Senate Bill No. 554
(By Senators Caruth and Barnes)
[Introduced March 15, 2005; referred to the Committee
on Government Organization.]
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §8-9-4, relating to
attendance of officers and employees at official meetings of
the municipal governing body or committees thereof which
require the presence of a quorum for the conduct of business.
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-9-4, to read as
ARTICLE 9. PROCEEDINGS OF GOVERNING BODIES.
§8-9-4. Required attendance at official meetings; mandamus;
Unless otherwise provided by charter provision, and barring
physical infirmity, each elected officer of every municipality who
is a member of the governing body shall be present at official meetings of the municipal governing body or committee when a quorum
is required to conduct business.
An elected municipal officer who is absent from two or more
consecutive meetings which require the presence of a quorum to
conduct business may be compelled to attend the next official
meeting of the governing body or committee. Compulsion may be
initiated by a mandamus action filed by any other elected member of
the governing body after an affirmative vote by a majority of those
present and entitled to vote at a meeting of the governing body
notwithstanding the presence or absence of a quorum. If an action
for mandamus is prosecuted by or in the name of the municipality
and a show cause order is issued, the elected or appointed
municipal officer compelled to answer is liable for all court costs
and reasonable attorney fees as determined by the court.
In addition to the remedy provided by this section, any
elected municipal officer violating any provision of this section
may be removed from office under the provisions of section seven,
article six, chapter six of this code.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require attendance by
elected and appointed officers
at official meetings of the
governing bodies and committees of municipalities. The bill
provides that a mandamus action may be filed to compel attendance.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.