Town of Forest Heights, MD
Prince George's County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Approved 1-16-1980, effective 1-16-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This Article is intended to protect all property of the Town from damage and destruction.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to purposely remove or in any manner deface any sign or to damage in any manner, any public property belonging wholly or in part to the Town.
Any violation of any section of this Article shall be deemed an infraction and any person, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $100 for the first offense. Repeat offenders may be assessed a fine not to exceed $200 for each repeat offense.
[Added 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 02-12, effective 5-2-2012]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CUSTODIAN
An officer or employee of the Town who, whether or not the officer or employee has physical custody and control of a public record, is responsible for keeping the public record. Each department head, including the Town Clerk, Town Treasurer, Chief of Police, Town Administrator, Mayor and any other officer or employee charged with the safekeeping of Town records, shall be considered a records custodian.
RECORD
Any documentary material in any form created or received by the Town or any department of the Town in connection with the transaction of public business and includes: written materials, e-mail, books, photographs, photocopies, publications, forms, microfilms, tapes, computerized records, maps, drawings, and other materials in any form as well as any data generated, stored, received, or communicated by electronic means for use by or storage in an information system or for transmission from one information system to another.
RECORDS INVENTORY
A survey of all records series maintained by the Town resulting in a detailed itemized compilation of the records in the possession of the Town or any agency, and is the first step in preparing a records retention and disposition schedule.
RECORDS MANAGEMENT OFFICER
The Town Administrator or, in his absence, the Town Clerk whose responsibilities include the development and oversight of Town records management programs and procedures. The Town Clerk shall be considered the Assistant Records Management Officer.
SCHEDULE
A Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, which is an official document listing and describing all records of the Town and provides:
(1) 
For the permanent retention of records considered by law or the state archivist to be of permanent value; and
(2) 
For the destruction of records that are not essential to Town operations after the lapse of a stated period of time.
B. 
Policy. The Town and its officers and employees shall retain and protect all records in their custody, and any officer or employee shall not access, alter, destroy, sell, or otherwise dispose of any record in such person's care or custody or under such person's control without first having followed the requirements of an approved records retention schedule and the procedures of this Article or any policy implemented pursuant to this Article. The prohibition on the destruction of records includes the mutilation, defacing or unauthorized alteration of such records.
[Added 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 02-12, effective 5-2-2012]
A. 
The Records Management Officer shall have primary responsibility for the development and administration of a continuing records management program for the records of each department or agency of the Town.
B. 
In addition to, and not by way of limitation of, his general responsibility for the records management program, the Records Management Officer shall have the following express responsibilities, duties and powers in connection with the records activities of each department of the Town:
(1) 
Establish standards, procedures and techniques for the effective management of Town records and designate records custodians in addition to those stated herein.
(2) 
Prepare record retention schedules providing for the retention of Town records of continuing value and for the prompt and orderly disposal of public records no longer possessing sufficient administrative, legal or fiscal value to warrant their further preservation. Prior to becoming operative, such retention schedules shall receive the written approval of the Mayor and the State Archivist.
(3) 
Review proposals for the purchase or rental of filing equipment, microfilm or photocopying devices, and make recommendations thereon to the Mayor and Council.
(4) 
Review all proposals to electronically scan or microfilm records, whether or not the ultimate destruction of the original records is involved.
(5) 
Consult with and advise the department heads in an effort to achieve uniformity of retained records.
(6) 
Inspect and review records and records management practices of all departments.
(7) 
Organize and administer a records storage location or depository for the inactive records of the Town.
(8) 
Develop, publish and enforce standards of classifying, indexing and filing records.
(9) 
Require such reports as he deems necessary and consistent with this Article.
(10) 
Assist office and department heads in training personnel in records retention practices, and the head of each department shall:
(I) 
Cooperate with the Records Management Officer in the preparation of records retention schedules or policies made by him pursuant to the provisions of this Article; and
(II) 
Comply with the rules, regulations, standards and procedures issued by the Records Management Officer with respect to the retention, disposal and storage and photographic reproduction of departmental records.
[Added 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 02-12, effective 5-2-2012]
A. 
The Town Clerk or another custodian as designated in writing by the Records Management Officer or the Mayor shall maintain all Charter Amendments, Annexation Resolutions, ordinances, codifications of ordinances, written resolutions, minutes, policy manuals, deeds, bonds, contracts, agreements, releases, executive orders, directives, proclamations and other papers and instruments involving the legal interests of the Town and any of its agencies, offices and departments. The referenced papers and instruments shall be maintained solely for reference and examination by the public. Any person may have access to them during business hours at a reasonably established and convenient time. The above papers, documents and instruments shall be in addition to those maintained for any other purpose.
B. 
The Town Clerk shall maintain for at least one year audio recordings of Town meetings, except that a closed meeting shall require the affirmative vote of four members of the Council in order to record the closed session.
C. 
Each department or office head shall maintain all records produced or received by the respective department, including but not limited to any written policies, files, reports, permits, citations, images, completed forms, directives, correspondence, facsimiles or e-mails.
D. 
No part of the contents of any file or record maintained by the Town shall be removed from a Town office except by an authorized person who shall leave written information or a receipt in the file, or record and notify the department head or his designee of what the person requests to be taken and when it shall be returned. No original record or original document shall be removed from any Town office or space without the proper authority of the Records Management Officer, Mayor or the Chief of Police.
