2019 Delaware Code
Title 9 - Counties
Chapter 70. County Government and County Administrators
§ 7002 County government.

Universal Citation: 9 DE Code § 7002 (2019)

(a) Number and term. — The county government shall consist of 5 members. Unless otherwise provided by law, elected officials of the county governing body shall serve a term of 4 years, or until their successors have been elected and take office. Such officials shall take office on the first Tuesday in January following their election.

(b) Qualifications. — Such officials shall be citizens of the United States and qualified electors of the County. They shall be residents of the district from which they are elected or, in the event of redistricting of the district as adjusted, for at least 1 year prior to their election. The county government shall be the judge of the qualifications of its members.

(c) Prohibitions. — Except where authorized by law, no such official shall hold any other county or state office or employment by the county or state government during the term for which such official was elected to the county government. No former official shall hold any compensated appointed county office or employment until 1 year after the expiration of the term for which he or she was elected to the county government.

(d) Salary and expenses. — The annual salary of each elected official shall be set and determined by the county government during the consideration and adoption of the annual operating budget ordinance. Such officials shall receive their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office.

(e) Officers of county government. — The county government shall elect annually at its first regular meeting in January, among its members, officers of the county government who shall have the titles of President of the county government and Vice-President of the county government. The President of the county government shall preside at meetings of the government and shall be recognized as head of the county government for all necessary purposes. The Vice-President of the county government shall act as the President of the county government during the absence or disability of the President.

(f) Powers of county government. — All powers of the County shall be vested in the county government, except as otherwise provided by this title or other laws of this State, and the county government shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the County by law.

(g) Vacancies. — (1) The office of an elected official of the county governing body shall become vacant upon his or her death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of his or her office in a manner set forth below.

(2) The office of such official shall be deemed to have been forfeited should the incumbent at any time during his or her term of office:

a. Lack qualifications for the office prescribed by this chapter or other law of the State;

b. Remove his or her residence from the district from which he or she was elected;

c. Violate any express prohibitions of this title; or

d. Be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

(3) When a vacancy occurs in the office of such official, the county government shall certify that a vacancy exists. The vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of all the remaining members of the county government. They shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term from the district where the vacancy occurred; provided that every vacancy shall be filled by a person of the same political party as that of the person whose unexpired term is being filled.

(4) If the county government fails to fill a vacancy within 30 days after the occurrence thereof, the Department of Elections shall call a special election in the district where the vacancy occurred; said election shall be for the unexpired term and shall be held within 90 days from the commencement of the vacancy.

(h) Clerk of county government. — The county government shall appoint and fix the salary of a Clerk of the county government who shall keep the journal of its proceedings, and perform such other duties as are assigned to the Clerk by this title or by the county government. The county government may provide for employees to serve in the office of the Clerk of the county government.

(i) Investigations. — The county government may make investigations into the affairs of the County and the conduct of any county department, office or agency, and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of pertinent evidence of any kind. Any person who fails or refuses to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the county government shall be punishable in accordance with a schedule of fines and imprisonment established by the county government.

(j) Independent audit. — The county government shall provide for an independent annual audit of all county accounts and may provide for such more frequent audits as it deems necessary. Such audits shall be made by a certified public accountant or firm of such accountants who have no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the county government or any of its officers. The county government may, without requiring competitive bids designate such accountant or firm annually or for a period not exceeding 3 years, provided that the designation for any particular fiscal year shall be made no later than 30 days after beginning of such fiscal year.

(k) Procedure. — (1) The county government shall meet regularly. The place and dates of such meetings shall be established by the county government as a part of the rules of procedure adopted for the conduct of its meetings. Special meetings may be held on the call of the President of the county government or of a majority of the members of the county government in accordance with rules adopted as a part of the rules of procedure of the county government.

(2) The county government shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings which shall be a public record.

