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Caroline County, MD
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 33.
Comptroller and Collector of Taxes — See Ch. 62.
Taxation — See Ch. 166.
[P.L.L., 1860, Art. 6, sec. 46; 1888, sec. 51; 1930, sec. 97; 1892, ch. 249, sec. 51; 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1]
There shall be three County Commissioners for Caroline County.
Beginning with terms of office commencing or resulting from the general election of 2010 and thereafter, each County Commissioner immediately prior to election or appointment shall have been a resident of the County for at least one year; be a registered and qualified voter of the County; and be at least 21 years of age.
[Added 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1[1]]
County Commissioners shall be elected by County-wide vote. A County Commissioner shall serve a term of office of four years or until a successor is elected and qualified.
At the first meeting after their inauguration, and annually thereafter, the Commissioners shall select from their number a Commissioner to serve as President and a Commissioner to serve as Vice President. The President shall be responsible for conducting the meetings of the Commissioners, coordinating the meeting agenda, and the routine management of the affairs of the County Commissioners. In all matters before the County Commissioners, the President, when in attendance at or participating in any meeting, shall have the right to vote. The Vice President shall serve as President in the absence of the President.
Provided that at least a quorum of County Commissioners is physically present at a meeting that is otherwise lawfully convened and assembled, any County Commissioner who is unable to physically attend the meeting shall be allowed to participate, including voting, using electronic communication technology or other facilities that allows for remote participation, provided, however, that such remote participation shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting together with the remote participant’s stated reason for physical absence from the meeting.
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former § 18-2, General requirements for the conduct of County business, added 3-12-1985 by Bill No. 85-3, as amended.
[Added 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1[1]]
The County Commissioners may convene in legislative session on the second and third Tuesdays of each month and on any additional days the County Commissioners determine. In no event may the County Commissioners convene on more than 45 days, or more than such other time or sessions as state law may require or allow.
All legislative sessions shall be open to the public, advertised in advance, and comply with all requirements for open meetings provided by law. To the extent applicable law may allow a closed session to be held, the County Commissioners may meet in closed session.
Two County Commissioners constitute a quorum for the transaction of legislative business.
Except for emergency bills, all bills, or a fair summary thereof, shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the County prior to a bill's public hearing. The publication of a bill, or a fair summary thereof, shall include a notice of the time, place and date of the public hearing and such other information as the County Commissioners deem appropriate.
After a public hearing, the County Commissioners may enact a bill into law, with or without amendment, by an affirmative vote of at least two members. In the event a bill is amended, it need not be readverstised.
A bill not enacted within 65 days from its introduction or amendment is void.
Editor's Note: This bill also renumbered former § 18-3 as § 18-5.
[Added 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1[1]]
Two County Commissioners shall constitute a quorum to exercise executive and administrative powers and functions. Unless otherwise provided by law, the agreement of two County Commissioners is required to resolve any nonlegislative matter before the County Commissioners.
Where required by law, the date, time, and location of executive and administrative sessions shall be advertised in advance.
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former § 18-4, Elections, adopted and amended as follows: P.L.L., 1930, Art. 6, sec. 99; 1892, ch. 249, sec. 51B; 1965, ch. 20, sec. 99 and renumbered former §§ 18-5 and 18-6 as §§ 18-6 and 18-7, respectively.
[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 6, sec. 98; 1892, ch. 249, sec. 51A; 1920, ch. 63; 1945, ch. 1021; 1965, ch. 334; 1970, ch. 92; 1974, ch. 270; 1978, ch. 408, sec. 12; 1981, ch. 51; 1982, ch. 236; 10-13-1998 by Bill No. 98-1; 2-8-2005 by Bill No. 2005-3; 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1]
The annual salary of the President of the County Commissioners is $16,000. The annual salary of the other members is $15,000. Each County Commissioner shall receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of official duties as provided by state standard travel regulations. Each County Commissioner shall be entitled to receive or participate in insurance, pension, and other fringe benefits generally made available to County employees in the classified service, on the same terms and conditions applicable thereto, and as heretofore have been provided to County Commissioners; provided, however, that County Commissioners shall not be entitled to personal leave, sick leave, vacation leave, or provisions regarding work hours. The inclusion in this § 18-5 of salary and benefit provisions is intended to reflect the current practice of the County in place prior to the general election of 2006 and does not reflect an increase in salary or benefits to County Commissioners.
The County Commissioners of Caroline County, after their qualification and organization, shall appoint a Clerk to the County Commissioners of said County, who shall take office forthwith and who shall hold his office at the pleasure of the County Commissioners, and said Clerk to the County Commissioners shall receive such compensation as may be determined by the County Commissioners from time to time.
[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 6, sec. 101; 1904, ch. 669, sec. 50A; 1912, ch. 34; 1922, ch. 533; 1943, ch. 362; 1965, ch. 20, sec. 101]
It shall be the duty of said Clerk, as soon as the annual levy is made, to give public notice thereof by advertisement inserted in two newspapers printed and published in said county. The taxes so levied shall be entered in books as the same has been done heretofore, and said books shall be delivered to the County Comptroller, and taxes shall be due and payable on the first day of July in the year in which they are levied. It shall be the further duty of the Clerk to strike from the list of taxables the names of all insolvents returned to him by the Comptroller of said County and allowed by the County Commissioners as such.
