CHAPTER 206

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT BEING CHAPTER 277, VOLUME 49, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO RE-INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF LAUREL" CHANGING THE PROCEDURE FOR ANNEXATION, CHANGING THE WARD LIMITS, PERMITTING THE BORROWING OF MONEY, AUTHORIZING THE AWARDING OF CONTRACTS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS WITHOUT COMPETITIVE BIDDING, CHANGING THE PROCEDURE FOR PUBLISHING OF ORDINANCES, CHANGING THE PROCEDURE FOR PAVING AND CURBING, PROVIDING A REGISTRATION PROCEDURE FOR VOTERS AND ESTABLISHING REGULATIONS FOR CONDUCTING THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION, PROVIDING FOR THE CALLING OF SPECIAL MEETINGS, INCREASING THE AMOUNT TO BE RAISED BY TAXATION FOR GENERAL MUNICIPAL PURPOSES, DELETING THE LIMITATION OF AMOUNT TO BE RAISED BY TAXATION, ENLARGING THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT, AND ENLARGING THE TIME WHEN TAXES SHALL BE A LIEN AGAINST REAL ESTATE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all Members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Section 4, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

Section 4. Annexation of territory

In the event that it becomes feasible or necessary in the future for the, Mayor and Council of the Town of Laurel to enlarge the then existing limits and territory, such annexation accomplished in accordance with the following procedures shall be lawful :

territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Laurel, by written petition with the signatures of each such petitioner duly acknowledged, shall request the Council to annex that certain territory in which they reside and own property, the Mayor of the Town of Laurel shall appoint a committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the Council to investigate the possibility of annexation. The petition presented to the Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation; or, the Council, by a majority vote of the elected members thereof, may, by resolution, propose that a committee, composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of said Council, be appointed by the Mayor to investigate the possibility of annexing any certain territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Laurel.

(B) Not later than ninety (90) days following its appointment by the Mayor, as aforesaid, the committee shall submit a written report containing its findings and conclusions to the Mayor and Council. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the committee's recommendations whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefor. In the event that the committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is advantageous both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed, within thirty (30) clays after receiving the report, a second resolution shall then be passed by the Council proposing to the property owners and residents of both the Town and the Territory proposed to be annexed that the Mayor and Council proposes to annex certain territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Laurel. In the event that the committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is disadvantageous either to the Town or to the territory proposed to be annexed, within thirty (30) days after receiving the report of the committee, the resolution proposing to the property owners and residents of both Town and the territory proposed to be annexed shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the elected members of the Council. If the resolution shall fail to receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds

of the elected members of the Council, the territory proposed to be annexed shall not again be considered for annexation for a period of one year from the date that the resolution failed to receive the required affirmative vote. The second resolution shall contain a description of the territory proposed to be annexed and shall fix a time and place for a public hearing on the subject of the proposed annexation. The resolution adopted by the Council setting forth the above information shall be printed in a newspaper published in the Town of Laurel at least one week prior to the date set for the public hearing, or, if no newspaper is published in the Town, publication shall be had in a newspaper having a general circulation both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, or, at the discretion of the Council the said resolution shall be posted in five (5) public places in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed.

(C) Following the public hearing, but in no event later than thirty (30) days thereafter, a resolution shall then be passed by a majority of the Council ordering a special election to be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty days after the said public hearing on the subject of the proposed annexation. The passage of this resolution shall ipso facto be considered the Council's determination to proceed with the matter of the proposed annexation.

(D) The notice of the time and place of holding the said special election shall be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceeding the date of the special election in at least two (2) issues of a newspaper published in the Town, or, if no newspaper is published in the town, the notice may be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of the special election in two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, or, in the discretion of the Council the said notice may be posted in five (5) public places both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the special election.

() At the special election, every property owner whether an individual, partnership, or a corporation, both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, shall have one (1) vote for each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of assessment as

shown by the books of the Town in the case of Town property owners and by the records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County in the case of property owners in the territory proposed to be annexed; PROVIDED HOWEVER, that the owners of property which is exempt from taxation shall not be entitled to vote. Every citizen of either the Town or of the territory proposed to be annexed who is not a property owner shall have one (1) vote . In the case of property owned by a husband and wife jointly, the husband and wife shall each have one vote for each Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) of assessment. In the event that a person owns property both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed and resides in either place, he may vote only where he resides. In the event that a person owns property both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed but does not reside in either place, he may vote only in the Town and not in the territory proposed to be annexed. In the event that an individual, partnership or corporation holds a power of attorney duly executed and acknowledged and specifically authorizing the said individual, partnership, or corporation to vote at the said special election, a duly authenticated copy of the power of attorney shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Laurel. Said power of attorney as so filed shall constitute conclusive evidence of the right of said person, partnership or corporation to vote in the special election.

