HOUSE BILL NO. 148
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 649, VOLUME 18, LAWS OF DELAWARE, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF OCEAN VIEW IN SUSSEX COUNTY, DELAWARE".
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. Chapter 649, Volume 18, Laws of Delaware, being an Act entitled "An Act to Incorporate the Town of Ocean View in Sussex County, Delaware" is amended by repealing said chapter in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new chapter to read as follows,
"Article I Incorporation; Powers Generally
Section 1.101. Incorporation
The inhabitants of the Town of Ocean View, within the corporate limits established by Section 1.105 hereof, and as hereafter amended, shall continue to be a municipal corporation and body politic under the name of 'The Town of Ocean View' hereinafter referred to as the 'Town'.
Section 1.102. Powers of the Town - Generally
(a) The Town shall have all powers possible for it to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of Delaware as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumerated in this Charter Act. The Town shall have and may exercise all those powers and authority which the General Assembly may grant to the Town by specific enumeration, and which are not denied by the Constitution or general statute. The Town shall have complete powers of legislation and administration in relation to its municipal functions, including any additional powers and authority which may hereafter be granted to it. The Town shall have the authority to make, ordain and establish all such rules, by-laws, regulations and ordinances, in order to exercise or carry out any of its expressed or implied powers, and such rules, by-laws, regulations and ordinances may be made enforceable by imposition of fines.
(b) The Town shall have perpetual successions; may have and use a corporate seal, which may be altered, changed or renewed at pleasure; may sue and be sued; plead and be impleaded in any and all Courts of Laws and Equity in the State of Delaware and elsewhere by said corporate named; may take, receive, hold and enjoy any and all lands, tenements and hereditaments located either within or wthout the limits and boundaries of said Town, in fee simple or for a lesser state, interest or othewise, and also goods and chattels, rights and credits, and may sell, lease hold, manage and control any such property or properties in such a manner as the Town Council may deem expedient and proper for the purposes hereinafter to be expressed; and may appoint such officers and agents as shall be necessary or convenient for the management of the affairs of the Town, and may fix and determine the compensations of such officials and agents.
(c) Excepted hereinafter provided in this Charter relative to the power to issue bonds, the Council may have all other powers and functions requisite to or appropriate for the government of the Town, its peace and order, its sanitation, beauty, the health, safety, convenience, government and well-being of its population, in the protection and preservation of property, public and private, and the furnishing of proper conveniences and attractions requisite to the same; provided, that nothing in this Charter shall be construed as conferring any banking power.
(d) All actions, suits and proceedings shall be brought under the name of 'The Town of Ocean View'.
(e) The enumeration of particular powers by this Charter 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 this Charter shall be liberally construed in favor of the Town of Ocean View.
Section 1.103. Intergovernmental Relations
The Town may exercise any of its powers, or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with any one or more states or political subdivisions or agencies thereof, or the United States or any agency thereof.
Section 1.104. Corporate Limits
The limits and bounds of the Town of Ocean View are hereby established and declared to be as follows:
BEGINNING at a point, said point being a spike set in the center of Route 26 at the intersection of Route 26 & Assawoman Canal right-of-way which is 150 feet wide; thence from said point of beginning, South 58 degrees, 36 feet, 52 Inches West, 3458.40 feet to a corner monument; thence North 49 degrees. 05 feet, 14 inches West, 260 feet to a monument set on the southwest edge of Route 361; thence continuing North 49 degrees, 05 feet,14 Inches West, 2195.24 feet to a point, a corner of old town boundaries and 1974 annexation; thence with new annexation line, South 22 degrees, 05 feet,37 inches West, 196.85 feet to a point; thence South 39 degrees, 50 feet, 37 inches West, 1109.00 feet to a point, a corner for lands now or formerly of Charles Kauffman and now or formerly of 1. Bennett; thence North 48 degrees, 09 feet, 23 inches, West, 733.00 feet to a point; thence North 42 degrees, 20 feet, 37 inches East, 255.00 feet to a point; thence North 47 degrees, 39 feet, 23 inches West, 752.29 feet to a point, being the southeast edge of Route 84; thence continuing North 47 degrees, 39 feet, 23 inches West, 62.00 feet to the northwest edge of Route 84; thence following Route 84, the following six courses and distances, South 60 degrees, 55 feet, 36 inches West, 249.52 feet to a point; thence South 49 degrees, 55 feet, 36 inches West, 361.12 feet to a point; thence South 45 degrees, 42 feet, 16 Inches West, 545.90 feet to a point; thence South 49 degrees, 33 feet, 16 inches West, 225.00 feet to a point; thence South 62 degrees, 48 feet, 16 inches West, 222.40 feet to a point; thence South 70 degrees, 23 feet, 14 inches West, 245.20 feet to a point, being the northeast corner of lands now or formerly of H. Davidson; thence leaving Route 84 at a bearing North 72 degrees, 25 feet, 53 inches West, 862.69 feet to a point; thence North 19 degrees, 56 feet, 16 inches East, 2330.59 feet to a point, being a corner for lands now or formerly of M. Robertson, lands now or formerly of Middle Eastern Development Corp. and the town limits of Millville; thence South 68 degrees, 05 feet, 28 Inches East, 2106.00 feet; thence North 39 degrees, 58 feet, 42 inches East, 322.64 feet to a point; thence continuing North 39 degrees, 58 feet, 42 Inches East, 1168.96 feet to a point, said point being a spike set in the centerline of Route 26 in front of Lord Baltimore School; thence following the easterly edge of Whites Creek in a northeast direction such a distance that wll meet the edge of the right-of-way of Assawoman Canal; thence following the westerly edge of the right-of-way of Assawoman Canal such a distance as will reach the point of beginning, be the contents thereof what they may.
