Under the direction of the Executive, the government shall establish a Strategic Plan for the County, which shall be designed to align the County with anticipated shifts in demographic, economic, legal, political, social or physical conditions. The Strategic Plan shall be created using the best practices for the creation of such plans, which shall include the participation of all elected County officials, the heads of all principal operating departments, agencies and offices, and members of the public. The Strategic Plan shall be the principal planning document of the County to which all other planning documents shall adhere, including the budget and the County's Comprehensive Plan.
The planning horizon of the Strategic Plan shall be at least five years. The Strategic Plan shall identify at least five strategic issues, which the government determines has the highest priority for successfully managing the County's future. The Strategic Plan shall outline the manner in which the goals and objectives for successfully managing a given strategic issue shall be met within the planning horizon. Actions required to be taken pursuant to the Strategic Plan shall identify the job titles or groups of persons who are to be responsible for completing said actions and the dates by which actions shall be completed.
The Council shall adopt the Strategic Plan, and any revisions or amendments thereto, by resolution. The County's first Strategic Plan shall be adopted no later than May 1, 2014.
The Executive shall, to the best of the Executive's abilities, implement the Strategic Plan and ensure that the actions therein identified are implemented by the dates specified. To the extent the Strategic Plan requires the Council to act, the Council shall act as required.
The Strategic Plan shall be reviewed at least annually in open session by the Council to determine whether the strategic issues identified therein remain top priorities as provided in Subsection (b) of this section. The Executive shall testify at said review and make recommendations, as he or she deems necessary. If the Council, in its discretion, determines that one or more strategic issues have acquired an equal or higher priority than any strategic issue identified in the Strategic Plan, the Council shall revise or amend the Strategic Plan to include said issue or issues. If the Council in its review of the Strategic Plan determines, in its discretion, that one or more strategic issues identified in the Strategic Plan no longer require the active management of the County or, in any other respect for any other reason, no longer require the active attention of the County, the Council shall remove the strategic issue from the Strategic Plan. The amendment or revision process may include the participation of those individuals and groups provided in Subsection (a) of this section.
This Charter may be amended by the procedures provided in Article XI-A of the Maryland Constitution.
This Charter may be terminated, and the County returned to the County Commissioner form of government in effect prior to the adoption of this Charter, using the same procedures provided in Section 602 of this Charter.
Thirty days following the approval by the voters to terminate this Charter, the Charter shall stand terminated. The Council members then in office shall become the Board of County Commissioners for the County and shall remain in office until their successors are qualified for office.
All laws, ordinances, and regulations in effect at the termination of this Charter shall remain in force until changed by the action of the General Assembly or the Board of County Commissioners, as provided by the Constitution of Maryland and the public general laws of this state.
A Charter Review Commission shall be appointed by the Council no later than three months following the installation of newly elected Council members after the election of 2022 and every 10 years thereafter, within three months following the installation of new Council members. A Charter Review Commission also may be appointed at such other times as the Council, in its discretion, may determine. The Charter Review Commission shall be composed of seven registered voters of the County, including at least one member from each residency district established pursuant to Section 204 of this Charter. No person shall be eligible for appointment to the Commission who holds elective office. The chair of the Commission shall be elected from and by the members of the Commission.
The Commission shall review the provisions of this Charter and make recommendations as to the necessity for deleting, adding, or amending its contents. The Commission shall receive an appropriation sufficient to carry out its duties and responsibilities. The members of the Commission shall not be entitled to compensation but shall be entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses.
The Commission shall make its report to the Council at a public hearing not later than May 1 of the year following its creation.
Officers of the County who have possession of or control over any County funds shall be bonded for the faithful performance of their duties in an amount that equals or exceeds $500,000. Surety bond premiums shall be paid by the County.
The Council shall engage a certified public accountant to make annually an independent post audit of all financial records and actions of the government, its offices, agents, and employees. The complete report of the audit shall be presented to the Council and Executive and copies of the complete report, including addendums, corrections to the report, and all correspondence relating to the audit, shall be made available to the public at a cost not to exceed the cost of reproduction.