Policy Manual

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    Policy No.: Resolution 16-112 Effective: 09/06/2016
    Revision No.: Review Date: xx/xx/xx
    Advisory Boards and Committees Guidelines

    OVERVIEW:   It shall be the policy of the Board of County Commissioners of Alachua County, Florida, that these Guidelines shall provide direction for the creation of new advisory boards and committees, the membership of advisory boards and committees, and the conduct of advisory boards and committees.  It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners that these Guidelines completely supersede any previous policies or guidelines concerning advisory boards and committees. 
    PROVISIONS:
    Except as provided in the authorizing ordinances or resolutions of specific advisory boards and committees, these Guidelines should provide direction for advisory boards and committees.
    "Advisory boards or committees" are those bodies created by the Board of County Commissioners, whether entitled "board," "committee," "commission," "council," or the like, which are established by and have authority only to advise the Board of County Commissioners rather than to establish policies or make decisions for the Board of County Commissioners.
    I.                   Creation of Advisory Boards and Committees.
    Advisory boards and committees should be created by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.  Resolutions creating advisory boards and committees should include, at a minimum:
    (a)               Legislative findings.
    (b)               Express creation of the advisory board or committee.
    (c)                Purpose and duties of the advisory board or committee.
    (d)              Designation as “standing” (continuing until dissolved) or “special” (continuing until a specified sunset date).
    (e)               Membership qualifications.
    (f)                Staggered terms for initial appointment (especially for standing advisory boards and committees).
    (g)               Provisions for operations of the advisory board or committee.
     
    II.                Membership on Advisory Boards and Committees.
     
    (1)               Appointments.  The Board of County Commissioners will appoint the members of advisory boards and committees.  Appointments will be made from applications of qualified potential members during a regular Board of County Commissioners meeting.
     
    (2)               Regular Members.  Advisory boards and committees should have an odd number of regular members.
     
    (3)               Alternate Members.  All advisory boards and committees should have at least one alternate member.  Attendance requirement detailed below applies to alternate members, as well as regular members.  An alternate member shall serve in place of an absent regular member, and shall have all rights and responsibilities of the absent regular member, including the right to vote.
     
    (4)               Attendance.  Advisory board and committee members should regularly attend all meetings of their respective advisory boards and committees.  Any regular or alternate member whose attendance is less than 50% of the last 6 consecutive meetings shall automatically be removed from the advisory board or committee.  Staff liaisons shall notify members by US mail, by email or through attendance reports when they are approaching removal due to lack of attendance.
     
    (5)               Quorum.  A quorum for an advisory board or committee is the number of members which constitute the majority of all regular positions which are currently filled.  Alternate members may make up a quorum.  When less than a quorum is present at a meeting, the advisory board or committee may meet in a workshop setting, during which no vote may be taken.  These workshops must be open to the public and minutes must be taken.
     
    (6)               Hold-overs.  Advisory board and committee members may continue to serve following the expirations of their terms until the Board of County Commissioners fills the position which would be vacated.
     
    (7)               Removals.  Advisory board and committee members serve at the pleasure of the Board of County Commissioners.  Any board or committee member may be removed for good cause by the Board of County Commission after consideration of the issue at a Board meeting.

     
    III.             Conduct of Advisory Boards and Committees.
    (1)               Governing Rules.  Except as may be provided by these Rules or by law, questions of order, the methods of organization and the conduct of business of the advisory boards and committees shall be governed by The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (formerly known as Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure) in all cases for which they are applicable
     
    (2)               Open to the Public.
     
    a.                  Meetings Open to Public.  All meetings of advisory boards and committees shall be open to the public in accordance with the Florida Government in the Sunshine Law, Section 286.011, Florida Statutes (Fla. Stat.).  Advisory board and committee members should consult their staff liaisons with any questions regarding open meetings or to request a presentation on the Florida Sunshine Law.
    b.                  Signs, Placards, Banners.  For public safety purposes, no signs or placards mounted on sticks, posts, poles or similar structures shall be allowed in advisory board and committee meeting rooms.  Other signs, placards, banners or other similar items shall not disrupt meetings or interfere with others’ visual rights.
    c.                   Persons with Disabilities.  All persons with disabilities shall be provided with the assistance necessary to enable them to effectively participate in advisory boards and committee meetings, consistent with Section 286.26, Fla. Stat.
     
