Township of Clark, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The Council shall organize annually on January 1 of each year at 12:00 noon or at such other time as the Council may determine by formal resolution adopted at a public meeting not less than 30 days in advance of the proposed reorganization date, which resolution shall be adopted by majority vote; provided, however, that reorganization of Council shall not occur later than the seventh day of January of each year. The Council shall elect from its membership a presiding officer who shall be known as the President of the Council. The President of the Council shall hold office until the next ensuing organizational meeting.
B. 
The President shall preside over all regular and special meetings of the Council. The President shall conduct the meetings of the Council in accordance with the provisions of this article and shall maintain order and decorum at all such meetings. The President shall appoint all committees of the Council. The President shall be entitled to vote on all questions, his/her name being called last in any roll call. The President shall sign all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council during his/her presence.
C. 
At the annual organizational meeting, the Council may elect a Vice President of the Council who shall hold office until the ensuing organizational meeting. The Vice President of the Council shall have all of the functions, powers and duties of the President of the Council whenever the President of the Council may be absent.
D. 
In the event of the absence or disability of the President or Vice President at the time of any meeting, the Township Clerk shall promptly call the meeting to order and shall preside while the Council selects a President Pro Tempore. A President Pro Tempore shall have all of the functions, powers and duties of the President until the President or Vice President appears and assumes the chair or until his/her disability ceases, with respect to the meeting at which such temporary presiding officer is chosen. In the event of a vacancy in the Office of President or Vice President of the Council due to death, resignation, disqualification or other cause, such vacancy shall be filled by the Council at its next ensuing regular meeting.
There shall be no standing committees of the Council. Special committees and the chairperson thereof may be appointed by the presiding officer at a regular or special meeting of the Council. A quorum of a special committee shall consist of a majority of the members thereof. Meetings of special committees shall be held at such times as do not conflict with regular or special meetings of the Council. Each committee shall make a written report and file it with the Township Clerk, together with all petitions, resolutions or other papers submitted to the committee for consideration, including all papers and documents, reports, correspondence and data gathered by the committee and considered by it in preparation for its report.
[Amended 2-18-2005 by Ord. No. 05-01]
A. 
Notices and agendas. Public notice of meetings and agendas of such meetings shall be provided in accordance with N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
B. 
Pre-meeting conferences.
(1) 
Preceding each regular meeting, the Council shall confer at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, or at such other time or times as may be determined by resolution, to agree upon the agenda for such regular meeting and to prepare to take up the matters thereon.
(2) 
Any proposed ordinance or resolution which has not been presented to the Council at a pre-meeting conference and which is not thereafter presented to the Council for consideration at least 48 hours prior to a regular meeting of the Council shall not be introduced at the regular meeting of the Council, except upon the consent of five of the members present at the regular meeting. All other proposed ordinances or resolutions not presented at the pre-meeting conference shall only require the consent of four members present for consideration at the regular meeting.
C. 
Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the Council shall be held on the third Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m.; provided, however, that when the day fixed for any regular meeting of the Council falls upon a day designated by law as a legal or national holiday other than the first day of January, such meeting shall be held at the same hour on the next succeeding day which is not a holiday.
D. 
Changes in meeting times. The Council may, upon majority vote at least 30 days in advance of a scheduled pre-meeting conference or regular meeting, cancel any pre-meeting conference or reschedule any pre-meeting conference or regular meeting. In that event, the Council President shall direct the Township Clerk, in writing, to serve notice of such canceled or rescheduled meeting date upon each member of the Council and upon the public as provided in N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
E. 
Special meetings.
(1) 
A special meeting of the Council may be called by the President of the Council or upon request, in writing, signed by a majority of the members of the Council, specifying the purpose for which such meeting is to be called. The President of the Council shall promptly direct the Township Clerk, in writing, to serve notice of such special meeting upon each member of the Council and upon the public as provided in N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. Such special meetings shall be called upon at least forty-eight-hour prior notice to the members.
(2) 
A special meeting may also be called whenever an extraordinary emergency exists requiring immediate action by the Council upon the written request of the Mayor or a majority of the members of the Council served upon the Township Clerk, specifying the purpose for which such meeting is to be called pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-9. Three-quarters of the members of the Council present at such special meeting must agree to entertain deliberations on any such emergent matters in accordance with N.J.S.A. 10:4-9 before the Council may vote on the matter.
