City of Aberdeen, MD
Harford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Aberdeen 4-26-2010 by Res. No. 10-CR-01, effective 6-15-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Ca Appendix I
1. 
This Charter is the municipal corporation charter of the City of Aberdeen, Harford County, Maryland, the corporate name of which is "City of Aberdeen."
2. 
The terms "City," "municipality," and "municipal corporation" in this Charter shall be construed as synonymous.
1. 
The municipal corporation here continued under its corporate name has all the privileges of a body corporate, by that name to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded in any court of law or equity, to have and use a common seal and to have perpetual succession, unless the Charter and the corporate existence are legally abrogated.
2. 
The City may acquire real, personal, or mixed property within or without the corporate limits of the City for any public purpose by purchase, gift, bequest, devise, lease, condemnation or otherwise and may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any property belonging to the City. All municipal property, funds, and franchises of every kind belonging to or in the possession the City (by whatever prior name known) at the time this Charter becomes effective are vested in the City, subject to the terms and conditions thereof.
3. 
The City may condemn property of any kind, or interest therein or franchise connected therewith, in a fee or as an easement within the corporate limits of the City for any public purpose. Any activity, project or improvement authorized by the provisions of this Charter or any other state law applicable to the City is a public purpose. The manner of procedure in case of any condemnation proceeding shall be that established in Title 12 of the Real Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
4. 
The City may acquire, obtain by lease or rent, purchase, construct, operate, and maintain all buildings and structures it deems necessary for the operation of the City government. It may do whatever may be necessary to protect City property and to keep all City property in good condition.
1. 
The corporate boundaries shall be the courses and distances as adopted by the Council by Charter amendment. The corporate limits or boundaries of the City of Aberdeen, until changed by the Council in accordance with law, are the same as prior to the adoption of this Charter.
a. 
A description of the corporate boundaries of the City at all times shall be on file with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Harford County, the Director of the Department of Legislative Services, and the offices of the City of Aberdeen.
1. 
The Mayor holding office at the time of adoption of this Charter shall continue to hold office for the term for which he was elected and until the succeeding Mayor takes office under the provisions of this Charter. Commencing in 2011, elections for Mayor shall be held every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Commencing in November 2011, the term of office shall be four years.
2. 
The Mayor shall retain office until a successor is duly sworn at the first Council meeting following the election.
3. 
The Mayor shall have the qualifications set forth in this section at the time of election or appointment to fill a vacancy in the office of Mayor and during the entire term of office. The Mayor must have been domiciled in the City for at least two years immediately preceding election or appointment and must be a qualified voter of the City. The Mayor shall be at least 25 years of age on the Monday following the mayoral election or appointment to fill a vacancy in the office of Mayor. A candidate for Mayor must not also simultaneously be a candidate for City Council member. If a member of the City Council is elected or appointed Mayor, that person shall be deemed to have resigned as a member of the City Council upon assuming the office of Mayor.
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-02, effective 3-18-2014]
4. 
The Mayor shall receive an annual salary as set from time to time by ordinance passed by the Council in the regular course of business. No change shall be made in the salary for any Mayor during the term for which elected. The ordinance making any change in the salary paid to the Mayor, either by way of increase or decrease, shall be finally ordained prior to the municipal election to elect the next succeeding Mayor and shall take effect only as to the next succeeding Mayor. Until changed by ordinance under the authority of this section, the annual compensation of the Mayor shall be $10,000.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Ordinances establishing the salary of the Mayor are on file in the City offices; see Ch. 90, Art. I.
5. 
The Mayor shall:
a. 
Establish the emphasis, direction, and vision of the City in conjunction with the Council.
b. 
Plan for the future, welfare, and business interest of the City in conjunction with the Council.
c. 
Prepare and present the annual budget for approval by the Council, in keeping with the emphasis, direction, and vision established with the Council.
d. 
Assure on behalf of the Council that the ordinances of the City are faithfully executed by the City Manager and that the disbursement of all moneys is in accordance with the budget approved by the Council. The Mayor may consult with the City Manager, as needed, to the day-to-day priorities of the City. The Mayor shall be recognized as the head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for serving civil process, and by the governor for purpose of military law.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
e. 
Appoint the City Manager and all members of commissions and boards as established by this Charter, subject to the approval of the Council.
f. 
Report annually to the Council the state of the City government and make such recommendations as may be proper for the public good and welfare of the City.
g. 
Establish an Economic Development Commission, Ethics Commission, a Parks and Recreation Board, Board of Appeals, Planning Commission, and such other boards and commissions as may be appropriate, subject to the advice and approval of the Council.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
h. 
Sign all documents obligating the City to long-term debt and shall sign all documents and contracts for which Council approval is required or for which signature authority has been delegated to the Mayor.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
i. 
Have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or may be required by the Council not inconsistent with this Charter.
6. 
During temporary absence or illness of the Mayor and upon the Mayor's formal request, a member of the Council chosen by the remainder of the Council shall perform the duties of the Mayor. In the event of the incapacity of the Mayor by reason of physical or mental disability, or otherwise, the Council may pass a formal resolution of temporary incapacity and direct a member of the Council chosen by the remainder of the Council to perform the duties of the Mayor for a specific period. In the alternative, if the Council determines the incapacity of the Mayor to be permanent, it may by formal resolution declare the office of Mayor vacant. The Circuit Court for Harford County shall have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve all questions of incapacity of the Mayor upon the petition of the Mayor, the Council, or any qualified voter of the City.
7. 
Except as provided in Section IV.8 of this Charter, in case of a vacancy in the office of Mayor, for any reason, the Council shall, by a majority vote of the entire Council, elect a person satisfying the qualifications in § IV.3 to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-02, effective 3-18-2014; 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
8. 
In the case of a vacancy arising from the failure to elect a person to serve as Mayor because of a tie vote between two or more candidates receiving the highest number of votes for Mayor at a City election, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this section.
[Added 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
a. 
The vacancy shall be filled by a special run-off election between the candidates who received the same number of votes at the City election. The Aberdeen Board of Elections promptly shall notify the candidates in writing of the date of the run-off election.
b. 
The run-off election shall be conducted not more than 30 business days after the Aberdeen Board of Elections certifies the results of the City election in accordance with Section VII.12 of this Charter.
c. 
A candidate may decline to participate in a run-off election by filing with the City Clerk a written and notarized declination of participation within two business days after the Board notifies the candidates of the date of the special election. If a candidate's declination of participation leaves only one remaining candidate to participate in the run-off election, the run-off election shall not be held and the remaining candidate shall be deemed to be elected.
d. 
If a run-off election results in a tie vote, another run-off election shall be conducted between the candidates receiving the same number of votes at the run-off election. The subsequent run-off election shall be conducted not more than 30 business days after the Aberdeen Board of Elections certifies the results of the prior run-off election in accordance with Section VII.12 of this Charter.
e. 
If a second run-off election results in a tie vote, the newly elected City Council shall decide, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Council, which of the tied candidates is the winner of the election. If no winner is selected by the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Council within 30 business days after the Aberdeen Board of Elections certifies the results of the second run-off election, the Aberdeen Board of Elections shall decide the winner of the election by a game of chance determined and conducted by the Board in public between the tied candidates.
9. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, in the event of a tie vote in an election for the office of Mayor, the incumbent Mayor shall remain in office until the Mayor's successor qualifies and takes office.
[Added 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
1. 
All legislative powers of the City shall be vested in the "Council" consisting of four Council members and the Mayor. The Council members holding office at the time of the adoption of this Charter shall continue to hold office for the term for which they were elected and until the succeeding Council takes office under provisions of this Charter.
2. 
a. 
Commencing in November 2011, elections for Council shall be held every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Commencing in November 2011, the term of office shall be four years.
3. 
