The executive branch of the County government shall comprise the County Executive and all officers, agents, and employees under the supervision and authority of the Executive.
There is a County Executive, who shall be the chief executive officer of the County and shall faithfully execute the laws. All executive power vested in the County by the Constitution and laws of Maryland and this Charter shall be vested in the Executive. The Executive shall see that the affairs of the executive branch are administered properly and efficiently, and that employees of the executive branch faithfully perform their duties. The duties and responsibilities of the Executive shall include, but are not limited to:
Supervising and directing offices, agencies and divisions of the executive branch and ensuring that County employees as well as County boards and commissions faithfully perform their duties;
Preparing and submitting to the Council the annual County Budget.
Preparing and submitting to the Council and the public within six months after the close of the fiscal year an annual report on the activities and accomplishments of the County government, including a comprehensive annual financial statement;
Providing the Council with any information the Executive deems necessary or, as the Council by resolution may request, 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 that the Executive may consider to be in the best interests of the County; and
Signing or causing to be signed on the County's behalf all deeds, contracts, and other instruments.
In November 2012, and every four years thereafter, the Executive shall be elected by the registered voters of the entire County in the manner provided by law.
The Executive shall hold office for a term beginning at 12:00 noon on the first Monday of December next following the election of the Executive and ending at 12:00 noon on the first Monday in December in the fourth year thereafter, or until a successor is qualified.
The Executive shall be a citizen of the United States and, for at least two years immediately preceding election or appointment, a resident and registered voter of the County.
The Executive shall devote full-time to the duties of the office. The Executive shall not participate in any private occupation for compensation. During the term of office, the Executive shall not hold any other office of profit.
Subject to Subsection (b) of this section, the Executive shall receive the sum of not less than $98,000 per annum as compensation and allowances for the performance of public duties under this Charter. The Executive shall not accrue annual leave or be entitled to any payment in lieu thereof.
The Compensation Review Commission established pursuant to Section 207 of this Charter shall review the Executive's compensation and allowances and make recommendations to the Council. The Council shall have the power to increase the compensation and allowances provided in this Charter for the Executive by the affirmative vote of not less than a majority of its members. To reduce the Executive's compensation and allowances, the affirmative vote of not less than 2/3 of the Council members is required. In no event shall such compensation be reduced by a figure lower than that provided in this Charter except by amendment thereto. The compensation and allowances of the Executive shall not be increased or reduced during his or her current term.
A vacancy in the Office of the Executive shall exist upon the death or resignation of the Executive, or upon forfeiture of office as provided in Section 408 of this Charter. A majority of the Council members shall appoint, within 30 days, a person to fill the vacancy. An appointee, when succeeding a party member, shall be a member of the same political party as the person elected to such office and shall be a nominee of the County central committee of that party. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy shall meet the qualifications provided in Section 405 of this Charter.
The Executive immediately shall forfeit office upon ceasing to be a citizen of the United States or a registered voter of the County.
The Executive shall be suspended by operation of law, without pay or benefits, from office upon being granted probation before judgment for, upon the acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere by a court to, or upon being convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude. During the period of suspension, the Council shall appoint a person to temporarily fill the elective office in the manner provided in Section 407 of this Charter. If the conviction becomes final, after judicial review or otherwise, the Executive shall be removed from office by operation of law and the office shall be deemed vacant.
In the event of the temporary absence of the Executive, the Director of Administration shall perform the duties of the Executive.
The Executive shall appoint a Director of Administration, subject to confirmation by the Council, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive. The Director of Administration shall be selected on the basis of qualifications as a professional administrator, skill in governmental budgeting and technical training for the duties of the office. The Director of Administration shall be a resident of the County within six months of appointment. The Director of Administration shall, subject to the direction of the Executive, supervise all departments, offices, and agencies of the executive branch, advise the Executive on all administrative matters and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive or this Charter.
The Executive shall appoint a County Attorney, subject to confirmation by the Council. The County Attorney shall be the chief legal officer of the County, conduct all the law business of the County, be a legal advisor to the Council, and be the legal advisor to the Executive, all departments, and other instrumentalities of the County government. The County Attorney may, with the approval of the Council, employ special legal counsel to work on problems when the work to be done is of such character or magnitude as to require services in addition to those regularly provided by the County Attorney. The County Attorney shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive.
The Executive shall appoint an individual to head each principal operating department, office or agency of the executive branch, subject to confirmation of the Council. The Executive shall remove individuals appointed under this subsection at the Executive's discretion.
Except as provided in Subsection (c) of this section or prescribed by state law or other provisions of this Charter, the Executive shall appoint all members of boards and commissions. Such membership shall be subject to confirmation by the Council. The Executive shall remove individuals appointed under this subsection at the Executive's discretion, unless otherwise prohibited by law.
The membership of boards and commissions that are established exclusively to advise the Council shall be appointed and removed by the Council, at the Council's discretion, unless such matters are prescribed by state law or other sections of this Charter.
If the Council fails to take action within 30 days upon an appointment made by the Executive pursuant to this section, the appointment shall become effective.
When a vacancy occurs in the position of the Director of Administration or the head of any principal operating department, office, or agency of the executive branch, the Executive shall appoint an acting Director of Administration or acting head of the department, office, or agency, as the case may be, to serve for a period not exceeding six months. This limit may be extended by the Council for a period of time not to exceed an additional four months.
During an Executive's term, the Executive shall make an evaluation of the organization, functions, powers, and duties of each department, agency and office in the executive branch. By January 2014, and thereafter as the Executive deems necessary, the Executive shall prepare a plan of organization, which shall prescribe the principal operating departments, agencies and offices in the executive branch, along with their powers, functions and responsibilities. The Executive shall submit the plan to the Council in writing. The plan shall become law 90 days after its presentation to the Council, if by that time it has not been disapproved by a vote of four members of the Council.