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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 7 A- CHAPTER 7A. CONSOLIDATED LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

WVC 7 A- 1 - ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.


WVC 7 A- 1 - 1 §7A-1-1. Short title.
This chapter may be known and cited as the Consolidated Local Government Act.


WVC 7 A- 1 - 2 §7A-1-2. Legislative findings.
(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) The fiscal viability of municipal and county governments is challenged by changing demographics and tax bases;

(2) With many local governments there is significant duplicity of services;

(3) Certain local governments are at their taxable limits and yet are facing fee increases to remain financially viable; and

(4) Local governments should perform at the highest level of efficiency and economy while providing the highest standards of governmental services to their citizens.

(b) The Legislature finds that consolidation of local governments:

(1) Is in the public interest;

(2) Would help promote economic growth and development;

(3) Would help local governments provide more efficient local services and more effective public administration; and

(4) Would keep local governments viable and provide more governing flexibility.

(c) Therefore, in order to attain high standards of efficiency, economy, service and flexibility and to assure the ongoing improvement in the quality of life of all citizens of the state, the Legislature hereby encourages and permits all local governments to consolidate part or all of their governmental and corporate functions.


WVC 7 A- 1 - 3 §7A-1-3. Definitions.
For the purposes of this article, the following words have the meanings assigned unless the context indicates otherwise:

(1) "Affected municipality", "affected county", "affected metro government" or "affected area", or the plural, mean municipalities, counties or metro governments in the territory encompassed by the proposed charter of a consolidated local government.

(2) "Consolidated local government", or the plural, means a type of government that encompasses municipal consolidation, county consolidation and metro consolidation.

(3) "County consolidation" and "consolidated county" mean the consolidation of two or more counties as defined by the charter.

(4) "Governing body", or the plural, means the body charged with the responsibility of enacting laws and determining public policy of a municipal or county government or local consolidated government.

(5) "Metro consolidation" and "metro government" mean the consolidation of one or more counties and a principal city as defined by the charter.

(6) "Municipal consolidation" and "consolidated municipality" mean the consolidation of two or more municipalities, including cities, towns and villages, as defined by the charter.

(7) "Principal city" means the municipality with the largest population in the territory encompassed by the proposed charter of the consolidated local government.


WVC 7 A- 1 - 4 §7A-1-4. Authority to consolidate.
(a) A municipality, county or metro government in this state is authorized to form a consolidated local government with another municipality, county or metro government upon approval by the voters of the affected areas.

(b) The Legislature has the constitutional authority to permit municipalities to consolidate pursuant to section thirty-nine-a, article VI of the West Virginia Constitution permitting home rule for municipalities. Pursuant to section thirteen, article IX of the West Virginia Constitution permitting reformation of county commissions, the Legislature has the authority to permit counties to consolidate and municipalities and counties to consolidate to create a new executive or legislative tribunal, or both, in the form of a metro government that performs both the duties of a municipality and a county.


WVC 7 A- 2 - ARTICLE 2. POWERS AND LIMITATIONS.


WVC 7 A- 2 - 1 §7A-2-1. Powers and privileges of consolidated local government.
(a) A consolidated local government has, but is not limited to, all powers and privileges of a municipality for municipal consolidation, a county for county consolidation and both a municipality and a county for metro consolidation under the Constitution and general laws of West Virginia: Provided, That in a metro consolidation, the governing body of the principal city shall have only the taxing authority granted to a municipality and the governing body of the affected county shall have only the taxing authority granted to a county.

(b) These powers may include the authority to:

(1) Levy and collect taxes on all property taxable for state purposes within the territory of the consolidated local government not exempt by law from taxation and at a rate not in excess of that allowed by law;

(2) License, tax, charge fees and regulate privileges, occupations, trades and professions as authorized by law;

(3) Make appropriations for the support of the consolidated local government and provide for the payment of all debts and expenses of the consolidated local government and the debts and expenses of the local governments of which it is the successor;

(4) Issue or cause to be issued bonds and other debt instruments or enter into all other financial transactions as may be permitted by law;

(5) Purchase, lease, construct, maintain or otherwise acquire, hold, use and operate any property, real, personal or mixed, for any public purpose and sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal or mixed, belonging to a consolidated local government;

(6) Exercise the power of eminent domain for any public purpose subject to the limitations and exceptions prescribed by the Constitution and the general laws of West Virginia;

(7) Accept federal or state funds and other sources of revenue that are applicable to counties and municipalities;

(8) Pass and enforce by fines and penalties, if necessary, all ordinances, not inconsistent with law, as are expedient in maintaining the peace, safety, good government, health and welfare of the residents of the consolidated local government;

(9) Enforce land-use regulations; and

(10) Enter into contracts and agreements with other governmental entities and with private persons, firms and corporations and address cooperative compacts in existence at the time of consolidation.

