[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Paramus 3-9-2010 by Ord. No. 10-4. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 3-5-2019 by Ord. No. 19-05]
There shall be public meetings and work sessions of the Mayor and Council on the first and third Tuesday of every month beginning at 7:00 p.m., subject to any schedule revision as may be determined from time to time by the governing body and in accordance with applicable law. All meetings and work sessions shall be noticed and conducted in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act and other applicable law.
At the hour appointed for the meeting, the members present shall be called to order by the Mayor or the President of the Council, or in their absence, by the Borough Clerk, who shall immediately proceed to call the roll, note the absentees and announce publicly and have entered in the minutes a statement that proper notice of the meeting was provided and the time, place and manner in which the notice was provided.
The Mayor or the President of the Council shall preside at all meetings or, in their absence; the senior Councilperson present shall preside. Seniority shall be determined by length of service on the Council. If two or more members have equal seniority, the determination shall be alphabetical.
The order of business for public meetings shall be as follows:
Call to order.
Pledge of allegiance.
Notification of meeting.
Approval of minutes.
Reports of the Mayor and Council.
Meeting open to the public.
Introduction of ordinances.
Ordinances on second reading and final passage.
Citizens (to address the Chair and give name and address): maximum five minutes per speaker or at the discretion of the Chairperson. There shall be no debate during this portion of the meeting.
The Mayor, or in his/her absence, the presiding officer, shall preserve order and decorum and shall decide all questions of order, subject to appeal to the Council, which shall be aided by the Borough Attorney who shall act as Parliamentarian.
Every member, while speaking, must address the Chair.
Each Council member shall be recognized by the Chair before speaking. When two or more members shall address the Chair at the same time, the Mayor, or in his/her absence, the presiding officer, shall name the member who is to speak first, recognizing him or her in order of his or her request to speak.
No member shall retire from the Council Chamber while the Council is in session without permission of the Mayor or presiding officer.
A member called to order shall cease speaking immediately unless permitted to explain. He/she may, if he/she wishes, appeal to the Council for permission to continue his/her remarks. If there is no appeal, the decision of the Chair shall stand and be final.
A motion to lay on the table shall be decided without amendment or debate; and such motion, until it is decided, shall preclude all amendments or debate of the main question.
A motion to adjourn shall be decided without debate and shall always be in order, except when the Council is voting or when a member is addressing the Council, or immediately after the question of adjournment has been decided in the negative.
Any member who has voted with the majority on any question may move for reconsideration thereof at the same or the next meeting; but the consent of the majority of the Council must be obtained before the same question can be reconsidered.
Every member who shall be present when a question is put shall vote for or against it unless he/she shall abstain for a stated reason.
The yeas and nays may be called for by any member, in which case the names of the members voting shall be recorded in the minutes, and also the name of the Council member calling for yeas and nays.
Upon the passage of an ordinance, it shall be properly numbered and recorded in its entirety by the Borough Clerk in the Ordinance Book. The Clerk shall enter in said book, at the end of each ordinance, the following:
The ordinance so recorded shall then be compared with the original as passed at a regular meeting of the Council, whereupon the Mayor shall subscribe, and the Clerk shall attest and affix the corporate seal to the following certificate at the end thereof: The foregoing Ordinance No. has been compared with the original as passed and found correct this ____ day of ____, 20__,
The original ordinance shall be filed and preserved by the Clerk.
The titles of ordinances and references to amendments and parts amended only shall be entered into the minutes.
An original ordinance shall be entitled as follows: An ordinance to supplement (or amend) an Ordinance (then add the title of the original to which it is a supplement or amendment).
The enacting clause of every ordinance shall be as follows: "Be It Ordained by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Paramus."
Every petition, remonstrance or other written application intended to be presented to the Council shall be in the hands of the Borough Clerk no later than 9:00 a.m. the Wednesday preceding the next meeting. Any member of the Council may place on the agenda any matter for discussion provided that the same is submitted to the Borough Clerk no later than 4:00 p.m. on the Wednesday preceding the next scheduled meeting of the Mayor and Council. No matter or item shall be placed on the agenda except in accordance with the above procedure. Once a matter has been submitted to the Clerk to be placed on the agenda in accordance with this section, it shall appear on the agenda and shall not be removed except with the consent of the person who originally submitted it. Notwithstanding, any member of the Council may identify a matter during New Business for placement on the agenda at any meeting of the Mayor and Council, and any matter may be discussed, and action taken, if, in the reasonable judgment of the Mayor (or in the Mayor's absence, the presiding officer), a majority of the governing body and/or Borough Administrator, the circumstances are such that it is in the best interest of the Borough to consider the matter without further delay. The Borough Clerk shall place items on the agenda by the age of the item using the categories Old Business and New Business. Changes in the order of business may occur per § 6-18.
The Mayor and Council shall decide if a proposed ordinance shall be sent to any committee for discussion and recommendation.
