(b) The governing body of a community shall not adopt a resolution pursuant to subsection (a) above unless it finds:
(1) That one or more slum or blighted areas (as herein defined) exist in such community, and
(2) That the redevelopment of such area or areas is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals or welfare of the residents of such community.
(c) If the governing body of each of two or more communities declares, by resolution, that there is a need for one urban renewal and redevelopment authority to be created for all of such communities, and has made the finding required by paragraph (b), a public body, corporate and politic, to be known as a regional slum clearance and redevelopment authority (herein referred to as regional authority or authority) shall thereupon exist for all of such communities and may exercise the powers and other functions of an authority under this article in such communities.
(d) The area of operation of a regional authority shall be increased from time to time to include one or more additional communities if the governing body of each of such additional communities adopts the resolution described in paragraph (c) and makes the findings required by paragraph (b), and the commissioners of the regional authority consent to the inclusion within its area of operation of such additional communities.
(e) When the governing body of a municipality adopts a resolution as aforesaid, it shall promptly notify the mayor of such adoption. If the resolution adopted is one approving the exercise of powers hereunder by an urban renewal and redevelopment authority, the mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the governing body shall appoint a board of commissioners of the authority created for such municipality which shall consist of no less than five commissioners nor more than seven, and when the governing body of a county adopts such a resolution, said body shall appoint a board of commissioners of the authority created for such county which shall consist of no less than five commissioners nor more than seven. The commissioners who are first appointed pursuant to this article shall be designated to serve for terms of one, two, three and four years, and three of said commissioners for five years, respectively, from the date of their appointment, but thereafter commissioners shall be appointed as aforesaid for a term of office of five years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term.
(f) If a regional authority is created as herein provided, one person shall be appointed as a commissioner of such authority for each community for which such authority is created. When the area of operation of a regional authority is increased to include an additional community or communities as herein provided, one additional person shall be appointed as a commissioner of such authority for each such additional community. Each such commissioner appointed for a municipality shall be appointed by the mayor thereof, by and with the advice and consent of thegoverning body, and each such commissioner appointed for a county shall be appointed by the governing body thereof. The first appointment of commissioner of a regional authority may be made at or after the time of the adoption of the resolution declaring the need for such authority or declaring the need for the inclusion of such community in the area of operation of such authority. The commissioners of a regional authority and their successors shall be appointed as aforesaid for terms of five years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms.
If the area of operation of a regional authority consists at any time of an even number of communities, the commissioners of the regional authority already appointed in the manner described above shall appoint the additional commissioner whose term of office shall be as provided for a commissioner of a regional authority except that such terms shall end at any earlier time that the area of operation of the regional authority shall be changed to consist of an odd number of communities. The commissioners of such authority already appointed in the manner described above shall likewise appoint each person to succeed such additional commissioner: Provided, That the term of office of such person begins during the terms of office of the commissioners appointing him. A certificate of the appointment of any such additional commissioner of such regional authority shall be filed with the other records of the regional authority and shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such additional commissioner.
(g) A commissioner of an authority shall receive no compensation for his services, but shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including traveling expenses, incurred in the discharge of his duties. Each commissioner shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the municipal or county clerk, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner.
The powers hereunder vested in each urban renewal and redevelopment authority shall be exercised by the board of commissioners thereof. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum of such board for the purpose of conducting business and exercising the powers of the authority and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the board upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws of the authority shall require a larger number. Meetings of the board of an authority may be held anywhere within the perimeter boundaries of the area of operation of the authority. Any persons may be appointed as commissioners of the authority if they reside within such area, and are otherwise eligible for such appointments under this article.
The commissioners of an authority shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among the commissioners. An authority may employ an executive director, technical experts and such other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. For such legal services as it may require, an authority may, with the approval of the mayor (or of the governing body in the case of a county), call upon the chief law officer of the communities within its area of operation or it may employ its own counsel and legal staff. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may deem proper.
(h) For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner of an authority may be removed by the official or public body which appointed such commissioner, but a commissioner shall be removed only after a hearing and after he shall have been given a copy of the charges at least ten days prior to such hearing and have had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. In the event of the removal of any commissioner, a record of the proceedings, together with the charges and findings thereof, shall be filed in the office of themunicipal or county clerk, as the case may be.
(i) In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of or bonds issued by an authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have become established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of the appropriate resolution prescribed in subsection (a) or (c) above. Each such resolution shall be deemed sufficient if it authorizes the exercise of powers hereunder by the authority or other public body and finds in substantially the terms provided in subsection (b) (no further details being necessary) that the conditions therein enumerated exist. A copy of such resolution duly certified by the municipal or county clerk, as the case may be, shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.
(j) No commissioner or employee of an authority shall voluntarily acquire any interest, direct or indirect, in any redevelopment project or in any property included or planned by the authority to be included in any such project, or in any contract or proposed contract in connection with any such project. Where the acquisition is not voluntary such commissioner or employee shall immediately disclose such interest in writing to the authority and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. A commissioner or employee who owns or controls any interest, direct or indirect, in such property shall not participate in any action by the authority affecting the property. If any commissioner or employee of an authority owned or controlled within the preceding two years an interest, direct or indirect, in any property included or planned by the authority to be included in any redevelopment project, he immediately shall disclose such interest in writing to the authority and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. Upon such disclosure such commissioner or employee shall not participate in any action by the authority affecting such property. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.