Vacancies on local municipal boards, including planning boards, are governed by N.J.S.A. 40A:9-12.1. The section relevant to the present inquiry provides:
The office of any person appointed to a specified term … by the governing body shall be deemed vacant:
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g. In the case of a member of a board whenever the member, without being excused by a majority of the authorized members of such body, fails to attend and participate at meetings of such body for a period of 8 consecutive weeks, or for four consecutive regular meetings, whichever shall be of longer duration, at the conclusion of such period, provided that such body shall notify the appointing authority, in writing, of such determination; provided, further, that such board may refuse to excuse only with respect to those failures to attend and participate which are not due to legitimate illness.
More simply stated, a board member’s seat may be deemed vacant if the board notifies the governing body in writing that it refuses to excuse a member’s continuous absence over the longer of eight consecutive weeks or four consecutive regular meetings. The board may excuse any absence by a vote of the majority of the authorized membership and must excuse any absence caused by legitimate illness. The vacancy would not be automatic i the board would have to notify the governing body that the absences have occurred and have not been excused.
For the full article click here: Municipal Law Review Mar-1992