Article H Governmenal Structure
Section 2.101 General Powers and Duties of the Town Council
All powers of the Town shall be vested in the Town Council, except as othrwise provided by law, and the Council shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed upon the Town by law.
Section 2.102. Enumeration of Powers of the Town Council
Not by way of limitation upon the power vested in the Town Council to exercise all powers delegated by this Charter, except as may expressly appear herein to the contrary, but, rather by way of enumeration upon purposes of clarity, the Town Council is vested by this Charter with the following powers, to be exercised by it in the interest of good government and the safety, health and welfare of the Town, its habitants and affairs, that is to say:
(a) The Town Council shall have power to prevent the Introduction or spread of Infectious or contagious diseases or nuisances affecting the Town, which power shall extend to the area outside the Town limits and within one mile from said limits.
(b) The Town Council may also pass ordinances to ascertain and fix boundaries of streets, squares and lanes, or repair and amend the same, and provide for the paving thereof; or to alter, extend or widen any street, square or land; to open and lay out new ones subject to the provisions in that behalf hereinafter contained; and to regulate the ascent and descent of all streets and lanes; to fix the building lines upon the same; to provide police and the lighting of streets at the expense of the Town; and generally to prescribe and regulate the use of the streets and lands of the Town and to have and exercise control over the same, subject to the provisions in that behalf hereinafter contained.
(c) The Town Council shall have the power to prescribe the rules and regulaions directed toward the prevention of fires and explosions; to adopt traffic regulations; to regulate itinerant peddlers and canvassers within the Town; to regulate signs and bill boards and to provide for permits for the erections and maintenance thereof.
(d) The Town Council shall have the power to provide fpr the regulation of public amusements, to fix and declare and regulate the width of party walls, to provide for the safety of the citizens and for that purpose may prescribe the heights, thickness of walls and materials of buildings and the mode of erecting the same within said Town; and for providing for and securing the safety of the residents thereof, and make provisions for the enforcements of such regulations.
(e) The Town Council shall have the power to regulate by ordinance or otherwise the sale of goods, wares and merchandise on the streets or other public places within the Town of Ocean View, and to fix the license fee thereof and to license the conduct of business generally within the Town and fix license fees for same and to make all necessary rules and regulations and provide necessary penalties for the enforcement of such ordinances and the collection of such license fees; provided, however, that no license fee shall exceed $50.00 per year and in its discretion to provide for the payment of the expenses thereof.
(f) The Town Council shall have the power to lay and collect fines on the owners of any domestic or other animal which may be found at-large in any of the streets, squares or lands aforesaid.
(g) The Town Council shall have the power to develop and adopt a comprehensive plan and such zoning ordinances as it shall be deemed necessary in order to preserve and protect the public health, safety, morals, beauty and good appearance of the Town and provide for the orderly growth thereof.
(h) The Town Council shall have and may exercise, when deemed necessary by the Council, for any proper and lawful municipal purposes, the power to acquire or vacate the use of lands, tenements, personalty, property, easements, rights-of-way, or any lesser interest in real estate, within the limits of the Town of Ocean View, by way of eminent domain.
(I) The Town Council shall not have the power to exempt any individual from the operation of any general ordinance or municipal regulation.
(J) The Town Council shall have all other powers requisite and appropriate for the government of the Town of Ocean View, its peace and order, its sanitation and beauty, and for the health, safety, convenience, comfort and well being of its population, and for the protection and preservation of public and private property, and in general shall have the power to do all those matters and things for the well being of the said Town, which shall not be in a contravention of any existing laws of this State or the Constitution thereof.
Section 2.103. Composition, Qualification and Election
The Town Council shall be composed of five (5) members, who shall be not less than eighteen (18) years of age and permanent residents of the Town of Ocean View. All of said members of Council shall be elected or chosen in accordance with the provisions of this Charter Act.
Section 2.104. Compensation and Expenses
Each member of the Town Council shall receive an annual salary not greater than the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), as it shall establish by ordinance. Council members may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses on conducting official business for the Town other than business conducted at regular meetings of the Town Council, but all such expenses must be approved by Council before payment of same.
Section 2.105. Holding Other Offices
Except where authorized by law, no Councilman shall hold any other Town office or employment during the term for which he or she was elected to the Council, and no former Councilman shall hold any compensated appointive Town office or employment until one (1) year after the expiration of the term for which he or she was elected to the Council.
Section 2.106. President of the Town Council
(a) The Town Council shall elect from one of their own number the President of the Town Council.
