Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Subtitle I. General Provisions; Charters; Other Forms and Organization of Counties
Chapter 5. County Executive Form of Government
6/25/2024

Chapter 5. County Executive Form of Government.

Article 1. Adoption of County Executive Form.

§ 15.2-500. Title of form; applicability of chapter.

The form of county organization and government provided for in this chapter shall be known and designated as the county executive form. The provisions of this chapter shall apply only to counties which have adopted the county executive form.

Code 1950, § 15-272; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-588; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-501. Adoption of county executive form.

Any county may adopt the county executive form of government in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.).

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-502. Powers vested in board of county supervisors; election and terms of members; vacancies.

A. The powers of the county as a body politic and corporate shall be vested in a board of county supervisors (the board), to consist of not less than three nor more than nine members to be elected by the voters of the county at large, or solely by the voters of the respective magisterial or election district of which each member is a qualified voter. There shall be on the board for each magisterial or election district one member, and no more, who shall be a qualified voter of the district.

The supervisors first elected shall hold office until January 1 following the next regular election provided by general law for the election of supervisors. At such election their successors shall be elected for terms of four years each.

B. When any vacancy occurs in the board, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with § 24.2-228, except that the board shall have the option in its petition to the court to request that the election to fill the vacancy be held prior to the next or second ensuing general election, as the case may be. In that event, such election shall be held within sixty days of the issuance of the writ, or, if such election would fall within the sixty days prior to a general or primary election, on the general election day or within sixty days following the primary election.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the provisions of this subsection shall apply to any county with the county executive form of government that is contiguous to a county with the urban county executive form of government. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 24.2-226 and 24.2-228, when any vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, the judge of the circuit court of the county shall issue a writ for a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. The judge shall issue the writ within fifteen days of the occurrence of the vacancy. He shall order the election to be held not fewer than forty-five days and not more than sixty days after the issuance of the writ. However, if the election would fall within sixty days before a general election, the judge shall order the election to be held on the general election day; and, if the election would fall within sixty days before a primary election, the judge shall order the election to be held not fewer than thirty days and not more than sixty days after the primary. If the vacancy occurs prior to a general election and there is insufficient time to order the election to be held at the general election, the judge shall order the election to be held not fewer than 45 days and not more than 60 after the general election. The local electoral board shall determine and announce within three business days after the date of the writ the candidate filing deadline for the special election. The remaining members of the board shall not make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy. However, if the vacancy occurs within the 180 days before the expiration of the term of office, there shall be no special election, and the remaining members of the board shall fill the vacancy by appointment pursuant to § 24.2-228 within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy and after holding a public hearing on the appointment. The appointment shall be for the duration of the unexpired term.

Code 1950, § 15-273; 1952, c. 346; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-589; 1966, c. 463; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 65; 1982, c. 139; 1983, c. 350; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 718; 2007, c. 268.

§ 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 once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the referendum in a newspaper having general circulation in the county, and shall 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.

Article 2. General Powers; County Executive Form.

§ 15.2-504. General powers of board.

The board shall be the policy-determining body of the county and shall be vested with all rights and powers conferred on boards of supervisors by general law, consistent with the form of county organization and government provided in this chapter.

Code 1950, § 15-274; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-590; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-504.1. Lighting level regulation.

The board of any county with a population of less than 100,000 operating under a county executive form of government may provide by ordinance for the regulation of exterior illumination levels of buildings and property.

1996, c. 567, § 15.1-687.23; 1997, cc. 194, 587.

§ 15.2-505. Appointment by certain localities of members of certain boards, authorities and commissions.

The governing body of a county having the county executive form of government that is adjacent to a county having the urban county executive form of government may establish different terms of office for initial and subsequent appointments for those boards, authorities and commissions for which it is given the authority to appoint members, excluding authorities empowered to issue certificates of indebtedness.

The different terms of office for such boards, authorities and commissions shall be for fixed terms, and such different terms of office may include, but are not limited to, terms of either two or four years and terms that extend until July 1 of the year following the year in which there is a regular election provided by general law for the election of supervisors. If the board establishes different terms of office pursuant to this section, the new terms shall affect future appointments to such offices and shall not affect the existing terms of any commissioner or member then serving in office. This section shall not affect the removal of any member of a board, authority or commission for incompetency, neglect of duty or misuse of office pursuant to provisions of general law.

