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    Home » Chapter 3. Government and Administration*

    Chapter 3. Government and Administration*

    *Code reference—Administration generally, Ch. 2.

    Sec. 4. Vested in council, city manager and other departments, boards and officers.
    The government and administration of the city shall be vested in one body, to be called the council of the City of Lynchburg, and in one administrative officer, to be styled city manager, and in such other departments, boards and other officers as are hereinafter provided for, or as are permitted or required by law appointed by the council.
    Sec. 5. Council—Composition; election of members; terms and vacancies.
    (a) Subject to paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section, on and after September first, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, the council shall consist of seven members, who shall be elected at large from qualified voters of the city and they shall serve for a term of four years from the first day of September next following the date of their election and until their successors shall have been elected and qualify; provided, however, that at the first election held hereunder in nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, five councilmen shall be elected, three of the councilmen elected at said first election hereunder, shall succeed the three present councilmen, whose terms expire on August thirty-first, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, and shall serve for a period of four years, and two of the councilmen elected at the first election hereunder shall serve for a period of two years; the councilmen to serve for the two-year period shall be determined by lot between the five councilmen elected at the first election hereunder at the first meeting of the council held in September, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight; and at the next election, four councilmen shall be elected to succeed the two present councilmen, whose terms expire on the thirty-first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty, and the two councilmen elected at the first election hereunder to serve for two years, and at said election and each election thereafter, the councilmen elected to succeed those whose terms expire shall be elected for a period of four years.
    (b) On and after July one, nineteen hundred seventy-six, the council shall consist of seven members of whom four shall be elected from wards and three of whom shall be elected at large as hereinafter provided. The terms of councilmen elected in nineteen hundred seventy-six and thereafter shall begin July one, succeeding their election.
    (c) On March one, nineteen hundred seventy-six, the council in office shall divide the city into four wards with reasonably equal populations. Upon the completion thereof, notice shall be given by publication once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the city.
    (d) At the election to be held in May, nineteen hundred seventy-six, successors to four councilmen whose terms expire June thirty next shall be elected for a term of four years. The four councilmen shall be elected from and be registered voters in the wards established under paragraph (c) above with one councilman to be elected from each ward. At the same election to be held in May, nineteen hundred seventy-six, three successors to the councilmen whose terms expire in such year shall be chosen by election at large in the city to serve for terms of two years.
    (e) After May, nineteen hundred seventy-six, successors to the councilmen elected under paragraph (d) hereof shall be elected for terms of four years by ward or at large, as the case may be, depending upon whether the perspective office was filled by election at large or by ward.
    (f) The council shall be a continuing body and no measure pending before such body shall abate or be discontinued by reason of the expiration of the term of office or removal of the members of said body or any of them. Vacancies occurring in the membership of the council shall be filled by the council within thirty days for a term to expire when the qualified voters of the city at large or the ward in which the vacancy occurred, as the case may be, have elected a successor at the next ensuing general election for councilmen and the person so chosen has duly qualified. If the vacancy occurs in a ward, the successor so chosen shall be a registered voter of that ward. All vacancies filled by the council shall be by majority vote of the remaining members. (Acts 1976, ch. 3, p. 4)
    Code reference—Council, § 2–16 et seq.
    Sec. 6. Same—Election and terms of officers; president of council ex officio mayor; powers of mayor.
    The council shall elect one of its members to preside over its meetings, who shall be entitled president, and who shall be ex officio mayor of the city, and shall also elect another member to be vice-president of the council to act in the place of the president in his absence or incapacity. The president and vice-president shall be elected for a term of two years, and any vacancy in the offices shall be filled by the election by the council for the unexpired term. The mayor shall have the same powers and duties as other members of the council with a vote, but no veto, and shall be the official head of the city. With the exception of those officers required by the Constitution of the state to be elected by popular vote, the members of the council shall be the only elective city officials.
    Sec. 7. Same—Salaries.
    Present members of council shall be paid their current salary until the first of July, nineteen hundred seventy-six, thereafter the salary of each member of council shall be twenty-four hundred dollars per annum, except that member, who shall be elected mayor, whose salary shall be thirty-six hundred dollars per annum, and except that member who shall be elected vice-mayor, whose salary shall be three thousand dollars per annum, payable out of the treasury of the city of Lynchburg in monthly installments; provided, however, that the council may, from time to time, by five-sevenths vote of all members elected to council, change the salaries of each member of the council, and the members who shall be elected mayor and vice-mayor respectively, to such sums per annum as it may see fit, but not to exceed the sum of twenty-four hundred dollars per annum each member of the council and thirty-six hundred dollars per annum for the mayor and three thousand dollars per annum for the vice-mayor. (Acts 1942, ch. 167, p. 209; Acts 1968, ch. 22, p. 49; Acts 1976, ch. 298, p. 331)
    Sec. 8. Same—Time of meetings; business to be transacted at special meetings; postponement for lack of quorum at regular meetings.
