Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
9/24/2018

Subtitle I. General Provisions; Charters; Other Forms and Organization of Counties.

Chapter 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-100. Charter powers not affected by title.

Except when otherwise expressly provided by the words, "Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special," or words of similar import, the provisions of this title shall not repeal, amend, impair or affect any power, right or privilege conferred on counties, cities and towns by charter.

Code 1950, § 15-2; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-101. Certain laws and ordinances not affected by repeal of Title 15.1; validation of laws and ordinances adopted under § 15.1-522.

A. The repeal of Title 15.1 effective as of December 1, 1997, shall not affect the powers of any locality with respect to any ordinance, resolution or by-law adopted and not repealed or rescinded prior to such date.

B. The repeal of § 15.1-522 by this title shall not affect the exercise, by ordinance or otherwise, of any power conferred by this section upon any county which on November 30, 1997, was vested with such power and on or before such date exercised the power; and every power so conferred, vested and exercised is hereby continued in such cases.

C. For the purposes of this section, all laws and ordinances heretofore adopted by any county authorized to adopt such law or ordinance under former § 15.1-522 are hereby ratified, validated and confirmed, notwithstanding noncompliance with any technical requirement of such section.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-102. Definitions.

As used in this title unless such construction would be inconsistent with the context or manifest intent of the statute:

"Board of supervisors" means the governing body of a county.

"City" means any independent incorporated community which became a city as provided by law before noon on the first day of July, nineteen hundred seventy-one, or which has within defined boundaries a population of 5,000 or more and which has become a city as provided by law.

"Constitutional officer" means an officer provided for pursuant to Article VII, § 4 of the Constitution.

"Council" means the governing body of a city or town.

"Councilman" or "member of the council" means a member of the governing body of a city or town.

"County" means any existing county or such unit hereafter created.

"Governing body" means the board of supervisors of a county, council of a city, or council of a town, as the context may require.

"Locality" or "local government" shall be construed to mean a county, city, or town as the context may require.

"Municipality," "incorporated communities," "municipal corporation," and words or terms of similar import shall be construed to relate only to cities and towns.

"Supervisor" means a member of the board of supervisors of a county.

"Town" means any existing town or an incorporated community within one or more counties which became a town before noon, July one, nineteen hundred seventy-one, as provided by law or which has within defined boundaries a population of 1,000 or more and which has become a town as provided by law.

"Voter" means a qualified voter as defined in § 24.2-101.

Code 1950, § 15-1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-103. Name "Mount Vernon" reserved.

The name "Mount Vernon" is reserved for the home and tomb of the late General George Washington in Fairfax County. The General Assembly shall not grant to any locality the right to use the name "Mount Vernon."

Code 1950, § 15-24.4; 1956, c. 42; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-34; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-104. Liens against real estate.

Notwithstanding any provision contained in this title to the contrary, wherever this title provides for or authorizes a lien upon real estate for a local assessment, fee, rent or charge, other than real estate taxes, not paid when due, such lien shall not bind or affect a subsequent bona fide purchaser of the real estate for valuable consideration without actual notice of the lien unless, at the time of the transfer of record of the real estate to the purchaser, a statement containing the name of the record owner of the real estate and the amount of such unpaid assessments, fees, rents or charges is entered in the judgment lien book in the clerk's office where deeds are recorded or is contained in records maintained by the local treasurer for real estate tax liens pursuant to § 58.1-3930 with respect to the real estate against which the lien is asserted. Any such lien binding on the owner of the real estate at the time of sale or other disposition shall be paid from the sale or other proceeds as real estate taxes assessed thereon are required to be paid. The clerk shall cause such statement to be entered and properly indexed against the record owner of the real estate, for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of two dollars per entry, or such other fee as may be specifically provided for such purpose in this title, to be paid by the locality or other political subdivision asserting the lien and to be added to the amount of the lien. If the amount of such lien and all accrued interest due thereon are paid in full, the locality or other political subdivision asserting the lien shall deliver a certificate evidencing such payment to the person paying the same, and, upon presentation of such certificate, the clerk having record of the lien shall mark the entry of such lien satisfied, for which he shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar, or such other fee as may be specifically provided for such purpose in this title.

1994, c. 525, § 15.1-37.3:13; 1996, c. 612; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-105. Penalty and interest for failure to pay accounts when due.

Any person failing to pay, pursuant to an ordinance, any account due a locality on or before its due date, other than taxes which are provided for in Title 58.1, may, at the option of the locality, incur a penalty thereon of ten dollars or an amount not exceeding ten percent. The penalty shall be added to the amount of the account due from such person. No penalty shall be imposed for failure to pay any account if such failure was not in any way the fault of the debtor.

Interest at the rate of ten percent annually from the first day following the day such account is due may be collected upon the principal and penalty of all such accounts.

1984, c. 520, § 15.1-37.3:6; 1985, c. 342; 1989, c. 366; 1992, c. 229; 1997, cc. 587, 700.

§ 15.2-106. Ordinances providing fee for passing bad checks to localities.

Any locality may by ordinance provide for a fee, not exceeding $50, for the uttering, publishing or passing of any check, draft, or order for payment of taxes or any other sums due, which is subsequently returned for insufficient funds or because there is no account or the account has been closed, or because such check, draft, or order was returned because of a stop-payment order placed in bad faith on the check, draft, or order by the drawer.

1973, c. 103, § 15.1-29.4; 1982, c. 20; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 502; 2004, c. 565; 2010, c. 708; 2011, c. 255.

§ 15.2-107. Advertisement and enactment of certain fees and levies.

All levies and fees imposed or increased by a locality pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 21 (§ 15.2-2100 et seq.) or 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) shall be adopted by ordinance. The advertising requirements of subsection F of § 15.2-1427, or § 15.2-2204, as appropriate, shall apply, except as modified in this section.

The advertisement shall include the following:

1. The time, date, and place of the public hearing.

2. The actual dollar amount or percentage change, if any, of the proposed levy, fee or increase.

3. A specific reference to the Code of Virginia section or other legal authority granting the legal authority for enactment of such proposed levy, fee, or increase.

4. A designation of the place or places where the complete ordinance, and information concerning the documentation for the proposed fee, levy or increase are available for examination by the public no later than the time of the first publication.

1987, c. 389, § 15.1-29.14; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 72.

§ 15.2-107.1. Advertisement of legal notices on web sites.

In addition to any requirements that a locality advertise legal notices in a newspaper having a general circulation in the locality, such notices may also be published on the locality's World Wide Web site.

2000, c. 434.

§ 15.2-107.2. Alternative method for local government to give notice by mail.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, a locality may give notice by regular mail in any instance in which two or more notices are required for the same action, the first notice is required to be sent by certified or registered mail, and at least one notice has previously been sent by certified or registered mail. Such notice shall be sent to the last address available through government records.

2011, c. 127.

§ 15.2-108. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 250, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-108.1. Local fees charged to places of worship.

Localities shall not charge any fee to any church, synagogue, or other place of worship unless authorized by general law or special act of the General Assembly. Nothing in this section shall apply to any fire prevention inspection fees.

2012, c. 804.

§ 15.2-109. Regulations on political campaign signs.

No locality shall have the authority to prohibit the display of political campaign signs on private property if the signs are in compliance with zoning and right-of-way restrictions applicable to temporary nonpolitical signs, if the signs have been posted with the permission of the owner. The provisions of this section shall supersede the provisions of any local ordinance or regulation in conflict with this section. This section shall have no effect upon the regulations of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

2004, c. 388.

§ 15.2-110. Authority to require approval by common interest community association.

No locality shall require, prior to the issuance of any permit, certificate, or license, including a building permit or a license for a business, profession, or child care facility, that the governing board of an association subject to the Condominium Act (§ 55-79.39 et seq.), the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55-508 et seq.), or the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55-424 et seq.) consent to the activity for which the permit, certificate, or license is sought. The provisions of this section shall not be applied to limit or otherwise impinge upon the provisions of a condominium instrument as defined in § 55-79.41, the declaration of a common interest community as defined in § 55-528, or the declaration of a real estate cooperative as defined in § 55-426.

2016, cc. 254, 458.

Chapter 2. Local Government Charters.

§ 15.2-200. Required procedure for obtaining new charter or amendment.

No charter shall be granted to a locality by the General Assembly and no charter of a locality shall be amended by the General Assembly except as provided in this chapter or in Chapter 34 (§ 15.2-3400 et seq.) of this title.

Code 1950, § 15-65.1; 1958, c. 329; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-833; 1979, c. 297; 1985, c. 387; 1986, c. 312; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-201. Charter elections; subsequent procedure; procedure when bill not introduced or fails to pass in General Assembly.

A locality may provide for holding an election to be conducted as provided in § 24.2-681 et seq. of Title 24.2 to determine if the voters of the locality desire that it request the General Assembly to grant to the locality a new charter or to amend its existing charter. At least ten days prior to the holding of such election, the text or an informative summary of the new charter or amendment desired shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality.

If a majority of the voters voting in such election vote in favor of such request, the locality shall transmit two certified copies of the results of such election together with the publisher's affidavit and the new charter or the amendments to the existing charter, to one or more members of the General Assembly representing such locality for introduction as a bill in the succeeding session of the General Assembly.

If a bill incorporating such charter or amendments is not introduced at the succeeding session of the General Assembly, the approval of the voters for such charter or amendments shall be void. If, at such session, members of the General Assembly fail to enact or pass by indefinitely and do not carry over such a bill incorporating such charter or amendments, the charter or amendments shall again be presented to the voters for their approval or submitted to a public hearing pursuant to § 15.2-202 before reintroduction in the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 15-65.2; 1958, c. 329; 1962, cc. 1, 623, § 15.1-834; 1979, c. 297; 1985, c. 387; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-202. Public hearing in lieu of election; procedure when bill not introduced or fails to pass in General Assembly.

In lieu of the election provided for in § 15.2-201, a locality requesting the General Assembly to grant to it a new charter or to amend its existing charter may hold a public hearing with respect thereto, at which citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard to determine if the citizens of the locality desire that the locality request the General Assembly to grant to it a new charter, or to amend its existing charter. At least ten days' notice of the time and place of such hearing and the text or an informative summary of the new charter or amendment desired shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality. Such public hearing may be adjourned from time to time, and upon the completion thereof, the locality may request, in the manner provided in § 15.2-201, the General Assembly to grant the new charter or amend the existing charter and the provisions of § 15.2-201 shall be applicable thereto.

If a bill incorporating such charter or amendments is not introduced at the succeeding session of the General Assembly, the authority of the locality to request such charter or amendments by reason of such public hearing shall thereafter be void. If at such session members of the General Assembly fail to enact and do not carry over or pass by indefinitely a bill incorporating such charter or amendments, the charter or amendments may again be submitted to a public hearing in lieu of an election as provided hereinabove before reintroduction in the General Assembly.

The locality requesting a new or amended charter shall provide with such request a publisher's affidavit showing that the public hearing was advertised and a certified copy of the governing body's minutes showing the action taken at the advertised public hearing.

Code 1950, § 15-65.3; 1958, c. 329; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-835; 1979, c. 297; 1985, c. 387; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-203. Legislation granting or amending charter evidence of compliance with requirements.

The passage of any legislation granting or amending any charter of a locality shall be conclusive evidence of compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 15-65.4; 1960, c. 497; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-836; 1985, c. 387; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-204. Uniform charter powers.

Cities and towns shall have all powers set forth in Article 1 (§ 15.2-1100 et seq.) of Chapter 11, known as the uniform charter powers. Such powers do not need to be set out or incorporated by reference in a city or town charter.

Counties shall have all powers set forth in Article 1 (§ 15.2-1100 et seq.) of Chapter 11 only when such powers are specifically conferred upon the county.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-205. Use of provisions of chapter not authorized for certain purposes.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the statutes within this chapter shall not be used as authorization for ordering or holding any election or referendum the results of which would cause or result in the abolition of any office set forth in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia until the abolition of any such office has first been provided for by a general law or special act on such question alone and approved in a referendum.

1977, c. 684, § 15.1-836.1; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-206. Special elections; request for abolition of certain local constitutional offices.

No bill to enact or amend a charter which has the effect of abolishing any office set forth in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia shall be considered unless a referendum, elsewhere authorized by law, has been conducted in accordance with the provisions of § 24.2-685, and a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon have approved the request for the enactment or amendment of the charter.

1985, c. 586, § 15.1-836.1:1; 1986, c. 355; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-207. Boundaries of municipal corporations continued; charters not to contain metes and bounds; incorporated by reference.

The boundaries of municipal corporations remain as now established unless changed as provided in this title. No charter of any municipal corporation shall contain the metes and bounds of such municipal corporation, but the boundaries shall be incorporated therein by reference to the recordation in the clerk's office of the court where deeds are admitted to record of the final decree or order of the court establishing such boundaries or the act of the General Assembly by which they are defined. The part of the charter of a municipal corporation defining its boundaries hereafter amended shall not contain the metes and bounds of the municipal corporation, but the boundaries shall be incorporated therein by reference to the recordation of a final decree or order of court or to a General Assembly act.

Code 1950, § 15.1-908; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-836.2; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-208. Boundaries of counties.

No county charter shall contain the description of the county's boundaries.

1985, c. 387, § 15.1-836.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-209. Notice to be given to counties, cities, and towns of tort claims for damages.

A. Every claim cognizable against any county, city, or town for negligence shall be forever barred unless the claimant or his agent, attorney, or representative has filed a written statement of the nature of the claim, which includes the time and place at which the injury is alleged to have occurred, within six months after such cause of action accrued. Failure to provide such statement shall not bar a claim against any county, city, or town, provided that the attorney, chief executive, or mayor of such locality, or any insurer or entity providing coverage or indemnification of the claim, had actual knowledge of the claim, which includes the nature of the claim and the time and place at which the injury is alleged to have occurred, within six months after such cause of action accrued. However, if the claimant was under a disability at the time the cause of action accrued, the tolling provisions of § 8.01-229 shall apply.

B. The statement shall be filed with the county, city, or town attorney or with the chief executive or mayor of the county, city, or town.

C. The notice is deemed filed when it is received in the office of the official to whom the notice is directed. The notice may be delivered by hand, by any form of United States mail service (including regular, certified, registered or overnight mail), or by commercial delivery service.

D. In any action contesting the filing of the notice of claim, the burden of proof shall be on the claimant to establish receipt of the notice in conformity with this section. A signed United States mail return receipt indicating the date of delivery, or any other form of signed and dated acknowledgment of delivery, given by authorized personnel in the office of the official with whom the statement is filed, shall be prima facie evidence of filing of the notice under this section.

E. This section does not, and shall not be construed to, abrogate, limit, expand or modify the sovereign immunity of any county, city, town, or any officer, agent or employee of the foregoing.

F. This section, on and after June 30, 1954, shall take precedence over the provisions of all charters and amendments thereto of municipal corporations in conflict herewith granted prior to such date. It is further declared that as to any such charter or amendment thereto, granted on and after such date, that any provision therein in conflict with this section shall be deemed to be invalid as being in conflict with Article IV, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia unless such conflict be stated in the title to such proposed charter or amendment thereto by the words "conflicting with § 15.2-209 of the Code" or substantially similar language.

G. The provisions of this section are mandatory and shall be strictly construed. This section is procedural and compliance with its provisions is not jurisdictional.

2007, c. 368; 2016, c. 772.

Chapter 3. Optional Forms of County Government; General Provisions.

§ 15.2-300. Adoption of optional forms of county government; inconsistent provisions of law.

A. Any county may adopt an optional form of county government in accordance with the referendum provisions of § 15.2-301, subject to the limitations specified in Chapters 3 through 8 of this title.

B. Other provisions of law in conflict with Chapters 3 through 8 of this title shall not apply to a county which has adopted an applicable form of county government pursuant to this chapter, unless such provision expressly provides otherwise.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-301. Petition or resolution asking for referendum; notice; conduct of election.

