NEW CASTLE - REINCORPORATING CITY OF NEW CASTLE
AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE CITY OF NEW CASTLE AND TO REPEAL CHAPTER 216, VOLUME 27, LAWS OF DELAWARE. AS AMENDED. ENTITLED "AN ACT AMENDING, REVISING AND CONSOLIDATING THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF NEW CASTLE" AND REPEALING CERTAIN OTHER ACTS CONCERNING THE CITY OF NEW CASTLE INCONSISTENT HEREWITH RELATING TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, ELECTIONS, CITY CLERK, BOARD OF WATER AND LIGHT COMMISSIONERS, SEWERS AND DISPOSAL WORKS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members elected to each House of the General Assembly):
Section 1.--(a) The limits and bounds of the City of New Castle are hereby established and declared to be as follows:
BEGINNING at a point in the center line of Delaware Street extended in a Southeasterly direction, being four hundred and sixty-four feet from the center stone at the intersection of the center lines of Front and Delaware Streets; thence in a Southwesterly direction in a straight line to a point in the center line of South Street extended nine hundred and five feet from the center stone at the intersection of the center lines of South and Pearl Streets; thence in a Southwesterly direction in a straight line to a point in the center line of Johnson Street extended seven hundred and eighty-six feet from the center stone at the intersection of the center lines of Johnson and Fourth Streets; thence Northwesterly along the line of Johnson Street to low water mark; thence by the line of low water mark Southwesterly to the Northeasterly line of Hickman Street extended as laid out on the plot of the City of New Castle; thence Northwesterly along said Northwesterly line of Hickman Street to the Easterly line of the Hamburg or River Road; thence Northerly by the Easterly line of the Hamburg Road to the Northeasterly line of Taylor Street, as laid out on the plot of the City of New Castle; thence Northwesterly by the Northeasterly line of Taylor Street to the line of the lands of New Castle Common, sometimes known as "The Commons"; and thence along the line of the said New Castle Commons first in a Southeasterly and then in a Northeasterly direction to the Southerly line of the New Castle and French Town Turnpike; thence Easterly along the Southerly line of said Turnpike to the Southeasterly line of the continuation of Fourteenth Street extended as laid out on the plot of the City of New Castle; thence Northeasterly by the said Southeasterly line of Fourteenth Street to the intersection of said Fourteenth Street with the Northwesterly line of the right-of-way of the Delaware Railroad Company; thence Northerly along said Northwesterly line of said railroad right-of-way to the intersection of the center line of the main canal or ditch known as the Narrow Dyke; thence Easterly by the center line of said Narrow Dyke to the line between the farm of the heirs of Julian D. Janiver, and the farm of the heirs of Victor duPont; thence following said dividing line between said farms to the Southwesterly side of the public road known as Moore Avenue; thence Southeasterly by the Southwesterly side of said Moore Avenue to the Northeasterly line of the tract known as "Baldton"; thence Northeasterly and crossing Moore Avenue by the line of the said tract "Baldton," to the corner of said tract; thence Southeasterly by the Northeasterly line of said tract "Baldton" and continuing the same crossing the public road leading from New Castle to Wilmington to the Easterly line of the said public road; thence Northerly by the Easterly line of the said public road leading from New Castle to Wilmington to the Northeastern line of School District number forty-six; thence Southeasterly by the Northeasterly line of School District number forty-six to low water mark on the Delaware River; thence Southwesterly by the said line of low water mark to North Street extended as laid out on the plot of the City of New Castle; thence Southeasterly along North Street extended to a point seven hundred and nine feet from the center stone at the intersection of the center lines of Market (or Second) and North Streets; thence Southwesterly in a straight line to a point in the center line of Chestnut Street extended eight hundred and twelve feet six inches from the center stone at the intersection of the center lines Chestnut and Market (or Second) Streets; thence Southwesterly in a straight line to the East Corner of the rectangular pier off Truss (or Harmony Street) wharf; thence along the outer face of said pier to the Southwest corner of the same; thence Southwesterly in a straight line to the South corner of Jefferson's (or Lea's) wharf; thence in a straight line to a point in the center line of Delaware Street, the place of BEGINNING.
(b) The City Council may, at any time hereafter, cause a survey and plot to be made of said City. The said plot or any supplement thereto, shall be approved by the City Council, signed by the Mayor, who shall affix thereto the municipal corporate seal, attested by the Secretary of the Council, and shall be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County. The said plot or supplement thereto, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said record, shall be evidence in all Courts of Law and Equity of this State.
Section 2.-- (a) The inhabitants of the City of New Castle within the limits and boundaries referred to in Section 1 of this Charter, or within the limits and boundaries of said City as the same may hereafter be established, shall continue to be a body politic and corporate by the name, style and title of "The Mayor and Council of New Castle," and under that name shall have perpetual succession; may have and use a corporate seal; may sue and be sued; may hold and acquire by purchase, gift, devise, lease or condemnation, real property and personal property within or without its boundaries for any municipal purpose, in fee simple or lesser estate or interest, and may sell, lease, hold, manage, and control such property as its interests may require; and shall have all other powers and functions requisite or appropriate for the government of the City, its peace and order, its sanitation, appearance and beauty, the health, safety, convenience, comfort and well-being of its population, and the protection and preservation of property, public and private; may appoint such officers and agents as shall be deemed necessary or convenient for the management of the affairs of the City and may fix and determine the compensation of such officers and agents.
(b) All actions, suits and proceedings shall be brought in the name of "The Mayor and Council of New Castle." shall not be held to be exclusive, or to restrict, in any way, the general powers conferred herein; but, in addition to the powers enumerated herein, implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, it is intended that the Mayor and Council of New Castle shall have and may exercise all powers which, under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it shall be competent for this Charter specifically to enumerate. All powers of The Mayor and Council of New Castle, whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised as prescribed by this Charter, or, if the procedure, or a mode of exercise, be not prescribed herein, such power or powers shall be exercised by ordinance or resolution of The Mayor and Council of New Castle.
Section 3.--(a) The government of the City and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in a City Council.
Section 4.--(a) The City Council shall be the executive and legislative body of the City and shall be composed of the Mayor and four Members of Council, each of whom shall be above the age of twenty-one years, a freeholder resident of the City at the time of his election and during his term of office, and shall have resided within the limits of the City for the two years next preceding his election. If the Mayor or any Member of Council shall cease to be a freeholder resident of the City during his term of office, his cessation to be such shall, ipso facto, vacate his office. At the first election to be held under this Charter on the 10th day of April, A. D. 1951, four Members of Council shall be elected of whom the two securing the greatest number of votes shall have a four year term ending with the second succeeding biennial city election and the other two of whom shall have a two year term ending with the next succeeding biennial city election; at every biennial city election held thereafter in accordance with the provisions of Section 6 of this Charter, two members of council shall be elected for the full term of four years each to fill the vacancies caused by expiration of term in the offices of Members of Council.
(b) The Mayor shall be elected at the first election held under this Charter for a term ending at the next succeeding biennial city election and thereafter at each biennial city election held under the provisions of Section 6 of this Charter for a term of two years.
(c) No one shall be eligible to be elected as Mayor or Members of Council who has not filed as a candidate therefor, as hereinafter provided.
(d) In the case of a vacancy created in any office of Mayor or Member of Council by death, resignation, loss of residence in the City, other disqualifying event, or otherwise, the City Council shall fill such vacancy for the unexpired term.
(e) In all elections for the offices of Mayor and Members of Council, the candidates seeking election to such offices shall run at large in all wards of the City.
(f) The Mayor and Members of Council shall serve as such for their designated terms and until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
(g) The Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the City Council.
(h) City Council shall designate one of its members to act as Mayor in the Mayor's absence, except as otherwise herein provided.
