Chapter 2.16
ADVISORY COMMITTEES

Sections:

Article 1. Advisory Committees—General Provisions

2.16.010    Advisory committees.

2.16.020    Terms of advisory committees.

Article 2. Arts and Humanities Committee

2.16.030    Committee established.

2.16.040    Statement of purpose.

2.16.050    Membership, terms of office, structure and staffing.

2.16.060    Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

Article 3. Sustainable Maryland Committee

2.16.070    Committee established.

2.16.080    Statement of purpose.

2.16.090    Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

Article 4. Emergency Preparedness Committee

2.16.100    Committee established.

2.16.110    Statement of purpose.

2.16.120    Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

2.16.130    Membership.

Article 5. Recreation and Community Engagement Committee

2.16.140    Committee established.

2.16.150    Statement of purpose.

Article 6. Grants Review Committee

2.16.160    Committee established.

2.16.170    Statement of purpose.

2.16.180    Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

Article 7. Youth Council

2.16.190    Council established.

2.16.200    Statement of purpose.

2.16.210    Duties and responsibilities of the Council.

2.16.220    Membership.

Article 8. Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee

2.16.230    Committee established.

2.16.240    Statement of purpose.

2.16.250    Duties and responsibilities.

    *Prior legislation: Ords. 2003-1, 2003-6, 2004-3, 2004-8, 2004-31, 2005-8, 2005-9, 2005-36, 2006-2, 2007-3, 2008-4, 2009-56, 2012-12, 2012-37, 2012-38, 2014-20, 2014-63 and 2019-15.

Article 1. Advisory Committees—General Provisions

2.16.010 Advisory committees.

A.    The City Council may establish by ordinance any advisory committee it deems necessary. In addition to other duties assigned, advisory committees are charged with:

1.    Providing the City Council with tangible recommendations in key priority areas.

2.    Leveraging residents’ technical expertise and lived experiences to inform City policies and programs.

3.    Ensuring that the Council has regular and timely information to use when considering its priorities or important issues.

4.    Providing an opportunity to engage residents on issues that are important to them as well as to assist in community education and engagement activities in their priority areas.

B.    The authority of such entities is limited to that extended to them by the City Council.

C.    Each committee is required to report the status of its work annually or at the request of the City Council. Council shall review each committee’s report and may concurrently undertake a review of each committee’s purpose, duties, other assigned tasks, and adjust them as necessary.

D.    Membership of advisory committees shall be in accordance with the provisions of this section unless otherwise provided by City Code.

1.    Only City residents may serve on a committee.

2.    Individuals interested in serving on a committee may apply in accordance with procedures and time frames set forth by the City Council and shall be confirmed and appointed by a majority vote of the City Council.

3.    A member who has served on a committee for six years continuously may not be reappointed to the same committee until one year has elapsed since the end of that member’s previous tenure.

4.    A member who is term limited may apply to serve on a committee for which the member is not term limited.

E.    Organization.

1.    Unless otherwise stated in the Code or directed by Council, each advisory committee should consist of up to nine members.

2.    Each committee shall operate under a common set of procedural rules, which shall be prepared by the City Attorney’s office and be approved by Council.

3.    Each committee shall elect from its members the following officers: chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. Officers shall serve for a period of one year at which time each committee shall elect again the officers. The chairperson shall be elected annually, but may only serve in that capacity for two consecutive years. The chairperson may not hold two offices simultaneously.

F.    Meetings.

1.    Committees shall meet at least quarterly or as often as required to fulfill their purposes.

2.    All meetings shall be open to the public and are subject to Maryland’s Open Meetings Act. Meeting notices and agendas shall be prepared and submitted to the City Clerk and posted in advance of any committee meeting in accordance with State law. Written records of proceedings and attendance shall be maintained by the committee and provided to the City Clerk for safe keeping. A report on the activities of each committee shall be submitted to the City Clerk and Council once per year.

3.    Meetings shall be held at times that facilitate and allow for committee member attendance and ease of public attendance.

4.    A majority of a committee shall constitute a quorum.

5.    Meetings shall take place at a City government building or other publicly accessible location approved by the City Manager. The meetings may occur in person or virtually, so long as such is announced in advance. Meetings may include a virtual attendance option for members and for the public.