All Council members shall serve until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Duly elected Council members shall take office on the Monday following the election.
4. 
Each Council member shall have the qualifications set forth in this section at the time of election or appointment to fill a vacancy in the office of Council member and during the entire term of office. Council members shall have been domiciled in the City for at least two years immediately preceding their election or appointment and must be qualified voters of the City.
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-02, effective 3-18-2014]
5. 
Each Council member shall receive an annual salary, which shall be equal for all Council members, except the Mayor, and shall be as specified from time to time by ordinance passed by the Council in the regular course of its business, provided that the ordinance making any change in the salary paid to the several Council members, either by way of increase or decrease, shall be finally ordained prior to the municipal election for the members of the next succeeding Council and shall take effect only as to the members of the next succeeding Council. Until changed by ordinance, the annual compensation of each Council member, except the Mayor, shall be $7,500.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Ordinances establishing salaries of the Council members are on file in the City offices; see Ch. 90, Art. I.
6. 
The newly elected Council shall meet on the Monday following its election for the purpose of organization, after which the Council shall meet regularly at such times as may be prescribed by its rules but not less frequently than once each month. Special meetings shall be called by the City Manager, the Mayor or at least two members of the Council. Except for such meetings permitted to be closed under the Maryland Open Meetings Act,[2] all meetings, regular and special, of the Council shall be public meetings and open to the public at all times. No ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation shall be finally adopted except at an open meeting. The rules of the Council shall provide that residents of the City and other interested parties shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any open public meetings with regard to any municipal question.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
[2]
Editor's Note: See the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, § 10-501 et seq.
7. 
The Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the City Council and shall have the right to vote on all issues.
8. 
A majority of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but no ordinance shall be approved nor any action taken upon an ordinance without the favorable votes of a majority of the whole number of members elected to the Council.
9. 
The Council shall adopt rules for its order of business. It shall keep a journal of proceedings and enter therein the "yeas" and "nays" upon a final action on any question, resolution, or ordinance. The journal shall be a public record.
10. 
a. 
Except as set forth in Subparagraph b below, no ordinance shall be passed at the meeting at which it is introduced. At any regular or special meeting of the Council held not less than six nor more than 60 days after the meeting at which an ordinance was introduced, it shall be passed, or passed as amended, or rejected, or its consideration deferred. Any such ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of 20 calendar days following adoption.
b. 
In the cases of emergency, the provision that an ordinance may not be passed at the meeting in which it is introduced may be suspended by the affirmative votes of four members of the Council. An emergency ordinance shall become effective on the date specified in the ordinance.
c. 
Each ordinance passed by the Council or a fair summary shall be published at least once on the City's internet website and in a newspaper having primary circulation in Harford County, if one exists, within two weeks of its passage.
11. 
Referendum.
a. 
Any ordinance may be brought to referendum within 30 days of its passage by petition filed with the City Clerk containing the signatures of not less than 20% of the qualified voters of the City requesting that the ordinance or any part thereof be submitted to a vote of the qualified voters of the City for their approval or disapproval.
b. 
Following acceptance of the petition and verification of the signatures, the Council shall have the ordinance or the part thereof requested for referendum submitted to a vote of the qualified voters of the City at the next regular City election or, in the Council's discretion, at a special election occurring before the next regular election.
c. 
No ordinance or the part thereof requested for referendum shall become or continue to be effective following the receipt of such petition until and unless approved at the election by a majority of the qualified voters on the question, excepting however that an emergency ordinance or the part thereof requested for referendum shall continue in effect for 60 days following receipt of such petition. If however the question of approval or disapproval of any emergency ordinance or any part thereof has not been submitted to the qualified voters within 60 days following receipt of the petition, the operation of the ordinance or the part thereof requested for referendum shall be suspended until approved by a majority of the qualified voters on the question at any election.
d. 
Any ordinance or part thereof disapproved by the voters shall stand repealed.
e. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any ordinance or part thereof passed under authority of this Charter levying property taxes for the payment of indebtedness, but the provisions of this section shall apply to any ordinance or any part thereof levying special assessment charges.
f. 
The provisions of this section shall be self-executing, but the Council may adopt ordinances in furtherance of these provisions and not in conflict with them.
g. 
Any Council member is subject to recall from office for cause and by a referendum of the qualified voters of the City. A request for recall of a member of the Council shall be initiated on the receipt of a petition signed by not less than 20% of the qualified voters of the City. Upon receipt by the City Clerk of a petition for recall of a member of Council, the City Clerk shall forward the petition to the Aberdeen Board of Elections for the purpose of confirming that a minimum of 20% of the qualified voters has signed the petition, that the names and addresses of the qualified voters are clearly legible and that the cause for recall is clearly presented on the petition. All pages of the petition shall be presented to the City Clerk at one time and may not be amended or supplemented after submittal. If the petition for recall conforms to the requirements of this paragraph, an election on the recall shall be scheduled by the Aberdeen Board of Elections no later than 60 days after receipt of the petition by the Aberdeen Board of Elections. The recall election shall be conducted in generally similar manner as other City elections. The petition for recall shall clearly state one or more causes for recall which shall be one or more of the following: (1) failure to uphold the oath of office; (2) malfeasance, examples of which are placed upon the petition; (3) misfeasance, examples of which are placed upon the petition; (4) engaging in illegal conduct for which the Council member has been charged and convicted; (5) gross abuse of public authority, examples of which are placed upon the petition; (6) the coercion of any City employee into taking illegal or improper action or taking retaliatory action against any City employee as a result of that employee's disclosure of information relating to the illegal and improper action in City government; (7) gross negligence or incompetence in the performance of public duties, examples of which are placed upon the petition. Votes cast in the election are for the removal of the member of the Council. That member shall be deemed removed from office immediately upon certification of the results of the election by the Aberdeen Board of Elections. The vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Charter.
12. 
Ordinances shall be permanently filed with the City and available for public inspection.
13. 
The Council shall have the power to pass all such ordinances not contrary to the Constitution and laws of the State of Maryland or this Charter as it may deem necessary for the good government of the City; for the protection and preservation of the City's property, rights and privileges; for the preservation of peace and good order; for securing persons and property from violence, danger, or destruction; and for the protection and promotion of the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and visitors of the City.
14. 
In addition to the general powers set forth hereinabove, the Council shall have the following specific ordinance-making powers:
a. 
To levy, assess and collect ad valorem taxes.
b. 
To appropriate and expend municipal funds for any public purpose.
c. 
To provide any valid charges, taxes, or assessments made against any real or personal property shall be liens upon the property to be collected as municipal taxes.
d. 
To create, change and abolish offices and departments, commissions and agencies not inconsistent with this Charter and to assign additional functions or duties to offices, departments, commissions, or agencies established by this Charter so long as the Council does not discontinue or assign to any other office, department, commission, or agency any function or duty assigned by this Charter to any other office, department, commission, or agency.
e. 
To provide, maintain, support or operate community and social services for the preservation and promotion of the health, recreation, welfare, and enlightenment of the inhabitants of the City and to improve their environment.
f. 
To provide for advertising for the purposes of the City, for printing and publishing statements regarding the business of the City.
g. 
To provide in the interest of the public welfare for licensing, regulating, or restraining theatrical or other public amusements.
h. 
To license, tax, or regulate all permanent or transient businesses, occupations, trades or places of amusement, or to prohibit same; to establish and collect fees and charges for licenses and permits issued under the authority of this Charter or ordinance enacted pursuant to this Charter.
i. 
To establish a municipal band, symphony orchestra or other musical organization and to regulate by resolution the conduct and policies of such band, orchestra or musical organization.
j. 
To license, tax and regulate, restrain or prohibit the erection or maintenance of billboards within the City, the placing of signs, bills and posters of every kind and description on any building, fence, post, billboard, pole, or other place within the City.
k. 