(b) The President of Town Council shall be the chief administrative officer of the Town. He shall be responsible to the Council for the administration of all Town affairs placed in his charge by or under this Charter.
Section 2.107. Duties of the President of the Town Council
The President of the Town Council shall have the following duties:
(a) He shall direct and supervise the administration of all departments, officers and agencies of the Town except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter.
(b) He shall preside at the meetings of the Town Council and vote in case of a tie.
(c) He shall see that all laws, provisions of this Charter Act and Acts of the Town Council, subject to enforecement by him or by any officer subject to his direction and supervision, are faithfully executed.
(d) He shall prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the Town Council in accordance with the terms of this Charter.
(e) He shall make such reports as the Town Council may require concerning the operations of the Town departments, offices or agencies subject to his direction and supervision.
(f) lie shall keep the Town Council fully advised as to the financial conditions and future needs of the Town and make such recommendations to the Town Council concerning the affairs of the Town as he deems necessary and desirable.
(g) He shall perform other such duties as are specified in this Charter or may be required by the Town Council.
Section 2.108. President Pro Tempore
In case of the temporary absence or inability to act of the President, the Town Council shall appoint a President Pro Tempore from among themselves to act in such temporary absence or inability of the President. The President Pro Tempore when lawfully acting as President shall have all the powers conferred upon the President by this Charter. The compensation of the President Pro Tempore shall be fixed by the Town Council by ordinance.
Section 2.109. Vacancies In Office
(a) Vacancies. The office of Councilman shall become vacant upon his or her death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, through forfeiture of office, or by laws of residence in the Town of Ocean View,
(b) Forfeiture of Office. A Councilman shall forfeit his office if: (I) he lacks, at any time during his term of office, any qualification for the office prescribed by this Charter Act; (2) he violates any express prohibition of this Charter Act; or (3) he Is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(c) Filling of Vacancies. A vacancy in the office of Councilman shall remain vacant for the remainder of the unexpired term if such vacany shall occur less than sixty (60) days before the next annual election. Otherwise, Council by majority vote of all its remaining members shall apoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the next annual election.
Section 2.110. Town Secretary.
The Town Council shall elect an officer of the Town who shall have the title of Town Secretary. The Town Secretary shall (I) give notice of council meetings to its members and the public, (2) keep the minutes of its meetings, (3) attest all ordinances, resolutions and such other documents as may be required by this Charter Act, law or by the Town Council, and (4) Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Town Council. The Minute Rook of the Town Council shall be kept at all times when not in use in the safe located in the Municipal Building.
Section 2.111. Town Treasurer.
The Town Council shall elect from its own number an officer of the Town who shall he Treasurer. The Treasurer and the President shall sign all checks on public funds, having first determined that the expenditure represented by the check has been duly authorized by the Town Council. The Treasurer shall also keep a record of the income and expenditures of the Town. Such records shall be sufficiently prepared to meet the Town needs for a budget and yearly audit. The Treasurer shall be bonded by a bonding company duly licensed to do business in the State of Delaware in an amount to be determined by the Town Council.
Section 2.112. Town Solicitor
The Town Council shall appoint an attorney who shall have the title of Town Solicitor. The Town Solicitor shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Council and shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Delaware. It shall be the duty of the Town Solicitor to give legal advice to the Council and other of fieers of the Town and to perform such other services as may be required by the Council.
Section 2.113. Elections
(a) An election shall be held in the Town of Ocean View for Town Council on the second Saturday of April and, after the passage of this act, and annually thereafter on the second Saturday of April, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., and at such places as shall be determined and fixed by the Town Council. At least thirty days previous to such election, due notice thereof and of the time and place thereof shall he received by three qualified voters of said Town appointed by the Town Council. At all such elections, the votes shall be received by three qualified voters of said Town appointed by the Town Council at any regular or special meeting of the Town Council, preceding such election. Said persons so appointed shall be known as Judges of Election, and the result of the balloting for said officers of said Town shall be ascertained by the said Judges of Election. The persons who shall conduct such election as provided in this Act shall be the Judges thereof, and shall decide on the legality of the votes offered.
(b) The five candidates for Town Council having the highest number of votes for such office shall be declared elected, the two highest thereof for a three-year term, the next two highest thereof for a two-year term, and the remaining one thereof for a one-year term. Thereafter, the terms of the Town Councilman shall be for three (3) years. In case of tie of any of the persons voted for, the elections shall be determined by lot, that is, the names of the persons having a tie vote shall be written on identical slips and concealed from the person who shall draw the same, and one of the said Judges of Election shall draw one of said slips, and the person whose name appears on said slip shall be the person elected, Immediately after such elections, said Judges of Election shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, a minute of such election, containing the names of all persons who were candidates for office, designating the office for which they were candidates and showing the number of votes received by each, and they shall subscribe to the same and deliver said book to said Council at their organization meeting. They shall also give to the persons so elected certificates of their election. The book containing such minutes shall be preserved by the Council and shall be evidence in all Courts in this State or elsewhere. In case of the absence, inability or failure of any of said Judges of Election to serve and perform his duties, as required by this Act, then and in such case, it shall be the duty of the Council of Ocean View, or a majority of them without formal meeting, to select an additional Judge of Election and who shall possess the same qualificatons of the other Judges of Elections and who shall perform the duties herein required in connection with the conduct of said election.