(3) Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the journal. A majority of all members of the county government shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the county government. No action of the county government, except as otherwise provided in this title, shall be valid or binding unless adopted with the concurrence of a majority of all of the members of the county government.

(l) Actions required by ordinance. — All actions of the county government which shall have the force of law shall be by ordinance.

(m) Ordinances generally. — (1) Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced in writing and in the form required for final adoption. No ordinance, except those relating to the budget or appropriation of funds and those relating to the adoption or revisions of the County Code shall contain more than 1 subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title. The enacting clause shall be “The County of Sussex hereby ordains.” Any ordinance which repeals or amends an existing ordinance or part of the County Code shall set out in full that part of the ordinance, sections or subsections to be repealed or amended, and shall indicate the matter to be omitted by enclosing it in brackets and shall indicate new matter by underscoring or by italics.

(2) An ordinance may be introduced by any member at any regular or special meeting of the county government. Upon introduction of any ordinance, the Clerk of the county government all distribute a copy to each elected official of the county body and to the County Administrator; shall file a reasonable number of copies in the office of the Clerk of the county government and such other public places as the county government may designate; shall in 2 newspapers of general circulation in the county publish in bold type the ordinance or the title thereof together with a notice setting out the time and place for a public hearing thereon by the county government; and shall produce a sufficient number of copies thereof to meet reasonable demands therefor by interested citizens and others who may be affected by said ordinance. The public hearing shall follow the publication by at least 15 days; may be held separately or in connection with a regular or special county government meeting and may be adjourned from time to time and all persons interested will have a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The county government may make rules governing the holding of public hearings. After the public hearing the county government may adopt the ordinance with or without amendment or reject it, but if it is amended as to any matter of substance which is not embraced within the title of the ordinance, the county government may not adopt it until the ordinance or its amended sections have been subjected to all of the procedures hereinbefore required in the case of a newly introduced ordinance. As soon as practicable after adoption of any ordinance, the Clerk of the county government shall number the ordinance and have it, or its title, published again, together with a notice of its adoption.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in this title, every adopted ordinance shall become effective immediately unless the ordinance itself stipulates a different date.

(n) Consideration and adoption of the annual operating budget ordinance. — (1) The county government, upon receipt of the proposed operating budget from the County Administrator, shall immediately publish a notice in all newspapers of general circulation in the County, setting forth:

a. A summary of the estimated revenues and expenditures;

b. The details of recommended new sources of revenue or increased rates of existing taxes, licenses, fees or other revenue;

c. That copies of the budget are available at the office of the Clerk of the county government;

d. The date, time and place at which the county government will commence its public hearings upon the proposed budget, which shall be not less than 21 days after the date of publication of such notice.

(2) The county government, upon conclusion of its public hearings but not later than July 1, shall adopt the operating budget ordinance in the form submitted by the County Administrator unless the county government shall have established additional general classes of expenditures for purposes of appropriation. The county government may increase, decrease or delete any item of appropriation recommended by the County Administrator. Upon concurrence of its members, the county government may add new items of appropriation.

(3) Amendments to the annual operating budget ordinance shall be considered and approved by the county government under the same procedures prescribed for its original adoption, but no amendment shall increase the aggregate of authorized expenditures to an amount greater than the total of the appropriation made at the time of the adoption of the original budget.

(o) Emergency ordinances. — To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the county government may adopt emergency ordinances, but such ordinances may not levy taxes, grant, review or extend a franchise, or authorize the borrowing of money except to issue emergency notes as provided by law. An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing it in clear and specific terms. An emergency ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment or rejected at the meeting at which it is introduced. After its adoption, the ordinance shall be published and printed as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall become effective immediately upon adoption or at such later time as it may specify. An emergency ordinance may be repealed by adoption of a repealing ordinance in the same manner specified in this section for adoption of emergency ordinances.

(p) Budgets of revenues. — (1) The county government, at the meeting at which the annual operating budget ordinance is adopted and within the limits of its power and subject to other provisions of this title, shall ordain such taxes and other revenue measures as will yield sufficient revenue which, together with any available surplus, will balance the budget.

