SENATE BILL NO. 197
AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE CITY OF MILFORD
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
WHEREAS, it is deemed advisable that the Charter of the City of Milford, contained in Chapter 156, Volume 61, Laws of Delaware, entitled “An Act to Reincorporate the City of Milford” as thereafter amended, be consolidated into one complete act and in certain respects be amended and revised.
Section 1. The following is hereby adopted as the Charter of the City of Milford.
ARTICLE I. INCORPORATION
The inhabitants of the City of Milford within the corporate limits hereinafter defined in this Charter or as hereafter extended as hereinafter provided, shall be and constitute a body politic and corporate, and shall be known and identified as the "City of Milford."
1.02- TERRITORIAL LIMITS
The boundaries and limits of the City of Milford are hereby established and declared to be as heretofore, that is to say:
BEGINNING at Bowen Landing on the Bowen (Dorsey) farm in Kent County; thence in a direct line in a northerly direction to the DuPont Boulevard at the intersection with it and the concrete highway leading into the City of Milford; thence continuing in the same line in a northwesterly direction across the said DuPont Boulevard a distance of Five Hundred Feet beyond the western boundary line of said Boulevard; thence in a southerly direction and parallel with and Five Hundred Feet from the western boundary of said DuPont Boulevard to Mullet Run; thence in a northwesterly direction following said creek approximately 1,600 feet to and encompassing Parcel #1, 39.14 acres more or less between Mullet Run and County Route 407, further described by a plat prepared by Charles D. Murphy, Jr. and dated January 25, 1988; thence said limits extending in westerly direction encompassing and including Parcel #2 on south side of County Route 407, and east of State Route 15 containing 91.06 acres more or less; thence north of County Road 407 and east of State Route 15 and including Parcel #3 containing 108.57 acres more or less; thence west of State Route 15 to include Parcel #4 containing 187.99 acres more or less bounded to the south by State Route 14 and to the north by County Route 404 said parcels being described on the referenced plat; thence south of Parcel #1 and Mullet Run to contain the Masten Industrial Park having right of way to State Route 14, thence in a southerly direction and parallel with and Five Hundred Feet from the western boundary of DuPont Boulevard to the Haven Lake; thence across said lake to the north side of Evergreen Lane; thence along the north side of Evergreen Lane to the intersection of the north side of Evergreen Lane and a line parallel with and Five Hundred Feet from the western boundary of the said DuPont Boulevard; and thence continuing with said line to the southern or southeastern line of what is known as the William T. Simpson property; thence in a northerly direction in a direct line to the bridge over the stream of water known as the Deep Branch (which bridge crosses said stream on the County Road leading to the Town of Lincoln); thence following the course of the aforesaid Deep Branch to the Lake known as Marshall Mill Pond; thence down the course of water or stream running from said Marshall Mill Pond to the Mispillion River; thence following the course of said River to Bowen Landing aforesaid.
In addition to the aforesaid, the Territorial Limits of the City of Milford shall also include all lands annexed by the City of Milford pursuant to Article X.
The Council may, at any time hereafter, cause a survey and plot to be made of said City, and the said plot, when made and approved by said Council, shall be recorded in the offices of the Recorders of Deeds in and for both Kent and Sussex Counties, State of Delaware, and the same, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said record shall be evidence in all courts of law and equity in this State.
The City of Milford shall initially be divided into four Wards: The First Ward shall consist of all the territory within the City limits as follows: Beginning at a point in the center of the intersection of Deep Branch and Business Route 1; thence along the centerline of Business Route 1 in a northerly direction to the point of intersection of Southeast Second Street; thence westerly by the centerline of Southwest Second Street to the point of its intersection with McColley Street; thence by the centerline of McColley Street in a northerly direction to the point of its intersection with Southeast Front Street; thence by the centerline of Southeast Front Street, in a westerly direction to its point of intersection with South Walnut street; thence by the centerline of South Walnut Street in a southerly direction to the corporate limits of the City; thence along the corporate limits in a northeasterly direction to the intersection of the corporate limit with Deep Branch; thence along the center of the meanderings of Deep Branch in a northeasterly direction through the run of Marshall Mill Pond to its intersection with Business Route 1.
The Second Ward shall consist of all territory within the City limits as follows: Beginning at a point in the intersection of North Walnut Street and Northwest Front Street; thence along the centerline of Northwest Front Street in a westerly direction to the point of its intersection with U. S. Route 113; thence along the centerline of U. S. Route 113 in a southerly direction to the point of its intersection with North Shore Drive; thence westerly by the centerline of North Shore Drive to its point of intersection with the western limits of the City (a distance of Five Hundred Feet west of the western boundary of U. S. Route 113); thence southerly (in a line parallel to and Five Hundred Feet from the westerly boundary of U. S. Route 113) along the westerly boundary of the City to the shore of Haven Lake; thence westerly following along the shoreline of said Lake to the north side of Evergreen Lane; (thence along the north side of Evergreen Lane to the intersection of Evergreen Lane and a line parallel with and Five Hundred Feet west of the western boundary of U. S. Route 113); thence continuing in a southerly direction along the western boundary line of the City to the southern or southeasterly line of what is known as the William T. Simpson property; thence in a northeasterly direction along the corporate limits of the City in a direct line to the intersection of the corporate limit and the centerline of South Walnut Street; thence north by the centerline of South Walnut Street to the intersection of Northwest Front Street.
The Third Ward shall consist of all territory within the City limits as follows: Beginning at a point in the center of the intersection of Deep Branch and Business Route 1; thence along the centerline of Business Route 1 in a northerly direction to the point of intersection of Southeast Second Street; thence westerly by the centerline of Southeast Second Street to the point of its intersection with McColley Street; thence by the centerline of McColley Street in a northerly direction to the point of its intersection with Southeast Front Street; thence by centerline of Southeast Front Street in a westerly direction to its point of intersection with South Walnut Street; thence by the centerline of Walnut Street in a northerly direction to the point where it intersects the centerline of U. S. Route 113; thence along the eastern boundary of the corporate limits of the City to Bowen Landing on the Bowen (Dorsey) Farm; thence along the course of the Mispillion River to the point where Deep Branch empties into said River, thence southerly by the course of waters in Deep Branch to the center of the intersection of the intersection of Deep Branch and Business Route 1.
The Fourth Ward shall consist of all territory within the City limits as follows: Beginning at a point in the intersection of North Walnut Street and Northwest Front Street; thence along the centerline of Northwest Front Street in a westerly direction to the point of its intersection with U. S. Route 113; thence along the centerline of U. S. Route 113 in a southerly direction to the point of its intersection with North Shore Drive; thence westerly by the centerline of North Shore Drive to its point of intersection with the western limits of the City (a distance of Five Hundred Feet west of the western boundary of U. S. Route 113); thence in a northeastern direction along the western boundary limit of the City to a point where said line would intersect the northerly boundary of the Third Ward, if extended, and as described herein; thence southeasterly along the aforesaid line of the Third Ward, if extended, to the point of intersection of the centerlines of North Walnut Street and U. S. Route 113; thence by the centerline of Walnut Street to its intersection with Northwest Front Street. The City Council may provide for a fifth ward and re-arrange the boundaries of the four wards provided for herein, in the event of annexation or re-apportionment as hereinafter set forth.
In the event it becomes feasible and necessary in the future for the City of Milford to enlarge its then existing limits and territory, such annexation accomplished pursuant to the following procedures shall be lawful:
(a) If all the property owners of the territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits and territory of the City of Milford, by written Petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly witnessed, shall request the City Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property, the Mayor of the City of Milford shall appoint a Committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the City Council and one member of the City Planning Commission to investigate the possibility of annexation. The Petition presented to the City Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation. 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 City Council of Milford. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to the City of Milford and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the Committee whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefor. The City Council of Milford may then pass a resolution annexing such territory to the City of Milford. Such resolution shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all the elected members of the City Council.
Once the favorable vote for annexation shall have been case, the City Council of the City of Milford shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent or Sussex County, but in no event shall said recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the date of the favorable vote for annexation by the City Council. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of the City of Milford from the time of recordation. The failure to record the description of the plot within a specified time shall not make the annexation invalid, but such annexation shall be deemed to be effective at the expiration of the ninety (90) day period from the date of the favorable vote of the City Council.
(b) If five (5) or more property owners but less than all of the property owners of a territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the City of Milford by written Petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly witnessed shall request the City Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property, the Mayor of the City of Milford shall appoint a committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the City Council to investigate the possibility of annexation. The Petition presented to the City Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation; or the City Council, by 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 the City Council be appointed by the Mayor to investigate the possibility of annexing any certain territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the City of Milford.
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 the City Council of Milford. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to the City of Milford and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the committee whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefore. A resolution shall then be passed by the City Council proposing to the property owners and residents of both the City of Milford and the territory proposed to be annexed that the City proposes to annex certain territory contiguous to its then limits and territory. The resolution proposing to the property owners and residents of both the City and the territory proposed to be annexed shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the elected members of the City Council. If the resolution shall fail to receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the elected members of the City Council, the territory proposed to be annexed shall not again be considered for annexation for a period of six (6) months from the date that the resolution failed to receive the required affirmative vote. The 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 City Council setting forth the above information shall be printed in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Milford at least one (1) week prior to the date set for the public hearing, or, at the discretion of the City Council, the said resolution shall be posted in four (4) public places both in the City of Milford and in the territory proposed to be annexed.
