H. B. 4747
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegates Martin and Border)
(Originating in the House Committee on Political Subdivisions)
[March 1, 2000]
A BILL to reform, alter and modify the county commission of Wirt
County under the provisions of section thirteen, article nine
of the constitution of West Virginia.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
WIRT COUNTY COMMISSION.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that, by a petition
presented to the county commission of Wirt County, at least ten
percent of the registered voters of Wirt County have requested the
reformation, alteration and modification of the county commission
of Wirt County, so as to reform the county commission to create a
new tribunal entitled the Wirt County administrators that shall be
comprised of five county administrators. The Legislature further
finds and declares that, by a letter dated the eighteenth day of
January, two thousand, the county commission has verified that the petition is proper and has requested the Legislature to so reform,
alter and modify the county commission, as required by the
provisions of section thirteen, article nine of the constitution of
this state. The Legislature further finds and declares that it
fulfills the mandatory requirements of the petition and of section
thirteen, article nine of the constitution, by the provisions of
Submission to voters of question of reformation, alteration
and modification of the county commission; notification;
effect of votes.
(a) At the primary election to be held in the year two
thousand, the question of the reformation, alteration and
modification of the county commission as provided in this act shall
be submitted to the voters of Wirt County voting at the primary
election. The election shall be conducted and the result
ascertained and declared as provided by law for general elections.
(b) Notice of the election on the question shall be given by
publication of this act in each weekly or daily newspaper as a
Class II-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of
article three, chapter fifty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, in the county once in
each week for two successive weeks immediately preceding the
(c) The board of ballot commissioners of the county shall place upon, and at the foot of, the official ballot to be voted at
the general election, under the heading "Ballot on Reforming the
Wirt County Commission," a summary of the purpose of the ballot and
the words "For Reforming the Wirt County Commission" and "Against
Reforming the Wirt County Commission," and this shall be printed in
form and content as follows:
Ballot on Reforming the Wirt County Commission to reform,
alter and modify the County Commission of Wirt County, now composed
of three commissioners with no more than one commissioner residing
in the same magisterial district, to provide for a tribunal to be
known as the county administrators composed of five county
administrators, with no more than two residing in the same
magisterial district, elected by the voters of the county at large
in the manner provided in sections nine and ten of the Constitution
of West Virginia.
[ ] For reforming the Wirt County Commission.
[ ] Against reforming the Wirt County Commission.
(d) If a majority of the votes cast upon the question be for
reformation of the county commission, this act shall be and remain
in full force and effect; but, if a majority of the votes be
against reformation of the county commission, this act shall be
void and of no further force and effect.
Reformation, alteration and modification of the Wirt County
commission; composition; application of laws.
As of the first day of January, two thousand one, there shall
be established a tribunal of five persons called the Wirt County
administrators which shall replace the county commission of Wirt
County. The Wirt County administrators shall have the powers,
duties and responsibilities of a county commission as provided for
in the constitution and general laws of this state.
Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, any reference
to a county commission or to county commissioners in the
constitution or laws of this state shall be construed to include
and to reference the county administrators in Wirt County, unless
the reference conflicts with a specific provision of this act.
§4.Election of county administrators; terms of office; meetings;
chief administrator; compensation; exception.
(a) At the general election to be held in the year two
thousand, the voters of Wirt County shall elect five county
administrators on a non-partisan ballot. No more than two county
administrators may be elected from any one magisterial district.
If three or more persons residing in the same district receive the
greatest number of votes cast in any election, then only the two
persons within that district who receive the highest number of
votes shall be declared elected, and the person residing in another
district, who receives the next highest number of votes, shall be
(b) The county administrators shall hold office for a term of four years, except that at the first meeting of the county
administrators elected in the year two thousand, the administrators
shall designate the person receiving the highest number of votes in
each of the county's three districts and those three county
administrators shall serve initial four year terms. The elected
county administrator receiving the next highest number of votes and
the elected county administrator receiving the least amount of
votes shall each serve an initial two year term and then may each
stand for re-election to a four year term. The county
administrators may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
(c) The county administrators shall meet at least twenty-four
times annually and may call such special meetings as needed,
including meetings as the board of equalization. Each county
administrator shall receive one hundred dollars for each meeting
(d) At the first meeting of the county administrators elected
in the year two thousand, the administrators shall elect one among
them to serve as chief administrator. The chief administrator
shall serve as chairperson of the county administrators, and the
position of chief administrator shall be rotated on an annual