    (3)               Public Comment.  Members of the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before advisory boards and committees.  The opportunity to be heard need not occur at the same meeting at which an advisory board or committee takes official action on the proposition if the opportunity occurs at a meeting that is during the decision making process and is within reasonable proximity in time before the meeting at which the advisory board or committee takes the official action.[1]
     
    (4)               Voting Conflicts. 
     
    No member of an advisory board or committee shall vote on a matter when the member has a voting conflict of interest as specified in Section 112.3143 or Section 286.012, Fla. Stat.  Prior to participating in a discussion, members abstaining from voting due to a voting conflict shall publically announce the conflict, shall disclose the nature of their conflict, and file a written memorandum (Ethic’s Commission Form 8A or 8B) to the staff liaison. 
     
    If a member recognizes that a voting conflict exists during the course of a discussion, the member shall immediately publically announce the conflict, disclose the nature of the conflict and abstain from voting.  Within 15 calendar days following that advisory board or committee meeting, the member shall file a written memorandum (Ethic’s Commission Form 8A and 8B) with the staff liaison. 
     
    The written memorandum shall be incorporated into the meeting minutes as an exhibit.  Advisory board and committee members who believe that they may have a voting conflict should consult their board or committee’s staff liaison before the meeting at which members will be asked to vote on an item upon which they may have a conflict.
     
    (5)               Work Plans and Reports of Accomplishments.  Advisory boards and committees shall prepare and update work plans and reports of accomplishments annually.  Work plans and reports of accomplishments should be on-file with staff liaisons by October 1 of each year.  Staff liaisons shall submit advisory board and committee work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners.  Advisory board and committee chairpersons are encouraged to present the work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners at a Board meeting.  The Board of County Commissioners encourages and welcomes issues of the advisory board and committees’ own initiative to be brought to the attention of the Board of County Commissioners.
     
    (6)               Public Records.  The public has the right to access public records.  Public records are:
     
    “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.” Sec. 119.011(12), Fla. Stat.
     
    Most records created by or provided to advisory boards and committees, or their members in their capacity as members, are public records which must be made available to a person requesting them.  There are many exceptions for records or for certain information contained in those records.  Advisory board and committee members should consult their staff liaisons with any questions regarding public records or to request a presentation on the Florida Public Records Law.
     
    (7)               Coordination with Other Governments.  Advisory boards and committees should, when appropriate, coordinate with other local governments and boards or committees created by other local governments.  To protect the public’s right to participate in open meetings, this coordination shall be effected through the respective staff liaison or the advisory board or committee chairperson (or designee).
     
    (8)               Prohibited Remote Voting by a Member.  A member may participate in a discussion but no member shall cast a vote via telephone or video/audio appearance. 
     
    IV.             Staff Liaisons.  A staff liaison is a county staff member whose duty is to help to administer the meetings of the advisory boards or committees and to serve as a link between the advisory board, the County Manager, the County Attorney and the Board of County Commissioners.  The staff liaison’s tasks are:
    (1)               Publicly noticing the advisory board or committee meeting and reserving the meeting room.
    (2)               Reminding members of an up-coming meeting.
    (3)               Ensuring that all persons with disabilities are provided with the assistance necessary to enable them to effectively participate in the meetings.
    (4)               Preparing the agenda and agenda backup materials, and providing copies of the materials to members.
    (5)               Introducing new members to the board or committee and informing new members of the rules and process which governs the board or committee.
    (6)               Ensuring that minutes of the meetings are kept.
    (7)               Keeping attendance records of the meetings.
    (8)               Maintaining public records of the board or committee.
    (9)               Providing the work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners annually.
    Staff liaisons may perform a task not listed above if requested by an advisory board or committee if the task takes the staff liaison 30 minutes or less to perform.  If the task takes more than 30 minutes, the staff liaison may perform the task if the staff liaison’s department director preauthorizes the work.
    V.                Construction of These Guidelines.
    These Guidelines provide direction only.  No action taken inconsistent with these Guidelines shall be invalid solely because it was taken inconsistent with these Guidelines.


    [1] Consistent with Section 286.0114, Fla. Stat. (2015).
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Disciplinary Offenses and Penalties

Policy No.: 9-3 Effective: 09/24/2013
Revision No.: 6 Review Date: 09/24/2014

OVERVIEW: This policy identifies and describes offenses and penalties of the Alachua County government.