Following the public hearing, but in no event later than thirty (30) days thereafter, the City Council of Milford may pass a resolution annexing such territory to the City of Milford, subject to the approval of the residents and property owners in the territory to be annexed, which approval or disapproval shall be signified at a Special Election as set forth hereinafter. The resolution of the City Council of Milford to annex the territory must be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all the elected members of the City Council. In the event that the resolution does not receive an affirmative vote by two-thirds (2/3) of all the elected members of the City Council, no Special Election shall be held and the territory previously proposed to be annexed shall not again be considered for annexation for a period of six (6) months from the date the resolution fails to receive the required affirmative vote.
Following the Public Hearing and the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all of the elected members of the City Council but in no event later than thirty (30) days after said resolution has been approved, the City Council shall order a Special Election to be held not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days after said affirmative resolution has been passed on the subject of the proposed annexation.
The notice of the time and place of the said Special Election shall be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of this Special Election in at least two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Milford, or, at the discretion of the City Council, the said notice may be posted in four (4) public places, both in the City of Milford and in the territory proposed to be annexed at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set forth for the said Special Election.
At the Special Election, every property owner, whether an individual, partnership or a corporation in the territory proposed to be annexed shall have one (1) vote. Property held by a partnership or by a corporation shall vote only by a power of attorney duly executed. Every citizen of the territory proposed to be annexed over the age of eighteen (18) years, who is not a property owner shall have one (1) vote. An individual who is a resident and a property owner in the area proposed to be annexed shall have one (1) vote only.
In the event that an individual holds a Power of Attorney duly executed and acknowledged specifically authorizing the said individual to vote for the owner of a property held by a partnership or by a corporation at the said Special Election, a duly authenticated Power of Attorney shall be filed in the Office of the City Manager of the City of Milford. Said Power of Attorney so filed shall constitute conclusive evidence of the right of said person to vote in the Special Election for such partnership or for such corporation.
The City Council of the City of Milford may cause either voting machines or paper ballots to be used in the Special Election, the form of the ballot to be printed as follows:
For the proposed annexation ____
Against the proposed annexation ____
The Mayor of the City of Milford shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Special Election. One (1) of the said persons so appointed shall be designated as the Presiding Officer. Voting shall be conducted in a public place as designated by the resolution calling the Special Election. The polling place shall be open from twelve noon, prevailing time, until seven o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, on the date set for the Special Election. All persons in the polling place at the time of the closing of the polls shall be permitted to vote, even though such votes are not cast until after the time for the closing of the polls.
Immediately upon the closing of the polling place, the Board of Special Election shall count the ballots for and against the proposed annexation and shall announce the result thereof; the Board of Special Election shall make a Certificate under their hands of the votes cast for and against the proposed annexation and the number of void votes and shall deliver the same to the City Council of the City of Milford. Said Certificate shall be filed with the papers of the City Council.
In order for the territory proposed to be annexed to be considered annexed, a majority of the votes cast from the territory proposed to be annexed must have been cast in favor of the proposed annexation. In the event that the Special Election results in an unfavorable vote for annexation, no part of the territory considered at the Special Election for annexation shall again be considered for annexation for a period of at least one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of the said Special Election. If a favorable vote for annexation shall have been cast, the City Council of the City of Milford shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Kent or Sussex County, but in no event shall said recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the date of the said Special Election. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be part of the City of Milford from the time of recordation. The failure to record the description or the plat within the specified time shall not make the annexation invalid, but such annexation shall be deemed to be effective at the expiration of the ninety (90) day period from the date of the favorable Special Election.
ARTICLE II. POWERS OF THE CITY
2.01- POWERS OF THE CITY
The City of Milford shall have all powers possible for a city to have under the constitution and laws of this State as fully and completely as though they are specifically enumerated in this Charter. Without limiting the scope of the foregoing provision, the City is specifically empowered as follows:
(a) The City shall have the power to acquire lands, tenements, real property or interests therein by condemnation for the purpose of providing sites for public buildings, parks, sewers, sewage disposal or electric plants or the erection or construction of lines or conduits for the transmission of electricity, water, gas or sewerage, or for any other municipal purpose, whether within or without the limits of the City, and the procedure therefore shall be as contained in the Revised Code of Delaware 1953, as amended. The City of Milford may transmit electric, gas and/or water from the plant or plants owned and operated by said City to places or properties beyond the limits of said City and upon such terms, charges and conditions that the Council may determine and approve.
(b) The Council is vested with authority on behalf of the City to enter into contracts for the rendering of personal service to the City and/or the purchase of supplies and doing of work for any municipal purpose for the City provided. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, public competitive bidding shall not be required under any of the following circumstances:
(a) A contract for any service to be rendered by the State of Delaware or any political subdivision thereof,
(b) A contract for professional services.
(1) No contract shall be made by Council for any purpose, the contract price of which is in excess of $10,000.00, without public competitive bidding; and
(2) The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, but Council may reject any and/or all bids for any cause by it deemed advantageous to the City, and
(3) All formal contracts shall be signed by the Mayor with the Seal of the City attached and attested by the City Clerk.
(c) The Council shall have the power and authority to anticipate revenue by borrowing upon the faith and credit of the City of Milford, a sum or sums not exceeding in the aggregate of two times the previous year's tax revenue, whenever, in the opinion of a majority of the Council, the current receipts are insufficient to provide for the needs of the City, and the sums borrowed shall be repaid from current revenue received thereafter. The indebtedness created hereunder may be secured by a promissory note duly authorized by resolution of the Council and signed by the Mayor and City Manager, or attested by the Secretary, and no officer or member of Council shall be personally liable for the payment of said note or notes because their signatures appear thereon or because authorized by a resolution of the Council; provided, however, that no promissory note executed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall provide for payment over a term in excess of two (2) years.
(d) The Council shall have the authority to establish and maintain a pension system for employees of the City of Milford, to be paid to such employees, or dependents, in such amounts, at such times, and in accordance with such rules and regulations as the City Council shall from time to time by ordinance decree.
The powers of the City under this Charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the City, and the specific mention of particular powers of the Charter shall not be construed as limiting in any way the general power stated in this article.
2.03- INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
The City 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 civil divisions or agencies thereof or the United States of America or any agency thereof.
2.04- NOTICE OF ACTION
No action, suit or proceeding shall be brought or maintained against the City of Milford, the Mayor or the City Council of the City of Milford for damages on account of physical injuries, death or injury to property by reason of the negligence of the City of Milford or any of its departments, offices, agents or employees thereof, unless the person by or on behalf of whom such claim or demand is asserted shall, within one (1) year of the occurrence of such injury, notify the City Manager in writing of the time, place, cause and character of the injuries sustained.
ARTICLE III. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
3.01- FORM OF GOVERNMENT
The form of government established by this charter shall be known as the "council-manager" form.
3.02- COMPOSITION OF GOVERNMENT
The government of the city and the exercise of all powers conferred by this charter except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in an elective body called the council, consisting of a mayor and eight (8) councilmembers. Whenever the word "council" is used in this chapter, it shall refer to the eight (8) councilmembers. Whenever the word mayor is used, it shall refer solely to the mayor.
3.03- QUALIFICATIONS FOR MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL
No person shall be eligible for election as Mayor or as a member of Council unless they have been a resident of the State of Delaware and the City for thirty (30) days preceding the day of the election; and are over the age of eighteen years prior to the day of the election. Neither the Mayor or any member of Council shall be eligible to serve in such elected office unless they shall continue to be residents of the City during their respective terms of office.
ARTICLE IV. POWERS OF CITY COUNCIL
4.01- COMPOSITION, ELECTION, TERM OF OFFICE
The government of the City of Milford and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter, except as otherwise provided herein shall be vested in a Mayor and a City Council. The City Council shall consist of not more than ten (10) members. Two of the members of the City Council shall reside in that portion of the City known and described as the First Ward, two in that portion known as the Second Ward, two in that portion known as the Third Ward and two in that portion known as the Fourth Ward. In the event a Fifth Ward is created, two members of Council shall reside in that portion of the City known and described as the Fifth Ward. Only qualified voters of the City shall be eligible to hold the office of Councilperson and Mayor. The Mayor and Councilpersons shall each serve for a term of two years.
At 7:30 o'clock P.M., on the Monday following the annual election, the Mayor and Council shall meet at the Council Chamber and shall assume the duties of their offices after being first duly sworn or affirmed to perform their duties with fidelity and in accordance with the Charter of the City. At said meeting, the Council shall organize by a majority vote, and elect a Vice-Mayor, who shall be a member of the Council.
4.02- COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES
The Council may determine the annual salary of Councilpersons and the Mayor by ordinance, but no ordinance increasing such salary shall become effective until the date of commencement of the terms of Councilpersons elected at the next regular election, provided that such election follows the adoption of such ordinance by at least six months. Councilpersons and the Mayor shall receive their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office.
4.03- GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES
All powers of the City shall be vested in the Council, except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter, and the Council shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the City by law.
(a) HOLDING OTHER OFFICE. Except where authorized by law, no Councilperson shall hold any other City office or employment during the term for which he or she was elected to the Council, and no former Councilperson shall hold any compensated appointive City office or employment until one year after the expiration of the term for which he or she was elected to the Council.
(b) APPOINTMENTS AND REMOVALS. Neither the Council nor any of its members shall in any manner dictate the appointment or removal of any City administrative officers or employees whom the Manager or any of his subordinates are empowered to appoint, but the Council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the Manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.
(c) INTERFERENCE WITH ADMINISTRATION. Except for the purposes of inquiries and investigations under Section 2.08, the Council or its members shall deal with City officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the Manager solely through the Manager, and neither the Council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.
