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Severn River Commission Bylaws

    The name of the commission is the Severn River Commission.
    Severn River Commission members appointed by the Anne Arundel County Executive are bound by and subject to the Anne Arundel County Ethics Law. Members appointed by the Mayor of Annapolis are bound by and subject to the City of Annapolis Ethics Law.
    The purpose of the Severn River Commission shall be to provide counsel and advice to Anne Arundel County, the City of  Annapolis, and  the State of Maryland  on environmental and other matters within the Severn River Watershed as defined in Aime Arundel County Council Resolution 47-89 and Annapolis City Council Resolution 55-84 incorporated, herein, by reference as attached. It shall further  be their aim to coordinate and promote active community involvement in the environmental matters of the Severn River Watershed. For the purposes of definition, environmental matters shall include but not be limited to, natural resources, water and air quality, groundwater, noise, energy sources, ,wildlife, and other natural aspects of the environment, and the relationship of health to ambient environmental quality. 
    The duties of the Commission are:
    To adopt policies, procedures and bylaws governing the conduct of business and the mandatory attendance requirement of its membership.
    To review studies, policies, and rules formulated by federal, State, and local government agencies that concern the Severn River watershed, and to comments on such proposals as appropriate.

    To review and make recommendations on the implementation of the studies entitled "Maryland Scenic River: The Severn" and "A Greenway Strategy for Weems Creek".

    To review and make recommendations on federal, State, County, and local programs, regulations, and public and private projects, including land use and development proposals, which the Commission believes may have an impact on the Severn River watershed.

    To prepare a written biannual report outlining the activities, goals, and accomplishments of the Commission, which shall be submitted to both the Anne Arundel County Council and the Annapolis City Council in January, and which shall include review and recommendations concerning the implementation of the studies entitled "Maryland Scenic River: The Severn" and "A Greenway Strategy for Weems Creek".

    To provide such recommendations and reports as it may consider to be appropriate to Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis and the State of Maryland.

    Upon recommendation and request of the County Executive, to serve in an advisory capacity to the Scenic Rivers Land Trust and the Anne Arundel Conservation Trust.

    Section 1: Membership

    The membership of the Commission shall consist of nine voting members and six or more ex-officio, nonvoting members.

    Subject to the confirmation of the City Council, the Mayor of the City of Annapolis shall appoint two City residents as voting members.

    Subject to confirmation by the County Council, the County Executive shall appoint seven voting members. Of the seven, at least five shall be residents of the Severn River watershed.

    The County Executive, in consultation with the Chairman of the County Council, shall appoint a member of the County Council to serve "ex officio".

    The Mayor of the City of Annapolis shall appoint a member of the Annapolis City Council to serve "ex officio".

    In consultation with the Mayor of the City of Annapolis, the County Executive shall invite a member of the Maryland State Senate and a member of the House of Delegates, each representative of the Severn River watershed , to serve "ex officio",
    The County Executive shall invite the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, and any other State agency deemed appropriate to appoint a representative to serve "ex officio".

    The ex officio, non-voting members of the Commission from the County Council, City Council, State Senate, and State House of Delegates shall be rotated annually through elected offices from the Severn River watershed, unless the incumbent wishes to continue to serve and has met attendance requirements established for voting members.

    A member may resign by submitting a written resignation to the County's Boards and Commission Officer.

    Members shall serve for a term of three years from the date of appointment. A member shall continue to serve after the expiration of a term until a replacement is appointed. A member appointed to fill a portion of an unexpired term shall serve that portion of the unexpired term unless reappointed. 

    Section 2: Officers
    The officers of the Commission shall consist of a Chair, a Vice Chair, and
    such other officers as the Commission may from time to time determine. The County Executive, in consultation with the Mayor of the City of Annapolis, shall appoint the Chair from among the nine voting members. The Vice Chair shall be elected by the Commission from among its membership each year at the second regular meeting after new members have been appointed.

    Section 3: Duties of Officers

    Chair. The Chair of the Commission shall preside and may vote on any issue at all meetings of the Commission. S/he may present to the Commission such matters, as s/he judges, require the attention of the Commission. S/he may perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned by the Commission. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees of the Commission.

    Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall assume the powers and duties of the Chair during the absence or incapacity of the Chair. S/he shall also perform such other duties as shall be assigned by the Commission or delegated by the Chair.
    Secretary. By majority vote, the Commission shall appoint a Secretary, who shall serve at the discretion of the Commission. The Secretary shall keep accurate records and minutes of all meetings of the Board that comply with the Maryland Open Meetings Act and relevant provisions of the County Code; make available minutes of the previous meeting and distribute them to the Commission members and to the County's Boards and Commissions Officer in advance of each meeting; cause to be delivered all notices of meetings to the Commission members and to the County's Boards and Commissions Officer; maintain the minutes and a current listing, with contact information, of the members of the Commission; and serve as the records custodian for the Commission under the provisions of the Maryland Public Information Act.

    Section 4: Special Committees
    The chair may appoint from the Commission membership special committees of limited duration to perform such duties as the Commission may determine from time to time. These committees shall report findings and/or recommendations to the full Commission within the time period specified by the Chair.
    Section 1: Annual Meeting
    The regular meeting held in the month of March in each year shall be the annual meeting and shall include electing a Vice Chairman, reappointing special committees as may be necessary, and for any other business that may arise. The Commission shall also review its activities since the last annual meeting.
    Section 2: Regular Meeting
    The Commission shall meet on the first Thursday of each month at 4:00 p.m. The length of each meeting shall not exceed two and one-half hours unless extended by majority vote. Any matter may be brought before the Commission at a regular meeting. Public notice is required two weeks prior to a regular Commission meeting.
    Section 3: Emergency Meetings
    The Commission may hold an emergency meeting at the call of the Chair or the request of three members. Members shall be notified at least three days in advance. Only the issue deliberated at the emergency meeting may be discussed and voted upon.
    Section 4: Attendance
    Regular attendance of each member at each Commission meeting is encouraged. After any member of the Commission is absent from three consecutive meetings, or a total of five meeting in one calendar year, the member shall be deemed to have vacated the position on the Commission. This action may be waived by a majority vote.
    Section 5: Quorum
    Five (5) voting members shall constitute a quorum at a meeting.
    Section 6: Voting
    Only the appointed members are voting members. The Commission may take action upon the affirmative vote of a majority at any meeting at which a quorum is present.
    Section 7: Open Meetings
    Each meeting of the Commission shall be open to the public and shall be held in compliance with  the Maryland Open Meetings Act.  The minutes of the meetings shall be public and shall be available for inspection during regular office hours. The minutes shall be maintained by the Office of the County Executive.
    Section 8: Executive Closed Session
    The Commission or any committee of the Commission may hold executive sessions if less than a quorum is present or if closure of the meeting comports with the Maryland Open Meeting Act. No vote or other action of the Commission or of a committee shall be taken at an executive session. No vote may be held and no other action of the Commission or of a committee shall be taken at an executive session. The issue discussed at the executive session may be voted upon at a subsequent meeting.
    Section 1: Amendments
    These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Commission by the affirmative vote of a majority, provided , however , that a copy of the proposed amendment shall have been mailed to each member no less than seven (7) days prior to the meeting.
    Section 2: Preservation
    These bylaws, upon adoption by the Commission, shall be appended to and become a part of the minutes of the Commission and shall remain in effect until rescinded or amended.
    Section 3: Parliamentary Authority
    Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised) shall be the parliamentary authority of the Commission.
    Amended from May 14, 1985 as Revised and Adopted July 7, 2005