The following is from the September edition of a monthly column written by Anne Arundel County Councilman Dick Ladd (R-5th District), a resident of the Broadneck peninsula. It is edited by Patch for style.
As previously mentioned, the County Council recently approved 15 proposed amendments to the Anne Arundel County Charter, which will be included on the ballot in November. The questions the voters are asked to consider are as follows:
Question A - Time for Submission of County Budget - “to require the County Executive to submit the county budget to the County Council at least 60 days prior to the end of the fiscal year and to require the County Council to adopt the Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance by the fifteenth day of the last month of the fiscal year.”
Question B - County Executive - Removal from Office - “to provide for the removal of the County Executive by a vote of not less than five members of the County Council for failure to qualify under the Charter, for conviction of certain crimes and for failure to perform the duties of office for 180 days and providing for the forfeiture of post-employment County benefits if removed for conviction of certain crimes.”
Question C - County Council - Removal from Office - “to provide for the removal of a member of the County Council, by a vote of not less than five members of the County Council, for failure to qualify under the Charter, for conviction of certain crimes, or for failure to perform duties for 180 consecutive days and providing for the forfeiture of post-employment County benefits if removed for certain causes.”
Question D - County Council Vacancy - Failure to Appoint - “to require that if the County Council fails to fill a vacancy on the Council within 30 days of the vacancy, the County Executive shall appoint an applicant, either selected by the party Central Committee, or for an applicant not affiliated with a Central Committee, from a list provided by the County Council, as the new councilmember.”
Question E - Retiree Health Benefit Reserve Fund - “to require the County to establish a fund for the payment of any County retiree health care benefits as shall be approved by ordinance of the County Council and to allow the County Council to establish that fund as a trust fund to be called the Retiree Health Benefits Trust.”
Question F - Line Item Veto - Comprehensive Zoning Ordinances Only - “to limit the County Executive’s line item veto authority to comprehensive zoning ordinances only.”
Question G - County Council - Term of Office - “to change the commencement of a term for a County Councilmember to the first Monday in December to coincide with the date when the councilman is qualified.”
Question H - Legislative Session Days - “to provide for an August legislative recess, with the option of an August legislative session by a majority vote of the County Council.”
Question I - Annual Audit - “to require an annual audit of all County offices, departments, and agencies, by an independent firm of certified public accountants and to allow the County Council to except from this requirement those special taxing districts which are otherwise required by State or County law to have periodic independent audits.”
Question J - Use of Bond Premiums - “to require that bond premiums generated from the issuance of County bonds be used only for the funding of capital improvements financed by the bonds.”
Question K - Charter Revision Commission Membership - “to provide that the membership of the Charter Revision Commission be comprised of a number of citizens that is equal to the number of councilmanic districts in the County, and that each member of the County Council shall make one appointment to the Charter Revision Commission.”
Question L - Board of Appeals - Term Limits - “to provide that a person is not eligible for appointment to the County Board of Appeals for a third consecutive term if he has served two consecutive terms as of or after the term commencing January 4, 2011.”
Question M - County Ethics Commission - Term Limits - “to limit the number of terms for the members of the County Ethics Commission to two consecutive terms.”
Question N - Return of Bills - “to clarify that a bill passed by the County Council but returned unsigned by the County Executive without a statement of approval or disapproval becomes law on the tenth day after presentation.”
Question O - Budget Procedures - Definition of Copy - “to include a definition of the term “copy or copies” to include paper, electronic or digital copies with respect to budgetary and fiscal procedures.”
A more detailed discussion of these proposals will be posted on the County website. I will gladly discuss any of these proposals if you call our office at 410-222-1401.
I would also like to call your attention to an October 15 League of Women Voters, Congressional Candidate forum for Congressional District 3 (the lower Broadneck Peninsula) and Congressional District 4 (Severna Park). District 3 candidates: Paul Drgos (L), Eric Knowles (R) and Congressman John Sarbanes (D). District 4 Candidates: Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D) and Faith Loudon (R).
The forum will be held in the Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church auditorium between 7 and 9 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there.