4.05- VACANCIES; FORFEITURE OF OFFICE; FILLING OF VACANCIES
(a) VACANCIES. The office of a Councilperson and Mayor shall become vacant upon death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of office.
(b) FORFEITURE OF OFFICE. A Councilperson shall forfeit his or her office if he or she (1) lacks at any time during his or her term of office any qualification for the office prescribed by this Charter or by law, (2) violates any express prohibition of this Charter, (3) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(c) FILLING OF VACANCIES. If a vacancy occurs in the Council and the remainder of the unexpired term is one (1) year or less, the Council may, by a majority vote of all of its remaining members, appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the person elected at the next regular election takes office. If at the time a vacancy occurs the remainder of the unexpired term is greater than one (1) year, the election authorities shall call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. The special election shall be held not sooner than twenty (20) days nor later than thirty (30) days following the occurrence of the vacancy and shall be otherwise governed by the provisions of Article VII. Notwithstanding the requirement that a quorum of the Council consists of five members, if at any time the membership of the Council is reduced to less than five, the remaining members may, by majority action, appoint additional members to raise the membership to five.
4.06- JUDGE OF QUALIFICATIONS
The Council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members and of the grounds for forfeiture of their office and for that purpose shall have power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence. A member charged with conduct constituting grounds for forfeiture of office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, and notice of such hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City at least one week in advance of the hearing. Decisions made by the Council under this Section shall be subject to review by the Superior Court.
4.07- APPOINTMENT AND DUTIES OF CITY CLERK
The Council shall appoint an officer of the City who shall have the title of City Clerk. The City Clerk shall give notice of Council meetings to its members and the public, keep the journal of its proceedings and perform such other duties as are assigned to him or her by this Charter or by the Council.
The Council may make investigations into the affairs of the City and the conduct of any City Department, office or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence. Any person who fails or refuses to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the Council shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $100.00, or by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days, or both.
4.09- INDEPENDENT AUDIT
The Council shall provide for an independent annual audit of all City accounts and may provide for such more frequent audits as it deems necessary. Such audits shall be made by a certified public accountant or firm of such accountants who have no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the City government or any of its officers. The council may, without requiring competitive bids, designate such accountant or firm annually or for a period not exceeding three years, provided that the designation for any particular fiscal year shall be made no later than 30 days after the beginning of such fiscal year. If the State makes such an audit, the Council may accept it as satisfying the requirements of this Section. Council must review and approve each annual audit.
(a) MEETINGS. The Council shall meet regularly at least once in every month at such times and places as the Council may prescribe by rule. Special meetings may be held on the call of the Mayor or of four or more members and, whenever practicable, upon no less than twelve (12) hours' notice to each member. All meetings shall be public; however, the Council may recess for the purpose of discussing in a closed or executive session limited to its own membership any matter which would tend to defame or prejudice the character or reputation of any person, provided that a general subject matter for consideration is expressed in the motion calling for such session and that final action thereon shall not be taken by the Council until the matter is placed on the agenda.
(b) RULES AND JOURNAL. The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings. This journal shall be a public record. Unless or until other rules are adopted, the Council shall follow Roberts Rules of Order and parliamentary procedure.
(c) VOTING. Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call, and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the journal. Five members of the Council shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the Council. No action of the Council, except as otherwise provided in the preceding sentence and in Section 2.05, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of four or more members of the Council.
4.11- ACTION REQUIRING AN ORDINANCE
The Council is hereby vested with the authority to enact ordinances or resolutions relating to any subject within the powers and functions of the City, or relating to the government of the City, its peace and order, its sanitation, beauty, health, safety, convenience and property, and to fix, impose and enforce the payment of fines and penalties for the violation of such ordinances or resolutions, and no provision of this Charter as to ordinances on any particular subject shall be held to be restrictive of the power to enact ordinances or resolutions on any subject not specifically enumerated.
In addition to other acts required by law or by specific provision of this Charter to be done by ordinance, those acts of the City Council shall be by ordinance which:
(1) Adopt or amend an administrative code or establish, alter or abolish any City department, office or agency;
(2) Provide for a fine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed;
(3) Levy taxes, except as otherwise provided in Article V with respect to the property tax levied by adoption of the budget;
(4) Grant, renew or extend a franchise;
(5) Regulate the rate charged for its services by a public utility;
(6) Authorize the borrowing of money;
(7) Sell or lease or authorize the sale or lease of any asset of the City if its value is equal to or greater than 1/5 of 1% of the assessed value of all real property within the corporate limits.
(8) Amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted.
Acts other than those referred to in the preceding may be done either by ordinance or by resolution.
4.12- ORDINANCES IN GENERAL
(a) FORM. Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced in writing and in the form required for final adoption. No ordinance shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title. The enacting clause shall be "The City of Milford hereby ordains . . ." Any ordinance which repeals or amends an existing ordinance or part of the City Code shall set out in full the ordinance sections or subsections to be repealed or amended and shall indicate the matter to be omitted by enclosing it in brackets or by strikeout type and shall indicate new matter by underscoring or by italics.
(b) PROCEDURE. An ordinance may be introduced by any member at any regular or special meeting of the Council. Upon introduction of any ordinance, the City Clerk shall distribute a copy to each Council member and to the City Manager. As soon as practicable after adoption of any ordinance, the Clerk shall have it published together with a notice of its adoption.
(c) EFFECTIVE DATE. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, every adopted ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of ten (10) days after adoption or at any later date specified therein.
(d) "PUBLISH" DEFINED. As used in this Section, the term "publish" means to print in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City: (1) the ordinance or a brief summary thereof, and (2) the places where complete copies of it have been filed and the times when they are available for public inspection.
4.13- EMERGENCY ORDINANCES
To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the 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 subsection 5.09(b). 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 is introduced, but the affirmative vote of at least five members 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 Subsection 5.09(b) shall automatically stand repealed as of the 61st day following the date on which it was adopted, but this shall not prevent re-enactment of the ordinance in the manner 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.
4.14- CODES OF TECHNICAL REGULATIONS
The Council may adopt any standard code of technical regulations by reference thereto in an adopting ordinance. The procedure and requirements governing such an adopting ordinance shall be as prescribed for ordinances generally except that:
(a) The requirements of Section 2.12 for distribution and filing of copies of the ordinance shall be construed to include copies of the code of technical regulations as well as of the adopting ordinance, and
(b) A copy of each adopted code of technical regulations as well as the adopting ordinance shall be authenticated and recorded by the City Clerk pursuant to Subsection 2.15(a).
Copies of any adopted code of technical regulations shall be made available by the City Clerk for distribution or for purchase at a reasonable price.
4.15- AUTHENTICATION AND RECORDING; CODIFICATION PRINTING
(a) AUTHENTICATION AND RECORDING. The City Clerk shall authenticate by his or her signature and record in full in a properly indexed book kept for the purpose all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council.
(b) CODIFICATION. The Council shall provide for the continual preparation of a general codification of all City ordinances and resolutions having the force and effect of law. The general codification shall be adopted by the Council by ordinance and shall be published promptly in bound or loose-leaf form, together with this Charter and any amendments thereto, pertinent provisions of the Constitution and other laws of the State of Delaware, and such codes of technical regulations and other rules and regulations as the Council may specify. The compilation shall be known and cited officially as the Code of the City of Milford. Copies of the Code may be furnished to City officers, placed in libraries and public offices for free public reference and made available for purchase by the public at a reasonable price fixed by the Council.
(c) PRINTING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS. The Council shall cause each ordinance and resolution having the force and effect of law and each amendment to this Charter to be printed promptly following its adoption, and the printed ordinances, resolutions and Charter amendments shall be distributed or sold to the public at reasonable prices to be fixed by the Council. Following publication of the first Code of the City of Milford and at all times thereafter, the ordinances, resolutions and Charter amendments shall be printed in substantially the same style as the Code currently in effect and shall be suitable in form for integration therein. The Council shall make such further arrangements as it deems desirable with respect to reproductions and distribution of any current changes in or additions to the provisions of the Constitution and other laws of the State of Delaware, or the codes of technical regulations and other rules and regulations included in the Code.
ARTICLE V. POWERS AND DUTIES OF MAYOR
5.01- GENERAL POWERS
The Mayor shall be the executive of the City and shall preside at meetings of the
Council, but shall have no vote except in case of a tie. The Mayor shall execute on behalf of the City all agreements, contracts, bonds, deeds, leases and other documents authorized by Council necessary to be executed. The Mayor or his/her designee shall countersign all orders, checks and warrants authorized by Council; and shall have all and every power conferred and perform the duties imposed upon him by this Charter and the ordinances of the City.
The Council shall also elect from among its members a Vice-Mayor who shall act as Mayor during temporary absence or inability of the Mayor, and while so acting, shall be vested all the powers and authority of the Mayor.
ARTICLE VI. CITY MANAGER
6.01- APPOINTMENT; QUALIFICATIONS; COMPENSATION
The Council shall appoint a City Manager for an indefinite term and fix his compensation. The Manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications. He need not be a resident of the City or state at the time of his appointment but may reside outside the City while in office only with the approval of the Council.
The Council shall remove the Manager from office in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) The Council shall adopt by affirmative vote of a majority of all of its members a preliminary resolution which must state the reasons for removal and may suspend the Manager from duty for a period not to exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered promptly to the Manager.
(2) Within five days after a copy of the resolution is delivered to the Manager, he may file with the Council a written request for a public hearing. This hearing shall be held at a Council meeting not earlier than fifteen (15) days nor later than thirty (30) days after the request is filed. The Manager may file with the Council a written reply not later than five (5) days before the hearing.