A. A county may adopt one of the optional forms of government provided for in Chapters 4 through 8 of this title only after approval by voter referendum. The referendum shall be initiated by (i) a petition filed with the circuit court for the county signed by at least ten percent of the voters of the county, asking that a referendum be held on the question of adopting one of the forms of government or (ii) a resolution passed by the board of supervisors and filed with the circuit court asking for a referendum. The petition or resolution shall specify which of the forms of government provided for in Chapters 4 through 8 is to be placed on the ballot for consideration. Only one form may be placed on the ballot for consideration.

B. Notice of the election shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county once a week for three consecutive weeks and shall be posted at the door of the county courthouse.

C. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of § 24.2-684. In addition to the certifications required by such section, the secretary of the appropriate electoral board shall certify the results to the Commission on Local Government.

D. Prior to adopting an optional form of government provided for in Chapter 5 or Chapter 6, a county shall also comply with the referendum requirements of § 24.2-686.

1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 741.

§ 15.2-302. When form of government to become effective.

A form of government approved by the voters in accordance with § 15.2-301 shall become effective on January 1 following the election of members of the governing body under the provisions of § 15.2-303.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-303. When new supervisors elected.

If voters approve the adoption of an optional form of government in accordance with § 15.2-301, the members of the governing body shall be elected at the next succeeding November general election. The members' terms shall commence on January 1 following the election.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-304. Effect of change on other county officers.

All other officers of such county shall continue to hold office until their successors are appointed and have qualified. The term of office of any person who holds an office abolished by the form of government adopted shall terminate as soon as his powers and duties have been transferred to some other officer or employee, or are abolished.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-305. Changing from one form to another.

A county may change from one optional form to another optional form, or to any other form of county government prescribed by Article VII of the Constitution, only by following the procedures set out in § 15.2-301, subject to any limitations specified in Chapters 3 through 8 of this title.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-306. Limitation as to frequency of elections.

If any election has been held in a county to determine whether such county shall adopt a form of county government provided for in Chapters 4 through 8 of this title, or if any election has been held in a county which has adopted such form of county government to determine whether such county shall change to another form of county government or to determine whether such county shall change to some other form of county government provided for by Article VII of the Constitution of Virginia and the other provisions of general law of the Commonwealth, no further election of the nature referred to in this section shall be held in the county within three years thereafter.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-307. County forms of government adopted under prior acts.

Any county which has adopted an optional form of government under the authority of prior acts shall continue to operate as though created under the terms of this chapter.

1997, c. 587.

Chapter 4. County Board Form of Government.

§ 15.2-400. Form of government to be known as county board form; applicability of chapter.

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

Code 1950, § 15-364; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-699; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-401. Adoption of county board form.

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

Code 1950, § 15-362; 1950, pp. 123, 694; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-697; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-402. Board of county supervisors; election; terms; chairman; vacancies.

A. The powers and duties of the county as a body politic and corporate shall be vested in a board of county supervisors ("the board").

B. The board shall consist of one member elected from the county at large by the qualified voters of the county and one member from each magisterial or election district in the county elected by the qualified voters of such magisterial or election district. The board members shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as provided by general law for the election of boards of supervisors of counties. The board shall elect its chairman from its membership.

C. Members of the board in office immediately prior to the day upon which the county board form becomes effective in the county shall be and, unless sooner removed, continue as members until the expiration of their respective terms and until their successors have qualified.

D. If the change in the form of county organization and government becomes effective on January 1 next succeeding the regular election of board members in the county, such members-elect shall qualify and, as soon as possible after the county board form becomes effective in the county, succeed the then incumbents as board members and as such continue until the expiration of their respective terms and until their successors have qualified.

E. At the regular November election next succeeding the approval of the county board form, one board member shall be elected from the county at large by the qualified voters of the county; his term of office shall begin on January 1 next succeeding such election and shall run for a term coincident with that of the other board members. Pending his election and taking office, the office of member from the county at large shall remain vacant.

F. Except as otherwise provided in subsection E of this section, any vacancy in the membership of the board shall be filled pursuant to Article 6 (§ 24.2-225 et seq.) of Chapter 2 of Title 24.2.

Code 1950, § 15-365; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-700; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 158; 1993, c. 731; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-403. Same; powers and duties.

A. The board shall be the policy-determining body of the county and shall be vested with all the rights and powers conferred on boards of supervisors by general law, not inconsistent with the form of county organization and government herein provided.

B. The board may require of all departments, divisions, agencies and officers of the county and of the several districts of the county such annual reports and other reports as in its opinion the business of the county requires.

C. The board may inquire into the official conduct of any office or officer, whether elective or appointive, of the county or of any district thereof, and to 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. If any witness fails or refuses to obey any such lawful order of the board he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

D. The board shall, as soon as the county board form of county organization and government takes effect in the county, provide for the performance of all the governmental functions of the county in a manner consistent with this chapter.

E. 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, § 15-366; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-701; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-404. Appointment and compensation of officers and employees of county.

A. The board shall, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-408 and except as the board may authorize any officer or the head of any office to appoint employees under such officer or in such office, appoint all officers and employees, including deputies and assistants, in the administrative service of the county. Any officer or employee of the county appointed pursuant to this section may be suspended or removed from office or employment either by the board or the officer or head of the office by whom he was appointed or employed.

B. In the event of the absence or disability of any officer except those named in § 15.2-408, the board or other appointing power may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

C. The board shall, subject to such limitations as may hereafter be prescribed by general law and except as herein otherwise provided, fix the compensation of all officers and employees of the county except as it may authorize any officer or the head of any office to fix the compensation of employees under such officer or in such office. The compensation of the attorney for the Commonwealth, the commissioner of the revenue, the county clerk, the sheriff, and the treasurer of the county, and the deputies, assistants and employees of such officers, shall be determined and paid in the manner which is or may hereafter be provided for the determination and payment of the salary of each such officer, respectively, by other provisions of general law.

D. The chairman of the board shall receive compensation not in excess of $3,000 per annum, and each of the other board members shall receive not in excess of $2,700 per annum. Alternatively, the chairman and other board members may be compensated in accordance with the provisions of general law as specified in Article 1.1 (§ 15.2-1414.1 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of this title. However, in Carroll County and Grayson County, the chairman and other board members shall be compensated as provided for in § 15.2-1414.2.

Code 1950, § 15-367; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-702; 1972, cc. 809, 815; 1973, c. 271; 1976, c. 92; 1981, c. 92; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 613, 953.

§ 15.2-405. Assignment of activities.

Any activity which is not assigned by this form of county organization and government shall be assigned by the board to the appropriate officer or employee of the county, and the board may reassign, transfer or combine any such activities.

Code 1950, § 15-368; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-703; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-406. Appointment, compensation and removal of county administrator.

A. The board shall appoint a county administrator and fix his compensation. He shall be appointed with due 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 is elected, be chosen county administrator.

B. The county administrator may be removed at the pleasure of the board.

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

Code 1950, § 15-369; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-704; 1973, c. 163; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-407. Powers and duties of county administrator.

A. The board may by resolution designate the county administrator as clerk of the board. In such case and upon the qualification of the county administrator authorized by this article the county clerk of such county shall be relieved of his duties in connection with the board and all of his duties shall be imposed upon and performed by the county administrator. If the board does not designate the county administrator as clerk, the county clerk or one of his deputies shall attend the meetings of the board and record in a book provided for the purpose all of the proceedings of the board, but he shall not be authorized and required to sign any warrants of the board, such authority being hereby vested in the county administrator. However, the board may by resolution of record require the county clerk to sign all warrants of the board.

B. The county administrator shall, insofar as the board requires, be responsible to the board for the proper administration of all affairs of the county which the board has authority to control. He shall keep the board advised as to the financial condition of the county and shall submit to the board monthly, and at such other times as may be required, reports concerning the administrative affairs of the county.

C. The county administrator shall, if the board requires, examine regularly the books and papers of each department, officer and agency of the county and report to the board the condition in which he finds them and such other information as the board may direct.

D. The county administrator shall from time to time submit to the board recommendations concerning the affairs of the county and its departments, officers and agencies as he deems proper.

E. Under the direction of the board, the county administrator, for informative and fiscal planning purposes only, shall prepare and submit to the board a proposed annual budget for the county. The board may, however, direct that the county budget be prepared by the county clerk.

F. The county administrator shall audit all claims against the county for services, materials and equipment for such county agencies and departments as the board may direct, except those required to be received and audited by the county school board, and shall present the audits to the board of county supervisors together with his recommendation and such information as necessary to enable the board to act on such claims.

G. If the board, by resolution, designates the county administrator as clerk of the board, the county administrator shall: (i) have all the powers, authority and duties vested in the county clerk as clerk of the board, under general law; (ii) pay, with his warrant, all claims against the county chargeable against any fund under the control of the board, other than the general county fund, when such expenditure is authorized and approved by the officer and/or employee authorized to procure the services, supplies, materials or equipment accountable for such claims and after auditing the claims as to their authority and correctness; (iii) pay with his warrant all claims against the county chargeable against the general county fund where the claim arose out of purchase made by the county administrator or for contractual services by him authorized and contracted within the power and authority given him by board resolution; and (iv) pay with his warrant all claims against the county authorized to be paid by the board.

Code 1950, § 15-370; 1950, pp. 123, 694; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-705; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-408. Attorney for the Commonwealth, county clerk, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue and treasurer of the county.

A. The attorney for the Commonwealth, the county clerk, the sheriff, the commissioner of the revenue and the treasurer of the county in office immediately prior to the day upon which the county board form becomes effective in the county shall continue, unless sooner removed, as attorney for the Commonwealth, county clerk, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue and treasurer, respectively, of the county until the expiration of their respective terms of office and until their successors have qualified. Thereafter, such officers shall be elected in such manner and for such terms as provided by general law.

B. When any vacancy occurs in any office named in subsection A, the vacancy shall be filled as provided by general law.

C. Each officer named in subsection A of this section may appoint such deputies, assistants and employees as he may require in the exercise of the powers conferred and in the performance of the duties imposed upon him by law.

D. Each officer, except the attorney for the Commonwealth, named in subsection A shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officer by general law. He shall be accountable to the board in all matters affecting the county and shall perform such duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the board directs.

Code 1950, § 15-371; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-706; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 158; 1977, c. 584; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 1015.

§ 15.2-409. Authority of boards of supervisors to require commissioners of revenue to prepare tax bills.

The board may by resolution require the commissioner of revenue of such county to prepare and make all tax bills, in accord with all items shown on the land books, personal property books and income assessment books for the current year, and deliver the bills to the treasurer of the county at the time the land books, personal property books and income assessment books are delivered to such treasurer under general law. Such requirement shall not be effective, however, until the board has first installed in the office of the commissioner of revenue a suitable machine by which the tax bills may be prepared and made out simultaneously with the preparation and making out of the books. The board may prescribe the form of the tax bills and require the commissioner of revenue to destroy all unused tax bill forms in the presence of the board or a committee of its members appointed by its chairman. When the board has adopted such resolution and certified it to the county treasurer, he shall be relieved of all duties and responsibility in reference to the preparation of the bills.

Code 1950, § 15-371.1; 1952, c. 243; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-707; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-410. County school board and division superintendent of schools.

A. 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.

B. The county school board shall be composed of not less than three nor more than six members chosen by the board of county supervisors to serve staggered four-year terms. Initial terms may be less than four years to establish the staggered membership. The terms of no more than three members shall expire in any one year. The board of county supervisors shall establish by resolution the number of school board members and the staggered membership. The school board membership may be increased from time to time up to six members. Three-member boards need not be staggered. All appointments to fill vacancies shall be made by the board of county supervisors and shall be for the unexpired terms.

C. Each member shall receive as compensation for his services such annual salary as may be prescribed pursuant to § 22.1-32.

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

E. Notwithstanding the above provisions, the Board of Supervisors of Scott County may establish a staggered membership for its school board with the school board members serving three-year terms and the Board of Supervisors of Carroll County may continue to appoint five members to its school board to serve staggered five-year terms.

F. Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this section, 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.

Code 1950, § 15-372; 1950, pp. 124, 695; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-708; 1972, c. 470; 1976, c. 92; 1980, c. 559; 1981, c. 246; 1986, c. 618; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-411. County health officer; county board of health.

The county health officer shall be chosen by the board of county supervisors from a list of eligibles furnished by the State Board of Health. He shall exercise all the powers conferred and shall perform all the duties imposed upon the local health officer and perform such other duties as may be imposed upon him by the board of county supervisors. The board of county supervisors may select two qualified citizens of the county, who shall serve without pay, and who together with the county health officer shall constitute the county board of health. Such board shall advise and cooperate with the county health officer. The board may at any time be abolished by the board of county supervisors. The board of county supervisors may, in lieu of establishing a local board of health as herein provided, operate its health department as a part of a State Board of Health district.

Code 1950, § 15-373; 1950, p. 696; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-709; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-412. Local board of social services and local director of social services.

The board of county supervisors shall select three qualified citizens of the county, one of whom may be a member of the board of county supervisors, who shall constitute the local board of social services; alternatively, the board of county supervisors may choose a board of social services consisting of five qualified citizens. Such board shall, insofar as not inconsistent with this form of county organization and government, exercise all the powers conferred, and perform all the duties imposed, upon local boards of social services by law. There also shall be a local director of social services who shall be chosen by the board of county supervisors, or by the local board of social services if the board of county supervisors so provides, from a list of eligibles furnished by the Director of the Department of Social Services. He shall, insofar as consistent with this form of county organization and government, exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon local directors of social services by general law. The local board of social services and the local director of social services shall also perform such other duties as required by the board of county supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-374; 1950, p. 696; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-710; 1968, c. 80; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 747; 2010, cc. 349, 436.

§ 15.2-413. Department of extension and continuing education.

The department of extension and continuing education shall be established for the purpose of conducting noncredit educational programs and disseminating useful and practical information pursuant to the provisions of § 23.1-2608 et seq.

1972, c. 653, § 15.1-711.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-414. County purchasing agent.

A. The county shall have a county purchasing agent. The county administrator shall, unless and until the board selects a county purchasing agent or designates some other officer to act as county purchasing agent, exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon the county purchasing agent.

B. The county purchasing agent shall, subject to such exceptions as the board may allow, make all purchases for the county and its departments, officers and agencies.

C. The county purchasing agent may also transfer supplies, materials and equipment between, and sell surplus equipment, materials and supplies not needed by, the departments, officers and agencies of the county.

D. With the approval of the board, the county purchasing agent may establish specifications or standards for equipment, materials and supplies to be purchased and inspect deliveries to determine their compliance with such specifications and standards.

E. All purchases and sales by the county purchasing agent 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 provides.

F. The county purchasing agent shall have charge of such storage rooms and warehouses of the county as the board provides.

Code 1950, § 15-376; 1950, p. 125; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-712; 1972, c. 820; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-415. Schedule of compensation for officers and employees.

The board shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, establish a schedule of compensation for officers and employees which shall, so far as practical, provide uniform compensation for like service. The compensation prescribed shall be subject to such limitations as may be made by general law.

Code 1950, § 15-378; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-714; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-416. Official bonds.

The county officers shall give such bonds as required by general law, except that the treasurer's bond shall be in such penalty as the court or judge requires, but not less than fifteen percent of the amount to be received annually by him. In addition thereto, the board may fix and require bonds in excess of the amounts so required, and to require bonds of other county officers and employees in their discretion, conditioned on the faithful discharge of their duties and the proper accounting for all funds coming into their possession.

Code 1950, § 15-379; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-715; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-417. 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 by the Auditor of Public Accounts, under the provisions of law, may be considered as having satisfied the requirements of this section. The board may at any time order an examination or audit of the accounts of any officer or employee of the county government. Upon the death, resignation, removal or expiration of the term of any county officer, the board shall cause an audit and investigation of the accounts of such officer to be made. 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, § 15-380; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-716; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-418. Certain officers not affected.