To exercise municipal borrowing powers.
l. 
To make reasonable regulations regarding buildings and signs to be erected, constructed, or reconstructed in the City, and to issue building permits; to formulate a building code, a plumbing code, and other codes related to construction of buildings and other structures and to appoint a building inspector and a plumbing inspector, and to require reasonable charges for permits and inspections; to authorize and require the inspection of all buildings and structures; to authorize the condemnation thereof in whole or in part when dangerous or insecure and to require that such buildings and structures be made safe or be razed.
m. 
To regulate or prohibit the interment of bodies within the City and to regulate cemeteries.
n. 
To prohibit youth from being in the streets, lanes, alleys, or public places at unreasonable hours of the night.
o. 
To compel persons about to undertake dangerous improvements to execute bonds with sufficient sureties conditioned that the owner or contractor will pay all damages resulting from such work which may be sustained by any persons or property.
p. 
To provide for licensing and regulation for the keeping and disposition of animals and to provide authority for the impounding, retention, sale and redemption of such animals when found in violation of any such ordinance.
q. 
To regulate or prevent the storage of gunpowder, oil, or any other explosive or combustible material and to regulate or prevent the use of firearms, fireworks, bonfires, explosives, or any other similar things which may endanger persons or property.
r. 
To compel the occupant of any premises, building, or outhouse situated in the City, if it has become filthy or unwholesome, to abate or cleanse the condition and, after reasonable notice to the owners or occupants, to authorize such work to be done by the proper officers and to assess the expense thereof against the property, making it collectible as taxes or against the occupant or occupants.
s. 
To suppress fires and prevent the dangers thereof and to establish and maintain fire departments and emergency medical and rescue services; to contribute funds to volunteer fire companies serving the City; to inspect buildings for the purpose of reducing fire hazards, to issue regulations concerning fire hazards, and to prohibit the use of fire hazardous buildings and structures permanently or until the conditions of City fire hazard regulations are met; to install and maintain fireplugs where and as necessary and to regulate their use; and to take all other measures necessary to control and prevent fires in the City.
t. 
To inspect and to regulate the sale of any food products and to require condemnation of unwholesome food.
u. 
To grant and regulate franchises to water, electric light, cable television, telegraph and telephone, transit and taxicab companies and to such other businesses which may be deemed advantageous and beneficial to the City, subject to appropriate license fees, charges, or taxes. No franchise shall be granted for a longer period than 15 years; in the alternative, to create appropriate instrumentalities to render such utility service.
v. 
To provide waste collection and disposal service; to prevent the deposit of any unwholesome substance either on private or public property and to compel its removal to designated points; to require garbage, ashes, and other waste or other unwholesome materials to be removed to designated points or to require the occupants of the premises to place them for convenient removal.
w. 
To accept gifts and grants of federal or of state funds from the federal or state government or any agency thereof and to expend the funds for any lawful purpose, consistent with the conditions under which the gifts or grants were made.
x. 
To establish such offices and agencies to protect and preserve the health of the City and its inhabitants and to regulate persons, buildings, businesses, and properties to promote and provide for the health and safety of the City and its inhabitants.
y. 
To regulate the numbering of houses and lots and to compel owners to renumber them or, in default thereof, to authorize and require the work to be done by the City at the owner's expense, such expense to constitute a lien upon the property collectible as a tax.
z. 
To provide for lighting of the City.
aa. 
To obtain by lease or rent, own, construct, purchase, operate, and maintain public markets within the City.
bb. 
To regulate or prevent the use of public ways, sidewalks, and public places for signs, awnings, posts, steps, railings, entrances, racks, posting handbills and advertisements, and display of goods, wares, and merchandise.
cc. 
To regulate sounds and to establish reasonable noise limits.
dd. 
To prevent or abate all nuisances; to remove all nuisances and obstructions from the streets, lanes, and alleys and from any lots adjoining thereto or any other places within the limits of the City; to regulate, to prohibit, to control the location of or to require the removal from the City of all trading in, handling of, or manufacture of any commodity which is or may become offensive, obnoxious, or injurious to the public comfort or health.
ee. 
To license and regulate and to establish, obtain by purchase, by lease or by rent, own, construct, operate, and maintain parking lots and other facilities for off-street parking, and to charge for their use.
ff. 
To install parking meters on the streets and public places of the City and to prescribe rates and provisions for the use thereof by resolution.
gg. 
To establish and maintain public parks, trails, gardens, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities and programs to promote the health, welfare, and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the City.
hh. 
To establish, operate, and maintain an adequate police force.
ii. 
To establish and regulate a station house or lockup for confinement of violators of the laws and ordinances of the City or to use the county jail for such purposes.
jj. 
To acquire, by conveyance, purchase, gift or condemnation, real or leasehold property for any public purpose; to erect buildings and structures thereon for the benefit of the City and its inhabitants; and to convey any real or leasehold property. Conveyances of real property shall be subject to any limitations and provisions specified in state law.
kk. 
To regulate the use of sidewalks and all structures in, under, or above them; to require the owner or occupant of premises to keep the sidewalks in front thereof free from snow or other obstructions; to prescribe hours for cleaning sidewalks.
ll. 
To regulate or prevent the throwing or depositing of sweepings, dust, ashes, offal, garbage, paper, handbills, dirty liquids, or other unwholesome materials into any public way or on any public or private property in the City.
mm. 
To regulate and license wagons and other vehicles not subject to the licensing powers of the state.
nn. 
To purchase, lease, borrow, install, and maintain voting machines for use in City elections.
oo. 
To exercise the powers as to planning and zoning, subdivision regulations and sign code conferred upon municipal corporations generally by state law.
pp. 
To make agreements with other municipalities, counties, districts, bureaus, commissions, and governmental authorities for the joint performance of or cooperation in the performance of any governmental functions.
qq. 
To provide for the codification of all ordinances.
rr. 
To adopt by ordinance and enforce within the corporate limits police, health, sanitary, fire, building, plumbing, traffic, speed, parking, and other similar regulations not in conflict with this Charter.
ss. 
To create agencies and to adopt programs, rules and regulations designed to promote sound economic development and to stimulate healthful employment, including the promotion, acquisition, support, or management of industrial parks, shopping malls or other economic activity in locations consistent with good planning and zoning.
tt. 
To establish regulations regarding the review, approval and acceptance of condominium agreements, subdivision restrictions, homeowners' association agreements, common area agreements, and matters associated and related thereto.
uu. 
To adopt laws for the protection of the environment, including floodplain management, grading and sediment control and livability code.
vv. 
To prohibit conduct contrary to the peace and good order, including the prohibition of obscene performances and fortune-telling.
ww. 
To offer and pay rewards for information relating to criminal activity committed within the municipality.
xx. 
To enlarge its corporate boundaries by annexation.
yy. 
To declare a state of emergency and exercise all powers necessary to abate emergency, riot, or conditions caused by natural disaster.
zz. 
The enumeration of powers in this section is not to be construed to limit the powers of the City to the several subjects mentioned or to limit its powers under state law.
15. 
For the purposes of carrying out the powers granted in this Charter, the Council may pass all necessary ordinances. All the powers of the City shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by law or by this Charter, or if the manner be not so prescribed, then in such manner as may be prescribed by ordinance.
16. 
To assure the observance of the ordinances of the City, the Council has the power to provide that a violation of ordinances shall be a misdemeanor or a municipal infraction and to establish for each violation penalties not exceeding the authority granted by state law. The Council may provide a separate violation for each twenty-four-hour period that a violation exists.
17. 
[Amended 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
a. 
Except as provided in Subsection b. of this section, in the case of a vacancy in the office of Council member, that office shall be filled by the Mayor with the advice and affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining members of the Council. The results of any such vote for vacancy in the office of City Council shall be recorded in the minutes or journal of the Council.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
b. 
