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 6. County Manager Form of Government
1/30/2023

Chapter 6. County Manager Form of Government.

Article 1. Adoption of County Manager Form.

§ 15.2-600. Designation 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 manager form. The provisions of this chapter shall apply only to counties which have adopted the county manager form.

Code 1950, § 15-305; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-622; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-601. Adoption of county manager form.

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

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-602. Powers vested in board of supervisors; election and terms of members; vacancies.

The powers of the county as a body politic and corporate shall be vested in a board of supervisors ("the board"), to consist of not fewer than three nor more than nine members to be elected by the qualified voters of the county at large, or solely by the qualified voters of the respective magisterial or election district of which the member is a qualified voter, plus one additional member elected at large, depending upon the result of the election held upon the questions submitted to the voters pursuant to § 15.2-603. There shall be on the board for each magisterial or election district at least one member, and he shall be a qualified voter of such district, except as hereinabove provided.

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.

Any vacancy on the board shall be filled as provided in § 24.2-228.

Code 1950, § 15-306; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-623; 1966, cc. 255, 531; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 65; 1981, c. 91; 1982, c. 32; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-603. Referendum on election of supervisors by districts or at large.

The governing body of any county which has adopted the county manager form of government, as provided in Chapter 368 of the Acts of 1932, at an election held for that purpose pursuant to the provisions of said chapter, may by resolution petition the circuit court of the county requesting that a referendum be held on the following questions: (i) Shall the board of supervisors be elected solely by the qualified voters of each magisterial or election district, or by the qualified voters of the county at large? (ii) Shall the board have in addition to the members from each magisterial or election district, one member from any district elected from and representing the county at large? The court, by order entered of record in accordance with § 24.2-684, shall require the regular election officials on a day fixed in such order to open the polls and take the sense of the qualified voters of the county on the questions submitted as herein provided. The clerk of the circuit court of the county shall cause a notice of such referendum election to be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the county and shall post a copy of such notice at the door of the courthouse of the county. The ballot used shall be printed to read as follows:

Shall the board of supervisors be elected by the qualified voters of each magisterial or election district, or by the qualified voters of the county at large?

[ ] By the qualified voters of each magisterial or election district.

[ ] By the qualified voters of the county at large.

Shall the board have in addition to the members for each magisterial or election district, one member from any district elected from and representing the county at large?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

The ballots shall be marked in accordance with the provisions of § 24.2-684.

The ballots shall be counted, returns made and canvassed as in other elections, and the result certified by the electoral board to the circuit court of the county. The circuit court shall enter of record the fact of which method of election of supervisors has been chosen by a majority of the qualified voters participating in such referendum election, and an election for members of the board by such method in that county shall be held at the next regular November election of such officers, and every four years thereafter.

In any election pursuant to Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.), the questions provided for in this section shall be submitted to the voters, in addition to the question or questions required by § 15.2-301.

1966, c. 531, § 15.1-623.1; 1975, c. 517; 1982, c. 32; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. General Powers; County Manager Form.

§ 15.2-604. General powers of board.

The board of supervisors 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 herein provided.

Code 1950, § 15-307; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-625; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-605. Prohibiting misdemeanors and providing penalties.

The board may prohibit any act defined as a misdemeanor and prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth and provide a penalty for violations, to the end that the board may parallel by ordinance the criminal laws of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-307.1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-626; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-606. 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 any such lawful order of the board shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-308; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-627; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-607. 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 the provisions of the form of county organization and government herein provided.

Code 1950, § 15-309; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-628; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-608. 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 the board.

Code 1950, § 15-310; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-629; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-609. Appointment of county manager.

The board shall appoint a county manager and fix his compensation. He shall be the administrative head of the county government and 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 member of the board shall, during the time for which he has been elected, be appointed county manager, nor shall the managerial powers be given to a person who at the same time is filling an elective office.

Code 1950, § 15-311; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-631; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-610. Tenure of office; removal.

The county manager 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 manager, 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 the office, provided that the period of suspension is limited to thirty days. The board's action in suspending or removing the county manager shall not be subject to review.

