CHAPTER 101

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 227

AN ACT TO AMEND 37 DELAWARE LAWS, CHAPTER 167, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF SLAUGHTER BEACH", AS AMENDED BY 52 DELAWARE LAWS, CHAPTER 44 AND 60 DELAWARE LAWS, CHAPTER 300.

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 SI of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "The Commissioners of the Town of Slaughter Beach" as the same appear in the second sentence thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the words "The Town of Slaughter Beach".

Section 2. Amend S2 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "The Commissioners of the Town" and the word "Commissioners" as they appear in the eighteenth and twenty-third lines thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the word "Town Council".

Section 3. Amend S3 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by striking S3 in its entirety, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

S3 TOWN COUNCIL, QUALIFICATIONS, TERM, NOMINATION, AND ELECTION.

The Town of Slaughter Beach shall be governed by a Town Council composed of five members. They shall elect a Mayor, a Secretary, and a Treasurer from among their own number. Any vacancy occurring on the Council shall be filled by those remaining, who are required to elect some qualified person to fill the vacancy until the next annual election, at which time the electors of the Town shall fill the vacancy or vacancies by the election of a person or persons for the unexpired term or terms. No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Town Council unless he or she be at least twenty-one (21) years of age at the time of taking office and a freeholder in the Town of Slaughter Beach or the holder of a lease of land therein for a term of not less than one year, or the owner of property therein held by him or her under ground rent, or has been domiciled in the Town for at least six months prior to the time of taking office. No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Town Council who is not qualified to vote for a member of the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in the District in which he or she resides. Ther term of a Council Member shall be two years from the second Monday in July following his or her election, or until his or her successor has been duly elected and qualified. Terms shall remain staggered so that two council members are elected every other year, and three council members elected each intervening year.

The Town Council shall be nominated and elected as follows:

Any person who, at the time of the next succeeding Town Election would be qualified to hold the office of Council Member, may register himself or herself as a candidate to be voted on for election to Town Council in that election. To register as a candidate for Council Member, a person shall file a Certificate of Intent with the Town Mayor or Secretary, which certificate shall be in writing, signed by the registrant, and shall state his or her intention to be a candidate for election to Town Council in the next succeeding election; in addition, each certificate shall be endorsed by five persons qualified to vote in the election in which the registrant is to be a candidate. Certificates of Intent shall be filed not sooner than sixty (60) days before, not later than the adjournment of, the Annual Town Meeting which shall be held on the third Saturday in June. No person shall be listed on the ballot as a candidate unless duly registered according to this section, but nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit write-in votes.

The Annual Election shall be held on the first Monday in July of each year, at which time the polls shall be open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Town Council shall have ballots printed or typewritten containing the names of all persons who have duly registered as candidates, together with a statement thereon of the number of persons to be elected, the terms for which they are to be elected, and instructions that the voter shall express his choice by placing an "X" next to the name or names for whom that person desires to vote, which number of "X's" shall not exceed the number of persons to be elected. Any ballot containing more "X's" than the number of persons to be elected shall be disqualified.

Every person who at the time of election is eighteen years of age or upwards, and who has been domiciled within the Town for a period of at least four months preceding the election, or who is a bona fide owner of real estate within the Town, or who is the holder of a lease of land ?Ora term of not less than one year, or who is the owner of property within the Town subject to ground rent, shall have the right to vote in said election, provided that he or she is not otherwise disqualified as a convicted felon, an idiot or insane person, or a person incapable of voting by reason of violating Article V, S7 of the Constitution of Delaware. A bona fide "owner of real estate" for purposes of this section shall mean a person who owns a fee simple or vested life estate 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.

At least ten days prior to the day of the election, the Town Council shall cause to be posted notice thereof in at least three public places within the Town, which notice shall state the day, hours, and place of election, the number of Commissioners to be elected, and the terms for which they are to be elected.