    The council shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution; provided, however, that it shall hold at least two regular meetings each month. No business shall be transacted at a special meeting except that for which it shall have been called, unless all members of the council attend such special meeting or give their written consent thereto. For lack of quorum, any regular meeting may be postponed to such time as the council may determine.
    Sec. 9. Same—Calling special meetings; special meetings without notice.
    The president or any other two members of the council or the city manager may call special meetings of the council at any time upon at least twelve hours' written notice to each member served personally or left at his usual place of business or residence, but special meetings may be held at any time without notice, provided all members of the council attend said meeting or waive notice thereof.
    Sec. 10. Same—Quorum; consideration or rescission of vote at special meeting; passage of ordinances or resolutions appropriating or borrowing money or imposing taxes.
    A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. No vote shall be considered or rescinded at any special meeting unless at such special meeting there be present as large a number of members as were present when such vote was taken. No ordinance or resolution appropriating money exceeding the sum of one thousand dollars, imposing taxes or authorizing the borrowing of money, shall be passed by the council on the same day on which it is introduced, nor shall any such ordinance or resolution be valid unless at least three days intervene between its introduction and date of passage. No ordinance or resolution appropriating money exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars, imposing taxes or authorizing the borrowing of money shall be passed except by recorded affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the council.
    Sec. 11. Same—Election and appointment of officers by council except where otherwise provided.
    The officers of the city whose election or appointment is not otherwise provided for herein or under the general statutes of the state, shall be elected or appointed by the council except such administrative officers and employees as are appointed by the city manager under the powers granted him by this Act.
    Sec. 12. Same—Resolutions or ordinances increasing indebtedness of city or appropriating money; effect of motion to reconsider.
    Upon the announcement by the president of the adoption of resolutions or ordinances having for their object the increase of the indebtedness of the city, or the expenditure of its revenues, except for the payment of its salaried officers and employees, any two councilmen may give notice of a motion to reconsider, which motion shall delay the question until said reconsideration can be acted on at the (next) regular meeting of the council.
    Sec. 13. City manager—Administrative head of city; manner of and qualifications for selection; compensation; term; absence or disability.
    The city manager shall be the administrative head of the municipal government. He shall be chosen by the council without regard to his political belief and solely upon the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications. The choice shall not be limited to the inhabitants of the city or state unless otherwise required by the Constitution of the state. The city manager shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the council by ordinance or resolution. He shall be appointed for an indefinite period and shall serve at the will of the council. During the absence or disability of the city manager, the council shall designate some properly qualified person to perform his duties.
    Code reference—City manager, § 2–96 et seq.
    Sec. 14. Same—Powers and duties generally.
    The city manager shall be responsible to the council for the efficient administration of all affairs of the city. He shall have power, and it shall be his duty:
    First. To see that all laws and ordinances are enforced.
    Second. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, to appoint all heads or directors of departments, and all subordinate officers and employees of the city, with power to discipline and remove any officer or employee so appointed. Such appointments and removals shall be reported to the council at its next regular meeting.
    Third. To exercise supervision and control over all departments and divisions created herein or that may be hereafter created by the council.
    Fourth. To attend all regular meetings of the council with the right to take part in the discussion but having no vote. He shall be entitled to notice of all special meetings.
    Fifth. To recommend to the council for adoption such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient.
    Sixth. To see that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the city or its inhabitants in any public utility franchise are faithfully kept and performed; upon knowledge of any violation thereof, to call the same to the attention of the council and of the city attorney.
    Seventh. To make and execute all contracts on behalf of the city except as may be otherwise provided by this Act or by ordinance passed in pursuance thereof.
    Eighth. To act as budget commissioner and as such to prepare and submit to the council the annual budget, after receiving estimates made by the heads or directors of the departments or of any boards or commissions not within the departments.
    Ninth. To keep the council at all times fully advised as to the financial conditions and needs of the city.
    Tenth. To perform all such other duties as may be prescribed by law or be required of him by ordinance or resolution of the council.
    Sec. 14–a. Same—Preparation and submission to council of annual budget.
    At such time as council may direct, but not later than forty-five days before the end of each fiscal year, the city manager shall prepare and submit to the council for informative and fiscal planning purposes only, an annual budget for the ensuing year, based upon detailed estimates furnished by the several departments and other divisions of the city government according to a classification as nearly uniform as possible. The budget shall contain such other information as may be prescribed by council. (Act 1960, ch. 479, § 1, p. 740)
    Sec. 15. Councilmen not to hold other city office during term or twelve months thereafter.
    No person elected to the council, whether be qualify or not, shall during the term for which he was elected or twelve months after the expiration of that time be elected by the council or appointed by the city manager to any position of trust or office of trust or profit of the city.
    Sec. 16. Election and terms of office of city clerk, auditor, attorney and collector.
    The council shall elect a city clerk, a city auditor (the duties of both officers, city clerk and city auditor, may be imposed upon one individual), a city attorney and a city collector, each of whom shall serve for such term as may be provided by the council, and until his successor has been elected and qualified.