A Look at the Scotch Plains Ordinance that Abolishes the Recreation Commission

Township Manager Al Mirabella Credits: John Mooney

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Earlier, TAP into SPF published the story reporting on the Ordinance 2015-002 approved by the Scotch Plains Township Council on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Highlights of the Ordinance follow, including duties of the Department of Recreation, the Recreation Director, and the newly created Recreation Advisory Committee.

The Recreation Commission is abolished. Employees, functions and duties of the Recreation Commission are transferred to the Department of Recreation, which is added to the Township of Scotch Plains' list of departments and offices.

Under General Duties, the Department of Recreation will:

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  • Administer, operate and formulate programs for indoor and outdoor recreational programs and activities for children and adults.
  • Administer and operate facilities, functions and activities relating to public recreation.
  • Use public school property and buildings by agreement with the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education, to the extent that such property and buildings may be adaptable and available for use in recreational programs and purposes.
  • Plan and develop public recreational areas and facilities.
  • Cooperate with the (newly created) Recreation Advisory Committee, the special events committees and with civic and community organizations in sponsoring a broad range of recreational and community activities for the citizens of Scotch Plains.

The Director of Recreation shall be "qualified and experienced in the field of public recreation... appointed by the Township Manager and supervise such other full-time or part-time employees in the Department of Recreation as may be appointed by the Manager."

Powers and Duties

The Director of Recreation shall carry out the policies established by the Township Council or the Manager for community recreation:

  • Plan, promote, organize and administer a comprehensive recreation service for the entire community;
  • Establish administrative procedures to assure maximum service provided at a reasonable cost;
  • Check the effectiveness of the recreation service;
  • Study community recreation needs to develop immediate and long-range plans to meet them;
  • Interpret the recreation organization, its philosophy, and objectives; establish and maintain cooperative planning and working relationships with all other local community agencies and interested individuals;
  • Organize, train, and supervise subordinates and provide them with needed advice and assistance when difficult and unusual problems arise; recommend budget estimates to the Manager and keep appropriate records of receipts and expenditures;
  • Recommend the acquisition, design, and construction of facilities;
  • Direct the operation of recreation facilities and arrange for proper maintenance and operation;
  • Prepare suitable and comprehensive reports;
  • Interpret and stimulate public interest in recreation activities;
  • Direct the establishment and maintenance of complete records of recreation activities and services, correspondence, personnel and property; and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Manager.

Recreation Advisory Committee

The Manager shall appoint a Recreation Advisory Committee, to consist of up to seven (7) members, at least five (5) of whom shall be residents of Scotch Plains, to advise the Director of Recreation and the Manager regarding the Township's recreational needs, including program, facility and equipment needs.

Any authority or power of the Recreation Commission is hereby revoked. Any and all funds held by the Recreation Commission shall immediately be turned over by the Treasurer of the Recreation Commission to the CFO of the Township of Scotch Plains, who shall deposit said funds in an appropriate account.

All ordinances by the Commission are repealed. The Ordinance shall take effect upon final passage and publication in accordance with law.

Here is an online link to the full Ordinance 2015-002.

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