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

1. Jury commissioners;

2. County electoral boards;

3. Registrars;

4. Judges and clerks of election;

5. Magistrates; and

6. Commissioners of accounts.

Code 1950, § 15-383; 1950, p. 126; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-720; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 158; 1973, c. 545; 1997, c. 587.

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. Same; 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 outstanding grants, however, may be carried over for one 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.

§ 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.

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.

Chapter 7. County Manager Plan of Government.

Article 1. Adoption of County Manager Plan.

§ 15.2-700. Title of plan; applicability of chapter.

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

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-701. Adoption of county manager plan.

Any county with a population density of at least 500 persons per square mile may adopt the county manager plan of government in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.).

1997, c. 587.

Article 2. General Powers; County Manager Plan.

§ 15.2-702. County board; membership, terms, chairman, etc.

Under the county manager plan all of the legislative powers of the county, however conferred or possessed by it, shall be vested in a board of five members to be known as the county board ("the board"). The members of the board shall be elected in the manner hereinafter provided for terms of four years. The board shall elect one of its members as chairman, who shall preside over its meetings. The chairman shall be elected by the board annually and any vacancy in the office shall be filled by the board for the unexpired term. The chairman has the same powers and duties as other members of the board with a vote but no veto and is the official head of the county. With the exception of those officers whose election is provided for by popular vote in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, board members shall be the only elective county officials. The board shall be a body corporate and as such has the right to sue and be sued in the same manner as is now provided by law for boards of supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-350; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-674; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-702.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2006, c. 126, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-703. Interference by members of board in appointments and removals of personnel.

Neither the board nor any of its members shall in any manner dictate the appointment or removal of any county administrative officers or employees who are appointed by the manager or any of his subordinates. However, the board may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees. Except for the purposes of inquiry and investigation, the board and its members shall deal with county officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the manager solely through the county manager, and neither the board nor any member thereof shall give orders either publicly or privately to any such county officer or employee.

Code 1950, § 15-350.1; 1952, c. 443; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-675; 1982, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-704. Appointment of clerk of board; powers and duties; obligations and penalties.

The clerk of the board shall be such qualified person as the board designates. He shall be compensated in an amount set by the board and may employ such deputies and assistants as the board authorizes. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officers 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.

Code 1950, § 15-350.2; 1962, c. 19, § 15.1-675.1; 1982, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-705. Election of members of board; filling vacancies.

A. In any county operating as of December 1, 1993, under the county manager plan provided for in this chapter, the members of the board shall be elected and vacancies on the board shall be filled as provided in this section. The members of the board shall be elected from the county at large.

B. Two board members shall be elected at the November 1995 election to succeed the members whose terms are expiring, and one member each shall be elected at the 1994, 1996, and 1997 November elections to succeed the members whose terms respectively are expiring. Thereafter at each regular November election one or more board members shall be elected to succeed the members whose terms expire on or before January 1 next succeeding such election. The members so elected shall be elected for terms of four years each, shall take office on January 1 next succeeding their election, and shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualify.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-226, when any vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, the judge of the circuit court of the county shall call a special election for the remainder of the unexpired term to be held not less than 60 days and not more than 80 days thereafter, and the local electoral board shall determine and announce within three business days after such call the candidate filing deadline for that special election. However, if any vacancy occurs within 180 days before the expiration of a term of office, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by a majority vote of the remaining members of the board within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy after holding a public hearing on the appointment. The appointment shall be for the duration of the unexpired term.

Code 1950, § 15-351; 1952, c. 591; 1954, c. 151; 1958, c. 207; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-676; 1975, cc. 517, 636; 1993, c. 731; 1997, c. 587; 1998, cc. 345, 369; 2014, c. 573.

§ 15.2-706. Duties of county manager; compensation; appointment of officers and employees.

The administrative and executive powers of the county, including the power of appointment of all officers and employees whose appointment or election is not otherwise provided by law, are vested in the county manager, who shall be appointed by the board at its first meeting or as soon thereafter as practicable. The county manager need not be a resident of the county or of the Commonwealth. He shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the board. The officers whose election by popular vote is provided for in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, the school board and the superintendent of schools shall not be subject to appointment but shall be selected in the manner prescribed by law. The heads of all departments other than those hereinbefore referred to and excepted from the provisions of this section shall be selected by the county board. However, if a majority of the qualified voters voting in the election required by § 15.2-716 vote in favor thereof, then the heads of the several county departments, other than those hereinbefore referred to and excepted from the provisions of this section shall be appointed by the county manager.

Code 1950, § 15-352; 1952, c. 198; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-677; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-707. Bonds of county officers and employees.

The county officers shall give such bonds as are now required by general law, except that the bond of the treasurer shall be in such penalty as the court or judge requires, but not less than fifteen percent of the amount to be received annually by him. In addition, the board may fix and require bonds in excess of the amounts so required, and may require bonds of other county officers and employees in the board's discretion, conditioned on the faithful discharge of their duties and the proper accounting for all funds coming into their possession.

Code 1950, § 15-352.1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-678; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-708. Term of office of county manager; salary and performance of duties; acting manager in case of temporary absence or disability; removal or suspension.

The term of office of the county manager shall expire on June 30 of each year. Except as hereinafter provided, he shall be notified at least sixty days before the expiration of his term if his services are not desired for the ensuing twelve-month period. He shall receive such annual salary as the board may prescribe payable from county funds. He shall devote his full time to the performance of the duties imposed on him by law, and the performance of such other duties as the board directs.

To perform his duties during his temporary absence or disability the manager may designate by letter filed with the clerk of the board a qualified administrative officer of the county to be acting manager. If the manager fails to make such designation, the board may, by resolution, appoint an officer of the county to perform the duties of the manager until he returns or his disability ceases.

The board may at any time remove the county manager for neglect of duty, malfeasance or misfeasance in office, or incompetency. If a majority of the qualified voters voting in the election required by § 15.2-301 vote in favor thereof, the county manager shall be appointed for an indefinite period and be subject to removal by the county board at any time, any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. If the board determines to remove the county manager, he shall be given, if he so requests, a written statement of the reasons alleged for the proposed removal and the right of 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 manager shall not be subject to review.

Code 1950, § 15-352.2; 1952, c. 198; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-679; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 136.

§ 15.2-709. Investigation of county officers or employees.

The board may inquire into the official conduct of any office, officer or employee under its control, and investigate the accounts, receipts, disbursements and expenses of any such office, officer or employee. For these purposes it may subpoena county employees as witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, papers and other evidence in their control. If any such witness fails or refuses to obey any such lawful board order, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-352.4; 1952, c. 162; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-681; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-709.1. Applicant preemployment information in Arlington County.

Arlington County, having a local ordinance adopted in accordance with § 19.2-389, shall require applicants for employment with the county 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 and 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 the fingerprinting or 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. In determining whether a criminal conviction directly relates to a position, the locality shall consider the following criteria: (i) the nature and seriousness of the crime; (ii) the relationship of the crime to the work to be performed in the position applied for; (iii) the extent to which the position applied for might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person had been involved; (iv) the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the position being sought; (v) the extent and nature of the person's past criminal activity; (vi) the age of the person at the time of the commission of the crime; (vii) the amount of time that has elapsed since the person's last involvement in the commission of a crime; (viii) the conduct and work activity of the person prior to and following the criminal activity; and (ix) evidence of the person's rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated or following release.

If an applicant is denied employment because of 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.

2002, cc. 670, 730; 2003, c. 739.

§ 15.2-709.2. County auditor.

The board may appoint a county auditor for the audit and review of county agencies and county-funded functions. The county auditor shall have the power to make performance reviews of operations of county agencies or county-funded programs to ascertain that sums appropriated are expended for the purposes for which such appropriations were made and to evaluate the effectiveness of those agencies and programs. The county auditor shall make such special studies and reports as the board directs.

The board may provide staff assistance to the county auditor that may be independent of the administrative staff of the county. The county auditor and any such staff shall be hired on the basis of merit and shall be paid in conformity with existing pay scales. The county auditor shall serve at the pleasure of the board, and if removed, such removal shall not be subject to review by any other employee, agency, board, or commission of the county or under the grievance procedure adopted pursuant to § 15.2-1506.

2015, c. 282.

§ 15.2-710. Budget; county manager to be executive and administrative officer; financial condition of county.

In addition to such other duties as are or may be prescribed by law or directed by the board, the county manager shall each year on or before April 15 prepare and submit to the board a tentative budget for informative and fiscal planning purposes. The budget shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of law in effect governing the preparation of the county budget and shall show in detail the recommendations of the county manager for expenditures on each road and bridge or for other purposes.

The county manager shall be the executive and administrative officer of the county in all matters relating to the public roads and bridges of the county, and other public work and business in the county, except public schools. He shall have general supervision and charge of construction and maintenance of the public roads, bridges and landings of the county, and of public work and business of the county, except public schools, and of the purchase of supplies, equipment and materials for the roads, bridges and landings and other public work and business of the county, and the employment of all superintendents, foremen and labor therefor. However, the board may, by ordinance, prescribe rules and regulations for the purchase of all supplies, equipment and materials for the roads, bridges and landings and other public work and business of the county.

The county manager shall keep the board advised as to the county's financial condition, and shall periodically, and upon board request, provide a report to the board on the status of expenditures and revenues for the current fiscal year. On or before October 31 of each year, he shall provide a report to the board at a regular board meeting on expenses and revenue for the preceding year, ending June 30.

Code 1950, § 15-353; 1952, c. 198; 1954, c. 102; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-682; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 22, 510.

§ 15.2-711. Certification and payment of payrolls.

The board by resolution may require the county manager to certify to the treasurer the payroll of the regular employees of the county for the successive payroll periods, and vouchers for the payment of bills for materials and supplies which have been received and for which discounts are allowed. Upon receipt thereof the treasurer shall pay the same as if they had been approved by the board. No payment shall be made hereunder when at any meeting of the county board a resolution opposing such method of payment has been adopted.

Code 1950, § 15-353.1; 1952, c. 610; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-683; 1976, c. 175; 1982, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-712. Certification and payment of certain vouchers.

The board may by resolution authorize the county manager to sign and issue an order or authorization to the treasurer for payment of vouchers for materials, supplies and services which have been received and the treasurer shall pay the same. The provisions of § 15.2-711 shall apply to actions hereunder.

Code 1950, § 15-353.2; 1954, c. 124; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-684; 1976, c. 175; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-713. Means of transferring funds.

The treasurer or his duly 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, by an electronic fund wire or payment system, or by any means deemed appropriate and sound by the county treasurer and approved by the governing body, drawn upon a warrant issued by the governing body. If any money is knowingly paid otherwise than upon the county treasurer's check, electronic fund wire or payment system or by alternative means specifically approved by the county treasurer and the governing body, drawn upon such warrant, the payment shall be invalid against the county.

1978, c. 460, § 15.1-684.1; 1986, c. 293; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-714. Depository for county funds.

The board may designate one or more banks or trust companies as collecting or receiving agencies for county funds, which funds shall be deposited to the county's credit and be subject to the control of the county treasurer.

1978, c. 460, § 15.1-684.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-715. Abolition of offices and distribution of duties.

The board, by a majority vote of all the members elected, may abolish any board, commission, or office of such county except the school board and school superintendent, and the officers elected by popular vote provided for in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, and may delegate and distribute the duties, authority and powers of the boards, commissions, or offices abolished to the county manager or to any other officer of the county it may think proper. If any such board, commission, or office is abolished, those to whom the duties thereof are delegated or distributed shall discharge the duties and exercise the powers and authorities of the abolished entity. Both they and the county for which they were appointed, or by whom they were employed, shall enjoy the immunities and exemptions from liability or otherwise that were enjoyed by the abolished boards, commissions, or offices, prior to the adoption of the county manager plan of government, except insofar as such duties, powers, authority, immunities and exemptions have been or hereafter may be changed according to law.

Code 1950, § 15-354; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-685; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 839.

§ 15.2-716. Referendum for establishment of department of real estate assessments; board of equalization; general reassessments in county where department established.

A referendum may be initiated by a petition signed by 200 or more qualified voters of the county filed with the circuit court, asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the county shall have a department of real estate assessments. The court shall on or before August 1 enter of record an order requiring the county election officials to open the polls at the regular election to be held in November of such year on the question stated in such order. If the petition seeks the holding of a special election on the question, then the petition hereinabove referred to shall be signed by 1,000 or more qualified voters of the county and the court shall within fifteen days of the date such petition is filed enter an order, in accordance with § 24.2-684, requiring the election officials to open the polls on a date fixed in the order and take the sense of the qualified voters of the county. The clerk of the county shall cause a notice of such election to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the county once a week for three successive weeks, and shall post a copy of such notice at the door of the county courthouse.

If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum vote for the establishment of a department of real estate assessments, the board shall by ordinance establish such department, provide for the compensation of the department head and employees therein, and decide such other matters in relation to the powers and duties of the department, the department head and the employees, as the board deems proper. As used in this section the term "department" refers to the department of real estate assessments and where proper the department head thereof.

Upon the establishment of the department, the county manager shall select the head thereof and provide for such employees and assistants as required. Such department shall be vested with the powers and duties conferred or imposed upon commissioners of the revenue by general law to the extent that such duties and powers are consistent with this section, in relation to the assessment of real estate. All real estate shall be assessed at its fair market value as of January 1 of each year by the department and taxes for each year on such real estate shall be entered on the land book by the department in the name of the owner thereof. Whenever any such assessment is increased over the last assessment made prior to such year, the department shall give written notice to the owner of such real estate or of any interest therein, by mailing such notice to the last known post-office address of such owner. However, the validity of such assessment shall not be affected by any failure to receive such notice.

If a department of real estate assessments is appointed as above provided, a board of equalization of real estate assessments shall be appointed pursuant to § 15.2-716.1. Any person aggrieved by any assessment made under the provisions of this section may apply for relief to such board as therein provided.

When a department of real estate assessments is appointed, the county shall not be required to undertake general reassessments of real estate every six years, but the governing body of the county may, but shall not be required to, request the circuit court of such county to order a general reassessment at such times as the governing body deems proper. Such court shall then enter an order directing a reassessment of real estate in the manner provided by law.

The department of real estate assessments may require that the owners of income-producing real estate in the county subject to local taxation, except property producing income solely from the rental of no more than four dwelling units, furnish to the department on or before a time specified by the director of the department statements of the income and expenses attributable over a specified period of time to each such parcel of real estate. If there is a willful failure to furnish statements of income and expenses in a timely manner to the director, the owner of such parcel of real estate shall be deemed to have waived his right in any proceeding contesting the assessment to utilize such income and expenses as evidence of fair market value. Each such statement shall be certified as to its accuracy by an owner of the real estate for which the statement is furnished, or a duly authorized agent thereof. Any statement required by this section shall be kept confidential as required by § 58.1-3.

Code 1950, § 15-354.1; 1952, c. 611; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-686; 1973, c. 274; 1975, c. 517; 1978, c. 460; 1979, c. 158; 1983, c. 364; 1997, c. 587; 2010, cc. 154, 199; 2017, c. 435.

§ 15.2-716.1. Board of Equalization.

A. The membership of the board of equalization of real estate assessments shall be composed of an odd number of not less than three nor more than 11 members, as determined by the governing body of the county. The circuit court of the county shall appoint a number of members equal to the lowest number that constitutes a majority of members, and the governing body shall appoint the remainder. In making appointments, the circuit court shall consider recommendations from interested entities, including but not limited to the chamber of commerce for the county, and from other representatives of the business community. After the initial appointments, vacancies on the board shall be filled by the appointing authority that appointed the person vacating the position.