No departure from the regular order of business or suspension of any rules shall be allowed except by vote of two-thirds of the members present. Any amendments to the Rules of Order must be discussed at a prior meeting prior to the implementation of same.
The Mayor shall nominate and, with the advice and consent of Council, appoint all subordinate officers of the Borough, unless the specific terms of the general law clearly require a different appointment procedure. He/she shall make the nomination to any such office within 30 days of that office becoming vacant (N.J.S.A. 40A:60-5g).
The Council, whenever it fails to confirm the nomination by the Mayor of any official to a subordinate office of the Borough within 30 days of being presented such nomination, shall make the appointment to that office, provided that at least three affirmative votes shall be required for such purpose, the Mayor to have no vote thereon except in the case of a tie (N.J.S.A. 40A:60-6d).
No appointment shall be made except by the vote of a majority of the members of the Council present at such meeting, provided that at least three affirmative votes shall be required for such purpose, the Mayor to have no vote thereon except in case of a tie.
The tenure of such committee member shall be for a term ending on December 31st of the calendar year in which appointment was made or until a successor is appointed.
The standing committees shall consist of three members each and shall be as follows:
Notwithstanding any committee assignments or liaisonships, the Borough Council as a whole and together with the Mayor operates as a collective entity.
Giving specific direction or the specific tasking of any employee or paid professional is the prerogative of the governing body as a whole.
It is also recognized that the notion of a chain of command is important for the effective and harmonious undertaking of all operations and activity. The Mayor and Council shall therefore convey direction or specific tasks that are to be undertaken by a department or a single employee, through the Borough Administrator, or in his or her absence, through those duly selected by the Mayor and Council at the annual reorganization meeting to act in such capacity on such occasion except as otherwise provided by state statute or municipal ordinance.
As an extension of § 6-21, the same premise of collective authority applies to the conveyance of direction or assigning specific tasks to the Borough Administrator.
In recognizing the importance of principles such as chain of command and collective authority as described in §§ 6-21 and 6-22, it is also hereby noted that reason, individual or collective, must apply in various circumstances. Requests by members of the governing body for common information, such as those that would be available to the average citizen, are reasonable and not intended to be discouraged, nor should such simple requests have to be funneled through the Borough Administrator if he/she is not the primary respondent. The same spirit of reason should prevail conversely, however, if the number of the requests, or the frequency thereof become burdensome and intrusive upon the employee's specific and properly delegated duties.
In some instances, especially those involving an emergent matter, a Council person may either personally, or through the Administrator, conduct an informal vote with regard to assigning tasks to one or a group of employees, or of making inquiry(ies) of a substantive nature on the emergent issue without the necessity of waiting for the regular or special meeting. In such event, the action taken shall be ratified and confirmed at the next regular or special meeting.
Except as otherwise provided in these rules, Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the deliberation of the Council.
[Added 12-17-2019 by Ord. No. 19-33]
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A group of individuals empowered by the Borough's governing body through enactment and amendment of the Borough's Code and/or ordinances to vote and execute official acts on behalf of the Borough, including Commission recommendations to the governing body and created by ordinance. The commissions existing in the Borough as of the effective date of this § 6-25 include the Environmental Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission; the Board of Municipal Swimming Pool Commissioners; the Board of Recreation Commissioners; the Board of Shade Tree and Parks Commissioners; and the Golf Course Commission. This section shall apply to all commissions created after the effective date of this ordinance.
Public meetings. All meetings of a commission shall comply with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq., including providing to the public advance notice and an opportunity to attend meetings.
Preparation and maintenance of minutes. Minutes of every commission meeting shall be kept and shall include the names of the persons appearing and addressing the commission and of the persons appearing by attorney, the action taken by the commission, the findings, if any, made by it and reasons therefore. The minutes shall be provided to the Mayor and Council before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body following adoption by the Commission, and shall also be made available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Municipal Clerk pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
All official acts by resolution. All official acts by a commission shall be adopted by resolution which will be reflected in the minutes and made available to the public pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act and provided to the governing body within 10 days of adoption.
Rules and regulations. Each commission shall develop and implement rules and regulations. All such rules and regulations shall be adopted by resolution. All such rules and regulations shall be provided to the governing body which shall have the right, from time to time in its sole discretion, to modify and amend the rules and regulations.
Bylaws: Each commission may prepare and adopt by resolution bylaws setting forth the policies and procedures for the commission's meetings and official acts, to the extent they do not conflict with the New Jersey Open Public Meeting Act. In lieu of preparing and adopting bylaws, each commission shall comply with and be governed by the procedures set forth in Robert's Rules of Order.
Representation by legal counsel: Each commission shall be represented by legal counsel, who shall be a member of the Borough's Law Department and shall be designated by the Borough Attorney with authorization by the governing body as qualified by the governing body pursuant to the Borough's Request for Qualifications process. The Borough Attorney shall be precluded from acting as legal counsel for any commission.
Appeals. All appeals by an affected party of any commission's official act shall be made to the Superior Court of New Jersey.