(F) The Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available a sufficient number of ballots not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the special election.

(F) The form of the ballot shall be as follows : This ballot casts votes.

q For the proposed annexation.

q Against the proposed annexation. (check one)

(H) The Mayor shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Special Election, at least one of whom must reside and own property in the Town, and at least one of whom must reside and own property in the territory proposed to be annexed. One of the said persons so appointed shall be designated the Pre-

siding Officer. Voting shall be conducted at the Town Office and the Board of Election shall have available, clearly marked, two (2) ballot boxes. All ballots cast by those persons, partnerships or corporations authorized to vote as residents or property owners in the territory proposed to be annexed shall be deposited in one such ballot box, and all ballots cast by persons, partnerships, or corporations who are authorized to vote as residents or property owners of the Town shall be deposited in the other such ballot box. The polling places shall be opened from 12:00 o'clock noon, prevailing time until 7:00 o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, on the date set for the special election.

(I) Immediately upon the closing of the polling place, the Board of Election shall count the ballots for and against the proposed annexation and shall announce the result thereof ; the Board of Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed annexation, and the number of void votes, and shall deliver the same. to the Council. The said certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Council.

(J) In order for the territory proposed to be annexed to be considered annexed, a majority of the votes cast from the Town and from the territory proposed to be annexed must have been cast in favor of the proposed annexation. In the event that the Referendum results in an unfavorable vote for annexation, no part of the territory considered at the Referendum for annexation shall again be considered for annexation for at least a period of one (1) year from the date of the Referendum. If a favorable vote for annexation shall have been cast, the Council of the Town of Laurel shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds for Sussex County in Georgetown, Delaware, but in no event shall such recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the favorable referendum. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of the Town of Laurel from the time of the recordation.

Section 2. Section 3, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the fol-

lowing:

Section 3. Ward limits

The Town of Laurel shall be divided into Four Wards, described as follows:

(A) The First Ward shall consist of all that part of Town lying and being within the following boundary lines : BEGINNING at the intersection of the center line of Market Street and the center line of Central Avenue; thence southerly with the center line of Central Avenue to the southerly corporate limits of said Town, being a corner for this Ward and lands now or formerly of the Heirs of William W. Dashiell, deceased; thence with said corporate limits easterly and northerly to the center line of Fourth Street; thence following the center line of Fourth Street to Market Street, home to the place of beginning.

(B) The Second Ward shall consist of all that part of the Town of Laurel lying and being within the following boundary lines: BEGINNING at the intersection of the southerly bank of Laurel River and with the center line of Central Avenue; thence with the center line of Central Avenue in a southerly direction to a point where it intersects with the center line of Clayton Avenue; thence westerly with the center line of Clayton Avenue to a point where it intersects with the center line of Poplar Street; thence in a northerly direction with the center line of Poplar Street to a point where it intersects with the center line of West Seventh Street; thence in a westerly direction with the center line of West Seventh Street to the center line of West Poplar Street; thence with the center line of West Poplar Street in a southerly direction to a point where it intersects with the center line of Center Street; thence with the center line of Center Street in a westerly direction to western corporate limits of the Town of Laurel as set forth in the Charter ; thence in a northerly direction with the westerly corporate limits of the Town of Laurel to a point where it intersects with the southerly bank of the Laurel River ; thence with the southerly bank of the Laurel River in an easterly direction to the east side of Poplar Street; thence following the easterly right of way line of Poplar Street in a northerly and easterly direction to the intersection with the center line of Central Avenue;

thence following the center line of Central Avenue in a southern direction home to the place of beginning.

(C) The Third Ward shall consist of all that part of the Town of Laurel lying and being within the following boundary lines: BEGINNING at the intersection of the center line of Central Avenue and center line of Clayton Avenue; thence with the center line of Central Avenue in a southerly direction to the southerly corporate limits of the Town of Laurel, as set forth in the Charter, being a corner for this Ward and lands now or formerly of William W. Dashiell, deceased; thence in a westerly direction along the southerly corporate limits of said Town to a stone set in the lands now or formerly of Thomas H. Riggin; thence with the western boundary as set forth in the Charter of said Town in a northerly direction such distance as is required to reach the center line of Center Street; thence by and with the center line of Center Street in an easterly direction such distance as is required to reach the center line of West Street; thence by and with the center line of West Street in a northerly direction such distance as is required to reach the center line of West Seventh Street; thence by and with the center line of West Seventh Street in an easterly direction such distance as is required to reach the center line of Poplar Street; thence by and with the center line of Poplar Street in a southerly direction such distance as is required to reach the center line of Clayton Avenue; thence by and with the center line of Clayton Avenue in an easterly direction home to the place of beginning.