(3) The Council may adopt a final resolution of removal, which may be effective immediately, by affirmative vote of a majority of all its members at any time after five (5) days from the date when a copy of the preliminary resolution was delivered to the Manager, if he has not requested a public hearing, or at any time after the public hearing if he has requested one.
The Manager shall continue to receive his salary until the effective date of a final resolution of removal.
6.03- ACTING CITY MANAGER
By letter filed with the City Clerk, the Manager shall designate, subject to the approval of the Council, a qualified City administrative officer to exercise the powers and perform the duties of Manager during his temporary absence or disability. During such absence or disability, the Council may revoke such designation at any time and appoint another officer of the City to serve until the Manager shall return or his disability shall cease.
6.04- POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CITY MANAGER
The City Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the City. He shall be responsible to the Council for the administration of all City affairs placed in his charge or under this Charter. He shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) He shall appoint, and when he deems it necessary for the good of the service, suspend or remove all City employees and appointive administrative officers provided for by or under this Charter, except as otherwise provided by law, this Charter or personnel rules adopted pursuant to this Charter. He may authorize any administrative officer who is subject to his direction and supervision to exercise these powers with respect to subordinates in that officer's department, office or agency.
(2) He shall direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices and agencies of the City, except as otherwise provided by this Charter or by law.
(3) He shall attend all Council meetings and shall have the right to take part in discussion but may not vote.
(4) He shall see that all laws, provisions of this Charter and acts of the Council, subject to enforcement by him or by officers subject to his direction and supervision, are faithfully executed.
(5) He shall prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the Council.
(6) He shall submit to the Council and make available to the public a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the City as of the end of each fiscal year.
(7) He shall make such other reports as the Council may require concerning the operations of City departments, offices and agencies subject to his direction and supervision.
(8) He shall keep the Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the City and make such recommendations to the Council concerning the affairs of the City as he deems desirable.
(9) He shall perform such other duties as are specified in this Charter or may be required by the Council.
ARTICLE VII. ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS
7.01- GENERAL PROVISIONS
(a) CREATION OF DEPARTMENTS. The Council may establish City departments, offices or agencies in addition to those created by this Charter and may prescribe the functions of all departments, offices and agencies, except that no function assigned by this Charter to a particular department, office or agency may be discontinued, or unless this Charter specifically so provides, assigned to any other.
(b) DIRECTION BY MANAGER. All departments, offices and agencies under the direction and supervision of the Manager shall be administered by an officer appointed by and subject to the direction and supervision of the Manager. With the consent of Council, the Manager may serve as the head of one of more such departments, offices or agencies or may appoint one person as the head of two or more of them.
7.02- CITY SOLICITOR
The City Council shall select and appoint a City Solicitor for an indefinite term who shall be removable at the pleasure of the City Council either with or without due cause as stated. It shall be his, her or its duty to give legal advice to the Council and other officers of the City and to perform other legal services as may be required by the City of Milford. The City Solicitor may be an individual licensed to practice law in the State of Delaware or may be a Delaware law firm, any member of which can perform the duties of the City Solicitor.
7.03- POLICE DEPARTMENT
(a) It shall be the duty of the Council to appoint a Chief of the City Police and such number of subordinates as the Council may deem wise; and the Council shall from time to time make rules and regulations (which may be proposed by the Chief of Police) as may be necessary for the organization, government and control of the Police Force. The police shall preserve peace and order, and shall compel obedience within the City limits to the ordinances of the City and the laws of the State; and they shall have such other duties as the Council shall from time to time prescribe. After the initial Chief of City Police and the initial subordinates are appointed in accordance with the terms of this Charter, thereafter, any subsequent Chiefs of Police shall be appointed by the City Council, but any subsequent subordinates shall be hired or fired by the then Chief of City Police.
(b) Each member of the Police Force shall be vested, within the City limits and within one mile outside of said limits, with all the powers and authority of a state peace officer, and in the case of the pursuit of an offender, their power and authority shall extend to any part of the State of Delaware.
(c) The Chief of Police shall be responsible to Council and shall be removed from office in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) The Council shall adopt by affirmative vote of a majority of all of its members a preliminary resolution which must state the reasons for removal and may suspend the Chief of Police from duty for a period not to exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered promptly to the Chief of Police.
(2) Within five (5) days after a copy of the resolution is delivered to the Chief of Police, he may file with the Council a written request for a public hearing. This hearing shall be held at a Council meeting not earlier than fifteen (15) days nor later than thirty (30) days after the request is filed. The Chief of Police may file with the Council a written reply not later than five (5) days before the hearing.
(3) The Council may adopt a final resolution of removal, which may be made effective immediately, by affirmative vote of a majority of all its members at any time after five (5) days from the date when a copy of the preliminary resolution was delivered to the Chief of Police, if he has not requested a public hearing, or at any time after the public hearing if he has requested one.
(4) The Chief of Police shall continue to receive his salary until the effective date of a final resolution of removal.
(5) By letter filed with the City Clerk, the Chief of Police shall designate, subject to approval of the Council, a qualified police officer to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chief of Police during his temporary absence or disability. During such absence or disability, the Council may revoke such designation at any time and appoint another officer of the City to serve until the Chief of Police shall return or his disability shall cease.
(d) The Chief of Police shall:
(1) Administer, direct and supervise the operation of the police department.
(2) Prepare and submit an annual budget and capital program to the City Manager. This shall then be placed by the City Manager into the Annual Budget and Capital Program for Council approval.
(3) Attend all Council Meetings and shall have the right to participate in any discussion of police concern, but shall have no vote.
7.04- CITY JAIL
The Council may build and maintain a jail for the City, which shall be used as a place for the detention of persons accused of violations of law or ordinances for a reasonable time, in cases of necessity, prior to hearing and trial or arraignment.
7.05- CITY ALDERMAN
(a) At the next regular meeting following the Annual Organization Meeting, the Council may appoint an Alderman and an Acting Alderman.
(b) The Alderman may or may not be a resident of the City of Milford and shall have his office at some convenient place within the limits of the City of Milford, as designated by City Council. He shall be sworn or affirmed to perform the duties of his office with fidelity by the Mayor. In the event of his absence from the City or, if for any cause he may be unable to perform the duties of his office, the Council is authorized to appoint an Acting Alderman with the same powers, jurisdiction and authority.
(c) He shall have jurisdiction over and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other violations of the ordinances of the City of Milford, to hold trial, to imprison offenders, and to impose and enforce fines, forfeitures and penalties as may be prescribed by the ordinances of the City.
(d) He shall be under the direct supervision of the City Manager. The prison in either Kent or Sussex County may be used for the imprisonment of offenders under the provisions of this Charter.
(e) Upon the expiration of his term of office, or upon resignation or removal from office, the Alderman shall forthwith deliver to his successor all books, papers, documents and other things belonging or appertaining to his office, and shall pay over to the Treasurer all moneys in his hands belonging to the City. Upon neglect or failure to make such delivery or payment for the space of five (5) days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Superior Court.
(f) At every regular monthly meeting of the Council, the Alderman shall report in writing all fines imposed by him, and all fines and penalties and other money received by him during the preceding month belonging to the City. He shall pay all such moneys to the City within ten (10) days after making report to the Council, or for failure to make payment to the City for the space of ten (10) days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished, upon conviction, as herein above provided.
(g) The Alderman shall keep a docket in which all his official acts shall be entered.
(h) The Acting Alderman may or may not be a resident of the City of Milford; shall keep a separate docket, and in the absence or inability of the Alderman shall have all the powers of the Alderman as herein provided.
7.06- FINANCE DEPARTMENT
There shall be a City Finance Department which shall be directed and supervised by an officer of the city who shall have the title of Finance Director. The Finance Director shall be appointed and supervised by the City Manager. The Finance Director shall have the duties of chief financial officer of the City of Milford, but may delegate such duties to subordinates under his direction. He or she shall pay out any monies upon check signed by two members of either mayor or city council or their designee. He or she shall keep a true accurate and detailed account of all monies received and all monies paid out by the city in all its activities and for all its departments, offices and agencies; shall preserve all vouchers and financial records, but under a records disposal program and schedule approved by the council, may periodically destroy such records and vouchers. He or she shall make such reports at such times as the city manager and council shall direct and which will keep the council, city manager and the public informed of the financial condition of the city. The books and accounts of the finance department shall be open at all times to inspection by the members of the council and the public under such regulations as the council may prescribe.
7.07- PLANNING DEPARTMENT
There shall be a planning department, which shall be directed and supervised by a City Planner. The City Planner shall be appointed, supervised and removed by the City Manager. The City Planner shall have the following responsibilities:
1) To advise the City Manager on any matter affecting the physical development of the city;
2) To formulate and recommend to the City Manager a comprehensive land use plan and modification thereof;
3) To review and make recommendations regarding proposed actions of the council in implementing the comprehensive development plan;
4) To advise and seek advice from the planning commission in the exercise of his or her responsibilities, and in connection therewith, to provide it necessary staff assistance;
5) To review and make recommendations regarding proposed actions of the council in annexations;
1) 6) To strive to give citizens the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the development of plans;
7) To protect the integrity of the natural environment and endeavor to conserve the heritage of the built environment.