Section 2.114. Ballots
Immediately after the expiration of the time for filing names of candidates, the said Town Council shall cause the election ballots to be printed. Upon such ballots the names of the candidates for the offices to be filled, arranged alphabetically under each office, shall be placed, and immediately below each group of names, instructions as to how many to vote for; for instance, 'Vote for one', or 'Vote for two', or as many as the voters shall be entitled to vote for in any particular case. The voters shall designate their choice of candidates to be voted for under each particular office at such election, by drawing a line through the names of all persons who are candidates for each particular office, except those candidates in each group desired to be voted for; provided, however, that no elector any any such election shall be allowed to vote for more candidates for any particular office (but may vote for less) than the number to be elected at such election. Defective designation of a voter's choice under the head of one or more of such groups of candidates shall not invalidate such ballot so far as there shall spear to be a proper designation of choice in any other of said groups of candidates.
The method of voting shall be by striking out the names of those not voted for, so that the eligible number of candidates for any particular office shall remain on the ballot.
Should voting machines be required by law, enacted subsequent to the enactment of this Act, the Councilmen shall make the appropriate changes in the procedures for balloting which conform, as near as practicable, to the procedures outlined herein.
Section 2.115. Qualification for Voting
(a) Every person who shall have reached the age of eighteen years, who is a citizen of the United States, and who has been a resident of the town of Ocean View for six (6) months immediately preceding the date of election and meets the qualifications for voting in elections held for representatives to the General Assembly of the State of Delaware shall be entitled to vote in the annual municipal elections.
(b) The Councilmen may by ordinance provide for the registration of voters and may prescribe registration and voting places, provided there may be at least two registration days per year, the last one not more than thirty (30) days prior to any election or referendum. The hours of registration shall be as provided by ordinance. The ordinance may provide for permanent registration lists.
Section 2.116. Filing for Office
No person shall be voted upon as a candidate for the officers of Councilmen, unless at least thirty (30) days before the date set for the election of said officers he shall have filed with the Secretary or Mayor of the Town Council a letter or other certificate setting forth that he will be a candidate for a certain designated office. Each candidate for such offices shall submit with such letter of certificate the sum of ten ($10.00) dollars as a fee for filing as a candidate. The Treasurer shall deposit such monies into the General Fund of the Town. The Town Council shall not permit the name of any such candidate to be filed except such candidate as shall meet the requirements of this Charter.
Article III General Procedure; Conduct of Council Business
Secton 3.101. Oaths of Office and Council Organization
On the Tuesday next succeeding the annual Town election, the Town Council shall meet for the purpose of taking their oaths of office and organizing the affairs of the Town. Such oaths shall be administered by the Town Alderman, a Justice of the Peace in and for Sussex County, or a duly sworn Notary Public of the State of Delaware. Members of the Council and Town officers appointed or reappointed at the organizational meeting of the Town Council provided for herein shall take the following oath: 9 do solemnly swear (or affirm) that 1 am duly qualified according to the Constitution of this State to exercise the duties of , the office to which I have been elected (or appointed), and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof and defend the Constitution of this State and the United States, so help me God. As (name of office) of the Town of Ocean View, I will equally, fairly and impartially, to the best of my ability and skill, exercise the trust reposed in me, and I will use my best endeavors to preserve the peace and carry into effect, according to law, the purposes for which I have been elected (or appointed).' Such oath shall also be administerd to other officers of the Town before entering upon their respective offices.
Immediately after taking the oath of office, the Town Council shall elect the President of Town Council, the Town Secretary, the Town Treasurer, and shall appoint an Alderman, Town Solicitor and Collector of Taxes. The Town Council may by ordinances establish such other departments, offices or agencies in addition to those created by this Charter and may prescribe the function of all departments, offices and agencies and shall appoint or employ such necessary persons to perform the functions assigned thereto.
Section 3.102. Regular and Open Meetings
Except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter Act, the meetings of the Town Council shall be open and at all times accessible to the public. Official Town business transacted by the Town Council shall be in public meetings. The Town Council shall meet at least once monthly on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Special meetings may be held at the call of the president of Town Council, or a majority of the Town Council, when deemed necessary to conduct the affairs of the Town or address a bona fide public emergency.
Section 3.103. Quorum
Three (3) members of the Town Council shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business, and all decisions of the Town Council shall be made by a majority of those members present and voting, except as otherwise provided herein.
Section 3.104. Rules and Minutes of the Town Council
The Town Council shall determine its own rules and order of business. Town Council may amend its rules and order of business from time to time as it deems necessary and best. Such changes shall he approved or rejected by majority vote of all the members of the Town Council. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the Town Council from taking reasonable and necessary action to preserve the public peace, keep order at its meetings, or address a public emergency.
(b) Minutes. The Town Council shall cause to be kept a jounral of its proceedings which shall be a public record. Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the journal. Except us otherwise provided by law, all roll call votes shall be made in public.
