Maryland Alcoholic Beverages Section 15-201

Article - Alcoholic Beverages

§ 15-201.

      (a)      There is hereby constituted and established in each county a liquor control board, to be appointed and to have the tenure, compensation, powers and duties as provided in this subtitle; provided that in Montgomery County there is hereby constituted and established, effective July 1, 1951, a Department of Liquor Control, which shall be a department of the county government under the general supervision of the chief administrative officer, and which shall have the powers of a liquor control board as defined in § 15-205 of this subtitle. Whenever used in this subtitle the words "liquor control board" or "board" shall be construed to apply to the Department of Liquor Control in Montgomery County whenever such construction would be reasonable.

      (b)      (1)      Except in Harford County, the liquor control board shall consist of three members in each county. Those persons who are members of the respective boards on June 1, 1947, shall continue as such for the balance of the period for which they may have been appointed or elected, according to the terms and conditions of their original appointment or election. Provided that in Montgomery County, effective July 1, 1951, there is hereby created the position of director of the Department of Liquor Control, who shall be the chief administrative officer of said Department of Liquor Control.

            (2)      (i)      In Harford County, the Liquor Control Board consists of 5 members.

                  (ii)      Notwithstanding any other provision of the Code or local law, the members of the Harford County Liquor Control Board are subject to the provisions regarding financial disclosure, conflicts of interest, and lobbying activities under Title 15, Subtitle 5, Part I, and Subtitles 6 and 7 of the State Government Article.

      (c)      (1)      The members of the respective boards shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

            (2)      In Somerset County Board members shall be appointed by the Governor.

            (3)      (i)      Nominees shall be selected for vacancies on the Harford County Liquor Control Board with consideration given to geographical representation.

                  (ii)      The appointment process to fill vacancies on the Harford County Liquor Control Board is as follows:

                        1.      The County Executive shall present a list of nominees to the Harford County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly for their advice and consent. The list shall contain a minimum of 3 names for each vacancy and be presented 60 days prior to the occurrence of the vacancy;

                        2.      Within 7 working days from the receipt of the list from the County Executive, the Harford County Delegation shall consent by approving the nominees or by deleting names from the list of nominees. If the delegation fails to act on the list within the 7 working day period, all of the nominees are, by operation of the law, automatically consented to as originally submitted by the County Executive;

                        3.      Within 7 working days of the receipt of the list that was acted upon by the delegation, the County Executive may replace any nominee that was deleted by the delegation and may resubmit the list for delegation approval in accord with subparagraph 2 of this paragraph;

                        4.      The County Executive shall submit 1 of the nominees for each vacancy to the County Council for its advice and consent.

            (4)      In Garrett County, the members of the Board shall be appointed by the Governor. He shall appoint two members of the Board who are members of that political party which has elected a majority of the members of the Board of County Commissioners and one member of the Board from that political party other than the one electing a majority of the Board of County Commissioners. The appointments shall be confirmed by the House of Delegates if there is no resident Senator elected from the county.

            (5)      Repealed.

            (6)      In Garrett and Harford counties the Board shall also be known as the Board of License Commissioners of these respective counties, upon which shall be devolved all the duties and rights given elsewhere in this article.

            (7)      In Montgomery County, the director of the Department of Liquor Control shall be appointed by the County Executive with the approval of the County Council. The director of the Department of Liquor Control serves at the pleasure of the County Executive. There is also an advisory board which consists of five members who shall be appointed and removed by the County Executive with the approval of the County Council. All members shall be residents of Montgomery County, and of the five members, only one shall be a bona fide holder of either a Class B or C beer, wine and liquor license in Montgomery County and only one shall be a bona fide license holder of any other class license in Montgomery County. The members of the Board may not receive any compensation, but are entitled to necessary expenses in connection with their duties. Of the members first appointed, one shall serve a term of two years from June 1, 1976, two shall serve a term of three years from June 1, 1976, two shall serve a term of four years from June 1, 1976, and their successors shall fill the unexpired portion of the term or four years for the new term as the case may be. The Board shall have three ex officio members including the director of the Department of Liquor Control, the superintendent of police and the chairman of the Board of License Commissioners. The advisory board shall report to the County Executive periodically but at least quarterly on recommendations for the improvement of the alcoholic beverages control and enforcement activities of the county and of the operations of the dispensary and distribution systems from the standpoint of efficiency, service and convenience to the public.