The governing body may provide for terms varying in duration not to exceed four years. Such equalization board shall have the powers and duties provided by, and be subject to, the provisions of Article 14 (§ 58.1-3370 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1. Any person aggrieved by any assessment made under the provisions of this section may apply for relief to such board as therein provided. The provisions of this section shall not, however, apply to any real estate assessable under the law by the State Corporation Commission.

B. The board of equalization may sit in panels of at least three members each under the following terms and conditions:

1. The presence of all members of the panel shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.

2. The chairman of the board of equalization shall assign the members to panels and, insofar as practicable, rotate the membership of the panels.

3. The chairman of the board of equalization shall preside over any panel of which he is a member and shall designate the presiding member of the other panels.

4. Each panel shall perform its duties independently of the others.

5. The board of equalization shall sit en banc (i) when there is a dissent in the panel to which the matter was originally assigned and an aggrieved party requests an en banc hearing or (ii) upon its own motion at any time, in any matter in which a majority of the board of equalization determines it is appropriate to do so. The board of equalization sitting en banc shall consider and decide the matter and may affirm, reverse, overrule or modify any previous decision by any panel.

2010, cc. 154, 199; 2017, c. 435.

§ 15.2-717. Time in which to contest real property assessments.

Any person aggrieved by an assessment of real estate made by the department of real estate assessments may apply for relief to the circuit court of the county within one year from December 31 of the year in which such assessment is made for assessments made prior to January 1, 2005; within two years from December 31 of the year in which such assessment is made for assessments made on and after January 1, 2005, but prior to January 1, 2007; and within the time frame as provided by general law pursuant to § 58.1-3984 for assessments made on and after January 1, 2007. No person may make such application for a year other than the current year unless such person has provided to the assessor, commissioner of the revenue, or the governing body, written notice of disagreement with the assessment, during the applicable tax year. The application shall be before the court when it is filed in the clerk's office. In such proceeding the burden of proof shall be on the taxpayer to show that the property in question is valued at more than its fair market value or that the assessment is not uniform in its application, or that the assessment is otherwise invalid or illegal, but it shall not be necessary for the taxpayer to show that intentional, systematic and willful discrimination has taken place. The proceedings shall be conducted as an action at law before the court, sitting without a jury, and the court shall act with the authority granted by §§ 58.1-3987 and 58.1-3988.

1991, c. 143, § 15.1-686.01; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 1036.

§ 15.2-718. Postponement of payment of certain assessments.

The board may provide for the postponement of the payment of assessments made pursuant to the provisions of Article 2 (§ 15.2-2404 et seq.) of Chapter 24 of this title by any property owner at the election of the property owner. Full payment of the assessment plus accrued interest shall become due and payable at the time of the death of the owner or the last surviving joint owner who made such an election or at the time the property or any divided part is sold, devised, subdivided, or transferred in any way. The board may impose interest on the unpaid balance of such assessments at a rate not to exceed the judgment rate, but at a rate which may be different from that imposed on property owners making installment payments under § 15.2-2413.

1988, c. 532, § 15.1-686.5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-719. Immobilization, etc., of certain vehicles.

The board may by ordinance place reasonable limits on the removal or immobilization of trespassing vehicles.

1988, c. 532, § 15.1-686.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-720. Employee salary reduction agreements.

In connection with some or all of its employee benefit programs, the board is authorized to enter into voluntary salary reduction agreements with its officers and employees when such agreements are authorized under the laws of the United States relating to federal income taxes. Any such voluntary salary reduction agreements entered into prior to July 1, 1988, are hereby validated.

1988, c. 532, § 15.1-686.7; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-720.1. 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 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.

2002, c. 330; 2004, cc. 22, 510.

§ 15.2-721. Civil service commission.

The board, in addition to any other powers granted by general or special law may appoint a civil service commission ("the commission"), to be composed of five persons who shall receive such compensation as the board prescribes. The initial terms of office of commission members shall be staggered so that the terms of no more than two commissioners expire at one time. At the expiration of the term of each such member, his successor shall be appointed for a term of four years.

The commission, subject to the control of the board, shall establish and operate a classified civil service system for any or all classes of county employees, as designated by the board, which system shall provide for appointment, promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, reinstatement, retirement and discharge of such employees. To this end it may establish a personnel administration and promulgate rules and regulations for the furtherance of the matters herein set out. The commission may appoint such employees and staff as it deems necessary subject to prior authorization of the board.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission may establish its own rules, regulations, or procedures to govern the conduct of hearings before the commission, including whether to permit rehearings.

Code 1950, § 15-355; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-687; 1964, c. 64; 1978, c. 460; 1980, c. 79; 1989, c. 622; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-722. Personnel studies.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any questionnaires, audit or interview notes, scoring keys, scoring sheets or similar documents pertaining to a classification and compensation study for county employees shall not be considered to be public or official records, except that any employee may inspect and copy any document which the employee has signed or filled out.

1989, c. 622, § 15.1-687.01; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-723. Grievances by police officers.

In any county for which a trial board for police officers is provided by state statute, police officers may elect the remedy provided by Chapter 5 (§ 9.1-500 et seq.) of Title 9.1 in lieu of appealing to the trial board, but such election shall bar the right of appeal to the trial board or the right to employ any other grievance procedure with regard to the matters for which the provisions of such chapter are involved.

1980, c. 79, § 15.1-687.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-724. Choice of powers where sanitary district involved.

Any county which has a sanitary district which includes the entire county, may exercise all of the powers granted to the sanitary district in the name of the county or in the name of the sanitary district, or both. If the board elects to exercise any of the powers of the sanitary district, it may expend funds from unrestricted county revenue sources, or from bonds issued pursuant to the Public Finance Act (Chapter 25 (§ 15.2-2500 et seq.) of this title), or from restricted use funds, as appropriate to exercise the powers granted the sanitary district.

1980, c. 79, § 15.1-687.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-725. Commission on human rights; subpoena requests.

A. The board may, by ordinance, establish a local commission on human rights which shall have the following duties:

1. To promote policies to ensure that all persons be afforded equal opportunity;

2. To serve as an agency for receiving, investigating and assisting in the resolution of complaints from citizens of the county regarding discriminatory practices and, with the board's approval, to seek, through appropriate enforcement authorities, prevention of or relief from such practices.

B. The board may by ordinance provide that whenever the commission has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in or is engaging in a violation of an authorized local human rights ordinance, and after making a good faith effort to obtain, voluntarily, the attendance of witnesses necessary to determine whether such violation occurred, the commission is unable to obtain such attendance, it may request the county attorney, with the approval of the board, to apply to the judge of the circuit court for the locality in which the witness resides or is doing business for a subpoena against such person refusing to appear as a witness, and the judge of such court may, upon good cause shown, cause the subpoena to be issued. Such ordinance shall provide that any witness subpoena so issued shall include a statement that any statements made will be under oath and the witness is entitled to be represented by an attorney. Such ordinance shall further provide that any person failing to comply with such subpoena so issued shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena, and that any person so subpoenaed may apply to the judge who issued a subpoena to quash it.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, whenever a county has adopted an ordinance prohibiting discrimination as authorized by this section, such county may also in its ordinance prohibit discrimination in commercial real estate transactions.

1982, c. 108, § 15.1-687.3; 1991, c. 143, § 15.1-687.20; 1996, c. 877, § 15.1-687.24; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-726. Acquisition of easements.

A. The board is hereby authorized, without limiting its authority to acquire by other means, to acquire by gift or purchase easements in gross or such other interest in real estate as are designed to maintain (i) the character and use of improved real property as rental property and not in a cooperative or condominium form of ownership or (ii) the market rents of a portion of the units in any multi-family residential property at a percentage of the market rent for the remaining units in the multi-family residential property, such percentages to be defined and stated in the easement; however, no property or interest therein shall be acquired by eminent domain by any public body for the purposes of provision (ii). However, this provision shall not limit the power of eminent domain as it was possessed by any public body prior to passage of provision (ii). Any such interest shall be for the minimum period specified by the county board and may be perpetual.

B. The county manager is hereby authorized to acquire, on behalf of the board, temporary construction easements, provided that such easements are (i) required for a construction project authorized by the board; (ii) of a duration that will end before or upon the completion of the project; and (iii) for nominal consideration.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.4; 1991, c. 143; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 22, 510.

§ 15.2-727. Payment of certain assessments.

The board may provide that the persons, firms or corporations against whom assessments have finally been made under Article 2 (§ 15.2-2404 et seq.) of Chapter 23 of this title may pay such assessments in equal installments over a period not exceeding ten years together with interest at a rate not to exceed ten percent per year on the unpaid balance. Such installments may become due at the same time that real estate taxes become due and payable and the amount of each installment, including principal and interest, shall be shown on the tax ticket mailed to each such person, firm or corporation by the treasurer.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-728. Title insurance for county real estate.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever any county purchases real estate for which the consideration paid exceeds $1,000, the county, in lieu of having the title examined and approved by an attorney-at-law, may purchase an insurance policy which insures the county's interest in the title to the property from a company which is authorized to issue such policies in the Commonwealth. Evidence of such insurance shall be filed with the clerk for the circuit court of the county along with the recorded deed or other papers by which the title is conveyed.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-729. Relocation assistance programs.

The board shall provide by local ordinance for the application of Chapter 4 (§ 25.1-400 et seq.) of Title 25.1 to displaced persons as defined in § 25.1-400, in cases of acquisition of real property for use in projects or programs in which only local funds are used.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.7; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 851; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-730. Civil penalties for violations of zoning ordinance.

Notwithstanding subdivision A 5 of § 15.2-2286, a county may adopt an ordinance which establishes a uniform schedule of civil penalties for violations of specified provisions of the zoning ordinances regulating the storage of junk and the repair of motor vehicles. Such schedule of offenses shall not include any zoning violation resulting in injury to any person, and the existence of a civil penalty shall not preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or action by the governing body under § 15.2-2208.

This schedule of civil penalties may allow for progressively higher penalties for subsequent offenses whether or not the subsequent offenses arise from the same set of operative facts; however, the penalty for any one violation shall be a fine of not more than fifty dollars. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. However, in no event shall specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts be charged more frequently than once in any ten-day period, and in no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties which exceed a total of $250. Designation of a particular zoning ordinance violation for a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions, and except for any violation resulting in injury to any person, such designation shall preclude the prosecution of a violation as a criminal misdemeanor.

Any person summoned for a scheduled violation may make an appearance in person or in writing by mail to the treasurer of the county prior to the date fixed for trial in court. Any person so appearing may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay the civil penalty established for the offense charged. Such persons shall be informed of their right to stand trial and that a signature to an admission of liability will have the same force and effect as a judgment of court.

If a person charged with a scheduled violation does not elect to enter a waiver of trial and admit liability, the violation shall be tried in the general district court in the same manner and with the same right of appeal as provided for in Title 8.01. In any trial for a scheduled violation authorized by this section, it shall be the burden of the county to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission of liability or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose.

No provision herein shall be construed to allow the imposition of civil penalties: (i) for enforcement of the Uniform Statewide Building Code; (ii) for activities related to land development or activities related to the construction or repair of buildings and other structures; or (iii) for violation of any provision of a local zoning ordinance relating to the posting of signs on public property or public rights-of-way.

1985, c. 415, § 15.1-687.8; 1992, c. 298; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-731. Retirement benefits for part-time employees.

The board may by resolution elect to have those of its officers and employees who are regularly employed part-time on a salary basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, become eligible to participate in the county retirement systems as provided by local ordinance.

1985, c. 415, § 15.1-687.9; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-732. Peddlers; itinerant merchants.

A county may provide by ordinance for the regulation of sales of goods and services by peddlers or itinerant merchants on any public street or sidewalk.

1986, c. 179, § 15.1-687.10; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-733. Summons for violations of litter control ordinances.

The board may adopt by ordinance procedures and a schedule of penalties so that the county manager or his designee may issue notices of violation for litter control ordinances. Before any summons is issued for the prosecution of a violation, the violator shall be notified by mail at his last known address that he may pay the fine, established by county ordinance, within five days of receipt of such notice to the county treasurer, and that the officer issuing the summons shall be notified that the violator has failed to pay such fine within such time. The notice to the violator, required by the provisions of this section, shall be contained in an envelope bearing the words "Law Enforcement Notice" stamped or printed on the face thereof in type at least one-half inch in height. The county manager may delegate the notification responsibility and the authority to make and enforce rules and regulations to the appropriate administrative official or employees.

1986, c. 293, § 15.1-687.11; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-734. Purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of real property.

The board may (i) sell, at public or private sale, or exchange, lease (as lessor or lessee), mortgage, pledge, subordinate its interest in, or otherwise dispose of the real property, which includes the superjacent airspace, except airspace provided for in § 15.2-2030, which may be subdivided and conveyed separate from the subjacent land surface, of the county; and (ii) purchase any real estate as may be necessary for the erection of all necessary county buildings. However, no such land shall be disposed of unless and until the governing body has held a public hearing concerning such disposal.

The board may acquire by purchase, gift, devise, bequest, grant, lease, or otherwise title to, or any interests or rights of less than fee-simple title in, any real property within its jurisdiction, for any public purposes.

The initial term of any lease shall not exceed seventy-five years, provided such lease term is not prohibited by the Constitution of Virginia. The terms and provisions of any lease shall be prescribed by the county board, provided that any lease shall have a clause to the effect that at the termination of such lease it shall not be renewed if required for any of the purposes mentioned in § 15.2-1639, and that upon termination, all improvements thereon shall revert to the county and the real property including all improvements erected thereon shall revert to the county and shall be free from any encumbrance at the time of such reversion. Such real property including all improvements situated thereon may be mortgaged or pledged by the lessee for the term of its lease. If a lease allows a lessee to mortgage or pledge the property, it may also provide that the board has the right to take all action necessary to cure the default if the lessee defaults.

The board may lease real property to private entities under terms which allow the private entities to build office and commercial buildings on the property and to use the office and commercial space itself or lease it to others. The leases by the board to private entities may provide that the rent to be paid the board is to be based in total or in part on a percentage of the profit the private entity gains from the operation of the development on the leased real property; however, the board may not participate in the management or operation of the private commercial activity on the site except during such reasonable period as it is necessary for the board to operate the property in order to protect its interest in the property if the developer defaults on the lease or on a mortgage or pledge of the property. As soon as reasonably possible the county shall provide for management and operation of the property by a private developer.

The board may lease space in the improvements constructed on the land which it leases to the private entities for use by the county government and county constitutional officers, if it pays fair market rent for the use of the space and if the lease of its land is not conditioned on the lease of such space. The lease of such space by the board may be for any terms of years not prohibited by the Virginia Constitution.

This section shall not be construed to in any way affect the requirements of §§ 15.2-1638, 15.2-1643 or § 16.1-69.50.

1986, c. 595, § 15.1-687.12; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-735. Local housing fund and voluntary coordinated housing preservation and development districts.

The board may establish by resolution a housing fund, the purpose of which will be to assist for-profit or nonprofit housing developers or organizations to develop or preserve affordable housing for low and moderate income persons. The fund may be used to assist the developer or organization with such items as acquisition of land and buildings, lighting, sanitary and storm sewers, landscaping, walkways, construction of parking facilities, water-sewer hookup fees, and site improvements, including sidewalks, curbs, and gutters but not street improvements. Developers assisted in this manner shall provide a minimum of twenty percent of the units for low and moderate income persons as defined by the county for a minimum of ten years.

The board may declare by resolution that a portion of the county is eligible for use of the housing fund by designation of a voluntary coordinated housing preservation and development district. Such resolution shall contain a statement that (i) there exists within the county a serious shortage of sanitary and safe residential housing at rentals and prices which persons and families of low and moderate income can afford, and that this shortage has contributed and will contribute to the creation of substandard living conditions and is inimical to the health, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the county; (ii) it is imperative that the supply of rental and other housing for such persons and families be preserved or developed; and (iii) private enterprise is unable, without assistance, to produce the needed development or rehabilitation of sanitary and safe housing which persons or families of low and moderate income can afford.