Article IV Adoption of Ordinances and Resolutions
Section 4.101. Introduction and Required Readings
(a) Introduction. Every proposed ordinance shall he introduced in writing in a form to be prescribed by the Town Council. Each such ordinance, except the annual budget ordinance and general modifications and revisions at ordinances, shall contain riot more than one subject which shall be clearly and adequately expressed in its title.
(b) Readings. Upon the introduction of a proposed ordinance, it shall be read at two (2) consecutive regular meetings of the Town Council. Each such reading at a regular Town Council meeting shall be a public hearing on the proposed ordinance. No proposed ordinance may be acted upon until the completion of the foregoing.
Section 4.102. Emergency Ordinances
To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Town Council may adopt one or more emergency ordinances, but such ordinances may not levy taxes, grant, renew or extend a franchise, regulate the rate charged by any public utility for its services or authorize the borrowing of money except as provided in Section 4.105 (b) of this Article. An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing it in clear and specific terms. An emergency ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment or rejected at the meeting at which it was introduced, but the unanimous vote of all Town Council members present shall be required for adoption. After its adoption, the ordinance shall be published and printed as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall become effective upon adoption or at such later time as it may specify. Every emergency ordinance, except one made pursuant to Section 4.105 (b) of this Charter Act, shall automatically stand repealed as of the 61st day following the date on which it was adoped, but this shall not prevent re-enactment of the ordinance in the matter specified in this Section if the emergency still exists. An emergency ordinance may also be repealed by adoption of a repealing ordinance in the same manner specified in this Section for adoption of emergency ordinances.
Section 4.103. Annual Budget Ordinance
(a) Submission. It shall be the duty of the Town President, not later than thirty (30) days prior to the end of the fiscal year to prepare an annual budget message, budget, and budget ordinance for consideration by the Town Council. The proposed budget ordinance shall be regarded as having been introduced immediately upon its receipt by the Town Secretary and Town Council.
(b) Budget. The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all Town funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year, and except as required by law or this Charter, shall be in such form as the Town President deems desirable or Town Council may require. The proposed annual expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated Income.
(a) Public Notice. The Town Council shall, within ten (10) days of its receipt, publish in one or more newspeneral circulation in the Town, a general summary of the proposed budget and a notice stating the times and places where the budget may be inspected by the public.
(b) Adoption. The Town Council shall adopt the budget on or before the 30th day of the eleventh month of the fiscal year currently ending. If it fails to aodpt the budget by this date, the amounts appropriated for current operation for the current fiscal year shall be deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month-to-month basis, with all items in its prorated accordingly, until such time as the Town Council adopts a budget for the ensuing fiscal. Adoption of the budget shall constitute appropriations of the amounts specified therein as expenditures from the funds Indicated and shall consitute a levy of the property tax therein proposed.
Section 4.104. Budget A Public Record
Copies of the budget and capital program as adopted shall be public records and shall be made available to the public at the Municipal Building at the regular hours when it is open by the Town President, Town Secretary, or Town Treasurer.
Section 4. 105. Amendments After Adoption
(a) Supplemental Appropriations. If during the fiscal year the Town President certffices that there were available for appropriation revenues in excess of those estimated in the budget, the Town Council by ordinance may make supplemental appropriations for the year up to the amount of such excess.
(b) Emergency Appropriations. To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Town Council may make emergency appropriations. Such appropriations by be made by emergency ordinance in accordance with the provisions of Section 4.102 of this Charter. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the Town Council may by such emergency ordinance authorize the issuance of emergency notes which may be renewed from time to time, but the emergency notes and renewals of any fiscal year shall be paid not later than the last day of the fiscal year next succeeding that In which the emerency apropriation was made.
Section 4.106. Reduction and Transfer of Appropriations
(a) Reductions. If at any time during the fiscal year it shall spear to the Town Council that the revenues available will be insufficient to meet the amount appropriated, the Town Council shall then take such action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize any deficit and may by ordinance reduce one or more appropriations.
(a) Transfers. At any time during the fiscal year, the Town President, with a majority vote of Town Council, may transfer part or all of any unencumbered apropriation balance among programs within a department, office or agency.
(b) Limitations; Effective Date. No appropriation for debt service may be reduced or transferred, and no appropriation may be reduced below any amount required by law to be appropriated or by more than the amount of the unencumbered balance thereof. The supplemental and emergency appropriations and reduction or transfer of appropriations authorized by this Section may be made effective immediately upon adoption.
Section 4.107. Payments and Obligations
No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any allotment or appropriation except in accordance with appropriations duly made and unless the Town president and Town Treasurer first certify that there is a sufficient unencumbered balance in such allotment or appropriation and that sufficient funds therefrom are or will be available to cover the claim or meet the obligation when it becomes due and payable. Any authorization of payment or incurring of obligation in violation of the provisions of this Charter shall be void and any payment so made illegal; such action shall be cause for removal of any officer who knowingly authorized or made such payment or incurred obligation, and he shall also be liable to the Town for any amount so paid. However, except where prohibited by law, nothing In this Charter shall be construed to prevent the making or authorizing of payments or making of contracts for capital improvements to be financed wholly or partly by the issuance of bonds or to prevent the making of any contract or lease providing for payments beyond the end of the fiscal year, provided that such action is made or approved by ordinance.
