WESTFIELD CHARTER (1967)
AN ACT to provide a special charter for the town of Westfield, in the county of Union.
WHEREAS, the mayor and council of the town of Westfield have prepared and recommended the enactment of a special charter for the town of Westfield, in the county of Union; and
WHEREAS, the mayor and council of the town of Westfield have duly petitioned the Legislature for the enactment of a special charter pursuant to the provisions of section I of chapter 199 of the laws of 1948, as amended, and in accordance with the requirements of Article IV, Section VII, paragraph 10 of the Constitution of 1947; now therefore,
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
ARTICLE I - GENERAL PROVISIONS
1.1. Short Title.
This act shall he known and may be cited as the Westfield Charter (1967).
For the purposes of this act, unless otherwise required by the context:
- "Mayor" shall mean the chief executive officer of the town elected pursuant to the charter.
- "Council" shall mean the town council of the town of Westfield elected pursuant to the charter.
- "Administrator" shall mean the chief administrative officer appointed and acting pursuant to the charter.
- "Officers" shall mean any department head on the full or part time payroll of the town.
- "Employee" shall mean any person on the full or part time payroll of the town other than an officer.
- "Charter" shall mean this act, and any amendment or supplement hereto, and any general law not inconsistent herewith which may be applicable to the town.
- "Town" shall mean the town of Westfield, in the county of Union.
- "General Law" shall be deemed to be any law not inconsistent with this act, heretofore or hereafter enacted which is by its terms applicable or available to all municipalities, and the following additional laws whether or not such additional laws are so applicable or available to all municipalities; laws relating to taxation, local courts, education, health, public authorities serving more than one municipality, and municipalities in unsound financial condition.
1.3. Powers Generally.
(a) In addition to such other powers as may be delegated by general law, and without limitation thereto, and notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 125 of Title 40 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes (R.S. 40:125-1 through R.S. 40:125-40), the town shall have full power to:
- organize and regulate its internal affairs, establish, alter, and abolish offices, positions and employments and to define the functions, powers and duties thereof and fix their term, tenure and compensation; and to effectuate these ends and purposes to adopt an Administrative Code not in conflict with the charter and the general law;
- adopt and enforce local police ordinances of all kinds and impose fines, penalties and sentences as provided by general law;
- construct, acquire, operate or maintain any and all public improvements, projects or enterprises for any public purpose;
- sue and be sued, to have a corporate seal, to contract, to buy, soil, lease, hold and dispose of real and personal property, to appropriate and expend moneys, and to adopt, amend and repeal such ordinances and resolutions as may be required for the good government thereof;
- exercise powers of condemnation, borrowing and taxation In the manner provided by general law;
- exercise all powers of local government in such manner as its governing body may determine.
1.4. Construction of Powers Generally.
The general grant of municipal powers contained in this act is intended to confer the greatest power of local self-government consistent with the Constitution of this State. Any specific enumeration of municipal powers contacted in this act or in any general law shall not be construed In any way to limit the general grant of powers contained in this act, and any such specifically enumerated municipal powers shall be construed as in addition and supplementary to the powers conferred in general forms by this act.
1.5. Intergovernmental Relations.
The town may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in co-operation, by contract or otherwise, with any one or more States, political sub-divisions or agencies thereof, the United States of America or any agency thereof.
ARTICLE 2 - GOVERNING BODY
2.1. Mayor - Council Governmental Form.
- The town shall be governed by an elected mayor and council who shall be chosen in the manner and for the terms hereinafter provided and by such other officers and employees as may be duly appointed pursuant to this charter, general law or ordinance.
- The mayor and council members shall have been citizens, residents and registered voters of the town for at least two years immediately preceding their respective elections.
2.2. Ward Division.
The town shall be divided into four wards in the manner prescribed by ordinance and general law.
2.3. Council Membership.
The council shall consist of eight councilmen, two from each of the four wards, and the mayor.
2.4. Mayor; Council; Election, Term, Continuation In Office.
- The mayor shall be elected at large by the voters of the town at the general election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, or at such other times as may be provided by law for holding general elections, and shall serve for s term of two years.
- Members of the council shall be elected by the voters of the town from their respective wards, electing one councilman from each ward every year for a term of two years, at the general election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, or at such ether times as may be provided by law for holding general elections.
- On the date on which this act shall become operative the then mayor and council members shall continue to hold office for the remainder of their unexpired terms until their successors shall have been elected in the regular municipal elections.