(D) The Fourth Ward shall consist of all that part of the Town of Laurel lying and being within the following boundary lines: BEGINNING at the intersection of the center line of Central Avenue and the intersection of the center line of Market Street; thence by and with the center line of Market Street in an easterly direction to the eastern limits of the Town of Laurel as set forth in the Charter; thence by and with the easterly boundary of said Town in a northerly direction across Records Mill Dam to a branch on the northern side of said Records Mill Dam; thence up said branch in a northerly direction to the southern right of way of Delaware Route 28 leading from Laurel to Georgetown; thence by and with the southern right of way of Delaware Route 28 in a westerly di-

rection to the center line of Central Avenue; thence by and with the center line of Central Avenue in a southerly direction home to the place of beginning.

Section 3. Subsection (39), Section 6, Chapter 277, Volume 53, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Subsection and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

(39) To borrow money in anticipation of revenues on the faith and credit of the Town of Laurel such sum or sums not exceeding Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000.00) in any one year when, in the opinion of a majority of the Town Council of Laurel, the needs of the Town demand it. Any sum so borrowed shall be secured by promissory notes of the Mayor and Council of Laurel, duly authorized by Resolution of the Town Council of Laurel and signed by the Mayor and attested by the Town Clerk with the corporate seal affixed and no officer or councilman shall be liable for the payment of such notes because it is signed by them as officers of the Town of Laurel and is authorized by the Resolution of the Town Council; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that any sum of money borrowed on the faith and credit of the Mayor and Council of Laurel, as aforesaid, in any fiscal year shall be paid from the general fund of the Town, and shall be completely paid at the end of ten (10) fiscal years following the first fiscal year when said money was borrowed with interest thereon.

Section 4. Subsection (43), Section 6, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Subsection and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

(43) All contracts for the purchase of materials or for the furnishing of services authorized or permitted by this Charter shall be accomplished by competitive bidding and the awarding of contracts to the lowest responsible bidder ; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that competitive bidding shall not be required in any of the following circumstances :

1. The aggregate amount involved is not more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) ;

2. The purchase or contract is for personal or profes-

sional services ;

3. The purchase or contract is for any service rendered by a university, college or other educational institution ;

4. The purchase or contract is for any service to be rendered by the State of Delaware or any political subdivision thereof ;

5. The purchase or contract is for property or services for which it is impracticable to obtain competition;

6. The public exigency as determined by Mayor and Council will not permit the delay incident to advertising;

7. The materials to be purchased are to be used to complete a project under the supervision of employees of the Town of Laurel ;

3. The purchase or contract is for property or service for which the Mayor and Council determine the prices received after competitive bidding are unreasonable as to all or part of the requirement or were not independently reached in open competition ; *

3. A public emergency as determined by the Mayor and Council exists.

Section 5. Paragraph 6, Section 8, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of the said Paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

No ordinance of a general or permanent nature, except emergency ordinances as hereinafter provided, shall be passed by the Council until the title of such ordinance has been published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Laurel; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that if an emergency is determined by the Mayor and Council to exist, then no publication shall be necessary for such emergency ordinance.