7.08- CITY PLANNING COMMISSION
There shall be a City Planning Commission consisting of nine (9) members appointed by the Council. Appointed Planning Commission members shall serve two types of terms; five members will serve a three (3) year term and four members will serve a two (2) year term. Members of the Commission shall hold no other City office. The Commission may make recommendations to the City Manager and the City Council on all matters affecting the physical development of the City, shall be consulted on the comprehensive plan and the implementation thereof as provided in Section 7.09 and 7.10, and shall exercise all other responsibilities as may be provided by law, including but not limited to the following:
(1) To advise the City Manager on any matter affecting the physical development of the City.
(2) To formulate and recommend to the City Manager a comprehensive plan and modifications thereof.
(3) To review and make recommendations regarding proposed Council action implementing the comprehensive plan.
(4) To advise the City building inspector in the exercise of its responsibilities and in connection therewith to provide necessary staff assistance.
7.09- COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
(a) CONTENT. The Council shall adopt and modify the Comprehensive Plan setting forth in graphic and textual form policies to govern the future physical development of the City every five (5) years. Such plan may cover the entire City and all of its functions and services or may consist of a combination of plans governing specific functions and services or specific geographic areas which together cover the entire City and all of its functions and services.
(b) ADOPTION. Upon receipt from the City Manager of a proposed comprehensive plan or proposed modification of the existing plan, the Council shall refer such proposal to the City Planning Commission, which shall within a time specified by the Council report its recommendations thereon. After receipt of the recommendations of the Planning Commission, the Council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed comprehensive plan or modification thereof and shall thereafter adopt it by resolution with or without amendment.
(c) EFFECT. The comprehensive plan shall serve as a guide to all future Council action concerning land use and development regulations, urban renewal programs and expenditures for capital improvements.
7.10- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
(a) LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS. The Council shall by ordinance adopt land use and development regulations, including but not limited to an official map and zoning and subdivision regulations.
(b) URBAN RENEWAL. The Council may by ordinance provide for redevelopment, rehabilitation, conservation and renewal programs for: (1) the alleviation or prevention of slums, obsolescence, blight or other conditions of deterioration, and (2) the achievement of the most appropriate use of land.
(c) COUNCIL ACTION. Before acting on any proposed ordinance concerning land use and development regulations, urban renewal or expenditures of capital improvements, where such ordinance refers to a matter covered by the comprehensive plan, the Council shall refer the proposal to the City Planning Commission, which shall within a time specified by the Council and prior to the public hearing on the proposed ordinance report its recommendations thereon. Upon adopting any such ordinance, the Council shall make findings and report on the relationship between the ordinance and the comprehensive plan and, in the event that the ordinance does not accord with the comprehensive plan, the plan shall be deemed to be amended in accordance with such findings and report.
7.11- BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
The Council shall by ordinance establish a Board of Adjustment and shall provide standards and procedures for such Board to hear and determine appeals from administrative decisions and petitions for variances in the case of peculiar and unusual circumstances which may be required by the Council or by law.
7.12- STATE LAW
The action taken by the City shall at all times be consistent with 22. Del. C. Chapter 7 as amended.
ARTICLE VIII. FINANCIAL PROCEDURES
8.01- FISCAL YEAR
The Fiscal year of the City shall be set by the City Council.
8.02- SUBMISSION OF BUDGET DATE
On or before the last day of the twelfth month of each fiscal year, the Manager shall submit to the Council a budget for the ensuing fiscal year and an accompanying message.
8.03- BUDGET MESSAGE
The Manager's message shall explain the budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of the work programs. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the City for the ensuing fiscal year, describe the important features of the budget, indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures, and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, summarize the City's debt position and include such other material as the manager deems desirable.
8.04- OPERATING BUDGET
The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all City funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by law or this Charter, shall be in such form as the Manager deems desirable or the Council may require. In organizing the budget, the Manager shall utilize the most feasible combination of expenditure classification by fund, organization unit, program, purpose or activity, and object. It shall begin with a clear general summary of its contents; shall show in detail all estimated income, indicating the proposed property tax levy, and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the ensuing fiscal year; and shall be so arranged as to show comparative figures for actual and estimated income and expenditures of the current fiscal year and actual income and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year; and shall be so arranged as to show comparative figures for actual and estimated income and expenditures of the current fiscal year and actual income and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year. It shall indicate in separate sections:
(1) Proposed expenditures for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies in terms of their respective work programs, and the method of financing such expenditures;
(2) Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies when practicable, and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure;
(3) Anticipated net surplus or deficit for the ensuing fiscal year of each utility owned or operated by the City and the proposed method of its disposition; subsidiary budgets for each such utility giving detailed income and expenditure information shall be attached as appendices to the budget.
The total of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated income.
8.05- CAPITAL PROGRAM
(a) SUBMISSION TO COUNCIL. The Manager shall prepare and submit to the Council a five-year capital program at least three months prior to the final date for submission of the operating budget.
(b) CONTENTS. The capital program shall include:
(1) A clear, general summary of its contents;
(2) A list of all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the five fiscal years next ensuing, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for such improvements;
(3) Cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement; and
(4) The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired.
The above information may be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.
8.06- COUNCIL ACTION ON OPERATING BUDGET
The Council shall adopt the operating budget on or before the last day of the twelfth month of the fiscal year currently ending. If it fails to adopt 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 it prorated accordingly, until such time as the Council adopts an operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year. Adoption of the budget shall constitute appropriations of the amounts specified therein as expenditures from the funds indicated and shall constitute a levy of the property tax therein proposed.
8.07- COUNCIL ACTION ON CAPITAL PROGRAM
ADOPTION. The Council, by resolution, shall adopt the capital program with or without amendment on or before the last day of the twelfth month of the current fiscal year.
8.08- PUBLIC RECORDS
Copies of the budget and the capital program as adopted shall be public records and shall be made available to the public at suitable places in the City.
8.09- AMENDMENTS AFTER ADOPTION
(a) SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS. If during the fiscal year the Manager certifies that there are available for appropriation revenues in excess of those estimated in the budget, the 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 Council may make emergency appropriations. Such appropriations may be made by emergency ordinance. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the 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 emergency appropriation was made.
(c) REDUCTION OF APPROPRIATIONS. If at any time during the fiscal year it appears probable to the Manager that the revenues available will be insufficient to meet the amount appropriated, he shall report to the Council without delay, indicating the estimated amount of the deficit, any remedial action taken by him and his recommendations as to any other steps to be taken. The Council shall then take such further action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize any deficit and for that purpose it may by ordinance reduce one or more appropriations.
(d) TRANSFER OF APPROPRIATIONS. At any time during the fiscal year the Manager may transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance among programs within a department, office or agency and, upon written request by the Manager, the Council may by resolution transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance from one department, office or agency to another.
(e) 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.
8.10- LAPSE OF APPROPRIATIONS
Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned; the purpose of any such appropriation shall be deemed abandoned if three years pass without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.
8.11- ADMINISTRATION OF BUDGET
(a) WORK PROGRAMS AND ALLOTMENTS. At such time as the Manager shall specify, each department, office or agency shall submit work programs for the ensuing fiscal year showing the requested allotments of its appropriation by periods within the year. The Manager shall review and authorize such allotments with or without revision as early as possible in the fiscal year. He may revise such allotments during the year if he deems it desirable and shall revise them to accord with any supplemental, emergency, reduced or transferred appropriations.
(b) PAYMENTS AND OBLIGATIONS PROHIBITED. No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any allotment or appropriation except in accordance with appropriations duly made and unless the Manager or his designee first certifies 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 such obligation, and he shall also be liable to the City 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 IX. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
9.01- CITY ELECTIONS
(a) The annual municipal election shall be held on the fourth Saturday in the month of April between the hours of twelve (12) noon and eight (8:00) o'clock in the evening, at such places as shall be determined by the Council, due notice of which shall be given by an advertisement printed in a newspaper published in the City of Milford and posted in at least one public place in each Ward of the City not less than ten days before the day of the annual election.
(b) The election shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board, consisting of no less than three nor more than five citizens of the City to be appointed by the Council at the last regular meeting preceding the annual election. The Election Board shall be Judges of the election and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered.
(c) A clerk from each respective ward will be assigned to verify the identity and
residence of each prospective voter within their election district that intends to vote on the day of the municipal election. The clerk shall obtain this information from the alphabetical list of registered voters provided for this purpose. Those persons not properly registered shall not be permitted to vote at that particular election and become eligible only after being qualified before the next registration deadline. At the last regular meeting preceding the annual election, the City Council shall appoint an election clerk(s) for each ward in which there is a contest.
(d) Every person who resides within the City of Milford boundaries for at least thirty days prior to the registration deadline or owns property within the City of Milford, and who is over the age of eighteen (18) years, shall be entitled to vote at said annual municipal election or special election; provided, however, that the Council may, by ordinance, establish a reasonable procedure for the registration of voters and, in such event, compliance therewith may be a prerequisite to voting at the annual election. Registered voters who own property in more than one ward must declare within thirty (30) days prior to the election which ward they will vote in on the day of the election. (e) Upon the close of an annual municipal election or special election, the votes shall be counted and read publicly, and the person having the highest number of votes, for each office, shall be declared duly elected, and shall continue in office during the terms for which they are chosen, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
(f) The Election Board shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, a minute of the election containing the names of the persons chosen, shall subscribe the same, and shall give to the persons elected certificates of Election, which book, containing such minutes, shall be preserved by the Council and shall be evidence in any Court of law or equity. All ballots cast, in the event paper ballots are used, and all tabulations of votes from voting machines, if used at said election, and all other records of election shall be preserved in the Custody of the City Clerk for a period of at least ten (10) days following said election.