Vacancies in any elective office shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at the next general election occurring not less than sixty days after the occurrence of the vacancy. The council shall fill the vacancy temporarily by appointment to serve until the qualification of the person so elected.
ARTICLE 3 - TOWN COUNCIL
- The council shall exercise the legislative power of the town and shall have and exercise all other powers of local government not otherwise allocated by this charter except as may be otherwise provided by general law.
- The council, in addition to such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by this charter or otherwise by general law, may:
- require any officer, in its discretion, to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding his official duties in the performance thereof and otherwise to investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency of the municipal government;
- remove any officer, other than the mayor or a member of council, for cause upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.
3.2. Procedure and Legislation.
- The council shall conduct a regular public meeting at least once a month at such time as the council shall prescribe by rule. The mayor may, and upon written request of four councilmen shall, call a special public meeting of the council at any time. Notice of such special public meeting shall be given as may be provided by ordinance.
- A majority of all the members of the council shall constitute a quorum.
- The council shall organize at its first meeting after the first of the year and shall determine its own rules of procedure not inconsistent with this charter or any other statute or ordinance.
- All ordinances shall be adopted and published in the manner provided by general law; provided, however, that any ordinance may incorporate by reference any standard technical regulations or code, official or unofficial, which need not be so published whenever ten copies of said regulations or code have been placed on file in the office of the town clerk and in the office of the body or department charged with the enforcement of said ordinance for the examination of the public so long as said ordinance is in effect.
ARTICLE 4 - MAYOR
4.1. Powers and Duties.
- The executive power of the town shall be vested in the mayor.
- The mayor shall enforce the charter and ordinances of the town and all general laws applicable thereto.
- The mayor shall preside over meetings of the council, participate and vote as a member of the council, and appoint committees of the council.
- Ordinances adopted by the council shall be submitted to the mayor, and he shall within ten days after receiving any ordinance either approve the ordinance by affixing his signature thereto or return it to the council by delivering it to the town clerk together with a statement setting forth his objections thereto or to any item or part thereof. No ordinance or any item or part thereof shall take effect without the mayor's approval unless the mayor fails to return an ordinance to the council within ten days after it has been presented to him, or unless council, upon consideration thereof, on or after the third day following its return by the mayor shall by a vote of a majority of the entire council resolve to override the mayor's veto.
- The mayor shall direct and supervise the town administrator and shall assume the duties of the administrator in his absence.
- The mayor shall annually report to the council and the public on the work of the previous year and on the condition and requirements of the town government and shall, from time to time, make such recommendations for action by the council as he may deem necessary or advisable.
- The mayor shall, with the advice and consent of the council, make all appointments for which no other provision is made by this charter or by general law.
- The mayor shall, with approval of the council, designate at the organization meeting of the council, a member of the council and an alternate, also a member of the council, to act as mayor whenever the mayor shall be prevented by absence from the municipality, disability, or other cause from attending to the duties of his office. During such time the person so designated by the mayor shall possess all the rights, powers and duties of the mayor.
ARTICLE 5 - ADMINISTRATION
- All executive and administrative functions, powers and duties of the town, except as otherwise expressly provided by the charter, shall be allocated and assigned by ordinance among and within departments, boards, or other administrative agencies so far as applicable according to major purpose. The head of each department shall be a single executive who shall be appointed by the administrator, with the approval of the mayor and council. A department head may be removed by the administrator for cause with the approval of the mayor and council upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.
- All departments, boards or other administrative agencies shall keep, maintain and have available for examination by council all records, reports, publications, documents and papers pertaining to the operation and function of such departments, boards or administrative agencies and shall, upon request of council, furnish such information as council may from time to time direct.
- Department heads shall promulgate rules and regulations with respect to their departments and shall, with the approval of the administrator and consent of the mayor, appoint employees within their respective departments and may remove such employees subject to the provisions of the general law and ordinances; provided, however, that council may provide by ordinance for the appointment and removal of specific boards or commissions by the mayor.
- The office of the town administrator may be established by the council and, if so established, the administrator shall be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the council to serve for a definite term. He shall be chosen solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications. At the time of
his appointment he need not be a resident of the town or state, but during his term of office he may reside outside the town only with the approval of the mayor, with the consent of the council. He may be removed by the mayor with the approval of council prior to the expiration of his term of appointment for cause and upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.