Article V Fiscal and Financial Affairs
Section 5.101. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on the first day of May and end on the last day of April in the next succeeding calendar year.
Section 5.102. Power to Tax
The Town Council shall determine and fix a rate of taxation upon all real estate and adult residents of the Town which will reduce enough money to defray the expenses of the Town for the current fiscal year including interest on bonded debt and for redemption of maturing bonds, except as otherwise provided by law.
Section 5.103. Limitation of Taxing Power
Except for the purpose of debt service and retirement of indebtedness, the assessment levied upon properties within the Town shall not be In excess of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).
Secton 5.104. Assessments
(a) County Assessments. In the manner provided by law, Town Council may by ordinance levy its property taxes using assessment or supplementary assessment data provided yearly or quarterly by the Department of finance of Sussex County. The general and supplemental assessment roll shall be completed not later than the first day of May of each year and the Town Council shall post a copy of the assessment roll In the Municipal Building or Post Office for public inspection and advertise publication. any taxpayer of the Town aggrieved by the assessment on his property shall notify the Town Council, in writing, within thirty (30) days after the posting of the assessment roll for the year. Thereafter, Town Council shall hear and determine the appeal, and not later than the first day of June certify the assessment roll in its final form. The Town Council may, by ordinance, assign any or all of its power under this Section to a Board of Assessment which shall be chosen in such fashion, serve for such term, and have such duties as the Town Council may ordain.
Section 5.105. When Due and Payable; Penalty for Late Payment
All Town taxes shall be due and payable May I. the Town Treasurer shall, after the 31st day of August, in the year in which the tax shall be due, add to the taxes to be paid thereafter a penalty of one percent (I%) per month until the same shall be paid.
Section 5.106. Tax Collector
(a) It shall be the duty of the Tax Collector to proceed forthwith to collect all taxes in a fiscal year in which assessed and in the collection of said taxes, he shall have all the powers conferred upon or vested in the Director of Finance or the Department of Finance of Sussex County. The Tax Collector shall be bonded by a bonding company duly licensed to do business in the State of Delaware in an amount to be determined by the Town Council.
(b) The provisions of Title 25, Section 2901 through 2905 of the Delaware Code Annotated, as amended, with reference to tax liens, shall be deemed and held to apply to all taxes late and opposed under the provisions of this Charter.
(c) The Town Council shall establish the amount of compensation to be received by the Tax Collector. The Tax Collector shall be bonded by a company duly authorized to do business in the State of Delaware in such amount as the Town Council determines.
Section 5.107. Failure to Collect Taxes
Should the Town Council authorizes the Tax Collector to proceed td collect any delinquent taxes by legal action, the failure or refusal of the Collector of Taxes to collect or have instituted legal action to collect such delinquent taxes shall not affect the status of such taxes, but shall constitute a misdemeanor, and such time Town Council shall compel the Tax Collector to appear before Town Council to show cause why he has failed to carry out his duties and shall be punished by a fine at the discretion of the Town Council, and further, Town Council at its discretion may remove the offender from office and render him ineligible to hold any position as an official or employee of the Town or a period of five (5) years from the date of his appearance before Town Council.
Section 5.108. Authority to Borrow Money and Issue Bonds
(a) the Town Concil may borrow money in the name of the Town for any proper municipal purpose, and in order to secure payment of the same, may by ordinance provide for the issuance of revenue or general obligation bonds in any proper manner provided by law or this Charter, pledgeing the full faith and credit of the Town or such other security or securities as the Town Council shall select for the payment of the principal and interest due thereon. Such bonds and certificates of indebtedness shall be exempt from State, County or municipal taxes, but such bonds issued from time to time imposing a debt obligation upon the Town shall not exceed fifteen (15%) per cent of the assessed value of all real estate subject to taxation within the Town. Capital improvement bonds may be authorized payable in not more than thirty days (30) from date of issue.
(b) The Town Council may accept from any authorized agency of the State or Federal government, or from persons, firms, or corporations, grants, loans, or contributions, and enter into agreements with such agency respecting such loans or grants.
Section 5.109. Independent Audit
the Countil shall provide for an independent audit of all Town accounts and may provide for more frequent audits as it deems necessary. The person or persons selected to audit the accounts of the Town shall have no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the Town or any of its officers. An annual audit of the financial records of the Town shall be made at the end of each fiscal year, the fiscal year being from May 1 of each year to April 30th of the following year.
Article VI Annexation
Section 6.101. Annexation By Referendum
The Town council shall have the authority to annex any territory contiguous to the Town by complying with the procedure set forth in Section 6.102 of this Charter.