Section 6. Section 14, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

termined that any paving, graveling, curbing, guttering, repaving, regraveling, recurbing, reguttering or any or either of all of them shall be done, they shall notify the owner or owners of the land along or in front of whose premises the same is to be done, particularly designating the nature and character thereof, and thereupon it shall be the duty of such owner or owners to cause such paving, graveling, curbing, guttering, repaving, regraveling, recurbing, or reguttering to be done in conformity with said notice. In the event of any owner or owners neglecting to comply with said notice for the space of thirty days, the said Mayor and Council may proceed to have the same done, and when done the Town Clerk, shall as soon as convenient thereafter, present to the owner or owners of such lands a bill showing the expenses of such paving, graveling, curbing, guttering, repaving, regraveling, recurbing, or reguttering; if such owner or owners be not resident in the Town of Laurel, such bill shall be sent to the owner or owners of said land at their last known address by registered mail with return receipt requested and notice to one of any number of joint owners shall be notice to all joint owners of said property. If such bill be not paid by the owner or owners of such lands within sixty days after the presentation thereof as aforesaid, then it shall be the duty of the said Mayor and Council of Laurel to issue a warrant in the name of the Mayor and Council of Laurel under the hand of the Mayor of the Town of Laurel and seal of said Mayor and Council of Laurel, directed to the Town Clerk of the Town of Laurel, commanding him that of the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of such owner or owners, he should cause to be levied and made the amount of said bill, together with all costs. It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk of the Town of Laurel, as soon as convenient after the said warrant shall be delivered to him, and after at least ten days' notice to the owner or owners of such lands by registered mail with return receipt requested, and after posting five or more notices of sale in at least five public places in the Town of Laurel, at least ten days before the day of sale, to sell the goods and chattels of said owner or owners at public auction, or so much thereof as may be necessary to pay the amount of said bill with all costs. If no goods and chattels of such owner or owners can be found within said Town sufficient to satisfy the amount of said bill with all costs, then it shall be the duty of said Town Clerk of the Town

of Laurel, after ten days notice to such owner or owners as aforesaid, by registered mail with return receipt requested, and after posting five or more notices of sale in at least five public places in the Town of Laurel, for at least ten days before the day of sale, and after causing such notice of sale to be published twice in one newspaper printed in the said Town of Laurel, or if there be no newspaper printed in the said Town of Laurel, then in a newspaper printed anywhere in Sussex County, to sell the lands and tenements of such owner or owners along or in front of which such paving, graveling, curbing, guttering, repaving, regraveling, recurbing, reguttering, or either of them, have been done, or so much of said lands and tenements as may be sufficient to satisfy the amount of said bill with costs, and a deed from the Town Clerk of the Town of Laurel shall convey to the purchaser or purchasers of such lands and tenements a full and complete title, in fee simple or otherwise, as if the same were executed by the owner or owners thereof. The claim for paving, graveling, curbing, guttering, repaving, regraveling, re-curbing, reguttering or any of them shall be a lien on the premises along or in front of which the said work was done, and shall have priority over any lien, encumbrance, or conveyance suffered or made by the owner or owners after the presentation of the said bill as aforesaid. It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk of the Town of Laurel from the purchase money of the said goods and chattels or lands and tenements, sold as aforesaid, to pay all costs arising from the proceeds of said sale to the parties entitled thereto, and to retain for the use of the Mayor and Council of Laurel the amount of said bills as aforesaid, and the residue of the said purchase money, if any, shall be deposited in the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware at Georgetown, to the credit of the said owner or owners. The Town Clerk of the Town of Laurel shall be entitled to receive five dollars for every sale of personal property under this Section, and ten dollars for every sale of real estate under this Section, together with such additional sum as may be reasonable and proper for the keeping or taking care of such personal property, for selling the same and for advertising all of which shall be part of the costs to be paid out of the purchase money as aforesaid. Any notice, required by this Section, to one co-owner shall be notice to all and in case

no owners shall reside in said Town, notice served upon any one of any number of joint owners by registered mail with return receipt requested at the last known post office address of such co-owner shall be sufficient. The provisions hereinbefore contained in this Section shall apply to any order made by the Mayor and Council of Laurel in respect to any pavement, sidewalk or curb heretofore made or done, which the said Mayor and Council of Laurel may deem insufficient or to need repairing. The said Mayor and Council of Laurel, in addition to the provisions of this Section hereinbefore contained, shall have power and authority to enforce by ordinance, all the requirements of this Section, by imposing such fines and penalties as shall, in the judgment of said Council, be necessary and proper.

In addition to the remedies herein provided for the collection of bills relative to the curbing and paving of properties, or for the collection of taxes or any other debt or demand due the Town of Laurel, it shall be lawful for the Mayor and Council of Laurel to institute an action before any Justice of the Peace of the County of Sussex if the amount of the demand be One Thousand Dollars or less, or before the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, if the amount of the demand be more than One Thousand Dollars, and thereupon to obtain judgment for the amount of such demand or debt, and to collect the same in the manner now or hereafter provided for the collection of judgments in the State of Delaware.

Section 7. Section 18, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 18. General municipal elections

The general election for all municipal officers to be elected hereunder shall be held biennially on the second Tuesday in March between the hours of One o'clock in the afternoon and Eight o'clock in the evening, Eastern Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time, whichever shall be in force at the time of the election.