6.    At least three members of every committee must maintain current Open Meetings Act certification and provide a copy of the certification to the City Clerk.

G.    Each committee shall designate an individual who shall be responsible for preparing meeting agendas and minutes, and coordinate publishing and storage of the same with the City Clerk.

H.    Staff Liaison. The City Manager shall assign a member of the City staff to act as a staff liaison to each committee, who shall provide general support to the committee.

I.    Member Conduct.

1.    Members are expected to attend each meeting of the committee on which they serve. Members may miss a scheduled meeting for cause.

2.    Members are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct established by the Code of Conduct for Council-Appointed Members of Boards, Committees, Commissions, and Task Forces (Resolution 2020-22, Oct. 7, 2020).

3.    Council, by resolution, may remove a member from their position upon finding a violation of the Code of Conduct, no longer meeting the requirements for membership, or otherwise not fulfilling the duties of a member. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.020 Terms of advisory committees.

A.    Except as noted elsewhere in this chapter, beginning in 2021, the initial term for half of a committee’s members will end on June 30, 2022. The initial term for the other half of a committee’s members’ terms will begin in 2021 and end June 30, 2023. If there is an odd number of appointees, the odd number appointee shall be considered part of the term having the later expiration date.

B.    Except as noted elsewhere in this chapter, after the initial terms have expired, all terms of office will be staggered terms of two years. Said terms shall begin on July 1st and end June 30th.

C.    The total terms of office for members of a committee shall be no more than six continuous years unless otherwise provided in this chapter.

D.    A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve the remainder of the term of office that became vacant.

E.    Below is a table containing each advisory committee, the term length, and the expiration date of the term.

Advisory Committee

Term Length (Years)

Expiration

Arts and Humanities Committee (Article 2)

2

June 30th

Sustainable Maryland Committee (Article 3)

2

June 30th

Emergency Preparedness Committee (Article 4)

2

June 30th

Recreation and Community Engagement Committee (Article 5)

2

June 30th

Grants Review Committee (Article 6)

2

June 30th

Youth Council (Article 7)

1

June 30th

Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee (Article 8)

2

June 30th

(Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 2. Arts and Humanities Committee

2.16.030 Committee established.

There is established a Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Committee which shall serve in an official advisory role to the City Council on all matters related to the arts, which will promote, coordinate, and strengthen public programs to further cultural development of the City. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.040 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of the Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Committee shall be as follows:

A.    To advise the City Council on ways in which the City might best serve the public with regard to matters involving the arts.

B.    To encourage and aid the appreciation and awareness of, and participation in, the arts among all Takoma Park residents.

C.    To encourage cooperation and coordination among individuals, organizations and institutions concerned with the arts in Takoma Park. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.050 Membership, terms of office, structure and staffing.

A.    Membership. Council may appoint nonresident members, but shall prioritize appointing Takoma Park residents. A minimum of two-thirds of the members of the Committee shall reside in the City of Takoma Park. No organization which is a potential recipient of city arts funding shall have on the Committee more than one person who serves on its board or staff. Every effort shall be made to have a broad and diverse representation of the fine and performing arts community and of local arts and cultural organizations on the Committee. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.060 Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

The Committee shall advise and assist the City Council with respect to developing and promoting the performing and visual arts for the enjoyment, education, cultural enrichment and benefit of the residents of the City of Takoma Park as follows:

A.    Develop in cooperation with other City departments and the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council, a long-range Master Plan for the development of a thriving arts community in Takoma Park and the utilization of public facilities for art-related activities. Such Master Plan shall be updated every two years;

B.    Initiate, sponsor, conduct or support, alone or in cooperation with other public or private agencies, public programs in the arts;

C.    Serve as a clearinghouse for information about Takoma Park artists, art programs, facilities, organizations and institutions and to actively encourage public awareness, utilization, and support of such resources;

D.    Advise the City as to the availability and adequacy of facilities and space for the presentation of cultural activities;

E.    Review and advise on the aesthetic aspects of all works of art or designs or public monuments accepted or commissioned by the City;

F.    Present funding recommendations necessary for the continuation and development of public programs and facilities which further the arts;

G.    Review funding requests and recommend to the City Council the allocation of monies to cultural organizations, arts organizations, and individual artists;

H.    Support proposals for Federal and State assistance to the arts and to review arts-related proposals and programs originated by the City and approved by the City Manager;

I.    Keep abreast of what other communities are doing to further the arts and make recommendations to adapt their accomplishments to the needs of Takoma Park. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 3. Sustainable Maryland Committee

2.16.070 Committee established.

There is established a Takoma Park Sustainable Maryland Committee which shall serve in an official advisory and coordination role to the City Council. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.080 Statement of purpose.