Section 5.--(a) Any person desiring to become a candidate for the office of Mayor or Member of Council shall file with the Secretary of the City Council his name, designating the office for which he seeks to become a candidate at least two weeks before the date on which a municipal election is scheduled to be held, and shall, at the same time, deposit with the said Secretary the sum of Ten Dollars ($10.00) as a filing fee for use in defraying City Council's expenses of said election.
Section 6.-- (a) Biennial municipal elections shall be held on the second Tuesday of April in each year after the General Election for the purpose of electing a Mayor and Members of Council for the terms of office set forth in Section 4 of this Charter.
(b) For the purpose of holding such election, the City of New Castle shall be divided into wards corresponding in number and boundaries with the election districts laid out under the general election laws of the State of Delaware. Each ward shall have one voting place for said election.
(c) The election in each district shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board which shall consist of one (1) Inspector and two (2) Judges of Election. No more than a majority of such Board shall be of the same political party. The Inspector and Judges of Election shall be qualified voters of the City of New Castle and residents of the ward in which they are appointed to serve. Such Boards shall be appointed by the City Council in open meeting at least two weeks before the date for holding such election. Before entering upon their duties, the members of the Election Boards shall swear and subscribe to the following oath before any person authorized by law to administer oaths:, a resident of the ward of the City of New Castle, and a person qualified to vote at the municipal election of said City to be held on the day of _____ A. D., do hereby solemnly swear (or affirm)that I will truly and impartially conduct said municipal election in said ward in accordance with law, and that I will cause a true return of said election to be made.
Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me, the undersigned, an officer authorized by law to administer oaths, this ____ day of A.D. ___
(d) Members of the Election Boards shall be Judges of the Election within their respective wards and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered. The Election Board shall keep a true and accurate list of all voters voting. It shall have the authority to subpoena persons, and officers of the City and any books, records and papers relative to the determination of the validity of any votes or vote offered. The Election Boards shall keep a true and accurate list of persons voting and those offering to vote but refused the right to do so. If a majority of an Election Board is of the opinion that a person offering to vote is not qualified so to do, the Election Board shall receive the vote of such person but not count it and shall thereafter return it in a separate package to the City Council with the name of the person who sought to vote such ballot. So far as the same shall not be inconsistent with this Charter, Inspectors and Judges of Election of the City of New Castle shall have the same powers and authority conferred upon Inspectors and Judges of Election under the General Election Laws of the State of Delaware.
(e) The City Council shall determine the places for holding said election in the several wards and shall give notice of the time and places of holding said election by posting notice thereof in at least three of the most public places in each of the wards of the City at least a week before the day on which said election is to be held, and by publishing notice thereof one time at least a week in advance of said day in a newspaper having general circulation in the City of New Castle. On the day of election the Election Boards shall open the polls at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon and close the same at 7:00 o'clock in the evening.
(f) Upon the closing of the polls as aforesaid, the Members of the Election Boards shall publicly read and count the votes cast and shall certify the result of the canvass of the election to the City Council showing the number of votes cast for each candidate whose name appears on the ballot.
(g) At any municipal election of the City of New Castle every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the State of Delaware for one year next preceding said election, and who shall have been a resident of the City of New Castle for the three months next preceding said election, shall be entitled to vote in the ward in which he or she resides at the time of said election; provided, however, that no person shall vote whose name does not appear upon the last list of registered voters in the City of New Castle as hereinafter provided. No one voter shall be permitted to vote for more candidates than there are offices to be filled at said election. In voting, the name of the candidate or candidates for whom such voter does not desire to vote shall be crossed out on the ballot voted. If any ballot be defaced or bear any identifying mark, or if the person voting has attempted to vote for more candidates than there are offices to be filled at said election, said ballot shall not be counted for any candidate for office. Provided, however, that qualifications for voters at the first biennial election held hereunder shall be as provided by Chapter 216, Vol. 27, Laws of Delaware and any person who would have been entitled to vote had this Charter not been enacted, shall be entitled to vote in said first biennial election held hereunder.
(h) The Bureau of Registration of New Castle County shall furnish to the registration officers for the several districts of New Castle Hundred in the year of any General Election, when it furnishes the registration books as now provided by law, two separate and similar books in which the said registration officers shall register all persons who are entitled to be registered who reside in the City of New Castle. One of these registration books for the City of New Castle shall be returned by the registration officers of New Castle Hundred to the Bureau of Registration of New Castle County as the other registration books are returnable, and the other registration book shall be returned to the Secretary of the City Council within thirty days after the last day of registration. The registration officers shall be under the same regulations and liabilities for the registration of the citizens of the City of New Castle as for the general registration for the Hundred. The City Council shall sit as a Board of Registration the third and fourth Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of March of each year in which a city election is to be held, between the hours of seven and nine o'clock for the purpose of adding to the said list of registered voters any unregistered person who shall apply and who shall have, since the last preceding general registration, become qualified as a voter at the City election, and to transfer those registered voters who have moved from one ward to another, and the Secretary of City Council shall place the names of voters so registered or transferred by the Council on the books of registered voters for the several wards. The said registration books so turned over to the Council of New Castle, with the additions and transfers made by the Council as above provided for, shall in every year of election under this Charter be turned over by the Secretary of the City Council on the day of such election to the Election Boards appointed to hold such election.
(i) All ballots cast and all records of the election together with ballot boxes and all unused supplies shall be delivered by the Election Boards to the Secretary of the City Council who shall keep them safely and produce them before the City Council at its next succeeding meeting after the election.
(j) The Members of the Election Boards shall make out and sign four certificates of election showing the total vote cast for all candidates at said election. One such certificate shall be placed in the ballot box and returned with it to the Secretary of the City Council as aforesaid and the three Members of the Election Boards shall each retain one of said certificates.
(k) On the evening following any such election, the City Council shall meet at 8:00 o'clock for the purpose of canvassing said election. All members of the Election Boards shall appear before it at that time and present the certificates of election retained by them. The City Council shall canvass the vote in all wards and after ascertaining which candidates have received the greatest number of votes and have been thereby elected to the various offices, shall make out and sign certificates of election to the successful candidates. The Secretary of City Council shall deliver said certificates to the successful candidates.
(l) The City Council shall supply to the Election Boards all ballots, ballot boxes, paper, pens, oaths, certificates, and other supplies necessary for conducting said election. All ballots shall be printed and contain the names of all persons who have filed as candidates as hereinbefore provided, together with the designation of the office for which he is a candidate. The names of all candidates for the same office shall be listed on the ballot in alphabetical order.
(m) In the event of a tie vote for election to any office, the City Council by a majority of all its members shall determine the tie.
(n) The pay for Inspector or Judge of any municipal election shall be ten dollars ($10.00) to be paid out of City funds. All expenses of said elections, including rental for polling places shall be paid out of City funds.
Section 7,--(a) As soon as conveniently may be after the delivery to him of his certificate of election by the Secretary of the City Council, the Mayor elect shall take and subscribe on the back of his said certificate of election before an officer authorized to administer oaths in the State of Delaware, an oath or affirmation that he will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Delaware, and that he will perform the duties of his office with fidelity, and thereupon he shall enter upon the duties of the office of Mayor.
(b) Upon the Tuesday evening next following said election, or as soon thereafter as may be convenient the Mayor and Members of Council, including newly elected Members of Council, shall convene in the Council Chamber at 8:00 o'clock in said evening for the purpose of organizing and transacting such business as may properly come before the City Council. The newly elected Members of Council shall present their certificates of election to the Mayor, who shall thereupon administer to said newly elected Members of Council an oath or affirmation similar to the one taken by the Mayor. The oath shall be subscribed on the back of said certificates of election. The Secretary of City Council shall enter the certificates of election of the Mayor and Members of Council together with their oaths taken and subscribed at large in the Journal of City Council and shall thereafter return said certificates of election.