(c) Consolidated local governments created under this chapter are entitled to all state and federal monetary assistance to the same extent a municipality or county is entitled to such assistance. A metro government has the status of a municipality and county for purposes of receiving state, federal and any other monetary assistance and the population of the territory encompassed by its charter shall be used for all calculations and distributions.

(d) The powers of the consolidated local government shall be construed broadly in its favor. The specific reference, or failure to do so, of particular powers in this section does not limit the general or specific powers of a consolidated local government.

(e) A consolidated local government acquires and succeeds to all rights, obligations, duties and privileges of the governments of which it is a successor in accordance with the terms of the charter.

(f) Without the necessity or formality of deed, bill of sale or other instrument of transfer, the consolidated local government becomes the owner of all property, assets, contracts and franchises within the territory encompassed by the charter previously belonging to the governments of which it is a successor.

(g) The intent of this chapter is to promote consolidation and the provisions of this chapter shall be construed broadly to permit consolidation.


WVC 7 A- 2 - 2 §7A-2-2. Jurisdiction.
A consolidated local government has the power and jurisdiction specified in its charter and otherwise provided by law.


WVC 7 A- 2 - 3 §7A-2-3. Continued existence of laws.
Rules, ordinances, resolutions and other effects of law in force within an affected municipality, county or metro government at the time of consolidation that do not conflict with the charter remain in effect until superceded by specific action of the new governing body of the consolidated local government.


WVC 7 A- 2 - 4 §7A-2-4. Limitations of a consolidated local government.
(a) Public school districts, library districts, fire districts, special taxing districts and public service districts are not affected by consolidation under this chapter.

(b) The adoption of a charter does not alter any right or liability of an affected municipality, county or metro government in effect at the time the charter becomes effective. Ordinances and resolutions relating to public improvements to be paid for, in whole or in part, by special assessments remain in effect until paid in full.


WVC 7 A- 3 - ARTICLE 3. INITIATING CONSOLIDATION AND ESTABLISHING CHARTER REVIEW COMMITTEE.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 1 §7A-3-1. Initiating consolidation.
(a) Consolidation may be initiated by:

(1) A petition signed by at least twenty-five percent of the qualified voters of each affected municipality for a municipal consolidation, each affected county for a county consolidation or each affected principal city and of the entire county excluding the principal city for a metro consolidation; or

(2) A resolution by the governing body of each affected municipality for a municipal consolidation, each affected county for a county consolidation or each affected principal city and county for a metro consolidation.

(b) The petition or resolution shall be submitted to the county commission of the affected county for all types of consolidation.

(c) Upon receipt, the county commission shall, within thirty days, verify the petition or resolution and either oversee the establishment of a charter review committee as provided in this chapter or reject the petition or resolution for insufficiency.

(d) If the county commission rejects the petition or resolution, the rejection shall be in writing stating how the insufficiency may be corrected and that the petition or resolution may be resubmitted within ninety days.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 2 §7A-3-2. Municipal charter review committee.
(a) A municipal charter review committee shall be established within thirty days of the county commission verifying the petition or resolution proposing consolidation.

(b) A municipal charter review committee consists of the following members:

(1) Two government officials or their designees from each affected municipality appointed by their respective governing bodies;

(2) One county commissioner or his or her designee appointed by the county commission from each county where the affected municipalities are located; and

(3) Two or three public members elected during executive session by the other members to make the number of charter review committee members an odd number.

(c) A municipal charter review committee continues to exist until it is dissolved pursuant to the charter or the final disapproval of the charter.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 3 §7A-3-3. County charter review committee.
(a) A county charter review committee shall be established within thirty days of the county commissions verifying the petition or resolution proposing consolidation.

