Section 33084 Oath of Office
(a) Required; text. Before entering upon the duties of their offices, the Mayor, the Councilmen, the Treasurer, the Town Clerk, the members of the Board of Registrations and Election, and all other persons elected or appointed to any office of profit or trust in the Town government shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I, __________, do swear (or affirm, as the case may be), that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of ,__________, according to the Constitution and Laws of this State."
(b) Procedure. The Mayor shall take and subscribe this oath or affirmation before the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County or before one of the sworn deputies of the Clerk. All other persons taking and subscribing the oath shall do so before the Mayor. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1966. section 84.)
Section 33-85 Surety Bonds
The Treasurer and such other officers or employees of the Town as the Mayor and Council or this Charter may require, shall give bond in such amount and with such surety as may be required by the Council. The premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the Town. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 85.)
Section 33-86 Prior Rights & Obligations
All right, title, and interest held by the Town, or any other person or corporation on October 10, 1963, in and to any lien acquired under any prior Charter of the Town, are hereby preserved for the holder in all respects as if this Charter had not been adopted, together with all rights and remedies in relation thereto. This Charter shall not discharge, impair, or release any contract, obligation, duty, liability, or penalty whatever existing on October 10, 1963. All suits and actions, both civil and criminal, pending, or which may hereafter be instituted for causes of action now existing or offenses already committed against any law or ordinance repealed by this Charter, shall be instituted, proceeded with, and prosecuted to final determination and judgment as if this Charter had not become effective. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 86.)
Section 33087 Misdemeanors
(a) Every act or omission which by ordinance is made a misdemeanor under the authority of this Charter, unless otherwise provided shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisonment for ninety days in the County jail, or both. The party aggrieved shall have the right to appeal as is provided under the general laws of the State. Where the act or omission is of a continuing nature and is persisted in, a conviction for one offense shall not be a bar to conviction for a continuation of the offense subsequent to the first or any succeeding conviction.
(b) Every act or omission which by ordinance is made a municipal infraction under the authority of this Charter, unless otherwise provided shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first offense and a fine of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each repeat offense. Enforcement of an ordinance the violation of which is classified as a municipal infraction shall be in accordance with the general laws of the State. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 87; Resolution Number 6, October 7, 1982.)
Section 33-88 Gender
Whenever the masculine gender has been used for any reason in this Charter, it shall be construed to include the feminine gender. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 88.)
Section 33-89 Effect of Charter on Existing Ordinances
(a) Not in conflict. All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations in effect in the Town on October 10, 1963, which are not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter shall remain in effect until changed or repealed according to the provisions of this Charter.
(b) In conflict. All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations in effect in the Town on October 10, 1963, which are in conflict with the provisions of this Charter be and the same hereby are repealed to the extent of such conflict. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 89.)
Section 33-90 Definitions
An ordinance is defined as a legislative act of the Mayor and Council and as a regulation of a general permanent nature. A resolution is defined as an act of the Mayor and Council of temporary nature. Ordinances will be enacted only for permanent legislative items. Resolutions will be enacted for important, but non-permanent items such as budgets, tax rates, bond issues, compensation of employees, special assessments, and executive and administrative matters. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 90.)
Section 33-91 Separability Provisions
If any section or part of section of this Charter shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remainder of this Charter nor the context in which such section or part of section so held invalid shall appear, except to the extent that an entire section or part of section may be inseparably connected in meaning and effect with the section or part of section to which such holding shall directly apply. (Charter Resolution Number 1, August 21, 1963, section 91.)
Section 33-92 Term
(repealed by ballot question #9, March 14, 2007).
Section 33-93 Code of Conduct
Public officials, appointed or elected, are expected to display a high level of professionalism and integrity in their service to the Town of Forest Heights. Accordingly, any public official in the Town of Forest Heights, appointed or elected, shall be subject to the following provisions:
(a) Charter Violations. Any violations of the Charter of the Town of Forest Heights, as determined by a favorable vote of the 4 members of the Council vote, shall be grounds for immediate suspension from office for a period of not more than 180 days. Suspension from office shall only be effected with a favorable vote of the 4 members of the Council vote. In the case of the Mayor being suspended, the President of the Council shall carry out the duties of the Mayor until said suspension expires.
(b) Pending Criminal Charges. Any Town Official facing pending criminal charges may be subject to suspension of duties pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. Suspension from office shall only be effected with a favorable vote of the 4 members of the Council vote. In the case of the Mayor being suspended, the President of the Council shall carry out the duties of the Mayor until said suspension expires.
(c) Conviction of a Crime. Any Town Official convicted of a crime may be subject to expulsion from office. Expulsion from office shall only be effected with a 2/3 majority Council vote. The terms of the expulsion shall be clearly delineated by resolution. Any public office made vacant through expulsion shall be filled in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Charter. (Charter Resolution Number 13 November 16, 2005; Charter Amend Resolution FH003-07, September 4, 2007.)
Section 33-94 Recall of Elected Officials
At any time that twenty per centum (20%) of the qualified registered voters submit a petition for a recall vote on the Mayor, and twenty per centum (20%) of qualified voters of the Ward submit a petition to recall the elected official of that Ward, to the legislative body or via certified mail, return receipt requested, the Mayor, and Council shall, within thirty (30) days of the date the petitions are submitted, validate in open session that the signors are qualified registered voters living in the Town of Forest Heights and shall, at that or the next legislative meeting of the elected body, schedule by Resolution, a special election on the recall petition, all pursuant to Article 23A of the Annotated Code of Maryland.