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Local Government 101

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Joshua Cline

on 29 September 2015

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Transcript of Local Government 101

Local Government 101
Where does the City of Bluefield get its authority?
West Virginia State Code

City of Bluefield Charter
City of Bluefield Structure
Board of Directors
City Manager
City Attorney
City Clerk
Municipal Judges
Parks and Recreation
Public Works
Information Technology
Human Resources
Chair of Sanitary Board
Chair of Storm Water Board
Code Enforcement
Building Inspection
Police Department
Fire Department
Bluefield Area Transit
City Departments
Who do I call?
Main Line
State Representatives

Delegate Joe Ellington
Delegate Marty Gearheart
Delegate John Shott
State Representatives
Senate President Bill Cole
Senator Mark Maynard
Federal Representatives
Congressman Evan Jenkins
Senator Joe Manchin
Senator Shelley Moore Capito
County Commissioners
Mike Vinciguerra
Gene Buckner
Greg Puckett
Mercer County Board of Education
9-1-1 Center

Dial 911
City Board of Directors
Mayor Tom Cole
Vice-Mayor Barbara Thompson-Smith
Director Ellen Peters Light
Director Michael Gibson
Director Chuck McGonagle
Call us at:
ext. 2407
Who are my elected officials and how do I contact them?
Crafting an Ordinance
Step One:
Issue identified and solutions discussed during the board work session and board meetings.

Example: Problem of ATVs joy riding up and down streets in the city. Solution decided by board of directors is to ban ATVs from public roads or streets.

Crafting an Ordinance
Step Two: Research and Draft
Once a general consensus for the ordinance has been established the city attorney takes over. The city attorney reviews case law on the suggested idea by reading court cases, reviewing state codes, and ordinances written by other municipalities. After the research is completed a draft of the ordinance is compiled.
Crafting an Ordinance
Step Three: First Reading
The ordinance is presented at the Board of Directors meeting and voted on.

Example: The city attorney presents an ordinance to the board banning ATVs from traveling on city streets. The ordinance is discussed by the board and citizens who wish to comment on it. An at-large board members suggests that ATVs should be able to cross from private property to private property at a 90 degree angle. The motion to approve passes.
Crafting an Ordinance
Step Four: Second Reading and Effect
Ordinances may go into effect after being read and passing a second vote. Certain ordinances will require a public hearing to allow for additional public comment.

Example: At the following meeting the city attorney makes the changes to the ordinance and the board votes to approve it and make it effective next year giving residents time to understand the new ordinance.
How are State Laws Made?
The West Virginia Legislature has a great guide to the Legislature that you can use to help understand the system.

You can find the guide here: www.legis.state.wv.us/educational/citizens/com_process.cfm
Community Engagement
The City of Bluefield utilizes citizen feedback and involvement in many of its activities. This comes in the form of boards and commissions.
Beautification Commission
Historic Landmarks
Planning Commission
Code of Ordinances

Court Rulings
Building the City Budget
Budget year July 1-June 30
The budget must always balance
Building the City Budget
Department heads determine needs
Comprehensive plan is reviewed
Carry over funds projected
Revenue to be collected is projected
Expenditures are estimated
Rough draft of budget is presented to city manager and department heads
Recommended changes are made
Building the City Budget
Board of Directors review and approve the presented budget
Budget is required to be sent to the State Auditor's Office in late March

Budget is approved by State Auditor's office
Projected revenues and expenditures published in Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Building the City Budget
On July 1 the new budget goes into effect
Last week of July a first revision must be submitted to cement the actual carry over amount and other changes to bring the budget up to date
Building the City Budget
Changes made throughout the year as forecasts change or unplanned expenditures arise. All revisions are approved by the Board of Directors and the West Virginia State Auditor

Within 90 days of the year end, a report is published listing the revenue and expenditures for the year along with a list of vendors/people who received a check for more than $50
2015-2016 City Budget
A strict guide yet fluid document
budget expenses
anticipated receipts
carryover funds
Street Department
Police Department
Large Department Budgets
Fire Department
Garbage Department
City Fees
Street Fee
Garbage Fee
Fire Fee
Breakdown of Revenue
Breakdown of Expenses
City Manager Form of Government
According to ICMA's 2010 Municipal Year Book, the manager-council form of government is the most popular form of local government
The mayor and board of directors serve as the legislative arm of the city. The city manager serves as the chief executive of the city.
A Vision and Plan for the City
Comprehensive plan developed by Planning Commission and adopted by Board of Directors
Ten year plan guides direction of city in a wide range of areas of focus
Day to day operations and fulfillment of the plan is the responsibility of the city manager
Board Meetings
Second and Fourth Tuesdays
9:00 a.m. - Board work session
Noon - Board of Directors meeting
"Sunshine Law" or The Open Governmental Meetings Act always applies to meetings
Quorum required of three board members for official action
Sunshine Law Review
The West Virginia Ethics commission defines a "meeting" as a convening of a quorum in order to make a decision or deliberation towards a decision.
When a quorum discusses possible issues of interest that the board expects to take some official action on, then this is a meeting. If discussion takes place outside of a public meeting, whether in person, phone, email or other means, it is an illegal meeting.
Sunshine Law Review
What gatherings are not subject to Sunshine Laws? Issues of interest to the public in a:
Social setting
Educational setting
Training session
Informal setting
Ceremonial or similar setting
Adjudicatory proceedings
On-site inspections
Political party caucus
Discussions on logistical and procedural methods to schedule and regulate a meeting
Sunshine Law Review
So long as there is no intent to conduct public business or for the discussion to lead to official action, these gatherings not subject to the Open Meetings Act
Notice and agenda of the meeting must be posted three business days prior with the date, time, and place of the meeting included in the posting
Sunshine Law Review
Executive sessions can be called for:
Personnel matters
Pending litigation
Purchase, sale or lease of real property
Plan or consider an official investigation
Entered by the motion of a board member with expressed reason why and not required to be on the agenda
Board of Education Representative
Mary Alice Kaufman
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Deborah Akers
General Government 21.84%
Public Safety 36.23%
Streets/Transportation 21.74%
Health/Sanitation 10.72%
Culture/Recreation 9.47%

Total Appropriated Expenditures: $10,258,814

Taxes 59.33%
Fines/Forfeitures 2.33%
Licenses/Permits 3.09% Charges for Service 31.16%
Intergovernmental 0.68% Miscellaneous 3.41%
Total Anticipated Revenue: $8,782,952
Beginning Fund Balance 7/1/15 $1,475,862
Total Revenue to Appropriate: $10,258,814
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