(2) Revenues shall be estimated only upon the bases of the cash receipts anticipated for the fiscal year.

(3) The estimated yield from each item of revenue and of the amounts of surplus to be used in the balancing of the budget shall be provided to the county government by the County Administrator. However, nothing in this paragraph shall exempt these proposed revenue measures from being proposed in accordance with subsection (m) of this section.

(q) Official map of the County. — (1) There is established an official map of Sussex County. The Planning and Zoning Commission as provided in subsection (a) of § 6809 of this title shall be the custodian of such map. The map shall show the location and lines of the public roads, easements, water courses, public lands and zoning districts within the County presently existing or established by law at the time of the preparation and setting up of the map and shall also show the location of the lines of the roads, easements, watercourses, public lands and zoning districts which have been approved by the county government.

(2) The Planning and Zoning Commission of Sussex County shall review the official map or any amendment, extension or addition thereto. After public hearing the Commission shall submit the official map or such amendment, extension or addition thereto along with its comments, to the county government. The county government shall not be bound by the report of the Commission and the county government may add, change or delete any portions of the proposed map, amendments, extension or addition thereto as it sees fit. If the official map, or amendment, extension or addition thereto shall pertain to the road system of or any road in Sussex County, the official map and any amendment, extension or addition thereto shall also be submitted to the Department of Transportation for its review and recommendation prior to adoption by the county government. If adopted by the county government, the map shall be recorded in the Recorder’s office within 30 days after such action.

(3) The county government may, from time to time, amend, extend, add to or remove from the official map all roads established or vacated by law, provided that the same review process of the proposed action for amendment, extension or addition of the official map indicated in this section shall be followed.

(r) Authentication, recording, codification and printing of ordinances. — (1) The Clerk of the county government shall authenticate by his or her signature and record in full, in a properly indexed book kept for that purpose, all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the county government.

(2) Within 5 years after the commencement of the system of government provided herein, and at least every 5 years thereafter, the county government shall provide for the preparation of the general codification of all county ordinances having the force and effect of continuing law. The general codification shall be adopted by the county government by ordinance and shall be published promptly in bound or loose-leaf form, together with pertinent provisions of the Constitution and other laws of this State applicable to Sussex County, and such codes of technical regulations and other rules and regulations as the county government may specify. This compilation shall be known and cited officially as the Sussex County Code. Copies of the County Code shall be distributed as directed by the county government.

(3) The county government shall cause each ordinance having the force and effect of law and each amendment to state law affecting the County to be reproduced promptly following its adoption; and the reproduced ordinances, and the amendments to state law shall be distributed or sold to any person at reasonable prices to be fixed by the county government. Subsequent to the publication of the first Sussex County Code, the ordinances and the amendments to state law shall be printed or reproduced in substantially the same style as the County Code currently in effect and shall be suitable in form for integration therein. The county government shall make such further arrangements as it deems desirable with respect to reproduction and distribution of any current changes in or additions to the provisions of the Constitution and other laws of the State or the codes of technical regulations included in the County Code.

(s) Adoption of pay plans. — (1) All persons employed by the County or by any of its boards, whether as officers or otherwise, and paid either in part or in whole from appropriations made by the county government, except those whose compensation is fixed by state law, shall be compensated only in accordance with pay plans adopted by the county government.

(2) Promptly upon receipt from the County Administrator of any recommendation of measures for the establishment or amendment of a pay plan or portions thereof for persons in the classified service, the President of the county government may introduce an ordinance for the adoption of such recommendations. Not later than 60 days after receipt of such recommendations, the county government shall adopt or reject them as submitted or adopt them in such amended form as the county government may provide.

