Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 5. County Executive Form of Government
6/17/2024

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.