In the case of a vacancy arising from the failure to elect a person to serve as Council member because of a tie vote between two or more candidates receiving the highest number of votes for Council member at a City election, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Subsection b.
i. 
The vacancy shall be filled by a special run-off election between the candidates who received the same number of votes at the City election. The Aberdeen Board of Elections shall notify the candidates in writing of the date of the run-off election.
ii. 
The run-off election shall be conducted not more than 30 business days after the Aberdeen Board of Elections certifies the results of the City election in accordance with Section VII.12 of this Charter.
iii. 
A candidate may decline to participate in a run-off election by filing with the City Clerk a written and notarized declination of participation within two business days after the Board notifies the candidates of the date of the special election. If a candidate's declination of participation leaves only one remaining candidate to participate in the run-off election, the run-off election shall not be held and the remaining candidate shall be deemed to be elected.
iv. 
If a run-off election results in a tie vote, another run-off election shall be conducted between the candidates receiving the same number of votes at the run-off election. The subsequent run-off election shall be conducted not more than 30 business days after the Aberdeen Board of Elections certifies the results of the prior run-off election in accordance with Section VII.12 of this Charter.
v. 
If a second run-off election results in a tie vote, the newly elected City Council shall decide, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Council, which of the tied candidates is the winner of the election. If no winner is selected by the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Council within 30 business days after the Aberdeen Board of Elections certifies the results of the second run-off election, the Aberdeen Board of Elections shall decide the winner of the election by a game of chance determined and conducted by the Board in public between the tied candidates.
18. 
Under the authority conferred by Article 23A, § 2B(a)(3), of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the City of Aberdeen, effective August 1, 2013, generally exempts itself from the provisions of all laws of Harford County enacted before, on or after that date and dealing with matters in which the City is lawfully empowered by state law or its own Charter to act. The only laws of Harford County which will apply within the City of Aberdeen on and after August 1, 2013, are those defined by Maryland law to apply and those which have been expressly adopted by reference by the City. This exemption shall not prevent the City of Aberdeen from reaching mutual agreement with Harford County for the enforcement of specific laws of the county or City by county officials or their agents.
[Added 5-20-2013 by Res. No. 13-CR-01]
1. 
All officers and department heads established under this section of the Charter shall be appointed by the City Manager subject to the approval of the Council. Except as expressly set forth in this Charter, all such officers and department heads shall be removed only for cause upon the action of the City Manager.
2. 
City Manager.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
a. 
The Council shall appoint a City Manager. The City Manager shall be appointed based solely on the merits of his or her academic background and related work experience. At the time of appointment, the City Manager shall be a full member in good standing of the International City and County Management Association.
b. 
The City Manager shall:
i. 
Be the chief executive and operating officer of the City and as such is responsible for the daily operations of the City government.
ii. 
Be responsible to implement the policies of the Council to ensure that the City is operated in an efficient and effective manner.
iii. 
Supervise all departments, offices and agencies, including the Department of Planning and Community Development, Department of Public Works, Department of Finance, Office of the City Clerk, and Police Department, and appoint and remove department heads.
iv. 
Establish policies as may be necessary for proper administration.
v. 
Supervise and coordinate the administrative functions of the several offices, departments, commissions, boards, and agencies.
vi. 
Supervise the City Treasurer and the financial administration of the City, including preparation of budgets, expenditure of funds, accounting, and procurement.
vii. 
Prepare and submit an annual report to the Council on the state of the City government and make such recommendations as may be proper for the public good and welfare of the City.
viii. 
Be responsible for the care and custody of City property.
ix. 
Obtain adequate insurance coverage against loss of property and liability from civil suits.
x. 
Assure that the ordinances of the City are faithfully executed and the disbursement of all moneys is in accordance with the budget as approved by the Council.
xi. 
Serve as the Personnel Officer and formulate personnel rules and regulations to be approved by the Council.
xii. 
Award contracts and make purchases in case of accident, disaster, or other circumstances creating a public emergency, provided the City Manager files promptly with the Council a certificate showing such emergency and the necessity for such action, together with an itemized account of all expenditures.
xiii. 
Provide for the investigation of the affairs of the City or any City department and report any deficiencies to the Council.
xiv. 
Provide for the investigation of all complaints in relation to the administration of City government and in relation to services provided by the public utilities in the City.
xv. 
Assure the compliance of all franchises, permits, and privileges granted by the City.
xvi. 
For documents not executed by the Mayor, or documents delegated for execution by the Mayor, be the signatory on behalf of the City on all contracts, agreements and other documents that legally bind the City.
c. 
The City Manager shall serve at the pleasure of the Council and may be removed by a majority vote of the entire Council for cause. The Mayor or any member of the Council may initiate the proceedings for the City Manager's removal. Unless for reasons of criminal activity by the City Manager, the Mayor or a Council member may not initiate proceedings for removal for 90 days following a municipal election or appointment of a Mayor or member of the Council.
3. 
The City Manager with the approval of the Council shall appoint a City Treasurer who shall be the custodian of the City funds and shall be charged with their care, management and safekeeping. The City Treasurer shall discharge such responsibilities under the general supervision of the City Manager and shall:
a. 
Prepare at the request of the City Manager an annual budget to be submitted by the City Manager to the Council.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
b. 
Be responsible for the disbursement of all moneys and have control over all expenditures to ensure that budget appropriations are not exceeded.
c. 
Maintain a general accounting system for the City in such form as the Council may require.
d. 
Submit a complete financial report at the end of each fiscal year and at such other times as the Council may require.
e. 
Determine that all taxable property within the City is assessed for taxation.
f. 
Collect and receive all taxes, special assessments, license fees, liens and all other revenues due to the City or which the City is responsible for collecting.
g. 
Have custody of all public moneys, bonds, and notes belonging to or under the control of the City except as to funds in the control of any set of trustees.
h. 
Perform such other tasks in relation to the fiscal or financial affairs of the City as the Council or this Charter may require.
4. 
The City Manager with the approval of the Council shall appoint a Director of Public Works who shall be responsible for the construction, maintenance and supervision of City streets, roads, and water and sewer systems, all capital assets, waste disposal, and such duties as may be required by the City Manager. The Director of Public Works shall discharge such responsibilities under the general supervision of the City Manager.
5. 
The City Manager with the approval of the Council shall appoint a Chief of Police who must be at least 30 years of age and qualified by experience in police work, executive ability, law enforcement, character, and general fitness for his position, who shall be the head of the Police Department. The Police Department shall preserve the peace, enforce the ordinances of the City, prevent and detect crime, and perform all related duties of law enforcement. The Aberdeen police are authorized to cooperate with other police agencies to enforce the law in Harford County within and outside the City. The Chief of Police shall discharge such responsibilities under the general supervision of the City Manager.
6. 
The City Manager with the approval of the Council shall appoint a Director of Planning and Community Development. The Director shall be selected on the basis of knowledge and experience in the field of planning, zoning and community development and administration. The Director shall be responsible for the administration of planning and zoning within the City, advise the Planning Commission and the Board of Appeals with regard to all zoning cases and perform such other duties as may be required by the City Manager. The Director of Planning and Community Development shall discharge such responsibilities under the general supervision of the City Manager.
7. 
The City Manager with the approval of the Council shall appoint a City Clerk. The City Clerk shall be charged with the preservation of all City records. The City Clerk shall also be responsible to record and preserve the proceedings of the Council. The City Clerk's minutes shall remain the official journal of the Council proceedings. The City Clerk shall discharge such responsibilities under the general supervision of the City Manager.
8. 