[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 6, 102; 1898, ch. 216, sec. 50B; 1904, ch. 669, sec. 50B; 1963, ch. 825, sec. 9; 5-8-2007 by Bill No. 2007-1; 10-9-2007 by Bill No. 2007-5]
The clerk may be known by any title or description designated by the County Commissioners, including "Executive Assistant," and any action taken under such nomenclature shall be deemed for all purposes to be the action of the Clerk to the County Commissioners.
[Added 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1]
[1966, ch. 748; 1974, ch. 770, sec. 14A(a)]
Appointment, tenure, compensation and surety bond. The office of County Administrator of Caroline County is created. The board of County Commissioners of Caroline County shall appoint the Administrator from time to time. He shall be selected on the basis of his executive, administrative and fiscal abilities, including his knowledge and experience in public administration, public finance, accounting and public affairs. The Administrator shall receive an annual salary of not less than $10,000. He shall execute a surety bond in favor of the board of County Commissioners in such amount and with such corporate surety as prescribed by the board, with the condition that he shall execute his duties well and faithfully as required by law, and the premium for the bond shall be paid from county funds. He shall hold his office at the pleasure of the board. In any event, the Administrator shall not hold his office longer than the last day of the month in which he attains the age of 70 years.
Responsibilities generally; employment of other personnel. The Administrator shall devote his full time to the work of the county, and he shall be responsible to the County Commissioners for the proper administration of his affairs. He may employ, with the approval of the County Commissioners, such assistants as he may deem necessary for the proper performance of his duties. He shall at all times be held responsible for the proper discharge of his duties, but may delegate to appropriate officers and employees such authority as he deems necessary to carry out the duties of his office.
Powers and duties. The County Administrator shall have the following powers and duties:
To be the chief administrative officer of the County and, under the general supervision and control of the board of County Commissioners, to be responsible for and handle the day-to-day operations of the County government, all as more particularly described in this section.
To supervise and coordinate the administration of the functions of the several departments and administrative agencies of the County and to carry on the general policies, orders and instructions of the board of County Commissioners in the administration of the public local and other laws applying to the County.
To recommend to the board of County Commissioners persons for appointment to the several offices and positions in the County government, subject to the provisions of the merit system, if any.
To prescribe the form and to supervise and direct the preparation of all County budgets and to prepare material or messages explanatory of the annual budget.
To examine the books, papers and records of each department and agency of the County government regularly and to report to the board of County Commissioners the condition in which he finds them. The County Commissioners shall make provision for an annual audit of the books and accounts of the County by the appointment of an independent auditor.
To prepare and make public a comprehensive annual report to the board of County Commissioners of the operations of the County government.
To provide adequate property and liability insurance for the County and to help in arranging for surety bonds for the County officers and employees who are required to furnish bonds.
To act as liaison officer in meetings of the several boards and agencies of the County government.
To be responsible for the care and custody of all County buildings and of all real and personal property of the County.
To supervise the financial administration of each office, department, board, commission, institution or other agency of the County government, to study and investigate the organization and management and the bookkeeping and accounting procedures of these agencies and to direct these agencies to adopt and follow such method of conducting their offices or of keeping books and accounts or to make such reports in such form as the Administrator deems advisable and prescribes.
To establish and maintain current accounts of all appropriations, revenues and disbursements made by the County Commissioners so as to show in detail the appropriations made to each account, the sources thereof, the amounts drawn thereon, the purpose for which such amounts were expended and the unencumbered balance thereof and to submit at each meeting of the County Commissioners a summary showing the amounts received, expended and on hand in each account as of that date.
To keep the board of County Commissioners advised on the financial condition of the County and to make such recommendations as seem to him advisable; to remain continually available to advise the County Commissioners on all financial matters, including but not limited to the investment of County moneys and the purchase and issue of bonds; and to submit at least monthly to the County Commissioners a complete financial statement showing the assets, liabilities and financial condition of the County.
To control and supervise all County expenditures on the basis of authorized budget allotments and to report monthly thereon to the several offices, departments, boards, commissions and other agencies of the County government.
To examine, audit and approve all bills, demands or charges against the County and to determine their regularity, legality and correctness.
To supervise and manage the purchase of materials, goods and services for the County, following accepted and proper purchasing procedures.
To perform such other duties and functions as may be assigned to him from time to time by the Board of County Commissioners.
Acting County Administrator. In the temporary absence of the County Administrator, the board of County Commissioners may appoint an Acting County Administrator. During the period of holding this position, the Acting County Administrator has all the powers, duties, functions and responsibilities of the office of the County Administrator.[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 16 regarding appointment and compensation of court crier (P.L.L., 1860, Art. 6, sec. 47; 1888, sec. 52; 1930, sec. 103), which immediately followed this section, was deleted during codification. Original Section 17, Road payments to towns (P.L.L., 1888, Art. 6, sec. 54; 1930, sec. 105; 1886, ch. 219; 1965, ch. 20, sec. 105), which also followed this section, was repealed 12-10-1985 by Bill No. 85-4.