(b) A county charter review committee consists of the following members:

(1) Two county commissioners or their designees from each affected county appointed by their respective county commissions; and

(2) Three public members, including one from an unincorporated area, elected during executive session by the other charter review committee members.

(c) A county charter review committee continues to exist until it is dissolved pursuant to the charter or the final disapproval of the charter.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 4 §7A-3-4. Metro charter review committee.
(a) A metro charter review committee shall be established within thirty days of the county commission verifying the petition or resolution proposing consolidation.

(b) A metro charter review committee consists of the following members:

(1) Two government officials or their designees from the principal city appointed by the governing body of the principal city;

(2) Two county commissioners or their designees from each affected county appointed by their respective county commissions;

(3) If the principal city is located in two counties and one is not participating in consolidation, then one county commissioner or his or her designee from the county not participating in consolidation appointed by the county commission; and

(4) Two or three public members, including one from an unincorporated area, elected by the other members to make the number of charter review committee members an odd number.

(c) A metro charter review committee continues to exist until it is dissolved pursuant to the charter or the final disapproval of the charter.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 5 §7A-3-5. Duties and powers of charter review committee.
(a) A charter review committee shall study consolidation and the feasibility of consolidation.

(b) A charter review committee shall:

(1) Elect officers from committee members;

(2) Adopt rules;

(3) Prepare a budget; and

(4) Conduct public hearings;

(c) A charter review committee may:

(1) Create subcommittees and working groups to include other government officials and diverse public representatives;

(2) Prepare a written charter;

(3) Employ staff;

(4) Contract with consultants;

(5) Work with agencies of affected local governments; and

(6) Engage in other activities necessary to facilitate the intent of this chapter.

(d) A majority of committee members is a quorum for transaction of business and adopting the charter.

(e) Vacancies on the charter review committees shall be filled in the same manner as provided for in this article.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 6 §7A-3-6. Expenses of charter review committee.
Members of a charter review committee serve without compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement by the charter review committee for necessary expenses incurred by them in the performance of their official duties.


WVC 7 A- 3 - 7 §7A-3-7. Budget of charter review committee.
(a) A charter review committee shall submit a budget to the governing bodies of each affected municipality for a municipal consolidation, each affected county for a county consolidation and each affected principal city and county for a metro consolidation. A charter review committee shall pursue public and private funds to augment its budget. The budget shall state in writing the amount each governing body shall pay, which shall be proportionately based on population.

(b) Within thirty days of receiving the charter review committee's budget, the governing body of each affected municipality, county and metro government shall either approve the budget or recommend written amendments to the budget.

(c) If amendments are recommended, then the charter review committee shall reconsider the budget and resubmit the budget to the governing bodies for approval within thirty days.

(d) The governing body of each affected municipality, county and metro government shall assist the charter review committee and provide office space if needed.


WVC 7 A- 4 - ARTICLE 4. CHARTER REVIEW COMMITTEE.


WVC 7 A- 4 - 1 §7A-4-1. Study by charter review committee and draft of proposed charter.
(a) The charter review committee shall study matters relating to the feasibility of consolidation.

(b) The charter review committee shall further address in the charter the powers and authority of the proposed consolidated local government, including, but not limited to:

(1) The territory encompassed by the consolidated local government, including all affected municipalities, counties and metro governments, or parts thereof, to be included in the boundaries of the consolidated local government;

(2) The fiscal impact of the proposed consolidation on the affected municipalities, counties and metro governments including:

(A) The cost of providing services by the consolidated local government;

(B) Projected revenues available to the consolidated local government based upon proposed classifications and tax structures; and

(C) Projected economies of scale resulting from consolidation;

(3) The name of the proposed consolidated local government;

(4) The seat of the proposed consolidated local government;

(5) The representation plan based upon population for the territory encompassed by the consolidation consistent with state and federal law to include consideration of under represented areas and minorities;

(6) The creation of the governing body of the proposed consolidated local government, including an odd number of governing officers of not less than five, their qualifications for holding office, titles, powers, duties, terms of office, manner of election, compensation, method of removal, role of constitutional officers in new government and other pertinent matters consistent with state and federal law;

(7) The effective date of the charter once consolidation is approved by the electorate;

(8) A procedure for the efficient and timely transition of specified services, functions and responsibilities from each affected municipality, county and metro government and its respective departments and agencies to the consolidated local government to occur within two years from the date the charter becomes effective; and

(9) The method by which a consolidated local government may dissolve after existing for a minimum of six years.