(3) 
No business shall be transacted at such special meeting other than that stated in such notice.
F. 
Place of public meetings. All meetings of the Council, regular and special, shall be held in the Council Chamber of the Municipal Building in the Township, except in the case of the destruction thereof or other emergency proclaimed by the Mayor, or as otherwise directed by the Council for the public convenience.
G. 
Open meetings; when public may be excluded.
(1) 
All meetings shall be open to the public except as provided in Subsection G(2) below.
(2) 
As provided in N.J.S.A. 10:4-13, the Council may, by the adoption of a resolution, exclude the public from any meeting to discuss any matter described in N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b).
A. 
Rules of order. Except as may be otherwise provided in the Charter or by ordinance, all questions of order, methods of organization and the conduct of business of the Council shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order Revised, with particular reference to the following rules:
(1) 
Rule 1. The President, or such other member of the Council as may be presiding, may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are by these rules imposed upon all members and shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of a member of Council by reason of his/her being the presiding Chairperson.
(2) 
Rule 2. The vote upon every motion, resolution or ordinance shall be taken by roll call in alphabetical order, except that the President shall be called last, and the vote of each member shall be entered upon the minutes. Upon any roll call, there shall be no discussion or explanation given by any member voting, and the vote shall be taken as "aye" or "nay." A member of the Council may abstain from voting on any matter. Except as otherwise required by the Charter, by ordinance or by general law, the determination of any question may be by vote of a majority of those voting on the question.
(3) 
Rule 3. In the proper order of business, any person, other than a member of Council, desiring to address the Council shall first secure the permission of the presiding officer at the meeting; but preference shall be given to those persons who shall have notified the Township Clerk in advance of the meeting and in time for their names to be included on the calendar of the Council of their desire to speak. No such person shall be permitted under any circumstances to address the Council while a motion is pending, nor to direct any remarks to any individual members of the Council, nor to enter into any discussions with any member of the Council during any meeting. Each person addressing the Council shall first give his/her name and address to the Clerk and shall speak from such location in the Council Chamber as shall be designated by the presiding officer. All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a body and not to any member thereof and, unless further time is granted by the Council, shall not exceed 10 minutes in duration.
(4) 
Rule 4. Any person who shall persist in addressing the Council in violation of these rules after having been called to order or who shall engage in impertinent or slanderous remarks or boisterous conduct while attending a Council meeting shall be forthwith barred from the Council Chamber by the presiding officer.
(5) 
Rule 5. The Chief of Police, or such member or members of the Police Department as he/she may designate, shall be the Sergeant at Arms of the Council at its meetings. The Sergeant at Arms shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the presiding officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at Council meetings.
B. 
Quorum.
(1) 
A majority of the whole number of members of the Council shall constitute a quorum, but no ordinance shall be adopted by the Council without the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the Council.
(2) 
If a quorum is not present within 30 minutes after the hour appointed for the meeting of the Council, the President, or, in his/her absence, the Township Clerk or his/her designee, may thereupon adjourn the meeting to another time, unless those members present by unanimous agreement select another hour or day, but in compliance with N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. The names of the members present and their action at such meeting shall be recorded in the minutes by the Township Clerk.
C. 
Order of business; approval and transmittal of minutes.
(1) 
Promptly at the hour set for each meeting, the members of the Council and the Township Clerk shall take their regular places in the Council Chamber, and, except as may be otherwise provided by resolution of the Council, the business of the Council shall be taken up for consideration and disposition in the following order:
(a) 
Roll call;
(b) 
Communications from the Mayor;
(c) 
Payment of claims;
(d) 
Council comments;
(e) 
Citizen hearing on agenda;
(f) 
Ordinances and resolutions;
(g) 
Addition to agenda;
(h) 
Public comments;
(i) 
Council and Mayor comments;
(j) 
Adjournment.
(2) 
Unless a reading of the minutes of the previous meeting is requested by three members of Council immediately following the roll call, such minutes, when signed by the President and the Township Clerk, shall be considered approved without reading, provided that any member of the Council may move to correct an error in the minutes of the previous meeting.
