Committee Descriptions: full text

Town Officer descriptions follow the committees

When “An Act to Reincorporate the Village of Arden” was adopted on October 13, 1967, the Village already had a Town Meeting, a Board of Assessors and elected committees functioning under By-Laws adopted in 1943. The Act defined the Town Assembly Chair, the Secretary, Board of Assessors, Budget Committee and Registration Committee, and gave the Town Assembly the authority to establish other officials and committees. The January and March 1968 Town Assembly then codified the remaining committees: Advisory, Auditing, Civic, Community Planning and Safety.*  Since then, additional committees have been created (and dissolved). Their duties have sometimes changed or shifted between committees. Their required number of members has sometimes increased, sometimes decreased. With the approval of the Town Assembly, committee responsibilities and policies can develop according to the needs of the village.

The committee descriptions below have been edited for uniformity, but every effort has been made to include the full text as enacted and amended. The original language may be found in “An Act to Reincorporate the Village of Arden” and Town Meeting minutes. Dates of adoption and/or modifications are noted. Motions of the Town Assembly which have modified the duties of each committee will be added to the committee descriptions as they are compiled. In progress as of June 2017. 

* source: Minutes of the Town Assembly

Advisory Committee

established January 1968 by Town Assembly

A – The Advisory Committee shall consist of the chairpersons of all the standing committees and the trustees. The Town Assembly Secretary shall act as secretary. The chairperson of this committee shall be elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting of the Town Assembly and shall serve for a term of one year.

B – It shall be the duty of the Advisory Committee to be advisory in character and to correlate and review the committees’ activities.

C – The Advisory Committee shall present nominations for the Civic, Budget, Community Planning (1/68), Registration, Safety, Village Center (9/73), Playground (6/78), Archives (9/89), Auditing (3/68) and Forest (6/06) committees at the January Meeting. They shall be required to submit at least twice as many nominations as are to be elected to each committee. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

Note: Historically, the Advisory Committee has set the agenda for the upcoming Town Assembly.

Archives Committee

established September 1989 by the Town Assembly

A – The Arden Archives Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three members to be elected on odd-numbered years and two on even-numbered years.

B – It shall be the duty the Arden Archives Committee to preserve and perpetuate the history of Arden as an intentional community. The committee shall:

1. Collect, catalog and preserve Arden documents, photos, artwork and memorabilia.
2. Present displays and programs about Arden’s past, its people and its arts.
3. Create an Arden museum.

Board of Assessors

established by the Act to Reincorporate, section 7

A – The Board of Assessors shall consist of seven residents of the Village of Arden. They shall be nominated at the September Town Assembly. Ballots shall be mailed by the Registration Committee to all residents of the Village and each resident shall return marked ballots to the Registration Committee within 30 days. The election and the results thereof shall be governed by the Hare System of Proportional Representation and reported at the first regular Town Assembly following the election. The members of the Board of Assessors shall serve one year.

B – Duties of the Board of Assessors shall consist of:

1. Assessing the full rental value of leased lands in the Village.

2. The Board shall conduct at least two public hearings during May and June which shall be open to all residents, Trustees and lease-holders of the Village. Notice of the date, time and place shall be mailed to all residents, leaseholders and Trustees at least five days before each hearing.

3. The Board shall fix rules and regulations for the conduct of the hearings, and provide reasonable opportunity for all to be heard at the hearings.

4. The Board shall report its assessment rate to the regular June Town Assembly.

C – The Assessors shall, before assuming office, take the following oath: I, _______ , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully perform and discharge my duties as Assessor of Arden to the best of my ability and that I will as nearly as possible assess the full rental value of Arden lands as required by the Deed of Trust and Lease of Arden.

D – The assessment rate determined by the board shall be final and conclusive provided that:

1. Any leaseholder of the Village shall have the right to appeal by submitting a proposed assessment rate to the Town Assembly at its regular September meeting.

2. If the proposed rate receives a two-thirds affirmative vote of the residents voting, such rate and the determined rate by the Board shall both be submitted to referendum of the Village. The rate approved by the majority of the residents shall be the rate in effect until redetermined in the manner herein provided.

E – The board shall determine the applicability of differential factors to the application of the assessment rate. The board shall afford lease-holders the opportunity to be heard upon any question arising thereunder.

F – The board shall keep and maintain a full and accurate record of its deliberations and proceedings including all information and data considered in the deliberations. Records shall be open to Trustees, residents and lease-holders. Records shall be passed on at the end of their term of office to their successors.

