HOUSE BILL NO. 946
AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF SMYRNA", RELATING TO THE ELECTED OFFICERS OF SAID TOWN.
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. Amend Section 3, Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, by striking said section in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
Section 3. Mayor, Council, Qualifications, Term, Nomination and Election
(a) Mayor, Council, Qualifications.
The government of said Town and the exercise of all powers conferred by said Chapter 192 (except as otherwise provided) shall be vested in a Mayor and in a Town Council composed of six members, all seven of which officers shall be elected at large. Nominees for the offices of Mayor and members of Council shall be residents of said Town at least twenty-one years of age and each nominee shall be a bona fide owner of real estate within said Town which is listed on the Kent County and/or Town of Smyrna assessment books most recently in force when nominated, and a bona fide owner of real estate shall be a person who owns a fee simple or vested life interest therein, either individually, jointly with a spouse or jointly with any one or more other persons, but ownership of stock in a corporation owning real estate shall not constitute such required real estate qualification, nor shall the holding of any form of leasehold interest in real estate constitute such required real estate qualification.
The term of the Mayor shall be two years and the terms of all Councilmen shall be three years from the day after their respective election and until their respective successors shall be duly elected and qualified.
At the Annual Town election on the last Monday in February in the year 1956, there shall be elected four members of Council, two of said members whose terms shall be for two years to succeed the two members whose present terms will then expire, and two of said members whose terms shall be for three years; and at the annual Town election on the last Monday in February in the year 1957, there shall be elected a Mayor whose term shall be for two years to succeed the Mayor whose present term will then expire, two Councilmen whose terms shall be for three years to succeed the Councilmen whose present terms will then expire, and thereafter the successors of the Mayor whose term will expire at the election then held shall be elected for a term of two years and the successors of the two Councilmen whose terms will expire at the election then held shall be elected for a term of three years each.
The Mayor and the six members of Council shall be nominated and elected as follows, to-wit: At least ten days before the day of election, as hereinafter fixed, nominations shall be filed with the Mayor or with any Councilman. Such nominations shall be in writing, signed by the nominee or by five other qualified voters of said Town, at least two of whom shall have the same real estate qualifications as is required of nominees for Mayor and for Council. Each nomination shall be presented to Council at a meeting to be held at its usual meeting place not later than eight o'clock p.m. on the evening of the last day for the filing of such nominations, which date shall be ten days prior to the date of election.
(d) Qualified Voter.
Every resident of the said Town of the age of eighteen years, or upwards, who has continuously resided within the corporate limits of the said Town for at least thirty days prior to the date of the election shall have the right to vote.
(e) Date and Time of Annual Election.
The Annual Town Election shall be held on the last Monday in February in each year at the Town Hall of said Town, or at such other convenient place in said Town as shall be appointed by the Mayor and Council by a majority vote. The polls will be open for at least seven (7) hours; the times to be determined by the Mayor and Council by a majority vote, and advertised for at least ten (10) days prior to said election.
In case such election is to be held at some other place than the Town Hall, notice thereof, designating the place of election shall be advertised at least ten (10) days before the election.
(f) Voting Machines/Ballots.
Council shall make arrangements with the Kent County Department of Elections for the use of an appropriate number of voting machines to be used at any contested election. In the event no contest exists in any election, voting machines shall not be required, and paper ballots may be used for the formal conduct of any such election.
(g) Election Board.
Every election shall be held under the superintendence of an Election Board, the number of persons on said Board to be an uneven number of qualified voters of the said Town and will be determined by the Mayor and Council upon determination of the number of voting machines to be used and the number of clerks needed to conduct such election. The Election Board shall be appointed by the Council at least two weeks before the date of election, but if at the opening of the polls there shall not be present the Election Board as appointed, or any one of them, in such case the persons entitled to vote and then present at the polls shall appoint, by viva voce vote, qualified voter or voters to act on said Election Board. The Election Board holding the election shall pass upon the qualifications of voters and conduct the election, keeping a list of all voters voting and at the close of such election shall canvass the vote and the candidates having the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected and certificates shall be made out and delivered to the person or persons so elected. In case of a tie, the Election Board holding the election shall, by a majority vote decide which of the candidates so tied shall be elected.
(h) Special Election.
In the event of the death, resignation, disqualification, termination of residence in the Town of Smyrna or other inability of the Mayor of the Town of Smyrna to perform the duties of that office, such vacancy shall be filled by the holding of a special Town election which shall be held in 1951 not sooner than thirty (30) days after the approval of this Act by the Governor and in any other year not sooner than thirty (30) days after the office of Mayor becomes vacant through any cause as aforesaid, and such special election shall be held in 1951 not later than sixty (60) days approval of this Act by the Governor and in any other year not later than sixty (60) days after the office of Mayor becomes vacant through any cause as aforesaid. The qualifications of candidates for the office of Mayor to be voted at such special election and the method of nomination of candidates shall be the same as are provided in said Act for regular Town elections and the person so elected at such special election shall serve as Mayor for the period of the unexpired term of the former Mayor. Such special election shall be held in the same manner, the polls shall be open the same hours and other details of such special election shall be the same as provided for the election of a Mayor at a regular election, except that the Town Council shall cause notice of the vacancy in said office and the limit of time for the filing of nominations to be published at least once in a newspaper published in the Town of Smyrna,. if there be none such, then in one published in Kent County, Delaware, prior to the time for filing nominations, and except also that notice of the time and place of the holding of such special election shall also be published in the same manner as provided for notice of nominations in at least one issue of said newspaper prior to the date of such special election, and except also that all persons qualified to vote at the last annual Town election preceding such special election and also all qualified residents who became eighteen years of age between the time of the last annual election and such special election shall be eligible to vote at such special election.
Any person who is a member of Council when such vacancy occurs and when such special election is held shall be eligible for nomination and election as Mayor if when so nominated and elected he has the required qualifications and he need not resign as a member of Council to be nominated or elected, but if duly elected as Mayor he shall resign as a member of Council before entering upon his duties as Mayor, and in such event the vacancy in Council so caused by his resignation shall be filled by the other members of Council for his unexpired term.
Section 2. Amend Section 10, Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, by striking the second paragraph of the subsection entitled, "Compensation", and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"The Mayor and each other member of Council shall receive the sum of ten dollars ($10.00) for each regular Council meeting or special meeting attended by such person. Any member sitting to hear appeals shall be paid the sum of ten dollars ($10.00) for each time. The payment shall be quarterly, starting with the first day of March, 1976."
Approved July 8, 1974.