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II. Committees

  1. Council Committees

    The Council may, from time to time, establish committees or task forces made up of Council members, which may include other participants as well, for a specific task or project. In addition, the Mayor has historically established and appointed, on his or her own initiative, committees to provide to the Mayor recommendations and advice on Town matters.

    The Council Naming Committee is the only standing Council committee (see Section III.D.)

  2. Citizen Task Forces

    The Council may, from time to time, appoint a Citizen Task Force to examine and make recommendations on a specific issue. Such Task Forces have specific purposes and are of limited duration. They may or may not include one or more Council members or the Mayor. The Council may delegate the task of appointing members of a Task Force to the Mayor.

  3. Committees to which Council members are Appointed
    1. Triangle J Council of Governments
      1. Purpose. General Statute provides for the Triangle J Council of Governments. The COG exists as an intergovernmental forum for discussion of regional issues of joint concern. The COG also acts as a regional planning agency.
      2. Number and Type of Members. The COG is composed of delegates from counties and municipalities in the COG region that pay annual dues.
      3. Length of Term. Delegates are appointed to serve two-year terms.
      4. Chapel Hill Appointment. The Town Council appoints one (1) delegate and one (1) alternate to the Triangle J COG.
    2. Firefighters’ Relief Fund
      1. Purpose. General Statute requires a local Board of Trustees to be appointed to administer the fund. The Board has entire control of the funds including disbursement for specific purposes. It is responsible for maintaining a correct account of all monies received and disbursed, and it renders an itemized statement of same at the annual meeting of the North Carolina State Firefighters Association for publication in the Annual Report to the State Insurance Commissioner.
      2. Membership, Appointment, and Length of Term. The Board consists of five members: two (2) elected by and from the local Fire Department membership (two-year, staggered terms), two (2) appointed by and from Council membership (two-year, staggered terms), and one (1) representative appointed by the Commissioner of Insurance to serve a one-year term.
    3. Orange-Chatham Community Action, Inc. (JOCCA)
      1. Purpose. The Joint Orange-Chatham Community Action agency is a non-profit corporation established in 1965 in accordance with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. The Community Services Block Grant of 1981, however, transferred the authority for direct administration of community action to the states. In North Carolina, this responsibility rests with the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources. The mission of the Joint Orange-Chatham Community Action, Inc. is to identify and define the causes and extent of poverty in Orange and Chatham Counties and to coordinate with local governments and agencies in order to focus all available resources and community facilities on the elimination of the causes and the results of poverty.
      2. Number and Types of Members. The Board of Directors of JOCCA consists of 21 persons. Of these, six represent private agencies, seven are public representatives, and eight are representatives of the poor. The public representatives are designated by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners (3) and by the Orange County Board of Commissioners (4). The representatives of the poor are chosen by vote in JOCCA precincts in Chatham County (4) and in Orange County (4).
      3. Length of Term. Members of the Board of Directors serve five-year terms. An exception is made in the case of public representatives who may serve a shorter term as determined by the various units of local government.
      4. Chapel Hill Appointment. The public representative from the Town of Chapel Hill is designated by the Orange County Board of Commissioners after nomination by the Council. It is the policy of the Chapel Hill Town Council that the Council will nominate (or re-nominate) one of its members each two years on the occasion of the first meeting after the election of new members to the Council.

D.    Council-Appointed Boards and Commissions

                The Council appoints various citizen boards and commissions: some act in an advisory capacity that  the Council may be fully informed when creating ordinances, policies, and procedures for the Town; some act autonomously to relieve the Council of various administrative functions. Each of these boards is one of the following types:

o   Appeals board;

o   Standing advisory board;

o   Semi-autonomous board or commission;

o   Autonomous board or commission; or

o   Task forces or ad hoc study groups.

1. Town boards and commissions

o  described on the the Board and Commission pages.

2. General Procedures

a.    Annual Report. Advisory boards and commissions shall report to the Council annually at the time most appropriate for the board.

b.    Orientation to Boards. The Town Manager or his/her designee is responsible for giving boards and commissions information on Town policies and procedures, including the purposes, powers and duties of each board, procedures for reporting to Council, attendance requirements and the boards’ role in the appointment process.

c.     Participation in Meetings. Members must be physically present in order to participate in an advisory body meeting.

d.    Reimbursement of Expenses. The following guidelines set forth Town policy regarding advances and reimbursement of expenses incurred by members of boards or commissions (excluding OWASA, an autonomous board).

1.    Out-of-Town Travel and Expenses to Relevant Conferences, Training Sessions and Meetings. The Town will pay costs for registration, lodging, transportation and meal expenses in accord with the Town’s travel policy and as approved with the adopted budget.

2.    Reimbursement Procedures. If an advance for out-of-town travel is obtained, proof of expenses incurred (receipts) must be submitted to the Finance Department, through the department providing support to the board or commission after the trip. Any unspent money must be returned. If a reimbursement is requested, receipts must be attached to the appropriate travel expense forms.

Requests for reimbursement will usually be honored within two weeks of official documentation of expenses.  

E.    Council Liaison to Boards and Commissions

A Council member is frequently designated as a liaison to a particular board or commission. The main function of the liaison is communication. The liaison may apprise the board or commission of general Council purposes and may convey ideas and concerns from the board or commission to the Council.

Council liaisons are not voting members of any board or commission, inasmuch as such members might be faced with voting on an issue as a recommendation of the board or commission, and then considering the report or recommendation of the board or commission in such member’s capacity as a member of the Council.

Council liaisons may attend regular or special meetings of the advisory board or commission, but their regular attendance is not required.

The Council has instructed Council liaisons to report activities of their particular boards or commissions to the Council in the way the liaisons deem appropriate, once a year.

F.    Appointment Procedures

1.     See Standing Advisory Board Membership Policy for further details about the Development Review Advisory Boards and appointment procedures.

2.    Appointment: The Council shall consider and make appointments in an open meeting.

3.    Voting

a.    Ballots.

The practice of the Council has been to vote by ballot when making appointments to boards and commissions. North Carolina Law states the following regarding ballot voting: “If a public body decides to vote by written ballot, each member of the body so voting shall sign his or her ballot; and the minutes of the public body shall show the vote of each member voting. The ballots shall be available for public inspection in the Office of the Town Clerk or secretary to the public body immediately following the meeting at which the vote took place and until the minutes of that meeting are approved, at which time the ballots may be destroyed.”

b.    Procedure.

1.    Ballots for appointments to boards and commissions shall be provided by the Town Clerk to the Council prior to a scheduled Council meeting, normally at the same time as distribution of the Agenda packet for that meeting.

2.    Immediately prior to the start of the Council meeting, the Town Clerk will collect ballots from each Council member. Council members must sign their ballots. Ballots are to be folded once prior to delivery to the Town Clerk to ensure that votes remain private until the appropriate time for the votes to be announced. Ballots will not be available for viewing until after the results of the balloting have been announced by the Mayor, except that any Council member may request the return of his or her ballot as provided in (4) below.

3.    The Town Clerk will tabulate the votes of each Council member, and report the results to the Mayor in writing. The Town Clerk will fold the tabulation once in order to keep the results of the balloting private. Once the Council has reached the point in the Agenda reserved for appointments, the Mayor will announce the results of the voting.

4.    Should a Council member elect to revise a ballot he or she may do so at any time prior to the announcement by the Mayor of the results of the balloting, by retrieving the ballot from the Town Clerk.

5.    Should a tie vote result, or if a candidate or candidates did not receive the necessary minimum five (5) votes, the Council may elect to vote a second time, or, to delay appointment(s) to a future Council meeting.

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