1989, c. 180, § 15.1-590.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-506. Investigation of county officers.

The board may inquire into the official conduct of any office or officer under its control, and investigate the accounts, receipts, disbursements and expenses of any county or district officer. For these purposes it may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, papers and other evidence. Any witness who fails or refuses to obey an order of the board, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-275; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-592; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-507. Organization of departments.

The board shall, as soon as its members are elected and take office, provide for the performance of all the governmental functions of the county and to that end shall provide for and set up all necessary departments of government, consistent with this chapter and general law.

Code 1950, § 15-276; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-593; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-508. Designation of officers to perform certain duties.

Whenever it is not designated herein what officer or employee of the county shall exercise any power or perform any duty conferred upon or required of the county, or any officer thereof, by general law, then any such power shall be exercised or duty performed by that officer or employee of the county so designated by ordinance or resolution of the board.

Code 1950, § 15-277; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-594; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-509. County executive appointed by board.

The board shall appoint a county executive and fix his compensation. He shall devote his full time to the work of the county. He shall be appointed with regard to merit only, and need not be a resident of the county at the time of his appointment. No board member shall, during the time for which he has been elected, be chosen county executive, nor shall such powers be given to a person who at the same time is filling an elective office. The head of one of the departments of county government may, however, also be appointed county executive.

Code 1950, § 15-278; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-595; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-510. Tenure of office; removal.

The county executive shall not be appointed for a definite tenure, but may be removed at the pleasure of the board. If the board determines to remove the county executive, he shall be given, if he so demands, a written statement of the reasons alleged for the proposed removal and the right to a hearing thereon at a public meeting of the board prior to the date on which his final removal takes effect. Pending and during such hearing, the board may suspend him from office, provided that the period of suspension be limited to thirty days. The action of the board in suspending or removing the county executive is not subject to review.

Code 1950, § 15-279; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-596; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-511. Disability of executive.

In case of the absence or disability of the county executive, the board may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office who meets the criteria of § 15.2-509.

Code 1950, § 15-280; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-597; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-512. Appointment of officers and employees; recommendations by county executive; discussions with board.

The board shall appoint, upon the recommendation of the county executive, all officers and employees in the administrative service of the county except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-535 and except as the board may authorize the head of a department or office to appoint subordinates in such department or office. However, in appointing the county school board no recommendation by the county executive shall be required. All appointments shall be based on the ability, training and experience of the appointees which are relevant to the work which they are to perform.

The county executive shall have the right to take part in all discussions and to present his views on all matters coming before the board. The attorney for the Commonwealth, the sheriff and the directors or heads of the departments shall be entitled to present their views on matters relating to their respective departments.

Code 1950, § 15-281; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-598; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-513. Term, removal and disability of officers and employees.

All appointments of officers and employees shall be without definite term, unless for temporary service not to exceed sixty days.

Any officer or employee of the county appointed pursuant to § 15.2-512 may be suspended or removed from office or employment either by the board of county supervisors or the officer by whom he was appointed or employed. In case of the absence or disability of any officer, except the county clerk, the attorney for the Commonwealth, and the sheriff, which offices shall be filled as provided by general law, the board of county supervisors or other appointing power may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

Code 1950, § 15-282; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-599; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-514. Compensation of officers and employees.

The board shall, subject to the limitations of general law, establish a schedule of compensation for officers and employees which provides uniform compensation for like service and shall fix the compensation of all officers and employees of the county, except as it may authorize the head of a department or office to fix the compensation of subordinates and employees in such department or office. The board may authorize the county executive to establish terms and conditions of employment for department heads and other specified employees who report directly to the county executive.

Code 1950, §§ 15-283, 15-299; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-600, 15.1-616; 1995, c. 174; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-515. Restrictions on activities of former officers and employees.