(t) Creation of debt; authorization, procedures, debt limitation and anticipation borrowing. — (1) The county government shall exercise all powers heretofore vested in the county government of Sussex County in connection with the creation of debt, and shall have the power to authorize the issuance of bonds and notes of Sussex County to finance the cost of any object, program or purpose for which Sussex County, or any officer, department, board or agency thereof, is, by this title or by any other law, authorized to raise, appropriate or expend money, or for the implementation and performance of functions, programs and purposes specified in this title or in any other law applicable to Sussex County; provided however, that the county government shall not have authority to create or to authorize the creation of any bonded indebtedness for any of the following purposes:

The payment of any operating expenses; the payment of any judgment resulting from the failure of the County to pay any item of operating expense; or the payment for any equipment or any public improvements of a normal life of less than 3 years. The foregoing limitations shall not apply should the county government unanimously declare the existence of any emergency due to public calamity. The term “bonded indebtedness” shall not include the promissory notes issued pursuant to lines of credit for short-term borrowing purposes. “Short-term borrowing purposes” shall include borrowings with a term of not to exceed 5 years from date of such note, or a note that is payable upon demand of the obligee.

(2) The powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in substitution for or in limitation of the powers conferred by any other law. Bonds and notes may be issued under this chapter for any object or purpose for which Sussex County is by this chapter or any other law authorized to raise or appropriate or expend money notwithstanding that any other law may provide for the issuance of bonds or notes for the same or like purposes and without regard to the requirements, restrictions or other provisions contained in any other law. Bonds and notes may be issued under this chapter notwithstanding any debt or other limitation prescribed by any other law, and the mode and manner of procedure for the issuance of bonds and notes and the adoption of the ordinance authorizing issuance of the bonds or notes under this chapter need not conform to the provisions of any other law or any other provision of this chapter.

(3) Bonds and notes issued pursuant to this chapter shall be authorized by ordinance of the county government approved by not less than 4/5 of all of the members thereof; provided however, that the county government shall be authorized by resolution approved by a majority of all of the members thereof to establish lines of credit for short term borrowing purposes and to execute, issue and deliver promissory notes for amounts borrowed pursuant to said lines of credit. Each such ordinance or resolution shall state in brief and general terms the objects or purposes for which the bonds or notes are to be issued and the maximum aggregate principal amount of bonds or notes to be issued for each such object or purpose. Such ordinance, or a subsequent resolution of the county government pertaining to such ordinance, or a resolution of the county government, shall specify, or may delegate authority to the County Administrator to determine, with respect to any bonds and notes the following:

Their date or dates; their maturity; the security therefor, if any, including a pledge of the County’s full faith and credit, if there is to be such a pledge; federal or state grants or other revenues or property; provisions for either serial or term bonds; sinking fund or other reserve fund requirements, if any; provisions for redemption prior to maturity, if any, with or without premiums; the interest rate or rates, including variable rates, and any limitation with respect thereto or the manner of their determination; the times and place or places within or without the State for the payment of principal and interest; the method of execution; the form; provisions, if any, for the consolidation of debt authorized for several objects and purposes pursuant to 1 or more ordinances into 1 consolidated issue; provisions, if any, for the receipt and deposit or investment of any good faith deposit; provisions for the public or private sale of bonds; and such other terms and conditions as the county government may determine to be in the best interest of the County. Debt incurred by the County pursuant to this chapter may be represented by uncertificated obligations of the County which may be applicable to bonds and notes which are permitted to be issued under this chapter, and the county government by resolution may determine, or it may delegate authority to the County Administrator to determine, all procedures appropriate to the establishment of a system of issuing uncertificated debt.

(4) Bonds issued pursuant to this chapter may be sold at either public or private sale, upon such terms, conditions and regulations as the county government may prescribe; provided, that the county government may authorize the County Administrator to sell such bonds at public or private sale upon such terms, conditions and regulations as it may provide.