Code 1950, § 15-312; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-632; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-611. Disability of county manager.

In case of the absence or disability of the manager, the board may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

Code 1950, § 15-313; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-633; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-612. Manager responsible for administration of affairs of county; appointment of officers and employees.

The county manager shall be responsible to the board for the proper administration of all the affairs of the county which the board has authority to control. To that end he shall appoint all officers and employees in the county's administrative service, except as otherwise provided in this form of county organization and government, and except as he authorizes the head of a department or office responsible to him to appoint subordinates in such department or office. 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.

Code 1950, § 15-314; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-634; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-613. Term of office and removal of such appointees.

All appointments made pursuant to § 15.2-612 shall be without definite term, unless for temporary service not to exceed twelve months. Any officer or employee of the county appointed by the manager, or upon his authorization, may be laid off, suspended or removed from office or employment either by the manager or the officer who appointed him.

Code 1950, § 15-315; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-635; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-614. Powers and duties of manager.

As the administrative head of the county government for the board, the manager shall supervise the collection of all revenues, guard adequately all expenditures, secure proper accounting for all funds, safeguard the property of the county, exercise general supervision over all county institutions and agencies, and, with the board's approval, coordinate the various activities of the county and unify the management of its affairs.

He shall also:

1. Execute and enforce all board resolutions and orders and see that all laws of the Commonwealth required to be enforced through the board or other county officers subject to the board's control are faithfully executed.

2. Attend all meetings of the board and recommend such action as he deems expedient.

3. Subject to such limitations as made by general law, fix, with the board's approval, the compensation of all officers and employees whom he or a subordinate appoints or employs.

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

5. Make regular monthly reports to the board on administrative matters and keep the board fully advised as to the county's financial condition.

6. Examine regularly the books and papers of every officer and department of the county and report to the board the condition in which he finds them. He may order an audit of any office at any time.

7. Perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

Code 1950, § 15-317; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-637; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-615. Activities for which manager is responsible.

The county manager shall be responsible to the board for the administration of the following activities:

1. The assessment of property for taxation and the preparation of the tax books;

2. The collection of taxes, fees and other revenues of the county;

3. The custody of and accounting for all public funds belonging to the county;

4. The procurement of goods, services, insurance and construction for the county;

5. The care of all county buildings;

6. The care and custody of all personal property of the county;

7. The construction and maintenance of county roads and bridges;

8. The administration of social service activities;

9. Public health work;

10. Such other activities of the county not specifically assigned to another officer or agency by this form of county organization and government or by other law.

Code 1950, § 15-318; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-638; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Departments; County Manager Form.

§ 15.2-616. Departments of the county.

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

1. Department of finance.

2. Department of public works.

3. Department of social services.

4. Department of education.

5. Department of public health.

The board may establish any additional departments it deems necessary and appropriate.

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

Code 1950, § 15-319; 1956, c. 200; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-639; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-617. 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 county's financial affairs, 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, lease, storage and distribution of all goods, and the purchase of all services, insurance or construction 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 may require.

Code 1950, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-618. Same; expenditures and accounts.

No money shall be drawn from the county treasury, nor shall any obligation for the expenditure of money be incurred except in pursuance of appropriation resolutions. 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 obligations 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, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-619. Same; powers of commissioners of revenue; real estate reassessments.

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.

Every general reassessment of real estate in the county, unless some other person is designated for this purpose by the county manager in accordance with § 15.2-612 or unless the board creates a separate department of assessments in accordance with § 15.2-616, shall be made by the director of finance; he shall collect and keep in his office data and devise methods and procedures to be followed in each such general reassessment that will make for uniformity in assessments throughout the county.

In addition to any other method provided by general law or by this article or to certain classified counties, the director of finance may provide for the annual assessment and equalization of real estate and any general reassessment order by the board. The director of finance or his designated agent shall collect data, provide maps and charts, and devise methods and procedures to be followed for such assessment that will make for uniformity in assessments throughout the county.

