MEMBERSHIP OF THE COUNCIL
[Amended 4-13-2006 by Res. No. 2006-01; 12-1-2014 by Charter Res. No. 2014-01]
All legislative powers of the town are vested in a Council consisting of five members, including the Mayor, all of whom shall be elected as hereinafter provided and who shall hold office for a term of four years or until a successor takes office. Councilpersons holding office at the time this Charter takes effect shall continue to hold office for the term for which they were elected and until the succeeding Council takes office under the provisions of this Charter. The term "Council," as used in this Charter, shall mean and refer to the Mayor and the four Councilpersons and is synonymous with the term "the Mayor and Council." The terms "Councilmember" and "Councilperson," as used in this Charter, are synonymous and refer to the members of the Council other than the Mayor.
[Amended 4-13-2006 by Res. No. 2006-01]
Councilpersons shall have resided in the town for at least two years immediately preceding their election, shall be at least 25 years of age at the time of their election, and shall be qualified voters of the town.
The Council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members.
The Mayor shall serve as President of the Council. The Council shall elect a Vice President of the Council from among its members, who shall act as President of the Council in the absence of the President of the Council.
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4]
Each Councilmember shall receive an annual salary the amount of which shall be specified from time to time by an ordinance passed by the Council in the regular course of its business. The salary for each Councilmember shall be equal except that the salary specified at the time any Councilmember takes office shall not be changed during the period for which the Councilmember was elected.
Vacancies in the Council shall be filled as provided in Section 614 of this Charter.
PROCEDURE OF THE COUNCIL
The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business. It shall keep a journal of its proceedings and enter therein the yeas and nays upon final action on any question, resolution, or ordinance, or at any other time if required by one member. The journal shall be open to public inspection.
[Amended 9-25-1992 byRes. No. 92-6]
The newly elected Council shall meet the first Monday following its election for the purpose of organization, and election of one of its members to serve as Vice President of the Council (Vice Mayor), 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 Clerk-Treasurer upon the request of the Mayor or a majority of the members of the Council. All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public except in special and appropriate circumstances when meetings may be closed in accordance with Subtitle 5 of Title 10 of the State Government Article, Open Meetings Law, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended from time to time. The rules of the Council shall provide that residents of the town shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any meeting in regard to any municipal question
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 other action taken without the favorable votes of a majority of the whole number of members elected to the Council.
[Amended 4-26-1991 byRes. No. 91-4]
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 to some specified future date. In case of emergency, the provision that an ordinance may not be passed at the meeting at which it is introduced, may be suspended by the affirmative votes of four members of the Council. Every ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of 20 calendar days following approval by the Council. An emergency ordinance shall become effective on the date specified in the ordinance, but no ordinance shall become effective until approved by the Council. A brief but fair description of each ordinance passed to include emergency ordinances shall be published at least two weeks in a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation in the town within 20 days of passage.
If, before the expiration of 20 calendar days following approval of any ordinance, a petition is filed with the Clerk-Treasurer containing the signatures of not less than 20% of the qualified voters of the town and requesting that the ordinance, or any part thereof, be submitted to a vote of the qualified voters of the town for their approval or disapproval, the Council shall have the ordinance, or the part thereof requested for referendum, submitted to a vote of the qualified voters of the town at the next regular town election, or, in the Council's discretion, at a special election occurring before the next regular election. No ordinance, or the part thereof requested for referendum, shall become effective following the receipt of such petition until and unless approved at the election by a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question. An emergency ordinance, or the part thereof requested for referendum, shall continue in effect for 60 days following receipt of such petition. If 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, then the operation of the ordinance, or the part thereof requested for referendum, shall be suspended until approval by a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question at any election. Any ordinance, or part thereof, disapproved by the voters, shall stand repealed. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any ordinance, or part thereof, passed under the authority of the section of this Charter pertaining to levying property taxes for the payment of indebtedness, adoption of the annual budget, authorizing the annual tax levy, nor to any ordinance or part thereof levying special assessment charges under the provision of this Charter, where the proceeds of such special assessment charges have been or are to be pledged to the payment of any bonds, notes, or other indebtedness incurred or to be incurred by the town for public improvements to be financed in whole or in part by each special assessment charge. The provisions of this section shall be self-executing but the Council may adopt ordinances in furtherance of those provisions and not in conflict with them, and the Council may voluntarily submit to a referendum any ordinance enacted by it, except those specifically excluded hereby.
Ordinances shall be permanently filed by the Clerk-Treasurer and shall be kept available for public inspection.