SCOPE: This policy applies to all classified employees of the Board of County Commissioners.

PROVISIONS:
a. In applying this schedule of suggested penalties, Group I Offenses more than two years old and Group II Offenses more than five years old generally shall not be taken into account depending upon the seriousness of the last infraction, the time intervals between each infraction and the employee's entire work and disciplinary history. The term "isolated" in this Policy is defined as no discipline for other offenses has been imposed during the requisite interval of time.
b. The descriptions of offenses below are intentionally broad and may encompass several closely related circumstances. The supervisor proposing discipline will tailor the description of the offense to the actual circumstances that exist and eliminate words that do not apply in the description of the offenses in the Notice of proposed Discipline.

  1. Group I Offenses.
    1. Consequences for Group I Offenses.
      1. First Occurrence. Written instruction, counseling and/or one day suspension.
      2. Second Occurrence. Up to a five day suspension.
      3. Third Occurrence and subsequent occurrences. Termination, demotion or suspension of up to 10 days. Suspension may be longer with approval of the Administrating Official.
    2. Group I Offenses.
      1. Failure to work overtime, special hours or special shifts after being scheduled with reasonable notice according to departmental overtime and stand-by duty policies.
      2. Unauthorized posting or removal of material on County bulletin boards.
      3. Deliberately wasting time, stopping work and/or loitering.
      4. Leaving work area or duty assignment without authorization. This includes leaving a work area for a lunch break, rest period or at the end of the work schedule, without permission or relief when appropriate.
      5. Failure to perform assigned duties.
      6. Substandard performance of assigned duties.
      7. Tardiness including returning late from lunch or rest periods without authorization or reporting late at the beginning of the work shift. Three times in a thirty day period shall be used as a guide for the first offense.
      8. Absence without authorization or failure to notify appropriate supervisory personnel on the first day of absence.
      9. Violation of safety practices including but not limited to the performance of unsafe acts, failure to wear and/or use safety equipment, or failure to comply with safety rules.
      10. Scuffling, wrestling, prankish and/or mischievous acts which distract or disrupt the work of others.
      11. Disruptive and/or disorderly conduct.
      12. Failure to maintain safe and sanitary conditions.
      13. Failure to comply with the “Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees” (Section 112.311, Florida Statutes).
      14. Gambling on County time or at County work sites.
      15. Sleeping on duty.
      16. Unauthorized solicitation on County work time or at a County worksite.
      17. Violation of any Administrative Directive.
      18. Documented discourtesy to other employees.
      19. Unauthorized use or possession of County property, equipment or personnel.
      20. Failure to immediately report a personal injury or damage to equipment to one’s supervisor.
      21. Carelessness resulting in the loss of County property valued at $1000 or more.
      22. Careless acts resulting in the falsification, destruction or improper disclosure of County records including accident reports, work records, purchase orders, time sheets, personal health information or any other reports or records.
      23. Supervisory employees who fail to adequately supervise subordinate employees.
      24. Failure of good behavior.
      25. Loss or misuse of a County purchasing or credit card.

  2. Group II Offenses.
    1. Consequences for Group II Offenses.
      1. First Occurrence. Up to a five day suspension.
      2. Second and subsequent Occurrences. Termination, demotion or suspension of up to 15 days. Suspension may be longer than 15 days with approval of the Administrating Official.
    2. Group II Offenses.
      1. Provoking or instigating a fight at a County work site.
      2. Willful negligence in the performance of assigned duties or negligence which could endanger the employee, other employees or the public.
      3. Deliberate misuse, destruction or damage of County property.
      4. Deliberate falsification or deliberate improper disclosure of County records.
      5. Unauthorized destruction of County records.
      6. Refusal to perform assigned duties or to comply with written or verbal instructions of higher level supervisors.
      7. Immoral, unlawful, indecent behavior or other improper conduct which would affect the employee’s relationship with the public and/or co-workers.
      8. Refusal to provide testimony on issues involving County property or other matters related to the County’s interest.
      9. Failure of the supervisor to enforce safety regulations.
      10. Making an official statement known to be false.
      11. Knowingly tampering with, misrepresenting, or making a false official statement regarding the employee’s own or other employee’s drug test.
      12. Committing an assault, that is offering or attempting to do any bodily harm or offering or attempting to offensively touch another, and the person has a reasonable belief that it may happen, in the workplace or on a County employee or on a person involved with the employee on County business.
      13. Making or publishing vicious, malicious or false statements concerning any employee, the County or its operations.
      14. Failure to comply with the “Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees” (Section 112.311, Florida Statutes).
      15. Sleeping on duty when such inattentiveness interfered or could have interfered with County operations.
      16. Representing oneself or using one's status as a County employee to conduct personal business in an attempt to gain advantage or to receive special treatment not available to others.
      17. Supervisory employees who fail to adequately supervise subordinate employees when such failure interfered or could have interfered with County operations.
      18. Failure to properly supervise prisoners/clients under your assigned control.
      19. Failure of good behavior when such behavior interferes with or could interfere with County operations.
      20. Documented discourtesy to the public.
      21. Unauthorized removal of County property or records or the property of an employee.
      22. Failure to comply with safety practices.
      23. Willful misuse of a County purchasing or credit card.
      24. Deliberately not reporting lost or missing funds (cash, checks, etc).