(c) Upon the taking of the proper oaths, the City Council shall be deemed to have been organized and shall proceed to the transaction of any business which may properly come before it. The said meeting of the Mayor, holdover Members of Council, and newly elected Members of Council shall be called or known as the biennial meeting.
(d) Thereafter, City Council shall hold regular meetings on the first Tuesday in each month.
Special meetings shall be called by the Secretary of City Council upon the request of the Mayor, or upon the written request of any two Members of Council. The notice of the call of a Special Meeting shall state the day, hour and place of the special meeting and the nature of the business to be brought before it. At least two days' notice of any special meeting shall be given. Any business that could be transacted at any regular meeting may be acted upon at a special meeting.
(e) The City Manager of the City of New Castle shall act as Secretary of City Council and shall perform all duties incident to such office without any additional compensation therefor.
(f) All meetings of City Council shall be public.
(g) At any regular or special meeting, a majority of Members of City Council shall be a quorum to do business, but a less number may adjourn said meetings from time to time. At all meetings of City Council the Mayor and each Member of Council shall have one vote each. Except as hereinafter provided, no ordinance, resolution, or order shall be deemed to have been enacted until it shall have received the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the City Council. The receipt of such affirmative majority vote shall enact such ordinance, resolution or order.
(h) The City Council shall determine its rules and order of business. The Secretary shall keep a Journal of its proceedings. The yeas and nays of the individual members shall be taken upon the passing of every ordinance, and shall be entered in the Journal together with the full text of the ordinance.
() No member of the City Council shall be excused from voting except on matters involving the consideration of his own official conduct, or when his financial interests are involved.
(a) The Secretary shall not have a vote on any matter coming before the City Council.
Section 8.-- (a ) The City Council is vested with the authority to adopt ordinances of every kind relating to any subject coming within the powers and functions of the City, or relating to the government of the City, its peace and order, its sanitation, appearance and beauty, the health, safety, convenience and comfort of its population, and the protection and preservation of property, and to fix and impose and enforce the payment of fines and penalties for the violation of any such ordinance; provided that no fine or penalty shall exceed the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and that no penalty of imprisonment shall exceed thirty (30) days in the New Castle County Workhouse; and no provision in this Charter as to ordinances on any particular subject shall be deemed or held to be restrictive of the power to adopt ordinances on any subject not specifically enumerated.
(b) The City Council shall have power to define nuisances and cause their abatement.
(c) The City Council shall have power to adopt ordinances promoting, safeguarding and relating to the health of the population of the City, preventing the introduction or spread of infection or contagious diseases, and abating nuisances detrimental to the public health. The powers given hereunder shall extend to the area outside the City Limits and within one mile from said limit.
(d) The City Council shall have power to adopt all measures requisite or appropriate for protection against fire. To this end it may adopt ordinances prohibiting the use of building materials that in its opinion would create a fire hazard, and may zone or district the City for fire protection purposes and make particular provisions for particular zones or districts. This power shall embrace new buildings or additions to or alterations of existing structures of every kind. The City Council shall have power to condemn any building or structure or portion thereof, that it deems constitutes a fire menace and to require or cause the same to be torn down, removed or so altered as to eliminate the menace of fire.
(e) The City Council may adopt zoning ordinances limiting and restricting to specified districts, and regulating therein, buildings and structures according to their construction and the nature and extent of their use.
() It may adopt ordinances prescribing the height and thickness of the walls of any building and the kind and grade of materials used in the construction thereof. It may provide for the issuance of building permits and forbid the construction of a new building or the addition to or alteration and repair of an existing building unless a building permit has been obtained therefor.
(g) The City Council shall have the right to grant or refuse franchises or licenses to public utilities and common carriers and fix the terms and conditions thereof and to regulate their use of the streets, lanes and alleys of the City.
(h) The City Council may by contract or otherwise direct or provide for the construction, regulation and maintenance of sewers, drains, gutters and other works for the drainage of the City and the disposition of sewage. It may by condemnation proceedings take for sewer purposes, private land, or the right to use private land under the surface thereof, for the laying of sewer mains. It shall have power to make all ordinances, rules and regulations regarding the sewer and sewer system of the City and the use thereof, and may fix fines and penalties for the violation of the provisions of such ordinances. It may require subject to the provisions of Section 9 (c) hereof, any property to be connected with the water and sewer mains and to compel the owner of such property to pay the cost of such connection and the tapping fee or charge therefor. The connecting with the water or sewer and the tapping thereof shall be under the control of City Council.
() The City Council shall have power and authority to lay out, locate and open new streets, to widen and alter existing streets or parts thereof, and to vacate or abandon streets or parts thereof, whenever it shall deem it for the best interest of the City. It may by condemnation proceedings take over private land for the purposes herein specified. It shall have power to pave, fix the grade of, and improve all roads, streets, squares, parks, lanes and alleys in said City.
(a) The City Council shall have the power to direct and regulate the paving of foot ways and sidewalks, prescribe the width of the same and to direct and regulate the fixing and maintenance of curbs. It may prescribe the extent of steps, porches, cellar doors, awnings, other inlets to buildings, and any other obstruction on said footways and sidewalks.
(k) The City Council shall have the power to provide police protection and to pass such ordinances and make such regulations as may be necessary to protect persons and property and to maintain the public peace and prevent crime.
(1) The City Council shall have the power to provide for supplying the City and its inhabitants with water and to provide for the acquisition or erection of such works and apparatus as may from time to time be necessary or convenient for the same. It shall have the power to provide for the lighting of the City Streets and public places and supplying the inhabitants with light, and to provide for the acquisition or erection of such works and apparatus as may from time to time be necessary or convenient for the same.
(m) The City Council shall have the power to regulate public amusements, to regulate party walls, to regulate the markets, to regulate the storage of explosives or dangerously combustible material and to prevent the running at large of any dog or other animal.
() The City Council shall have the power to levy and collect reasonable taxes upon all telephone, telegraph, electric light poles and other erections of like character, erected within the City of New Castle, and may by ordinance prescribe the mode of levying and collecting same. In case any of the owners or lessees of any such poles or erections within said City shall refuse or neglect to pay the taxes that may be levied upon such poles or erections, the City Council shall have authority to cause the same to be removed and may cause to be instituted suit to recover the amount of taxes so levied and the expenses incident to the removal of such poles or erections.
(a) The City Council shall have the power to levy and collect taxes in the manner hereinafter provided and to collect license fees annually of such various amount or amounts as it shall from time to time fix for the privilege of carrying on or practicing any business, profession or occupation within the limits of the City.
(p) The City Council shall have the power to adopt a health and sanitary code for the City and to provide by ordinance fines and penalties for its enforcement.
(q) The City Council shall have the power to provide for the incineration or other sanitary disposal of litter, debris, refuse, garbage and sewage.
(r) The City Council shall have the power to adopt ordinances regulating the parking of motor and other vehicles within the limits of the City.
(s) The City Council shall have the power to determine the salaries or compensation of all City officers and employees, except the salaries of the Mayor and Members of City Council who shall receive as compensation for their services the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per year.
() The City Council in general shall exercise all powers necessary to the proper administration of the municipal government and for the well-being of the City and the inhabitants thereof, whether expressly enumerated herein or not, not inconsistent with the Constitution or Laws of this State.
(q) The City Council shall have the power to appoint such advisory commissions as may seem desirable in the creation, development, extension or operation of any utility, or other interest of said City. Such advisory commissions may be appointed for such term as to said Council may seem expedient. Such advisory commission shall act in connection with the City Manager in said projects but shall have no authority to incur any indebtedness without the prior authorization of City Council.
(r) The City Council shall be authorized to enter into contracts for the construction, maintenance, sale or resale of water facilities and for supplying and distributing water throughout all of that territory included within three miles of the corporate limits of the City of New Castle.