The resolution shall include a statement that the owner of such rental property, or persons showing evidence of site control by a legally binding agreement, have requested the county to designate the site a voluntary coordinated housing preservation and development district.

The resolution shall also provide a plan for the district which outlines actions to be taken by the owner and by the county to assure that physical improvements to the structures, site and infrastructure are designed to improve the neighborhood, enhance the useful life of the buildings and promote energy conservation. Such plan shall further specify the actions to be taken by the owner and by the county (i) to minimize the displacement of persons or families of low and moderate income residing in the property; (ii) to reserve some units at rents and prices affordable to persons or families of low and moderate income; and (iii) otherwise to serve public purposes.

Upon declaration of an approved district, the county may:

1. Provide for the installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, parking facilities, playgrounds, and other site improvements essential to the development, preservation or rehabilitation planned;

2. Provide encouragement or financial assistance to the owners or occupants for acquisition of land and buildings, developing or preserving and upgrading residential buildings and for improving health and safety, conserving energy, preventing erosion, enhancing the neighborhood, and reducing the displacement of low and moderate income residents of the property;

3. Require that the owner agree to maintain a portion of the property in residential rental or other residential use for a period of not less than ten years and that a portion of the dwelling units in the property be offered at rents and prices affordable to persons or families of low and moderate income; and

4. Provide that the value of assistance given by the county under subdivisions 1 and 2 above be proportionate to the value of considerations rendered by the owner in maintaining a portion of the dwelling units at reduced rents and prices for persons or families of low and moderate income.

1987, c. 29, § 15.1-687.13; 1992, c. 335; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-735.1. Affordable dwelling unit ordinance; permitting certain densities in the comprehensive plan.

A. In a county that provides in its comprehensive plan for the physical development within the county, adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2223, for densities of development ranging between a floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.0 FAR and 10.0 FAR, or greater, the governing body may adopt as part of its zoning ordinance requirements for the provision of (i) on-site or off-site "Affordable Dwelling Units," as defined herein, or (ii) a cash contribution to the county's affordable housing fund, in lieu of such units, in such amounts as set out herein, as a condition of the governing body's approval of a special exception application for residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects with a density equal to or greater than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre. Residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects with a density less than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section and the county's zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section. The county's zoning ordinance requirements shall provide as follows:

1. Upon approval of a special exception application approving a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project with a density equal to or greater than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, the applicant shall provide on-site Affordable Dwelling Units as part of the project the total gross square footage of which units shall be 5% of the amount of the gross floor area of the project that exceeds 1.0 FAR or an equivalent density based on units per acre. For purposes of this section, "applicant" shall mean the person or entity submitting a special exception application for approval of a residential, commercial or mixed-use project in the county and shall include the successors or assigns of the applicant.

2. As an alternative, upon approval of a special exception application approving a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project with a density equal to or greater than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, the applicant may elect to provide any one of the following:

a. Affordable Dwelling Units shall be provided off-site at a location within one-half mile of any Metrorail Station for projects within a Metro Station Area as defined in the county's comprehensive plan, or within one-half mile of the residential, commercial, or mixed-use project for projects not within a Metro Station Area, as provided in the county's zoning ordinance, the total gross square footage of which units shall be 7.5% of the amount of the gross floor area of the project that is over 1.0 FAR or an equivalent density based on units per acre, or

b. Affordable Dwelling Units shall be provided off-site at any other locations in the county other than those provided in the county's zoning ordinance in accordance with subdivision a, the total gross square footage of which units shall be 10% of the amount of the gross floor area of the project that is over 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, or

c. A cash contribution to the county's affordable housing fund, which contribution shall be calculated as follows for each of the below-described density tiers:

(1) One and one-half dollars per square foot of gross floor area for the first tier of density between zero and 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre.

(2) Four dollars per square foot of gross floor area for the tier of density in residential projects between 1.0 FAR and 3.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, and $4 per square foot of gross floor area for the tier of density in commercial projects above 1.0 FAR.

(3) Eight dollars per square foot of gross floor area for the tier of density in residential projects above 3.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre.

(4) For mixed-use projects, cash contributions shall be calculated by applying the proportionate amount of commercial and residential gross floor area to each tier.

The cash contribution shall be indexed to the Consumer Price Index for Housing in the Washington-Baltimore MSA as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and shall be adjusted annually based upon the January changes to such index for that year.

3. The applicant shall provide the county manager or his designee, prior to the issuance of the first certificate of occupancy for the residential, commercial, or mixed-use project, a written plan of how the applicant proposes to address the provision of Affordable Dwelling Units or cash contribution as provided in this section and the provisions of the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section. The county manager or his designee shall approve or disapprove the applicant's plan in writing within 30 days of receipt of the written proposal from the applicant. If the county manager or his designee disapproves of the applicant's plan, specific reasons for such disapproval shall be provided.

4. An applicant may submit a written plan to be considered by the governing body or its designee to address the provision of Affordable Dwelling Units or cash contribution as provided in this section and the provisions of the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section that deviate from the requirements of this section and the ordinance. Any such deviations may be approved in accordance with the procedures established in the county's zoning ordinance, which procedures shall include a provision for an appeal to the governing body of any administrative decision relative to the written plan submitted by the applicant.

5. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section may provide that, in the discretion of the governing body and with the agreement of the applicant, at the time of consideration of the special exception application, the above requirements may be totally or partially substituted for other compelling public priorities established in plans, studies, policies, or other documents of the county.

6. Applications for a special exception approval of a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project that results in the demolition and rebuilding of an existing project shall be subject to the requirements of this section and the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section at the time of redevelopment; however, only density that is replaced or rebuilt and any increased density shall be subject to the requirements. This section and the county's zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall not apply to rehabilitation or renovation of existing residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects.

7. For purposes of this section "Affordable Dwelling Unit" means units committed for a 30-year term as affordable to households with incomes at 60% of the area median income.

B. This section shall apply to an application for a special exception approval for a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project with a density provided for by the County's comprehensive plan designation for the property that is the subject matter of the application. This section shall further apply to such an application that requires rezoning of the property that is the subject matter of the application to permit a use provided for by the county's comprehensive plan designation for the subject property.

C. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section may provide that an application for approval of a special exception for a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project that requests an increase in density that exceeds the density provided for by the county's comprehensive plan designation for the property that is the subject matter of the application shall be subject to an affordable housing requirement in addition to the requirements of this section and the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

D. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section or other provisions of law may provide that an application that requests to amend the county's comprehensive plan designation for the subject property to a higher density designation may be subject to an affordable housing requirement in addition to the requirements of this section and the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

E. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section may provide that applications for a special exception approval for residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects that result in the elimination of existing units affordable to households with incomes equal to or below 80% of the area median income address replacement of the eliminated units as a condition of the governing body's approval of the special exception application.

F. With the exception of the authority under § 15.2-2304, this section establishes the legislative authority for the county to obtain Affordable Dwelling Units in exchange for the approval of a special exception application for a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project in the county, and a special exception may not be used in combination with any other provision of law in Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2 to obtain Affordable Dwelling Units from an applicant. Nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal the county's authority under any other provision of law.

2006, c. 481.

§ 15.2-736. State benefits for certain employees.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person who is transferred from state to local employment pursuant to Chapter 816 of the Acts of Assembly of 1988, and who is a member of the Virginia Retirement System at the time of the transfer, shall continue to be a member of the System during the period of local employment. Any such transferred employee shall remain a member of the System under the same terms and conditions as would apply if the transferred employee had remained as a state employee, so long as the employee is employed with a local health department or returns to state employment. For purposes of any employment of the transferred employee as a state employee after local employment, the membership in the System during local employment shall be treated the same as any other membership in the System.

The board shall collect and pay all employee and employer contributions to the Virginia Retirement System for retirement and group life insurance in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) of Title 51.1.

1989, c. 352, § 15.1-687.14; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-737. Tenant relocation payments.

The board may require by ordinance that the county and the owner divide equally the reimbursement of any tenant of a building containing at least four residential units for amounts actually expended to relocate when the tenant has been terminated by 120 days' notice given under § 55-222 in order to carry out the rehabilitation of the building. The reimbursement shall not exceed the amount to which the tenant would have been entitled to receive under §§ 25.1-407 and 25.1-415 if the real estate comprising the units had been condemned by the Department of Transportation.

1989, c. 354, § 15.1-687.15; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-738. Modification of grievance procedure.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 2.2-1202.1, 15.2-1506, and 15.2-1507 to the contrary, in any county which has the county manager plan of government provided for in this chapter, a grievance procedure may be established which permits an Equal Employment Opportunity officer, except the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management appointed pursuant to § 2.2-1200 and any employees thereof, to be present at any step of a grievance procedure established under § 15.2-1506. Such officer shall not be an advocate or representative on behalf of either the grievant or management.

1989, c. 622, § 15.1-687.16; 1991, c. 143; 1995, cc. 770, 818; 1996, cc. 164, 869; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 947, 1006; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 15.2-739. Diversion of certain waters.

With the consent of the property owner, a county may enter private property and, at the county's expense, construct or reconstruct a system to divert water not requiring treatment by the county's sanitary sewer system into the county's storm sewer system.

1989, c. 622, § 15.1-687.17; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-740. Authority to impose assessments for local improvements; purposes.

The board may impose taxes or assessments upon owners of abutting property for making, improving, replacing, or enlarging the walkways upon then existing streets; for improving and paving then existing alleys; and for either the construction or the use of sanitary or storm water sewers including retaining walls, curbs, and gutters. However, such taxes or assessments shall not exceed the peculiar benefits resulting from the improvements to the owners of abutting property and no assessment for retaining walls shall be imposed upon any property owner who does not agree to such assessment.

In addition to the foregoing, the board may impose taxes or assessments upon owners of abutting property for the construction, replacement, or enlargement of sidewalks, waterlines, sanitary sewers, or storm water sewers; for the installation of street lights; for the construction or installation of canopies or other weather protective devices; for the installation of lighting in connection with the foregoing; and for permanent amenities, including, but not limited to, benches or waste receptacles, provided that such taxes or assessments shall not exceed the peculiar benefits resulting from the improvements to such owners of abutting property.

All assessments pursuant to this section shall be subject to the laws pertaining to assessments under Title 15.2, Chapter 24, Article 2 (§ 15.2-2404 et seq.), mutatis mutandis. All assessments pursuant to this section may also be made subject to installment payments and other provisions allowed for local assessments under this article.

As used in this section, "owners of abutting property" includes the owners of property that abuts a state highway when the improvement is funded solely by county revenues.

1990, c. 323, § 15.1-687.18; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-741. Regulation of child-care services and facilities in certain counties.

A. The board may by ordinance provide for the regulation and licensing of (i) persons who provide child-care services for remuneration and (ii) child-care facilities. "Child-care services" includes regular care, protection, or guidance during a part of a day to one or more children, not related by blood or marriage to the provider of services, while they are not attended by their parent, guardian, or person with legal custody. "Child-care facilities" includes any commercial or residential structure which is used to provide child-care services for remuneration. However, such ordinance shall not require the regulation or licensing of any facility operated by a religious institution as exempted from licensure by § 63.2-1716.

B. Such ordinance may be more restrictive or more extensive in scope than statutes or state regulations that may affect child-care services or child-care facilities, provided that such ordinance shall not impose additional requirements or restrictions on the construction or materials to be used in the erection, alteration, repair, or use of a residential dwelling.

1990, c. 545, § 15.1-687.19; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-742. Lighting level regulation.

The board may by ordinance provide for the regulation of exterior illumination levels of buildings and property.

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

§ 15.2-743. Fee for certain vacations, encroachments, and abandonments.

A county may charge a fee for processing applications for vacations as provided for in § 15.2-2273, applications for encroachments as provided for in § 15.2-2012, and petitions for abandonments under § 33.2-917. The fee for processing such applications and petitions shall be, at the county's discretion, either the amount provided in § 15.2-2273, the amount provided in § 15.2-2012, or an amount not to exceed the county's demonstrable costs for such processing, which costs may include title examination and appraisal of the property that is the subject of the application or petition. In lieu of including such costs in the application fee, the county may require submission of a title examination and appraisal by the applicant or petitioner.

1991, c. 143, § 15.1-687.21; 1997, c. 587; 2005, cc. 40, 84.

§ 15.2-744. Authority of county board to impose civil penalties for wrongful demolition, razing or moving of historic buildings.

The board may adopt an ordinance which establishes a civil penalty for the wrongful demolition, razing or moving of part or all of a building or structure when such building or structure has been designated as an historic structure or landmark or is part of an historic district. The civil penalty shall be imposed on the party deemed by the court to be responsible for the violation and shall not exceed twice the fair market value of the property, as determined by the county real estate tax assessment at the time of the demolition, razing or moving.

An action seeking the imposition of such a penalty shall be instituted by petition filed by the county in circuit court, which shall be tried in the same manner as any action at law. It shall be the burden of the county to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission of liability or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose. The filing of any action pursuant to this section shall preclude a criminal prosecution for the same offense.

The defendant, within twenty-one days after the filing of the petition, shall file an answer and may, without admitting liability, agree to restore the building or structure as it existed prior to demolition, razing or moving. If the restoration is completed within the time agreed upon by the parties, or as established by the court, the petition may be dismissed from the court's docket upon a finding by the court that the building or structure has been restored as it existed prior to demolition, razing or moving.

Nothing in this section shall preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or by the county under § 15.2-2208, either by separate action or as a part of the petition seeking a civil penalty.

1991, c. 467, § 15.1-687.22; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-745. Ordinance for installment collection of taxes.

Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the board is empowered to provide by ordinance for the collection of county taxes and levies on property in installments at such times and with such penalties for the delinquent payment thereof as it deems proper.

Code 1950, § 15-355.1; 1952, c. 474; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-688; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-746. Board possesses general power of management.

The board shall have, possess, and exercise the general management of the affairs of the county, and, in addition to such powers and duties as are designated and imposed by this chapter, shall exercise and perform all of the powers and duties now authorized or imposed by general law or special act on the board of supervisors of such county insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter. The board shall also have all the powers conferred by general law on city councils.

Code 1950, § 15-356; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-689; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-747. Board may prohibit and penalize acts which are misdemeanors under state law.

In addition to the powers conferred by § 15.2-746, 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 such governing body may parallel by ordinance the criminal laws of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-356.1; 1950, p. 228; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-690; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-748. Annexation by city.

No part of a county's territory may be annexed by any city unless the whole county be annexed. In such latter case the county shall not be annexed until the question of annexation has been first submitted to a referendum of the voters of such county and approved by a majority of those voting thereon.

Code 1950, §§ 15-358, 15-359; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-692; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-749. Certain referenda in certain counties.

If on or before July 15 of any year in which such referendum is provided for by law a petition signed by 200 or more qualified voters of the county is filed with the circuit court of the county asking that a referendum be held on any question upon which a referendum is provided for by any applicable statute, then such court shall on or before August 1 of such year issue and enter of record an order requiring the county election officials to open the polls at the regular election to be held in November of such year on the question stated in such statute. If the statute providing for such referendum shall authorize or require the referendum to be held at a special election, then the petition hereinabove referred to shall be signed by 1,000 or more voters of the county and the court shall within fifteen days of the date such petition is filed enter an order requiring the election officials to open the polls and take the sense of the voters of the county on a date fixed in his order, which shall be in accordance with § 24.2-682. The clerk of the county shall cause a notice of such election to be published in a newspaper published or having general circulation in the county once a week for three successive weeks, and shall post a copy of the notice at the door of the county courthouse.

Code 1950, § 15-360.1; 1952, c. 49; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-695; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-750. Board may accept dedication of rights to develop real property.

