Baltimore Charter Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

§ IV-6 Appointments of municipal officers.

(a) Appointment subject to confirmation.

Except as otherwise provided in the Charter, the Mayor shall have the sole power of appointment
of all municipal officers, subject to confirmation by the City Council by a majority vote of its
members; provided the Council shall take action on the nomination within the first three regular
meetings of the Council after the nomination is sent to it by the Mayor. If the Council fails to
take action within this time, then the person nominated shall be, by operation of this subsection,
confirmed by the Council. If the Council, by the required vote and in the prescribed time, shall
refuse to confirm the nomination, the Mayor shall send to it another name for the office, who
shall be subject to confirmation pursuant to this subsection.

(b) Terms of officers.

The terms of all municipal officers appointed by the Mayor shall expire at the end of four years
or at the end of the Mayors term of office, whichever first occurs, with the exception of the
terms of some of the members of the Board of School Commissioners, the Civil Service
Commission, the Planning Commission, the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals, and those
boards and commissions governed by State or federal law. The terms of the members of these
boards and commissions are prescribed elsewhere in the Charter or by other law.

(c) Removalin general.

The Mayor shall have the power to remove at pleasure all municipal officers, except members of
boards and commissions established by Charter or other law, appointed by the Mayor in the
manner prescribed in this section and confirmed by the City Council; provided, however, that
appointees holding office pursuant to the provisions of the Charter relating to the Civil Service
may be removed from office only in accordance with such provisions.

(d) Removalboards and commissions.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the Mayor may remove members of boards and
commissions established by Charter or other law by majority vote of the members of the City
Council. Removal shall date from the time of City Council approval.

(e) Term limits.

No person, except ex officio members, shall serve more than two consecutive full terms, in
addition to any unexpired term served, on the same board or commission.

(f) Vacanciesin general.

Upon the vacancy in any office subject to this section, whether by resignation, removal, death,
end of a term or otherwise, the Mayor shall fill the vacancy by an appointment in the manner
prescribed in this section for the remainder of the term, if any, of the former incumbent.

(g) Vacanciesboards and commissions.

When a vacancy occurs on a board or commission established by this Charter, or other law, the
Mayor shall have, for 120 days after the occurrence of that vacancy, the sole power of
appointment to the vacant office. Such appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the City
Council in the manner prescribed in this section.

If the Mayor fails to submit a nomination within the time prescribed in this subsection, the power
of appointment shall vest and be held by the board or commission to which the vacancy shall
apply, and that board or commission, by majority vote, shall certify the name of a person to the
City Council for confirmation in the manner prescribed in this section.

For the purposes of this subsection only, a vacancy shall occur upon the occurrence of an event
enumerated in subsection (f) hereof, and also upon the rejection by the City Council of a
nomination to a board or commission.

(h) Vacanciesoffice of director or similar.

When a vacancy occurs in an office to which a municipal officer may be appointed who is
subject to removal as provided in subsection (c), the Mayor may, in the interest of governmental
efficiency and in order to provide uninterrupted municipal services, designate a person within the
department or agency affected to perform the duties of the vacant office. Such a person shall
cease to perform the duties of the office when a municipal officer is appointed and confirmed in
the manner prescribed in this section, or one year after designation, or sixty days after the City
Council shall by resolution, passed by majority vote and not subject to veto, direct the Mayor to
appoint, subject to confirmation, a municipal officer, whichever first occurs; provided, however,
that the City Council shall have no power to direct the appointment of any individual.

(i) Oath and commission.

All persons appointed by the Mayor, as well as those municipal officers elected by the people or
by the City Council, shall qualify for office by taking before the Mayor an oath faithfully to
perform the duties of their offices, and to support the laws and constitutions of the United States
and of the State of Maryland. A test book shall be kept by the Mayor, which shall be signed at
the time of taking the oath, and after qualifying, the Mayor shall issue to the officers a
commission signed by the Mayor with the corporate seal attached.

(j) Recess appointments.

Whenever a vacancy that the Mayor is empowered to fill subject to confirmation by the City
Council shall occur during the recess of the City Council, the Mayor may temporarily appoint a
person to fill that vacancy until the next regular meeting of the City Council. At that meeting,
the Mayor shall present such appointment for confirmation as provided for in this section for
other appointments by the Mayor.

(k) Holding over; dual offices of profit prohibited.

All elected municipal officers provided for in the Charter or other law, shall hold their offices
until their successors are appointed or elected and qualified.

No person shall at any time hold more than one office yielding pecuniary compensation under the
Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.

(l) Residency requirement.

All heads of departments and bureaus, including presidents of boards and commissions, provided
for by this Charter or any other law, and appointed by the Mayor or by the governing board of the
department, shall be residents and registered voters of Baltimore City at the time of their
appointment and shall remain residents and registered voters during their entire term of office.

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to those holding office prior to January 1, 1975,
as long as they shall retain that office, and further, shall not apply to a department head or bureau
head appointed after January 1, 1975 who signs a declaration of intent to become a City resident
and registered voter within six months of the date of appointment. If that department or bureau
head fails to abide by this declaration of intent, then the appointment shall be terminated.

Editors Note: Article 24, §1-107 of the Maryland Code (as enacted by Ch. 619, Acts of 1995,
and subsequently broadened by Ch. 426, Acts of 1997), provides, among other things, that a
political subdivisionmay not require an employee to reside within [the subdivision or] the State
or within a required distance of [the subdivision or] the State as a condition of employment
{§ 1-107(b)(1)}.

The sole exceptions are forelected official[s], department head[s], or an administrator
{§ 1-107(a)(4)}. For this purpose, “administratoris narrowly defined to meanthe chief
administrative officerof the political subdivision {§ 1-107(a)(2)}. “Department head”, in turn, is
limited tothe head of a separate unit of [the political subdivision] who reports directly to [the]
elected executive or administrator or directly to the governing body of the [political subdivision
{§ 1-107(a)(3)}.