Section 9.-- ( a) The City Council is authorized and empowered to delegate to the City Manager the authority to fix, reset, renew and repair curb stones and gutters, to pave sidewalks, cut gutters and keep them clean and to direct the connecting of any house or building accessible to a sewer or water main to connect such house or building with such sewer or water main.
(b) Whenever the City Council determines that any one or all of the matters of sub-section (a) of this section should be done with respect to any property in said City, it shall direct the City Manager to notify the owner or owners of such property to have the necessary work done. In the event such owner or owners shall not comply with such notice for the space of thirty days, or in the event the owner or owners of such property are unknown, the City Manager shall proceed to have the required work done and the expenses thereof shall be a charge owed the City of New Castle, a lien on said property, and collectible in the same manner as taxes, assessments and other charges due the City.
(c) The City Council shall not require that any vacant lot be connected to any sewer or water main, or that any owner or owners of property, or any property bear the expense of paving any footway or sidewalk to a greater breadth than four feet from the curbstone. Nor shall the City Council require the installation of curbing, gutters or sidewalks on any rural property with said City limits which may be carried on the assessment list as "Suburban Land."
Section 10.--(a) In furtherance of the powers hereby granted under this Chapter to the Mayor and Council of New Castle, or any officer, department, or body of the same, the said, the Mayor and Council of New Castle, is hereby granted the power of Eminent Domain, or right of condemnation within the said city limits for the purpose of laying out, widening or vacating streets; installing, altering or renewing sewer or water systems; protecting the public health; establishing public parks; constructing wharves, docks and piers; and in general for public purposes benefiting the residents of the City of New Castle, the furtherance of which requires the acquisition of rights in land by the said City. Condemnation shall be accomplished by the Mayor and Council of New Castle as hereinafter provided.
(b) Whenever the City Council shall determine it is necessary for the condemnation of any land or rights in land within the City of New Castle for any of the purposes set forth in subsection (a) of this section, it shall by majority vote, adopt a resolution authorizing the condemnation of the desired land or rights in land describing it with particularity by metes and bounds and naming the owner or owners thereof if such be known, or stating that the owners thereof are unknown. The said resolution shall state the opinion of the City Council as to the value of each parcel sought to be condemned, and shall also state a day, hour and place when and where the City Council will sit to hear the objection, if any, of any owner or resident of the city to such condemnation; and to award just compensation to anyone who will be deprived of such property. A copy of such resolution shall be posted in five or more of the most public places in the city and on the land in question, and shall be published at least once a week in a newspaper having general circulation in the City of New Castle until the date of said meeting. A copy of said resolution shall also be mailed to each owner of said property at his last known post office address. The meeting of City Council to hear objections and award just compensation shall not be less than thirty (30) days after the adoption of said resolution, nor less than twenty-five (25) days from the mailing and posting of said copies of the resolution.
(c) At the time and place fixed in said resolution the City Council shall hear such residents of the City or owners of the property affected as shall attend, and shall at said meeting, or at a subsequent meeting, as it shall deem proper, adopt a resolution by a majority vote to proceed with or abandon, as it shall deem for the best interest of the said city, the condemnation of said property as contemplated in the prior resolution. In case the determination of the City Council shall be to proceed with the condemnation, just and reasonable compensation shall be awarded to the owner or owners of said property. If just compensation be awarded, a certified copy of the resolution awarding such compensation shall be mailed by registered mail return receipt requested to the owner or owners of such property at their last known post office address. Awards of just compensation shall be paid by the City Treasurer on a warrant drawn on him by authority of the City Council. If the owner or owners of said land be unknown, the amount awarded as just compensation shall be deposited in a banking institution of the City of New Castle in such a manner as to identify it as the property of the owner or owners of the property for which it was awarded. Said funds may be withdrawn by such owner or owners upon petition to the City Council upon establishment of ownership.
(d) If anyone whose property is condemned as aforesaid be dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the City Council, he may within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the certified copy of the said resolution awarding just compensation, apply to the Associate Judge of the State of Delaware resident in New Castle County for the appointment of freeholders to hear and determine the matter of compensation for any property of which he will be deprived as aforesaid. The proceedings before said Associate Judge shall be in conformity with the statutes of the State of Delaware relating to condemnation of property by the State Highway Department, so far as the same may be applicable. Any determination of compensation made shall be paid to such appealing owner in the manner hereinbefore set forth.
(e) Upon the condemnation of land and the acceptance of just compensation by the owner or owners, or the deposit of the amount of just compensation in the case of land the owners of which is unknown, the Secretary of City Council shall record in the office of the Recorder of Deeds at Wilmington a statement of the condemnation proceedings together with a description of the lands condemned.
Section 11.--(a) Annually and prior to the First day of September the City Council shall have the finances of the City and the books and accounts of the Mayor, the City Manager and the City Treasurer audited by a certified public accountant.
(b) As soon as practicable after such audit has been completed, the City Council shall cause to be made and published a report of the City's finances for the preceding fiscal year.
Section 12.--(a) It shall be unlawful for the City Council to make or enter into any contract for materials, supplies, work or labor for the use and benefit of the City of New Castle with any member of the City Council, or with any partnership in which any member of the City Council is a partner, or with any corporation in which any member of the City Council is a director or stockholder, or with any firm or company in which any member of City Council is pecuniarily interested, except with the unanimous consent of all other members of the City Council. Any contract entered into in violation of this section of the Charter shall be absolutely null and void.
Section 13.--(a) The Mayor of said City, in addition to being a Member of the City Council, is hereby constituted a conservator of the peace within the limits of the City. He is authorized and empowered to exercise within the City all the authority which justices of the peace in and for New Castle County may exercise under the laws of this State, and he is further authorized in all lawful cases of commitment to commit persons guilty of a breach of the peace to the New Castle County Workhouse. He is authorized to cause to be arrested, or to arrest and hold to bail, all persons charged with violation of The Ordinances of The City of New Castle, and to fine and imprison, or either, all persons adjudged guilty of a breach of the ordinances of the City of New Castle. Such power and authority shall be exercised upon complaint duly made under oath, and within hearing of the party accused, and for that purpose the Mayor shall have power to issue the ordinary process for the arrest of parties and for the attendance of witnesses, and the power to punish for contempt now possessed by justices of the peace. Provided, however, that the Mayor shall not have jurisdiction in any civil matter except insofar as such jurisdiction is specifically given him by the terms of this Charter or by any duly adopted ordinance or regulation of the City of New Castle. The Mayor shall not impose any fine in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor impose any term of imprisonment of longer than thirty (30) days. All fines imposed for violation of city ordinances shall be paid to the Treasurer of the City.
(b) The Mayor shall keep a record of all judicial proceedings had before him in such form as shall be prescribed by the City Council. Process issued by the Mayor shall be similar in form to that prescribed in like cases before justices of the peace, shall run throughout New Castle County, and shall be directed to the Sheriff or any constable of said County, or to any police constable of the City. The cost of the proceedings before the Mayor shall be the same as are provided by law in like proceedings before justices of the peace, and shall be collected from the defendant in case of conviction in addition to any fine imposed, or shall be paid by said defendant before his discharge from imprisonment, but the costs may be remitted in the discretion of the Mayor. In case the charge is for violation of a City ordinance and the party so charged is acquitted, the costs shall be paid by the City.
(c) The Mayor may decline to hear any case in which he or a member of his family is personally interested, or he may disqualify himself from hearing any cases during a stated interval of time by giving to Council written notice to that effect, stating the interval of time during which he so chooses to disqualify himself. In either event, the justice of the peace resident in The City of New Castle is empowered and authorized to, and shall, during such disqualification enforce the ordinances of The City of New Castle and exercise the magisterial functions hereinbefore granted to the said Mayor.
