SENATE BILL NO. 686
AN ACT TO AMEND VOLUME 36, LAWS OF DELAWARE, CHAPTER 158, 1929 ENTITLED AN ACT CHANCING THE NAME OF "THE TOWN OF DOVER" TO "THE CITY OF DOVER" AND ESTABLISHING A CHARTER THEREFORE, SAID AMENDMENT BEING TO CHANCE THE CHARTER CONCERNING THE DESIGNATION OF BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY THEREIN: CHANCING THE HOURS THAT THE POLLS SHALL REMAIN OPEN FOR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS AND THE PLACE OF HOLDING ELECTIONS; CHANCING THE ELECTION RULES CONCERNING A TIE VOTE IN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS; CHANCING THE PROVISIONS FOR A QUORUM AND PROVISIONS FOR SPECIAL ELECTIONS; ABOLISHING THE RIGHT OF THE MAYOR TO VOTE AND PROVIDING THAT MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION CANNOT HOLD ELECTED CITY OFFICES AT THE SAME TIME AND MAKINGOTHER CHANCES TO THE CHARTER.
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. Amend Section 1, Volume 36, Laws of
Delaware, Chapter 158 (1929) by striking said section in its entirety, and by adding a new section to read as follows:
"Section 1. The municipal corporation of the
State of Delaware, known as "The Town of Dover" shall hereafter be known as "The City of Dover". The boundaries of the City of Dover are hereby established and declared as recorded on the official map of record in the
Recorder of Deeds Office for Kent County and State of Delaware as presently existing and as hereinafter amended."
Section 2. Amend Volume 36, Laws of Delaware,
Chapter 158 (1929) by striking Section 8 in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 8 to read as follows:
(a) The regular municipal election shall be held on the third Monday in January of each year. At each such election the polls shall be opened at 11:00 A.M. and closed at 8:00 P.M. The council may designate the places of election and make all necessary rules and regulations not inconsistent with this charter or with other laws of the State of Delaware for the conduct of elections, for the prevention of fraud of elections, and for the recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud.
(b) All elections shall be held by an Election Board which shall consist of the Alderman and two of the four members of council whose terms of office continue for the year following the election, to be chosen by the Council at the meeting prior to the election. The Alderman may designate such other persons as he shall deem necessary to assist the members of the Election Board in the conduct of the election and counting of the ballots. Should any or all of the members of the Election Board be absent from the place of election at 11:00 A.M. on the day of the election or fail or neglect to act in the conduct of such election during the time the polls are open and until the ballots are counted and the results of the election certified, the voters of the City present at such time may choose from the qualified voters of the City such person or persons as shall be necessary to fill the places made vacant by the absence or neglect aforesaid.
publicly count the votes and shall certify the result of the election to each of the persons elected and to the council. The candidate for the Office of Mayor who receives the highest number of votes cast for that office shall be declared to be elected Mayor, and the candidate for the Office of Councilman from each district who has received the highest number of votes cast for Councilman in that district shall be declared to be elected to that office. In the event of a tie vote for any office, a special election shall be held within 30 days and the registration books shall remain closed until the outcome of the special election is determined.
(c) Every resident of the City of Dover who shall have reached the age of 18 years by the time of the election; who has resided in the City of Dover for at least 30 days continuously preceding the day of the election and who has properly registered to vote shall be entitled to vote at the regular or special municipal elections. The council ordinance duly adopted may provide for the registration of voters and require that a person otherwise qualified to vote must also be properly registered in order to vote in the municipal elections. Any such ordinance providing for registration of votes shall make adequate provision for the preparation and custody of registration books and for the entry therein of the names of registered voters, their qualifications as such, the fact of their voting at each municipal election, and such other matters as may be required by this Charter or the Laws of the State of Delaware. Reasonable opportunity shall be provided for voters to register, and there shall be at least three registration days in each year.
(d) (e) This subsection is reinstated herein as previously enacted.
"Section 10. Conduct of Meetings.
Five of the members elected to the Council shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a lessor number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance."
Section 4. Amend Volume 36, Laws of Delaware,
Chapter 158 (1929) by striking the fifth paragraph of Section 10 in its entirety and by adding a new fifth paragraph to read as follows:
"A councilman may abstain from voting on a matter that he feels would involve the consideration of his own official conduct or financial interest."
Section 5. Amend Section 13 of Volume 36, Laws
of Delaware, Chapter 158 (1929) by striking the last sentence thereof in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"In the case of any such vacancy or of any vacancy created by death, resignation or otherwise for which said vacancy shall be less than 6 months in duration, the council shall fill such vacancy. If such vacancy should be in excess of 6 months in duration, a special election shall be held to fill such vacancy, this special election to be held no sooner than 30 days from the date of the vacancy, but said special election to be held no later than 60 days after the date of the vacancy."
Section 6. Amend Volume 36, Laws of Delaware,
Chapter 158 (1929) Section 14 by striking said section in its entirety and by adding a new section to read as follows:
"Section 14. Duties of Mayors.
The Mayor shall be the Executive and Chief Official of the City. He shall preside at meetings of the council. He shall have the powers and perform the duties conferred and imposed by this charter and ordinances of the city."
Section 7. Amend Volume 36, Laws of Delaware,
Chapter 158 (1929) by striking Section 18 in its entirety and by adding a new Section 18 to read as follows:
"Section 18. Power to Define Nuisances.
The council shall have the power to define nuisances and cause their abatement. The operation of any instrument, device or machine of any kind whatsoever, that shall cause electrical interference with radio or television reception within the limits of the city shall, at the option of the council, be deemed a nuisance."
Section 8. Amend Volume 36, Laws of Delaware,
Chapter 158 (1929) by striking Section 23 in its entirety and by adding a new Section 23 to read as follows:
"Section 23. Planning.
The council may create a City Planning Commission for the development, improvement, and beautification of the city, and prescribe its powers and duties. No member of the Planning Commission may hold at the same time, any elected city office."
Section 9. Amend Volume 36, Laws of Delaware,
Chapter 158 (1929) by striking Section 24 in its entirety and by adding a new Section 24 to read as follows:
"Section 24. Regulation of Use of Streets.
The council shall have the right to grant or refuse
franchises or licenses to public utilities and common carriers and to fix the terms and conditions thereof and to regulate their use of the streets, lanes and alleys of the city."
Approved June 11, 1976