Auditing Committee

established March 1968 by the Town Assembly

A – The Auditing Committee shall consist of three residents of Arden elected by a majority of those voting at the regular meeting. The term shall be two years, two members to be elected on odd numbered years and one member on even numbered years.

B – The duties of the Auditing Committee shall be to examine the Trust Account, the Buzz Ware Village Center Fund and the Municipal Street Aid Fund, and submit its report at or before the June Town Assembly meeting.

Budget Committee

established by the Act to Reincorporate, section 8

A – The Budget Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three members elected on the odd numbered years and two on even numbered years.

B – The Budget Committee shall prepare a budget governing:

1. The expenditure of all Village funds, the use and expenditure of which are not specifically governed by Federal, State or County laws, rules and regulations.

2. The expenditure of all moneys derived from the collection of ground rents which expenditures are subject to the approval of the residents of the Village.

C – The budget shall be reported to the Town Assembly at its regular September meeting.

1. The Town Assembly may modify or amend all or any portion of the budget.

2. The budget with any amendments shall be approved by the Town Assembly and submitted to a referendum of the residents of the Village.

3. No ballot shall be counted unless received on or before a date fixed by the Registration Committee. That date may not be less than 15 days from the date the ballots are mailed.

4. The budget, if approved by a majority of the residents of the Village, shall govern the use and expenditure of the moneys for and during the fiscal year commencing March 25th following the referendum.

5. (Amended – 3/68) The Budget Committee shall be responsible for allocating the Municipal Street Aid Fund between the Civic and Safety Committees following the laws governing the expenditures of these funds. The allocation will be presented to the Town Assembly for approval, but will not be submitted to referendum with the budget.

Additions from Town Assembly motions:
• The Town Treasurer is an ex-officio member of the Budget Committee. Should a vacancy occur in the Treasurer’s position, the Budget Committee appoints a replacement who serves until the next Town Meeting, when Town Assembly follows its procedure for filling a vacancy. (Motions of the Town Assembly 1/28/2008 – 4.1)

Buzz Ware Village Center Committee

established September 1973 by the Town Assembly

A – The Buzz Ware Village Center Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by the majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three elected on the odd numbered years and two on the even numbered years.

B – It shall be the duty of the Buzz Ware Village Center Committee to:

1. Exercise general supervision over the Buzz Ware Center building including maintenance, construction, housekeeping and security.

2. Coordinate the use of the building by individual groups, resident and non-resident of Arden, including establishment and enforcement of procedures to govern such use.

3. Negotiate and administer leases and other contracts, approved by the Town Assembly, for use of the Buzz Ware Village Center.

4. Encourage and initiate cultural, recreational, educational and civic activities in the Buzz Ware Village Center.

5. Exercise financial management of the Buzz Ware Village Center including:

a) Receiving rentals and other income sources.

b) Expending funds to operate and maintain the Village Center.

Civic Committee

established January 1968 by the Town Assembly

A – The Civic Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three members elected on the odd numbered years and two on even numbered years.

B – It shall be the duty of the Civic Committee to exercise general supervision over communal property rights, roads repairs, construction and expenditures concerning same. It shall approve all bills for moneys so expended, such bills to be submitted to appropriate authorities for payment and it shall expend no funds beyond the limitations of the authorized budget.

Subsequent Motions

June 22, 2009 or Jan 25, 2010 enforcement of Ordinance 11 moved from Civic Committee to the Safety Committee. (date needs to be verified)

Community Planning Committee

established January 1968 by the Town Assembly

A – The Community Planning Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three members elected on the odd numbered years and two on even numbered years.

B – It shall be the duty of the Community Planning Committee to plan the physical and cultural future of the Community and to advise the Town Assembly and Trustees on all matters relating to the betterment and development of Arden.

Forest Committee

established June 26, 2006, by a motion of the Town Assembly that changed the status of the Ad-Hoc Forest Sub-committee of the Civic Committee (est. 3/28/05) to a permanent standing committee of the Village of Arden.

A – The Forest Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the March Town Assembly meeting. The term shall be two years. Three members shall be elected on the odd-numbered years and two on the even-numbered years.

B – It shall be the duty of the Forest Committee to exercise general supervision over forest lands:

• implement Arden’s Forest Stewardship Policy;
• oversee path trail improvement and repairs;
• oversee tree felling or pruning and plant removal or pruning;
• monitor and strive to prevent encroachment by leaseholders or neighbors; and
• monitor and strive to prevent stream bank erosion.

