Town of Austerlitz
Public Hearing on Proposed Local Law No. 1 of 2021
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Local Law No. 1 of 2021 has been introduced by the Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz, for purposes of commencing the adoption process. Local Law No. 1 of 2021 abolishes the elective office of the Town Highway Superintendent and creates the position of Highway Superintendent, with a term of two years, that will be filled by appointment of the Town Board starting January 1, 2022. If adopted by the Town Board after public hearing, this Local Law shall be subject to a Town-wide referendum for consideration of its approval in order to be effective.
By Resolution of the Town Board
Date: February 2, 2021
Susan Haag, Town Clerk
Introductory LOCAL LAW NO. 1 - 2021
Town of Austerlitz
A proposed Local Law to change the office of Highway Superintendent from an elective office to an appointed office, adding Article 2 to Chapter 45 of the Town of Austerlitz Code.
SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. In the era of the tax cap and in an effort to reduce and/or avoid increases in property taxes, the Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz (hereinafter referred to as the “Town Board’) is looking for opportunities for savings. By abolishing the elective office of Town Superintendent of Highways and creating the appointive office of Town Superintendent of Highways, the Town Board will have more flexibility to make the Town Highway Department operate more efficiently and conserve financial resources. This will also give the Town Board the ability to select from a greater pool of applicants to ensure sufficient qualifications of the individual in this position and provide regular oversight and accountability to ensure the duties of this office are completed in as cost-effective, efficient and responsible of a manner as possible.
SECTION 2. STATUTORY AUTHORITY: This local law is enacted under the authority of Municipal Home Rule Law §§ 10, 22 and 23. The Town Board hereby expressly states its intention that this local law shall supersede any provision of the Town Law of the State of New York to the contrary, including but not limited to Town Law § 20.
SECTION 3. PURPOSE: The purpose of this local law is to abolish the elected position of Superintendent of Highways and replace it with an appointed position of Superintendent of Highways in the Town of Austerlitz.
SECTION 4. ABOLITION OF ELECTED POSITION; CREATION OF APPOINTED POSITION: The elected position of the Superintendent of Highways in the Town of Austerlitz is hereby abolished, effective January 1, 2022. The appointed position of the Superintendent of Highways in the Town of Austerlitz is hereby created, effective January 1, 2022.
SECTION 5. TITLE: This local law shall be incorporated in the Town of Austerlitz Code as Chapter 45, Article 2, “The Office of the Appointed Superintendent of Highways”.
SECTION 6. TRANSFER OF DUTIES: Except as set forth in Section 9, all duties, authority and power previously vested in the elected Superintendent of Highways shall be vested in the appointed Superintendent of Highways as set forth in Town Law §§ 32, 140 and 142 and any other provision of law.
SECTION 7. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: The person holding the office of Superintendent of Highways in the Town of Austerlitz, need not be a resident nor an elector of the Town of Austerlitz, provided, however, that such person shall reside in Columbia County or in an adjoining county within the State of New York.
SECTION 8. SUPERSESSION: This local law shall supersede Town Law § 23(1) in its application to the office of Superintendent of Highways for the Town of Austerlitz, Columbia County, New York.
SECTION9. AUTHORITY OF SUPERINTENDENT; APPOINTING AUTHORITY:
(a) The appointed Superintendent of Highways shall have such powers and shall perform such duties as are or hereafter may be conferred or imposed by law, and such further duties as the Town Board may determine not inconsistent with law. Any references contained in the Code of the Town of Austerlitz to the Superintendent of Highways shall be construed as applying to the duly appointed Superintendent of Highways.
(b) The Town Board shall be the appointing authority for all employees of the Town of Austerlitz Highway Department.
SECTION 10. TERM OF OFFICE AND FILLING VACANCY: The appointed Superintendent of Highways of the Town of Austerlitz shall serve for a term of two (2) years, upon the terms and conditions determined by the Town Board, unless sooner removed by the Town Board in the manner provided for in this local law. A vacancy in the Office of Superintendent of Highways shall be filled by the Town Board for the unexpired term in the manner provided by law.
SECTION11. SALARY AND REMOVAL OF HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT:
(a) The salary of the Highway Superintendent shall be fixed by the Town Board and shall be payable in such installments and at such intervals as the Town Board shall determine, which may be modified by resolution of the Town Board from time to time. The Town Board shall also fix any and all employment benefits, such as vacation, personal and sick time, health insurance and retirement to be attributed to such position which may be modified by resolution of the Town Board from time to time.
(b) The Town Board may remove the Highway Superintendent at any time for good cause. The Highway Superintendent shall have an opportunity to appear before the Town Board and be heard.
SECTION 12. MANDATORY REFERENDUM: Pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law section 23, this local law shall be subject to a mandatory referendum to be held in accordance with law for which the following question shall be submitted to the electors to consider the approval of this local law:
“Shall Local Law No. 1 of 2021 of the Town of Austerlitz, which provides that the elective office of the Town Superintendent of Highways be abolished and the duties and responsibilities of the elective Office of Superintendent of Highways be transferred and vested in a newly- created appointive Office of Superintendent of Highways which is appointed by the Town Board, be approved?”
SECTION 13. EFFECTIVE DATE: This local law shall take effect upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors voting therein at such referendum, and the filing with the Office of the Secretary of State in accordance with the applicable provisions of law.
END OF LAW