(c) The charter review committee shall complete its study and draft a proposed charter within two years from the date of its organizational meeting.

(d) With regard to a proposed metro consolidation, the metro charter review committee may utilize one of the plans for organizing a municipal government described in section two, article three, chapter eight of this code in the charter for the metro government, but is not limited to these forms of government.


WVC 7 A- 4 - 2 §7A-4-2. Public hearings.
(a) The charter review committee shall hold a public hearing within three months of the organizational meeting or reconvening, a public hearing within six months of its organizational meeting or reconvening and a public hearing within eleven months of its organizational meeting or reconvening prior to finalizing its draft of the proposed charter. The committee is authorized to hold additional public hearings.

(b) The date, time, place and agenda of the public hearing shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected areas.


WVC 7 A- 4 - 3 §7A-4-3. Approval of proposed charter and submission to governing bodies.
(a) Following its final public hearing, the charter review committee shall vote on the proposed charter.

(b) Once approved by a majority vote of the charter review committee, the proposed charter shall be submitted within ten days to the governing bodies of the affected municipalities, counties and metro governments to be voted upon by the electorate.


WVC 7 A- 5 - ARTICLE 5. MUNICIPAL CONSOLIDATION ELECTION.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 1 §7A-5-1. Expenses for election.
The governing body of each affected municipality is responsible for the expenses of holding an election on the question of municipal consolidation.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 2 §7A-5-2. Notice for election.

(a) At least sixty days prior to the election on the question of municipal consolidation, the governing body of each affected municipality shall make copies of the proposed charter available to the public.

(b) At least fourteen days prior to the election on the question of municipal consolidation, the governing bodies of the affected municipalities shall publish the proposed charter and provide notice of the election, as a Class II legal advertisement, in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected areas. The affected municipalities may share the expense of publication.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 3 §7A-5-3. Election and ballots for municipal consolidation.
(a) After receiving the proposed charter from the municipal charter review committee, the governing bodies of the affected municipalities shall hold an election on the question of consolidation at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(b) The ballots for the election on consolidation shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of consolidated municipality)

[ ] Against (name of consolidated municipality)


WVC 7 A- 5 - 4 §7A-5-4. Approval of municipal consolidation and charter.
If at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of each of the affected municipalities approve consolidation, then consolidation becomes effective pursuant to the charter.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 5 §7A-5-5. Rejection of charter and reconsideration process.
(a) If less than fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of any of the affected municipalities approve consolidation, then consolidation is defeated. The charter review committee may reconvene for up to one year to adopt a second proposed charter.

(b) When the second proposed charter is adopted by the municipal charter review committee, then the governing bodies of the affected municipalities shall hold another election on the second proposed charter at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(c) The ballots for the election on the second proposed charter shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of consolidated municipality)

[ ] Against (name of consolidated municipality)

(d) If the second proposed charter is not approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected municipalities, then the proposed consolidation is defeated. A new municipal charter review committee cannot be established for at least two years after the second proposed charter is defeated.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 6 §7A-5-6. Filing charter.
After the charter has been approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected municipalities, the charter shall be filed with the Secretary of State and recorded in the applicable county clerk's office.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 7 §7A-5-7. Constitutional consideration.
In preparing the charter, municipalities with excess levies or general obligation bond indebtedness shall fully comply with section nine, article X of the Constitution.


WVC 7 A- 5 - 8 §7A-5-8. Subsequent joining of municipality to consolidated municipality.
(a) After a consolidated municipality has been in existence for at least one year, a municipality may request to join the consolidated municipality by submitting:

(1) A petition signed by at least fifteen percent of the qualified voters in the municipality; or

(2) A resolution by the governing body of the municipality.

(b) Within thirty days of receipt of the petition or resolution, the governing body of the consolidated municipality shall vote to accept or reject the municipality requesting to join.

(c) If the governing body of the consolidated municipality votes to accept the municipality, then the municipality shall hold an election on consolidation at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(d) The ballots for the election on consolidation shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of consolidated municipality)

[ ] Against (name of consolidated municipality)

(e) If at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the municipality approve consolidation, then consolidation becomes effective pursuant to the charter.

