Senate Bill No. 412
(By Senators Miller, Williams, Kessler (Mr. President) and Sypolt)
[Passed April 8, 2013; in effect from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §19-21A-6 and §19-21A-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to county conservation district supervisors; extending unexpired terms when filling vacancies; and providing for the removal of elected county conservation district supervisors from office.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §19-21A-6 and §19-21A-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 21A. CONSERVATION DISTRICTS.
§19-21A-6. Election of supervisors for each district; filling vacancies.
(a) Each county in a district shall elect two nonpartisan supervisors: Provided, That any county with a population of one hundred thousand based on the most recent decennial census shall elect one additional supervisor and any county with a population over one hundred thousand based on the most recent decennial census shall elect one additional supervisor for each fifty thousand residents over one hundred thousand.
(b) A candidate for supervisor must be a landowner and an active farmer with a minimum of five years' experience or a retired farmer who has had a minimum of five years' experience and must have the education, training and experience necessary to carry out the duties required by this article. The State Conservation Committee shall propose for promulgation in accordance with the requirements of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code legislative rules to establish criteria for the necessary education, training and experience.
(c) All registered voters in the district are eligible to vote in the election for candidates from the county within the boundaries of the district in which the voter resides. The candidates in each county who receive the largest number of votes cast in the election shall be elected supervisors for that county.
(d) Supervisors shall be elected in the primary election and serve a term of four years. The provisions of chapter three of this code apply to election of supervisors.
(e) Persons holding the position of supervisor, regardless of the expiration of the designated term of office, continue to serve until the election and qualification of his or her successor.
(f) Any vacancy occurring in the office of supervisor shall be filled by the committee by appointment of a person from the county in which the vacancy occurs. Within fifteen days after the vacancy occurs, the district shall submit a list of names of persons qualified to be a supervisor. If the unexpired term is for less than two years and six months, the appointed person holds office until the expiration of the term. If the unexpired term is for more than two years and six months, the appointed person holds the office until a successor is elected in the next primary or general election and qualified.
§19-21A-7. Supervisors to constitute governing body of district; qualifications and terms of supervisors; powers and duties; removal.
(a) The governing body of the district consists of the supervisors, appointed or elected, as provided in this article. The supervisors shall be persons who are by training and experience qualified to perform the specialized skilled services which are required of them in the performance of their duties under this section and shall be legal residents and landowners in the district.
(b) The supervisors shall designate a chairperson and may, from time to time, change the designation. On and after the election of supervisors in 2008, the term of office of each elected supervisor is four years. A supervisor holds office until his or her successor has been elected or appointed. In case a new county is added to a district, the committee may appoint two supervisors to represent the county until the next regular election of supervisors for the district takes place.
(c) A supervisor is entitled to reasonable and necessary expenses and a per diem of not more than $150 nor less than $30 when engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The expense and per diem rate shall be established by the state committee based on availability of funds.
(d) The supervisors may, with the approval of the State Conservation Committee, employ a secretary, dam monitors, technical experts and any other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, either with or without compensation, as they may require and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation, if any. Dam monitors, as specified in any emergency action plan or monitoring plan approved by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to its dam safety rules, pertaining to a flood control structure operated or maintained by a soil conservation district and any other employees, agents or officers employed pursuant to this section are “employees” of the district within the meaning of subsection (a), section three, article twelve-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code.
(e) The supervisors may delegate to their chairperson, to one or more supervisors or to one or more agents, or employees, those administrative powers and duties they consider proper. The supervisors shall furnish to the State Conservation Committee, upon request, copies of the ordinances, rules, orders, contracts, forms and other documents they adopt or employ and any other information concerning their activities required in the performance of State Conservation Committee’s duties under this article.
(f) The supervisors shall:
(1) Require the execution of surety bonds for all employees and officers who are entrusted with funds or property;
(2) Provide for the keeping of a full and accurate record of all proceedings and of all resolutions, rules and orders issued or adopted; and
(3) Provide for an annual audit of the accounts of receipts and disbursements.
(g) Any supervisor may be removed from office pursuant to section seven, article six, chapter six of this code.
(h) The supervisors may invite the legislative body of any municipality or county located near the territory comprised within the district to designate a representative to advise and consult with the supervisors of a district on all questions of program and policy which may affect the property, water supply or other interests of the municipality or county.