Section 6.102. Annexation Referendum Procedure
(a) Descriptive Ordinance. The Town Council shall adopt an ordinance describing the area proposed for annexation of the Town. The ordinance shall list the name and address of each property owner in the area proposed for annexation, as shown on the records of the Board of Assessment In and for Sussex County. Prior to the adoption of such Descriptive Ordinance, the Town Council shall appoint a three (3) member committee headed by one Council member, plus two (2) resident property owners of the Town to investigate the advisability of such annexation of any certain territory contiguous to the limits and territory of the Town of Ocean View, which committee shall have made their report thereof to Town Council within a period of two (2) months from the date of their appointment. The descriptive ordinance shall fix the date of the annexation referendum which shall not be less than thirty (30) nor more than ninety (90) days after the adoption of such descriptive ordinance.
(b) Mailing and Publication Required. Within ten (10) days after the adoption of the descriptive ordinance, the Town Secretary shall send a copy of said ordinance by certified mail to each person owning property in the area proposed for annexation as shown on the assessment records in and for Sussex County. The Town Secretary shall also cause a copy of the said annexation ordinance to be published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation to the Town of Ocean View on two (2) separate occasions, the last publication of which shall not be later than fifteen (15) days before the proposed date of the annexation referendum. A notice of such descriptive ordinance shall be posted in five (5) prominent public places within the corporate limits of the Town for a period of at least (15) days prior to the proposed date of the annexation referendum.
(c) Hours of Annexation Referendum. The polls of the annexation referendum shall be open at 1:00 p.m. and close at 9:00 p.m.
(d) Qualifications to Vote. At the annexation referendum, every property owner, whether an individual, partnership, corporation, or association, whether in the Town or in the area proposed for annexation, shall have one vote. Every citizen either of the Town or the area proposed for annexation who Is not a property owner shall have one vote. In the event that a person owns property in both the Town and the proposed area for annexation and resides In either area, he or she may vote only in the area where he or she resides. In the event that a person owns property both In the Town and in the area proposed for annexation, but resides in neither, he or she may vote only in the Town and not in the area proposed for annexation. The assessment books and records of Sussex County shall be conclusive evidence of the right of property owners to vote In the annexation referendum.
(e) Ballots. The Town Council shall cause to be prepared and have available a sufficient number of ballots not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the annexation referendum. The hallos shall be in the following form:
For the proposed annexation
Against the proposed annexation
(f) Board of Special Elections. Immediately after the adoption of the descriptive ordinance as provide& subsection (a) of this Article, the Town Council shall, by majority vote, appoint three (30 persons to act as the Boardof Special Elections. At least one member shall be a resident propertyt owner of the Town and one person shall be a resident property owner of the area proposed for annexation. The Board created herein shall conduct the election, and shall decide by majority vote, all questions relating to voter eligibility, validity of ballots, and any other matter under their jurisdiction and competence to decide with respect to the conducting of the annexation referendum.
(g) Election Report; Dissolving of Board. The Board shall prepare a report of its activities and transmit such report together with any records and documents to the Town Secretary within ten (10) days following the annexation referendum. The Board of Special Elections shall be dissolved within ninety (90) days after it has concluded its business.
(h) Referendum Expenses. The Town shall pay reasonable and necessary expenses to conduct any special annexation referendum. Such expenses shall include the ballots, ballot boxes, report forms, rental of polling space, and any other documented and reasonable expenses incurred by the Board of Special Elections in connection with said annexation referedum.
(i) Polling Places. There shall be only one (1) polling place located in the Tbwn with separate polling areas for entitled voters from the Town and the proposed area for annexation .
(j) Election Results. Immediately upon the closing of the polling areas, the Board of Special Elections shall separately count the ballots for and against the proposed annexation cast by the entitled voters of the Town and the entitled voters of the proposed area for annexation and announce the results thereof. The annexation must be approved In each area Individually by the majority of ballots cast in each individual area before the area proposed for annexation can become annexed to the Town. The Special Board of Elections shall prepare a tally of the referendum results together with a certificate certifying the results of the vote and transmit them as soon as possible to the Town Secretary.
(k) Action by Town Council Required. Within five (5) days after receiving the certificate certifying the results of the annexation referendum, the Town Secretary shall present such certificate to the Town Council at a Special Meeting, the minutes of which meeting shall appear recorded in the Minute Book of the Town Council. If the question was passed upon favorably pursuant to subsection (0 herein, the Town Council shall adopt an annexation ordinance, transmitting a true copy of acme to the General Assembly, and Article I, Section 1.104, 'Corporate Limits', of this Charter shall thereby be deemed amended so as to Include the annexed territory within the town corporate limits.
Article VII Personnel System
Section 7.101. Personnel System
The Town Council shall establish a personnel system relating to all appointments and promotions of Town officers and employees and their compensation, pension, and such other benefit as the Town Council shall deem necessary and best. The President of the Town Council shall be responsible for administering the personnel system of the Town of Ocean View and shall prepare such rules and regulations as are necessary to comply with this Charter and shall present the same to the Town Council for enactment and by ordinance.
Article VIII Alderman
Section 8.101. Town Alderman
The Town Council shall appoint an individual with good character and reputation to be the Town Alderman. Such Alderman shall be appointed for a term of one (1) year. In his absence or disbility, the Town Council may appoint an acting Alderman who shall have the duties and responsibilities set forth in this charter or which may be required by law.