(f) If consolidation is not approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the municipality, then the consolidation is defeated and cannot be voted upon for one year.


WVC 7 A- 6 - ARTICLE 6. ELECTIONS ON COUNTY CONSOLIDATION.


WVC 7 A- 6 - 1 §7A-6-1. Expenses for election.
The governing body of each affected county is responsible for its expenses of holding an election on the question of consolidation.


WVC 7 A- 6 - 2 §7A-6-2. Notice for election.
(a) At least sixty days prior to the election on the question of county consolidation, the governing body of each affected county shall make copies of the proposed charter available to the public.

(b) At least fourteen days prior to the election on the question of county consolidation, the governing bodies of the affected counties shall publish the proposed charter and provide notice of the election, as a Class II legal advertisement, in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area. The affected counties may share the expense of publication.


WVC 7 A- 6 - 3 §7A-6-3. Election and ballots for county consolidation.
(a) After receiving the proposed charter from the county charter review committee, the governing bodies of the affected counties shall hold an election on the question of consolidation at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(b) The ballots for the election on consolidation shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of consolidated county)

[ ] Against (name of consolidated county)


WVC 7 A- 6 - 4 §7A-6-4. Approval of county consolidation and charter.
If at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of each of the affected counties approve consolidation, then consolidation becomes effective pursuant to the charter.


WVC 7 A- 6 - 5 §7A-6-5. Rejection of charter and reconsideration process.
(a) If less than fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of any of the affected counties approve consolidation, then consolidation is defeated. The county charter review committee may reconvene for up to one year to adopt a second proposed charter.

(b) When the second proposed charter is adopted by the county charter review committee, then the governing bodies of the affected counties shall hold another election on the second proposed charter at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(c) The ballots for the election on the second proposed charter shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of consolidated county)

[ ] Against (name of consolidated county)

(d) If the second proposed charter is not approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected counties, then the proposed consolidation is defeated. A new county charter review committee cannot be established for at least two years after the second proposed charter is defeated.


WVC 7 A- 6 - 6 §7A-6-6. Filing charter.
After the charter has been approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected counties, the charter shall be filed with the Secretary of State and recorded in all of the applicable county clerk's offices.


WVC 7 A- 6 - 7 §7A-6-7. Subsequent joining of county to consolidated county.
(a) After a consolidated county has been in existence for at least one year, a county may request to join the consolidated county by submitting:

(1) A petition signed by at least fifteen percent of the qualified voters in the county; or

(2) A resolution by the governing body of the county.

(b) Within thirty days of receipt of the petition or resolution, the governing body of the consolidated county shall vote to accept or reject the county requesting to join.

(c) If the governing body of the consolidated county votes to accept the county, then the county shall hold an election on consolidation at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(d) The ballots for the election on consolidation shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of consolidated county)

[ ] Against (name of consolidated county)

(e) If at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the county approve the consolidation, then consolidation becomes effective pursuant to the charter.

(f) If consolidation is not approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the county, then the consolidation is defeated and cannot be voted upon for one year.


WVC 7 A- 7 - ARTICLE 7. ELECTIONS ON METRO GOVERNMENT.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 1 §7A-7-1. Expenses for election.
The governing body of the affected county is responsible for the expenses of holding an election on the question of consolidation.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 2 §7A-7-2. Notice for election.
(a) At least sixty days prior to the election on the question of metro consolidation, the governing bodies of the principal city and affected county shall make copies of the proposed charter available to the public.

(b) At least fourteen days prior to the election on the question of metro consolidation, the governing body of the affected county shall publish the proposed charter and provide notice of the election, as a Class II legal advertisement, in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected county.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 3 §7A-7-3. Election and ballots for metro government.
(a) After receiving the proposed charter from the metro charter review committee, the governing body of the affected county shall hold an election on the question of consolidation at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(b) The ballots for the election on consolidation shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of metro government)

[ ] Against (name of metro government)


WVC 7 A- 7 - 4 §7A-7-4. Approval of metro government and charter.
If at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the principal city and fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected county, excluding the principal city, approve consolidation, then metro government becomes effective pursuant to the charter.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 4 A §7A-7-4a. Modifying the percentage vote required to approve metro government in municipal and countywide elections from fifty-five percent to a majority in counties with populations in excess of 150,000.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, where the election is on the question of consolidation of a county with a population exceeding 150,000, based on the 2000 or 2010 census of population taken under the authority of the United States government, and a single Class I city that is the principal municipality of the county, then metro government becomes effective pursuant to the charter if a majority of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the principal city and a majority of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of all incorporated and unincorporated areas of the affected county, excluding the principal city, approves the consolidation.

