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Engrossed Version House Bill 4315 History

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ENGROSSED

H. B. 4315

 

         (By Delegates Cann, Manchin, Doyle, Fragale,

         Iaquinta, Lawrence, Longstreth, Miley, Morgan

         and Varner)

         [Introduced January 26, 2012; referred to the

         Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §8-2-6 and §8-2-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §8-3A-1 and §8-3A-2, all relating to Class IV towns or villages; permitting a new class IV town or village to select a form of government; and permitting a current Class IV town or village to change its form of government.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §8-2-6 and §8-2-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §8-3A-1 and §8-3A-2, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2. CREATION OF MUNICIPALITIES.

§8-2-6. Same -- Qualified electors; form of ballot or ballot label; election officials; certification; canvass; declaration of results; recount.

    (a) On the date named in such the notice for the taking of the vote, each qualified elector of the territory sought to be incorporated as a Class I, II, or III city, shall have the right to may cast his or her vote for or against such incorporation at the precinct in which he or she resides, by depositing a ballot in a ballot box, or by use of a voting machine, to be provided by the county court commission for that purpose. Each ballot, or ballot label where voting machines are used, shall be without party designation and shall have written or printed thereon the following words:

    / / For Incorporation

    / / Against Incorporation

    The ballot or ballot label shall be a separate, special ballot or ballot label.

    Such The election shall be held and conducted under the supervision of the commissioners and clerks of election appointed by the county court commission as aforesaid and shall be conducted as nearly as may be in accordance with the laws of this state governing general elections. The results of such the election shall be certified as in general elections, and the returns shall be canvassed and the results declared by the county court commission. In the event If any commissioner or clerk designated to serve in said the election shall fail or refuse to serve, such the vacancy may be filled in like manner as vacancies in such the positions are filled in general elections under the laws of this state governing general elections. A recount may be had, as in general elections, upon the party or parties desiring such a recount providing adequate assurance to the county court commission that he or they the party or parties will pay all costs of such the recount.

    (b) Each qualified elector of the territory sought to be incorporated as a town or village may cast his or her vote for or against the incorporation at the precinct in which he or she resides, by depositing a ballot in a ballot box or by use of a voting machine to be provided by the county commission for that purpose, on the date named in the notice for the taking of the vote. Each ballot, or ballot label where voting machines are used, shall be without party designation and shall have written or printed thereon the following words:

    / / For Incorporation

    / / Against Incorporation

    The form of governance:

    / / Plan I -- "Mayor-Council Plan."

    / / Plan II -- "Strong-Mayor Plan."

    / / Plan III -- "Manager Plan."

    / / Plan IV -- "Manager-Mayor Plan."

    The ballot or ballot label shall be a separate, special ballot or ballot label.

    The election shall be held and conducted under the supervision of the commissioners and clerks of election appointed by the county commission and shall be conducted as nearly as may be in accordance with the laws of this state governing general elections. The results of the election shall be certified as in general elections, and the returns shall be canvassed and the results declared by the county commission. If any commissioner or clerk designated to serve in the election fails or refuses to serve, the vacancy may be filled in like manner as vacancies in such positions are filled in general elections under the laws of this state governing general elections. A recount may be had, as in general elections, upon the party or parties desiring the recount providing adequate assurance to the county commission that the party or parties will pay all costs of the recount.

§8-2-7. County commission order declaring boundaries of city; certificate of incorporation of town or village; dismissal of proceeding.

    If the proceeding be for the incorporation of a city, and it appears to the county court commission, upon the returns being canvassed, that a majority of the legal votes cast on the question of incorporation were in favor of such the incorporation and the court commission is satisfied that all of the applicable provisions of this article have been complied with, the court commission shall by order duly made and entered of record declare that the territory in question (reciting the boundaries) shall thereby become a body corporate, and shall thenceforth be known as the city of ......................, but that until a charter shall be is framed and adopted as provided in article three of this chapter, such the city shall have and exercise no powers of a municipality except the power to frame and adopt a charter as therein provided.