In any county with a population of at least 100,000, the board, by ordinance, may prohibit former officers and employees, for one year after their terms of office have ended or employment ceased, from providing personal and substantial assistance for remuneration of any kind to any party, in connection with any proceeding, application, case, contract, or other particular matter involving the county or an agency thereof, if that matter is one in which the former officer or employee participated personally and substantially as a county officer or employee through decision, approval, or recommendation.

The term "officer or employee," as used in this section, includes members of the board of county supervisors, county officers and employees, and individuals who receive monetary compensation for service on or employment by agencies, boards, authorities, sanitary districts, commissions, committees, and task forces appointed by the board of county supervisors.

1990, cc. 38, 254, § 15.1-600.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-516. Duties of county executive.

The county executive shall be the administrative head of the county. He shall attend all meetings of the board and recommend such action as he deems expedient. He shall be responsible to the board for the proper administration of the affairs of the county which the board has authority to control.

He shall also:

1. Make monthly reports to the board on matters of administration, and keep the board fully advised as to the county's financial condition.

2. Submit to the board a proposed annual budget, with his recommendations, and execute the budget as finally adopted.

3. Execute and enforce all board resolutions and orders and see that all laws of the Commonwealth required to be enforced through the board or some other county officer subject to the control of the board are faithfully executed.

4. Examine regularly the books and papers of every officer and department of the county and report to the board on their condition.

5. Perform such other duties as may be required of him by the board, and as may be otherwise required of him by law.

Code 1950, § 15-285; 1960, c. 513; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-602; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-517. Executive may also be department head.

The county executive may, if the board requires, act as the director or head of any department or departments, the directors or heads of which are appointed by the board, providing he is otherwise eligible to head such department or departments.

Code 1950, § 15-286; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-603; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Departments; County Executive Form.

§ 15.2-518. Departments of the county.

The activities or functions of the county shall, with the exceptions herein provided, be distributed among the following general divisions or departments:

1. Department of finance.

2. Department of social services.

3. Department of law enforcement.

4. Department of education.

5. Department of records.

6. Department of health.

The board may establish any of the following additional departments, and such other departments as it deems necessary to the proper conduct of the business of the county:

1. Department of assessments.

2. Department of public works.

Any activity which is unassigned by this form of county organization and government shall, upon recommendation of the county executive, be assigned by the board to the appropriate department. The board may further, upon recommendation of the county executive, reassign, transfer, rename or combine any county functions, activities or departments.

Code 1950, § 15-287; 1952, c. 168; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-604; 1972, c. 653; 1976, c. 194; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 747.

§ 15.2-519. Department of finance; director; general duties.

The director of finance shall be the head of the department of finance and, as such, have charge of: (i) the administration of the financial affairs of the county, including the budget; (ii) the assessment of property for taxation; (iii) the collection of taxes, license fees and other revenues; (iv) the custody of all public funds belonging to or handled by the county; (v) the supervision of the expenditures of the county and its subdivisions; (vi) the disbursement of county funds; (vii) the purchase, storage and distribution of all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services needed by any department, office or other using agency of the county unless some other officer or employee is designated for this purpose; (viii) the keeping and supervision of all accounts; and (ix) such other duties as the board requires.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-520. Department of Finance; expenditures and accounts.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury of the county, nor shall any obligation for the expenditure of money be incurred, except pursuant to appropriation resolutions. Funds appropriated for multiyear capital projects and outstanding grants, however, may be carried over from year to year without being reappropriated. Accounts shall be kept for each item of appropriation made by the board. Each such account shall show in detail the appropriations made thereto, the amount drawn thereon, the unpaid obligation charged against it, and the unencumbered balance in the appropriation account, properly chargeable, sufficient to meet the obligation entailed by contract, agreement, or order.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587; 2021, c. 8; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 155.

§ 15.2-521. Same; powers of commissioners of revenue; real estate reassessments.

A. The director of finance shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed by general law upon commissioners of the revenue, not inconsistent herewith, and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law.