(g) Any vacancy in the Election Board shall be filled by the electors present at the time of the annual election, by naming from the electors present, such person or persons as shall be necessary to fill such vacancy.
(h) In the event of a tie vote for any office, the Election Board shall resolve the tie and determine the person elected, by lot.
(i) Not less than thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Election, all candidates for the office of City Councilperson shall file with the City Manager a nominating petition, stating the name of the candidate, the office for which he or she is nominated, and shall be signed by not less than ten (10) qualified voters resident in the Ward in which the candidate resides. Nominations for the office of Mayor shall be filed with the City Manager not less than thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Election and shall contain the name of the candidate, the office for which he or she is nominated and shall be signed by not less than ten (10) qualified voters resident in the City.
The City Manager shall cause to be printed ballots and envelopes for use by the voters at the annual election, or upon the direction of the Council, shall arrange for the use of voting machines at such election.
The Council shall be empowered to make and promulgate rules and regulations governing the voting, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter.
9.02- ABSENTEE BALLOT PROCEDURES
The Council shall prescribe by ordinance for the casting of absentee ballots by qualified voters unable to be at the polls at any election or referendum.
9.03- COUNCIL BALLOTS
(a) NAMES ON BALLOTS. The full names of all candidates who are seeking a seat on City Council, except those who have withdrawn, died or become ineligible, shall be printed on the official ballots without party designation or symbol. If two or more candidates have the same surname or surnames so similar as to likely cause confusion, their residence addresses shall be printed with their names on the ballot.
9.04- WATCHERS AND CHALLENGERS
A regularly nominated candidate shall be entitled, upon written application to the election authorities to appoint two persons to represent him as watchers and challengers at each polling place where voters may cast their ballots.
9.05- BALLOTS FOR ORDINANCES AND CHARTER AMENDMENTS
An ordinance or Charter amendment to be voted on by the City shall be presented for voting by ballot title. The ballot title of a measure may differ from its legal title and shall be a clear, concise statement describing the substance of the measure without argument or prejudice. Below the ballot title shall appear the following question: "Shall the above described (ordinance) (amendment) be adopted?" Immediately below such questions shall appear, in the following order, the words "yes" and "no" and to the left of each a square in which by making a cross (X) the voter may cast his vote.
9.06- VOTING MACHINES
The Council may provide for the use of mechanical or other devices for voting or counting the votes not inconsistent with law.
9.07- COUNCIL DISTRICTS; ADJUSTMENT OF DISTRICTS
(a) NUMBER OF DISTRICTS. There shall initially be four City Council districts to be known as Wards.
(b) DISTRICTING COMMISSION. The City Council shall comprise the districting commission.
(c) REPORT; SPECIFICATIONS. By the first day of January of every tenth year from the adoption of this Charter, the districting commission shall file with the City Clerk a report containing a recommended plan for adjustment of the Council district boundaries to comply with these specifications:
(1) Each district shall be formed of compact, contiguous territory, as nearly rectangular as possible, and its boundary lines shall follow the center lines of streets or other natural boundaries or survey lines as required.
(2) Each district shall contain as nearly as possible the same number of qualified voters, determined from the registration for the last statewide general election, but districts shall not differ in population by more than ten (10) percent of the population in the smallest district created.
The report shall include a map and description of the districts recommended and shall be drafted as a proposed ordinance. Once filed with the Clerk, the report shall be treated as an ordinance introduced by a Council member.
(d) PROCEDURE. The procedure for the Council's consideration of the report shall be the same as for other ordinances, provided that if a summary of the ordinance is published pursuant to subsection 2.12(d)(1), it must include both the map and the description of the recommended districts.
(e) The Commission may but is not required to establish five Wards instead of four, with two Councilmen to be elected from each Ward.
(f) ENACT ORDINANCE. The Council shall adopt the ordinance at least six months before the next regular City election.
(g) EFFECT OF ENACTMENT. The new Council districts and boundaries, as of the date of enactment, shall supersede previous Council districts and boundaries for all the purposes of the next regular City election, including nominations. The new districts and boundaries shall supersede previous districts and boundaries for all other purposes as of the date on which all Councilpersons elected at the regular City election take office.
ARTICLE X. TAXATION, ASSESSORS AND ASSESSMENT OF TAXES
Not less frequently than every ten years there shall be made a general assessment which shall be a true, just and impartial valuation and assessment of all the real property within the limits of the City.
It shall be the duty of the City Manager each year to prepare a scrap assessment which shall value and assess all taxable real property not already valued and assessed by the General Assessment then in force, and all improvements made upon said real property since said General Assessment In the year that a scrap assessment is made, the General Assessment then in force as supplemented or modified by the scrap assessment, shall constitute the assessment for the year.
The City Manager shall make and deliver to the Council, as soon as the assessments are made, such number of copies as the Council shall direct.
The property of the City Assessors shall be assessed by the Council.
The Council shall, prior to a given date set by resolution in each year, cause a copy of the General Assessment as supplemented by the scrap assessment as made in said year, to be hung in two public places in the City, and there to remain for the space of ten (10) days for public information. Attached to said copies shall be a notice of the day, hour and place that the Council will sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal; and the notice of the hanging up of the copies of the assessment and the places where the same are hung up and of the day, hour and place when the Council will sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal shall be published in at least one issue of a newspaper circulated in the City.
At the time and place designated in the notice aforesaid, the Council shall sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal to correct and revise the assessment, and to hear appeals concerning the same. They shall have full power and authority to alter, revise, add to and take from the said assessment. The decision of a majority of the Council shall be final and conclusive; and no member of Council shall sit on his own appeal.
The assessment, as revised and adjusted by the Council, shall be the basis for the levy and collection of the taxes for the City.
The Council shall also have the right to levy and collect taxes on all underground cables and utility installations, and upon all telephone, telegraph or power poles or other erections of like character erected or installed within the limits of the City, together with the wires and appliances thereto or thereon attached, that are now assessable and taxable, and to this end, may at any time direct the same be included in or added to the City Assessment. In case the owner or lessee of such poles, erections, installations or appliances shall neglect or refuse to pay the taxes that may be levied thereon, the said taxes may be collected by the City in the same manner as other taxes, and upon continued non-payment, the Council shall have the authority to cause the same to be removed.
The Council shall determine and fix a rate of taxation which with other anticipated revenue will produce approximately the amount of money necessary to defray the expenses of the City for the current year, including interest on bonded indebtedness and for redemption of maturing bonds and for maintenance of a sinking fund.
The limit of taxation for current expenses shall be that rate which, by estimation, will produce a sum not exceeding two (2) percent the assessed value of real property with improvements located in the City.
(a) No later than the second month of a new fiscal year, the City Manager shall make available to the Council a list containing the names of the taxables of the City and, opposite the name of each, the amount of his real property assessment, as well as the tax upon the whole of his assessment, and the rate per hundred dollars of assessed valuation. Attached to a tax list shall be a warrant, under the seal of the City of Milford, signed by the Mayor and attested by the Secretary, commanding the City Manager to make collection, when due, of the taxes as stated and set forth in the tax list.
(b) All taxes, when and as collected by the City Manager, shall be paid to or deposited to the credit of the City in banking institutions approved by Council.
(c) All taxes shall be due and payable on the date set by Council. To every tax not paid after the said date each year there shall be added and collected a penalty, for each month that the said tax remains unpaid. The penalty rate charged is to be set by council through ordinance. Before exercising any of the powers herein given for the collection of taxes, written notices of the amount due shall be given to the taxable.
(d) All taxes assessed upon any real estate and remaining unpaid prior to a new tax year billing shall constitute a first lien against all real estates of the delinquent taxpayer situated within the limits of the City of Milford. In the case of a life estate, the interest of the life tenant shall first be liable for the payment of any taxes so assessed. The City Manager, in the name of the City of Milford, may institute suit before any Justice of the Peace within Kent County or Sussex County, or before the Alderman of the said City, or in the Court of Common Pleas in and for Sussex County, or in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, for the recovery of the unpaid tax in an action of debt, and upon judgment obtained, may sue out writs of execution as in case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace or in the Court of Common Pleas or in the Superior Court as the case may be.
(e) However, should the City Manager so elect, he is empowered to sell the lands and tenements of the delinquent taxpayer, or the lands of tenements of a delinquent taxpayer alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax by the following procedure: The City Manager shall present in the name of the City of Milford to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in an for Sussex County or Kent County a petition in which shall be stated; (1) the name of the taxable; (2) the year for which the tax was levied; (3) the rate of the tax; (4) the total amount due; (5) the date from which interest and the penalty for non-payment shall commence and the rate of such interest and penalty; (6) a reasonable precise description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold; (7) a statement that a bill of said tax has been mailed to the taxable at this last known post office address with return receipt requested by registered mail; (8) that it has been found impracticable to attempt to collect the said tax by any other remedy hereinbefore provided. The petition shall be signed by the City Manager and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
(f) At least ten (10) days prior to the filing of any such petition as described above, the City Manager shall deposit in the mail in a sealed and stamped envelope and addressed to the taxable at this last known address requiring a registered receipt returnable, an itemized statement of the tax due, together with all interest, penalties and costs then due thereon, together with a notice to the delinquent taxpayer that he shall proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxpayer for the payment of the tax. The City Manager shall exhibit the return registered receipt to the Court by filing the same with the petition; provided that if the taxpayer cannot be found, it shall be sufficient for the City Manager to file with said petition the evidence that such statement has been mailed in accordance with this paragraph and has been returned.