(5) The county government may pledge the full faith and credit of the County to secure the payment of the principal, interest and premium, if any, on any debt incurred pursuant to this chapter and/or may pledge any other security therefor. With respect to any debt to which the County’s full faith and credit is pledged, the authorizing ordinance and the debt instruments issued shall contain the declaration that the principal, interest and premium, if any, are to be paid by ad valorem taxes on all real property subject to taxation by the County without limitation as to rate or amount and that the full faith and credit of the County are pledged for payment. The county government shall annually levy and collect a tax ad valorem upon all property taxable by the County sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on each bond or note secured by the County’s pledge of its full faith and credit as such principal and interest become due; provided, however, such tax may be reduced by the amount of other moneys appropriated and actually available for such purpose or provided for by local or special assessments or local service taxes.

(6) The outstanding general obligation bonded indebtedness of Sussex County secured by the full faith and credit of the County may not exceed 12 percent of the assessed valuation of all real property subject to taxation within the County. The outstanding bonded indebtedness of the County not secured by the County’s full faith and credit is without limitation as to amount.

(7) The proceeds from the sale of bonds and notes issued under this chapter shall be used only for the object or purpose or objects or purposes specified in the ordinance authorizing such bonds or notes for the payment of the principal of and interest on temporary loans made in anticipation of the sale of such bonds or notes. If for any reason any part of such proceeds is not applied to or is not necessary for such purposes, such unexpended part of such proceeds shall be applied to the payment of the principal of or interest on such bonds or notes no later than the earliest date on which such bonds or notes may be called for redemption without premium, or shall be applied as set forth in such ordinance or resolution, or a subsequent ordinance or resolution of the County.

(8) All bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued pursuant to this chapter shall recite that they are issued for a purpose or purposes as specified in the authorizing ordinance or resolution and that they are issued pursuant to the terms of the Constitution and laws of this State and the County. Upon the sale and delivery of any such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness against payment, such recitals shall be conclusive as to the right, power and authority of the County to issue the same and of the legality, validity and enforceability of the obligation of the County to pay principal and interest on the same. In case any county official whose signature or a facsimile thereof shall appear on any such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such obligation, or in case the seal of the County which appears on any such obligation shall change before the delivery of such obligation, such signature, seal or facsimile thereof shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes as if such officer had remained in office and as if such seal had not changed. The legality, validity and enforceability of such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall never be questioned in any court of law or equity by the County or any person after the issuance, execution and delivery against payment for the same. All such bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the Commercial Code of this State.

(9) Notwithstanding any limitations herein to the contrary, the county government may borrow in the anticipation of the collection of taxes or any other revenues budgeted for any purposes for which taxes are levied.

(u) Districts. — There shall be 5 councilmanic districts. Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are established as follows:

1st Councilmanic District

The 1st Councilmanic District shall comprise:

Beginning at the intersection of the westerly boundary of Delaware with Maryland at its intersection with the center line of State Route 404; thence southeasterly along the center line of State Route 404 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 582; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 582 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 583; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 583 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 584; thence southeasterly along the center line of County Road 584 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 600; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 600 to its intersection with the center line of Nanticoke Branch; thence generally southerly along the center line of Nanticoke Branch to its intersection with the center line of County Road 40; thence westerly along the center line of County Road 40 to its intersection with the corporate limits of the Town of Bridgeville, thence northerly, westerly and southerly along the corporate limits of the Town of Bridgeville to its intersection with the center line of State Route 18; thence southwesterly along the center line of State Route 18 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 18; thence southeasterly and northeasterly along the center line of County Road 18 to its intersection with the center line of U.S. 13; thence southerly along the center line of U.S. 13 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 64; thence westerly along the center line of County Road 64 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 13; thence northerly along the center line of State Route 13 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 515; thence westerly and northerly along the center line of County Road 515 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 509; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 509 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 514; thence northerly along the center line of County Road 514 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 24; thence westerly along the center line of State Route 24 to its intersection with the center line of the Delaware-Maryland boundary; thence northerly along the center line of the Delaware-Maryland boundary to the point and place of beginning.