B. The director of finance shall make every general reassessment of real estate in the county, unless some other person is designated for this purpose by the board in accordance with § 15.2-512 or unless the board creates a separate department of assessments in accordance with § 15.2-518. The assessing officer shall collect and maintain data and devise methods and procedures to be followed in each general reassessment that will make for uniformity in assessments throughout the county.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-522. Same; powers of county treasurer; deposit of moneys.

The director of finance shall also exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon county treasurers, and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law. All moneys received by any county officer or employee for or in connection with county business shall be paid promptly into the hands of the director of finance. All such money shall be promptly deposited by the director of finance to the credit of the county in such banks or trust companies as the board selects. No money shall be disbursed or paid out by the county except upon checks signed by the chairman of the board, or such other person the board designates, and countersigned by the director of the department of finance.

The board may designate one or more banks or trust companies as a receiving or collecting agency under the direction of the department of finance. All funds so collected or received shall be deposited to the credit of the county in such banks or trust companies as the board selects.

Every bank or trust company serving as a depository or as a receiving or collecting agency for county funds shall be required by the board to give adequate security therefor and to meet such interest requirements as the board may by ordinance or resolution establish. All interest on money so deposited shall accrue to the county's benefit.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-523. Same; claims against counties; accounts.

The director of finance shall (i) audit all claims against the county for goods or services; (ii) ascertain that such claims are in accordance with the purchase orders or contracts of employment from which the claims arise; (iii) draw all checks in settlement of such claims; (iv) keep a record of the revenues and expenditures of the county; (v) keep such accounts and records of the affairs of the county as prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts; and (vi) prepare and submit to the board statements showing the progress and status of the county's affairs in such form and at such time as agreed upon by the Auditor of Public Accounts and the board.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-524. Same; director as purchasing agent.

The director of finance shall act as purchasing agent for the county, unless the board designates another officer or employee for such purpose. The director of finance or the person designated as purchasing agent shall make all purchases, subject to such exceptions as the board allows. He may transfer supplies, materials and equipment between departments and offices; sell any surplus supplies, materials or equipment; and make such other sales as the board authorizes. He may, with the board's approval, establish specifications or standards for all supplies, materials and equipment to be purchased for the county and to inspect all deliveries to determine their compliance with such specifications and standards.

All purchases shall be made in accordance with Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2 and under such rules and regulations consistent with Chapter 43 of Title 2.2 as the board may by ordinance or resolution establish. He shall not furnish any supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services to any department or office except upon receipt of a properly approved requisition and unless there is an unencumbered appropriation balance sufficient to pay for the supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services.

Except as provided by the board, before making any sale he shall invite competitive bids under such rules and regulations as the board may by ordinance or resolution establish.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-525. Same; obligations of chief assessing officer.

The chief assessing officer shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law upon commissioners of the revenue.

Code 1950, § 15-288; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-605; 1982, c. 647; 1984, c. 485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-526. Department of public works.

If the department of public works is established, the director of the department shall be a person who has training and experience in the management of the construction and maintenance of public projects. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon the county road engineer and in addition shall perform such other duties as may be imposed upon him by the board. He shall also have charge of the maintenance, construction and reconstruction of county roads and bridges, unless the maintenance, construction and reconstruction of such county roads and bridges have been assumed by the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-289; 1952, c. 168; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-606; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-527. Department of social services.

The local director of social services shall be head of the department of social services, and shall be chosen from a list of eligibles furnished by the Commissioner of Social Services. He shall have charge of poor relief and charitable institutions; may, at the discretion of the board, have charge of parks and playgrounds; shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon the local board of social services, not inconsistent herewith; and shall perform such other duties the board imposes upon him.

A local board of social services shall be appointed pursuant to the provisions of § 63.2-303.

Code 1950, § 15-290; 1952, c. 436; 1960, c. 513; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-607; 1964, c. 497; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 747.

§ 15.2-528. Department of law enforcement.

The department of law enforcement shall consist of such police as may be appointed pursuant to § 15.2-512, and police officers appointed by the board, pursuant to such section, including the chief of the department. All so appointed shall be conservators of the peace in the county. The county executive shall have supervision and control of the county police force.

