TITLE 9

Counties

Provisions Affecting All Counties

CHAPTER 3. COUNTY GOVERNMENTS GENERALLY

Subchapter II. County Governments


(a) The county government of each county shall:

(1) Except as otherwise provided by law, have the direction, management and control of the business and finances of the respective counties; and

(2) Have full and complete jurisdiction over all matters and things now or hereafter vested by law in the county governments of the respective counties, or in, or appertaining to, the office of the county governing officials of each county; and

(3) Have and exercise every power, privilege, right and duty which belongs and appertains to the county governments of the respective counties, or to the office of the county governing officials of the county; and

(4) Have the power and authority to impose and collect by ordinance a tax upon the transfer of real property situate within unincorporated areas of the county, subject to the conditions and limitations provided in § 8102 of this title.

(b) The county governments of the several counties shall take care that:

(1) The affairs of the respective counties are administered with efficiency and economy; and

(2) The officers and employees of the counties, chosen and appointed by the county governments, shall faithfully perform the duties imposed upon them.

(c) The county governments shall enact no law or regulation prohibiting, restricting or licensing the ownership, transfer, possession or transportation of firearms or components of firearms or ammunition except that the discharge of a firearm may be regulated; provided any law, ordinance or regulation incorporates the justification defenses as found in Title 11 of the Delaware Code.

22 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 5; Code 1915, §§ 1018, 1048; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 4; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 17; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 6; Code 1935, §§ 1153, 1219, 1230; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 341; 65 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1.;

Should any 2 or more persons voted for as officials of the county governing body receive an equal and the highest number of votes cast at any election, the Superior Court, sitting as a board of canvass in the county in which the tie vote occurs, shall certify the fact to the Governor who shall forthwith appoint 1 of the candidates involved in the tie to be 1 of the county governing officials for the county. The person appointed shall hold the office for the term of 2 years from the first Tuesday in January then next ensuing.

21 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 5; 22 Del. Laws, c. 50, § 5; 22 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 5; Code 1915, §§ 1018, 1040, 1049; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 6; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 5; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 6; Code 1935, §§ 1152, 1186, 1196; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 307.;

33 Del. Laws, c. 72, § 3; Code 1935, § 1154; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 310; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 4; repealed by 78 Del. Laws, c. 249, § 1, eff. June 5, 2012.;

The oath or affirmation of office to be taken by an elected official of the county governing body may be administered by the clerk of the peace or any such elected official and an entry thereof shall be made in the minutes of the county governing body.

Code 1852, § 65; Code 1915, §§ 1047, 1055; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 3; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 7; Code 1935, § 1223; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 311.;

(a) The governing bodies of the respective counties shall meet for organization on the first Tuesday in January following the biennial general election, or on the date specified by ordinance in the respective county.

(b) After taking the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, each governing body shall elect 1 of its members to be president. In New Castle County the President of County Council shall be elected by a county wide ballot.

21 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 5; 22 Del. Laws, c. 50, § 3; 22 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 5; Code 1915, §§ 1015, 1038, 1047; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 3; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 7; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 3; Code 1935, §§ 1149, 1188, 1198; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 312; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 5, 6.;

Repealed by 65 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 1, effective July 8, 1986.;

(a) Special meetings of any governing body may be held at the direction of its president or any 2 members.

(b) The clerk of the peace shall notify each elected official of a county governing body of any special meeting. In New Castle County the Clerk of Council shall notify all members of County Council of any special meeting.

(c) Special meetings shall be held at the usual place of meeting. Any lawful business may be transacted at a special meeting. In New Castle County special meetings may be held at any public location in New Castle County in accordance with Council rules.

Code 1852, § 69; 16 Del. Laws, c. 315, § 1; Code 1915, §§ 1016, 1047, 1057; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 3; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 7; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 4; Code 1935, §§ 1150, 1222; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 314; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 7, 8.;

Repealed by 65 Del. Laws, c. 450, § 2, effective July 8, 1986.;

Any governing body may adjourn from time to time as occasion shall require. If only 1 elected official attends at the time fixed for a meeting of the governing body, that elected official may adjourn the governing body. If no elected official attends, the clerk of the peace may adjourn the governing body.

Code 1915, §§ 1016, 1047, 1057; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 3; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 7; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 4; Code 1935, §§ 1150, 1220; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 316.;

The governing body of each county may make rules for its government not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the State.

