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The Taneytown City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday, May 18, to discuss a petition ordinance after A council member was censured earlier this month.

The meeting will begin 6 p.m. in the council chambers at 17 E. Baltimore St.

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On Monday, May 8, the council voted 4-0 to censure Councilman Donald Frazier for acts of misconduct and violations of Taneytown's Code of Conduct.

The city's charter indicates that "any elected official, after having been censured by an act of the mayor and council, may be petitioned for recall and removed from office for any reason by the qualified voters of the City of Taneytown."

City Manager Henry Heine said several citizens have asked for guidance on how to submit a petition.

"The ordinance outlines the proper petition procedure," Heine said.

According to the proposed ordinance, "the Mayor and City Council believe it is in the best interest of the Citizens of Taneytown to adopt regulations regarding Petitions to provide for an adopted standard and uniform protocol related to citizen petitions."

A petition should contain an information page and signature pages containing no less than the total number of signatures required by law to be filed, according to the proposed ordinance, and should be filed with the City Clerk, who would then review the validity of the signatures. The purpose of signature verification is to ensure that the name of the individual who signed the petition is listed as a registered voter of the City of Taneytown at the time the petition was signed, according to the ordinance.

According to City Attorney Jay Gullo, petitions require at least 20 percent of the city's 4,294 registered voters to trigger a special election.

Taneytown Councilman Carl Ebaugh introduced a resolution to censure fellow Councilman Donald Frazier for acts of misconduct and violations of Taneytown's Code of Conduct.

Gullo said the council discussed a petition guidelines ordinance after the recent referendum petition. The council decided to hold a special meeting to move the process along after "an outcry from citizens." Pursuant to the charter, Gullo said the council can introduce and pass an ordinance on the same night as long as four-fifths of the council deem it appropriate.

"What the city does not want to see is a bunch of petitions that are homemade and everybody's best guess on how to do things," Gullo said. "This ordinance sets the model of what a petition should have."

410-857-7873

If you go

What: Taneytown's special meeting

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18

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Where: Council chambers, 17 E. Baltimore St., Taneytown



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