There shall be a reassessment of all real estate at periods not to exceed six years between such reassessments.

All real estate shall be assessed as of January 1 of each year by the director of finance or such other person designated to make assessment. Such assessment shall provide for the equalization of assessments of real estate, correction of errors in tax assessment records, addition of erroneously omitted properties to the tax rolls, and removal of properties acquired by owners not subject to taxation.

The taxes for each year on the real estate assessed shall be extended on the basis of the last assessment made prior to such year.

This section shall not apply to real estate assessable under the law by the Commonwealth, and the director of finance or his designated agent shall not make any real estate assessments during the life of any general reassessment board.

Any reassessments which change the assessment of real estate shall not be extended for taxation until forty-five days after a written notice is mailed to the person in whose name such property is to be assessed at his last known address, setting forth the amount of the prior assessment and the new assessment.

The board shall establish a continuing board of real estate review and equalization to review all assessments made under authority of this section and to which all appeals by any person aggrieved by any real estate assessment shall first apply for relief. The board of real estate review and equalization shall consist of not fewer than three nor more than five members who shall be freeholders in the county. The appointment, terms of office and compensation of the members of such board shall be prescribed by the board of supervisors. The board of real estate review and equalization shall have all the powers conferred upon boards of equalization by general law. All applications for review to such board shall be made not later than April 1 of the year for which extension of taxes on the assessment is to be made. Such board shall grant a hearing to any person making application at a regular advertised meeting of the board, shall rule on all applications within sixty days after the date of the hearing, and shall thereafter promptly certify its action thereon to the director of finance. The equalization board shall conduct hearings at such times as are convenient, after publishing a notice in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county, ten days prior to any such hearing at which any person applying for review will be heard.

Any person aggrieved by any reassessment or action of the board of real estate review and equalization may apply for relief to the circuit court of the county in the manner provided by general law.

Code 1950, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-620. Same; powers of county treasurer; deposit of moneys.

The director of finance shall 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 the board selects. No money shall be disbursed or paid out by the county except upon check signed by the chairman of the board, or such other person the board designates, and countersigned by the director of finance.

The director of finance or his authorized deputies may transfer public funds from one depository to another by wire. Such officers may also draw any of the county's money by check or by an electronic fund wire, or by any means deemed appropriate and sound by the director of finance and approved by the board, drawn upon a warrant issued by the board. If any money is knowingly paid otherwise than upon the director of finance's check or electronic fund wire or by alternative means specifically approved by the director of finance and the board, drawn upon such warrant, the payment shall be invalid against the county.

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 requirements as to interest thereon as the board may establish. All interest on money so deposited shall accrue to the benefit of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-621. Same; claims against counties; accounts.

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

Code 1950, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-622. 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, exchange or otherwise dispose of any surplus supplies, materials or equipment; and make such other sales, exchanges and dispositions as the board authorizes. He may, with the approval of the board, establish suitable specifications or standards for all goods, services, insurance and construction to be procured for the county; inspect all deliveries to determine their compliance with such specifications and standards; and sell supplies, materials and equipment to volunteer emergency medical services agencies at the same cost as the cost of such supplies, materials and equipment to the county. He shall have charge of such storerooms and warehouses of the county as the board provides.

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 establishes. He shall not furnish any goods, services, insurance or construction 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 them.

Code 1950, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-623. Same; assistants.

The director may have such deputies or assistants in the performance of his duties as the board allows.

Code 1950, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-624. 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, § 15-320; 1954, c. 46; 1956, c. 349; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-640; 1982, c. 647; 1991, c. 16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-625. Department of public works.

The county engineer, who shall be head of the department of public works, shall be responsible for the construction and maintenance of county roads and bridges, county stormwater systems within public rights-of-way and public easements and all other public works. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon the county engineer and in addition shall perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

Code 1950, § 15-321; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-626. Department and board of social services.

The director of social services, who shall be head of the department of social services, shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon the county board of social services, not inconsistent herewith. He shall also perform such other duties as the board of supervisors imposes upon him.

