40A:63-3. Organization of the Township Committee
a. The township committee shall consist of three or five members who shall hold office for a term of three years.
b. Notwithstanding the provisions set out in subsection a. of this section, a township that has been divided into wards prior to the effective date of this act shall continue to elect the members of the township committee from wards as heretofore established by referendum of the voters of said township. Also, one member of the township committee shall be elected at large and, by virtue of such designation, shall be known as the mayor of such township. The township committee may, by ordinance, not less than 60 days before any general election, call for a referendum of the legal voters to decide whether or not to abolish the ward system of representation and return to election of the township committee at large.
c. The legal voters of any township may elect to increase or decrease the membership of the township committee of the township either to three or five members.
The township committee shall order an election on the proposition, to be held at the next general election, whenever a petition is presented to the township clerk by the legal voters of the township in the number of at least fifteen per centum (15%) of the votes cast in the township at the last election in which members of the General Assembly were elected. The proposition shall not be submitted more than once in any three year period.
The notice, advertisement and conduct of the election shall be the same as for officers voted at any general election.
The proposition shall be submitted to the voters at the election in substantially the following form:
"Shall the membership of the township committee of .................... .. (insert name of township) be ...................... (insert 'increased' or 'decreased') from ............. (insert current number) to ........... (insert proposed number) members?"
A canvass and return of the vote shall be made in the same manner as for officers voted for at any general election and a majority of all the votes cast in favor of the proposition shall be sufficient to make the change.
d. When the legal voters shall have voted to increase or decrease the membership of the township committee, as provided for in subsection c. of this section, the increase or decrease shall take effect for the next general election. At that election:
(1) If two additional committee members are to be elected, then one shall be elected for a term of two years and one for a term of three years; or
(2) If the membership of the township committee is to decrease by two members, then the terms of all committee members currently serving on the date of the election at which the decrease was adopted, and all committee members elected at that election, shall terminate on December 31 next following the next general election. At the next general election, one committee member shall be elected for a term of one year, one for a term of two years and one for a term of three years.
e. The township committee shall hold an annual meeting on the first day of January at 12 o'clock noon, or during the first seven days of January in any year.
f. At their annual meeting, the committee shall have the power and authority to elect one of their number as chairman of the committee, who shall preside at all meetings of the township committee and who shall be known as the mayor of the township. The mayor shall have no additional authority by virtue of such designation, except as otherwise provided by law or this act .
g. A majority of the committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A majority of all the members of the committee shall be required to vote in the affirmative to pass any ordinance.
h. The committee may, at its annual meeting, establish for their members such subordinate committees as will assist them for the ensuing year.
i. No officer, who has obtained tenure by any provision of any section herein repealed by section 40A:63-9 of this act, shall be affected in any way by the repeal.
(Source: R.S.40:146-3, R.S.40:146-13.1 and New.)
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Last modified: October 11, 2016