CHAPTER 27

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 109

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT, BEING CHAPTER 196, VOLUME 22, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED: "AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSIONERS OF LEWES TO APPOINT A BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE TOWN OF LEWES, WHICH SHALL ESTABLISH, CONTROL AND REGULATE A UTILITY SYSTEM COMPRISED OF AN ELECTRIC LIGHT PLANT, WATER WORKS AND A SEWER SYSTEM FOR SAID TOWN; PRESCRIBING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF SAID BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS AND PROVIDING FOR THE ELECTION OF THEIR SUCCESSORS", TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR THE ANNUAL ELECTION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Chapter 196, Volume 22, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Section 5, Chapter 218, Volume 51, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Section 5, Chapter 281, Volume 55, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Section 5, Chapter 126, Volume 60, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Chapter 440, Volume 70, Laws of Delaware, as amended by Chapter 197, Volume 71, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking said Section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"The Mayor and Council of the City of Lewes are authorized and directed to continue the Board of Public Works of the City of Lewes, established pursuant to Chapter 196, Volume 22, Laws of Delaware, as amended, which is hereby authorized to continue subject to the jurisdiction, authority and responsibilities provided by this Act including specifically the duty to establish, control and regulate utility systems comprised of an electric generation and distribution system, water works and a wastewater treatment facility, sewer and drainage systems for the City of Lewes.

'Utility systems' shall mean and include an electric generation and distribution system, water works and a wastewater treatment facility, sewer system and stormwater drainage systems.

SECTION 1

(A) Annual Election and Term of Office.

(1) On the first Saturday in April annually, successors to the members of the Board of Public Works, hereinafter "BPW", of the City of Lewes, whose terms of office shall then expire, shall be chosen by the voters, qualified as hereinafter provided, to serve for the term of two years; that is to say, until the annual election two years thereafter, and until their successors shall be elected. At each of said annual elections the voters, qualified as aforesaid, shall in like manner elect a member or members of the said BPW to serve for the unexpired term or terms of any member or members whose office shall have been rendered vacant in any manner whatsoever.

(2) The said election shall be called by the President of the Board of Public Works of the City of Lewes.

(3) The BPW shall designate the place for the annual election which shall be held on the first Saturday of April of each year from 8:00 o'clock in the morning, prevailing time, until 6:00 o'clock in the evening, prevailing time.

(4) A plurality of votes shall elect.

(5) In the event of a vacancy in the office of a member of the BPW, the Mayor and Council of the City of Lewes shall appoint some substantial freeholder of the City to fill such vacancy until the next annual election of members of the BPW. No appointment of members of the BPW, either originally or to fill vacancies, shall be made by the Mayor and Council from their own number; but no person shall be disqualified for election as a member of the BPW at any annual election by reason of holding the office of Council Member.

(B) Qualifications of Members of the BWP.

Qualifications of a Member of the BWP shall be as follows:

(1) A bona fide citizen of the United States and of the State of Delaware and a resident of the City of Lewes or on the public or vacant lands under the jurisdiction of the City of Lewes for at least ninety (90) days next preceding the date of the Annual Election for members of the BPW.

(2) At least twenty-one (21) years of age on the date of the annual election for Members of the BPW.

(3) No member of the City Council or the Mayor may serve concurrently on the BPW and as Mayor or member of City Council.

(C) Filing of Intent to be a Candidate.

No person shall be voted upon as a candidate for the office of a member of the BPW unless he or she shall notify the General Manager of the BWP in writing of his or her candidacy for the office, or five (5) or more persons qualified to vote in the Annual Election may file the name of the candidate for the office of the member of the BPW with the General Manager, provided that the candidate endorses his or her written consent thereon.

(D) Definition of freeholder or leaseholder.

For purposes of determining whether a member of the BPW is a resident freeholder or a resident leaseholder, the following definitions shall be applicable:

(1) A resident freeholder shall mean any person who holds either fee simple title or title as a tenant by the entirety of real property within the corporate limits of the City of Lewes and said title is of record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, and who is a qualified voter of the 37th Representative District residing within the corporate limits of the City of Lewes or on public lands under the jurisdiction of the Mayor and Council.

(2) A resident leaseholder shall mean any person who holds public land under a valid lease from the State of Delaware or from the Mayor and City Council and who has erected on said land an improvement and who is a qualified voter of the 37th Representative District residing within the corporate limits of the City of Lewes or on public lands under the jurisdiction of the Mayor and Council.

(E) Qualifications of Voters.

At the annual election for Members of the BPW, qualifications for voters shall be as follows:

(1) Every person, male or female, who is a bona fide citizen of the United States and of the State of Delaware and a bona fide resident of the City of Lewes or on the public or vacant lands under the jurisdiction of the City of Lewes for at least thirty (30) days next preceding the date of the Annual Election.

(2) Every person, male or female, who is a freeholder or leaseholder in the City of Lewes for at least thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of the Annual Election for Members of the BPW whether or not a resident of the City of Lewes or on public lands under the jurisdiction of the City of Lewes.

(3) At least eighteen (18) years of age on the date of the annual election.

