TITLE 9

Counties

New Castle County

CHAPTER 11. COUNTY EXECUTIVE AND COUNTY COUNCIL

Subchapter II. County Executive


(a) At the first general election in November following May 26, 1965, and each fourth year thereafter, a County Executive shall be elected at large from New Castle County, except that if such first general election is in a nonpresidential election year, then the County Executive thus elected shall serve a term of 2 years and thereafter shall be elected each fourth year in a presidential election year. He or she shall take office on the first Tuesday in January following his or her election. He or she shall serve no more than 2 consecutive terms of 4 years each, not counting any partial terms he or she may serve as a result of vacancy in the office of County Executive or as a result of his or her election to a term of 2 years as aforesaid. Following any 2 consecutive 4 year terms served by the County Executive, he or she may again hold the office provided that a 4 year term has intervened since he or she last held the office.

(b) The County Executive shall be the chief executive officer of the County. The County Executive shall be responsible to the people of the County for the executive and administrative work of the County. The County Executive shall be recognized as the head of the County Council for all ceremonial purposes, the purposes of military law, and the acceptance of service of civil process.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1111; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

The County Executive shall be a citizen of the United States, a qualified elector of New Castle County, and shall have been a resident of New Castle County for at least 5 years immediately preceding his or her election. Removal from the County as a resident shall be construed as vacating the office of County Executive. The County Executive shall be no less than 27 years old when elected to the office of County Executive.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1112; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The annual salary of the County Executive shall not be less than $67,000 and may be changed by ordinance or upon a recommendation by the New Castle County Compensation Commission which has been adopted and ordained by County Council.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1113; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 493, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 16.;

(a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of County Executive by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, or other cause, the Governor shall appoint an acting County Executive to serve until the vacancy is filled as a result of an election. The person appointed by the Governor to be acting County Executive shall meet all eligibility requirements to be a candidate for that office.

(b) Whenever a vacancy in the office of County Executive occurs for any reason, within 10 days following the creation of the vacancy, the President of County Council shall deliver to the Department of Elections for New Castle County a writ of election reporting the existence of the vacancy and requesting that a special election be scheduled to fill the same.

(c) On the next day after receiving a writ of election, unless the same shall be Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, and then on the next business day following, the Department of Elections for New Castle County shall post a proclamation reciting the writ and appointing a day for holding a special election, at the following locations:

(1) On the outside of the door of the New Castle County Courthouse;

(2) On the Internet; and

(3) In at least 5 public places in New Castle County.

(d)(1) If the Department of Elections for New Castle County receives a writ of election reporting the existence of a vacancy in the office of County Executive then, no more than 45 days after posting said proclamation pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, it shall hold a special election to fill such vacancy; provided, however that:

a. If the special election to fill the vacancy must be scheduled pursuant to this section within the 45 days immediately following another special election, the special election to fill the vacancy shall be held on the forty-fifth day following the previous special election; and

b. If the special election to fill the vacancy must be scheduled pursuant to this section on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, said special election shall be held on the first business day thereafter.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section:

a. In the year of a general election, if a vacancy occurs in the office of County Executive on or after June 1 but before August 20 of that year, the special election to fill such vacancy shall be held that year on the day of the general election;

b. In the year of a general election in which the office of County Executive is not on the general election ballot, if a vacancy occurs in the office of County Executive on or after August 20 of that year but before the date of the general election, the special election to fill such vacancy shall be held that year on the forty-fifth day following the general election, or within 1 week thereafter.

(e) Any political party eligible to have a candidate listed on a ballot in the most recent general election preceding the creation of the vacancy may select a candidate to be listed on the ballot for the special election. Candidate names must be received by the Department of Elections for New Castle County no more than 10 days following the date on which the Department posts its proclamation reciting the writ of election and appointing a day for holding a special election. The candidate for a political party shall be selected by the county chair of that party, or in the event that a county chair does not exist, then by the party's state chair.

(f) To the greatest extent feasible, the Department of Elections for New Castle County will use the same polling places as used in a general election; provided, however, that the department may require voters from multiple election districts to use a single polling place and, in the event a normal polling place is not available to be used on the day of the special election, may use as polling places buildings which are not normally used as polling places.

(g) The Department of Elections for New Castle County will appoint election officers as necessary to conduct the special election.

(h) Except as provided in this section, special elections conducted to fill a vacancy in the office of County Executive shall be provided for, opened, held, conducted and closed and the result thereof ascertained and certified in the same manner and subject to the same laws, as far as the same may be applicable, as are prescribed for the general election; provided, however, that the provisions of § 4980(b) of Title 15 shall not apply to any special election held pursuant to this section, nor shall that section interfere with the conduct of a special election held pursuant to this section. Ballots for any special election conducted on the date of a general election pursuant to this section shall be merged with the general election ballots for that date and the 2 elections shall be conducted as a single, general election.