Section 14.--(a) At each biennial meeting after a municipal election, the City Council shall elect a City Treasurer to hold office until the next biennial meeting of the City Council, or until his successor has been duly chosen and qualified.
(b) The City Treasurer shall deposit the city funds of which he is custodian in a banking institution designated by the City Council. He shall pay out no money except upon warrant signed by the City Manager and countersigned by a duly authorized member of City Council.
(c) No warrants shall be signed and countersigned, nor honored by the City Treasurer except pursuant to appropriation or resolution theretofore made by the City Council.
(d) The City Treasurer shall keep a true and detailed account of all moneys received and of all moneys paid out by him. He shall preserve all vouchers for moneys paid by him. His books and accounts shall at all times be open to inspection by the City Council or the City Manager. He shall make such reports at such times as shall be directed by the City Council.
(e) The City Treasurer shall be required to give bond in such amount and in such form and with such surety as the City Council shall determine or approve, the cost of which bond shall be borne by the City.
Section 15.--(a) At each biennial meeting of the City Council, the City Council shall select and appoint a City Solicitor to serve as such for two years, or until his successor is duly appointed and qualified. He shall be a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of Delaware practicing in New Castle County. It shall be his duty to be the legal officer of the City, to advise all officers and bodies of the City in the performance of their duties, to perform all legal services customarily performed by general counsel, and to represent the City in all litigation. He shall receive for his services such compensation as shall be fixed by the City Council.
Section 16.--(a) There shall be a Board of Health for the City of New Castle which shall consist of the Mayor, the City Manager, and three additional Members elected for the term of two years, or until their successors are duly qualified, at each biennial meeting of the City Council. At least one of the three additional members shall be a practicing physician, one shall be a licensed plumber and all three of such additional members shall be residents of the City of New Castle.
(b) The Board of Health shall organize as soon as practical after the election of new members by the City Council by the election of a Chairman and a Secretary from among themselves. Thereafter the Board shall meet monthly on the second Thursday of each month.
(c) The Secretary may be allowed for his services reasonable compensation to be fixed by the City Council. No other member of the Board of Health shall receive compensation as such.
(d) The Board of Health shall be vested with all powers and duties prescribed by law for Local Boards of Health and by ordinance of the City of New Castle. It shall have power to adopt and enforce rules and regulations for safeguarding the health of the residents of the city and for enforcing and carrying into effect any law or ordinance relating to public health. Its authority in this respect shall extend one mile beyond the city limits.
Section 17.--(a) The City Council shall appoint a City Manager who shall be the chief administrative officer of the City.
He shall be chosen solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to his actual experience in, or knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of his office as hereinafter set forth. At the time of his appointment, he need not be a resident of the City or State, but during his tenure of office he shall reside within the City.
(e) The City Manager shall be appointed and shall be removable by the City Council. Before the City Manager shall be removed, he shall, if he so demands, be given a written statement of the reasons alleged for his removal and shall be given a public hearing thereon at a meeting of the City Council prior to the final vote on the question of his removal. The action of the City Council in suspending or removing the City Manager shall be final. In case of the absence or disability of the City Manager, the City Council may perform or designate some qualified person to perform the duties of the office during such absence or disability.
(f) The City Manager shall receive such compensation for the performance of his duties as shall be fixed by the City Council.
(g) The City Manager shall be responsible to the City Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the City placed in his charge, and to that end, except as otherwise provided herein, he shall have the power to appoint and remove all employees in the administrative service of the affairs of the City under his charge. All such appointments shall be without definite term. Employees appointed by the City Manager, or under his authorization, may be removed by him at any time. The decision of the City Manager in any such case shall be final and there shall be no appeal therefrom to any other officer, body or court whatsoever.
(h) Neither the City Council, nor any of its committees or members, shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the City Manager or any of his subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of employees in the administrative service of the affairs of the City under the charge of the City Manager. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the City Council and its members shall deal with that portion of the administrative service for which the City Manager is responsible solely through the City Manager, and neither the Council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the City under the City Manager either publicly or privately. Any violation of the provisions of this Section by a Member of City Council shall be a misdemeanor under the laws of The State of Delaware, triable by the Court of General Sessions for New Castle County, conviction of which shall immediately forfeit the office of the member so convicted.
(f) It shall be the duty of the City Manager to supervise the administration of the affairs of the City under his charge; to make such recommendations to the City Council concerning the affairs of the City as may seem to him desirable; to keep the City Council advised of the financial conditions and future needs of the City; to prepare and submit to the City Council the annual budget estimate; to prepare and submit to the City Council such reports as may be required by that body; and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or required of him by ordinance or resolution of the City Council.
(g) The City Manager shall, pursuant to appropriation and resolution of the City Council, sign warrants on the City Treasurer.
(h) The City Manager shall have administrative charge of the light, water, sewer, gas, or other public utility system or plant or plants of the City. He shall have charge of the supervision of streets, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, wharves, and other public administrative affairs of the City and of all work relating thereto. He shall collect or cause to be collected, all taxes, assessments, rentals, license fees, or other charges due the City. He shall have charge of the administration of all provisions of this Charter and ordinances and resolutions of the City Council relating to the affairs of the City, where not otherwise provided for by this Charter, or by any ordinances or resolutions of the City Council.
() The City Manager shall keep a full and strict account of all moneys received and all disbursements by him and such account shall, at all times, be open to inspection by Members of City Council. He shall pay over to the City Treasurer, at least monthly, and more often if required by the City Council, all moneys received or collected by him and by any employee under him. He shall render to the City Council at its monthly meeting a true, accurate and detailed account of all moneys collected or received by him in the performance of his duties.
(j) The City Manager and employees of the City having charge of city funds shall give bond in such amount and with such surety as may be required by the City Council; the cost of said bond or bonds shall be borne by the City.
Section 18.--(a) The City Manager shall appoint a permanent Police Force consisting of a Chief of Police and such other members and subordinates as the City Council shall determine. The Chief of Police and subordinate members of the Police Force shall receive for their services a compensation to be fixed by the City Council.
(b) The Police Force under the direction of the City Manager shall preserve peace and order and compel obedience within the City limits to the ordinances of the City of New Castle and the laws of the State of Delaware, and shall have such other duties as the City Council may by ordinance or resolution from time to time prescribe.
(c) Each member of the Police Force shall be vested, within the city limits and within one mile outside of said limits, with all the powers and authority of any constable in New Castle County and in the case of a pursuit of an offender their power and authority shall be without territorial limitation. Every person sentenced to imprisonment by the Mayor of New Castle shall be delivered by a member of the Police Force to the New Castle County Workhouse, or the lock-up of the City, to be there imprisoned for the term of the sentence.
(d) It shall be the duty of the Police Force to suppress riotous, disorderly or turbulent assemblages of persons in the streets of the city, or the noisy conduct of any person in the same, and upon the view of the above, or upon the view of any violation of any ordinance of the City relating to the peace and good order thereof, the Police Force, or any member thereof, shall have the right, power and duty to arrest without warrant and to take the offender before the Mayor for hearing.
(e) The City Council shall have the power to establish rules and regulations concerning the personal conduct of members of the Police Force. The City Manager shall have the power to enforce such rules and regulations of the Police Force by suspension from duty, loss of pay, or dismissal.
(f) Upon any occasion for which the permanent Police Force is not adequate, the City Manager shall have authority to appoint any number of special police constables with all the authority and duties of a member of the Police Force who shall serve only as long as the occasion requiring their appointment shall continue.