    If the proceeding be for the incorporation of a town or village, and it appears to the county court commission, upon the returns being canvassed, that a majority of the legal votes cast on the question of incorporation were in favor of such the incorporation and the court commission is satisfied that all of the applicable provisions of this article have been complied with, the court commission shall by order duly made and entered of record, direct the clerk of said court the commission to issue a certificate of incorporation in form or in substance as follows:

    "It appearing to the court commission that under the provisions of article two, chapter eight of the Code of West Virginia, as amended, at an election duly held on the ............ day of .............., 19......., a majority of the legal votes cast on the question of incorporation by the qualified voters of the following territory, to wit: Beginning, etc. (here recite the boundaries), were cast in favor of the incorporation of the town or village of ............................, in the County of .................., bounded as herein set forth; adopting the ..................... form of government, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court commission that all of the provisions of article two, chapter eight of the Code of West Virginia, as amended, have been complied with by the petitioners for said incorporation, said the town or village is hereby declared to be a body corporate, duly authorized to exercise all of the corporate powers conferred upon towns or villages by chapter eight of the Code of West Virginia, as amended, from and after the date of this certificate. (Signed) ............................, Clerk County Court commission." Thereupon, the first election of officers shall be held as provided in sections two, three and four, article five of this chapter.

    If on the returns being canvassed on the question of incorporation, a majority of the legal votes cast be against incorporation, the proceeding shall be dismissed, and no subsequent proceeding for incorporation of the same or any portion of the territory or any portion thereof shall be considered or election thereon had within a period of three years. thereafter.

ARTICLE 3A. GOVERNMENT OF CLASS IV TOWNS OR VILLAGES.

§8-3A-1. Class IV town or village form of governance.

    In absence of any charter or official declaration to the contrary, a Class IV town or village shall be the mayor-council form of government, unless changed by the provisions of section two of this article.

§8-3A-2. Changing Class IV town or village form of governance.

    A town or village may revise its form of city government, upon the submission of a petition containing twenty-five percent of the qualified voters. The question shall be submitted to the voters of town or village at the next general or primary election. A town or village shall select from the following plans:

    Plan I -- "Mayor-Council Plan." Under this plan:

    (1) There shall be a city council, elected at large or by wards, or both at large and by wards, by the qualified voters of the city; a mayor elected by the qualified voters of the city; and such other elective officers as the charter may prescribe; and

    (2) The mayor and council shall be the governing body and administrative authority.

    Plan II -- "Strong-Mayor Plan." Under this plan:

    (1) There shall be a mayor elected by the qualified voters of the city; and a city council elected at large or by wards, or both at large and by wards, by the qualified voters of the city;

    (2) The council shall be the governing body;

    (3) The mayor shall be the administrative authority; and

    (4) Other officers and employees shall be appointed by the mayor or by his or her order in accordance with this chapter, but the appointments by the mayor or by his or her order may be made subject to the approval of the council.

    Plan III -- "Manager Plan." Under this plan:

    (1) There shall be a council of not less than five nor more than eleven members, elected either at large or from such geographical districts as may be established by the charter, or partly at large and partly from such geographical districts, and the charter may empower the council to change, from time to time, such districts without amending the charter: Provided, That the change of these districts may not take effect during the terms of office of the members of the council making the change;

    (2) There shall be a mayor elected by the council from among its membership who shall serve as the presiding officer of the council; and a city manager who shall be appointed by the council;

    (3) The council shall be the governing body; and

    (4) The manager shall be the administrative authority and shall manage the affairs of the city under the supervision of the council and shall be responsible to the council. The manager shall appoint or employ, in accordance with this chapter, all subordinates and employees for whose duties or work the manager is responsible to the council.

    Plan IV -- "Manager-Mayor Plan." Under this plan:

    (1) There shall be a council of not less than five nor more than eleven members, elected either at large or from such geographical districts as may be established by the charter, or partly at large and partly from such geographical districts, and the charter may empower the council to change these districts, from time to time, without amending the charter: Provided, That the change of these districts may not take effect during the terms of office of the members of the council making the change.

    (2) There shall be a mayor elected at large by the qualified voters of the municipality as may be established by the charter, who shall serve as a member and the presiding officer of the council; and a city manager who shall be appointed by the council;

    (3) The council shall be the governing body; and

    (4) The manager shall be the administrative authority and shall manage the affairs of the city under the supervision of the council and shall be responsible to the council. The manager shall appoint or employ, in accordance with this chapter, all subordinates and employees for whose duties or work the manager is responsible to the council. 



    NOTE: The purpose of the bill is to clarify that a Class IV town or village may choose and change to certain forms of government.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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