The county board of social services shall consist of six members; shall have all the powers, duties, and authority set out in Chapter 3 (§ 63.2-300 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia; and shall be appointed by the board of supervisors, which may fix, within the limits set forth in § 63.2-310, the compensation of the members of such board. At all times one member of the county board of social services shall also be a member of the board of supervisors. The board of social services may at any time be abolished by the board of supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-322; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-642; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-627. 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 all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon them by general law. Except for the initial elected board which shall consist of five members, the county school board shall be composed of not less than three nor more than nine members; however, there shall be at least one school board member elected from each of the county's magisterial or election districts. The members shall be elected by popular vote from election districts coterminous with the election districts for the board of county supervisors. The exact number of members shall be determined by the board of county supervisors. Elections of school board members shall be held to coincide with the elections of members of the board of county supervisors at the regular general election in November. The terms of office for the county school board members shall be the same as the terms of the members of the board of county supervisors and shall commence on January 1 following their election.

A vacancy in the office of school board member shall be filled pursuant to §§ 24.2-226 and 24.2-228.

In order to have their names placed on the ballot, all candidates shall be nominated only by petition as provided by general law pursuant to § 24.2-506.

The county school board may also have a position of tie breaker for the purpose of casting the deciding vote in cases of tie votes of the school board as provided in § 22.1-75. The position of tie breaker, if any, shall be held by a qualified voter who is a resident of the county and who shall be elected in the same manner and for the same length of term as the members of the school board and at a general election at which members of the school board are elected. A vacancy in the position of tie breaker shall be filled pursuant to §§ 24.2-226 and 24.2-228.

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 some other person in the department shall be designated by the school board for such purpose.

Code 1950, § 15-324; 1956, c. 153; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-644; 1980, c. 559; 1981, c. 246; 1982, cc. 32, 75; 1995, c. 8; 1996, c. 873; 1997, c. 587; 2014, c. 772.

§ 15.2-628. Terms of school boards.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding sections, in any county which hereafter adopts the county manager form of organization and government under this chapter, the members of the county school board then in office 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.

1966, c. 624, § 15.1-644.1; 1980, c. 559; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-629. Department and board of health.

The department of health shall consist of the county 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 may be specified in such contract.

If the board 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 shall have power to 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 supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-326; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-646; 1966, c. 304; 1975, c. 575; 1979, c. 719; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-630. Department of assessments.

The department of assessments, if and when established, shall be headed by a commissioner of the revenue or supervisor of assessments, who shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by § 15.2-619 upon the director of finance.

Code 1950, § 15-327; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-631. Department of extension and continuing education.

The department of extension and continuing education, if and when established, shall consist of the county extension agent, who shall be head of the department, a home economics agent, a 4-H youth agent and such other extension agents and employees as may be appointed or employed. The county extension agent and the other extension agents shall be selected from a list of eligibles submitted by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. They shall perform such duties as the board imposes upon them.

Code 1950, § 15-328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-648; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-632. Department of public safety.

The department of public safety if and when established shall be under the supervision of a director of public safety appointed by the county manager. Such department shall consist of the following divisions:

1. Division of police, in charge of a chief of police and consisting of such other police officers and personnel as may be appointed, including an animal protection police officer who shall have all of the powers of an animal control officer conferred by general law and one or more deputy animal protection police officers to assist the animal protection police officer in the performance of his duties. In addition, the animal protection police officer and his deputies shall have all of the powers vested in law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101, provided they have met the minimum qualifications and have been certified under §§ 15.2-1705 and 15.2-1706.

2. Division of fire protection, in charge of a fire chief and consisting of such fire fighters, and other personnel as may be appointed.

Code 1950, § 15-328.1; 1956, c. 277; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-649; 1977, c. 326; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 621.

§ 15.2-633. Office of the county attorney.

The board may create the office of county attorney. The county attorney shall be appointed by the county manager, and serve at a salary fixed by the board. He shall be accountable to the county manager.

