TITLE 22

Municipalities

CHAPTER 8. HOME RULE

Subchapter II. Method of Exercising Power


The amendment of a charter shall be proposed either by a resolution of the legislative body of a municipal corporation, 3/4 of all members elected thereto concurring or by a charter commission of 7 members elected by the qualified voters of the municipal corporation from their membership at large pursuant to petition for such an election bearing the signatures of at least 10% of the qualified voters of the municipal corporation and filed with the clerk or other chief recording officer of the legislative body of the municipal corporation. The charter commission candidates who receive the most votes shall constitute the commission. On the death, resignation or inability of any member of a charter commission to serve, the remaining members shall elect a successor. The commission shall have authority to propose the amendment of the charter as specified in the petition, to hold public hearings thereon and to arrange for putting the proposed amendment on the ballot or voting machine to be used at the next referendum election.

The legislative body of the municipal corporation in which the amendment of a charter is proposed by a charter commission may provide by ordinance or resolution for that procedure which it deems necessary to conduct the election of a charter commission and for enabling the charter commission to exercise the functions specified above. The legislative body of the municipal corporation may, if it defaults in the exercise of this authority, be compelled by judicial mandate and at the instance of at least 10 signers of a petition filed under this section to exercise such authority.

In addition to the procedure hereinbefore set forth, a charter may be amended by act of the General Assembly, passed with the concurrence of two thirds of all the members elected to each House thereof.

22 Del. C. 1953, § 811; 53 Del. Laws, c. 260; 60 Del. Laws, c. 166, § 1.;

At least 30 days before an election thereon, notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipal corporation that copies of a proposed charter, charter amendment or repeal proposition and resolution are on file in the office of the clerk or other chief recording officer of the legislative body of the municipal corporation and that a copy will be furnished by the clerk or other chief recording officer to any qualified voter or taxpayer of the municipal corporation upon request.

22 Del. C. 1953, § 812; 53 Del. Laws, c. 260; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Conduct of election; ballots; expenses. — On the day and during the hours specified for any referendum, the proposed charter amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the municipal corporation. The official or officials thereof whose duty it is to arrange for and conduct the regular municipal elections shall perform the same duties so far as relevant to the referendum election on the proposed charter amendment or amendments. The referendum election shall be conducted generally according to the procedures and practices observed for regular municipal elections, except as specifically or necessarily modified by this subchapter. The wording specified in the proposal for a charter amendment or amendments shall be placed on the ballots or voting machines used at the referendum election. The expenses of the referendum election and all necessary or proper expenses of a charter commission shall be defrayed by the municipal corporation.

(b) Officials to tally and certify results. — The official or officials charged with the duty to arrange for and conduct the referendum, promptly following the closing of the polls, shall tally the results thereof and shall forthwith certify the results of the referendum to the chief executive officer of the municipal corporation.

(c) Proclamation of result; effective date of amendment. — The chief executive of the municipal corporation shall proclaim the result of the referendum within 10 days after receiving certification from the official or officials who tally the vote. If a majority of those who vote on any question submitted to the voters of the municipal corporation shall cast their votes in favor of the proposed charter amendment or amendments, it shall be adopted; provided, however, that no charter amendment so adopted will be effective until the chief executive officer files copies thereof with the Governor, President Pro Tem of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Secretary of State and the Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau, and until the General Assembly shall have been in session 30 calendar days after such filing. During said 30-day period, failure of the General Assembly by statute to negate such charter amendment by a two-thirds majority of all members elected to each House thereof shall be deemed to be an assent by the General Assembly thereto and the charter amendment shall be as effective as if enacted into law by a statute of this State. Neither shall a charter amendment be effective until final adjudication of an action brought for judicial review of charter referendum pursuant to § 820 of this title.

22 Del. C. 1953, § 813; 53 Del. Laws, c. 260.;

Alternative restatements of amendments may be submitted and the one receiving the larger vote shall prevail if the amendment otherwise qualifies for adoption.

22 Del. C. 1953, § 814; 53 Del. Laws, c. 260.;

The exact text of any amendment or amendments to the charter of any municipal corporation, adopted as in this chapter specified, shall thereafter be included in any subsequent edition or codification of the charter of the municipal corporation, until altered, modified or repealed by a subsequent amendment or amendments to the charter.

22 Del. C. 1953, § 815; 53 Del. Laws, c. 260.;