The Council shall appoint a City Attorney. The City Attorney shall be a member of the Bar of the State of Maryland and experienced in governmental law. The City Attorney shall be the legal advisor of the City and shall perform such duties as may be required by the Council. Compensation shall be determined by the Council. The City Attorney shall serve at the pleasure of the Council and may be removed by a vote of the majority of the entire Council. The City has the power to employ such legal assistants and to obtain such legal services as it deems necessary from time to time. The City Manager shall be the primary contact with the City Attorney.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
9. 
The City may employ such officers and employees as it deems necessary to execute the powers and duties provided in its Charter or in other state law and to operate the City government. It may appoint the same person to perform the duties of more than one office or position, except that no person may hold two offices of profit as prohibited by the Maryland Constitution.
10. 
The City may include its officers, employees, elected officials, or any of them within any retirement system to which it is a part or may adopt a pension plan or policy for their retirement.
11. 
The compensation of all officers and employees of the City, together with other benefits of employment, shall be provided in the annual budget.
12. 
Neither the Council nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to an office or employment or his or her removal from office or employment by the City Manager or by any of the Manager's subordinates. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Council shall deal with the administrative service solely through the City Manager, and neither the Mayor nor any Council member shall give orders to any subordinates of the City Manager, either publicly or privately.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
13. 
In the event of a vacancy in the position of City Manager, the Council shall appoint a person to serve as chief executive and operating officer for a temporary basis not to exceed 180 days, and that person shall have all of the responsibilities of the chief executive and operating officer, except that the termination of A department head must be approved by a vote of the majority of the entire Council during this temporary period.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
1. 
Any decision made by the Aberdeen Board of Elections more than 20 days before the scheduled date of a City election shall be subject to review by the City Council if a written request for review is filed with the City Clerk by any individual specially aggrieved by the Board’s decision. A request for review must be filed with the City Clerk, under oath, on a form prescribed by the City Clerk, within 10 days from the date of the Board’s decision, except that a request for review of a decision made by the Board within 30 days before the scheduled date of a City election must be filed within five days from the date of the decision. A request for review shall state with specificity the decision of the Board for which review is sought and the errors of fact and law allegedly committed by the Board, and shall be accompanied by documentation supporting the allegations of error. In conducting its review, the Council shall consider the record of the matter made by the Board, and may conduct such further proceedings as the Council deems appropriate. The Council may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Board for further proceedings, except that the Council may modify or reverse the Board’s decision if the Board’s decision is arbitrary, capricious or contrary to law. The Council shall complete the review and render a written decision within 10 days of receipt of a timely and properly filed request, unless the request for review is made in the thirty-five-day period before a municipal election, in which case the Council shall render a written decision within three days of receipt of the timely and properly filed request. If the Council does not complete its review and issue a written decision within the applicable ten- or three-day period, the decision of the Board shall be deemed affirmed.
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-01, effective 3-18-2014]
2. 
A person is a qualified voter of the City and eligible to vote in a City election if that person:
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-01, effective 3-18-2014]
a. 
Is a citizen of the United States;
b. 
Is at least 18 years of age;
c. 
Is a resident of the State of Maryland;
d. 
Is a resident within the corporate limits of the City for at least 21 consecutive days immediately preceding the election;
e. 
Is registered with the Harford County Board of Elections at an address located within the corporate limits of the City;
f. 
Is otherwise qualified under the Constitution and laws of the State of Maryland; and
g. 
Is not registered to vote in another state.
Where this charter requires that an individual be a qualified voter of the City in order to be a candidate, be elected or appointed to office, or to hold office, the residency requirement in Subsection d. shall be construed without regard to the period of 21 days preceding election.
3. 
There shall be an Aberdeen Board of Elections consisting of three members appointed by the Council for terms of four years, on or before the first Monday in July 2017, and on or before the same day every fourth year thereafter. Beginning with those members of the Board appointed in July 2017, members of the Board shall hold office for terms of four years. Members of the Board shall be qualified voters of the City at the time of appointment and during their terms of office and shall not hold office or be candidates for elective office during their terms of office. The Council shall appoint one of the Board's members as Chairperson. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled by the Council for the remainder of the unexpired term. Compensation of the members of the Board shall be determined by the Council.
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-01, effective 3-18-2014; 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
4. 
Any member of the Aberdeen Board of Elections may be removed for good cause by the Council, if in the judgment of the Council the member is not properly performing or will not properly perform the duties of the position. Before removal, the member of the Aberdeen Board of Elections to be removed shall be given a written copy of charges and shall have a public hearing on them before the Council, if requested, within 10 days after receiving the written copy of the charges.
5. 
The Aberdeen Board of Elections shall be in charge of the nominations of candidates for office and all City elections. The Board may appoint election judges or other employees to assist in any of its duties. The Mayor and Council shall provide funds necessary to defray the cost of elections.
6. 
The official voter registration list for City elections shall be the list of qualified voters maintained by the County Board of Elections. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, only those individuals whose names appeared on the official voter registration list in effect for the regular election in which there was a tie vote may vote in a run-off election authorized by Sections IV.8 or V.17.b. The City may assist the County Board of Elections with the advertising of voter registration efforts and policies.
[Amended 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
7. 
Registration shall be permanent as long as the voter remains registered with the Harford County Board of Elections. No person is entitled to vote in City elections unless registered at least 21 days prior to the election.
8. 
Any candidate for the office of Council member or Mayor must file at least 35 days prior to and no earlier than 65 days prior to the date of the election a certificate of candidacy on a form provided by the Board containing the following:
[Amended 1-27-2014 by Res. No. 14-CR-01, effective 3-18-2014]
a. 
The applicant's mailing address and the address of the applicant's domicile.
b. 
The applicant's date of birth.
c. 
The dates and places of residence within the corporate limits of the City of Aberdeen by the applicant.
d. 
The certificate of candidacy shall be signed by the candidate under penalties of perjury and shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable filing fee of $25 payable to City of Aberdeen.
e. 
A candidate who has filed may withdraw his or her certificate of candidacy after filing by delivering to the Aberdeen Board of Elections, at least 30 days prior to the date of the election, written notification of withdrawal signed by the candidate.
f. 
Each candidate shall complete the financial disclosure form as required by Chapter 43 of the Aberdeen City Code. This financial disclosure form shall be considered a part of the certificate of candidacy and no candidate may be considered eligible for placement on the ballot until this disclosure form is timely and satisfactorily completed and approved by the Ethics Commission.
9. 
The office of Mayor and Council shall not be subject to term limitation.
10. 
The Aberdeen Board of Elections shall provide for each special and general election a suitable place or places for voting and suitable ballot boxes and ballots and/or voting machines. The ballots and/or voting machines shall show the name of each candidate nominated for elective office in accordance with the provisions of the City Charter, arranged in alphabetical order by office with no party designation of any kind. The Aberdeen Board of Elections shall keep the polls open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election days, or for longer hours if required by the Council. If the Board decides to use voting machines at any election, the method of use shall be in the same manner provided in the Election Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland as the Aberdeen Board of Elections deems appropriate. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section 10, the Board of Elections may conduct a special run-off election authorized by Sections IV.8 and V.17.b. of this Charter by a mail-in ballot according to procedures established by the Board and approved by the Council by resolution.
[Amended 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
11. 
Except as provided in § VII.10 for a mail ballot, all special City elections shall be conducted by the Aberdeen Board of Elections in the same manner and with the same personnel, as far as practicable, as regular City elections.
[Amended 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
12. 
By noon on the Friday after the closing of the polls, the Aberdeen Board of Elections shall determine the vote cast for each candidate and question and shall certify the results of the election and the elected officials to the Council, which shall have the results recorded in the minutes or journal of the Council. If a special run-off election is conducted by mail-in ballot as authorized by § VII.10, not later than four business days following the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots the Board of Elections shall determine the votes cast for each candidate and shall certify the results of the election and the elected official to the Council, which shall have the results recorded in the minutes or journal of the Council.
