Section 11-65-5

Composition of commission; terms; qualifications; removal from office.

(a) Every commission shall have five members, which shall constitute its governing body. All powers of a commission shall be exercised by its members or pursuant to their authorization. The mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality and the president or other designated presiding officer of the county commission of the host county shall each serve as a member ex officio, unless such official exercises his or her right, as provided in subsection (b), to appoint a fixed-term member to serve in lieu of such official. The service of each such official as a member shall begin with the beginning of his or her tenure in such office and shall end with the ending of such tenure or the appointment by such official of a fixed-term member to serve in lieu of his or her ex officio service. The other three members shall be appointed in the manner hereinafter prescribed as soon as may be practicable after the certification to the Secretary of State of a favorable vote at an election called and held pursuant to Section 11-65-4. The Lieutenant Governor of the state, the host county house delegation, and the host county senate delegation shall each appoint one member; provided, however, that the provisions of this chapter conferring upon the Lieutenant Governor of the state the power to appoint one member of each commission are hereby expressly declared to be severable from the other provisions of this chapter, and if the provisions conferring such power upon the Lieutenant Governor shall be determined by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid because of any defect in the notice required to be published with respect to this chapter by Sections 106 and 110 of the Constitution of Alabama, as amended, or to be invalid for any other reason, such determination shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remaining provisions of this chapter, and in such case, the mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality shall have the right to appoint the member of each commission that, absent such determination, would have been appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, all subject to the same terms and conditions herein that would be applicable to an appointment made by the Lieutenant Governor. The appointments of members by the host county house delegation and the host county senate delegation shall be made at meetings of the members of the respective delegations held pursuant to the call of the mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality, who shall provide the members of each delegation with written notice of any such meeting at least ten days prior to the date set therefor. All meetings of the host county house delegation or the host county senate delegation called and held pursuant to this chapter shall be open to the public. Any appointment of a member by the host county house delegation or the host county senate delegation must be approved by a majority of the members of such delegation voting in person at a public meeting called and held pursuant to this chapter. Any meeting of the host county house delegation or the host county senate delegation at which fewer than a majority of the members of such delegation are present, or at which no appointment of a member is made because of a failure to obtain the approval of a majority of the members of such delegation, may be adjourned to a future time and place announced at such meeting; provided that, if either delegation fails to appoint a member within 30 days of the date of the first meeting called for the purpose of such appointment, the right of such delegation to appoint a member shall terminate and such appointment shall be made as soon thereafter as practicable by the mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality.

(b) The mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality and the president or other designated presiding officer of the county commission of the host county shall each have the right, exercisable in his or her discretion and at any time during his or her tenure as such official, to appoint a member of the commission to serve in lieu of such appointing official for a fixed term from the effective date of such appointment until the end of the current term of office of the appointing official. Any such appointed member shall, during his or her term, exercise the full rights and powers of a member of the commission that the appointing official would have possessed if he or she had chosen to serve as an ex officio member. Any such appointed member shall also comply with the qualifications set forth in subsection (f), except that the mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality may, in his or her discretion, appoint a member of the governing body of the sponsoring municipality to serve as a fixed-term member of the commission, and the president or other designated presiding officer of the county commission of the host county may, in his or her discretion, appoint a member of the county commission to serve as a fixed-term member of the commission.

(c) The mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality and the president or other designated presiding officer of the county commission of the host county shall have the right, exercisable in the discretion of each such official and at any time and from time to time during his or her tenure as such official, to appoint a deputy member of the commission to represent such ex officio member in connection with the business of the commission. In the event that, pursuant to subsection (b), a member of the governing body of the sponsoring municipality is appointed as a fixed-term member of the commission or a member of the county commission of the host county is appointed as a fixed-term member of the commission, then each such appointed member shall have the same right to appoint a deputy member as would belong to the appointing official if he or she chose service as an ex officio member. Any deputy member shall be appointed by a letter signed by the appointing member and filed with the executive secretary of the commission, which letter shall specify the period of time for which such deputy member shall be appointed or, if not for a period of time, the particular meeting or other business for which he or she shall be appointed. Any deputy member shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing member, and his or her appointment may be revoked at any time during the term of office of the appointing member by a letter signed by the appointing member and filed with the executive secretary of the commission. The appointment of any deputy member shall be automatically revoked when the appointing member ceases to be a member of the commission for any reason. Each member of the commission entitled to appoint a deputy member may, during his or her term of office, appoint and remove from office as many deputy members as he or she may choose, provided that at any given time such member may have no more than one validly appointed deputy member. Any deputy member shall comply with the qualifications set forth in subsection (f), except that the mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality or any fixed-term member appointed to serve in lieu of such official, may, in his or her discretion, appoint a member of the governing body of the sponsoring municipality or a full-time officer or employee of such municipality to serve as deputy member, and the president or other designated presiding officer of the county commission of the host county or any fixed-term member appointed to serve in lieu of such official may, in his or her discretion, appoint a member of the county commission of the host county or a full-time officer or employee of such county to serve as deputy member. Any deputy member validly appointed and serving in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be entitled to exercise all powers and perform all functions and duties of the member who appointed such deputy member, including, without limitation, the right to vote on all matters coming before the commission when such appointing member is not present.