- Subject to the direction and supervision of the mayor, the administrator shall:
- direct and supervise the administration of the departments of the town government, except as otherwise provided by general law or ordinance;
- provide for the organization of the work of the departments, subject to the requirements of an administrative code as hereinbefore provided in this charter to be adopted by the town council;
- review the administration and operation of each of the departments end recommend to the mayor from time to time such measures as he may deem necessary or desirable for the purpose of improving the efficiency and the economy of the town government;
- review, analyze and forecast trends in town services and finance, and report and recommend thereon to the mayor;
- prepare an annual current expense budget and an annual capital budget for consideration by the council and recommend long-range capital improvement programs;
- enforce and execute the provisions of the charter and all other laws, resolutions and ordinances;
- perform such other functions and duties as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution.
- The town budget shall be prepared by the administrator under the supervision and with the assistance of the mayor. The administrator shall require all department heads to submit requests for appropriations for the ensuing budget year, and to appear before the administrator upon his request.
- The administrator shall submit to the council his recommended budget together with such explanatory comment or statement as he may deem desirable. The budget shall be in such form as is required by law for municipal budgets and shall, in addition, have appended thereto a detailed analysis of the various items of expenditure and revenue. The council may add or delete, increase or reduce, any items in the budget by a vote of a majority of the council.
- The council shall, where practicable, provide for the maintenance of a system of work programs and periodic allotments for operation of the budget. It shall be the duty of the officer or department administering any such program to develop and report appropriate unit costs of budgeted expenditures.
ARTICLE 6 - RECALL
6.1. Recall in Office.
Any elective official shall be subject to removal from office for cause connected with his office at any time upon the filing of a recall petition and the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting on the question of removal at any general, regular municipal or special election.
A recall petition shall demand the removal of a designated incumbent, shall be signed by qualified voters equal in number to at least twenty-five per centum (25%) of the registered voters of the town as of the last general election, and shall be filed with the town clerk. It shall set forth a statement of the cause upon which the removal is sought.
6.3. Signatures to Recall Petition.
The signatures to a recall petition need not all be appended to one paper but each signer shall add to his signature his place of residence giving the street and number or other sufficient designation if there shall hero street and number. One of the signers to each such paper shall take an oath before an officer competent to administer oaths that the statement therein made is true as he believes and that each signature to the paper appended is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Within ten days from the date of filing the petition the town clerk shall complete its examination and ascertain whether or not such petition is signed by the requisite number of qualified voters, and shall attach to the petition
his certificate showing the result of his examination. If by that certificate the petition is shown to be insufficient it may be amended within ten days from the date of said certificate. The town clerk shall, within five days after such amendment, make a similar examination and determination of the amended petition, and if the certificate shall show the same to be insufficient, it shall be returned to the person
filing it without prejudice to the filing of a new petition to the same effect.
If the petition shall be sufficient the town clerk shall within two days notify the mayor, councilman or councilmen whose recall is sought thereby. If such notice cannot be served personally upon the mayor, councilman or councilmen affected, service may be made by registered mail addressed to the officer's last known address. If within five days after the service of the notice by the town clerk the mayor, councilman or councilmen sought to be recalled by such petition do not resign, or having tendered their resignation it shall not have been accepted by the town council, the town clerk shall order and fix a date for holding a recall election not less than sixty nor more than ninety days from the filing of the petition. Notice of the filing of the petition and of the date of the election shall be posted for public view in the office of the town clerk and he shall also insert the notice forthwith in a newspaper published in the town, or if there be no such newspaper, then in a newspaper having general circulation in such town.
The ballots at the recall election shall conform to the requirements respecting the election of the mayor and council, as provided in this article or in Title 19 of the Revised Statutes (Elections), whichever shall apply in the town in accordance with the provisions of this act, except that the words "recall election" shall appear on the ballot. The recall features of the ballot shall appear at the top thereof and shall be separated from the portion of the ballot for the election of officers by a heavy black line. The proposal for recall shall be placed on the ballot in the following manner:
"Shall................................................ (here insert name of incumbent) be removed
from office by recall?" This matter shall occupy two lines in boldface type. Immediately below the above wording shall appear the phrase "for recall", and immediately underneath such phrase the words "against recall". Immediately at the left of each of these two phrases shall be printed a square, in which the voter may make a cross (X) or plus (+) or a check ( ) mark. Immediately below the foregoing shall appear the following: "Indicate your vote by placing a cross (X) or plus (+) or a check ( ) mark in one of the squares above".