In addition, notice containing the same information shall be published at least once in a newspaper with general circulation in both Kent and Sussex Counties at least ten days prior to the day of the election. Failure of the Town Commissioners to do as directed in this Section shall not invalidate any election but shall render said Commissioners ineligible to be voted for at any election not conducted as herein provided.

The annual election shall be conducted by three election judges who shall be nominated by the Mayor and approved by the Town Council at the last Council meeting preceding the election for which said persons are to serve as judges. The election judges shall decide the legality of the votes offered, and shall pass upon the qualifications of those voting. They shall receive the ballots, ascertain the result, and certify the same on the books of the Town Council. In case of a tie, they shall, by majority vote, decide who Is to be elected.

The Town Council may, but shall not be required to, enact ordinances providing for the registration of qualified voters and the casting of absentee ballots.

Section 4. Amend S9 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300 by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"Section 4. ORGANIZATION OF TOWN COUNCIL.

One week following the annual election, the Town Council shall meet, and organize by the election of a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, all of whom shall be Council Members. Before entering upon the duties of their offices, the newly elected Council Members shall be sworn by a Notary Public or by a holdover member of the Town Council, to faithfully and impartially perform their duties.

PRESIDENT OF TOWN COUNCIL.

The duties of the President of the Town Council shall be to preside at all meetings of the Town Council; to have general superintendence of Town affairs, provided, however, that such general superintendency shall in all cases be subordinate to the authority of all committees, and appointees as selected by the Town Council for the superintendency or conduct of any specified Town activity; to receive complaints of nuisances and all complaints of violations of Laws or Ordinances and present the same to the Town Council at their first meeting thereafter for action of the Town Council and to cause such infractions or violations of the Law or Ordinances, as require immediate action, to be proceeded on before the Town Alderman. The President shall issue and sign all licenses for every exhibition within the town, or licenses for any other purpose for which, under the Laws of Delaware, or the Ordinances of said Town, a license therefor is required.

The President shall countersign the checks of the Treasurer, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by resolution or ordinance of the Town Council. If the President be incapacitated from acting by reason of absence, or for any other cause whatsoever, then all powers and duties conferred and imposed upon him by this Act, or any other Law, or any resolution or ordinance now or hereafter adopted or enacted by the Commission shall be exercised and performed by the Council Member chosen by the Town Council as acting President for the period of such incapacity.

The President shall have the same right as other Council Members to vote on all matters and may at any time appoint another Council Member to preside if he desires to make a motion, move the adoption of a resolution, second either, or debate any question from the floor, and may thereafter immediately resume his duties as presiding officer.

DUTIES OF SECRETARY

The duties of the Secretary shall be to keep a true and faithful record of all the proceedings of the Town Council at all meetings and to do and perform such other matters and things as may be prescribed by this Act, or Law, or which the Town Council may from time to time prescribe by resolution or ordinance.

ACT OF MAJORITY OF TOWN COMMISSIONERS

That in the general performance of their duties, the act, doings and determinations of a majority of the Council Members shall be as good as the acts, doings and determinations of all the Council Members, but if a less number be present at any regular or properly called special meeting, they may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance adopted by a majority of the Town Council. No ordinance, resolution, motion, order or other act of the Town Council, except as immediately hereinabove provided for shall be valid unless it received the affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected as Council Members.

DISQUALIFICATION

If any Council Member shall, during his term of office cease to meet the qualifications to be a Council Member or be found guilty of any felony or crime of moral turpitude, he or she shall forthwith be disqualified to act as a Council Member, and his or her office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled by the remaining Council Members as aforesaid. Where any member of council had previously qualified by virtue of residence alone and thereafter abandons his residence in the Town, he shall be immediately disqualified as a member of council.

MEETINGS OF TOWN COMMISSIONERS

Following the annual organization meeting, the council shall thereafter hold meetings at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or statute, but not less frequently than once each month.

SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special Meetings of the council may be called by the Mayor, and shall be called by the Mayor, upon written request of three members of Council, and all meetings, regular or special, shall be open to the public, except where private meetings are permitted under the Freedom of Information Act, 29 Delaware Code, 1001 et sea and as subsequently amended.

Section 5. Amend S5 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "not exceeding Three Thousand ($3,000) Dollars in any one fiscal year" as the same appear in the first sentence of the 6th paragraph thereof in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"not exceeding one and one-half (1 1/2%) percent of the total taxable assessed property value in any one fiscal year, and never to exceed in the aggregate a total of three (3%) percent of the total assessed value."

Section 6. Amend S6 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the first paragraph thereof in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"At their first organizational meeting of the Town Council following the annual election, the Town Council shall appoint a Town Tax Collector, a Town Constable, and may, if it chooses, appoint a Town Alderman. Each of said officers shall serve at the pleasure of Council but in no event longer than one year or until their successors are duly appointed, unless re-appointed by Town Council for a subsequent term. These Town Officers need not be residents or freeholders of the Town."

Section 7. Amend S6 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the word "Commissioners" wherever the same appears in the second paragraph thereof entitled "Duties and Powers of Alderman" and substituting in lieu thereof the word "Council".

Section 8. Amend S6 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 52 Delaware Laws, Chapter 44 by striking the words "Fifty Dollars" as the same appear in the second paragraph thereof in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the words "one hundred dollars".

Section 9. Amend S6 of 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by striking the words "Town Commissioners" wherever the same appear in the subsection entitled "Town Tax Collector" and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 10. Amend S6, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the word "Commissioner" as the same appears In the tenth sentence of the third paragraph of the subsection entitled "Town Tax Collector" in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Council Member".

Section II. Amend S6, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by striking the words "One Thousand Dollars" as the same appear in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the subsection entitled "Town Tax Collector" in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Five Thousand Dollars".

Section 12. Amend 56, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300 by striking the words "and personal property" as the same appear in the first sentence of the third paragraph of the subsection entitled "Town Tax Collector" in their entirety.

Section 13. Amend S6, 3? Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by striking the words "provided, however, that the vacant lots or tracts of land in said town exceeding five (5) acres in area shall not be taxed for Town purposes" as the same appear at the end of the last paragraph of the subsection entitled "Town Taxes Collector".

Section 14. Amend S6, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "Town Commissioners" wherever the same appear in the subsection entitled "Treasurer" in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 15. Amend S6, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by striking the words "Town Commissioners" and the words "Fire Commissioners" wherever the same appear in the subsection entitled "Police Department" in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 16. Amend S7, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "Town Commissioners" wherever the same appear therein and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 17. Amend S7, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 52 Delaware Laws, Chapter 44 and 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by inserting after the words "municipal needs of said Town" as the same appear in the first sentence thereof the words ", which sum shall in no year exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000); clear of all delinquencies and expense of collection."

Section 18. amend S7, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the second paragraph therein entitled "Poll Tax" in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

CAPITATION TAX

The Town Council may levy and collect a personal or per capita tax on all persons residing within the corporate limits of the town the age of 18 years or upwards, including those then owning, as well as the not owning, taxable real estate but the sum fixed shall be one and the same for every class and description of citizens to be used for any and all municipal purposes".

Section 19. Amend S8, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, as amended by 60 Delaware Laws, Chapter 300, by striking the words "Town Commissioners" wherever they appear therein and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 20. Amend S9, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, by striking the words "Town Commissioners" wherever the same appear therein and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 21. Amend S9, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167, by striking the words "who shall be taxables of the Town of Slaughter Beach" as the same appear in the first sentence thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the words "to serve as".

Section 22. Amend 510, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "Town Commissioners" or Commissioners" wherever they appear therein in said section, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Section 23. Amend 512, 37 Delaware Laws, Chapter 167 by striking the words "Town Commissioners" wherever they appear therein and substituting in lieu thereof the words "Town Council".

Approved July 5, 1978.