      (d)      In computing the time at which appointments to the several boards normally expire, and when new terms of office begin, the following dates shall be used:

            (1)      Harford County--First Monday in April, 1941. One appointment shall expire each year.

            (2)      Montgomery County--May 1, 1945. Provided that the members whose terms expire on May 1, 1951, shall continue in office until July 1, 1951, or until the Department of Liquor Control is established.

            (3)      Somerset County--June 1, 1943.

            (4)      Wicomico County--July 1, 1977.

            (5)      Worcester County--June 1, 1975. Initial appointments shall be for two, three and four years. Their successors shall be appointed to regular four-year terms.

            (6)      Garrett County--June 1, 1966. Initial appointments shall be for two, four and six years.

      (e)      (1)      Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, members of the boards shall serve for a term of two years.

            (2)      Members of the boards in the following counties shall serve for terms as specified:

                  (i)      Garrett County       6 years

                  (ii)      Harford County       3 years

                  (iii)      Somerset County       4 years

                  (iv)      Worcester County       4 years

      (f)      Members appointed to the several boards shall be residents and voters of the county in which appointed, and shall be persons of high character, integrity, and recognized business capacity. In Harford County they shall also be taxpayers of said county. In Montgomery County, qualifications of the director of the Department of Liquor Control shall be determined by the County Executive. In Garrett County no person may be appointed to the Board who is then serving as a County Commissioner for the county and no person may be appointed to the Board who is receiving any other compensation from the county.

      (g)      The board in each county shall organize by electing its own chairman.

      (h)      Members of the several boards shall receive compensation as follows:

            (1)      Garrett County -- The salary of the members of the Liquor Control Board of Garrett County shall be set by the County Commissioners in accordance with Chapter 91 of the Public Local Laws of Garrett County. Each member is entitled to a mileage fee in amounts equal to the mileage fees provided for in the Standard State Travel Regulations when attending meetings.

            (2)      In Harford County:

                  (i)      The Chairman of the Board shall receive an annual compensation of $4,500;

                  (ii)      Each member of the Board shall receive an annual compensation of $4,000; and

                  (iii)      The Chairman and each member of the Board shall receive any additional compensation that the County Council deems appropriate.

            (3)      Repealed.

            (4)      Montgomery County -- The salary of the director of the Department of Liquor Control shall be fixed by the County Executive with the approval of the County Council.

            (5)      In Somerset County:

                  (i)      The chairman $2,500 annually; and

                  (ii)      Each member $2,000 annually.

            (6)      Wicomico County -- $2,750 per annum, and a salary of $3,500 per annum for the Chairman of the Board.

            (7)      Worcester County -- Each member of the Worcester County Liquor Control Board shall receive an annual salary set by the Worcester County Commissioners, but which may not be less than $3,000, and a mileage fee when attending meetings of the Board and when performing official duties as a member of the Board.

      (i)      (1)      Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Board shall meet as frequently as in their respective opinions may be necessary for the public business.

            (2)      In Worcester County they shall meet at least once each week; in Somerset County they shall meet at least twice each month.

            (3)      In Harford County they shall meet at least fifty times each year, but the chairman may cancel any of those meetings for lack of an agenda.

            (4)      In Montgomery County, the director of the Department of Liquor Control shall devote all his time to the duties of his office.

            (5)      In Garrett County the Board shall meet at least once each month, but the chairman may cancel a meeting for lack of an agenda.

      (j)      In case of a vacancy on an appointive board for any reason whatsoever, it shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment; except that in Worcester County the vacancy shall be filled by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

      (k)      In Harford County the members of the Board shall each give a bond to the county in an amount to be prescribed from time to time by the County Executive and County Council for the faithful performance of the duties of their office, the premium on said bonds to be paid by the Board from the gross receipts derived from the operation of the dispensaries.

      (l)      (1)      This subsection applies only in Worcester County.

            (2)      The Board shall present its budget annually to the County Commissioners on the same day that the County Commissioners present the budget for the county. The Board shall be present at that meeting so as to be able to answer any questions that the County Commissioners or the public might have.

            (3)      The Board shall adhere to county personnel practices. By way of illustration, the Board shall advertise for vacant positions and select the most qualified person and shall afford an employee all county termination rights.

            (4)      The Liquor Control Board may not expend any funds in an attempt to influence the referendum to be held in November, 1998, that is required by State statute.