The Executive Branch of the County government shall consist of the County Executive and all officers, agents, and employees under the Executive's supervision and authority.
All executive power vested in Harford County by the Constitution and laws of Maryland and this Charter shall be vested in the County Executive, who shall be the chief executive officer of the County, and who shall faithfully execute the laws. The County Executive shall devote full time to the duties of office. The duties and responsibilities of the County Executive shall include, but not be limited to:
Preparing and submitting to the Council the annual County budget in the manner and form provided in Article V of this Charter;
Preparing and submitting to the Council and the public, within four months after the close of the fiscal year, an annual report on the activities and accomplishments of the County government, including a detailed financial statement;
Providing the Council with any information concerning the Executive Branch which the Council may require for the exercise of its powers;
Recommending to the Council such measures for legislative action as may be deemed to be in the best interests of the County;
Insuring that County funds in excess of those required for immediate needs are invested in the best interests of the County;
Signing or causing to be signed on the County's behalf all deeds, contracts, and other instruments; and
Seeing that the affairs of the Executive Branch are properly and efficiently administered, and that employees of the Executive Branch faithfully perform their duties.
The County Executive shall be nominated and elected by the qualified voters of the entire County at the same time as state officers and in the manner provided by law.
The County Executive shall serve for a term beginning at noon on the first Monday in December next following election, and ending at noon on the first Monday in December in the fourth year thereafter. No person shall be eligible for succession in the office of County Executive after serving in such office for two consecutive four-year terms.
The County Executive shall have been a resident and a qualified voter of the County for at least five years immediately preceding election or appointment. At the time of election or appointment, the candidate shall have attained the age of twenty-five years. During the term of office, the County Executive shall not hold any other office of profit in federal, state, County, or municipal government and shall not, during the whole term of election or appointment and for two years thereafter, be eligible for appointment to any County office or position carrying compensation.
The County Executive shall receive compensation of not less than twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars per annum. Compensation may be changed by law passed by an affirmative vote of at least five members of the Council. Any increase or decrease in compensation which becomes law during one term of office shall not become effective before the next term.
[Amended by Bill No. 12-28]
A vacancy in the office of the County Executive shall exist upon the death, resignation, removal, or forfeiture of office of the County Executive. When a vacancy occurs, a majority of the County Council shall, within thirty calendar days thereafter, appoint a person qualified under Section 305 of this article to fill the vacancy from among those who apply to the County Council for the position. If an appointee is to succeed a member of a political party, that individual shall be a member of the party to which the former County Executive belonged at the time of his or her election. Except as provided in Subsection (b) of this section, an appointee shall serve for the unexpired term of the appointee’s predecessor.
If a vacancy filled by an appointment under Subsection (a) of this section occurred more than ninety calendar days before the next Congressional primary election, an election shall be held simultaneous to the Congressional election to elect a new County Executive to fulfill the remaining term. The appointed County Executive shall serve until the newly elected County Executive takes office at noon on the first Monday in December next following election.
The County Executive may be removed from office by an affirmative vote of at least five members of the Council after a public hearing and upon a finding that the County Executive has failed to perform the duties of office for a continuous period of six months or is unable by reason of physical or mental disability to perform the duties of office. The decision of the Council may be appealed by the County Executive within ten days to the Circuit Court for Harford County by petition. Upon the filing of a petition, the Court may stay the removal pending its decision. The Court shall make independent determinations of fact, and its decision may be appealed to the Court of Appeals of Maryland.
The County Executive shall immediately forfeit office upon ceasing to be a qualified voter of the County or when convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
[Amended by Bill No. 96-37]
In the event of the temporary absence or disability of the County Executive, the Director of Administration shall perform the duties of the County Executive, unless the County Executive designates in writing some other person in the Executive Branch. Such designation shall be filed with the Council Administrator. Any such designation may be revoked by the County Executive at any time by filing a new designation with the Council Administrator. An Acting County Executive shall have the same rights, duties, powers, and obligations as an elected incumbent in said office, except the power of veto.