  1. Group III Offenses.
    1. Consequences for Group III Offenses.
      1. Any Occurrence. Termination, demotion or suspension of up to 15 days. Suspension may be longer with approval of the Administrating Official.
    2. Group III Offenses.
      1. A documented history of progressive discipline for abuse of rules, regulations and/or other policies.
      2. Loss of necessary prerequisites or abilities to perform the job. Fifteen days shall be given to regain prerequisites or abilities; failure to do so will result in dismissal.
      3. Curtailment or restriction of production or interference with work at County work sites, including but not limited to: instigating, leading or participating in any walk-out, strike, slow down or refusal to return to work.
      4. Possession of weapons, firearms, explosives or other dangerous instruments on County property or work sites during or in the course of performing County duties, other than a legally owned, lawfully possessed firearm locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle in a County parking lot when the employee is lawfully in such area (see Florida Statute 790.251 (2011). Weapons, firearms, explosives or other dangerous instruments are never permitted in a County-owned or rented motor vehicle except in the possession of law enforcement personnel on duty.
      1. Theft of County funds or County property or records, or the property of an employee, or willful destruction of County property or records or the property of an employee.
      2. Conviction of any felony, which would prohibit or adversely affect the employee’s performance or the performance of others.
      3. Absence of three consecutive workdays without proper authorization at which time the employee is considered to have abandoned the position.
      4. Making false claims or misrepresentations in an attempt to obtain employee benefits, workers’ compensation or other payments.
      5. Two consecutive annual performance evaluations below a satisfactory rating.
      6. Commit a battery, which is an intentional offensive touching or application of force or violence to another, in the workplace or on a County employee or on a person involved with the employee on County business.
      7. Failure to comply with the “Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees” (Florida States 112.311).
      8. Sleeping on duty when such inattentiveness caused or could have caused a safety, security or other serious problem.
      9. Second violation of the County’s Drug Free Workplace Policy.
      10. Continuing behavior that prevents the employee or others to perform their jobs.
      11. Demonstrated inability to perform the essential functions of the job.
      12. Supervisory employees who willfully violate, or permit subordinates to violate, County or departmental rules and regulations.
      13. Supervisory employees who fail to adequately supervise subordinate employees.
      14. Failure to supervise prisoners/clients under your assigned control resulting in escape, injury to anyone, damage of public or private property, illicit or illegal activities, or jeopardy to the safety of those under your supervision.
      15. Failure of good behavior when such failure caused or could have caused a safety, security or other serious problem.
      16. Willful negligence in the performance of assigned duties which did endanger the employee, other employees or the public.
      17. Refusal to perform assigned duties or comply with written or verbal instructions of supervisors while in an emergency situation.
      18. In a continuing operation, leaving the position without relief.
      19. Improper use or disclosure of County records with malice or for personal gain.
      1. The manufacture, use, possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal or illicit substances, or the misuse, distribution or intent to distribute controlled substances or other psychoactive drugs.
      2. Employees committing sexual, racial or other illegal harrassment by words and/or actions in a County workplace or program or against another County employee or a County client or vendor, or creating a hostile work environment in violation of state or federal law or County policy.
      3. Deliberate misuse of a County credit or purchasing card for personal use and/or gain.
      4. Using threatening, intimidating, or abusive language or conduct (which includes slurs related to any person’s race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression).


4. Any improper behavior or performance not specifically enumerated in a departmental disciplinary policy or detailed above shall be treated as similar listed offenses would be treated.