2nd Councilmanic District

The 2nd Councilmanic District shall comprise:

Beginning at the intersection of the westerly boundary of Delaware with Maryland at its intersection with the center line of State Route 404; thence southeasterly along the center line of State Route 404 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 582; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 582 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 583; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 583 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 584; thence southeasterly along the center line of County Road 584 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 600; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 600 to its intersection with the center line of Nanticoke Branch; thence generally southerly along the center line of Nanticoke Branch to its intersection with the center line of County Road 40; thence westerly along the center line of County Road 40 to its intersection with the corporate limits of the Town of Bridgeville, thence northerly, westerly, and southerly along the corporate limits of the Town of Bridgeville to its intersection with the center line of State Route 18; thence southeasterly and northeasterly along the center line of State Route 18 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 404; thence southeasterly along the center line of State Route 404 and State Route 18 to its intersection with the westerly branch of Gravelly Fork; thence southerly along the center line of the westerly branch of Gravelly Fork to its intersection with the center line of Gravelly Fork; thence northeasterly along the center line of the easterly branch of Gravelly Fork to its intersection with the center line of State Route 18; thence southeasterly along the center line of State Route 18 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 527; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 527 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 516; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 516 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 46; thence easterly along the center line of County Road 46 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 524; thence southeasterly along the center line of County Road 524 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 20; thence southeasterly, northeasterly and southeasterly along the center line of State Route 20 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 473; thence northeasterly, southeasterly and northeasterly along the center line of County Road 473 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 20; thence southeasterly along the center line of State Route 20 to its intersection with the boundary line between Nanticoke Hundred and Dagsboro Hundred; thence northerly along the center line of the boundary line of Nanticoke Hundred crossing County Road 62 to its intersection with the boundary line of Georgetown Hundred and Dagsboro Hundred; thence in an easterly direction along the boundary line between Nanticoke Hundred and Dagsboro Hundred to the point where Eli Walls’ Ditch crosses County Road 318 which said point also marks a dividing line between Georgetown Hundred and Dagsboro Hundred; thence in a southeasterly direction along the center line of Eli Walls’ Ditch to its intersection with the center line of Morris Mill Pond; thence northeasterly along the center line of Morris Mill Pond to its intersection with the center line of Deep Branch; thence northerly along the center line of Deep Branch to its intersection with the center line of State Route 30; thence northeasterly along the center line of Morris Mill Pond to its intersection with the center line of Deep Branch; thence northeasterly along the center line of Deep Branch to its intersection with the center line of State Route 30; thence northerly along the center line of State Route 30 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 47; thence northwesterly along the center line of County Road 47 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 321; thence northerly along the center line of County Road 321 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 18; thence easterly along the center line of State Route 18 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 249; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 249 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 248; thence northerly along the center line of County Road 248 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 319; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 319 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 565; thence westerly along the center line of County Road 565 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 239; thence northerly along the center line of County Road 239 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 238; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 238 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 579; thence westerly along the center line of County Road 579 to its intersection with the center line of the western boundary of the Penn Central Railroad right-of-way; thence northerly along the center line of the western boundary of the Penn Central Railroad right-of-way to its intersection with the northern boundary of the Ellendale State Forest; thence in a westerly direction along the center line of the northern boundary of the Ellendale State Forest to its intersection with the center line of County Road 213; thence in a northerly direction along the center line of County Road 213 to its intersection with the center line of the boundary line between Kent and Sussex Counties; thence westerly and southerly along the boundary between Kent and Sussex Counties to its intersection with the center line of the boundary of Delaware and Maryland; thence southerly along the boundary between Delaware and Maryland to the point and place of beginning.