(3) 
The Township Clerk shall, at least two full working days preceding each meeting, transmit a copy of the minutes of the previous meeting to each member of the Council, the Mayor and the Township Attorney.
D. 
Nominations.
(1) 
Upon the receipt from the Mayor of his/her nominations to any office or position, the same shall be read, under "communications," by the Township Clerk or his/her designee and shall be considered by the Council immediately upon reading.
(2) 
When the nomination is taken up for action, the President shall put the question on each nomination as follows: "Will the Council confirm the nomination?" On that motion, a vote shall be ordered, and if four or more members vote to confirm, the President shall announce: "The nomination is confirmed." If less than four members vote to confirm, the President shall announce: "The nomination is rejected."
(3) 
Action by confirmation or rejection, upon a nomination made by the Mayor, shall not be postponed or delayed longer than for one regular meeting.
(4) 
Within two days after confirmation or rejection of a nomination, the Township Clerk shall, in writing, notify the Mayor of that fact.
A. 
Preparation, introduction and adoption.
(1) 
The Township Attorney or his/her authorized representative shall be available to the Council at all its regular and special meetings. The Attorney shall be responsible for the preparation and drafting of all ordinances and resolutions for any member of the Council when and as requested.
(2) 
A copy of each proposed ordinance shall, upon its introduction, be furnished forthwith to each member of the Council by the Township Clerk. Except as otherwise required by law, ordinances may be introduced and adopted by title. Every ordinance, after introduction and adoption on first reading, shall be published in full, together with a notice as required by law, and such publication shall be at least 10 days prior to the time fixed for further consideration upon second reading and final passage. At the time and place so specified in such notice, all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard thereon.
(3) 
Any Council member, subject to the provisions of § 3-11B(2), may introduce an ordinance or resolution, in writing, at any time, according to the established order of business, but each proposed ordinance shall, prior to its introduction, have been reviewed as to form and legality by the Township Attorney. Ordinances and resolutions which would affect the functions, powers or duties of an existing Township department or agency shall be first referred to the head of the department or agency concerned for examination, report and recommendation prior to introduction.
(4) 
A Council member who introduces an ordinance or resolution shall affix his/her signature thereto in a space to be provided on forms furnished by the Township Clerk. Whenever the Mayor shall present any ordinance, resolution or other matter to the Council, any Council member may assume sponsorship thereof by moving that such ordinance, resolution or other proposed action be considered in accordance with law.
B. 
Affirmative vote required for passage; effective date thereof. Ordinances other than bond ordinances shall require at least four affirmative votes for adoption. Bond ordinances shall require at least five affirmative votes for adoption. Unless otherwise required by the Charter or by this article, resolutions shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting thereon; provided, however, that resolutions creating emergency appropriations and budgetary transfers, and resolutions declaring an emergency to allow an ordinance to take effect within a shorter time than 20 days after passage, shall require at least five affirmative votes for adoption. All ordinances, except budget ordinances, shall take effect 20 days after final passage and approval by the Mayor, unless the Council shall, by a duly adopted resolution of emergency, provide for an effective date within a lesser period of time.
C. 
Mayor's veto; reconsideration by Council; overriding Mayor's veto. Whenever an ordinance has been duly vetoed by the Mayor and returned to the Council in accordance with the Charter or general law, the Council shall, at its next regular meeting, occurring not less than the third day following the return of the ordinance by the Mayor, take up for reconsideration the ordinance or any item or part thereof from which the Mayor has withheld his/her approval. If, upon such reconsideration, the Council, by the affirmative vote of at least five members, shall vote to override the Mayor's veto, the ordinance, or any item or part thereof on which the Council has so voted, shall take effect notwithstanding the objections of the Mayor thereto.
D. 
Certification of passage over Mayor's veto. Whenever an ordinance has been vetoed by the Mayor and is passed by the Council over such veto in the manner provided by law, the Township Clerk shall append to such ordinance a certification in substantially the following form:
I hereby certify the above ordinance adopted by the Council of the Township of Clark on the day of ______ was vetoed by the Mayor of the Township and passed over the veto on the ______ day of _______________
Dated:
Township Clerk