(g) Upon the filing of the petition, the Prothonotary shall record the same in a properly indexed record of the Superior Court in and for Kent or Sussex County and shall endorse upon the said record of said petition the following: "This petition filed the day of , A.D., . The City Manager of the City of Milford is hereby authorized to proceed to sell the lands and tenements herein mentioned or a sufficient part thereof as may be necessary for the payment of the amount due." The endorsement shall be signed by the Prothonotary.
(h) Any sales of lands and tenements of a delinquent taxpayer shall be advertised in five (5) public places in the City of Milford, one of said public places shall be the Municipal Building, and by printing the notice of said sale at least one (1) time in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City. The notice shall contain the day, hour, place of sale and a short description of the premises sufficient to identify the same. The handbills shall be posted at least ten (10) days before the date fixed for the sale and the newspaper advertisement shall be published at least one (1) week before the day of the sale.
(i) Each sale of lands and tenements shall be returned to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for Kent or Sussex County at the next motion day thereof following the sale, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. If the sale be approved, the City Manager making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the right, title and interest of the delinquent taxpayer or of his alienee; if the sale be set aside, the Superior Court may order another sale and so on until the tax be collected. The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding.
(j) No sale shall be approved by the Superior Court if the owner be ready at Court to pay the taxes, penalty and costs, and no deed shall be made until the expiration of one (1) year from the date of the sale, within which time the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, shall have the power to redeem the lands on payment to the purchase, his personal representatives, or assigns, of the costs, the amount of the purchase money and twenty percent (20%) interest thereon and the expense of having the deed prepared.
(k) After satisfying the tax due and the costs of expenses of sale from the proceeds of sale, the amount remaining shall be paid to the owner of the land, or upon the refusal of said owner to accept said residue, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank in the City of Milford, either to the credit of the owner, or in a manner by which the funds may be identified.
(l) In the sale of lands for the payment of delinquent taxes, the following costs shall be allowed, to be deducted from the proceeds of sale, or chargeable against the owner as the case may be in the amount then customarily charged:
To the Prothonotary for filing and
recording Petition . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For filing and recording return
of sale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
To the City Manager for
preparing certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For making sale of land . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For preparing and filing return . . . . . . . . . .
For posting sale bills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In addition, the costs of printing handbills and publications of the advertisement of sale in a newspaper shall be chargeable as costs. The cost of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser of the property of the delinquent taxpayer.
(m) If the owner of any lands and tenements against which a tax shall be levied and assessed shall be unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale.
(n) In the event of the death, resignation or removal from office of the City Manager of the City of Milford, before the proceedings of the sale of land shall have been completed, his successor in office shall succeed to have all of his powers, rights and duties in respect to said sale. In the event of the death of the purchaser at such sale prior to his receiving a deed for the property purchased thereat, the person having right under him by consent, devise, assignment or otherwise may refer to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for Kent or Sussex County, a petition representing the facts and praying for an order authorizing and requiring the City Manager to have executed and acknowledged a deed conveying to the Petitioner the premises sold, or a just proportion thereof; and thereupon the Court may make such order touching the conveyance of the premises as shall be according to justice and equity.
(o) However, should the City Council so elect, the City Manager is empowered to sell the lands and tenements of the delinquent taxpayer or the lands and tenements of a delinquent taxpayer alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax, by the direction of the City Council, using any of those procedures specified for the sale of land for the collection of taxes on the part of the taxes for Sussex County or Kent County, and all such procedures and methods available for the sale of land, as aforesaid, as they are presently enacted and hereafter amended, are included herein and made a part hereof by reference in the statutes made and provided, substituting the City of Milford for Sussex County or Kent County therein.
10.12- REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAX
The City of Milford reserves the right to enact a Real Estate Transfer Tax by ordinance through the City Council. Any change to the Real Estate Transfer Tax must be in accordance to Delaware laws.
10.13- ASSESSMENT, PAYMENT, AND COLLECTION OF TAXES FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION
In the event that the Mayor and Council of the City of Milford desire to collect and levy taxes on newly constructed property not taxed by virtue of the city's annual assessment, the city may enact an ordinance to do so.
ARTICLE XI. BORROWING OF MONEY AND ISSUANCE OF BONDS
The City of Milford may borrow money, and to secure the payment of the same, is hereby authorized and empowered to issue bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness pledging the full faith and credit of the City of Milford; or such other security or securities as the City Council shall elect, for the payment of the principal thereof and the interest due thereon.
All bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness issued by the City of Milford in pursuance hereof shall be exempt from all State, County or municipal taxes.
This power or authority to borrow money may be exercised by the City of Milford to provide funds for, or to provide for the payment of, any of the following projects or purposes:
(1) Refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the City at the maturity thereof or in accordance with any callable feature or provision contained therein;
(2) Meeting or defraying current annual operating expenses of the City in an amount equal to but not in excess of currently outstanding, due and unpaid taxes, water rents, license fees or other charges due the City and available, when paid, for meeting or defraying current annual operating expenses of the City;
(3) Erecting, extending, enlarging, maintaining and repairing any plant, building, machinery or equipment for the manufacture, supplying or distribution of gas, water, electricity, sewerage or drainage system, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements and rights-of-way which may be required therefor;
(4) Constructing, paving, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining streets, lanes, alleys and ways, and the paving, constructing, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining of curbing and gutters along the same and the condemning or purchasing or any lands, easements or rights-of-way which may be required therefor;
(5) Any other purpose consistent with the promotion of health, education or the general welfare of the City of Milford.
The power to borrow money and to secure the payment thereof by the issuance of bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness for any purpose above specified shall only exercise in the following manner:
The City Council shall adopt a resolution proposing unto the electors of the City that money be borrowed by the City for any of the above-named purposes. The resolution proposing the borrowing shall plainly set forth the following matters:
(1) The amount of money, or the amount of money not exceeding which, it is proposed shall be borrowed;
(2) The rate of interest, or the rate of interest not exceeding which, it is proposed shall be paid;
(3) The manner in which it is proposed to be secured;
(4) The manner in which it is proposed that it shall be paid or funded, or both;
(5) A short and clear description of the purpose or purposes for which the money or monies shall be used, and which description shall include the estimated cost of carrying out the purpose or purposes aforesaid; and
(6) A statement of the time and place for a public hearing upon the resolution, whereat the City Council shall vote upon the final authorization for the loan.
It shall then be the duty of the City Council to give notice of the time and place of such public hearing upon the resolution by publishing a copy of the resolution aforesaid in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the City of Milford at least one week before the time fixed for said hearing and by posting copies thereof in five public places throughout the said City at least one week before the time fixed for said hearing.
At the time and place mentioned in such notice, the City Council shall sit in public session and at such public session, or an adjourned session thereof, shall vote upon a resolution giving its final authorization for the loan. If such resolution shall be adopted by the City Council, then the City Council shall pass a second resolution ordering and directing that a Special Election be held in the City of Milford not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days (as may be determined by the Council) after the date of the hearing and passage of the resolution authorizing the loan by the Council.
The purpose of such Special Election shall be to vote for or against the proposed loan.
The City Council shall give notice of the time and place for holding the said Special Election to all the electorate of the City of Milford by posting notices thereof in five public places in said City at least two weeks prior to the day fixed for the holding of such Special Election, and by publishing a copy of such notice once each week during those two weeks immediately preceding that week during which the day fixed for the holding of such Special Election shall fall in a newspaper generally circulated in the City of Milford. Such notice of the Special Election shall likewise contain the same information with respect to the borrowing as required to be contained in the original resolution proposing the borrowing, excepting a statement of the time and place for a public hearing upon the resolution, whereat the City Council shall vote upon the final authorization for the loan.
The Special Election shall be conducted by an Election Board whose members shall be appointed or selected in the same manner and they shall have the same qualifications as hereinbefore provided in the case of annual elections of the City.
At least five days prior to the date of the Special Election the City Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution, a sufficient number of ballots: upon one-half of which ballot shall be printed the words "FOR THE PROPOSED BORROWING", and upon the other half of said ballot shall be printed the words, "AGAINST THE PROPOSED BORROWING", and a box shall be provided after each and the voter instructed to place and "X" in the box provided after the choice he wishes to cast his vote. If voting machines are used, in which case, the voting machines shall be arranged in a manner consistent with the requirements for paper ballots.
At such Special Election every person who would be entitled to vote at an annual election if held on that day shall be entitled to one vote.
The Inspector of the Election shall deposit all ballots in the ballot box provided for that purpose in the presence of the person casting such ballot; he, the said Inspector, first writing upon the outside of said ballot the number of votes being cast thereby by the person casting such ballot, unless voting machines are used.
Immediately upon the closing of the polls, the Special Election Board shall count the votes for and against the proposed borrowing and shall announce the result thereof, and shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against the proposed borrowing and shall deliver such Certificate, in duplicate, to the City Council. One copy of the Certificate the Council shall enter in the minutes of the next meeting of the City Council and the other copy thereof shall be filed with the papers of the City Council.
The form of the bonds or certificates of indebtedness and the thereunto attached coupons, if any, the time or times of payment, the time or times of payment of interest, the classes, the series, the maturity, the registration, any callable or redeemable feature, the denomination and the name thereof and any other relative or pertinent matters pertaining thereto shall all be determined by the City Council after the special election.
The bond or bonds or certificates of indebtedness shall be offered at public or private sale as determined by the City Council. All bonds or certificates of indebtedness forming a single issue need not be offered for sale at a single sale but any given issue of bonds or certificates of indebtedness authorized as hereinbefore provided may be sold in whole or in part, from time to time and until the entire authorized issue be disposed of, as the City Council may deem most advisable.