The department of law enforcement, attorney for the Commonwealth, and sheriff shall be charged with the enforcement of all criminal laws throughout the county. The authority of the county police, upon the consent of the governing body of the incorporated town, shall be concurrent with that of any law-enforcement officers appointed by the governing body of any incorporated town located within the county for purposes of enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-291; 1952, c. 413; 1958, c. 112; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-608; 1972, c. 360; 1977, c. 584; 1984, c. 722; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-529. Appointment of county attorney.

The board may appoint a county attorney pursuant to § 15.2-1542, who shall serve at a salary as fixed by the board and who shall be accountable to the board.

Code 1950, § 15-291; 1952, c. 413; 1958, c. 112; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-608; 1972, c. 360; 1977, c. 584; 1984, c. 722; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-530. Powers and duties of sheriff.

The sheriff shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon sheriffs by general law. He shall have the custody of, and be charged with the duty of feeding and caring for, all prisoners confined in the county jail. He shall perform such other duties the board imposes upon him.

Code 1950, § 15-291; 1952, c. 413; 1958, c. 112; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-608; 1972, c. 360; 1977, c. 584; 1984, c. 722; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-531. Department of education.

The department of education shall consist of the county school board, the division superintendent of schools and the officers and employees thereof. Except as herein otherwise provided, the county school board and the division superintendent of schools shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon them by general law. The county school board shall be composed of not less than three nor more than seven members, who shall be chosen by the board of county supervisors. The exact number of members shall be determined by the board.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the county school board in a county which is contiguous to a county having the urban county executive form of government shall consist of the same number of members as there are supervisors' election districts for the county, one member to be appointed from each of the districts by the board of county supervisors.

The board may also appoint a county resident to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie vote of the school board as provided in § 22.1-75. Any tie breaker shall be appointed for a four-year term whether appointed to fill a vacancy caused by expiration of a term or otherwise.

The chairman of the county school board, for the purpose of appearing before the board of county supervisors, shall be considered head of this department, unless the school board designates some other person in the department for such purpose.

Code 1950, § 15-292; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-609; 1980, c. 559; 1981, c. 246; 1988, cc. 102, 449; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-532. Terms of school boards.

The members of the county school board shall be appointed or reappointed, as the case may be, for terms of four years each, except that initial appointments hereunder may be for terms of one to four years, respectively, so as to provide staggered terms for such members.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the terms of office of the school board members in a county which is contiguous to a county having the urban county executive form of government shall begin on July 1 of the year in which the board of supervisors takes office following the next general election for supervisors. However, all other applicable provisions of Titles 22.1 and 15.2 pertaining to the powers and duties of school boards and their appointments shall continue to apply to the members of such school board.

1966, c. 624, § 15.1-609.1; 1980, c. 559; 1986, c. 626; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-533. Elected school boards.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of §§ 15.2-531 and 15.2-532, a county which has an elected school board shall comply with the applicable provisions of Article 7 (§ 22.1-57.1 et seq.) of Title 22.1.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-534. Department of health.

The department of health shall consist of the health director, who shall be appointed as provided in the applicable provisions of Article 5 (§ 32.1-30 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 32.1 and who shall be head thereof, and the other officers and employees of such department. The head of the department shall exercise the powers conferred and shall perform the duties imposed upon the local health director by general law, not inconsistent herewith. He shall also perform such other duties as may be imposed upon him by the board or, if the health department is operated under contract with the State Board of Health, as specified in such contract.

If the board of county supervisors appoints a local board of health as provided in § 32.1-32, it shall consist of two qualified citizens of the county, who shall serve without pay, and the county health director. Such board may adopt necessary rules and regulations, not in conflict with law, concerning the department. The board of health may at any time be abolished by the board of county supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-294; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-611; 1979, c. 719; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-535. Department of assessments.

The department of assessments, if and when established, shall be headed by a commissioner of the revenue or a supervisor of assessments, who shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by § 15.2-521 upon the director of finance.

In addition to the powers and duties hereinabove conferred, the governing body of any county which has provided for a department of assessments headed by a supervisor of assessments may, in lieu of the method now prescribed by law, provide for the annual assessment and equalization of assessments of real estate by such department. All real estate shall thereafter be assessed as of January 1 of each year. The provisions of this section shall not, however, apply to any real estate assessable under the law by the State Corporation Commission.