(d) The member to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of the state shall be appointed for a term beginning immediately upon his appointment and ending at noon on July 1 in the third calendar year next following the calendar year in which the election authorizing the incorporation of the commission shall be conducted; the member to be appointed by the host county house delegation shall be appointed for a term beginning immediately upon his appointment and ending at noon on July 1 in the fourth calendar year next following the calendar year in which the election authorizing the incorporation of the commission shall be conducted; the member to be appointed by the host county senate delegation shall be appointed for a term beginning immediately upon his appointment and ending at noon on July 1 in the fifth calendar year next following the calendar year in which the election authorizing the incorporation of the commission shall be conducted. Thereafter, the term of office of each appointed member shall be five years, commencing at noon on the July 1 on which the term of the immediate predecessor member shall end.

(e) If at any time there shall be a vacancy among the appointed members of a commission (i.e., those members who do not serve ex officio), a successor member shall be appointed to serve for the unexpired term applicable to such vacancy; provided, however, that any official entitled ex officio (e.g., the mayor of the sponsoring municipality or the president of the county commission of the host county) to a vacant membership previously held by a member appointed in lieu of such official may, instead of appointing a successor, resume his or her ex officio membership by filing written notice to that effect with the Secretary of State and the executive secretary of the commission. The appointment of each member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, the host county house delegation, or the host county senate delegation, as the case may be (other than those initially appointed), whether for a full five-year term or to complete an unexpired term, shall be made by the officer or legislative delegation responsible for the appointment of the member whose term shall have expired or is to expire or in whose position a vacancy otherwise exists and shall be made not earlier than 30 days prior to the date on which such member is to take office as such. If the term of any such member shall expire prior to the reappointment of such member or prior to the appointment of his successor, such member shall continue to serve until his successor is appointed, and if such member is reappointed for a new term after the expiration of the immediately preceding term which he has been serving, his new term of office shall be deemed to have commenced at noon on the July 1 on which the immediately preceding term shall have expired. Any member appointed pursuant to subsection (b) shall not serve beyond the term for which appointed, and upon the expiration of such term, the position previously held by such member shall immediately revert to the official entitled thereto by reason of his or her office, and such official shall continue as ex officio member of the commission until the expiration of his or her current term of office, the vacation of such office prior to the expiration thereof, or the appointment of someone pursuant to said subsection (b) to serve as a member in lieu of such official, as the case may be. Members appointed by any appointing authority shall be eligible for reappointment without limit as to the number of terms previously served. In the event that any appointments required to be made by the Lieutenant Governor, the host county house delegation, or the host county senate delegation are not made within 60 days after the certification to the Secretary of State of a favorable vote at an election called and held pursuant to this chapter (in the case of initial appointments), or within 30 days of the end of a term or other vacancy, then a vacancy shall be filled or a successor member appointed by a majority of the members of the commission holding appointments already made or serving as ex officio members. Appointments shall be evidenced by a written certificate executed by the appointing official, or, in the case of appointments made by a majority of the other members, by a certificate signed by the members making such appointment, or, in the case of appointments made by a legislative delegation, by the members of the delegation voting for such appointment or by a member of the delegation designated to serve as the secretary of the meeting at which such appointment is made and to report the results thereof to the Secretary of State. The certificates evidencing the appointment of members of a commission shall be addressed and delivered to the Secretary of State, who shall maintain the originals of such certificates as official records in his office, and copies of such certificates shall be furnished to the executive secretary of the commission.

(f) Each appointed member of any commission shall have been a resident of the host county for a period of at least five years prior to his or her appointment and shall, at the time of his or her appointment and at all times during his or her term of office, be a resident of the host county and a qualified elector of the state, and a failure by any appointed member to remain so qualified during such term of office shall cause a vacancy of the office of such member. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b) and (c), no person serving as a member of the Legislature of the state, serving as a member of the governing body of any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state, or holding a full-time office or position of employment with the United States of America, the state, any county, or municipality in the state, or any instrumentality, agency, or subdivision of any of the foregoing, shall be eligible for appointment as a member or deputy member of a commission. Service by any person as a member, director, trustee, or other participant in the management or administration of any governmental agency, board, or commission, or public educational institution, or other public body of the United States of America, the state, or any county or municipality or other political subdivision shall not render such person ineligible for appointment as a member of a commission unless such service constitutes full-time employment. Each appointed member shall be of good moral character and shall never have been convicted of a felony or other offense involving moral turpitude. Each appointed member of a commission shall make and submit to the appointing officer or legislative delegation responsible for his or her appointment an affidavit confirming his or her qualifications, as set forth in the preceding provisions of this subsection, to serve as a member of a commission, which affidavit shall be filed with the Secretary of State along with the aforesaid certificate evidencing such appointment. Any appointed member of a commission who in such affidavit intentionally makes a false statement of material fact or intentionally fails to disclose any information necessary to make any statement of material fact made therein not misleading shall be guilty of perjury and shall be subject to prosecution and punishment therefor in the same manner as if he had committed perjury as a witness in open court.

(g) Any person who is an appointed member of a commission shall be deemed to vacate his or her office as such member by (1) the acceptance of any office or employment which, had such person held such office or been so employed at the time of his or her appointment as a member, would have rendered such person ineligible for appointment as a member or (2) the occurrence of any event or circumstance involving the character of such person which, had such event or circumstance occurred prior to the time of his or her appointment as a member, would have precluded such appointment. Any appointed member may be impeached and removed from office as a member of a commission in the same manner and on the same grounds provided in Section 175 of the Constitution of Alabama, or successor provision thereof, and the general laws of the state for impeachment and removal of the public officers subject to said Section 175 or successor provision thereof. The mayor or other chief executive officer of the sponsoring municipality and the president or other designated presiding officer of the county commission of the host county may not be impeached and removed from office as a member of a commission apart from their impeachment and removal from their respective offices by virtue of which, ex officio, they serve as members.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-131, p. 159, §5; Acts 1991, No. 91-187, p. 246, §5.)