§ 156.400  ORGANIZATION.
   (A)   Creation.
      (1)   Pursuant to S.C. Code Title 6, Chapter 29, there is hereby created a Planning Commission, to be composed of nine members appointed by the Mayor and Town Council.
      (2)   It is the declared policy of the Town Council that it will consider and approve only those persons who:
         (a)   Are residents of the town and have been so for a period of at least one year prior to the appointment; and
         (b)   Have demonstrated their professional expertise, knowledge of the community, and concern for the future welfare of the total community and its citizens.
      (3)   Members shall represent a broad cross- section of the interests and concerns within the town.
   (B)   Term of office.
      (1)   At the time of the creation of the Commission, members first to serve shall be appointed to specific seats with staggered terms.
      (2)   The initial seat numbers and corresponding length of terms are as follows: Seat 1-four years, Seat 2-five months, Seat 3-ten months, Seat 4-fifteen months, Seat 5-twenty months, Seat 6-twenty-five months, Seat 7-thirty months, Seat 8-thirty-five months, and Seat 9-forty months. Only the member holding Seat 2 under the initial terms shall not be eligible for a possible appointment to a subsequent, full four-year term.
      (3)   After the initial term of office, specific seat assignments shall continue, and the term of office for all seats on the Commission shall be four years.
      (4)   All terms hereunder, including the initial terms, shall, however, continue until a successor is approved of and appointed by the Town Council.
      (5)   Upon the expiration of a term, the Council shall act promptly to make appointments as soon as may reasonably be accomplished.
      (6)   The initial term at the creation of the Commission hereunder shall constitute a full term.
      (7)   With the one exception of Seat 2 as stated hereinabove as it applies only to the initial terms, Commission members may be appointed to succeed themselves for a maximum of two successive full terms.
      (8)   While serving on the Commission, none of the members may hold any public office or position in the municipality or county from which appointed.
   (C)   Vacancy and removal.
      (1)   A vacancy in the term of office shall occur whenever it is found that a member has resigned, is unable to serve for whatever reason, or is removed in accordance with the provisions of this section.
         (a)   Neglect of duty, no longer being a resident of the town, or misconduct in office shall constitute just cause.
         (b)   Each member is required to attend 75% of called meetings per year on a rolling-year basis which shall be measured on the first of every month for the preceding year. Each member shall be afforded one excused absence which shall not be counted towards the attendance requirement.
            1.   Excused and unexcused absences are to be determined by the Chairperson or, in his or her absence, the acting Chairperson, and are to be stated on the record at each meeting.
            2.   EXCUSED ABSENCES are generally defined as medical or family emergencies or unavoidable business/personal conflicts.
               a.   Each member is responsible for notifying the Chairperson or the appropriate staff at least two full working days prior to the meeting, if he or she will not be in attendance.
               b.   The member shall also state a reason for the anticipated absence.
               c.   Emergency situations that arise within this 48-hour period can be considered excused by the Chairperson.
      (2)   If removal for cause, except due to attendance, appears imminent, the Chairperson shall contact the member and ascertain whether removal should be considered by the Mayor and Town Council. The Chairperson shall then make a recommendation to Council, prior to Council action on the matter.
      (3)   If removal due to attendance is necessary, the Town Administrator shall remove the member from the Commission prior to the next scheduled meeting and shall notify Town Council.
      (4)   Any vacancy in the membership shall be filled for the unexpired term, as soon as may reasonably be accomplished by the Mayor and Town Council, in the same manner as the original appoint- ment.
      (5)   In determining eligibility for future service, appointments to a vacant term with 24 months or more in duration left under the four-year term of office shall constitute a full term of service.
      (6)   Appointments to a vacant term with less than 24 months in duration left under the four-year term of office shall be eligible for two subsequent, successive four-year terms of office.
   (D)   Chairperson; Secretary; rules of procedure.
      (1)   The Commission shall organize itself, electing by secret ballot and majority vote a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson from among its members.
         (a)   Said election shall be held at the first meeting in the creation year of the Commission, and at the first meeting of each calendar year thereafter.
         (b)   In the creation year, the term of office of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be until the end of that calendar year, and thereafter for a period of one year.
         (c)   If a vacancy occurs in an office prior to the expiration of the full term, another election to fill the remainder of the term of office shall be conducted at the first meeting thereafter.
         (d)   The election procedures stated herein shall be followed in filling an unexpired term of office.
      (2)   The Commission shall appoint a Secretary, who may be an officer or employee of the governing authority or of the Planning Commission.
      (3)   The Commission shall adopt rules for the transaction of business at the first meeting in the creation year, and at the first meeting of each calendar year thereafter.
         (a)   Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings, except as otherwise provided by the Commission.
         (b)   The Planning Commission may purchase equipment and supplies, and may employ or contract for such staff and such experts as it considers necessary and consistent with funds appropriated.
   (E)   Meetings and quorums.
      (1)   Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for conducting business.
      (2)   Meetings of the Commission shall be held at the call of the Chairperson, and at such other times as the Chairperson or Commission determine.
      (3)   Decisions shall be made by a majority vote.
      (4)   The Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Commission, or if there is no such office, in an appointed office of the town.
      (5)   All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public.
      (6)   Members of the Commission shall:
         (a)   Regularly attend meetings and public hearings of the Commission; and
         (b)   Serve without compensation, except for reimbursement for authorized expenses attendant to the performance of their duties.
('81 Code, § 155.40) (Ord. passed 8-13-79; Am. Ord. passed 12-11-90; Am. Ord. passed 1-12-93; Am. Ord. 99012, passed 4-21-99; Am. Ord. 00039, passed 7-11-00; Am. Ord. 02024, passed 6-11-02; Am. Ord. 09053, passed 8-12-09; Am. Ord. 14047, passed 8-12-14; Am. Ord. 16055, passed 8-10-16; Am. Ord. 18035, passed 6-14-18)