(a) There is hereby re-established a town department of Parks and Recreation, in conformance with provisions of Indiana Code 36-10-3 et seq., as amended from time to time. The department shall consist of a Parks and Recreation board, and other personnel that the board determines. All books, papers, documents and other property of the current Parks and Recreation department authorities shall be transferred to and become the property of the Parks and Recreation board established by this section.
(b) The Parks and Recreation board shall be composed of four (4) members appointed by the Town, in conformance with applicable law, on the basis of their interest in, and knowledge of, Parks and Recreation. No more than two (2) members shall be of the same political party.
Additionally, one (1) or two (2) ex officio members may be appointed by the Town, in conformance with applicable law, with those ex officio members being:
(1) A member of the governing body of the school corporation, selected by that body;
(2) A member of the governing body of the library district, selected by that body; or
Ex officio members have all the rights of regular members, including the right to vote. A vacancy in an ex officio position shall be filled by the appointing authority.
Neither the Town Council president, nor any member of a county fiscal body, county executive, or Town Council member, may serve on the board created hereunder.
(c) Upon the establishment of the Parks and Recreation board, the terms initially appointed shall be:
(1) One (1) member for a term of one (1) year;
(2) One (1) member for a term of two (2) years;
(3) One (1) member for a term of three (3) years;
(4) One (1) member for a term of four (4) years;
As a term expires, each new appointment shall be made by the Town in conformance with applicable law for a term of four (4) years. All terms expire on the first Monday in January, but a member shall continue in office until his successor is appointed. The Town shall make initial appointments within ninety (90) days after the creation of the department under the provisions of this section and applicable law, as amended from time to time. In the event an appointment for any new term is not made by the first Monday in April, the incumbent member shall serve another term. In the event a vacancy on the board occurs, the Town shall appoint a new member to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(d) A member of the Parks and Recreation board may be removed only for cause, upon specific written charges filed against him or her. The charges shall be filed with and heard by the Town Council or the other appointing authority, unless the appointing authority is bringing the charges. In the event the appointing authority is bringing the charges, the Town Council shall appoint a hearing officer. The person to hear the charges shall fix a date for a public hearing and give public notice at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing. At the hearing, the member is entitled to present evidence and argument, and to be represented by counsel.
(e) At its first regular meeting each year, the Parks and Recreation board shall elect a president and a vice-president. The vice-president shall have the authority to act as the president of the board during the absence or disability of the president. The board may additionally select a secretary from within or without its own membership.
(f) The Parks and Recreation board shall have the power to perform all acts necessary to acquire and develop sites and facilities, as well as to conduct such programs as are generally understood to be Park and rEcreation functions. Additionally, the Parks and Recreation board shall have all the powers and duties provided for in Indiana Code 36-10-3, et seq., as amended from time to time.
(g) The Parks and Recreation board shall prepare and submit an annual budget in the same manner as all other departments of town government, as prescribed by the state board of accounts. The board may accept gifts, donations and subsidies for Park and rEcreation purposes.