Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Roxbury and Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission By-Laws

Roxbury and Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission

                                                                                                Dated: August 12, 2015

Mission Statement
The Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission has been established to work in partnership and provide the residents of Roxbury and Mount Arlington, NJ information about the possibility of municipal consolidation. We shall pursue the objective of gathering and analyzing information for the public.

The Commission will do this in an open and inclusive manner and will thoroughly review the benefits and detriments of consolidation. The Commission may develop a public report and disseminate said report for consideration by the residents of both communities to create an informed public with an understanding of consolidation.
The Commission shall determine if the matter should be presented to the voters in a referendum.

Article I – Name

The name shall be as above but referred to as “RMTACommission”

Article II – Purpose

The purpose of this organization shall be to gather, analyze and disseminate information to the public, to assist the communities of Roxbury and Mt. Arlington in the determination of benefits and detriments of consolidation of the two towns.  If the RMTACommission members conclude that the study indicates that both towns mutually benefit from consolidation, they will vote to place a referendum on the ballot for a public vote.

Article III – Commissioners

Section 1.        The Roxbury Mt. Arlington Consolidation Study Petitioners appointed four (4) Commissioners and one (1) Alternate Commissioner representing each municipality for a total of eight (8) Commissioners and two (2) Alternates.  In addition, each municipality appointed one (1) Commissioner and one (1) Alternate Appointed Commissioner. 

Section 2.        When a Commissioner vacates:
The vacated seat will be filled by an Alternate Commissioner from the respective municipality.
A.        The Appointed Commissioner’s vacated seat is filled by the Appointed Alternate Commissioner from the same Municipality.
B.        The other Commissioner vacancies will be filled by the Alternate Commissioner representing that Municipality.
C.        Depending on the Commissioner’s designation to the RMTACommission, the RMTACommission will then solicit and select an Alternate representing the same Municipality or request from the Municipal Governing Body a new Appointed Alternate.
Section 3.          Commissioners shall receive no pay or in-kind compensation of any type from the RMTACommission or any other entity or individuals for their work on the RMTACommission

Article IV – commissioner STRUCTURE and duties

The Commissioners shall elect a RMTACommission Chair and Vice-Chair, one from each Municipality. The RMTACommission shall also elect the positions of Secretary and Treasurer herein known as “Officers”.  Duties shall consist of the following and maybe amended as needed by the majority vote of the Commissioners in attendance at a scheduled meeting.
Section 1.        CHAIR / VICE-CHAIR:    Chair shall be empowered to call regular and special meetings, whenever he/she deems it necessary, and the Chair will officiate at such meetings.  Only the Chair shall be empowered to make representations, transactions, commitments and negotiations on behalf of the RMTACommission, subject to the approval of the Member Commissioners.  The Chair shall authenticate with their signature, whenever necessary, all resolutions, orders, official correspondence and proceedings of the meetings presented by the Secretary.  The Chair shall appoint, and/or remove, with the consent of the membership majority, the Chairperson(s) of all committees, representatives or subsidiary groups of the RMTACommission.  The Chair shall set forth the agenda for each meeting with the assistance from the other RMTACommission officers.  Also, together with the Treasurer sign checks for payments authorized by the Member Commissioners.  Term length shall be three (3) years.  The Vice-Chair will act and be empowered in the absence of the Chair.  In addition, all information requests shall be handled by the Chair.
Section 2.        SECRETARY:  The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the minutes of all meetings, all correspondence and RMTACommission work-products.  He/she shall present the minutes at each meeting and will make any corrections, remove errors and add omissions that have been approved by the Commissioners present.   He/she shall notify Commissioners of the time and place of all meetings by e-mail or telephone, at least four (4) days, and not more than fourteen (14) days before each meeting, as well as notifications in one of the local newspaper(s) and to the respective governing bodies. 
Section 3.        TREASURER:  The Treasurer shall obtain a State Tax ID, collect all donations, facilitate fund-raising activities, file necessary year-end paperwork and keep funds of the RMTACommission in a depository named by the Commissioners. Treasurer shall keep accurate records using standard accounting methods. Treasurer shall compile a monthly report to be submitted to the RMTACommission as well as have ledgers available for immediate review.
Section 4.        In the event that an Officer vacates their position, a new vote shall occur at a public meeting to fill the position.