The place of election shall be at the Town Office unless, for

sufficient cause, some other public place shall be designated by the Town Council.

Due notice of the time and place of the election and of the offices to be filled and the candidates therefor, including the number of the Ward in which the candidates for Councilman-atlarge shall reside, shall be given by advertisement in a newspaper published in the Town of Laurel, and by posting notices in five of the most public places within the corporate limits of the Town not less than one week before the day of election.

At such General Municipal Election, every person, male or female, who shall have attained the age for voting as established by the State of Delaware for voting in a General Election and who shall have been a bona fide resident of the State of Delaware for at least one (1) year and a bona fide resident within the corporate limits of the Town of Laurel for a period of three (3) months immediately preceding the date of the General Municipal Election shall have one (1) vote provided he or she has registered on the "Books of Registered Voters" of the Town of Laurel. The Mayor and Council of the Town of Laurel shall provide two (2) registers to be known as the "Books of Registered Voters" which are to be kept at the office of the Town Clerk. The "Books of Registered Voters" shall contain the following information for each registrant : The names of the voters arranged in alphabetical order, the permanent address of the voter, the birthplace of the voter, the date the registrant became a resident of the State of Delaware, the date the registrant became a resident of the Town of Laurel and other pertinent information ; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that if an area is annexed to the Town of Laurel within three (3) months immediately preceding the date of the General Municipal Election, those persons, whether male or female, who are bona fide residents of the area which has been annexed within the said three (3) month period shall be entitled to register and vote if all other qualifications hereinbefore set forth receive compliance other than the period of residence within the corporate limits of the Town of Laurel and if such persons have been bona fide residents of the area which was annexed for a period of three (3) months immediately preceding the date of the General Municipal Election. No person shall be registered upon the "Books of Registered Voters" unless he or she will

have acquired the qualification to vote in the General Municipal Election for the year in which he registers. A person shall only be required to register one time ; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that if a registered voter fails to vote in two (2) consecutive General Municipal Elections, his name shall be removed from the "Books of Registered Voters" and notice sent to said registered voter at his last known address by registered mail with return receipt requested advising that his name has been removed from the list of registered voters and that it will be necessary to register again in order to be eligible to vote in the General Municipal Election. The "Books of Registered Voter" shall be maintained at the Office of the Town Clerk and shall be conclusive evidence of the right of any person to vote at a General Municipal Election. A person may register at the Office of the Town Clerk on any business day and until the close of business on the fourth Tuesday in February in the year of the General Municipal Election by completing such forms as may be provided by the Town.

The Town Clerk shall attend the election with a list of all persons who have registered pursuant to the provisions of this Charter and no person who is not registered shall be entitled to vote thereat.

The election shall be by ballot, the form of which shall be prescribed by the Council. If more than one person residing in the same Ward shall become candidates for the office of Councilman-at-large, the qualified voter of the Town shall be entitled to vote for only one of the candidates, so that no one Ward of the Town shall be represented by more than two Councilmen. The number or numbers of the Ward in which the said candidate for the office of Councilman-at-large shall be designated on the ballot, which shall contain a direction to vote for one of the candidates only, and a direction to indicate the choice of the voter. A ballot containing the names of more than one of the said candidates for said office shall not be counted.

The Town Clerk shall provide all ballots, ballot boxes, poll books, tally sheets, certificates, blanks and other necessary stationery, and all booths and arrangements necessary and proper for conducting the election. *

The election shall be held under the supervision of a Board of Election, which shall consist of one inspector and two judges, none of whom shall be members of the Council nor candidates for election and all of whom shall be qualified voters of the Town, and shall be appointed for that purpose by the Mayor with the approval of a majority of the Council at least two weeks before the election. The Board of Election shall determine who is and who is not eligible to vote at the election. The Board of Election shall preserve order at and around the voting place during the time of the election, shall keep the entrance to the voting place open and unobstructed, shall protect the voters and challengers from intimidation, shall protect the Books of Registered Voters, poll books, ballot boxes, and ballots, shall suppress and prevent any disorder which tends to disturb or interrupt voting or the counting of votes. If, at the opening of the polls, there shall not be present the three members of the Board, or any of them, the persons qualified to vote at the election and then present at the opening of the polls shall select, viva voce, a qualified voter or voters to act as a member or members of the Election Board. The Board shall be the judges of the election and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered. The Board shall keep a true and accurate list of all voters voting.