(g) Any person arrested shall be taken, or given a summons to appear, before the Mayor who shall hear and appropriately determine the charge. If any arrest is made at a time when the Mayor is disqualified as hereinbefore provided in Section 13 (c), the offender shall be taken before the Justice of the Peace, resident in the City of New Castle, who shall hear and determine the charge and who for that purpose is vested with all proper authority and power granted by this Charter to the Mayor to hear and determine such charges. In the event neither the Mayor nor the said Justice of the Peace shall be available to hear such charge, the offender may be delivered to the New Castle County Workhouse or to the City Lock-up to be held for such reasonable time as it shall take for the charges against him to be heard and determined, or shall be held to bail to appear before the Mayor or said Justice of the Peace by the senior police officer on duty when said offender is arrested.
Section 19.--(a) The City Manager shall prepare and submit to the City Council at its regular meeting in April of each year a budget, presenting a financial plan for conducting the affairs of the City for the ensuing fiscal year. The budget shall include the following information:
(1) A detailed statement showing the expenses of conducting each department and office of the City for the last preceding fiscal year and showing or estimating such expense for the current fiscal year.
(2) A detailed estimate of the expenses of conducting each department and office of the City for the ensuing fiscal year with reasons for the increases and decreases recommended.
(3) The value of supplies and materials on hand.
(4) The amount of the debt of the City together with a schedule of maturities of bond issues.
(5) A statement showing the amount required for interest on the City debt and for paying off any bonds maturing during the year and the amount required for the sinking fund.
(6) An itemized statement of all anticipated income of the City with a comparative statement of the amounts received by the City from each of the same or similar sources for the last preceding and current fiscal years.
(7) An estimate of the amount of money to be received from taxes.
(8) Such other information as the City Manager may think desirable or as may be required by the City Council.
(b) The City Council shall, not later than its regular meeting in May of each year, adopt a budget for the succeeding fiscal year. The City Council shall, so far as possible, adhere to the budget so adopted in the making of appropriations.
(c) The fiscal year of the City shall commence with the First day of July of each year and end with the Thirtieth day of the following June.
Section 20. City Council shall make or cause to be made the assessment for the City and shall each year make a true and impartial list of all the persons, property and estates within the said City, and not by law exempt from taxation, together with the sum or sums of money in dollars at which it shall appear to them that said persons or property ought to be rated and valued. In making such assessment, the rules and exemptions now applicable by law to the making of the County assessment of persons and properties shall be applicable insofar as consistent with the provisions of this Act. Real estate shall be described with sufficient particularity to be identified, the principal improvements thereon to be specified. Real estate shall be assessed to the owner or owners if known; if the owner or owners cannot be found or ascertained, it may be assessed "Owner Unknown." A mistake in the name of the owner or owners, or a wrong name or the absence of a name, shall not affect the validity of the assessment of the City tax based thereon. Every male resident above the age of twenty-one shall pay a capitation tax of Two Dollars ($2.00) per year; provided, however, that the Council is authorized to exempt from paying or to refund if paid, any capitation taxes assessed against a resident of the City of New Castle who has served in some branch of the armed forces of the government of the United States between December 7, 1941 and September 1, 1945. The said list of assessment shall be completed and a copy posted by the assessor in the Mayor's office on or before the Twentieth day of May in each year and kept there for a period of at least ten days for the information of and examination by all concerned, and public notice of the posting of the same shall be given.
On the evenings of the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in June of each year the City Council shall sit as a Court of Appeals for the hearing of appeals from assessments, with power to alter and correct any assessment in accordance with right and justice, to assess such persons, property and estates as may have been omitted from the list by the assessor, and to increase any assessment on said list which may have been placed at too low a value, provided however that in case of assessing persons, property and estates omitted and increasing assessments, notice shall first be given to the persons interested or some one of them, or their representatives or agents, so that he, she or they may have an opportunity to be heard before the final action. Such notice may be given personally, by mail, or by leaving a copy at the usual place of abode or any of the persons above designated.
The City Council shall then estimate and determine the rate or rates of taxes necessary to raise the sum or sums of money which it has estimated and determined will be necessary for the public use of the City for the year ensuing, and shall thereupon cause to be compiled a tax list showing the amount owed by each taxable..
It shall be the duty of the City Council when assessing or causing to be assessed the persons and estates in the City to classify the real estate assessed in such manner as to discriminate between the farm land and suburban land in the City and the other property in the City; and for this purpose, it shall be the duty of the City Council to mark in the assessment book opposite the assessment of real estate used for farming, truck farming or agricultural purposes the words "Farm Land" and opposite the assessment of suburban real estate lying apart from and outside of the built up and developed portions of the City the words "Suburban Land." It shall, be the duty of the Council in estimating and determining the rates of taxation in the City for each year to levy a rate of tax upon said "Farm Land" and upon said "Suburban Land" equal to one-half of the rates of tax levied upon the other real estate in the City; and the owners of said "Farm Land" and "Suburban Land" shall only be required to pay said half rate of taxes.
The Council of the City of New Castle is hereby vested with the power and authority, in the preparation and making of the annual city assessment of real estate within the City of New Castle for city purposes, to adopt and use the assessment and valuations made by the County Assessment Board of New Castle County of real estate within the City of New Castle, and to order and direct that such County Assessment be used as the assessment and valuations for the City Assessment of all real estate situated within the City of New Castle assessed and taxed for City purposes. There shall be added to such county assessment any taxable real estate within the City not included in the county assessment, and corrections of property or ownership shall be made in accordance with the existing facts. The person or persons making or copying the assessment shall also designate and mark in the assessment book such real estate as is "Farm Land" or "Suburban Land" as hereinbefore provided and directed in this Section.
Section 21.--(a) At its regular meeting in May of each year, the City Council, with the concurrence of three-fifths of all the members, shall estimate and determine the sum or sums of money necessary to be raised in the City for the public use for the year ensuing, including the sums necessary to be raised for salaries and other City expenses, the maintenance of roads and streets, the payment of interest and principal of bonds that may become due, and all other reasonable and proper expenses of the said City.
(d) In order to definitely provide for a sinking fund for the payment of bonds issued by the City when the same shall become due, it shall be the duty of the Council at its regular meeting in May of each year to estimate and determine the sum necessary to be paid yearly to amortize all such bonds by their maturity date, and the sum so estimated and determined when raised shall be set aside and held as a sinking fund for the payment of said bonds and used for no other purpose. The levy of taxes for said purpose shall be made annually until the payment of all bonds of the municipality has been provided for.
(e) Nothing contained in this Charter shall be construed to affect or impair in any way the validity of any assessment heretofore laid or done or in any way to affect the validity of any tax, fee, assessment or other charge lawfully levied, assessed or due the City under existing laws in reference to the municipality of New Castle and the same are hereby declared to be valid, binding and vested in the Mayor and Council of New Castle.
Section 22.--(a) Subject to the restrictions hereinafter provided, the City Council is authorized and empowered to borrow on the faith and credit of the Mayor and Council of New Castle at such time or times as it may deem proper and necessary, money for municipal purposes and to issue bonds of the Mayor and Council of New Castle therefore, to an amount not exceeding, in the aggregate of all bonds issued and outstanding, five percentum of the assessed value of the real estate in said city. Such bonds shall be issued at such times, in such amounts of such denomination, bearing such rate of interest, in such form, and payable at such time and in such manner, as the City Council by an ordinance passed by vote of four-fifths of all the members shall determine and prescribe. All such bonds shall be signed by the Mayor and the City Treasurer, and sealed with the seal of said City. The City Council is authorized, empowered and directed to levy and collect annually in the same manner as other taxes for municipal purposes are levied and collected, an amount of tax sufficient to pay all interest on such bonds as the same shall accrue, and to provide for the sinking fund requirements of said bonds.