Article V – vacancies

Section 1.        VACANCY OF OFFICE:  In the event of disability, resignation, removal or demise of any Commissioner, replacement by the respective Alternate Commissioner as defined in Article III, section 2 will be followed.
Section 2.        COMMISSIONER REMOVAL:  A Commissioner may be removed from the RMTACommission by a two-thirds vote of the Commissioners present at any meeting provided that prior notice of the proposed dismissal is mailed / emailed to all members at least seven (7) days and not more than fourteen (14) days before such meeting.  Cause for Removal shall be any of the following reasons:
A.      Missing three (3) consecutive meetings only after a warning will be sent to the Commissioner by mail after the 2nd missed meeting
B.      In violation of their sworn Oath as a Commissioner

Article VI – meetings

Section 1.        The RMTACommission shall schedule regular meetings as they determine will be productive and informational to the public, but will hold a minimum of 4 meetings a year. The scheduled meetings for the year will be distributed for publication to local newspaper(s), distributed to both municipalities,  and published in at least one or more of the following; the RMTACommission Web-Site, Facebook page or online news site.
Section 2.        A confirmation or cancel notice of each scheduled meeting shall be emailed to all Commissioners, each Municipality, and Committee personnel, and placed in a daily newspaper at least seven (7) days before the date of such meeting, in cases where a meeting has to be canceled, the seven (7) days notice period will not be required but preferred.  The Chair may call a special meeting for a specific purpose with like notification; during this special meeting only issues relative to that purpose can be transacted.  The Chair can cancel a scheduled meeting if a majority consensus was acquired of the Commissioners.
Section 3.        A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Commissioners, in attendance.  If no quorum is available, a meeting may be held, special guests may speak, old business can be discussed and new business can be proposed but not voted on.

Article VII – Participation and voting

Section 1.        For any action that a vote is to be taken, it will require a majority vote of the Commissioners present unless otherwise stipulated by State statue or defined in these By-Laws.
Section 2.        Alternate Commissioners can participate and cast their vote in RMTACommission committees, participate in all RMTACommission discussions, and interviews of Professionals. In the event of a Commissioner’s or Appointed Commissioner’s absence, the corresponding Alternate Commissioner or Alternate Appointed Commissioner may vote on all  RMTACommission activities except the vote that would make the recommendation to put forth the question of consolidation to the voters.

Article VIII – committees and rules

Section 1.        The Chair shall appoint such committees from the pool of Commissioners of the RMTACommission and other volunteers as are necessary to carry out the operations of the RMTACommission.  Each committee must be comprised of at least one commissioner from each town. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 2.            The standing committees may be listed below or any such others as the RMTACommission may find necessary.  Duties listed are not all encompassing.
A.      Data Collection Committee: this will be the only point of collection of any requests for information not readily available by any Committee or Commissioner to prevent duplication or mishandling of information.
B.      The Municipal Government Committee: to study each town’s government structure, court systems, functions, organization and staffing.
C.      The Education Committee: to study the schools, school staffing, school budgets and board of education of each town
D.     The Finance/Administration Committee: to study the tax structure, assessment and collection procedures, budgets, debt, bonds, terms, payables, etc.
E.      The DPW / Utilities Committee: to study the budgets and maintenance of township grounds, facilities, roads and equipment as well as utilities used by and contracted by the towns.
F.       The Police/Fire/EMS Committee: to study the functions, budgets, suppliers, staffing of these organizations.
G.     Personnel Committee: to study the contracts, benefits and compensation of town employees
H.     Shared/Social Services Committee: to study any shared services in addition to the health, senior, teen, cultural, library and other services offered by towns as well as their staffing and budgets.
The Chair can assign other Committees and such duties to committees as he/she may find necessary

Section 3.            Initially the following Ad-hoc Committees have been formed to handle necessary RMTACommission infrastructure tasks.
A.      By-Laws Committee
B.      Grant Research Committee
C.      Technology Committee
D.      Agenda Committee
Section 4.            The Committee Chair will be selected from the Commissioners that are appointed to the committee by the committee members.
Section 5.            The standard Committee procedures will consist of the following and any others that it is charged with by the Chair.
A.      Determine what data needs to be requested
B.      Obtain data from government website or library. In the event that data is not available on internet or library, submit data requests to Data Collection Committee who will act as point of contact for all research requests from Committees and/or Commissioners
C.      Produce preliminary (baseline) report which formats the research data to reflect current “State of the Department” which would include budget data, staffing numbers and logistical/physical information.
D.     Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, options available for consolidation and recommendations.
E.      Provide projected consolidation report which would compare the baseline report to future projections after consolidation.  Explain how strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats would be addressed, modified or resolved.