[Amended by Bill No. 96-37]
Upon its enactment by the Council, any bill, except measures made expressly exempt from the executive veto by the Charter, shall be presented to the County Executive within five calendar days for approval or disapproval. Within twenty-one calendar days after presentation, the bill shall be returned to the Council with an approval endorsed thereon or with a statement, in writing, of the reasons for not approving the same. Upon approval by the County Executive, any such bill shall become law. Upon veto by the County Executive, the veto message shall be entered in the journal of the Council, and not later than at its next legislative session day, the Council may reconsider the bill. If, upon reconsideration, at least five members of the Council vote in the affirmative, the bill shall become law. Whenever the County Executive shall fail to return any bill within twenty-one calendar days after the date of its presentation to the County Executive, the Council Administrator shall forthwith record the fact of such failure in the journal, and the bill shall thereupon become law. The Country Executive may disapprove individual items in budget and appropriation bills. Each item or items not disapproved in a budget and appropriation bill shall become law, and each item or items disapproved in a budget and appropriation bill shall be subject to the same procedure as any other bill vetoed by the County Executive.
[Amended by Bill No. 82-45]
The County Executive shall appoint a Director of Administration, subject to confirmation by the Council as required by Section 223 of this Charter, who shall be selected on the basis of qualifications as a professional administrator and shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive. The Director of Administration shall perform administrative duties and exercise general supervision over the agencies of the Executive Branch as the County Executive may direct. Prior to assuming the duties of office, the Director of Administration shall be domiciled in the County. The Director of Administration shall be the budget officer. The chief budget officer of the County shall cause to be prepared and submitted to the County Executive for approval and submission to the Council all County budgets, prepared in the manner and form provided in Article V of this Charter, and shall study the organization, methods, and procedures of each agency of the County government and submit to the County Executive periodic reports on their efficiency and economy.
[Amended by Bill Nos. 76-37; 14-18]
The County Executive shall appoint a single officer to head each agency of the Executive Branch, as well as deputy directors of an agency, subject to confirmation by the Council, as required by Section 223 of this Charter, and such officer and deputies may be removed at the discretion of the County Executive. Within six months after each election for County Executive, the County Executive shall appoint for confirmation or reconfirmation, as the case may be, all heads of each agency and deputy directors, of the Executive Branch as defined by Section 402 and shall also appoint the members of all boards and commissions in the Executive Branch, except as otherwise provided for by law, subject to confirmation by the Council as required by Section 223 of this Charter, and may remove the same in accordance with this Charter or other applicable law. All employees of the Executive Branch, other than those specifically provided for in this Charter, shall be appointed and removed by the heads of the several agencies of the County government in accordance with the provisions of the County personnel law. The Council shall have the power to approve those persons assigned by the Executive Branch to the Council to support it in the exercise and performance of its duties, powers and functions.
When a vacancy occurs in the position of the Director of Administration or the head of an agency of the Executive Branch, the County Executive shall appoint an Acting Director of Administration or acting head of the agency, as the case may be, to serve only for a period not exceeding sixty calendar days. This limit may be extended by the Council for a period of time not to exceed an additional four months.
[Amended by Bill No. 78-20]
During the temporary absence of the Director of Administration or the head of an agency of the Executive Branch due to illness or approved leave of absence greater than thirty days, the County Executive shall appoint, subject to the approval of the Council, a temporary "Acting" Director of Administration or head of an agency in the Executive Branch for the period of absence. No temporary absence due to illness or approved leave of absence shall exceed one year.
[Amended by Bill No. 78-20]
In no event shall the position be filled by an "Acting" person for a cumulative period greater than the times stated in Subsections (a) and (b) above. When a vacancy or absence that warrants a temporary appointment occurs, the County Executive shall insure that the appropriate procedures are immediately instituted to provide a qualified person for the position.