(b) As used in this section, a Class I city is a municipality so classified under section three, article one, chapter eight of this code.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 5 §7A-7-5. Rejection of charter and reconsideration process.
(a) If less than fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the principal city and less than fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected county, excluding the principal city, approve consolidation, then consolidation is defeated. The metro charter review committee may reconvene for up to one year to adopt a second proposed charter.

(b) When the second proposed charter is adopted by the metro charter review committee, then the governing body of the affected county shall hold another election on the second proposed charter at the next primary or general election in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(c) The ballots for the election on the second proposed charter shall be as follows:

[ ] For (name of metro government)

[ ] Against (name of metro government)

(d) If the second proposed charter is not approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the principal city and fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected county, excluding the principal city, then the proposed consolidation is defeated. A new metro charter review committee cannot be established for at least two years after the second proposed charter is defeated.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 6 §7A-7-6. Municipalities within territory remain incorporated in metro government.
Municipalities, other than the principal city, are not automatically consolidated into the metro government. Upon the approval by voters of metro consolidation, municipalities within the territory of the metro government remain incorporated and continue to perform their functions as permitted by law unless dissolved or consolidated pursuant to section eight of this article.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 7 §7A-7-7. Filing charter.
After the charter has been approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the affected county, the charter shall be filed with the Secretary of State and recorded in the applicable county clerk's offices.


WVC 7 A- 7 - 8 §7A-7-8. Subsequent joining of municipality, county or metro government to metro government.
(a) After a metro government has been in existence for at least one year, a municipality, county or metro government may request to join the metro government by submitting:

(1) A petition signed by at least fifteen percent of the qualified voters in the municipality, county or metro government; or

(2) A resolution by the governing body of the municipality, county or metro government.

(b) Within thirty days of receipt of the petition or resolution, the governing body of the metro government shall vote to accept or reject the municipality, county or metro government requesting to join.

(c) If the governing body of the metro government votes to accept the municipality, county or metro government, then the municipality, county or metro government shall hold an election on consolidation at the next primary or general election. The election shall be held in accordance with applicable election laws and section two of this article.

(d) The ballots for the election on consolidation shall be as follows:

[ ] For the (name of metro government)

[ ] Against the (name of metro government)

(e) If at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the municipality, county or metro government approve consolidation, then consolidation becomes effective pursuant to the charter.

(f) If consolidation is not approved by at least fifty-five percent of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the municipality, county or metro government, then the consolidation is defeated and cannot be voted upon for one year.


WVC 7 A- 8 - ARTICLE 8. CHARTER AMENDMENT.


WVC 7 A- 8 - 1 §7A-8-1. Charter amendment.
(a) If a charter is adopted, it may be amended by one of the following methods:

(1) The governing body of the consolidated local government may submit a proposed amendment by resolution to the voters at the next primary or general election. Notice of the election and the proposed amendment shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected areas. If a majority of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the consolidated local government approve the amendment, then the amendment becomes effective as permitted by law;

(2) The governing body of the consolidated local government may amend the charter by ordinance. However, if a petition signed by at least ten percent of the qualified voters of the consolidated local government is filed with the governing body within thirty days following publication of the ordinance, the governing body shall submit the charter amendment to the voters at the next primary or general election. Notice of the election and the proposed amendment shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected areas. If a majority of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the consolidated local government approve the amendment, then the amendment becomes effective as permitted by law; or

(3) If a petition, signed by ten percent of the qualified voters in the consolidated local government, is filed with the governing body of the consolidated local government proposing an amendment to the charter, then the governing body shall submit the proposed amendment to the voters at the next primary or general election. Notice of the election and the proposed amendment shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected areas. If a majority of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the consolidated local government approve the amendment, then the amendment becomes effective as permitted by law.

(b) If an election is held, then the governing body shall submit each proposed amendment generally in the following form:

Should the amendment described below be adopted for the charter of (name of consolidated local government)?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

The ballot shall contain a summary of the proposed amendment.


Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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