C – It shall approve all bills for money so expended, such bills to be submitted to the appropriate authorities for payment, and it shall expend no funds beyond the limitations of the authorized budget.

Legislative Reference Committee / dissolved

established September 1987 by the Town Assembly; dissolved January 2006 by the Town Assembly; duties re-assigned to Town Secretary (codify from this point forward), volunteers (codifying past documents) Advisory Chair (parliamentarian), and Registration Committee (maintain Red Book supply and distribute to new residents).

A – The Legislative Reference Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, two members elected on the odd numbered years and two on even numbered years.

B – Duties of the committees are:

1. To codify all the governing documents of the Village under a selected set of headings.  The finished documents shall be under one cover and made available for quick reference when questions arise during Town Assembly Meetings. The Committee is responsible for codifying new governing documents as they are created.

2. To serve as parliamentarian at Town Assembly meetings. One member shall attend each Town Assembly meeting. They shall offer for review and interpretation any codified reference pertinent to the discussion on the floor. The committee members role is not to interpret the documents. Committee members should have available at Assembly meetings a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order and provide points of parliamentary procedure as they arise during the meetings.

3. The committee shall be prepared to present a report at Town Assembly Meetings.

Playground Committee

established September 1978 by the Town Assembly

A – The Playground Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three members elected on the odd numbered years and two on even numbered years.

B – It shall be the duty of the Playground Committee to:

1. Inspect all playground equipment at least monthly from May through September, and at least bi-monthly from October through April.

2. Report and correct defects noted in these inspections as soon as possible. If any immediate hazardous condition is found, the equipment shall be barred from use until repaired.

3. Establish appropriate schedules for routine maintenance including lubrication, scraping, painting, etc.

4. Keep dated records of inspections, defects, corrective actions and maintenance.

C – Responsibility for implementing these policies shall be delegated to the Playground Committee, which, at its discretion, may assign specific tasks to qualified members or other agents reporting to the Committee.

Registration Committee

established by the Act to Reincorporate, section 9

A – Revised by House Bill NO. 61, April 7, 1993 [See in this document]. The Registration Committee shall consist of five residents of the Village who shall be elected by the Town Assembly at its regular March meeting to serve for a term of two years, two members elected on the odd-numbered years, three members on the even-numbered years or until successors are duly elected; and the Senior Trustee of Arden, and the Secretary of the Town Assembly. The Clerk of the Trustees shall be an ex-officio member of the committee.

B – The Registration committee shall register all residents of the Village and shall keep a full and accurate record thereof, which shall include the date each resident establishes residence. The registration record shall be conclusive evidence of the entitlement of a person to vote at Town Meetings and in referenda.

C – The Registration Committee shall supervise all referenda and shall fix all rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, for proper and orderly conduct thereof. The Registration Committee shall certify to the Town Assembly and to the Trustees the results of all referenda.

Safety Committee

established March 1968 by the Town Assembly; revised January 1981

A – The Safety Committee shall consist of five residents of Arden, elected by a majority of those voting at the regular March meeting. The term shall be two years, three members elected on the odd numbered years and two on even numbered years.

B – The duties of the Safety Committee shall be:

1. To see that the Safety Code of The Village of Arden, as adopted by the Town Assembly, be enforced by the duly constituted police authority.

2. In the event the Town Assembly appoints a police force for the Village of Arden, the Safety Committee is to be responsible for supervision of that police force and recommending additions and deletions from the police force to the Town Assembly.

3. To be invested with authority to take emergency action necessary to guard public safety without previous specific action of the Town Assembly.

4. To be charged with the responsibility of preparing additional safety ordinances for approval by the Town Assembly.

5. To be responsible for recommending traffic control signs to the Town Assembly for approval and to be responsible for seeing to the erection and/or replacement of those signs approved by the Town Assembly.

6. To approve all bills for moneys expended by the committee and submit them to the proper authorities for payment.

Subsequent Motions

June 22, 2009 or Jan 25, 2010 enforcement of Ordinance 11 moved from Civic Committee to the Safety Committee. Date must be verified.

Town Officers

Town Assembly Chair

established by the Act to Reincorporate (1966), section 5 (g)

The Town Assembly shall elect a resident to serve as Chairman of the Town Assembly who shall preside at all meetings thereof. The Chairman shall serve for a term of one (1) year or until his successor is duly elected by the Town Assembly in accordance with the provisions hereof. The signature, certifications or attestation of the Chairman of the Town Assembly to any document pertaining to the affairs of the Village called for by any act, statute, rule or regulation of the State of Delaware or any agency thereof shall be good and sufficient compliance therewith, notwithstanding that such act, statute, rule or regulation designates such document to be signed, certified or attested by the Mayor, City Manager, President of Council or like designated chief executive of an incorporated municipality of the State of Delaware.

