[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Massena 12-12-1962. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The New York State Defense Emergency Act, in § 29-2 thereof, authorizes political subdivisions of the state to provide for the continuity of their governments in the event of an actual or imminent attack upon the United States by an enemy or foreign nation. The Executive Law, in § 27 thereof, authorizes political subdivisions to provide for the continuity of their governments in the event of other public disasters, catastrophes or emergencies. Based on the authority contained in such laws, this chapter is adopted so that on such occasions the government of the Town of Massena, New York, may continue to function properly and efficiently under emergency circumstances.
Editor's Note: See Unconsolidated Laws § 9101 et seq.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall mean and include:
- Any attack, actual or imminent, or series of attacks by an enemy or foreign nation upon the United States, causing or which may cause substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in the United States in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, shellfire or nuclear, radiological, chemical, bacteriological or biological means or other weapons or processes.
- DULY AUTHORIZED DEPUTY
- A person authorized to perform all the powers and duties of a public office in the event the office is vacant or at such times as it lacks administration due to the death, absence or disability of the incumbent officer, where such authorization is provided pursuant to the provisions of any general, special or local law other than this chapter.
- EMERGENCY INTERIM SUCCESSOR
- A person designated pursuant to this chapter for possible temporary succession to the powers and duties, but not the office, of a town officer in the event that neither such officer nor any duly authorized deputy is able, due to death, absence from the town or other physical, mental or legal reasons, to perform the powers and duties of the office.
- PUBLIC DISASTER
- A disaster, catastrophe or emergency, actual or imminent, of such unusual proportions or extent that a substantial number of the residents of the Town of Massena either sustain injury, become ill, are infected with disease, have their lives imperiled, are killed or die as the result of an injury, disease or exposure, or the property of a substantial number of such residents is imperiled, damaged or destroyed, and it is necessary and essential in the interest of public safety, health and welfare that the continuity of the government of the Town of Massena be assured in order that it be enabled to function properly and efficiently and to exercise its essential powers in meeting emergencies. Such disasters, catastrophes and emergencies may include but shall not be limited to conflagrations, explosions, earthquakes or other convulsions of nature, floods, tidal waves, pestilence, riots, insurrections, storms, prolonged failure of electric power or essential transportation services, or any incident or occurrence which causes or threatens to cause danger to life, health or property from exposure to noxious materials or radiation.
Elective officers. Within 30 days following the effective date of this chapter, and thereafter within 30 days after first entering upon the duties of his office, each elective officer shall, in addition to any duly authorized deputy, designate such number of emergency interim successors to the powers and duties of his office and specify their rank in order of succession after any duly authorized deputy so that there will be not less than three duly authorized deputies or emergency interim successors, or combination thereof, to perform the powers and duties of the office.
Appointive officers. Each officer or body of officers empowered by law to appoint officers shall, within the time specified in Subsection A of this section, in addition to any duly authorized deputy, designate for each such appointive officer such number of emergency interim successors to such officers and specify their rank in order of succession after any duly authorized deputy so that there will be not less than three duly authorized deputies or emergency interim successors, or combination thereof, for each such officer. Where such a body of officers consists of members having overlapping terms, such body of officers shall review and, as necessary, revise the previous designations of emergency interim successors by such board within 30 days after a new member elected or appointed to such body of officers first enters upon the duties of his office as a member of such body of officers.
Review of designations. The incumbent in the case of those elective officers specified in Subsection A of this section, and the appointing officer or body of officers specified in Subsection B of this section, shall from time to time review and, as necessary, promptly revise the designations of emergency interim successors to ensure that at all times there are at least three duly authorized deputies or emergency interim successors, or combination thereof, for each elective and appointive officer of the town.
Qualifications. No person shall be designated nor serve as an emergency interim successor unless he is legally qualified to hold the office of the person to whose powers and duties he is designated to succeed.
Status of emergency interim successor. A person designated as an emergency interim successor shall hold that designation at the pleasure of the designator, and such a designation shall remain effective until replaced by another by the authorized designator.
Compensation. An emergency interim successor shall serve without salary, unless otherwise provided by local law. He shall, however, be entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of his powers and duties.
If, in the event of an attack or a public disaster, an officer described in Subsection A or B of § 12-3 of this chapter or his duly authorized deputy, if any, is unable, due to death, absence from the Town Emergency Operating Center or other physical, mental or legal reasons, to perform the powers and duties of the office, the emergency interim successor or such officer highest in rank in order of succession who is able to perform the powers and duties of the office shall, except for the power and duty to discharge or replace duly authorized deputies and emergency interim successors of such officer, perform the powers and duties of such officer. An emergency interim successor shall perform such powers and duties only until such time as the lawful incumbent officer or his duly authorized deputy, if any, resumes the office or undertakes the performance of the powers and duties of the office, as the case may be, or until, where an actual vacancy exists, a successor is duly elected or appointed to fill such vacancy and qualifies as provided by law.
The name, address and rank in order of succession of each duly authorized deputy and emergency interim successor shall be filed with the Town Clerk, and each designation, replacement or change in order of succession of any emergency interim successor shall become effective when the designator files with such Clerk the successor's name, address and rank in order of succession. Such Clerk shall keep an up-to-date file of all such data regarding duly authorized deputies and emergency interim successors and the same shall be open to public inspection. The Clerk shall notify, in writing, each designated person of the filing of his name as an emergency interim successor and his rank in order of succession and also shall notify, in writing, any person previously designated who is replaced or whose place in order of succession is changed.
At the time of their designation or as soon thereafter as possible, emergency interim successors shall take such oath and do such other things, if any, as may be required to qualify them to perform the powers and duties of the office to which they may succeed.
In the event of an attack or a public disaster, the Supervisor of the Town of Massena or his duly authorized deputy or emergency interim successor performing his powers and duties may suspend quorum requirements for the Town Board. If quorum requirements are suspended, any local law, ordinance, resolution or other action requiring enactment, adoption or approval by an affirmative vote of a specified proportion of members may be enacted, adopted or approved by the affirmative vote of the specified proportion of those voting thereon.