6.6. Removal of More Than One Officer.
If the removal of more than one officer is sought the same provisions for submitting to the electors the question and direction hereinbefore described shall be repeated in the case of each officer concerned and their position on the ballot for their recall shall be in the order of the filing of the petition with the town clerk.
6.7. Election of Successor; Use of Recall Ballot.
The same ballot used for submitting the question or questions of recall shall be used for the election of a successor to the incumbent sought to be removed and immediately under the black line following the recall question shall appear the phrase "Nominees for successors of .................. (here insert name of incumbent) in the event he is recalled". The names of all persons nominated as successors shall be placed upon the ballot in the same manner provided for other elections of municipal officers in the town.
6.8. Publication of Notices of Arrangements.
The town clerk shall cause to be made due publication of notices of arrangements for holding all recall elections and they shall be conducted as are other elections for municipal officers in the town.
6.9. Conduct of Elections.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, the recall election shall be conducted in the same manner as provided by general law for regular municipal elections.
6.10. Results of Election.
- If a majority of votes in connection with the recall of any officer be in favor of the recall, the term of office of such officer shall terminate upon the certification of the results of election by the town clerk.
- If the results of such recall election shall, by the certificate of the town clerk, be shown to be against the recall of the officer, he shall continue in office as if no recall election had been held, and the vote for the election for the successor of such officer taken at the time of such attempted recall shall be void.
If the office of the incumbent shall become vacant either by his resignation or by the result of the recall election, his successor shall be the nominee receiving the greatest number of votes at the recall election. The person so elected shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
ARTICLE 7 - TRANSITION
7.1. Schedule of Installation of Provisions of Act.
In the event of the adoption of this act by a majority of the voters of the town of Westfield, in the county of Union, the first election shall take place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, pursuant to the provisions of section 2.4.
7.2. Corporate Status.
Upon the adoption of this act by the voters In the manner hereinafter provided in Article 8, the inhabitants of the town of Westfield, in the county of Union, within the corporate limits as heretofore or hereafter established, shall be and remain a body politic and corporate, with perpetual succession, and with such corporate name as it has heretofore or may hereafter adopt. The town shall be governed by the provisions of this act, and by such provisions of general law heretofore or hereafter enacted which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.
7.3. Charter and Ordinances.
On the date on which this act shall become operative, any charter heretofore adopted by the town shall be superseded. All ordinances and resolutions of the town, to the extend that they are not inconsistent with this act, shall remain in full force and effect.
7.4. Continuation of Offices, Employments and Agencies.
On the date on which this act shall become operative, all persons holding offices or employment under the town government shall continue in their respective offices and employment for the remainder of their unexpired terms or under such tenure and employment rights as they may then have, subject to law; and all boards, bodies, agencies and instrumentalities of the town shall also continue, and the members thereof shall also continue for the remainder of their unexpired terms.
7.5. Pending Proceedings.
All actions and proceedings of a legislative, executive or Judicial character which are pending upon the operative date of this act shall continue, and the appropriate agency, officer or employee under this act shall be substituted for the agency, officer or employee theretofore exercising or discharging the function, power or duty involved In such action or proceeding.
ARTICLE 8 - ADOPTION OF CHARTER BY VOTERS
8.1. Act Operative Only After Adoption by Voters.
This act shall become operative only after it is adopted by vote of the legally qualified voters of the town of Westfield, in the county of Union.
8.2. Submission of Question of Adoption.
The question of the adoption of this act shall be submitted to the vote of the legally qualified voters of the town of Westfield, in the county of Union, at the general election to be held in November, 1967, provided this act shall be passed within sixty days next preceding such election.
- there shall be presented on each official ballot to be used at such special election, the following:
"If you favor the proposition printed below make a cross (x) or plus (+) or check () in the square opposite the word 'Yes'. If you are opposed thereto make a cross (x) or plus (+) or check () in the square opposite the word 'No'.
| ||Yes|| "Shall an act to provide a special charter for the town of Westfield, in the county of Union be adopted?"|
- If voting machines are used in said election, the question shall be placed upon the official ballots to be used upon the voting machines without the foregoing instruction to the voters and shall be voted upon by the use of such machines without marking as aforesaid.
8.4. Law Operative Upon Adoption.
If at such election a majority of all the votes cast both for and against the adoption of such law shall be cast in favor of the adoption thereof, the act shall become operative and shall take effect immediately.
This is a special law applicable only to the town of Westfield, in the county of Union, for the passage of which the mayor and council of the said town of Westfield have duly petitioned the Legislature.