All votes shall be offered in person ; and if a majority of the Board of Election shall not be satisfied that any person offering to vote possesses the qualifications of a qualified voter as prescribed herein, the Board of Election shall receive the ballot and shall not count it, and shall return it in a separate package to the Council with the name of the person presenting the ballot.

No person, other than the Election Board and persons actually voting, shall be admitted within the voting place without the unanimous consent of the Board of Election.

Each candidate may appoint some suitable person to act as a challenger to stand without the door or entrance to the room in which the election is to be held and by the side of the passage thereto. Each challenger shall be protected in the discharge of his duty by the Board of Election and shall be a peace office of the Town of Laurel during the time that he acts in the capacity of challenger.

No person other than Town Clerk, the Board of Election, the Clerks of the Board of Election and the challengers designated by the candidates, shall remain within fifty (50) feet of the entrance to the voting room except for the purpose of offering his vote, except that a physically handicapped person shall be permitted to bring with him into the election room any elector or two electors if the nature of the disability, in the opinion of the Board of Election, such as total disability to walk to the election room, requires it in order to render the necessary assistance.

No person shall electioneer or engage in any political discussion within the polling place during the election or counting of ballots.

Not more than one person shall be permitted to occupy any voting booth at one time except as provided in this Charter.

No person shall remain in or occupy a voting booth longer than is necessary to prepare his ballot and in no event longer than three (3) minutes.

Upon the close of the election, the votes shall be read and counted publicly and the person having the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared to be duly elected, and such persons shall continue in office during the term for which they were chosen, or until their successors shall be duly elected or appointed and qualified.

The Board of Election shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, minutes of the election containing the names of the persons chosen. They shall subscribe the same, and shall make and deliver to the person elected certificates of their election. The book containing such minutes, the ballots, and the list of those persons who voted, shall be delivered to the Town Clerk who shall preserve the same and shall be evidence in any Court of Law or equity.

If two or more candidates for the office of Councilman or for Mayor shall receive an equal number of votes so that there shall not be an election of a Mayor or Councilman in the incumbent Councilman or Mayor shall continue in office until the runoff election as hereinafter provided is held. The Board of Elec-

tion shall declare the election a tie and shall report that result to the Mayor and Council of Laurel which shall, within ten (10) days thereafter, hold an election between those candidates where a tie resulted under the same rules as hereinbefore set forth.

Section 8. Section 21, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

Section 21. Special meetings

A special meeting may be called by the Mayor upon his own motion and shall be called by him upon the request of a majority of the elected members of the Council. The said date, hour, and place of such special meeting shall be designated by the Mayor, but in no event shall it be later than five (5) days after the written request is made by the members of the Town Council. Failure to call such a meeting may be cause for removal of the Mayor. The Town Council shall have the same power and authority to enact all ordinances, adopt all resolutions, pass all motions, make all orders, and transact all other business at any such special meeting, called as hereinbefore provided, as the Council has the authority and right to do at any regular meeting.

Section 9. Section 33, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

Section 33. Taxation

Real property and interest therein, situated within the limits of the Town, shall be subject to taxation. Every person resident within the limits of the Town above the age of twenty-one (21) years shall be subject to a capitation tax to be fixed by the Council.

For general municipal purposes, an amount of money not in excess of Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60,000.00), may be raised annually ; and a further additional amount shall be raised

annually as in addition to sewer service charges, water rents and charges, and miscellaneous revenue, may be necessary to pay the interest on the municipal bonded indebtedness, and to provide an adequate sinking fund for the payment of municipal bonds at maturity, or redemption thereof before maturity.

Section 10. Section 34, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby repealed.

Section 11. The first Paragraph of Section 35, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of the said first Paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

The Board of Assessment of the Town of Laurel shall be appointed by the Mayor on or before the organization meeting in April as hereinbefore provided in Section 23 of this Act. The Board of Assessment shall consist of three (3) members all of whom shall be over the age of twenty-one (21) years, bona fide residents of the Town of Laurel and freeholders of the Town.

Section 12. Section 40, Chapter 277, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of said section and substituting in lieu thereof the following :

Section 40. Lien of taxes

Taxes levied on property and persons shall be a lien on the real estate of the taxable within the limits of the Town of which the taxable was seized at any time after the date of the levy of the tax in the month of May; and such lien shall have priority over any other lien on the real estate of the taxable in the Town although such other lien be of a prior date. The lien shall remain for ten years from the date of the tax levy; but if the real estate shall remain the property of the person who owns it at the time of the tax levy, the lien shall remain until the tax is paid.

Approved December 29, 1967.