Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 5. County Executive Form of Government
6/21/2024

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.