[HISTORY: Derived from Chapter 106 of the 1975 Compilation, as amended through 1996. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the City of Oneonta, New York, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technologic change, with their accompanying demands on natural resources, are found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future inhabitants and require forthright action by the governing body of the City of Oneonta, New York. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the natural environment on which man is dependent for survival and the natural and functional beauty of our surroundings which condition the quality of our life experience cannot be protected without the full cooperation and participation of all the people of the city working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of an Environmental Board is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Common Council of the City of Oneonta, New York, hereby creates a board which shall be known as the "Oneonta Environmental Board" for conservation of the environment, hereinafter called the "Board."
The Board shall consist of at least five but no more than seven members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council and who shall serve for three-year terms. Persons residing within the City of Oneonta, New York, who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Board.
The Mayor, the Chairman of the City of Oneonta Planning Commission, the Supervisor of Streets and Parks and the Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board and other officials that may be hereafter designated by the Common Council shall be ex officio members of the Board.
The Board, at the first meeting of each calendar year, shall elect one of its members to act as its Chairman. The Board shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 17-6 of this chapter. If at any time the Board is operating under a schedule for meetings less frequently than monthly, a meeting may be called at the request of the Mayor, the Common Council, the Chairman or a majority of the Board members by notification to the City Clerk of the time and date of such meeting. The City Clerk shall then schedule the meetings and notify all required parties.
[Amended 3-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2-2015]
The powers and duties of the Board shall be to:
Advise the Common Council on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and built features of the City, insofar as they have a bearing on environmental quality.
Raise public awareness concerning the importance of a healthy environment, collect and disseminate public comment on environmental issues and encourage public support of environmentally sound policies and actions.
Improve the coordination and effectiveness of programs undertaken by the public and private agencies to preserve and enhance the environment.
Evaluate activities, projects and operations that may affect the environment to determine where major threats to environmental quality exist and recommend, when appropriate, policies and remedial actions.
Advocate for a responsible balance between sustainable economic growth and prudent environmental stewardship by maintaining a dialog with appropriate City commissions/boards.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Common Council.
The Board shall submit an annual report to the Common Council, not later than the first day of March of each year, concerning the activities and work of the Board and from time to time shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
The members of the Board, including ex officio members, shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof but may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available therefor.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the City of Oneonta, New York, to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.