(f) The City Council in addition to the above authorization is authorized to borrow money and issue bonds therefore up to an amount of twenty percentum of the assessed valuation of the real estate in said City as aforesaid when it shall heretofore have held a special election in the manner provided by the provisions of Section 17 of Chapter 216, Volume 27, Laws of Delaware, entitled "An Act Amending, Revising and Consolidating the Charter of the City of New Castle," as heretofore amended, and a majority of the legal votes cast at such special election has been ascertained to be in favor of borrowing said amount of money and issuing said bonds or when it shall have held a special election in the manner provided for the holding of municipal elections and a majority of the legal votes cast at such election has been ascertained to be in favor of borrowing said amount of money and issuing said bonds. At every such special election each qualified voter as defined in Section 6 (g) of this Charter shall be entitled to vote.
(g) The provisions of this section of the Charter shall not apply to special bond issues now or hereinafter authorized by special Act of Assembly, except that bonds issued pursuant to any special Act of Assembly shall be included in computing the aggregate bonds issued and outstanding in estimating the amount of bonds that may be issued under this section of the Charter.
Section 23.--(a) The City Manager shall collect, or cause to be collected, the taxes levied by the City Council as shown on the annual tax list.
(h) All taxes levied by the City Council as aforesaid shall be due and payable on the First day of July in the year in which they are assessed and laid.
(i) All taxes assessed and laid upon real estate shall constitute a lien against all such real estate within the City for the period of ten years from the date when such taxes became due and payable, but if such real estate remains the property of the person or persons who owned it at the time the tax was laid, then the lien shall remain as such until the tax is paid. The interest of a tenant for life shall first be liable for the taxes.
(d) On all taxes paid before the first day of September in the year in which they are due, there shall be an abatement of five per cent; on all taxes paid after the first day of September, and before the first day of December, there shall be an abatement of three per cent; on all taxes not paid by the first day of January, there shall be added one-half of one per cent per month until the same shall be paid.
(e) The City Manager shall pay over to the City Treasurer on the first Monday of each month, or oftener if required by the City Council, all moneys collected by him. He shall report to the Council every month at its regular meeting and at such other times as the City Council may require all payments of taxes made to him and by whom made, the amount of uncollected taxes, the amount of delinquent taxes, and such other information as the City Council may require and need so as at all times to be fully informed as to the condition of the City tax collections. He shall keep a book of receipts and shall furnish every person paying any tax with a receipt showing the date of payment, the amount paid, and the subject matter of the tax. He shall enter every payment immediately in a book to be kept for the purpose so that at all times the City Council and any person interested may be able to know what taxes have been paid and what taxes are unpaid, and in general, he shall diligently attend to the collection of taxes and carry out all reasonable directions and orders of the City Council.
Section 24.--(a) The City Manager may recover or cause to be recovered the amount of any tax assessed against any person, persons or corporation by the City of New Castle in an action of debt before any Justice of the Peace of New Castle County. Said action shall be brought in the name of "The Mayor and Council of New Castle" and shall be brought against the person, persons or corporation against whom the debt is assessed or in case suit is brought for a tax on real estate, then against the owner or owners of said land, provided that if personal service be had upon any one of several owners of land upon which taxes are assessed service need not be had upon the other owner or owners of said land if a copy of the writ is left with the tenant in possession or posted upon the premises six days before the return of the said processes, provided the amount of taxes due thereon be not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00). In any such action it shall be sufficient to set forth that the action is to recover a specified sum of money, being a tax assessed against the defendant or land owned by the defendant or defendants, together with such description of the land as will be sufficient to identify the same, and the year or years for which said taxes were assessed and laid. The right of appeal in such cases shall be the same as in other civil actions.
(b) If any judgment is rendered against the defendant or defendants in any suit for the collection of taxes due the said City, reasonable fees for council for the City shall be taxed by the Court as a part of the costs, and execution shall issue against the real estate or personal estate of the defendant; provided, no execution against the real estate shall issue except out of the Superior Court of New Castle County. Whenever judgment is recovered before a Justice of the Peace and it is desired to proceed against the real estate of the defendant or defendants, a transcript of said judgment shall be entered in the Superior Court of New Castle County, and thereafter proceedings shall be the same as upon other judgments. The lien of the judgment shall be deemed to relate back and take effect from the date when such taxes were first due and payable, and such lien shall have priority and preference over all other liens or encumbrances against such real estate, although such other Hen or Hens may be of prior date.
(c) The City Manager may at any time notify the person or corporation by whom any taxable liable for a personal or poll is employed that tax of such employee is due and unpaid and it shall be the duty of such employer to deduct from the wages of such employee and charge the same against him, and if such employer neglect or refuse to comply with such notice within three months from the time of receiving such notice, he shall be personally liable for the taxes of such person so employed by him and the same may be recovered as provided in this section for the recovery of taxes. When such taxes are held by such employer he shall pay the same to the collector of taxes within thirty days thereafter.
Section 25.--(a) The City Manager as an alternative method of collecting any tax, assessment, license fee, warrant, or any other charge due the City from any taxable, and without the necessity of first employing other remedies provided in this Charter, is empowered to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable, the lands and tenements of a taxable alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax, assessment, license fee, warrant, or other charge, or lands and tenements carried on the assignment list as "Owner Unknown."
(b) The City Manager shall file in the office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court of New Castle County a petition addressed to said Superior Court which shall set forth:
(1) The name of the taxable, assessee, licensee or chargee.
(2) The year or years for which the tax, assessment, license, or other charge was levied.
(3) The rate of tax assessment, license or other charge.
(4) The total amount due.
(5) The date from which the penalty for non-payment, if any, shall commence and the rate of such penalty.
(6) A short description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold sufficient to identify the same.
(7) A statement that a bill of said tax, assessment, license, or other charge has been mailed to the taxable at his last known post office address, together with a notice to the taxable that he will proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable for the payment of the tax, assessment, license, or other charge due the City, and the date of such mailing, or a statement that the owner of the lands and/or tenements proposed to be sold for taxes is unknown.
(8) A statement that a copy of said notice of intention to sell said lands and tenements was delivered to the tenant in possession of said lands and tenements, or if there be none that a copy of said notice was posted prominently on said lands, and the date of such delivery or posting.
(c) At least twenty (20) days prior to the filing of any such petition the City Manager shall deposit in the mail, in a sealed and stamped envelope and requiring a return registered mail receipt, addressed to the taxable at his last known post office address, an itemized statement of the tax, assessment, license fee, warrant or other charge due the City, together with all penalties and costs then due thereon, together with a notice to the taxable that he shall proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable for the payment of the tax, assessment, license, warrant or other charge due the City. The City Manager shall attach the return registered 'mail receipt to the said petition; provided, however, that if the owner of the lands and/or tenements proposed to be sold for taxes is unknown, a copy of said itemized statement and notice shall be served upon the tenant in possession, or if there be no such tenant, prominently posted on the premises at least twenty (20) days prior to the filing of such petition.
(d) The petition shall be filed in the name of the Mayor and Council of New Castle and verified by the City Manager.
(e) Upon the filing of the petition, the Prothonotary shall record the same in a properly indexed record of the Court and shall endorse upon said record of said petition, the following: "This petition filed the ____ day of ______ A D. _____, (giving the day and year), and the City Manager of the City of New Castle shall thereupon proceed to sell the lands and tenements herein mentioned or a sufficient part thereof, for the payment of the amount due," which such endorsement shall be signed by the Prothonotary.
() The City Manager shall then proceed to advertise the lands and tenements to be sold by posting handbills in at least five (5) public places of the City of New Castle (one of which shall be posted on the premises) and publishing the notice of sale in a newspaper of general circulation in New Castle County at least once. The notice of sale shall contain the day, hour and place of sale and a short description of the premises sufficient to identify the same. The notice shall be posted at least ten (10) days before the day fixed for sale and shall be published at least one week before the day of sale.