Code 1950, § 15-295; 1952, c. 500; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-612; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-536. Selection of clerk, attorney and sheriff.

The county clerk, the attorney for the Commonwealth and the sheriff shall be selected in the manner and for the terms, and vacancies in such offices shall be filled, as provided by general law.

Code 1950, § 15-297; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-614; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-537. Officers not affected by adoption of plan.

The following officers shall not, except as herein otherwise provided, be affected by the adoption of the county executive form:

1. Jury commissioners;

2. County electoral boards;

3. Registrars;

4. Judges and clerks of elections; and

5. Magistrates.

Code 1950, § 15-338; 1950, p. 974; 1952, c. 37; 1962, cc. 596, 623, § 15.1-662; 1973, c. 545; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-538. Examination and audit of accounts and books.

The board shall require an annual audit of the books of every county officer who handles public funds to be made by an accountant who is not a regular officer or employee of the county and who is thoroughly qualified by training and experience. An audit made by the Auditor of Public Accounts, under the provisions of law, may be considered as having satisfied the requirements of this paragraph.

The board may at any time order an examination or audit of the accounts of any officer or department of the county government. Upon the death, resignation, removal or expiration of the terms of any county officer, the director of finance shall cause an audit and investigation of the accounts of such officer to be made and shall report the results to the county executive and to the board. In case of the death, resignation or removal of the director of finance, the board shall cause an audit to be made of his accounts. If, as a result of any such audit, an officer is found indebted to the county, the board shall proceed forthwith to collect such indebtedness.

Code 1950, § 15-298; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-615; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-539. Submission of budget by executive; hearings; notice; adoption.

Each year at least two weeks before the board must prepare its proposed annual budget, the county executive shall prepare and submit to the board a budget presenting a financial plan for conducting the county's affairs for the ensuing year. The budget shall be set up in the manner prescribed by general law. Hearings thereon shall be held and notice thereof given and the budget adopted in accordance with general law.

Code 1950, § 15-300; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-617; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-540. Officers and employees to receive regular compensation; fee system abolished; collection and disposition of fees.

All county officers and employees shall be paid regular compensation and the fee system as a method of compensation in the county shall be abolished, except for those officers not affected by the adoption of this form of county organization and government. All such officers and employees shall, however, continue to collect all fees and charges provided for by general law, shall keep a record thereof, and shall promptly transmit all such fees and charges collected to the director of finance, who shall promptly provide receipt therefor. Such officers shall also keep such other records as are required by § 17.1-283. All fees and commissions, which, but for this section, would be paid to such officers by the Commonwealth for services rendered shall be paid into the county treasury.

Any excess of the fees collected by each of the officers mentioned in § 17.1-283 or collected by anyone exercising the powers of and performing the duties of any such officer, over (i) the allowance to which such officer would be entitled by general law but for the provisions of this section and (ii) expenses in such amount as allowed by the Compensation Board, shall be paid one third into the state treasury and two thirds to the county.

Any county officer or employee who fails or refuses to collect any fee which is collectible and should be collected under the provisions of this section, or who fails or refuses to pay any fee so collected to the county as herein provided, shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-302; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-619; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-541. Bonds of officers.

The county executive shall give bond in the amount of not less than $5,000. The director of finance shall give bond in the amount of not less than fifteen percent of the amount of money to be received by him annually. If the county executive serves also as director of finance, he shall give bond in the full amounts indicated above. The board may fix bonds in excess of these amounts and require bonds of other county officers in their discretion, conditioned on the faithful discharge of their duties and the proper account for all funds coming into their possession.

Code 1950, § 15-304; 1952, c. 242; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-621; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-542. Employee benefits; residence in county.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the county board, in order to ensure its competitiveness as an employer, may by ordinance provide for the use of funds, other than state funds, to provide grants, loans, and other assistance for county and school board employees, as well as employees of local constitutional officers, to purchase or rent residences, for use as the employee's principal residence, within the county.

2007, cc. 288, 582.