[Amended 12-19-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-02, effective 2-7-2017]
13. 
The Aberdeen Board of Elections shall authorize the Harford County Board of Elections to administer provisional voting and canvass the provisional ballots pursuant to state law and regulations. The City of Aberdeen may add regulations as long as those regulations are not in conflict with state election law.
14. 
The Council shall have the power to provide by ordinance in every respect not covered by the provisions of the City Charter for the conduct of registration and City elections and for the prevention of fraud in connection with the City election and for a recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud.
15. 
All ballots used in City elections shall be preserved by the Aberdeen Board of Elections for at least six months from the date of the election.
16. 
Any person who:
a. 
Fails to perform any duty required of him or her under the provisions of this subheading or any ordinances passed thereunder,
b. 
In any manner willfully or corruptly violates any of the provisions of Article VII of this Charter or any ordinances passed thereunder, or
c. 
Willfully or corruptly does anything which will or will tend to affect fraudulently any registration or City election shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any officer or employee of the City government who is convicted of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this section shall immediately upon conviction cease to hold such office or employment.
1. 
Funds not appropriated at the time of the annual levy shall not be expended and any funds appropriated may be expended only for the purpose for which they were appropriated, except by a favorable vote of a two-thirds majority of the whole number of members elected to the City Council.
2. 
The City shall operate on an annual budget. The fiscal year of the City shall begin on the first day of July in each year and shall end on the last day of June in the following year. The fiscal year constitutes the tax year, the budget year, and the accounting year.
3. 
The City Manager, at least 40 days before the beginning of any fiscal year, shall submit a budget to the Council. The budget shall provide a complete financial plan for the budget year and shall contain estimates of anticipated revenues and proposed expenditures for the coming year. The total of the anticipated revenues shall equal or exceed the total of the proposed expenditures. The budget shall be left in the office of the Treasurer, open to public inspection during normal business hours.
[Amended 5-8-2017 by Res. No. 17-CR-01, effective 6-27-2017]
4. 
Before adopting the budget, the Council shall hold a public hearing on the budget after one week's notice thereof in a newspaper having primary circulation within Harford County, if one exists, and on the City's internet website. The Council may insert new items or may increase or decrease the items of the budget. If the Council increases the total proposed expenditures, it shall also increase the total anticipated revenues in an amount at least equal to the total proposed expenditures. The budget shall be prepared and adopted by ordinance, by favorable vote of a majority of the total elected membership of the Council, on or before 20 days before the beginning of the fiscal year for which the budget is effective.
5. 
No public money may be expended without having been appropriated by the Council. From the effective date of the budget, the several amounts stated in the adopted budget as proposed expenditures shall be and become appropriated to the several objects and purposes named in the budget.
6. 
Any transfer of funds between appropriations for different purposes must be approved by a favorable two-thirds majority of the total elected membership of the Council.
7. 
No officer or employee during any budget year may expend or contract to expend any money or incur any liability or enter into any contract which by its terms involves the expenditure of money for any purpose in excess of the amounts appropriated for or transferred to that general classification of expenditure pursuant to this Charter. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this Charter is null and void. Nothing in this section contained, however, prevents the making of contracts or the spending of money for capital improvements to be financed in whole or in part by the issuance of bonds, nor the making of contracts of lease or for services for a period exceeding the budget year in which the contract is made, when the contract is permitted by law.
8. 
All appropriations lapse at the end of the budget year to the extent that they are not expended or lawfully encumbered. Any unexpended and unencumbered funds shall be considered a surplus at the end of the budget year and shall be included among the anticipated revenues for the next succeeding budget year.
9. 
All checks issued in payment of salaries or other municipal obligations shall be issued and signed by the Treasurer or a duly authorized deputy.
10. 
All real property and all tangible personal property within the corporate limits of the City or personal property which may have a situs within the City by reason of the residence of the owner is subject to taxation for municipal purposes, and the assessment used shall be the same as that for state and county taxes. Taxes shall not be imposed on any property exempt from taxation by any act of the General Assembly.
11. 
Real property that is the primary residence of each bona fide member of the Aberdeen Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., including bona fide life members, and the surviving spouses of bona fide life members, shall be exempt from taxation for City purposes to the extent of $45,000 assessed value.
[Amended 8-26-2013 by Res. No. 13-CR-02, effective 10-15-2013]
a. 
Determination as to whether or not a member of the Fire Department is a bona fide active member shall be made by the President and Board of Directors of the Fire Department with the Council reserving the right to make any final determination as to eligibility.
b. 
Bona fide life members of the Aberdeen Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., shall be designated by the Department.
12. 
a. 
From the effective date of the budget, the amount stated therein as the amount to be raised by the property tax constitutes a determination of the amount of the tax levy in the corresponding tax year.
b. 
Taxes levied each year for general purposes shall not exceed in any one year $1.50 on each $100 of assessed value of taxable property in the City. The City will levy an additional tax each year in an amount sufficient for the retirement of all outstanding bonds issued, and such tax shall be fixed, levied and collected in the same manner and on the same tax bills as the taxes for general purposes are now or may be hereafter levied and collected in the City.
c. 
If neither City sewerage service nor City water supply is available to residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural land, the Council, in its annual levy, may establish for such real property a special municipal tax rate which is lower than that applicable to real property with full municipal sanitary services. Unless physical conditions make it unreasonable, real property shall be considered available to water or sewerage service if situated within 200 feet of City pipelines capable of providing adequate sanitary service.
13. 
Immediately after the levy is made by the Council in each year, the Treasurer shall give notice of the levy by posting a notice of the levy in some public place or places in the City. The Treasurer shall give each taxpayer at the taxpayer's last known address a bill or account of the taxes due which shall contain a statement of the amount of real and personal property with which the taxpayer is assessed, the rate of taxation, the amount of taxes due, and the date on which the taxes will bear interest. Failure to give or receive any notice required by this section shall not relieve any taxpayer of the responsibility to pay on the dates established by law or this Charter all taxes levied on the taxpayer's property.
14. 
Property taxes shall be due and payable on the first day of July in the year for which they are levied and are in arrears on the first day of the following October. Taxes shall bear interest while in arrears at the rate of not less than 0.5% for each month or fraction of a month until paid. Interest may be increased or decreased by the Council as permitted by state law. All taxes not paid after the first day of the following April shall be collected as authorized by this Charter and state law.
15. 
A list of all property on which the City taxes have not been paid and which are in arrears shall be turned over by the Treasurer to the official of the county responsible for the sale of tax-delinquent property as provided in state law. Unpaid property on the list shall be sold for taxes by the county official, in the manner prescribed by state law. Personal property taxes may be collected by the Treasurer or the county collector in the same manner and under the same law as county personal property taxes.
16. 
All fees received by an officer or employee of the City government shall belong to the City government and be accounted for to the City.
17. 
The financial books and accounts of the City shall be audited annually as required by state law.
18. 
Notwithstanding any other provision or limitation of law, the City may borrow money for any public purpose, including the refinancing of any outstanding indebtedness, and to evidence such borrowing by the issue and sale of its general obligation bonds, or notes issued in anticipation thereof, and shall likewise have authority to borrow money in anticipation of the receipt of current taxes and to evidence such borrowing by the issue and sale of its tax anticipation notes, payable as to principal and interest from said taxes when received, the same to be issued and sold in the manner prescribed in Sections 31 to 37 inclusive of Article 23A of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 Edition, as amended); if the ordinance, ordinances, or resolutions authorizing the issue and sale of any of such bonds or notes in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $1,000,000 shall so specify, the bonds or notes may be sold at private sale, subject to advertisement or publication of notice of sale and solicitation of competitive bids. The City shall have authority to exercise all powers conferred by Title 9 of the Environment Article.
