CHAPTER 180 - SMYRNA

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED, "AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF SMYRNA," BEING CHAPTER 192, VOLUME 36, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BY PROVIDING FOR A TOWN MANAGER FOR THE TOWN OF SMYRNA AND ABOLISHING THE OFFICE OF TOWN COLLECTOR OF THE TOWN OF SMYRNA.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch of the Legislature concurring therein):

Section 1. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be amended by adding to Section 6 of the said Chapter 192, (ENUMERATION OF SPECIFIC POWERS OF COUNCIL), a new paragraph at the end of Section 6 which shall be as follows, to-wit:-

"TOWN MANAGER: The Mayor and Council shall appoint a Town Manager who shall be the chief administrative officer of THE TOWN OF SMYRNA. He need not when appointed be a resident of the Town of Smyrna, or of the State of Delaware. No member of Council nor the Mayor shall, during the term for which elected, be appointed or act as Town Manager. The Town Manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term and shall be removable at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council, subject to his right as an appointed officer as provided in Section 11 of said Chapter 192. In case of the absence, disability or suspension of the Town Manager, the Mayor and Council may designate some other competent person to perform the duties of the office during such absence, disability or suspension.

The Town Manager shall be responsible to the Mayor and Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the Town placed in his charge, and shall have such powers and duties and shall have such supervision of the streets of the Town, of the collection of Town taxes and other revenue accruing to the Town, of the water and sewer systems of the Town, of the electric system of the Town, of the other personal property and of the real estate belonging to THE TOWN OF SMYRNA and of such other branch or branches of the municipal activities of the Town, all as shall be fixed from time to time by resolutions or by ordinances of the Mayor and Council, provided that no such resolution or ordinance shall conflict with the powers and duties of any other officer of the Town duly elected by the voters thereof, during the term for which such other officer was elected.

The Town Manager shall, when so requested by the Mayor and Council, submit his recommendations as to all other appointive officers or employees of the Town to be engaged in any branch of municipal activities over which the Town Manager shall then be in charge, and the Mayor and Council may follow such recommendations or appoint other persons, as the Mayor and Council deem for the best interests of the Town. All subordinate appointees and employees of the Town shall be under the supervision of the Town Manager while engaged in any municipal activity which has been placed in the charge of the Town Manager. Dismissal of all such subordinate appointees and employees of the Town shall be vested in the Mayor and Council, subject to the provisions of Section 11 of said Chapter 192.

It shall be the duty of the Town Manager to supervise the administration of the affairs of the Town placed under his charge, to make such recommendations to the Mayor and Council concerning the affairs of the Town as may seem to him desirable; to keep the Mayor and Council advised of the financial condition and needs of the Town in so far as his prescribed duties and powers permit; to prepare and submit to the Mayor and Council budget estimates at such times as the Mayor and Council may designate; to prepare and submit to the Mayor and Council from time to time such reports as they may request, and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Act or by resolutions or ordinances of the Mayor and Council. The Town Manager shall keep a full and strict account of all Town moneys received by him and such accounts shall at all times be open to inspection by the Mayor and Council, and he may be required to furnish bond at the expense of the Town, in addition to be bonded for the collection of taxes, in such amount and in such form and with such surety as the Mayor and Council may prescribe and approve.

Section 2. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Chapter 166, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out the words "And a Clerk, both of whom shall be members of Council" in the seventh and eighth lines of Section 2 of said Chapter 166, Volume 41, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "who shall be a member of Council", and that Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be amended by striking out the sixth paragraph of Section 4, which now reads, "Duties of Clerk: The duties of the Clerk of Council shall be such as are prescribed from time to time by resolution or ordinance of Council."

Section 3. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Chapter 167, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out all of Section 1 of said Chapter 167, Volume 41, provided however that the Collector of Taxes elected February 26, 1945 for the term of one year shall continue in the office to which elected until the end of the said term, and without loss or change in the emoluments of said office and without any change in the duties or powers of such office until the expiration of the present elective term of the Town Collector.

Section 4. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be amended by striking out all of the third sub-division of Section 7, entitled "Town Collector", and inserting in lieu thereof the following new third subdivision of Section 7, as follows, to-wit:

"COLLECTION OF TAXES: It shall be the duty of the Town Manager to collect all Town taxes, water and sewer rents or charges, charges for electric service and all other kinds of Town revenue and money from time to time due said Town and heretofore provided to be collected by the Town Collector. The Town Manager shall pay all monies collected by him to the Town Treasurer at least monthly. In addition to any other bond required by the Mayor and Council, as provided in this Act, the Town Manager, before collecting any taxes due the Town, shall give bond in favor of THE TOWN OF SMYRNA with sufficient surety to be approved by the Mayor and Council, in the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of his office pertaining to the collection of taxes due said Town, and for the settlement of his tax accounts with the Treasurer of said Town not later than the last day of each fiscal year, and oftener and at such other times as the Mayor and Council may require. To which bond and condition there shall be annexed the usual full warrant of attorney for confession of judgment in favor of THE TOWN OF SMYRNA for said penalty of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), if the form of such bond makes the same expedient, at the discretion of the Mayor and Council."