3rd Councilmanic District

The 3rd Councilmanic District shall comprise:

Beginning at the intersection of the boundary line between Kent and Sussex Counties and the Delaware Bay; thence in a westerly direction along the center line of the boundary line between Kent and Sussex Counties to its intersection with the center line of County Road 213; thence in a southerly direction along the center line of County Road 213 to its intersection with the center line of the northwest corner of Ellendale State Forest; thence in an easterly direction along the center line of the northern boundary of the Ellendale State Forest to its intersection with the center line of the westerly right-of-way of the Penn Central Railroad; thence southerly along the center line of the western boundary of the Penn Central Railroad to its intersection with the center line of County Road 579; thence easterly along the center line of County Road 579 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 238; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 238 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 239; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 239 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 565; thence easterly along the center line of County Road 565 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 319; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 319 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 248; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 248 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 249; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 249 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 18; thence westerly along the center line of State Route 18 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 321; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 321 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 47; thence southeasterly along the center line of County Road 47 to its intersection with the center line of State Road 30; thence northerly along the center line of State Road 30 to its intersection with the boundary line between Georgetown Hundred and Indian River Hundred; thence easterly along the center line of the boundary line between Georgetown Hundred and Indian River Hundred to its intersection with the center line of State Road 5 where it intersects the westerly branch of Love Creek; thence in an easterly and southerly direction along the center line of the westerly branch of Love Creek to its intersection with the center line of Love Creek; thence southerly along the center line of Love Creek to its intersection with the center line of State Road 24; thence northeasterly along the center line of State Road 24 to its intersection with the center line of State Road 14; thence northerly along the center line of State Road 14 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 268; thence northeasterly along the center line of County Road 268 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 269; thence in an easterly direction along the center line of County Road 269 (extended) to its intersection with the center line of the boundary between Delaware and New Jersey; thence in a northerly direction along the center of the boundary between Delaware and New Jersey to its intersection with the center line of the boundary between Kent and Sussex Counties (extended); thence in a westerly direction along the center line of the boundary between Kent and Sussex Counties (extended) to the point and place of beginning.

4th Councilmanic District

The 4th Councilmanic District shall comprise:

Beginning at the intersection of the center line of the boundary between Delaware and New Jersey with the center line of County Road 269 (extended); thence westerly along the center line of County Road 269 (extended) to its intersection with the center line of County Road 268 and County Road 269; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 268 to its intersection with the center line of State Road 14; thence southerly along the center line of State Road 14 to its intersection with the center line of State Road 24; thence southwesterly along the center line of State Road 24 to its intersection with the center line of Love Creek; thence northerly along the center line of Love Creek to its intersection with the center line of the westerly branch of Love Creek; thence westerly and northerly along the center line of the westerly branch of Love Creek to its intersection with the center line of the boundary line between Georgetown Hundred and Indian River Hundred at State Route 5; thence southwesterly along the center line of the boundary line between Georgetown Hundred and Indian River Hundred to its intersection with the center line of State Route 30; thence southerly along the center line of State Route 30 to its intersection with the center line of Deep Branch; thence southwesterly along the center line of Deep Branch to its intersection with the center line of Morris Mill Pond; thence southerly along the center line of Morris Mill Pond to its intersection with the center line of Cow Bridge Branch; thence southerly along the center line of Cow Bridge Branch to its intersection with the center line of Morris Mill Pond; thence southerly along the center line of Morris Mill Pond to its intersection with the center line of Indian River; thence southeasterly along the center line of Indian River to its intersection with the center line of Indian River Bay at its mouth opposite Oak Orchard; thence southeasterly from said point to the intersection of the center line of Pepper Creek at its mouth; thence southwesterly along the center line of Pepper Creek to its intersection with the center line of Vines Creek at its mouth; thence southerly along the center line of Vines Creek to its intersection with the center line of State Route 26; thence westerly along the center line of State Route 26 to its intersection with the line of County Road 340; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 340 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 382; thence northwesterly along the center line of County Road 382 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 355; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 355 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 356; thence northwesterly along the center line of County Road 356 and County Road 356 (extended) to its intersection with the center line of County Road 406; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 406 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 402; thence westerly along the center line of County Road 402 to its intersection with the center line of State Route 26; thence westerly along the center line of State Route 26 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 413A; thence southerly along the center line of County Road 413A to its intersection with the center line of the easterly branch of Pocomoke River; thence easterly and southerly along the easterly branch of Pocomoke River to its intersection with the center line of the Pocomoke River; thence southerly along the center line of the Pocomoke River to its intersection with the center line of County Road 417; thence easterly along the center line of County Road 417 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 60; thence southwesterly along the center line of County Road 60 to its intersection with the center line of County Road 418; thence southeasterly and southerly along the center line of County Road 418 to its intersection with the Delaware-Maryland boundary; thence easterly along the center line of the Delaware-Maryland boundary to its intersection with the border between Delaware and New Jersey; thence northerly along the center line of the boundary between Delaware and New Jersey to the point and place of beginning.