18A. 
In addition to the borrowing authority contained in Section VIII.18, and as authorized by MD Code, Local Government, § 19-301, the City of Aberdeen may exercise the borrowing authority contained in this section.
[Added 10-10-2016 by Res. No. 16-CR-01, effective 11-29-2016]
a. 
The City of Aberdeen may borrow upon its faith and credit for a period not to exceed 15 years such sum or sums from time to time as may be deemed necessary to provide for the payment of any obligations of the City. The aggregate principal amount of the sums borrowed outstanding and unpaid at any one time shall not exceed $3,000,000.
b. 
The City may issue notes to secure payment of the sums borrowed. The notes shall be signed by the Mayor and duly attested. The Seal of the City shall be affixed to each note. The attached interest coupons, if any, shall be authenticated by the facsimile signature of the Mayor, printed, engraved or lithographed on each coupon. Each note shall be dated and shall mature and be payable not later than 60 months from the date of the note.
c. 
Each note shall be and remain an obligation of the City of Aberdeen issued upon the full faith and credit of the City. The note shall be issued and sold in such manner and upon such terms and conditions and shall bear such rate of interest as the City Council may determine, but the aggregate principal amount of the notes at any time outstanding and unpaid shall not exceed $3,000,000.
d. 
For the purpose of repaying the sums borrowed, the notes issued in evidence of the amounts borrowed, and the interest on the notes, the City Council annually shall levy a tax upon all the assessable real and tangible personal property in the City sufficient to provide funds for the payment of all sums when due and payable. If the proceeds from the taxes levied in any fiscal year are inadequate for such payment then due, additional taxes shall be levied in the succeeding fiscal year to make up the deficiency.
e. 
Notwithstanding Subsection d., the City may pay the principal of and interest on the note from the proceeds of the sale of any other obligations of the City or from any other funds legally available for that purpose. The City may apply to the payment of the principal of or interest on the note any funds received by it from the State of Maryland or the United States of America, or any governmental agency or instrumentality, or from any other source, if such funds are granted or paid to the City or are otherwise available for the purpose of assisting the City in accomplishing the type of project or expense which the note is issued to finance or refinance, and to the extent of any such funds received or receivable in any fiscal year, the taxes hereby required to be levied may be reduced proportionately.
f. 
The issuance of notes under this section shall be authorized by ordinance of the Mayor and Council.
g. 
The powers conferred on the town under this section are additional and supplemental to any other borrowing authority granted to the City by Maryland public general or public local law or this Charter, and the City may authorize, issue and secure any such other debt in conformity with this Charter and any other applicable law.
h. 
Any notes issued by the City pursuant to this section may be sold at private sale without advertisement, publication, notice of sale or solicitation of competitive bids, where such private sale is authorized by ordinance of the Mayor and Council.
19. 
All purchases and contracts shall be approved in accordance with the City's procurement policy or ordinance.
20. 
Subject to the limitations imposed under state law, to establish and collect reasonable fees and charges:
a. 
For the franchises, licenses, or permits authorized by law to be granted by the City.
b. 
Associated with the exercise of any governmental or proprietary function authorized by law to be exercised by the City.
21. 
Special taxing districts. The City may establish special taxing districts for the following purposes:
a. 
Financing the design, construction, establishment, extension, alteration, or acquisition of adequate storm drainage systems.
b. 
Financing the design, acquisition, establishment, extension, operation or alteration of public parking facilities or pedestrian malls.
c. 
Financing the design, acquisition, erection, construction, improvement and maintenance of street and area lighting.
22. 
The City may establish special taxing districts for the purposes enumerated above and may thereafter levy on all real and personal property located within these special taxing districts an ad valorem tax at a rate sufficient to provide adequate annual revenues to pay the principal and interest on any bonds of or other obligations of the municipality issued for these expressed purposes as the principal and interest becomes due and to pay the costs of operating and maintaining these facilities and activities. These taxes shall be levied in the same manner upon the same assessments, for the same period or periods and as of the same date or dates of finality as are now or may hereafter be prescribed.
23. 
The City may through ordinance or resolution create a special taxing district for the purpose of financing the design, acquisition, establishment, improvement, extension, operation, alteration, or maintenance of a ride sharing or bus system. In the creation of such a taxing district, the municipal corporation shall fix, impose and collect a combination of development impact fees and ad valorem taxes for financing, in whole or in part, the capital and operating costs of the additional or expanded ride sharing bus system.
1. 
Public ways and sidewalks.
a. 
The terms "public ways" as used in this Charter includes all streets, avenues, roads, highways, public thoroughfares, lanes, and alleys.
b. 
The City has control of all public ways in the City except those which are under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Highway Administration. Subject to state law and this Charter, the City may do whatever is necessary to establish, operate, and maintain the public ways of the City.
c. 
The City may establish, regulate, and change from time to time the grade lines, width, and construction materials of any sidewalk or part thereof on City property along any public way or part of a public way.
d. 
The City may grade, lay out, construct, reconstruct, pave, repave, repair, extend, or otherwise alter roads on City property along any public way or part of a public way.
e. 
The City may require that the owners of any property abutting on a sidewalk keep the sidewalk clear of all ice, snow, and other obstructions.
2. 
Water and sewers. The City may:
a. 
Construct, operate and maintain a water system and water plant.
b. 
Construct, operate, and maintain a sanitary sewerage system and a sewage treatment plant.
c. 
Construct, operate, and maintain a stormwater drainage system and stormwater sewers.
d. 
Construct, maintain, reconstruct, enlarge, alter, repair, improve, or dispose of all parts, installations, and structures of the above plants and systems.
e. 
Provide surveys, plans, specifications, and estimates for any of the above plants and systems or parts or the extension of each plant and system.
f. 
Do all things necessary for the efficient operation and maintenance of the above plants and systems within or outside the City.
3. 
Any public service corporation, company, or individual, before beginning any construction of or placing of or changing the location of any main, conduit, pipe, or other structure in the public ways of the City, shall submit plans to the City and obtain written approval upon such conditions and subject to such limitation as may be imposed by the City. If any unauthorized main, conduit, pipe or other structure interferes with the operation of the water, sewerage or stormwater systems, the City may order it removed. Any public service corporation, company, or individual violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor or municipal infraction as designated by the Council.
4. 
All individuals, firms, or corporations having mains, pipes, conduits, or other structures in, on, or over any public way in the City or in the county which impede the establishment, construction or operation of any City sewer or water main, upon reasonable notice, shall remove or adjust the obstructions at their own expense to the satisfaction of the City. If necessary to carry out the provisions of this section the City may secure a court order for removal or, if necessary, utilize its powers of condemnation. Any violation of an ordinance passed under the provisions of this section may be made a misdemeanor by the Council.
5. 
The City may enter upon or perform construction in, on, or over any County public way for the purpose of installing or repairing any equipment or doing any other things necessary to establish, operate, and maintain the water system, water plant, sanitary sewerage system, sewage treatment plant, or stormwater sewers provided for in this Charter. Unless required by the County, the City need not obtain any permit or pay any charge for these operations, but it must notify the county of its intent to enter on the public way and must leave the public way in a condition not inferior to that existing before the entry.
6. 
The City shall permit a connection with water and sanitary sewer mains for all property abutting any public way in which a sanitary sewer or water main is laid. When any water main or sanitary sewer is declared ready for operation by the City, all abutting property owners after reasonable notice shall connect all fixtures with the water or sewer main. The City may require that satisfactory fixtures be installed and that all cesspools, sink drains, and privies be abandoned, filled, removed or left in such a way as not to injure public health and that all wells found to be polluted or a menace to health may be ordered to be abandoned and closed. Any violation of an ordinance passed under the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor or municipal infraction as prescribed by the Council.
7. 