21 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 5; 22 Del. Laws, c. 50, § 3; 22 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 5; Code 1915, §§ 1015, 1038, 1047; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 3; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 7; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 3; Code 1935, §§ 1149, 1188, 1198; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 317.;

The governing body in each county may employ legal counsel.

Code 1915, § 1054; Code 1935, § 1218; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 318.;

The governing body in each county may select and require 2 constables of the county to attend its sittings, as bailiffs, who shall attend the same and obey all the reasonable requirements of the governing body under penalty of $10, to be recovered by indictment.

Code 1852, § 107; Code 1915, § 1073; Code 1935, § 1229; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 319.;

(a) The fiscal year of the governing body of each county shall begin on July 1 of each calendar year and end on June 30 of the succeeding calendar year.

(b) All county departments, bureaus, divisions, offices, boards, commissions, and other agencies, supported entirely or in part by the governing body of any county, shall have the same fiscal year as that of the governing body.

45 Del. Laws, c. 119, §§ 1, 2; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 320.;

The governing bodies may prescribe the form in which the several accounts to be rendered to them, shall be drawn and verified, and shall have power to determine the form of all warrants to be drawn in payment of demands.

Code 1852, § 106; Code 1915, § 1072; Code 1915, § 1052A; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 9; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 26; Code 1935, § 1225; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 372.;

If it appears to the governing body that any demand presented to it for allowance has been assigned or contracted for, the governing body shall reject it and the same shall be forfeited.

Code 1852, § 117; Code 1915, § 1077; Code 1935, § 1243; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 373.;

No elected official of a county governing body shall directly or indirectly cash, buy up, purchase or redeem any county warrant drawn in favor of any other person.

22 Del. Laws, c. 273, § 4; Code 1915, § 1024; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 9; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 19; Code 1935, § 1221; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 374.;

Whoever, by special contract or otherwise, does or performs any work, labor or service of any kind for, or furnishes any merchandise, goods, printing, tools, implements, machinery or materials of any kind or description, to or for the use of any county or the governing body of any county or any elected official of any governing body in his or her official capacity, and directly or indirectly to any elected official of any county or to any other person whomsoever, gives, conveys, allows, offers or tenders any rebate, commission, profit, gift, emolument, rake-off or any pecuniary benefit whatsoever from the price of or on account or because of the doing or performing of such work, labor or service for any county, governing body or elected official thereof, or from the price of or on account or because of the furnishing of merchandise, goods, printing, tools, implements, machinery or materials of any kind or description to or for the use of any county, governing body or elected official thereof, shall be fined in such amount as is determined by the governing body, but not less than 3 times the amount of the price charged by the offending person for the work, labor, service, merchandise, goods, printing, tools, implements, machinery or materials so done or furnished by the offending person, and also shall be adjudged, deemed and held incapable of thereafter performing any service, or furnishing any material or merchandise whatsoever to, for or for the use of the counties, governing bodies or any elected official thereof, forever.

22 Del. Laws, c. 273, § 7; Code 1915, §§ 1027, 1052A; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 9; Code 1935, § 1228; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 375; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The county government may summon and compel the attendance of any witnesses deemed necessary by the elected officials of the county governing body to give information relative to their duties.

(b) Any such elected official may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the governing body.

Code 1915, § 1073; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 4; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 17; Code 1935, §§ 1229, 1230; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 342.;

(a) The county government shall procure the services of 1 or more certified public accountants to audit the accounts of the county at the end of its fiscal year.

(b) Every certified public accountant employed under subsection (a) of this section shall be certified under the laws of Delaware or under the laws of some state having substantially the same qualifications for the certification of public accountants as are required by the laws of Delaware. The county government shall contract with a certified public accountant or certified public accountants, after first giving notice by newspaper advertisement or otherwise of the contemplated employment, and shall thereafter select the lowest responsible bidder for the purpose of carrying out the requirements of this section. The county government may appropriate reasonable sums from the general funds of the county for the payments to the certified public accountants for auditing the county books.

38 Del. Laws, c. 71, §§ 1-3; Code 1935, §§ 1254-1256; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 344; 50 Del. Laws, c. 343, § 1.;

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, public advertising and notices by any county in the State of any nature may include use of the State's electronic procurement advertising system required by § 6902(10) of Title 29 or other website allowing for the electronic posting of local government bid opportunities, and the website designed pursuant to §§ 10004(e)(4), 10115(b) and 10124(1) of Title 29.

78 Del. Laws, c. 288, § 9.;