalf of a constituent if no fee, reward or other thing of value is promised to, given to or accepted by the officer or a member of his/her immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefor.
Nothing shall prohibit any officer or employee of the Township or members of his/her immediate family from representing himself, herself or themselves in negotiations or proceedings concerning his, her or their own interests.
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the Township shall, without receiving formal written authorization from the appropriate person or body, disclose any confidential information concerning any other officer or employee or any other person or any property or governmental affairs of this Township.
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the Township shall approve or disapprove or in any way recommend the payment of any bill, voucher or indebtedness owed or allegedly owed by the Township in which he/she has a direct or indirect personal, pecuniary or private interest.
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the Township shall request, use or permit the use of any public property, vehicle, equipment, labor or service for personal convenience or the private advantage of himself/herself or any other person. This prohibition shall not be deemed to prohibit an officer or employee from requesting, using or permitting the use of such public property, vehicle, equipment, material, labor or service which it is the general practice to make available to the public at large or which is provided as a matter of state or public policy for the use of officials and employees in the conduct of Township business.
Officers of the Township shall annually file a financial disclosure statement. All financial disclosure statements shall include the following information, which shall specify, where applicable, the name and address of each source and the officer's job title:
Each source of income, earned or unearned, exceeding $2,000 received by the officer or member of his/her immediate family during the preceding calendar year. Individual client fees, customer receipts or commissions on transactions received through a business organization need not be separately reported as sources of income. If a publicly traded security is the source of income, the security need not be reported unless the officer or member of his/her immediate family has an interest in the business organization.
Each source of fees from honoraria having an aggregate amount exceeding $250 from any single source for personal appearances, speeches or writings received by the officer or a member of his/her immediate family during the preceding calendar year.
Each source of gifts, reimbursements or prepaid expenses having an aggregate value exceeding $400 from any single source, excluding relatives, received by the officer or member of his/her immediate family during the preceding calendar year.
The name and address of all business organizations in which the officer or a member of his/her immediate family had an interest during the preceding calendar year.
The address and brief description of all real property in the state in which the officer or a member of his/her immediate family held an interest during the preceding calendar year.
The Ethical Standards Board shall prescribe a financial disclosure statement form for filing purposes. If a financial disclosure statement form has been promulgated by the New Jersey Local Finance Board, in accordance with the Act, then that form shall be used. The Municipal Clerk shall make the forms available to the officers and employees required by this chapter and general law to file a financial disclosure statement
The original statement shall be filed with the Clerk not later than August 21, 1991, and all subsequent statements shall be filed on or after April 30 of each year. A copy of the statement shall be filed with the Board.
All financial disclosure statements filed in compliance with this chapter and general law shall be public records.
[Added 4-27-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-8; amended 9-25-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-8]
It is the purpose of this section that, notwithstanding that professional services contracts are exempt from the competitive bidding requirements of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., the Township Committee deems it appropriate, in order to avoid any public perception that professional services contracts are awarded in consideration for, e.g., political contribution or other considerations, said contracts, consistent with the provisions of enacted New Jersey legislation, shall henceforth be awarded through a competitive, quality-based, fair and open process.
[Added 4-27-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-8; amended 9-25-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-8
No professional services contracts, as that term is used in the Local Public Contracts Law, shall be awarded after the date of the adoption of this section, unless the following competitive, quality-based, fair and open process is followed:
Professional services may be awarded by virtue of a publicly advertised request for qualifications (RFQ) which will be issued for those appointments which are made on an annual basis, such as, but not limited to, the positions of Township Attorney, Township Engineer, Township Planner, Planning Board Attorney, Planning Board Engineer, and such similar statutory and/or ordinance public positions.
For said positions, no contract shall be awarded unless and until the positions are:
Publicly advertised in newspapers in sufficient time to give notice in advance of the solicitation for the contracts;
Awarded under a process that provides for public solicitation of proposals and qualifications;
Awarded and disclosed under criteria established in writing by the Township of Mansfield prior to the solicitation of proposals or qualifications; and
Publicly announced when awarded; and as to those RFQ's which prove to be unsuccessful, the Municipal Clerk shall retain a copy of same on file for a period of not less than 60 days.
For contracts which arise on an occasional basis, such as appraisals needed for the acquisition of farmland and/or open space, as well as title searches, surveying, and similar work associated with same, and similar projects of this type, professional services shall be awarded only after receipt of publicly advertised RFQs, after which a limited number of the best qualified vendors would be identified, and proposals would then be solicited therefrom.
A review of RFQs by Departmental Review Committees. A Departmental Review Committee shall be established consisting of not less than two persons to prepare, process and evaluate any RFQ issued pursuant to the professional services contracting procedures set forth above. Each Departmental Review Committee must prepare, prior to an RFQ, a written cost estimate in order to allow for proper evaluation of the fee aspect of proposals. Moreover, said Committee shall evaluate the respective qualifications and proposals, taking into consideration the designated qualifications and/or performance criteria, experience, quoted fee and other relevant factors in making a recommendation of award to the Township Committee; and the Departmental Review Committee may, in its sole discretion, conduct negotiations with qualified vendors after receipt of proposals, in order to achieve the best possible contract terms and conditions for the Township and its taxpayers.
Emergency exceptions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Township Committee recognizes that the New Jersey Legislature has provided for the occurrence of certain emergencies, and further recognizes that, therefore, the procedure outlined above might not be capable of being achieved in the event of an emergency or similar time constraints. Thus, should such a situation arise, and time does not permit resort to this procedure, and the immediate performance of services is necessary, then an award for same may be made in accordance with the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law (N.J.S.A. 40A:11-6) relating to emergency contracts, and such rules and regulations as may be promulgated, from time to time, by the Township Committee with regard to same. No such emergency contracts, however, may be awarded without submission to the Township Clerk of a certification establishing the basis for the deviation from the procedures outlined herein.
[Added 4-27-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-8; amended 3-24-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2; 10-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-9]
Elected officials, department heads, managerial executives and supervisory employees. Any person who is a member of the immediate family of an elected official, department head, managerial executive and supervisory employee shall not be appointed, hired, employed or permitted to work for the municipality in any position.
Existing employees. If any existing employee of the Township becomes subject to this policy as a result of the election of a relative, or because of changes in marital, domestic partner/cohabitant or relationship status, one of the related persons must resign their position within 90 days. During the ninety-day period, nonrelated supervisory person(s) shall be assigned to supervise the related employee. It shall be the affirmative duty of a related elected official, department head, managerial executive, or supervisory employee to immediately disclose any circumstances which may constitute a violation of this policy. Failure to do so will result in appropriate disciplinary and/or legal action.
Definitions. "Immediate family" means the spouse and/or dependent child of a local government officer or employee residing in the same household (N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.3i); any relative residing in the same household; and/or any living arrangement among unmarried persons substantially similar to that of a marital relationship, regardless of either person's gender.
[Added 4-27-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-8; amended 10-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-9
No candidate for office, appointment or employment and no officer, appointee, or employee in any municipality shall directly or indirectly give or promise any person any office, position, employment benefit or anything of value for the purpose of influencing or obtaining the political support, aid, or vote of any person, under the penalty of being disqualified to hold the office or employment to which he or she may be or may have been elected or appointed.
[Amended 2-10-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-3]
The Township Committee hereby declares that the Local Government Ethics Law shall be enforced by the State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, as provided in the Local Government Ethics Law, P.L. 1991, c. 29. Ethics complaints shall be filed and processed in accordance with the administrative regulations adopted by the Division of Local Government Services in accordance with the aforementioned Local Government Ethics Law.