Article IX– finances

Section 1.        All expenditures shall be voted on, and approved by the RMTACommission.  Long-term or on-going expenditures will only require to be voted on once as long as expenditures do not exceed approved amounts. One-time expenditures under $100 will be considered incidental and will not need prior RMTACommission approval.

Section 2.        Payments for authorized expenditures shall be performed by the Treasurer on a timely basis using paper check or electronic payment methods.  Payments for incidentals can only be made by Treasurer after email approval has been obtained by the Chair or Vice-Chair in the absence of the Chair.

Section 3.        Treasurer will compile detailed report of financial activities and transactions to present to the RMTACommission each meeting. 

Section 4.        The Chair, at the February meeting (prior to fiscal year-end (4/1 - 3/31) shall appoint an Audit Committee of three (3) members, who do not pose a conflict of interest.  This Committee audits the books of the Treasurer and shall furnish an audit report at the April meeting.


Section 1.        Only the Chair is authorized to speak for or represent the RMTACommission without the prior approval of the RMTACommission. 
Section 2.        All Committee research and work-products are deemed unapproved until the Committee accepts them as final and submits their work-product for RMTACommission approval.  No Committee or Committee members shall release a work-product without the RMTACommission’s approval.
Section 3.        The RMTACommission Records Custodian is charged with the dissemination of all materials upon the Chair’s request.

Article XI – order of business

Section 1.        The general format of the Agenda shall be
A.      Pledge of Allegiance
B.      NJ Open Public Meetings Law (if applicable)
C.      Roll call
D.     Introduction of elected officials and/or recognition of their representatives.
E.      Election and installation of officers, if applicable.
F.       Introduction of guest speaker or presentation, if applicable
G.     Public Comments on Agenda Items Only – limited to 3 minutes P/P
H.     Secretary’s report / correspondence / minutes
I.        Treasurer’s report
J.        Chairman’s report
K.      Committee reports
L.       Resolutions
M.   Old/Unfinished business.
N.     New business.
O.     Public Comment
P.      Adjournment

Section 2.        All meetings and RMTACommission business shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition unless a Robert’s Rule is inconsistent with these By-Laws or any specific rules of order the RMTA Commission may adopt

Article XII – wrap up and dissolution of RMTACommission

Section 1.      The following criteria would determine when the RMTACommission’s work is complete:
A.      The RMTACommission votes “no” on the recommendation to go to referendum vote
B.      The RMTACommission votes “yes” on the recommendation to go to referendum vote, but the referendum is not passed
C.      The RMTACommission votes “yes” on the recommendation to go to referendum vote and the referendum is passed. RMTACommission can remain intact to assist in the creation of the transition/consolidation team, if deemed necessary, in which case RMTACommission’s work would be considered complete after transition.
Section 2.      Upon completion, the RMTACommission will:
A.      Hold a final meeting to summarize work, determine use of remaining funds and next steps, if any.
B.      Rescind the Tax ID and exempt status (if applicable) from the State of New Jersey
C.      Close bank accounts
D.     Decommission  Commissioners

Article XIV – amendments

Section 1.        These By-Laws may be amended at any general meeting of the RMTACommission by a two-thirds vote of the Commissioners present, provided the Commissioners have been given written notice of the proposed amendments not less than two weeks prior to its presentation for adoption.


Originally prepared by:

By-Laws Committee – Nancy Absalon, Laurel Whitney, Gene Paradiso,
We, the undersigned, represent the Commissioners, and we consent to, and hereby do, adopt the foregoing Bylaws, as the Bylaws of the Roxbury and Mount Arlington Study Commission.
ADOPTED AND APPROVED by the Commissioners on this ____ day of _________, 20__.

Craig Heard-Chair

ATTEST: Christopher Rogers- Secretary

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