(i) The Superior Court for New Castle County, as constituted under article V, § 6 of the Delaware Constitution, shall at 10 a.m. on the second day after a special election conducted in accordance with this section convene and perform its duties prescribed by the Delaware Constitution with reference to the special election, at the same place, with the same powers and in the same manner as for a general election. If the second day after a special election is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the canvass of the special election shall commence at 10 a.m. on the first business day thereafter.

(j) A candidate elected pursuant to this section shall immediately upon certification of election take office and shall serve until the expiration of the term.

(k) Unless otherwise provided by the laws of this State, all necessary costs and expenses, including the compensation of election officers, incurred in carrying into effect a special election pursuant to this section, except those that have merged with the general election pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, shall be paid by New Castle County.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1114; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15; 81 Del. Laws, c. 239, § 1.;

During the temporary absence or disability of the County Executive, the Chief Administrative Officer shall act as County Executive and may sign contracts or other legal papers or instruments which the County Executive is authorized to sign. The County Executive shall designate, in writing, a head of a county department who shall act as County Executive during the temporary absence or disability of both the County Executive and the Chief Administrative Officer. The Acting County Executive may sign contracts or other legal papers or instruments which the County Executive is authorized to sign.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1115; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1.;

The County Executive shall:

(1) See that the duties and responsibilities of the executive and administrative agencies of the County are properly performed and that the work of the county offices, departments, and agencies is properly coordinated;

(2) See that the laws of the State required to be administered by the County, the provisions of this title, ordinances, and regulations of the County are enforced;

(3) Make appointments to positions for which the County Executive has appointing authority and to other positions for which no appointing authority is prescribed;

(4) Except as otherwise provided in this title, shall remove or suspend at his or her pleasure any person whom the County Executive may appoint to a position of trust or emolument;

(5) Receive and examine complaints made against any officer or employee for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office;

(6) Have full authority to examine the books, papers, records, accounts, moneys, securities and property of the County in the possession of all offices, departments, or boards which the County Executive supervises, and may in the County Executive's discretion delegate such authority to 1 or more competent persons;

(7) Require the fiscal officers of the County to make such special audits, investigations, or examinations as the County Executive may deem appropriate;

(8) Require of officers, departments, or agencies under the County Executive's supervision the submission of any reports the County Executive deems appropriate;

(9) Sign all contracts, bonds, or other instruments requiring the assent of the County, except those which other officers are authorized by this title or by the County Council under this title, to sign;

(10) Administer oaths necessary or appropriate for the performance of the County Executive's duties;

(11) Prepare and submit to the County Council, and execute after adoption, the annual budget, capital program, and capital budget;

(12) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by ordinance or by law.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1116; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

Whenever in this title any function or duty is assigned to any officer, department or board for performance, such officer, department or board may perform such function by contract to the extent authorized in writing by the County Executive.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1117; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1.;

The County Executive shall by rule provide for the organization and performance of such civil defense functions as shall from time to time be performed by the County.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1118; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1.;

The County Executive, orally or in writing, may present messages, information, and recommendations to the County Council.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1119; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;

(a) The County Executive shall appoint a Chief Administrative Officer who shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive. The Chief Administrative Officer shall be qualified by education, training and experience for the duties to be performed.

(b) The County Executive, with the advice and consent of the County Council, shall appoint the General Manager of Land Use, the General Manager of Special Services, the General Manager of Community Services, the Chief Procurement Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer, as well as the heads of any subsequently created departments, who shall each serve at the pleasure of the County Executive.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of state or county law, on February 9, 2005, any persons then serving in any of the positions enumerated in this section shall cease to be classified service members of the New Castle County Merit System, but may thereafter continue to serve at the pleasure of the County Executive.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1120; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 336, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 17; 75 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 1.;

(a) The Chief Administrative Officer shall assist the County Executive with duties and responsibilities and, subject to the policies and directives of the County Executive, shall have general supervision over the executive, administrative and operational departments of the County.

(b) The Chief Administrative Officer, on behalf of the County Executive, shall prepare the annual operating budget, capital program, and capital budget as provided by this chapter. The Chief Administrative Officer shall supervise the execution of the budgets and prepare reports and information concerning the status of the financial and other affairs of the County which will keep the County Executive, County Council and the public informed as to all offices, departments, and agencies receiving appropriations from the County Treasury.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1121; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 15, 18, 19.;

The County Executive of New Castle County shall have the power to merge, establish, rename, and modify departments, boards, agencies, commissions, and offices of the county and may prescribe the functions and management systems of all departments, boards, agencies, commissions and offices of the county, subject to approval of County Council. The authority granted pursuant to this section shall supersede any conflicting provisions within this title.

71 Del. Laws, c. 40, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 20; 75 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 2.;