Section 8.102. Jurisdiction
The Alderman shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other offenses in the said Town safer as to arrest and hold for bail, or fine offenders, and he shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of forferitures and penalties which may be prescribed by any law of this State, or by any ordinance of the Town Council regularly passed and established for the government of the Town. Provided, that the Alderman shall impose no fine In excess of that fixed by law or ordinance. Such Jurisdiction shall include all officers and employees of the Town of Ocean View.
Section 8.103. Duty to Report
The Alderman shall at every stated meeting of the Town Council report to the Council all fines and penalties imposed by him during the preceding reporting period, and pay to the Town of Ocean View all such fines and penalties received by him during the said time period.
Section 8.104. Compensation
The Town Council shall establish the amount of compensation and the hours of operation for the Alderman's Court. The Alderman shall be bonded by a company duly authorized to do business in the State of Delaware in such amount as the Town Council determines.
Article IX Contracts, Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure
Section 9.101. Contracts In General
The Town Council is vested with authority on behalf of the town to enter into contracts for professional services, the acquisition of insurance, the purchase of supplies and doing of work for any municipal purpose not inconsistent with law, this charter or local ordinances adopted pursuant to this Article.
Section 9.102. Bidding; Awards
Except as otherwise provided by law, Town Council shall not enter into any contractural agreement as provided by Section 9.101 of this Article If such contract exceeds Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) without public competitive bidding. The contract shall be awarded to the lowest bidder, but Town Council may reject any bid if such contractor is deemed incapable of fulfilling the contract spectifications, of if the contract shall deemed not in the best interest of the Town.
Section 9.103. Contract Docket Required
The Town shall maintain a docket of all contracts awarded by competitive bids whether entered into as provided by statute or otherwise. The docket of contracts shall be available for public inspection.
Section 9.109. Validation of Contracts
All contracts shall be In writing and signed by the Town President with the seal of the Town attested by the Town Secretary.
Section 9.105. Personal Financial Interest
Any Town officer or employee who has a substantial financial interest, direct or indirect or by reason of ownership of stock in any corporation, in any contract with the Town or in the sale of any land, material, supplies or services to the Town or to a contractor supplying the Town shall make known that interest and shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in his capacity as a Town officer or employee in the making of such sale or in the making or performance of such contract. Any Town officer or employee who willfully conceals such a substantial financial interest or willfully violates the requirements of this Section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit his office or position. Violation of this Section with the knowledge express or implied of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the Town shall render the contract or sale voidable by the President or Town Council.
Article X Limitation of Action for Dama es
Section 10.101 Actions or Suits Against the Town
No action, suit or proceeding shall be brought or maintained against the Town for damages, either compensatory, or punitive, on account of any physical injuries, death or damage to property by reason of the negligence, simple, gross, willful, or wanton of the said Town or any of its departments, officers, agents or employees thereof, unless the person by or on behalf of whom such claim or demand is asserted, within (90) days from the happening of such damage, shall notify in writing the president of the Town of the time, place, cause, character and extent of the injury sustained or damages suffered.
Article XI Transitional Matters
Section 11.101. Status and Effect of this Act
This Charter shall repeal 'An Act to Incorporate the Town of Ocean View in Sussex County, Delaware', that Act being Chapter 649, Volume 18, Laws of Delaware, together with all amendments thereto.
Section 11.102. Separability
If any article, section, provision or clause of this Charter N held invalid, the other provisions shall not be affected thereby. If the application of this Charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstances N held invalid, the application of the Charter and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Section 11.103. Validation; Continuance of Local Ordinances
All powers conferred upon or vested in the Town of Ocean View or the Town Council by any Act or Law of the State of Delaware not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter, are hereby expressly conferred upon and vested in the Town of Ocean View and/or the Town Council precisely as If each of said powers was expressly repeated In this Charter.
All ordinances adopted by the Town Council and in force at the time of the approval, acceptance and going into effect of this Charter are continued in Force until the same or any of them shall be repealed, modified or altered by the Town Council under the provisions of this Charter.
All the acts and doings of the Town Council or of any official of the Town of Ocean View which shall have been lawfully done or performed under the provisions of any Law of this State or of any ordinance of the Town Council, prior to the approval, acceptance and going into effect of this charter, are hereby ratified and confirmed, unless otherwise provided herein.
AU taxes, assessments, license fees, penalties, fines and forfeitures due the Town Council or the Town of Ocean View shall be due the Town of Ocean View or the Town Council, and all debts due from the Town of Ocean View or Town Council shall remain unimpaired until paid by the Town of Ocean View or the Town Council.
All powers granted by this charter in respect to the collection of taxes, license fees, assessments or other charges shall be deemed to apply and extend to all unpaid taxes, license fees, assessments or other charges heretofore lawfully imposed by the Town Council.
The Bonds given by or on account of any official of the Town of Ocean View shall not be impaired or affected by the provisions of this Charter.
All Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with or in conflict with the provisions of this Charter are hereby repealed.
This Charter shall be taken as and deemed to be a Public Act of the State Delaware."
Approved June 30, 1981.