The City Council shall provide in its budget and in fixing of the rate of tax, or otherwise, for the payment of principal or such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness at the maturity thereof together with the interest due or which may hereafter become due thereupon and, in a proper case, it shall also provide a sinking fund therefor.
Unless any such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness shall otherwise provide therein, the faith and credit of the City of Milford shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of any such bond or bonds or certificate or certificate of indebtedness and interest thereon according to its terms when and after the same have been duly and properly executed, delivered and due value received therefor.
11.06- REFINANCING OF MUNICIPAL BONDS
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section, the City Council of the City of Milford may authorize by Resolution the refinancing of existing bonds or other obligations of the City, without the necessity of a Special Election; provided that the issue of the refinancing obligations results in a present value savings to the City. Present value savings shall be determined by using the effective interest rate on the refinancing obligations as the discount rate calculated based on the internal rate of return. The principle amount of the refinancing obligations may exceed the outstanding principle amount of the obligations to be refinanced.
11.07- SHORT TERM BORROWING
The City of Milford may borrow money up to the amount of the annual tax billings. The borrowed money shall be for one of the following: operating deficits, emergencies declared by Council, and short term capital project anticipative funding. The money shall be paid back in no longer than five (5) years.
ARTICLE XII. SEPARABILITY
If any provision of this Charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the Charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the Charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the Charter and its provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
ARTICLE XIII. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
13.01- OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
(a) RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES PRESERVED. Nothing in this Charter except as otherwise specifically provided shall affect or impair the rights or privileges of persons who are City officers or employees at the time of its adoption.
(b) CONTINUANCE OF OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT. Except as specifically provided by this Charter, if at the time this Charter takes full effect, a City administrative officer or employee holds any office or position which is or can be abolished by or under this Charter, he shall continue in such office or position until the taking effect of some specific provision under this Charter directing that he vacate the office or position.
13.02- DEPARTMENTS, OFFICES AND AGENCIES
(a) TRANSFER OF POWERS. If a City department, office or agency is abolished by this Charter, the powers and duties given it by law shall be transferred to the City department, office or agency designated in this Charter or, if the Charter makes no provision, as designated by the City Council.
(b) PROPERTY AND RECORDS. All property, records and equipment of any department, office or agency existing when this Charter is adopted shall be transferred to the department, office or agency assuming its powers and duties, but, in the event that the powers or duties are to be discontinued or divided between units or in the event that any conflict arises regarding a transfer, such property, records, or equipment shall be transferred to one or more departments, offices or agencies designated by the Council in accordance with this Charter.
13.03- PENDING MATTERS
All rights, claims, actions, orders, contracts and legal or administrative proceedings shall continue except as modified pursuant to the provisions of this charter and in each case shall be maintained, carried on or dealt with by the City department, office or agency appropriate under this Charter.
13.04- STATE AND MUNICIPAL LAWS
IN GENERAL. All City ordinances, resolutions, orders and regulations which are in force when this Charter becomes fully effective are repealed to the extent that they are inconsistent or interfere with the effective operation of this Charter or of ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant thereto. To the extent that the Constitution and laws of the State of Delaware permit, all laws relating to or affecting this City or its agencies, officers or employees which are in force when this Charter becomes fully effective are superseded to the extent that they are inconsistent or interfere with the effective operation of this Charter or of ordinances or resolutions adopted pursuant thereto.
13.05- SURVIVAL OF POWERS AND VALIDATIONS SECTIONS
(a) All powers conferred upon or vested in the City of Milford 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 City of Milford as though herein fully set out.
(b) All ordinances adopted by the City Council of the City of Milford, or which are in force for the government of the City of Milford at the time of the approval of this Charter, are continued in force and effect as ordinances of the City of Milford until repealed, altered or amended under the provisions of this Charter, and the acts of the Council of the City of Milford and of the officials thereof as lawfully done or performed under the provisions of the Charter of the City of Milford or ordinance thereof, or of any law of this State, prior to the approval of this Act, are hereby ratified and confirmed.
(c) All taxes, fines, penalties, forfeitures, assessments or debts due the City of Milford and all debts due from the City of Milford, at the effective date of this Charter shall, respectively, be deemed due to or from the City of Milford and said obligations shall severally remain unimpaired until paid, and the power, right, and authority to collect taxes imposed under the provisions of this Charter, and the processes which may be employed for that purpose, shall be deemed to apply and extend to all unpaid taxes, assessments or charges imposed under the provisions of this Charter, and the processes which may be employed for that purpose, shall be deemed to apply and extend to all unpaid taxes, assessments or charges imposed under the Charter of the City of Milford immediately preceding the adoption of this Charter.
(d) The bonds heretofore given by or on account of any official of the City of Milford shall not be affected or impaired by the provision of this Act but shall continue in full force for the benefit of the City of Milford.
Section 2. REPEALER
This Act shall operate to amend, revise and consolidate "An Act to Reincorporate the City of Milford”, being Chapter 156, Volume 61, Laws of Delaware, and the several amendments and supplements thereto. The Act shall be deemed to be a public Act and the parts hereof shall be severable and, in the event any part or section hereof shall be held unconstitutional, such holding shall not in anyway invalidate the remaining provisions of this Act.
Section 3. The following shall be the Index of the Charter of the City of Milford.
REINCORPORATE THE CITY OF MILFORD 1
ARTICLE I - INCORPORATION
Section 1.01 Incorporation 1
Section 1.02 Territorial Limits 1
Section 1.03 Wards 3
Section 1.04 Annexation 5
ARTICLE II - POWERS OF THE CITY
Section 2.01 Powers of the City 12
Section 2.02 Construction 14
Section 2.03 Intergovernmental Relations 14
Section 2.04 Notice of Action 14
Article III - STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
Section 3.01 Form of Government 15
Section 3.02 Composition of Government 15
Section 3.03 Qualifications for Mayor and City Council 15
ARTICLE IV - POWERS OF CITY COUNCIL
Section 4.01 Composition, Election, Term of Office 16
Section 4.02 Compensation, Expenses 16
Section 4.03 General Powers and Duties 17
Section 4.04 Prohibitions 17
Section 4.05 Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office;
Filling of Vacancies 18
Section 4.06 Judge of Qualifications 19
Section 4.07 Appointment and Duties of City Clerk 19
Section 4.08 Investigations 19
Section 4.09 Independent Audit 20
Section 4.10 Procedure 20
Section 4.11 Action Requiring an Ordinance 21
Section 4.12 Ordinances in General 22
Section 4.13 Emergency Ordinances 23
Section 4.14 Codes of Technical Regulations 24
Section 4.15 Authentication and Recording;
Codification; Printing 24
ARTICLE V - POWERS AND DUTIES OF MAYOR
Section 5.01 General Powers 26
ARTICLE VI - POWERS OF CITY MANAGER
Section 6.01 Appointment; Qualifications;
Section 6.02 Removal 27
Section 6.03 Acting City Manager 28
Section 6.04 Powers and Duties of City Manager 28
ARTICLE VII - ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS
Section 7.01 General Provisions 30
Section 7.02 City Solicitor 30
Section 7.03 Police Department 31
Section 7.04 City Jail 33
Section 7.05 City Alderman 33
Section 7.06 Finance Department 34
Section 7.07 Planning Department 35
Section 7.08 City Planning Commission. 36
Section 7.09 Comprehensive Plan 37
Section 7.10 Implementation of Comprehensive Plan 37
Section 7.11 Board of Adjustment 38
Section 7.12 State Law 38
ARTICLE VIII - FINANCIAL PROCEDURES
Section 8.01 Fiscal Year 39
Section 8.02 Submission of Budget and Budget Message 39
Section 8.03 Budget Message 39
Section 8.04 Operating Budget 39
Section 8.05 Capital Program 40
Section 8.06 Council Action on Operating Budget 41
Section 8.07 Council Action on Capital Program 41
Section 8.08 Public Records 42
Section 8.09 Amendments After Adoption 42
Section 8.10 Lapse of Appropriations 43
Section 8.11 Administration of Budget 43
ARTICLE IX - NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 9.01 City Elections 45
Section 9.02 Absentee Ballot Procedures 47
Section 9.03 Council Ballots 47
Section 9.04 Watchers and Challengers 47
Section 9.05 Ballots for Ordinances and Charter
Section 9.06 Voting Machines 48
Section 9.07 Council Districts; Adjustment of
ARTICLE X - TAXATION, ASSESSORS AND ASSESSMENT OF TAXES
Section 10.01 51
Section 10.02 51
Section 10.03 51
Section 10.04 51
Section 10.05 51
Section 10.06 52
Section 10.07 52
Section 10.08 52
Section 10.09 53
Section 10.10 53
Section 10.11 53
Section 10.12 Real Estate Transfer Tax 58
Section 10.13 Quarterly Tax Billing for New Construction 59
ARTICLE XI - BORROWING OF MONEY AND ISSUANCE OF BONDS
Section 11.01 60
Section 11.02 60
Section 11.03 61
Section 11.04 62
Section 11.05 64
Section 11.06 Refinancing of Municipal Bonds 65
Section 11.07 Short Term Borrowing 65
ARTICLE XII - SEPARABILITY 66
ARTICLE XIII - TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
Section 13.01 Officers and Employees 67
Section 13.02 Departments, Offices and Agencies 67
Section 13.03 Pending Matters 68
Section 13.04 State and Municipal Laws 68
Section 13.05 Survival of Powers and Validations Sections 68
Approved July 12,1999