The board, in addition to any other zoning powers granted by general or special law, may include a provision for the dedication of density or other rights to develop real property, as defined by the locality, from one or more parcels of property that are not the subject of a development application and are located in the locality to one or more parcels of property that are the subject of a development application and are located elsewhere in the locality. Such dedication shall be subject to such terms as may be provided by zoning regulations, the conditions of a special use permit or special exception, or the proffered conditions of a rezoning application, including that the terms are binding on the owners of such property and on their successors and assigns.

2005, c. 755.

Chapter 8. Urban County Executive Form of Government.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-800. Designation of form of government; applicability of chapter.

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

Code 1950, § 15-384.16; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-728; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-801. Adoption of urban county executive form.

Any county with a population of more than 90,000 may adopt the urban county executive form of government in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.) of this title.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-802. Powers of county vested in board of supervisors; membership, election, terms, etc., of board; vacancies; powers of chairman.

The powers of the county as a body politic and corporate shall be vested in an urban county board of supervisors, to consist of one member from each district of such county and to be known as the board of supervisors (the board). Each member shall be a qualified voter of his district and shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof. In addition to the above board members, the voters shall elect a county chairman who shall be a qualified voter of the county. No person may be a candidate for county chairman at the same time he is a candidate for membership on the county board from any district of the county. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the board and the chairman shall be included and counted.

The county chairman shall be the chairman of the board and preside at the meetings thereof. The chairman shall represent the county at official functions and ceremonial events. The chairman shall have all rights, privileges, and duties of other members of the board and such others, not in conflict with this article, as the board may prescribe. In addition, the chairman shall have the power to (i) call special meetings of the board in accordance with the procedures and restrictions of § 15.2-1418, mutatis mutandis; (ii) set the agenda for board meetings; however, any such agenda may be modified by an affirmative vote of the board; (iii) appoint county representatives to regional boards, authorities and commissions which are authorized in advance by the board; however, any such appointment shall be subject to revocation by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the board acting within the 30-day period following that appointment; and (iv) create and appoint committees of the board and name presiding members of such committees as authorized by the board; however, any such committee or appointment shall be subject to revocation by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the board.

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.

The supervisors and chairman first elected under the provisions of this chapter 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.

If the number of districts in any such county is increased by redistricting or otherwise subsequent to a general election for supervisors, and such supervisors have taken office, then the board shall adopt a resolution requesting a judge of the circuit court for such county to call a special election for an additional supervisor or supervisors in accordance with the increase in the number of districts, such additional supervisor or supervisors to be elected from the county at large, and such election shall be held within 45 days from the date of such request. The qualifications of candidates and the election shall be as at general law applying to special elections. Any supervisors thereby elected shall hold office until January 1 following the next regular election provided by general law for the election of members of the board, and at the next regular election all supervisors of any such county shall be elected from districts as provided by law.

If a vacancy occurs on the board, the chief judge of the circuit court for such county shall call a special election, in the district if the vacancy is of a district supervisor, or in the county at large if the vacancy is of the chairman, to be held not fewer than 45 nor more than 90 days after the occurrence of the vacancy; however, if the vacancy occurs within 150 days prior to a general election, such special election may be held on the general election day; and if the vacancy occurs within 120 days prior to the date of a regular election for the board of supervisors, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the board within seven days of the occurrence of the vacancy, which appointment shall be for the duration of the term of office of the person whose absence from the board occasioned such vacancy. The qualification of candidates and the election shall be otherwise as at general law applying to special elections.

Code 1950, § 15-384.17; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-729; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 158; 1972, c. 707; 1985, c. 138; 1994, c. 148; 1997, c. 587; 2012, c. 396.

§ 15.2-803. General powers of board of supervisors.

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, not inconsistent with the form of county organization and government herein provided.

The board shall be the governing body of the urban county and of each of the districts established under Article 4 (§ 15.2-855 et seq.) of this chapter for the provision of certain services to residents of such districts.

Code 1950, § 15-384.18; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-730; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-804. Appointment, qualifications and compensation of urban county executive; to devote full time to work.

The board shall appoint an urban 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 member of the board shall, during the time for which he has been elected, be chosen urban 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 the county government may, however, also be appointed urban county executive.

Code 1950, § 15-384.19; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-731; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-805. Tenure of county executive; suspension or removal.

The urban 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 urban 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 board's action in suspending or removing the urban county executive shall not be subject to review by any court.

Code 1950, § 15-384.20; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-732; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-806. Absence or disability of county executive.

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

Code 1950, § 15-384.21; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-733; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-807. Appointment of county officers and employees; federal employment, etc., not to disqualify; discussions with board.

The board shall appoint, upon the recommendation of the urban county executive, all officers and employees in the administration service of the county, except as the board authorizes the urban county executive to appoint heads of a department or office and except as the board authorizes the heads of a department or office to appoint subordinates in such department or office. However, in appointing the county school board no recommendation by the urban county executive is required. All appointments shall be on the basis of ability, training and experience of the appointees which are relevant to the work which they are to perform.

No person otherwise eligible, shall be disqualified by reason of his accepting or holding employment, an office, post, trust or emolument under the United States government, from serving as a member of any board, commission, authority, committee or agency whose members are appointed by the board.

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.

The urban 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 and the sheriff shall be entitled to present their views on matters relating to their respective departments.

Code 1950, § 15-384.22; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-734; 1968, c. 797; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-808. Tenure of county officers and employees; suspension or removal.

All such appointments shall be without definite term, unless for limited term appointments for temporary services not to exceed one year in duration, except as otherwise specifically provided for herein.

Any county officer or employee appointed pursuant to § 15.2-807 may be suspended or removed from office or employment either by the board or the officer who appointed or employed him. In case of the absence or disability of any such officer, the board or other appointing power may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

Code 1950, § 15-384.23; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-735; 1968, c. 797; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-809. Compensation of officers and employees.

The board shall, subject to the limitations of general law, fix the compensation of all county officers and employees, except as it may authorize the head of some department or office to fix the compensation of subordinates and employees in such department or office.

Code 1950, § 15-384.24; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-736; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-810. Restrictions on activities of former officers and employees.

The board, by ordinance, may prohibit former officers and employees, for one year after their terms of office have ended or employment ceased, from assisting for remuneration a party, other than a governmental agency, in connection with any proceeding, application, case, contract, or other particular matter involving the urban county or an agency thereof, if that matter is one in which the former officer or employee participated personally and substantially as an urban county officer or employee through decision, approval, or recommendation.

The term "officer or employee," as used in this section, includes members of the board, 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.

1987, c. 419, § 15.1-736.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-811. Powers and duties of county executive.

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

He shall also:

1. Make monthly reports to the board on administrative matters, 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 shall see that all laws of the Commonwealth required to be enforced through the board or some other county officer subject to the board's control are faithfully executed.

4. 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.

5. Perform such other duties as the board requires of him.

Code 1950, § 15-384.26; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-738; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-812. County executive may act as director or head of department.

The urban county executive may, if the board requires, act as the director or head of any department, the director or head of which is appointed by the board, provided he is otherwise eligible to head such department.

Code 1950, § 15-384.27; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-739; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-813. Certain officers not affected by adoption of plan.

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

1. Jury commissioners,

2. County electoral boards,

3. Registrars,

4. Judges and clerks of elections, and

5. Magistrates.

Code 1950, § 15-384.43; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-755; 1973, c. 545; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-814. Inquiries and investigations by board of supervisors.

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. If any witness fails or refuses to obey any such lawful order of the board, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-384.49; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-762; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-815. Regulation of garbage, trash and refuse pickup and disposal services; contracting for such services in certain counties.

The board may adopt an ordinance requiring the delivery of all or any portion of the garbage, trash and refuse generated or disposed of within such county to waste disposal facilities located therein or to waste disposal facilities located outside of such county if the county has contracted for capacity at or service from such facilities.

Such ordinances may provide that it is unlawful for any person to dispose of his garbage, trash and refuse in or at any other place. No such ordinance shall apply to the occupants of single-family residences or family farms disposing of their own garbage, trash or refuse if such occupants have paid the fees, rates and charges of other single-family residences and family farms in the same service area.

Such ordinance shall not apply to garbage, trash and refuse generated, purchased or utilized by an entity engaged in the business of manufacturing, mining, processing, refining or conversion except for an entity engaged in the production of energy or refuse-derived fuels for sale to a person other than any entity controlling, controlled by or under the same control as the manufacturer, miner, processor, refiner or converter. Nor shall such ordinance apply to (i) recyclable materials, which are those materials that have been source-separated by any person or materials that have been separated from garbage, trash and refuse by any person for utilization in both cases as a raw material to be manufactured into a new product other than fuel or energy, (ii) construction debris to be disposed of in a landfill, or (iii) waste oil. Such ordinances may provide penalties, fines and other punishment for violations.

Such county may contract with any person, whether profit or nonprofit, for garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services and enter into contracts relating to waste disposal facilities which recover energy or materials from garbage, trash and refuse. Such contracts may make provision for, among other things, (i) the purchase by the county of all or a portion of the disposal capacity of a waste disposal facility located within or outside the county for present or future waste disposal requirements; (ii) the operation of such facility by the county; (iii) the delivery by or on behalf of the contracting county of specified quantities of garbage, trash and refuse, whether or not such county collects such garbage, trash and refuse, and the making of payments for such quantities of garbage, trash and refuse whether or not such garbage, trash and refuse are delivered, including payments for revenues lost if garbage, trash and refuse are not delivered; (iv) adjustments to payments made by the county in regard to inflation, changes in energy prices or residue disposal costs, taxes imposed upon the facility owner or operator, or other events beyond the control of the facility operator or owners; (v) the fixing and collection of fees, rates or charges for use of the disposal facility and for any product or service resulting from operation of the facility; and (vi) such other provision as is necessary for the safe and effective construction, maintenance or operation of such facility, whether or not such provision displaces competition in any market. Any such contract shall not be deemed to be a debt or gift of the county within the meaning of any law, charter provision or debt limitation. Nothing in the foregoing powers granted such county shall include the authority to pledge the full faith and credit of such local government in violation of Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

1985, c. 581, § 15.1-730.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-816. Maintenance of certain sewer lines.

Upon petition of a majority of the affected property owners or members of an affected owners' association, (i) the county may take over the maintenance of undersized sewer lines installed as a result of the county's waiver of its adopted requirements developed under this title or Title 62.1; and (ii) the county shall be granted the right to convert the undersized sewer lines to county standards at its expense, if the county deems the conversion to be in its best interests for health or economic reasons; or (iii) if the property owners or their associations elect to convert the undersized sewer lines to county standards, the county may take over and maintain at county expense the converted sewer lines.

The cost for the maintenance of such lines shall be borne by the county general fund; or the county, at its discretion, may incorporate the sewer lines into an existing sanitary district for uniformity of maintenance and cost/budget allocations.

If the county determines that the builder/developer installed the undersized lines without the express permission of the appropriate county agency, then the county may collect the cost of conversion from the builder/developer; however, the county shall bear the ongoing cost of maintenance.

This section applies only to sewer lines installed on or before January 1, 1987.

1987, c. 253, § 15.1-730.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-817. No unincorporated area to be incorporated after adoption of urban county form of government.

After the date of adoption of the urban county executive form of government, no unincorporated area within the limits of such county shall be incorporated as a separate town or city within the limits of such county, whether by judicial proceedings or otherwise.

Code 1950, § 15-384.72; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-785; 1968, c. 797; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-818. City may petition to become part of county.

After the date of adoption of the urban county executive form of government, a city contiguous to or within the limits of such a county may petition, by action of its governing body, to become a part of the county on terms set forth in a resolution adopted by the board. Passage of a referendum within the petitioning city shall constitute approval of the city becoming a district of the county or a part or parts of one or more districts and action of the board shall constitute final approval thereof by the county.

Code 1950, § 15-384.73; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-786; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-819. Demolition of historic structures; civil penalty.

A county may adopt an ordinance which establishes a civil penalty for the demolition, razing or moving of a building or structure which is located in an historic district or which has been designated by the governing body as an historic structure or landmark without the prior approval from either the architectural review board or the governing body as provided by subdivision A 2 of § 15.2-2306.

The civil penalty imposed for a violation of such an ordinance shall not exceed the market value of the property as determined by the assessed value of the property at the time of the destruction or removal of the building or structure. Such value shall include the value of any structures and the value of the real property upon which any such structure or structures were located. Such ordinances may be enforced by the county attorney by bringing an action in the name of the county in the circuit court. Such actions shall be brought against the party or parties deemed responsible for the violation. It shall be the burden of the county to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence.

Nothing in this section shall preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or action by the board under § 15.2-2208.

1991, c. 201, § 15.1-499.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-820. Donations to legal entities owning recreational facilities.

A county is authorized to make annual appropriations of public funds to any nonprofit legal entity that is not controlled in whole or in part by any church or religious body that has exclusionary membership practices or rules that owns recreational facilities in the county such as, but not limited to, swimming pools, tennis courts, etc., in an amount not to exceed the amount of real estate taxes that is owed on the recreational facilities owned by the legal entity receiving the appropriations.

The provisions of § 15.2-953 are not affected by this section.

1992, c. 866, § 15.1-27.2; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 928.

Article 2. Departments and Commissions.

§ 15.2-821. Board to provide for and set up departments; removal of department head or person assigned to county executive's office; powers of supervisors generally.

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 this chapter. Any deputy county executive, assistant county executive, or department head may be removed at the pleasure of the board, except as the board may authorize the urban county executive to remove such employees, and such removal shall not be subject to review by any other county employee, agency, board or commission or under the grievance procedure adopted pursuant to § 15.2-1506. The board shall have all authority and powers provided for by this chapter or by other law and shall have the power to raise annually by taxes and assessments on property, persons and other subjects of taxation, which are not prohibited by law, such sums of money as in the judgment of the board are necessary to pay the debts, defray the expenses, accomplish the purposes and perform the functions of the county.

However, any department head who could grieve his own removal from an office held prior to July 1, 1987, under the law in effect at the time he was appointed to office, shall retain such right to grieve his own removal from that office unless that right is waived in writing in consideration of a payment mutually agreed to by that department head and by the board.

Code 1950, § 15-384.50; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-763; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-822. Designation of officer or employee to exercise power or perform duty.

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, § 15-384.51; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-764; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-823. Departments and commissions of county government.

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 public works.

3. Department of social services.

4. Department of law enforcement.

5. Department of education.

6. Department of records.

7. Department of health.

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

1. Department of assessments.

2. Department of farm and home demonstration.

3. Department of public safety.

4. Department of public utilities.

5. Commission on human rights.

Any activity which is unassigned by this chapter shall, upon recommendation of the urban county executive, be assigned by the board to the appropriate department. The board may, upon recommendations of the urban county executive, reassign, transfer or combine any county functions, activities or departments.

Code 1950, § 15-384.52; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-765; 1972, c. 73; 1980, c. 44; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-824. Appointment of members of certain boards, authorities and commissions.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 15.2-837, 15.2-855, 15.2-2212, 15.2-5113, 15.2-5703 and 36-11, the board may establish different terms of office for initial and subsequent appointments of (i) the commissioners of any county redevelopment and housing authority created pursuant to the Housing Authorities Law (§§ 36-1 through 36-55.6), (ii) the members of any county authority created pursuant to the Park Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5700 et seq.), (iii) the members of the county planning commission, (iv) the members of the county school board, (v) any commissions created pursuant to § 15.2-823 and (vi) the members of any county water or sewer authority created pursuant to § 15.2-5102.

Such different terms of office for such authorities, boards 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, such 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 an authority, board or commission for incompetency, neglect of duty or misuse of office pursuant to provisions of general law.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 15.2-5113 and 36-11, the board may appoint as many as eleven persons as (i) commissioners of any county redevelopment and housing authority created pursuant to the Housing Authorities Law and (ii) members of any county water or sewer authority created pursuant to § 15.2-5102.

