Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 5. County Executive Form of Government

§ 15.2-503. Referendum on election of the county chairman from the county at large; powers and duties of chairman.

A. The board of any county in which members of the board are elected from districts, may by resolution petition the circuit court for the county for a referendum on the question of whether there should be a chairman of the board elected at large, or the like referendum may be requested by a petition to the circuit court signed by at least ten percent of the voters of the county. Upon the filing of the petition, which shall be filed not less than ninety days before the general election, the circuit court shall order the election officials at the next general election held in the county to open the polls and take the sense of the voters therein on that question. Notice of the referendum shall be published three times in a newspaper having general circulation in the county, with the first notice appearing no more than 35 days before and the third notice appearing no less than seven days before the referendum. Notice of the referendum shall also be posted at the door of the county courthouse. The ballot shall be printed as follows:

"Shall the chairman of the county board of supervisors, to be known as the county chairman, be elected by the voters of the county at large?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The election shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684.

B. If a majority of the qualified voters voting in such referendum vote in favor of the election of a county chairman of the board from the county at large, beginning at the next general election for the board, the county chairman shall be elected for a term of the same length and commencing at the same time as that of other members of the board. No person may be a candidate for county chairman at the same time he is a candidate for membership on the board from any district of the county.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-502, the board thereafter shall consist of one member elected from each district of the county and a county chairman elected by the voters of the county at large. The county chairman shall be the chairman of the board and preside at its meetings. The chairman shall represent the county at official functions and ceremonial events. The chairman shall have all voting and other rights, privileges, and duties of other board members and such other, not in conflict with this article, as the board may prescribe. At the first meeting at the beginning of its term and any time thereafter when necessary, the board shall elect a vice-chairman from its membership, who shall perform the duties of the chairman in his absence.

1986, c. 203, § 15.1-589.3; 1997, c. 587; 2024, cc. 225, 242.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.