Secretary of the Town Assembly

established by the Act to Reincorporate (1966), section 5 (h)

The Town Assembly shall elect a resident to serve as Secretary of the Town Assembly for a term of one year or until his* successor is duly elected by the Town Assembly in accordance with the provisions hereof. The Secretary shall have charge and custody of the books, journal, records, papers and other effects of the Village and shall keep the same in a safe and secure place. He* shall keep a full and complete record of all of the transactions of the Town Assembly. He shall file and keep in a safe place the seal of the Village and all papers and documents arising out of the proceedings of the Town Assembly and relative to the affairs of the Village. He shall deliver the same to his successor in office. He shall attest the seal of the Village when authorized by the Town Assembly and shall perform such duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by ordinance. All books, records and journals of the Village in the custody of the Secretary may, in the presence of the Secretary, be inspected by any resident, Trustee or leaseholder of the Village desiring legitimate information at any time or times as may be convenient. The compensation of the Secretary for his duties as such, shall be determined by the Town Assembly.

* Historical note: The Town Assembly Chair was Mary Morley at the time of Re-incorporation. She served for many years and has been followed by many other dedicated women.

Advisory Chair

established January 1968 by Town Assembly in the motion defining the Advisory Committee*

See the Advisory Committee, above, for a description of the duties and term-of-office for the Advisory Chair.

Historical note: the position of Advisory Chair existed before 1966 under the Village By-laws. The position has always been grouped with the Town Chair, Secretary and Town Treasurer in election results. Like the other officers (and unlike other committee chairs), this position has always been elected by the general assembly to a one-year term. [Town Treasurer(s) served a one-year term before the office was re-established in 2008.] There are numerous references to the Advisory Chair as an officer in the minutes of the Town Meeting [see Jan 1979 listing of nominees], and in motions of the Town Assembly [see the definition of the Town Treasurer, below].

Town Treasurer

established January 28, 2008 by motion of the Town Assembly (4.1)

The Village of Arden [shall] establish the position of Town Treasurer, beginning with the March 2008 elections. The term of office shall be two (2) years. The Treasurer must be a resident of the Village.

In case of vacancy, the position shall be filled by appointment of a majority of the Budget committee. The appointee shall serve with full responsibilities of the treasurer until the next regularly scheduled Town Meeting. At such meeting, a resident shall be elected in accordance with Village election process to fill the remaining term.

The Treasurer position shall serve as an officer of the Town Assembly along with the Town Chairperson, the Advisory Chairperson, and the Town Secretary.

The Treasurer position provides a town officer as the financial contact for assets of the Village. The Treasurer should work with the Budget Committee, and seek counsel from the Trustees of the Village of Arden, the Town Chairperson and others, in order to represent the best interest of the Village. The Treasurer may secure assistance fulfilling his or her duties.

In addition to being a contact for the financial assets of the Village, the Treasurer position shall have the duties enumerated below:

1. Account for all collections of and payments by the Village of Arden.

2. Make financial reports of Village account to the Town Assembly and its committees, including oversight of compilation of materials for the annual audit.

3. Be the financial liaison between the Trustees and the Village.

4. Serve as ex-officio member of the Budget Committee.

5. Make the accounts of the Village available to the Audit Committee for review.

6. Supply information to the Board of Assessors on financial matters concerning assessments.

* Historical note: the position of Treasurer existed before 1966 under the Village By-laws. Under Section 6 (b) and Section 16 (the Savings Clause) of the Act to Re-Incorporate, the Treasurer continued to be elected each March for a one-year term. A motion was passed by the January 1968 Town Assembly to set up a bank account for the Village of Arden with the Town Treasurer and Town Assembly Chair as signatories. The March 1968 Town Meeting established an annual pay of $150 for the Treasurer. The first record of the Treasurer being elected under the Act to Reincorporate is March 1969, when the Treasurer appears in the minutes after the names of the elected committees, along with the Advisory Chair, Town Chair and Secretary. In 1998 [need reference] the position was dissolved by motion of the Town Assembly on the recommendation of an ad hoc committee. The Treasurer was re-established in 2008 as an officer with a 2-year term, as noted above.