1989, c. 355, § 15.1-765.1; 1992, c. 524; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-825. Committee for legislative audit and review.

The board may establish a committee for the audit and review of county agencies and county-funded functions. The committee shall be composed of not more than eleven members who shall be appointed by the board for a term of two years. The committee shall have the power to make performance reviews of operations of county agencies or county-funded programs to ascertain that sums appropriated are expended for the purposes for which such appropriations were made and to evaluate the effectiveness of those agencies and programs. The committee shall make such special studies and reports as it deems appropriate and as the board requests. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1534, the board may appoint one or more of its members to serve on this committee.

The board may provide staff assistance to the committee which shall be independent of the administrative staff of the county. Any such staff shall be hired on the basis of merit and shall be paid in conformity with existing pay scales. The director of the staff to the committee shall serve at the pleasure of the board, and if removed, such removal shall not be subject to review by any other employee, agency, board or commission of the county or under the grievance procedure adopted pursuant to § 15.2-1506. The director of any such staff shall be known as the auditor of the board.

1992, c. 524, § 15.1-765.2; 1993, cc. 621, 781; 1995, c. 722; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-826. 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, storage and distribution of all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual service 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.

The board may assign the budget function to the urban county executive or a budget officer.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-827. 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 a legally enacted appropriation resolution, or legally enacted supplement thereto passed by the board. Accounts shall be kept for each item of appropriation made by the board. Each such account shall show in detail the appropriation 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, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-828. Same; powers of commissioners of revenue; real estate assessments.

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. Every general reassessment of real estate in the county, unless some other person is designated for this purpose, shall be made by the director of finance. He shall collect and keep 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 chapter, the director of finance may provide for the annual assessment and equalization of real estate and any general reassessment ordered 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 assessments that will make for uniformity in assessments throughout the county.

All real estate shall be assessed as of January 1 of each year by the director of finance or other person designated to make such 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 the removal of properties acquired by owners not subject to taxation.

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

C. This section shall not apply to real estate assessable under the law by the State Corporation Commission.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-829. Same; powers of county treasurer; deposit of moneys.

A. The director of finance shall also exercise the powers conferred and perform all 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 the business of the county 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 check signed by the chairman of the board, or other person the board designates, and countersigned by the director of the department of finance or by an electronic fund wire or payment system, 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, electronic fund wire or payment system or by alternative means specifically approved by the director of finance and the urban county board of supervisors, drawn upon such warrant, this payment shall be invalid against the county.

B. 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.

C. 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 establishes by ordinance or resolution. All interest on money so deposited shall accrue to the county's benefit. The director of finance or his authorized deputies may transfer funds from one such depository to another by wire.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-830. Same; claims against counties; accounts.

The director of finance shall audit all claims against the county for goods or services. He shall also (i) ascertain that such claims are in accordance with the purchase orders or contracts of employment from which the claims arise; (ii) present such claims to the board for approval after such audit; (iii) draw all checks in settlement of such claims after approval by the board unless the board otherwise provides; (iv) keep a record of the revenues and expenditures of the county; (v) keep such accounts and records of the county's affairs as shall be prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts; and (vi) at the end of each month, 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. Such accounts and records may be kept in such form, including microphotography or other reproductive method, as the board prescribes.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-831. Same; director as purchasing agent.

The director of finance shall act as purchasing agent for the county, unless the board designates some other 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 or equipment between departments and offices; sell any surplus supplies, materials or equipment; and make such other sales as the board authorizes. He may also, with the board's approval, (i) establish suitable specifications or standards for all supplies, materials and equipment to be purchased for the county; (ii) inspect all deliveries to determine their compliance with such specifications and standards; and (iii) sell supplies, materials and equipment to volunteer emergency medical services agencies and firefighting companies at the same 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 by ordinance or resolution, which ordinance or resolution may, notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-830, provide for the use of a combination purchase order-check, which check may be made valid for such maximum amount as the board may fix, not to exceed $250. Subject to such exceptions as the board provides, before making any sale the director shall invite competitive bidding under such rules and regulations as the board establishes by ordinance or resolution. 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.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-832. Same; assistants.

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

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-833. 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, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-834. Department of public works.

The director of public works shall be head of the department of public works. He shall have charge of the construction and maintenance of county drains and all other public works and construction and care of public buildings, storerooms and warehouses. He shall have the custody of such equipment and supplies as the board authorizes. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon him by the board.

Code 1950, § 15-384.54; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-767; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-835. Department and board of social services.

The superintendent of social services, who shall be head of the department of social services, shall be chosen from a list of eligibles furnished by the State Department of Social Services. Such person shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon the county board of social services, not inconsistent herewith. Such person shall also perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

The board shall select at least five and not more than eleven qualified county citizens, one of whom may be a member of the urban county board of supervisors, who shall constitute the county board of social services. Such board shall advise and cooperate with the department of social services and may adopt necessary rules and regulations not in conflict with law concerning such department.

As provided for in Chapters 2 (§ 63.2-200 et seq.) and 3 (§ 63.2-300 et seq.) of Title 63.2, the urban county board of supervisors in its discretion may designate either the superintendent of social services or the above-mentioned county board of social services as the local board. If the urban county board of supervisors designates the superintendent of social services as constituting the local board, the county board of social services shall serve in an advisory capacity to such officer with respect to the duties and functions imposed upon him by law.

Code 1950, § 15-384.55; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-768; 1972, c. 73; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1980, c. 62; 1981, c. 483; 1992, c. 524; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-836. Department of law enforcement.

The department of law enforcement shall consist of the attorney for the Commonwealth, chief of police, and sheriff, together with their assistants, police officers, deputies and employees. If a department of public safety is created, the chief of police, his police officers and employees shall be a part of such department as hereinafter provided.

The attorney for the Commonwealth shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officer by general law and shall be accountable to the board in all matters affecting the county and shall perform such duties, consistent with his office, as the board directs. He shall be selected as provided by general law.

The department of law enforcement may also include a county attorney to be appointed by the board upon the recommendation of the county executive and who shall serve at an annual salary to be set by the board. If a county attorney is appointed, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be relieved of the duties of advising the board, of drafting or preparing county ordinances, and of defending or bringing civil actions in which the county or any of its officials is a party. All such duties shall be performed by the county attorney, who shall be accountable to the board in all such matters.

The sheriff shall exercise the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon sheriffs by general law except as herein provided. He shall have the custody, feeding and care of all prisoners confined in the county jail. He shall perform such other duties as the board may impose upon him. The sheriff shall be selected as provided by general law. The sheriff and such other deputies and assistants appointed hereunder shall receive such compensation as the board prescribes. Any police officer appointed by the urban county executive or the board shall be under the supervision and control of the board unless such supervision and control are conferred upon the urban county executive. Such police officer shall have such powers as may be provided by general law throughout the county, including all towns therein.

Code 1950, § 15-384.56; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-769; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1978, c. 558; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-836.1. Animal protection police officer.

The department of police, if established in accordance with Chapter 17 (§ 15.2-1700 et seq.), may include an animal protection police officer who shall have all of the powers of an animal control officer, as defined in § 3.2-6500, 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. An animal protection officer and his deputies also shall have all of the powers vested in law-enforcement officers, as defined in § 9.1-101, if they meet the minimum qualifications and have been certified under §§ 15.2-1705 and 15.2-1706.

2016, c. 498.

§ 15.2-837. 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. In addition the parks and playgrounds shall be under the supervision and control of the department of education unless otherwise provided by the urban county board of supervisors. The county school board shall be composed of not less than five nor more than twelve members, who shall be chosen by the urban county board of supervisors to serve for a term of two years, except that as many as one half of the members of the first such board appointed may be appointed for lesser terms. The exact number of members shall be determined by the urban county board of supervisors. The term of office for any member appointed after July 1, 1972, shall expire on July 1 of the second year after his appointment.

The board of county supervisors 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. The tie breaker, if any, 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, unless some other person in the department is designated by the school board for such purpose, may appear before the urban county board of supervisors and present his views on matters relating to the department of education.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this section, 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.

Code 1950, § 15-384.57; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-770; 1968, c. 797; 1972, c. 162; 1980, c. 559; 1981, c. 246; 1994, c. 445; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-838. Department of records.

The department of records shall be under the supervision and control of the county clerk. He shall be clerk of the circuit court of the county and, if designated by the board, clerk for the county court. The county clerk shall also be clerk of the board unless the board designates some other person for this purpose. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officers by general law and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law. He shall also perform such other duties the board imposes upon him.

Code 1950, § 15-384.58; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-771; 1966, c. 464; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-839. Department and board of health.

The department of health shall consist of the county health officer, who shall be chosen from a list of eligibles furnished by the State Board of Health and the other officers and employees of such department. The county health officer shall be head of such department and shall exercise the powers conferred and shall perform the duties imposed upon the local health officer and the local board of health by general law, not inconsistent herewith. He shall also perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

The board of supervisors may select two qualified county citizens, who, together with the county health officer, shall constitute the county board of health. Such board shall advise and cooperate with the department of health and shall have power to adopt 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, § 15-384.59; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-772; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-840. Department of assessments.

A. 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 power conferred and perform the duties imposed by § 15.2-826 upon the director of finance.

B. 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 assessments 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 board of supervisors shall appoint a board of equalization of real estate assessments composed of not less than three nor more than eleven members. The board of supervisors may provide for terms varying in duration not to exceed four years. Such equalization board shall have the powers and duties provided by and be subject to, the provisions of Article 14 (§ 58.1-3370 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1. Any person aggrieved by any assessment made under the provisions of this section may apply for relief to such board as therein provided. The provisions of this section shall not, however, apply to any real estate assessable under the law by the State Corporation Commission.

C. The board of equalization may sit in panels of at least three members each under the following terms and conditions:

1. The presence of all members in the panel shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.

2. The chairman of the board of equalization shall assign the members to panels and, insofar as practicable, rotate the membership of the panels.

3. The chairman of the board of equalization shall preside over any panel of which he is a member and shall designate the presiding member of the other panels.

4. Each panel shall perform its duties independently of the others.

5. The board of equalization shall sit en banc (i) when there is a dissent in the panel to which the matter was originally assigned and an aggrieved party requests an en banc hearing or (ii) upon its own motion at any time, in any matter in which a majority of the board of equalization determines it is appropriate to do so. The board of equalization sitting en banc shall consider and decide the matter and may affirm, reverse, overrule or modify any previous decision by any panel.

Code 1950, § 15-384.60; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-773; 1968, c. 797; 1976, c. 174; 1989, c. 355; 1992, c. 524; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-841. Department of farm and home demonstration.

The department of farm and home demonstration shall consist of the county agricultural agent, who shall be head of the department, a home demonstration agent and such assistants and employees as may be appointed or employed. The county agricultural agent and the home demonstration agent shall be selected from lists of eligibles submitted by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. They shall perform such duties as the board imposes upon them.

Code 1950, § 15-384.61; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-774; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-842. Department of public safety.

The department of public safety, if and when established, shall be under the supervision of a director of public safety. Such department may consist of the following divisions:

1. Division of police, in the charge of a chief of police and consisting of such other police officers and personnel as may be appointed.

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

Code 1950, § 15-384.62; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-775; 1977, c. 326; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-843. Department of public utilities.

The department of public utilities, if and when established, shall be under the supervision of a director of public utilities. Such department shall be in charge of construction, operation, maintenance and administration of all public works coming under the general category of public utilities, owned, operated and controlled by any such county or district or any sanitary district of such county. Such department shall be responsible for the administration of the affairs of the sanitary districts, including but not limited to water systems, sewer systems, sewage disposal systems, garbage and any other sanitary district functions not assigned or administered by other departments or agencies. If the county has a division of fire protection and a fire chief under the provisions of § 15.2-842 then such fire protection shall not be under the department of public utilities.

Code 1950, § 15-384.63; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-776; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-844. 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 a certified public 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.

Either the board or the urban county executive 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 executive and the board. In the 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, § 15-384.64; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-777; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-845. Schedule of compensation.

The board shall establish a schedule of compensation for officers and employees which shall provide equitable compensation for officers and employees and which shall provide for recognition of length of service and of merit. The compensation prescribed shall be subject to such limitations made by general law.

Code 1950, § 15-384.65; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-778; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-846. Salaries and expenses of board members; administrative staff.

The board shall establish the salaries and allowances of board members in accordance with the provisions of general law provided:

1. A public hearing shall be held on the salaries to be established;

2. No increase in such salaries shall be effective until the expiration of the current term of all board members whose salaries are to be increased; and

3. Any action or procedure necessary to be taken to increase such salaries shall be completed not later than April 15 of any year in which there is an election for board members.

Each board member, in addition to salary and allowances, shall be entitled to reasonable administrative staff support paid by the county in conformity with existing pay scales and whose duty shall be limited exclusively to county business.

1975, c. 143, § 15.1-778.1; 1978, c. 382; 1982, c. 376; 1983, c. 152; 1988, c. 879; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-847. Budget; board to fix salaries and allowances.

Each year at least two weeks before the board must prepare its proposed annual budget, the urban 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 such general law. The board shall establish the salary and allowances of all county employees.

Code 1950, § 15-384.66; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-779; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1975, c. 143; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-848. Compensation of officers and employees; fee system abolished.

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 as to 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 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.

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 officers, over (i) the allowance to which such officers 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, § 15-384.68; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-781; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-849. Establishing times and conditions of employment; personnel management, etc.

A. A county may establish and prescribe for all county employees and, as necessary, for officers thereof, the following provisions:

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;

7. Systems of retirement for all or any classes of officers and employees of the county but the adoption of the urban county executive form of government shall in no way affect any retirement system in effect in any such county prior to the date of adoption of such form; and

8. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such employee benefit programs as it deems appropriate. In connection with some or all of such employee benefit programs, the county may enter into voluntary salary reduction agreements with its officers and employees when such agreements are authorized under the laws of the United States relating to federal income taxes. Any such voluntary salary reduction agreements entered into prior to January 1, 1988, are hereby validated.

B. Any such county shall have the power to establish, alter, amend or repeal at will any provision adopted under subsection A hereof.

Code 1950, § 15-384.69; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-782; 1988, c. 879; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-850. Bonds of officers.

The urban county executive shall give bond payable to the county 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, but he shall not be required to give a bond in excess of five million dollars except as hereinafter provided. If the urban county executive serves also as director of finance, he shall give bond to the full amount indicated above for the director of finance. The board may fix bonds in excess of these amounts and require bonds of other county officers in the board's discretion, conditioned on the faithful discharge of their duties and the proper accounting for all funds coming into their possession.

Code 1950, § 15-384.70; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-783; 1968, cc. 375, 797; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-851. Expedited land development review procedure.

A. A county may establish, by ordinance, a separate processing procedure for the review of preliminary and final subdivision and site plans and other development plans certified by licensed professional engineers, architects, landscape architects and land surveyors who are also licensed pursuant to § 54.1-408 and recommended for submission by persons who have received special training in such county's land development ordinances and regulations. The purpose of such separate review procedure is to provide a procedure to expedite the county's review of certain qualified land development plans. If a separate procedure is established, the county shall establish within the adopted ordinance the criteria for qualification of persons and whose work is eligible to use the separate procedure as well as a procedure for determining if the qualifications are met by persons applying to use the separate procedure. Persons who satisfy the criteria of subsection B below shall qualify as plans examiners. Plans reviewed and recommended for submission by plans examiners and certified by the appropriately licensed professional engineer, architect, landscape architect or land surveyor shall qualify for the separate processing procedure.

B. The qualifications of those persons who may participate in this program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. A bachelor of science degree in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture or related science or equivalent experience or a land surveyor certified pursuant to § 54.1-408.