No person shall be appointed a county attorney under the provisions of this section unless at the time of his appointment he has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Virginia.

1964, c. 312, § 15.1-9.1; 1973, c. 287; 1977, c. 584; 1982, c. 30; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-634. Department of public utilities.

The department of public utilities, if and when established, shall be under the supervision of a director of public utilities appointed by the county manager. The department shall be in charge of the construction, operation, maintenance and administration of public utilities, owned, operated and controlled by the county or any sanitary district of the county, including but not limited to water systems, sewer systems, sewage disposal systems, solid waste management, street lights and any other related functions not assigned to or administered by other departments. If the county has a division of fire and a fire chief under the provisions of § 15.2-633, then the division of fire shall not be under the department of public utilities.

Code 1950, § 15-328.2; 1956, c. 200; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-650; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-634.1. Background checks required for certain employees.

As a condition of employment, any county having the county manager form of government shall require any applicant who is offered or accepts employment, whether full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary or contractual, at such county's water treatment facility after September 1, 2001, to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant. Such applicants shall, if required by ordinance, pay the cost of fingerprinting or a criminal records check or both.

The Central Criminal Records Exchange, upon receipt of an applicant's record or notification that no record exists, shall make a report to the county manager or his designee, who must belong to a governmental entity. If an applicant is denied employment because of the information appearing in his criminal history record, the county shall notify the applicant that information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange contributed to such denial. The information shall not be disseminated except as provided for in this section.

2003, c. 202.

§ 15.2-635. Selection or appointment of certain officers and heads of departments; filling vacancies.

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

The clerk of the circuit court shall be clerk of the board of supervisors unless the board designates some other person for this purpose. The clerk of the board shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officer by general law and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law. He shall also perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

The directors or heads of all other departments of the county shall be appointed by the county manager. The county manager may, with the board's consent, act as the director or head of one or more departments of the county, provided he is otherwise eligible to head such department or departments and, in the case of those officers whose appointments must be approved, his appointment is likewise approved.

In case of the absence or disability of any officer, other than the attorney for the Commonwealth, the clerk of the circuit court and the sheriff, which offices shall be filled as prescribed by general law, the county manager or other appointing power may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

Code 1950, § 15-329; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-652; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-636. Examination and audit of books and accounts.

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 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.

Either the board or the manager 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 term 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 manager and 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, § 15-330; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-653; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-637. Schedule of compensation.

The board shall establish a schedule of compensation for officers and employees which shall provide uniform compensation for like service. The compensation prescribed shall be subject to such limitations as made by general law.

Code 1950, § 15-331; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-654; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-638. Submission of annual financial plan by manager; notice and hearings thereon; adoption of budget.

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

Code 1950, § 15-332; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-655; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-639. Compensation; fee system abolished.

All county officers and employees shall be paid regular compensation. The fee system as a method of compensation in the county shall be abolished, except for 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 receipt therefor. Such officers shall also keep such other records as are required by § 17.1-283. All fees and commissions which, but for the provisions of this section, would be paid to such officers by the Commonwealth for services rendered shall be paid to the county treasury.

The excess, if any, 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 the other 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, § 15-334; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-657; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-640. Establishing times and conditions of employment, personnel management, etc.

The county may establish and prescribe for all employees of the county the following provisions applicable to such employees:

1. Normal workdays and hours of employment therein;

2. Holidays;

3. Days of vacation allowed;

4. Days of sick leave allowed;

5. Other provisions concerning the hours and conditions of employment;

6. Plans of personnel management and control.

The county may establish, alter, amend or repeal at will any provision adopted under this section.

Code 1950, § 15-334.1; 1952, c. 246; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-658; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-641. Bonds of officers.

The county manager shall give bond in the amount of not less than $5,000. The director of finance shall give bond in accordance with general law. If the county manager also serves as director of finance, he shall give bond in the full amounts indicated above. The board shall have the power to fix bonds in excess of these amounts and to 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, § 15-336; 1950, p. 107; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-660; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-642. 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 manager 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.