[Adopted 4-7-2004 by Ord. No. 04-02 (Sec. 2-33 of the 2002 Revised General Ordinances)]
The Township of Clark, pursuant to the statutory authority contained in N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 et seq., hereby creates an Environmental Commission in and for the Township of Clark and for the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources, located within its territorial limits.
The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor of the Township, one of whom shall also be a member of the Township Planning Board, and all of whom shall be residents of the Township; the members shall serve without compensation except as hereinafter provided. The Mayor of the Township shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and presiding officer of the Commission.
The terms of office of the first Commissioners shall be for one, two or three years, to be designated by the Mayor in making his appointments, so that the terms of approximately 1/3 of the members will expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years and until the appointment and qualification of their successors.
The Mayor or governing body of the Township may remove any member of the Commission for cause, on written charges served upon the member and after a hearing thereon at which the member shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel.
A vacancy on the Commission occurring otherwise than by the expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the powers of appointment and removal hereby accorded to the Mayor of the Township shall be vested in the elected official designated or, where there is a vacancy in the office of Mayor, in the duly designated Acting Mayor.
There shall be appointed two alternate members of the Commission. Alternate members shall be appointed by the governing body and shall be designated as Alternate No. 1 and Alternate No. 2.
The terms of the alternate members shall be for two years, except that the terms of the alternate members first appointed shall be two years for Alternate No. 1 and one year for Alternate No. 2, so that the term of not more than one alternate member shall expire in any one year. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the governing body for the unexpired term only.
An alternate member shall not be permitted to act on any matter in which he has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest. An alternate member may, after the public hearing if he requests one, be removed by the governing body for cause.
An alternate member may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote first.
The Environmental Commission shall have power to conduct research into the use and possible use of the open land areas of the Township and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which, in its judgment, it deems necessary for its purposes. It shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, in order to obtain information on the proper use of such areas and may from time to time recommend to the Planning Board, or, if none, to the Mayor and governing body of the Township, plans and programs for inclusion in the Municipal Master Plan and the development of such lands.
The Environmental Commission may, subject to the approval of the governing body, acquire property, both real and personal, in the name of the Township by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise or lease for any of its purposes and shall administer the same for such purposes subject to the terms of the conveyance or gift. Such an acquisition may be to acquire the fee or any lesser interest, development, right, easement (including conservation easement), covenant or other contractual right (including a conveyance on conditions or with limitations or reversions) as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of, or otherwise conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas in the Township.
The Environmental Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the governing body of the Township.
The governing body of the Township may appropriate funds for the expenses incurred by the Environmental Commission. The Commission may appoint such clerks and other employees as it may from time to time require and shall be within the limits of funds appropriated to it.
The Environmental Commission shall have power to study and make recommendations concerning open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna.