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Smithsburg Council approves ordinance changes

February 04, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council unanimously approved revised ordinances in the town code at Tuesday night's meeting.

It was the first time the council has done so since 1988.

The council voted 4-0 to adopt the complete list of town ordinances, including several new laws.

Myers said the adoption of new ordinances and the tailoring of existing state and county ordinances to the needs of Smithsburg was "long overdue."

Myers said the key issues addressed by the ordinance changes are election rules and clarification of police duties in the town charter.

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The council was to vote on the matter at its Jan. 6 meeting, but only three council members were present, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said. She said four positive votes were required to pass it as an emergency ordinance at the January meeting, as the council had intended.

Councilmen Ralph Regan and James LaFemina missed that meeting. LaFemina also missed Tuesday's meeting.

The council did vote 3-0 at that meeting to repeal the existing town code. The elimination of the old ordinances became effective on Jan. 26.

One such outdated ordinance that was eliminated pertained to sewer operations, since the town no longer operates a sewage plant.

"It's more or less a cleanup and a reorganizing," Myers said last month. "Doing it all at once keeps things in order and keeps it more organized."

Many of the changes to police-related ordinances involved clarification of language used, Myers said. She said the changes will make it easier for local authorities to enforce ordinances.

Last month, Smithsburg Police Chief Michael Potter said an example was changes to the ordinance governing trailers parking in the street. There is now a legal definition of what trailers can be parked on the street.

Myers also cited changes to the juvenile curfew ordinance, making the times more clear and enforceable.

Myers said the biggest change to election rules, based on existing state and county ordinances, is requiring write-in candidates to declare themselves eligible for an election before voting begins.

Myers said new ordinances governing the times trash is allowed to be placed at curbs and where shoveled snow can be placed following winter storms also are included.

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