(4) Resident freeholders, resident leaseholders, or bona fide residents of the City of Lewes or on public lands under the jurisdiction of the City of Lewes shall be registered on the Book of Resident Voters of the Board of Public Works, and, in the case of nonresident freeholders or leaseholders, shall be registered on the Book of Non-Resident Voters.

(F) Voter Registration, "Book"

(1) The Book of Resident Voters shall contain the following information: the names of the registered voters arranged in alphabetical order, the address of the voter, the birth date of the voter, the date the voter became a resident of the City of Lewes and any other pertinent information.

(2) The Book of Non-Resident Voters shall contain the following information: the names of the non-resident voters arranged in alphabetical order, the permanent address of the voter, the local address of the voter, the birth date of the voter, the date the voter became a freeholder or leaseholder of The City of Lewes and any other pertinent information.

(3) No person shall be registered upon the Book of Resident Voters nor upon the Book of Non-Resident Voters unless he or she will have acquired the qualifications to vote in the Annual Election for members of the BPW for the year in which such person registers.

(4) A person shall be required to register only one (1) time; provided, however, that if a registered voter fails to vote in two (2) consecutive Annual Elections in which there is a contest for membership on the BPW, his name shall be removed from the Book of Resident Voters or from the Book of Non-Resident Voters, as the case may be, and notice sent to said registered voter at his last known address by registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested, advising that his or her name has been removed from the Book of Resident Voters or from the Book of Non-Resident Voters, as the case may be, and that it will be necessary to register again in order to vote in the Annual Election.

(5) The Book of Resident Voters and the Book of Non-Resident Voters shall be maintained in the Office of the General Manager of the BPW and shall be conclusive evidence of a right of any person to vote at the Annual Election.

(6) A person may register at the Office of the BPW of the City of Lewes during the regular business hours of such office until the close of business of such office on the Third Friday in March prior to the date of the Annual Election for members of the BPW by completing such forms as may be required.

(7) The BPW may provide by resolution for the BPW's office to be open on one (1) Saturday and/or one (1) evening within the thirty (30) day period immediately preceding the date of the Annual Election for the purpose of permitting persons to register to vote in such Annual Election.

(G) Absentee Ballot.

The City Council of the City of Lewes may, by Ordinance, provide for any voter registered to vote in the Annual Election for a Member of the BPW to cast an absentee ballot if such person is unable to appear and cast his or her ballot in person. The BPW shall comply with the provisions of such Ordinance in its Annual Election.

(H) Manner of Holding Annual Election.

The procedure for holding the Annual Election shall be as follows:

(1) The Annual Election shall be conducted by a Board of Election consisting of an Inspector and two (2) Judges together with such alternates as are determined by the President of the BPW to be necessary, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of the BPW with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the BPW at the last regular meeting of the BPW prior to the date of the Annual Election. The Board of Election shall determine who is and who is not entitled to vote thereat, taking reasonable steps to see that the law pertaining to the Annual Election receives compliance and for the purpose of counting the votes and certifying the result to all the BPW. The Board of Elections shall keep a list of all persons who vote at such Annual Election.

(2) In the event that no person files or is nominated for each office for which an election is to be held within the time set forth in this Charter, the incumbent shall be deemed to be re-elected for a full term, and it shall not be necessary to hold an election.

(3) In the event that only one (1) person files or is nominated for each office for which an election is to be held within the time set forth in this Charter, the person who files or who is nominated shall be deemed to be elected for a full term, and it shall not be necessary to have an election.

(4) No person other than the Board of Election, the General Manager and the Clerks of the Board of Election, the challengers and persons actually voting shall be admitted within the voting place without the unanimous consent of the Board of Election.

(5) Each candidate may appoint some suitable person to act as a challenger who may be within the voting place. Each challenger shall be protected in the discharge of his duty by the Board of Election.

(6) No person other than the General Manager, the Board of Election, the Clerks of the Board of Election and the challengers designated by the candidates shall remain within fifty (50) feet of the entrance to the building except for the purpose of offering his vote except that a physically handicapped person shall be permitted to bring with him into the election room an elector or two (2) electors if the nature of the disability, in the opinion of the Board of Election, such as total disability to walk to the election room, required it in order to render the necessary assistance. Each candidate shall be permitted to have one (1) person present in the voting room for the purpose of recording the names of the persons who vote.

(7) No person shall electioneer or engage in any political discussion within the building during the hours of election or during the counting of the ballots.

(8) No more than one (1) person shall be permitted to occupy any voting booth at any one (1) time except as otherwise provided in this Chapter.

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

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

(11) The Board of Election shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose minutes of the election containing the names of the persons so elected. They shall subscribe the same and shall make and deliver to the person elected certificates of their election. The book containing such minutes, the ballots and the list of those persons who voted shall be delivered to the General Manager who shall preserve the same and shall be evidence in any court of law or equity.

(12) If two (2) or more candidates for the office of Member of the BPW shall receive an equal number of votes so that there shall not be an election of a Member, the incumbent Member shall continue in Office until the runoff election as herein provided is held. The Board of Election shall declare the election a tie and shall report that result to the BPW which shall, within twenty (20) days thereafter, hold a Special Election between those candidates where a tie resulted under the same rules as hereinbefore set forth. No person shall be permitted to register to vote following the Annual Election and before the Special Election in order to vote at the Special Election."

Approved April 27, 2001