(g) Each sale of lands and tenements shall be returned to the Superior Court aforesaid, at the ensuing term thereof following the sale. At the return of said sale the Court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. No sale shall be approved by the said Court if the owner be ready at the Court to pay the taxes, assessment, license fee or other charge due the City, together with penalty, interest and costs, if any. If it set aside the sale, another sale may be had and so on until the tax, assessment, license fee or other charge due is collected.
(h) If the sale shall be approved by the Court, then at the expiration of one year from the date of the sale (which shall be known as the redemption year) the City Manager shall make, execute and deliver a deed in the name of The Mayor and Council of New Castle to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, which shall convey the title of the taxable, assessee, licensee, or chargee or his alienee, as the case may be, provided, however, that within the redemption year, the owner, his heirs or assigns, shall have power to redeem the lands on payment of the costs, the amount of the purchase money and twenty per cent interest thereon to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns. If the purchaser refuses to accept the same or in the event the purchaser, or his heirs and assigns, cannot be located within the State of Delaware, then, in either event, it shall be lawful for the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns to pay the amount of the redemption to the City Manager of the City of New Castle and, upon taking a good and lawful receipt therefor, such receipt shall be considered for all intents and purposes as a valid and lawful exercise by the owner, his heirs, executors and assigns, of his or their power to redeem the land so sold. The amount so paid to the City Manager shall be deposited in a banking institution of the City of New Castle in a manner by which the fund may be identified.
() After satisfying the tax, assessment, license or other charge and the cost and expenses of sale from the proceeds of the sale, the amount remaining in the hands of the City Manager shall be paid at once to the owner of the land. Should the owner of the land refuse to accept the same, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in a banking institution in the City of New Castle in a manner by which the fund may be identified.
(j) In said sales of land for the payment of taxes, assessments, licenses or other charges due the City of New Castle, the following costs shall be allowed, which shall be deducted by the City Manager from the proceeds of the sale, or chargeable against the owner; the Prothonotary of the Court shall receive for filing and recording the petition the sum of $1.00 and also the sum of $1.50 for filing and recording the Return of Sale; the City Manager shall receive for the account of the City the sum of $5.00 for every sale of real estate made by him in the exercise of said power for the enforcement of the payment of taxes, together with such additional sum as may be reasonable and proper for the service of the Counsel in preparing such papers as may be necessary in the premises, all of which shall be a part of the costs to be paid out of the purchase money realized out of the sale of said real estate sold for the taxes, assessment, license fee or other charge due the City.
(k) The cost of the deed and recording the same shall not be chargeable as costs but shall be paid by the purchaser.
(1) If the owner of any lands and premises against which a tax shall be levied and assessed shall be unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale and in the Petition to the Court.
(m) If any person is assessed for several parcels of land and tenements in the same assessment, the total of said taxes, assessments and other charges due the City may be collected from the sale of any part or portion of said lands and tenements; provided, that land alienated by the taxable shall not be sold until other property of the taxable shall have been disposed of.
Section 26. Any power or duty herein granted to or charged upon the City Manager shall, pending his appointment or in his absence or disqualification, be exercised or performed under the direction of the City Council.
Section 27.--(a) This act shall operate to repeal Chapter 216, Volume 27, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act amending, revising and consolidating the Charter of the City of New Castle"; Chapter 54, Volume 15, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act to establish a Board of Education for the City of New Castle, and to incorporate the same, and for other purposes"; Chapter 209, Volume 26, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act in reference to elections in the City of New Castle"; Chapter 134, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act altering and revising the Charter of the City of New Castle by creating the office of City Clerk and designating his duties"; Chapter 121, Volume 32, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act to Establish a Board of Water and Light Commissioners for the City of New Castle"; Chapter 121, Volume 35, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act authorizing the Council of 'The Mayor and Council of New Castle' under certain conditions to construct a system of sewers and disposal works in and for the City of New Castle, Delaware"; and Chapter 160, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, as amended, entitled "An Act to Authorize the City of New Castle to Retire the City Clerk of Said City on Pension after 20 Years of Service."
(b) Notwithstanding the foregoing, all ordinances of the City of New Castle heretofore lawfully enacted or adopted and now in force in pursuance of any law of the State, shall continue in force until repealed, altered or amended by the Mayor and Council of said City; all Acts and doings of "The Mayor and Council of New Castle," the Board of Water and Light Commissioners of New Castle, the Sewer Commission of New Castle or of the Council or any officer of said City lawfully done and performed under the provisions of any law of the State or of any ordinances of said City are hereby ratified and confirmed; all debts, fines, penalties and forfeitures due to the said City and all debts due from said City to any person or persons, or corporation are declared to be unaffected and unimpaired by this Act, and all laws for the collection and enforcement thereof shall continue in full force until the same shall be fully paid and discharged; all powers and remedies now conferred by law for the collection and enforcement of all taxes in said City heretofore assessed and levied and uncollected, shall continue in full force and effect until all of said taxes shall be fully collected and paid; the official bonds of any employees or officials of the said City, the Board of Water and Light Commissioners or the Sewer Commission heretofore given shall not be affected or the remedy thereon impaired by this Act, and they and each of them, and their surety or sureties shall be and continue liable for any default or breaches of any of the conditions of said respective bonds; all proceedings heretofore commenced for the collection of any penalty, fine, forfeiture or debt to the said City, to the Board of Water and Light Commissioners and to the Sewer Commission upon any bond or obligation or under any law or ordinance shall not be affected or impaired by this Act, but the same may be prosecuted to judgment and execution until the same be fully paid, liquidated and discharged; all valid special Acts heretofore passed authorizing the borrowing of money and the issuing of bonds on the credit of said City shall be and remain valid and good as heretofore and be unaffected and unimpaired by this Act.
Section 28.-- (a) This Act to Re-incorporate the City of New Castle, or any section or provision thereof, shall not take effect or be deemed to have changed or altered in any respect whatever any existing law or laws of the State of Delaware until it shall have been determined at a Referendum Election that a majority of the legal votes cast thereat are in favor of accepting this Act.
(b) The date, time and place of said referendum election shall be fixed by resolution of the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle and copies thereof shall be posted in at least five public places in the City of New Castle not less than five days prior to the date of said referendum election.
(c) Voting at said referendum election shall be by ballot, of such form as the said Council shall prescribe, and each resident of the City of New Castle qualified to vote as a citizen of the City of New Castle in the last preceding general election shall be entitled to cast one vote at said referendum election. Such records or copies thereof of the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County as shall be necessary to determine the qualifications of voters shall be made available to the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle upon its request therefor.
(d) The Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle shall appoint three persons to hold said referendum election, each of whom shall take the same oath required of election officials at the last preceding biennial election in the City of New Castle and each of whom, upon the completion of the counting and tabulation of votes cast at said referendum election, shall subscribe a return setting forth the number of votes cast for and against the acceptance of this Act, which return shall be presented to the said Council on the day following said referendum election.
(e) In the event of a tie vote, the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle shall determine the tie by a majority vote.
(f) If a majority of votes cast at any such referendum election shall be in favor of the acceptance of this Act, the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle shall make or cause a written certificate to that effect to be recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for New Castle County and such certificate, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of such record, shall be evidence in all courts of law or equity in this state of the facts therein set forth.
(g) If the acceptance of this Act should not be approved by a majority of the votes cast at said referendum election, the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle shall be and it is hereby authorized and empowered to call a further election or elections at any time thereafter in like manner and for said purpose, provided that a majority of said Council shall vote so to do and that no two such elections shall be less than one year apart.
Section 29. This Act after its passage by the General Assembly of Delaware, approval by the Governor of Delaware and acceptance at a referendum election as hereinbefore provided shall become effective on the fourth day of April, A. D. 1951, or one month following its acceptance at a referendum election, whichever date shall first occur.
Approved March 22, 1951.