5th Councilmanic District

The 5th Councilmanic District shall comprise:

All those portions of Sussex County not included in Councilmanic Districts nos. 1 to 4 inclusive.

(v) Redistricting. — (1) In the event that by a redistricting of the senatorial or representative districts of Sussex County, the numbers of representative districts shall be reduced in number from 6 to 5, then it shall be the mandatory duty of the county government to redistrict Sussex County into 5 councilmanic districts for the election of the county government and the boundaries of each of said districts shall coincide with the boundaries of 1 of the said representative districts. To accomplish the redistricting, the county government, within 3 months after the reapportionment of the Sussex County representative districts, shall appoint 5 qualified voters of the County who shall comprise the redistricting commissioners. The commissioners shall be appointed, 1 from each of the 5 representative districts, as they would have been reapportioned, and, they shall not be employed by the County in any other capacity. No more than 3 of the members shall be affiliated with the same political party. It shall be the duty of the redistricting committee to submit to the county government a report, which shall set forth the boundaries of each councilmanic district, which shall coincide with the boundaries of a respective representative district, and shall assign to each a number from 1 to 5, and a map thereof. The report shall be in the form of a proposed ordinance. Once filed with the Clerk of the county government, the report shall be treated as an ordinance introduced by a member of the county government, to be considered by them as other proposed ordinances, provided that a map and a description of the proposed districts shall be published in addition to the other requirements of publication connected with enacting ordinances.

(2) The county government shall adopt a redistricting ordinance within 60 days after the report of the redistricting commission has been filed with the Clerk of the county government.

(w) Election of county government officials. — (1) In order to stagger the terms of the elected officials, councilmanic districts shall be divided into 2 categories:

the first category shall consist of Districts 1, 2, and 3, and the second category shall consist of Districts 4 and 5.

(2) Such officials from Districts 1, 2, and 3 shall be elected in the general election held the first Tuesday, in November, 1972, for terms of 4 years each. Subsequently, the officials from these Districts shall be elected every 4 years to serve 4-year terms.

(3) Such officials from Districts 4 and 5 shall be elected in the general election held the first Tuesday in November, 1974, for terms of 4 years. Subsequently, the officials from these Districts shall be elected every 4 years to serve 4-year terms.

(4) All citizens qualified by the Constitution and laws of the State of Delaware to vote in the County and who satisfy the requirements for registration prescribed by law shall be qualified to vote for members of the county government.

(5) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the provisions of the election laws of this State shall apply to elections held under this chapter. All elections provided for by this chapter shall be conducted by the election authorities authorized to hold elections under the election laws of this State.

(6) The nomination of persons to be candidates in the general elections for county officials shall be governed by the election laws of this State.

(x) Creation of departments and agencies. — The county government may by ordinance establish county departments, offices or agencies in addition to those created by this title and may prescribe the functions of all departments, offices and agencies, except that no function assigned by this title to a particular department, office or agency may be discontinued or, unless this title specifically so provides, assigned to any other.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 7002; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 348; 61 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 70, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 55, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 320, § 13; 67 Del. Laws, c. 382, §§ 1-3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 130, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.

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