Former § 18-7, Municipal aid, added 12-10-1985 by Bill No. 85-4, as amended, which immediately followed was repealed 4-21-2009 by Bill No. 2009-1.
[P.L.L., 1888, Art. 6, sec. 58; 1930, sec. 106; 1882, ch. 214; 1916, ch. 457; 1931, ch. 321, sec. 106]
The Board of County Commissioners of Caroline County shall annually, on or before the first day of July in each and every year, beginning with the first day of July 1931, levy upon the taxable property of Caroline County the state and County taxes, to be due and collectible in the manner and at the time or times as is now provided by law, the state taxes for the purpose of paying the taxes due the State of Maryland and the County taxes for the purpose of paying and defraying the expenses, charges, obligations and expenditures, to be created as hereinafter set forth, incident to and necessary for the conduct of the affairs of the County and the operation and maintenance of its government.
Editor's Note: Former §§ 18-9, Fiscal year established, 18-10, Board of Estimates established; preparation and filing of resource schedule and estimate list, 18-11, Estimates for appropriations required; time limit; public hearings; standards and limitations, adopted 1931, ch. 321, secs. 106A, 106B and 106C, respectively, as amended, 18-12, Submission of budget; budget message; budget; public hearing; amendment; adoption, administration, added 2-18-1997 by Bill No. 96-2, 18-13, Disposition of revenues, adopted 1931, ch. 321, sec. 106E, as amended, and 18-14, Capital program submission; contents; notice and hearing; adoption, added 2-18-1997 by Bill No. 96-2, were repealed 10-15-2013 by Bill No. 2013-2. For current provisions pertaining to budget, see Ch. 50, Budget.
[1931, ch. 321, sec. 106G; 1959, ch. 307; 1977, ch. 139; 2-18-1997 by Bill No. 96-2]
The County Commissioners of Caroline County may create loan obligations and other forms of indebtedness against the full faith and credit of the County only under the authority granted to code home rule counties under state law, or as otherwise allowed by state law. In case of any deficiency in revenue and taxation to meet the amount provided in the estimates, there shall be a pro rata abatement of all appropriations, except for the payment of the state taxes, the principal and interest of the County debt and salaries and obligations fixed by law. In case of any surplus arising in any fiscal year by reason of excess income received from the estimated revenue over the expenditures for such year or by reason of unexpended appropriations for such year, the surplus shall be a part of the revenue for subsequent fiscal years.
All the provisions of this chapter are subject to the proviso that in order to meet any unexpected emergency or contingency, the County Commissioners of Caroline County are authorized to temporarily borrow on promissory notes during any fiscal year a sum or sums of money not to exceed 5% of the estimated revenues for the current fiscal year. The amount of the loan shall mature and be paid within six months from the date of the loan or by the end of the current fiscal year, whichever is later. The County Commissioners may not extend the time for repayment beyond the stated time limit by refinancing or any other method.
[1933 Sp. Sess., ch. 95; 1980, ch. 452, sec. 26; 2-18-1997 by Bill No. 96-2]
In addition to the powers already possessed by the County Commissioners of Caroline County and not in limitation thereof, whenever they shall deem it necessary to meet the current expenses of the County, the County Commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to borrow money from time to time in an amount not to exceed 60% of all revenues uncollected at the time of borrowing and to issue notes therefor bearing interest, the notes to be designated as "tax anticipation notes," with the tax levy year also designated thereon, to be signed by the President of the County Commissioners of Caroline County and to be countersigned by the County Comptroller.
[Amended 5-8-2007 by Bill No. 2007-1; 10-9-2007 by Bill No. 2007-5]
The notes shall be in any denomination and shall mature at any period as may be determined by the County Commissioners and, except as herein otherwise provided, shall be in any form as may be determined by the County Commissioners; provided, however, that the notes shall be paid for out of uncollected taxes when collected and that any and all tax anticipation notes issued under the authority of this section or any renewal thereof shall be paid or definite provision for payment made within 24 months from the date of the levy, out of which the notes are to be redeemed. Otherwise, the County Commissioners of Caroline County are directed to include a sufficient amount to redeem any and all tax anticipation notes or renewals thereof that have been outstanding 24 months or over in the next levy following the twenty-four-month period, term or maturity.[1]
Editor's Note: Former §§ 18-17, Public records, added 2-18-1997 by Bill No. 96-2, 18-18, Standards for determination of estimates; limitations of authority, and 18-19, Violations and penalties, adopted 1931, ch. 321, secs. 106I and 106J, respectively, and 18-20, Issuance of renewal or duplicate bonds, adopted P.L.L., 1888, Art. 6, sec. 59, as amended, all of which immediately followed this section, were repealed 10-15-2013 by Bill No. 2013-2. Original Section 31, Bids and contracts (1957, ch. 215), was repealed by ch. 59 of 1982 and original Section 32, Governmental Study Commission (1965, ch. 193; 1980, ch. 453, sec. 32; 1981, ch. 803) was deleted as said Commission is no longer active, having completed its examination of the structure and form of County government and submitted its findings and recommendations in May 1981.