2. Successful completion of an educational program specified by the county.

3. A minimum of two years of land development engineering design experience acceptable to the county.

4. Attendance at continuing educational courses specified by the county.

5. Consistent preparation and submission of plans which meet all applicable ordinances and regulations.

C. If an expedited review procedure is adopted by the board of supervisors pursuant to this section, the board of supervisors shall establish an advisory plans examiner board which shall make recommendations to the board of supervisors on the general operation of the program, on the general qualifications of those who may participate in the expedited processing procedure, on initial and continuing educational programs needed to qualify and maintain qualification for such a program, and on the general administration and operation of such a program. In addition, the plans examiner board shall submit recommendations to the board of supervisors as to those persons who meet the established qualifications for participation in the program and as to whether those persons who have previously qualified to participate in the program should be disqualified, suspended or otherwise disciplined. The plans examiner board shall consist of six members who shall be appointed by the board of supervisors for staggered four-year terms. Initial terms may be less than four years so as to provide for staggered terms. The plans examiner board shall consist of three persons in private practice as licensed professional engineers or land surveyors certified pursuant to § 54.1-408, at least one of whom shall be a certified land surveyor; one person employed by the county government; one person employed by the Virginia Department of Transportation who shall serve as a nonvoting advisory member; and one citizen member. All plans examiner board members who serve as licensed engineers or as certified surveyors must maintain their professional license or certification as a condition of holding office, and all such persons shall have at least two years of experience in land development procedures of the county. The citizen member shall meet the qualifications provided in § 54.1-107. However, such member, notwithstanding the proscription of provision (i) of § 54.1-107, shall have training as an engineer or surveyor and may be currently licensed, certified or practicing his profession.

D. The expedited land development program shall include an educational program conducted under the auspices of a public institution of higher education. The instructors in the educational program shall consist of persons in the private and public sectors who are qualified to prepare land development plans. The educational program shall include the comprehensive and detailed study of county ordinances and regulations relating to plans and how they are applied.

E. The separate processing system may include a review of selected or random aspects of plans rather than a detailed review of all aspects. However, it shall also include periodic detailed review of plans prepared by persons who qualify for the system.

F. In no event shall this section relieve persons who prepare and submit plans of the responsibilities and obligations which they would otherwise have with regard to the preparation of plans, nor shall it relieve the county of its obligation to review other plans in the time periods and manner prescribed by law.

1989, c. 735, § 15.1-783.01; 1990, c. 822; 1997, c. 587; 2009, c. 309.

§ 15.2-851.1. Optional provisions of a subdivision ordinance.

A. As an alternative to the requirements of the first paragraph of subdivision 5 of § 15.2-2241, a subdivision ordinance may include reasonable regulations and provisions that apply to or provide for the acceptance of dedication for public use of any right-of-way located within any subdivision or section thereof, which has constructed or proposed to be constructed within the subdivision or section thereof, any street, curb, gutter, sidewalk, bicycle trail, drainage or sewerage system, waterline as part of a public system or other improvement dedicated for public use, and maintained by the locality, the Commonwealth, or other public agency, and for the provision of other site-related improvements required by local ordinances for vehicular ingress and egress, including traffic signalization and control, for public access streets, for structures necessary to ensure stability of critical slopes, and for storm water management facilities, financed or to be financed in whole or in part by private funds only if the owner or developer (i) certifies to the governing body that the construction costs have been paid to the person constructing such facilities; (ii) furnishes to the governing body a certified check or cash escrow in the amount of the estimated costs of construction; (iii) furnishes a personal, corporate, or property bond, with surety satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency, in an amount sufficient for and conditioned upon the construction of such facilities, or a contract for the construction of such facilities and the contractor's bond, with like surety, in like amount and so conditioned; or (iv) furnishes to the governing body a bank or savings institution's letter of credit on certain designated funds satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency as to the bank or savings institution, the amount, and the form. If the owner or developer has not met all previous land development obligations in accordance with all development agreements with the locality as determined by the governing body or its designated administrative agency for the previous seven years, then a personal, corporate, or property bond may be disallowed by the governing body as security for such facilities, and in such event, security for such facilities shall be restricted to a certified check, cash escrow, or a letter of credit that meets the requirements of clause (iv) herein. The amount of such certified check, cash escrow, bond, or letter of credit shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost of construction based on current unit prices for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs, inflation, and potential damage to existing roads or utilities, which shall not exceed 25% of the estimated construction costs. However, if for the previous seven years the owner or developer has not met all previous land development obligations in accordance with all development agreements with the locality as determined by the governing body or its designated administrative agency, the governing body may require that the allowance for estimated administrative costs, inflation, and potential damage to existing roads or utilities be greater than 25% of the estimated construction costs, but not to exceed 50% of the estimated construction costs. "Developer," as used in this section, means any owner, builder, subdivider or other person or entity engaged in the land development process and shall include their principals, officers, members, managers, partners, alter egos, and members of the immediate family related to any of the foregoing. "Such facilities," as used in this section, means those facilities specifically provided for in this section.

B. As an alternative to the requirements of subsection E of § 15.2-2245, a subdivision ordinance may provide that upon written request by the subdivider or developer, the governing body or its designated administrative agency shall be required to make periodic partial releases of such bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee in a cumulative amount equal to no less than 90% of the original amount for which the bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee was taken, and may make partial releases to such lower amounts as may be authorized by the governing body or its designated administrative agency based upon the percentage of public facilities completed and approved by the governing body, local administrative agency, or state agency having jurisdiction. If the subdivider or developer has not met all previous land development obligations in accordance with all development agreements with the locality as determined by the governing body or its designated administrative agency for the previous seven years prior to the written request for partial release, the cumulative amount released may be equal to no less than 80% of the original amount for which the bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee was taken. "Subdivider" and "developer," as used in this section, mean any owner, builder, subdivider, or other person or entity engaged in the land development process and shall include their principals, officers, members, managers, partners, alter egos, and members of the immediate family related to any of the foregoing. Periodic partial releases may not occur before the completion of at least 30% of the public facilities covered by any bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee. The governing body or administrative agency shall not be required to execute more than three periodic partial releases in any 12-month period. Upon final completion and acceptance of the public facilities, the governing body or administrative agency shall release any remaining bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee to the subdivider or developer. For the purpose of final release, the term "acceptance" means when the public facility is accepted by and taken over for operation and maintenance by the state agency, local government department or agency, or other public authority which is responsible for maintaining and operating such public facility upon acceptance.

2006, c. 736.

§ 15.2-852. Disclosures in land use proceedings.

A. Each individual member of the board of supervisors, the planning commission, and the board of zoning appeals in any proceeding before each such body involving an application for a special exception or variance or involving an application for amendment of a zoning ordinance map, which does not constitute the adoption of a comprehensive zoning plan, an ordinance applicable throughout the county, or an application filed by the board of supervisors that involves more than 10 parcels that are owned by different individuals, trusts, corporations, or other entities, shall, prior to any hearing on the matter or at such hearing, make a full public disclosure of any business or financial relationship which such member has, or has had within the 12-month period prior to such hearing, (i) with the applicant in such case, or (ii) with the title owner, contract purchaser or lessee of the land that is the subject of the application, except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10% or more of the units in the condominium, or (iii) if any of the foregoing is a trustee (other than a trustee under a corporate mortgage or deed of trust securing one or more issues of corporate mortgage bonds), with any trust beneficiary having an interest in such land, or (iv) with the agent, attorney or real estate broker of any of the foregoing. For the purpose of this subsection, "business or financial relationship" means any relationship (other than any ordinary customer or depositor relationship with a retail establishment, public utility or bank) such member, or any member of the member's immediate household, either directly or by way of a partnership in which any of them is a partner, employee, agent or attorney, or through a partner of any of them, or through a corporation in which any of them is an officer, director, employee, agent or attorney or holds 10 percent or more of the outstanding bonds or shares of stock of a particular class, has, or has had within the 12-month period prior to such hearing, with the applicant in the case, or with the title owner, contract purchaser or lessee of the subject land, except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10% or more of the units in the condominium, or with any of the other persons above specified. For the purpose of this subsection "business or financial relationship" also means the receipt by the member, or by any person, firm, corporation or committee in his behalf from the applicant in the case or from the title owner, contract purchaser or lessee of the subject land, except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10% or more of the units in the condominium, or from any of the other persons above specified, during the 12-month period prior to the hearing in such case, of any gift or donation having a value of more than $100, singularly or in the aggregate.

If at the time of the hearing in any such case such member has a relationship of employee-employer, agent-principal, or attorney-client with the applicant in the case or with the title owner, contract purchaser or lessee of the subject land except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10% or more of the units in the condominium, or with any of the other persons above specified, that member shall, prior to any hearing on the matter or at such hearing, make a full public disclosure of such employee-employer, agent-principal, or attorney-client relationship and shall be ineligible to vote or participate in any way in such case or in any hearing thereon.

B. In any case described in subsection A pending before the board of supervisors, planning commission or board of zoning appeals, the applicant in the case shall, prior to any hearing on the matter, file with the board or commission a statement in writing and under oath identifying by name and last known address each person, corporation, partnership or other association specified in the first paragraph of subsection A. The requirements of this section shall be applicable only with respect to those so identified.

C. Any person knowingly and willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1968, c. 774, § 15.1-73.4; 1970, c. 654; 1988, c. 879; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 498, 552; 2006, cc. 9, 287, 317; 2014, c. 743.

Article 3. Human Rights.

§ 15.2-853. Commission on human rights; human rights ordinance.

A county may enact an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, real estate transactions, employment, public accommodations, credit and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, marital status or disability. The board may enact an ordinance establishing a local commission on human rights which shall have the following powers and duties:

1. To promote policies to ensure that all persons be afforded equal opportunity;

2. To serve as an agency for receiving, investigating, holding hearings, processing and assisting in the voluntary resolution of complaints regarding discriminatory practices occurring within the county; and

3. With the approval of the county attorney, to seek, through appropriate enforcement authorities, prevention of or relief from a violation of any ordinance prohibiting discrimination and to exercise such other powers and duties as provided in this article. However, the commission shall have no power itself to issue subpoenas, award damages or grant injunctive relief.

For the purposes of this article, "person" means one or more individuals, labor unions, partnerships, corporations, associations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts or unincorporated organizations.

1986, c. 495, § 15.1-783.1; 1989, c. 355; 1997, cc. 404, 587.

§ 15.2-854. Investigations.

Whenever the commission on human rights has a reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, any violation of a county ordinance which prohibits discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, marital status, or disability, and, after making a good faith effort to obtain the data, information, and attendance of witnesses necessary to determine whether such violation has occurred, is unable to obtain such data, information, or attendance, it may request the county attorney to petition the judge of the general district court for its jurisdiction for a subpoena against any such person refusing to produce such data and information or refusing to appear as a witness, and the judge of such court may, upon good cause shown, cause the subpoena to be issued. Any witness subpoena issued under this section shall include a statement that any statements made will be under oath and that the respondent or other witness is entitled to be represented by an attorney. Any person failing to comply with a subpoena issued under this section shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena. Any person so subpoenaed may apply to the judge who issued a subpoena to quash it.

1986, c. 495, § 15.1-783.2; 1994, c. 873; 1997, cc. 404, 587.

Article 4. Election Districts.

§ 15.2-855. Division of county into districts; functions of districts; appointees to planning commission and school board.

Within ninety days after the adoption of the urban county executive form of government, the board, after holding a public hearing thereon, shall divide the county into from five to eleven districts. Each district shall be composed of contiguous and compact territory and shall be so constituted as to give, as nearly as is practicable, representation in proportion to the population in the district.

These districts shall serve as the electoral divisions for elections of members of the urban county board of supervisors, and as sanitary districts under the provisions of Article 5 (§ 15.2-858), and shall have such other functions as are specified herein.

Each district shall have at least one of its residents who is a qualified voter of the district appointed to the local planning commission of the county and to the county school board. Each member of the county school board shall be appointed for terms and serve in accordance with all the provisions of § 15.2-837.

Code 1950, § 15-384.74; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-787; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 201; 1973, c. 545; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-856. Changes in boundaries of districts.

After the publication of the official results of each United States decennial census, the board shall make such changes in district boundaries as are required to meet the tests of equitable population distribution among the districts with a minimum disruption of the then existing district pattern of service. In 1971 and every ten years thereafter, and also whenever the boundaries of such districts are changed, the board shall reapportion the representation in the governing body among the districts, and may, within the limits established in § 15.2-855, increase or decrease the number of districts.

Each such reapportionment, other than decennial, shall become effective on January 1 following the year in which it occurs. If such reapportionment, other than decennial, results in the creation of a district or districts in which no member of the governing body resides, such vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided for by § 15.2-802. Each decennial reapportionment shall become effective as provided in § 24.2-311.

Code 1950, § 15-384.75; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-788; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 201; 1972, c. 852; 1981, c. 12; 1990, c. 500; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-857. Judicial review; mandamus.

Whenever the board changes the boundaries, or increases or diminishes the number of districts, or reapportions the representation in the board as prescribed hereinabove, such action shall not be subject to judicial review, except as otherwise provided in § 24.2-304.4. Whenever the board fails to reapportion the representation among the districts of such county, or fails to change the boundaries of districts, mandamus shall lie on behalf of any citizen thereof to compel performance by the board.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 201, § 15.1-788.1; 1997, c. 587.

Article 5. Sanitary Districts Within Urban Counties.

§ 15.2-858. Creation, enlargement, contraction, etc., of sanitary districts.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court shall entertain any petition filed for the creation, enlargement, contraction, merger, consolidation or dissolution of a district authorized to be created in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 2 (§ 21-112.22 et seq.), 6 (§ 21-292 et seq.), 7 (§ 21-427 et seq.), or 8 (§ 21-428 et seq.) of Title 21, Chapter 161, Acts of the Assembly of 1926, as amended, or any other law providing for the creation of those subdivisions referred to generally as sanitary or small districts hereinafter referred to as "sanitary districts." No petition for the creation, enlargement, contraction, merger, consolidation or dissolution of a sanitary district filed by any person or group of persons shall be of any effect and any court in which the petition is filed shall forthwith strike the petition from its dockets and no further proceedings thereon shall be had.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each district created under the provisions of § 15.2-855 shall be a sanitary district with all the rights and powers conferred on sanitary districts by general law. However, no incorporated town shall be included within any sanitary district without the consent of the council of such town.

Every sanitary district and every small and local sanitary district existing in the county shall be dissolved on the date that the form of government herein becomes effective and each shall at that time be recreated as a small district or small districts within the respective sanitary districts. The county shall assume the liabilities of the sanitary district and shall own all its properties and the existing assets less the liabilities assumed of such sanitary district shall be used by the board as a factor in establishing service charges within the small district or small districts. The services provided by the former sanitary districts shall be continued by the county in the new small districts.

Every small and local sanitary district existing in the county on the date that the form of government herein becomes effective shall at that time be continued as small and local sanitary districts, and such small and local districts, and all small and local districts hereafter created pursuant to this article shall be deemed sanitary districts for the purpose of borrowing of funds and issuance of bonds for projects within such small districts as provided for by law for sanitary districts.

Nothing in this section shall affect any sanitary district existing at the time of adoption of this form of government in which bonds of the district have been issued and for as long as such bonds are outstanding.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board shall have the power and authority with regard to the creation, enlargement, contraction, merger, consolidation or dissolution of small districts and local districts within such county that is granted to the circuit court for the county in connection therewith by Title 21 and by Chapter 161 of the Acts of the Assembly of 1926 as amended.

D. The board may create, enlarge, contract, merge, consolidate and dissolve small and local districts, by resolution, after giving notice of its intention to do so by publishing notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the county in the manner specified by § 15.2-1427 for the adoption of county ordinances and after conducting a public hearing on the proposed resolution. Any such district may be described in the resolution either by a metes and bounds description or by a description that uses commonly known landmarks or geographic maps.

Code 1950, § 15-384.78; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-791; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1970, c. 218; 1977, c. 231; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 561.

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

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