Sustainable Maryland is a certification program for municipalities in Maryland that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. Sustainable Maryland is a collaborative effort between the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland and the Maryland Municipal League.

The purpose of the Sustainable Maryland Committee is to provide recommendations to the City Council that will allow the City to achieve sustainability and other environmental certifications that may help the City meet its environmental goals and priorities. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.090 Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

The Committee shall:

A.    Identify projects that meet the City’s interest and needs for Sustainable Maryland, and work with City Council and City Staff to develop recommendations for Sustainable Maryland action plans; and

B.    Assist in documenting the necessary information to achieve certification through Sustainable Maryland. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 4. Emergency Preparedness Committee

2.16.100 Committee established.

There is established a Takoma Park Emergency Preparedness Committee. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.110 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of the Emergency Preparedness Committee is to provide community input to and assist in the City’s planning and preparations for emergency operations and to involve residents in providing appropriate assistance during emergency operations. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.120 Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

The Emergency Preparedness Committee shall assist in:

A.    Reviewing the City’s Emergency Operations Plan and other supporting emergency documents and recommending changes to the Council and City Manager.

B.    Identify existing neighborhood and community groups and encourage the formation of volunteer neighborhood emergency teams that can assist their neighbors and/or the City in carrying out emergency activities.

C.    Coordinating with the City, Montgomery County, and other agencies to educate residents on their individual responsibilities in preparing their households for emergencies and providing information on what residents can expect from the City and County during an emergency.

D.    Provide research and data as well as assembled comments on emergency-related events as directed by the Council.

E.    Coordinating with Montgomery County to offer and promote resident training programs for residents.

F.    Advising the City on strategies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of City preparedness through the use of exercises or activities and using hazard and vulnerability assessments, with input from relevant agencies, organizations, and community groups.

G.    Providing opportunities, when appropriate, for Councilmembers to be present during emergency exercises as observers and solicit their feedback after an event.

H.    The Committee shall work with the City’s Emergency Preparedness Manager when performing its assigned duties and responsibilities. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.130 Membership.

The Committee will be composed of up to nine residents appointed by the Council, one member selected by the Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department, and one member selected by the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 5. Recreation and Community Engagement Committee

2.16.140 Committee established.

There is established a Takoma Park Recreation and Community Engagement Committee. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.150 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of the Recreation and Community Engagement Committee shall be as follows:

A.    To advise the City Council on how best to serve the diverse recreation needs of Takoma Park residents, including but not limited to reviewing and recommending policies and programs that concern recreational opportunities within the City, with a special emphasis on youth and seniors and broad and diverse participation.

B.    To advise the City Council regarding a range of community needs involving recreation, health, leisure, education, enrichment programs, and opportunities for social development.

C.    To identify for the City Council options and opportunities which may benefit the Takoma Park community by serving those needs.

D.    To advise the City Council on ways to enhance use of existing City-owned or City-operated facilities, including the Community Center, the New Hampshire Avenue Recreation Center, Heffner Park Community Center, and athletic fields maintained by the City to meet the objectives set forth in subsection (B) of this section.

E.    To advise the City Council of options and opportunities for recreational use of other public community facilities in the area and to suggest to the Council new facilities which may be needed. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 6. Grants Review Committee

2.16.160 Committee established.

There is established a Takoma Park Grants Review Committee. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.170 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of the Grants Review Committee is to serve in an official advisory and coordination role to the City Council on all matters related to awarding grants through the Community of Quality of Life Grant Program. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.180 Duties and responsibilities of the Committee.

The Grants Review Committee shall evaluate grant applications based on established program priorities, program guidelines, and available funding and to forward funding recommendations to the City Council for consideration. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 7. Youth Council

2.16.190 Council established.

There is established a Takoma Park Youth Council. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.200 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of the Youth Council is to serve in an official advisory and coordination role to the City Council on all matters related to and of importance to youth. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.210 Duties and responsibilities of the Council.