E. 
No personnel file shall be accessed, copied, removed or reviewed except by proper authority. Only persons within an employee's chain of command, including the supervisor, department head, Town Administrator and Mayor, shall be authorized to review, amend or modify an employee's personnel records.
[Added 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 02-12, effective 5-2-2012]
A. 
Records created or received by the Town government in the course of official business are the property of the Town government and shall not be destroyed, sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of except in a manner prescribed by record retention schedules approved as provided in this Article.
B. 
When records are disposed of, a certificate of disposal, listing the records and certifying to their disposal shall be filed with the Mayor and the Hall of Records of the state.
C. 
Records of archives of the Town which are deemed to have historical significance may, at the discretion of the Records Management Officer and with the approval of the Mayor, be lent to any responsible organization or group. They shall be properly preserved, displayed, indexed and made available for reference purposes by such organization.
D. 
Copies of original records and other records that are photocopied or considered duplicates of the original may be disposed of after properly verifying that the original record exists and is properly maintained by the Town.
E. 
No public record shall be released or made available to the public except in accordance with Town policy or regulations as established pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act.
F. 
Any person who willfully destroys a public record without proper authorization may be subject to criminal prosecution. Any employee who fails to comply with this Article is subject to disciplinary action, including termination.
[Added 5-16-2012 by Ord. No. 06-12, effective 6-15-2012]
A. 
A contribution of funds, services or property of the Town or a grant supplied by the Town shall provide a direct and material benefit to a significant number of Town residents. Expenditures that provide benefits to the public at large which do not benefit Town residents to an extent that is materially greater than the benefit to the general public will not be deemed to meet these criteria.
B. 
Except as otherwise stated in this subsection, the contribution or grant shall support a capital improvement or other extraordinary need of a public institution, program, facility or service, as distinguished from supporting a current operating budget. A contribution or grant may be further provided to an organization formed to provide physical, economic and educational development and revitalization efforts for businesses and residents of the Town that is designated or eligible for tax exemption under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and incorporated for less than three years, in order to encourage or support the conduct of any lawful activity which is in furtherance of the purposes of the organization.
C. 
Except for an organization eligible for tax exemption under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and incorporated for less than three years, the contribution or grant shall supplement and not supplant funds from the requestor's primary funding source.
D. 
The request for funding or contributions shall be made by a Town resident.
E. 
The recipient of the contribution or grant must be a governmental, quasi-governmental or eligible tax exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that supports a public or quasi-public institution, program, facility or service. An eligible organization may be pending tax exempt status if the organization has been incorporated for less than three years.
F. 
Unless special circumstances warrant, consideration will not be given to requests for grants from recreational sports groups nor will funds be used to sponsor an individual athlete or team for a competition or to subsidize participation in a sports event.
G. 
Funds granted under this section are not transferable between projects or groups without prior Council approval, and must be used for the specific purposes outlined.
H. 
The granting of financial assistance in any year is not to be regarded as a commitment by the Town to continue such assistance in future years. In addition, the Town shall not provide guaranteed funding beyond the current year (i.e., an allocation of assistance each year for a three-year period).
I. 
In making grants, the Council may impose such conditions as it deems fit.
J. 
A statement showing accountability for use of the funds must be completed and submitted by March 31 of the year or when requested by Council. The statement shall include a description of the completed event, activity or project and a financial statement for the event, activity or project listing the expenditures and revenues pertaining to the event, project, or activity and the use of the funds granted by the Town. The statement is to be signed by a representative of the organization.
[Added 5-16-2012 by Ord. No. 06-12, effective 6-15-2012]
All requests for contributions or grant applications shall be submitted in writing and directed to the Treasurer and shall include:
A. 
The name of the organization, and the contact information (name, address and telephone and fax number) of a person who can answer questions regarding the information submitted on the application;
B. 
The financial assistance or "in-kind" donation requested;
C. 
If the request is for a special event, give a brief description of the event, including objectives of the event, or the benefits to the community resulting from the event, and otherwise give a description of the need for the requested funds, services, or property;
D. 
Details on the organization;
E. 
A list of officers and directors of the organization; and
F. 
Any other information the Mayor or Council deems relevant.
[Added 5-16-2012 by Ord. No. 06-12, effective 6-15-2012]
A. 
In support of the efforts of volunteers, community groups and organizations, the Town may extend its liability insurance coverage to the directors or leaders and volunteers associated with community events. The insurance coverage offered will protect the organizers from third party liability claims by those who sustain an injury or property damage by participating in or attending the event.
B. 
Groups wishing to be covered under the Town's insurance liability coverage are required to provide details on the event, including the date, location, activities, names of volunteers and the directors (which shall include at least one Town official), a copy of the operating budget, and a statement of how the proceeds from the event will be distributed, if any.
C. 
Within 30 days of the event, final financial information shall be submitted to the Town. The information provided shall be submitted to Council and if the event meets the Town's criteria, a resolution shall be passed naming the group or entity as an ad hoc committee of the Town and allowing the group or organization inclusion under the Town's insurance program, and the group shall be informed of the coverage provided and the reporting requirements.