Section 5. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Chapter 167, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out all of the first and second paragraphs of Section 10 of said Chapter 192, as amended, and inserting in lieu thereof new first and second paragraphs of Section 10 which shall read as follows, to-wit:

DISQUALIFICATION OF ELECTIVE OFFICERS: If the Town Treasurer or any member of the Board of Assessment shall, during his respective term of office, lose his residence in said Town, or be found guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony, he shall forthwith be disqualified to act as such Treasurer or member of the Board of Assessment and his office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor and Council for the residue of his term, provided that the person appointed shall have the same qualifications as are required of a candidate for the office to be filled, and Mayor and Council shall have the same power and limitations of appointment in case of vacancy in the said offices by reason of death or resignation of the incumbent.

COMPENSATION: The Town Treasurer, the members of the Board of Assessment and the Secretary of Council shall each receive such reasonable compensation as the Mayor and Council shall fix.

Section 6. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be amended by striking out the words "Town Collector" and the word "Collector" wherever such words occur in Section 14 of said Chapter 192 and by inserting in lieu thereof in each of such places the words "Town Manager", and by striking out the words "Alderman's Office" in the seventeenth line of the subdivision of Section 14 of said Chapter 192 entitled "Poll Tax and Court of Appeals" and by inserting in lieu thereof the words "Town Manager's office."

Section 7. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be amended by adding at the end of Section 14 of said Chapter 192 a new paragraph which shall read as follows, to-wit:

"All powers possessed by the Collector of Taxes of THE TOWN OF SMYRNA prior to the expiration of the present term ending one year from February 26, 1945, shall be vested in the Town Manager of The Town of Smyrna immediately upon his appointment, qualification and furnishing of bond, as in this Act provided, and the collection of Town taxes in said Town by said Town Manager shall in no wise affect the liability of any taxable for the payment of any tax now or hereafter due THE TOWN OF SMYRNA."

Section 8. That before this Act shall become effective, the provisions thereof shall be approved by a referendum vote of the qualified voters of THE TOWN OF SMYRNA. Notice of the holding of such referendum vote shall be authorized by resolution of the Mayor and Council, published once a week for at least three weeks in The Smyrna Times, a newspaper published in the Town of Smyrna, setting out in summary form the main provisions of this Act, the date and place of holding the referendum vote and the hours the polls will be open. The Mayor and Council should provide sufficient ballots which shall have printed thereon "For Town Manager Plan" and "Against Town Manager Plan" and each voter shall indicate his preference by making a clearly legible mark, by pencil or in ink, opposite the words showing his preference, or by merely striking out the choice to which he is opposed, or may indicate his preference by said mark and by also striking out the alternative wording on said ballot. At such referendum election all persons residing in the said Town shall have the right to vote who were qualified to vote at the last annual Town election held February 26, 1945 and also those persons residing in the said Town who, by the date of the last publication of said referendum vote notice in The Smyrna Times, shall have paid all Town taxes assessed to them for the year 1944 and all years prior to 1944, and payment of 1945 Town taxes shall not be a qualification required of any voter if 1945 Town taxes are due and payable by the date of the last publication of said referendum vote notice, and each resident so qualified shall have one vote. No voting by proxy shall be permitted. The Mayor and Council shall, prior to the date of referendum election, appoint a judge and two clerks to conduct the balloting and pass upon the qualifications of voters, and a majority of the election officers present at the opening of the polls shall fill any vacancy. A majority of the election officers shall be sufficient to decide the qualifications of voters. The Town Collector then in office shall attend said election with the Town assessment and tax payment records for the inspection of the election officers. The said election shall be held on such week day, not less than thirty nor more than ninety days after the approval of this Act, and at such suitable place in said Town as the Mayor and Council shall designate in said published notice. The polls shall open at 2 o'clock P. M. Eastern War Time, and shall close at 7 o'clock P. M. Eastern War Time. The Judge of the election shall, in case of a tie at the close of the balloting, cast the deciding vote, but otherwise shall refrain from voting. The election clerks shall each keep a separate tally sheet and the tally sheets shall be compared and must agree as to the total votes cast for and against the Town manager plan. Both tally sheets shall then be certified as correct by at least two of the three election officers and delivered to the Mayor or the Secretary of Council immediately after the tally sheets are completed and are in agreement and have been certified.

The Mayor and Council shall at the next regular meeting after the election, or at a special meeting, receive the results of the referendum election and make the same a part of the minutes of said meeting, whereupon and if a majority of the votes cast were "For Town Manager Plan", this Act shall immediately become effective, except as to those provisions hereof the operation of which is deferred until the expiration of the term of the incumbent Town Collector as hereinafter provided, but if a majority of the votes cast were "Against Town Manager Plan" no part of this Act shall be effective or be of any force or virtue.

Section 9. That if said Town Manager Plan be approved by the referendum vote of the qualified voters of said Town, as in this Act hereinbefore provided, Sections 1 and 2 shall immediately be effective and in full force and effect, but Sections 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 shall not be effective or be of any force or effect until the elective term of the incumbent Collector of Taxes has expired, to-wit: at the end of one year from the date of the election of the Collector of Taxes on February 26, 1945, but that immediately after the expiration of said term, said Sections 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 shall become effective and be in full force and effect.

Section 10. That any and all other Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with or supplied by this Act are hereby repealed.

Approved April 20, 1945.