A.    To provide an opportunity for the youth of Takoma Park to acquire a greater knowledge of and appreciation for local government through active participation in the system.

B.    To help the City Council to address and accomplish the goals of this community by working directly with the representatives of youth.

C.    To serve the youth of Takoma Park by: informing the Takoma Park municipal government of the needs and wishes of youth; planning and implementing social, educational, cultural and recreational activities for the youth; working with the Mayor, City Council, City department heads, schools, civic clubs, and service organizations to provide service and leadership opportunities for the youth of the City; and, helping to instill a feeling of positive self-worth and esteem, teaching respect for the rights of others, and promoting community pride. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.220 Membership.

A.    The Youth Council shall consist of up to 11 Takoma Park youth appointed by the City Council representing a cross-section of the City’s youth.

B.    The Youth Council shall report to the City Council the names of the elected Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.

C.    All members shall be in grade levels 7 through 12, except the Chairperson shall be in the 11th or 12th grade.

D.    The term of each member shall be one year. Members are eligible to reapply annually if they meet member eligibility requirements.

E.    Members must meet the following qualifications:

1.    Remain residents of the City;

2.    Attend meetings on a regular basis and inform the Youth Council of absences prior to meetings;

3.    Maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average for the current school year;

4.    Fulfill the responsibilities of the office held; and

5.    Set an example for youth in the community.

F.    In addition to other bases for removal set forth in this chapter, a member can be removed from the Youth Council if they fail to sustain any of the above qualifications.

G.    Vacancies shall be filled by the City Council for the remainder of the unexpired term.

H.    Members shall be appointed annually at the start of the school year and shall serve one-year terms. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

Article 8. Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee

2.16.230 Committee established.

There is established a Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee. Committee members shall have collective experience in the areas of science, research, finance, law, peace and ethics. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.240 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of the Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee is to fulfill the duties and responsibilities assigned to it by the City Code and to perform such other tasks as Council may direct from time to time. (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)

2.16.250 Duties and responsibilities.

The Committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

A.    The Committee may review any work within the City which it has reason to believe is not in compliance with Section 14.04.040 of the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act. The Committee shall notify the City Council and the City Manager of a suspected violation of the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act.

B.    The Committee shall review existing City contracts, awards, purchase orders and investments and may review proposed contracts, awards, purchase orders and investments to assure compliance with Sections 14.04.050 and 14.04.060 of the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act. If the Committee finds any contracts, awards, purchase orders or investments in violation of the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act, it shall, in conjunction with the City Manager, make recommendations to the Mayor and Council regarding the existence of reasonable alternatives.

C.    The Committee, in conjunction with the City Manager, shall propose a socially responsible investment policy and implementation plan as specified in Section 14.04.050 and, upon the adoption of the policy and plan, shall annually thereafter review the investment policy to ensure its conformity to the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act.

D.    The Committee shall, through the collection of materials, newsletter articles, cable television programming, public forums and other means, provide public education and information on issues related to the intent and purpose of the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act. In performing this task, the Committee shall cooperate with City staff, the Nuclear Freeze Task Force and other interested community groups and individuals.

E.    The Committee shall maintain a collection of current materials concerning the production of nuclear weapons and the components thereof and the transportation of high-level nuclear waste resulting from the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. From this information and from consultations with individuals and organizations involved in the nuclear weapons and nuclear energy debate, the Committee shall annually prepare and report to the City Council a list of nuclear weapons producers to guide the City, its officials, staff and agents in the implementation of Sections 14.04.050 and 14.04.060 of the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Act. The Committee shall also make recommendations to the City Council from this information and from consultations with individuals and organizations involved in the transportation of high-level nuclear waste on how best to promote the safety and welfare of the City from harmful exposure to high-level nuclear waste.

F.    Before a waiver of the provisions of Sections 14.04.060(A), (B) or (C) pursuant to Section 14.04.060(F) may be sought, the Committee, in conjunction with the City Manager or his or her designee, shall conduct a diligent search to determine the availability of reasonable alternative sources for a necessary product or service, except, however, the City Manager or his or her designee and/or the Committee’s unwillingness or inability to conduct such a search shall not preclude actions by the Mayor and Council pursuant to Section 14.04.060(F). (Ord. 2021-39 § 1, 2021)