The City may assess a charge to be determined by the Council for each connection made to the City's water or sewer mains. This charge shall be uniform throughout the City but may be modified annually. Payment of the charge shall be made prior to connection.
8. 
In order to prevent leakage or waste of water or other improper use of the City's water system or sewage disposal system, the City may require such changes in plumbing, fixtures, or connections as necessary to prevent such waste or improper use. After due notice, the City may secure enforcement by appropriate court order or by terminating service.
9. 
The Council by ordinance may provide that:
a. 
No water supply, sewerage, or stormwater drainage system, and no water mains, sewers, drains, or connections to mains, sewers, or drains, shall be constructed or operated by any person or persons, firm, corporation, institution, or community, whether upon private premises or otherwise.
b. 
Cesspools or other private methods of sewage disposal shall be operated and maintained in such a manner that they do not and will not be likely to affect adversely the public comfort and health.
c. 
Any cesspool or other private method of sewage disposal affecting or likely to affect adversely the public comfort and health may be deemed a nuisance and may be abated by the City.
d. 
Any violation of an ordinance passed under the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor or municipal infraction as prescribed by the Council.
10. 
The City may extend its water or sewerage systems beyond the City limits and may require customers to agree to annexation as a condition of extension of the City's water and/or sewage systems.
11. 
Any employee or agent of the City, while in the necessary pursuit of that person's official duties with regard to the water or sewage disposal systems operated by the City, has right of entry, for access to water or sewer installations, at all reasonable hours and after reasonable advance notice to the owner, tenant, or person in possession, upon any premises and into any building in the City or in the county served by the City's water or sewage disposal system. Any restraint or hindrance offered to the entry by any owner, tenant or person in possession, or their agents, may be enjoined by court order.
12. 
The City may contract with any party or parties inside or outside the City to obtain water or to provide for the removal of sewage and of solid waste.
13. 
The City may charge and collect such service rates, water rents, ready-to-serve charges, or other charges as necessary for water supplied and for the removal of sewage. These charges are to be billed and collected by the Treasurer, and if bills are unpaid within 40 days, the service may be discontinued. All charges shall be a lien on the property, collectible in the same manner as City taxes or by suit at law.
14. 
Special assessments.
a. 
The City may levy and collect taxes in the form of special assessments upon property in a limited and determinable area for special benefits conferred upon the property by the installation or construction of water mains, sanitary sewer mains, stormwater sewers, curbs, and gutters and by the construction and paving of public ways and sidewalks or parts of public ways and sidewalks and may provide for the payment of all or any part of the above projects out of the proceeds of the special assessment. The cost of any project to be paid in whole or in part by special assessments may include the direct costs thereto, the cost of any land acquired for the project, the interest on bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in anticipation of the collection of special assessments, a reasonable charge for the services of the administrative staff of the City, and any other item of cost which may reasonably be attributed to the project.
b. 
The procedure for special assessments, as authorized by this Section 14, shall be as follows:
i. 
Assessment of cost. The cost of the project being charged for shall be assessed according to the front rule of apportionment or some other equitable basis determined by the Council.
ii. 
Amount. The amount assessed against the property for any project or improvement shall not exceed the value of the benefits accruing to the property therefrom.
iii. 
Uniformity of rates. All rates shall be uniform, unless properties are divided into different classes and charged different rates.
iv. 
Levy of charges; public hearing; notice. All special assessment charges shall be levied by the Council by ordinance. Before levying any special assessment charges, the Council shall hold a public hearing. The Treasurer shall cause notice to be given stating the nature and extent of the proposed project, the kind of materials to be used, the estimated cost of the project, the portion of the cost to be assessed, the number of installments in which the assessment may be paid, the method to be used in apportioning the cost, and the limits of the proposed area of assessment. The notice shall also state the time and place at which all persons interested, or their agents, or attorneys, may appear before the Council and be heard concerning the proposed project and special assessment. Such notice shall be given by sending a copy thereof by mail to the owner of record of each parcel of property proposed to be assessed and to the person in whose name the property is assessed for taxation and by publication of a copy of the notice at least once in a newspaper of primary circulation within Harford County, if one exists, and on the City's internet website. The Treasurer shall present at the hearing a certificate of publication and mailing of copies of the notice, which certificate shall be deemed proof of notice, but failure of any owner to receive the mailed copy shall not invalidate the proceedings. The date of hearing shall be set at least 10 and not more than 30 days after the Treasurer has completed publication and service of notice as provided in this section. Following the hearing, the Council, in its discretion, may vote to proceed with the project and may levy the special assessment.
v. 
Payments; interest. Special assessments may be made payable in annual or more frequent installments over such period of time, not to exceed 10 years, and in such manner as the Council may determine. The Council shall determine on what date installments shall be due and payable. Interest may be charged on installments at the rate to be determined by the Council.
vi. 
When due; lien on property; collection. All special assessments installments are overdue six months after the date on which they became due and payable. All special assessments shall be liens on the property and all overdue special assessments shall be collected in the same manner as City taxes or by suit at law.
vii. 
Billing and collection. All special assessments shall be billed and collected by the Treasurer.
1. 
Oath required. Before entering upon the duties of their offices, the Mayor, the Council members, the City Manager, the City Clerk, Treasurer, the members of the Board of Elections, and all other persons elected or appointed to any office of profit or trust in the City government shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation: "I, . . . . ., do swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland and support the Constitution and laws thereof; and that I will to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice execute the office of . . . . ., according to the Constitution and laws of this state."
2. 
Before whom taken and subscribed. The Mayor and Council shall take and subscribe to this oath or affirmation before the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Harford County or before one of the deputies. All other persons taking and subscribing to the oath may do so before the Mayor, the Clerk of the Circuit Court or one of the Clerk's deputies.
3. 
The City Manager, Treasurer, Director of Public Works, Director of Planning and Community Development, City Attorney, Chief of Police, City Clerk, and such other officers or employees of the City as the Council or this Charter may require shall give bond in such amount and with such surety as may be required by the Council. The premiums for such bonds shall be paid by the City. The City Manager, the department heads, and City Attorney in office as of the date of adoption of this Charter shall continue in office after the effective date of this Charter until their resignation or removal.
4. 
Every act or omission which, by ordinance, is made a misdemeanor or municipal infraction under the authority of this Charter, unless otherwise provided, shall be punishable upon conviction by fine or imprisonment or both. Where the act or omission is of a continuing nature and is persisted in, a conviction for one offense is not a bar to a conviction for a continuation of the offense subsequent to the first or any succeeding conviction.
5. 
Prior rights and obligations. All rights, title, and interest held by the City or any other person or corporation at the time this Charter is adopted in and to any lien acquired under any prior Charter of the City are hereby preserved for the holder in all respects as if this Charter had not been adopted, together with all rights and remedies in relation thereto. This Charter shall not discharge, impair or release any contract, obligation, duty, liability or penalty whatever existing at the time this Charter becomes effective. All suits and actions, both civil and criminal, pending or which may hereafter be instituted for causes of action now existing or offenses already committed against any law or ordinance repealed by this Charter shall be instituted, proceeded with and prosecuted to final determination and judgment as if this Charter had not become effective.
6. 
Effect of Charter on existing ordinances.
a. 
All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations in effect in the City at the time this Charter becomes effective which are not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter shall remain in effect until changed or repealed according to the provisions of this Charter.
b. 
All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations in effect in the City at the time this Charter becomes effective which are in conflict with the provisions of this Charter be and the same hereby are repealed to the extent of such conflict.
7. 
Severability. If any section or part of section of this Charter shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remainder of this Charter nor the context in which such section of part of section so held invalid shall appear, except to the extent that an entire section or part of a section may be inseparably connected in meaning and effect with the section or part of section to which such holding shall directly apply.