WYTHE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR 2021
ADOPTED JANUARY 12, 2021
Be it resolved that the Wythe County Board of Supervisors does hereby accept and adopt these Rules of Procedure in order to facilitate its powers and duties in accordance with provisions of Title 15.2, Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended.
ARTICLE I - TITLE
1.1 The official title of this board shall be the Wythe County Board of Supervisors.
ARTICLE II - MEMBERS
2.1 The Wythe County Board of Supervisors shall consist of seven members, one elected from each of the six supervisor districts and one from the County At-Large. The term of office for all Supervisors shall be for four years. The Supervisors representing supervisor districts shall be elected on staggered four-year terms, three being elected every odd numbered calendar year, which began in 1981. The member At-Large shall be elected every second odd numbered calendar year, which began in 1983.
ARTICLE III - OFFICERS
3.1 Chairperson. The Chair of the Board shall be elected from its members at the first meeting of each calendar year in accordance with 15.2-402. The Chair shall preside over all meetings, represent the Board at official functions and ceremonial events, and make such appointments as are not required by law to be made by the Board as a body.
3.2 Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chair of the Board shall be elected from its members at the first meeting of each calendar year. The Vice Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board. The Vice Chair shall monitor the time limits for each speaker and remind them of their allocated time for presentation.
3.3 Chair Pro-Tem. The Chair Pro-Tem shall be appointed by the Chair or Vice Chair in the absence of the other, before he leaves the room or in a case where the Chair or Vice Chair has been removed from office. In the event no Chair Pro-Tem has been appointed, one shall be selected by the members remaining. This person shall preside in the absence of the foregoing officers.
3.4 Term of Office. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be elected for one-year terms.
3.5 Clerk and Deputy Clerks. In compliance with Section 15.2-1538 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the Administrative Assistant shall serve as Clerk of the Governing Body. His/Her duty shall be all those set forth in Section 15.2-1538 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended. One or more Deputy Clerks may be appointed by the Clerk.
ARTICLE IV - MEETINGS
4.1 Annual Meeting. The first meeting held after the newly elected members of the Board have qualified, and the first meeting held of each succeeding year shall be known as the annual meeting. At such annual meeting, the Board shall establish the days, times, and places for the regular meetings of the Board for the ensuing twelve months. (Section 15.2-1416, Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.)
4.2 Regular Meetings. The Board shall meet in regular session on the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday of each month except the second regular meeting in June shall be held on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. The Board shall meet as shown on the approved Budget Calendar and Meeting Calendar and any subsequent revisions or by recessing any meeting and setting the date and time for continuation of that meeting by roll call vote. The Board may subsequently establish different days, times, or places for such regular meetings by passing a resolution to that effect. However, when the day established as a regular meeting day falls on a legal holiday or is cancelled due to inclement weather the meeting shall be held on the next regular business day, without action of any kind by the Board. (Section 15.2-1416, Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.)
4.3 Special Meetings. A special meeting of the Board shall be called either by the Chair or at the request of two or more members, which request shall be in writing addressed to the Clerk of the Board, specifying the time and place of the proposed special meeting and the matters to be discussed. Upon receipt of the request, the Clerk shall consult with the Chair and then immediately notify each member of the Board and the County Attorney, in writing, to attend the special meeting at the given time and place and for the given purpose. The notice shall specify matters to be discussed at the special meeting. No matters other than those specified in the notice shall be considered at such meeting unless all members are present and agree to such action by unanimous vote. (Section 15.2-1418 et al Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.)
4.4 Notice to Public. The Clerk shall notify the general news media of the time and place of all meetings when three or more members of the Board are scheduled to attend to conduct County business.
4.5 Public Hearings. Public hearings shall be held after proper public notice has been given. (Section 15.2-1427(F), Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.)
4.6 Recessed Meetings. Any regular or special meeting may be recessed by a majority of the members of the Board present to a date and time designated prior to the next regular meeting.
4.7 Place of Meetings. The session location for the Supervisors' meetings shall be held in the Supervisors' chambers of the County Administration Building, 340 South Sixth Street, Wytheville, Virginia, unless a different meeting place shall have been established and notice published as required by the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.
4.8 Open Meetings. All meetings shall be open to the public, provided that the Board may, for purposes provided for in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, upon motion made, seconded, and duly adopted, meet in closed session. No resolution, ordinance, rule, contract, regulation, or motion shall be adopted in closed meeting. All motions shall become effective only after it is properly voted upon in an open meeting and takes a vote of the membership on such resolution, ordinance, rule, contract, regulation, or motion.
ARTICLE V - QUORUM AND ACTIONS
5.1 Quorum. A majority of all the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. The Chair shall be included and counted in determining the presence or absence of a quorum.
5.2 Required Absence. No action shall be taken by the Board unless there shall be present at least a quorum, provided, however, that the temporary absence from the meeting room of members sufficient to constitute a quorum shall not be deemed to prevent the hearing of presentations or the discussion of matters submitted to the Board. The Clerk shall suggest the absence of quorum prior to the taking of any action by the Board. Failure of the Clerk, or any member of the Board, to suggest the absence of a quorum shall not be deemed to alter the effect of this rule requiring a quorum as a prerequisite to any action.
5.3 Remote Participation in Board Meetings. Board members may participate in meetings of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors or a Wythe County Board of Supervisors Committee by electronic means as permitted by Virginia Code §2.2-3708.1 and in compliance with the Wythe County Electronic Meeting Policy. This applies to the entire membership and without regard to the identity of the member requesting remote participation or the matters that will be considered or voted on at the meeting.
Whenever an individual member wishes to participate from a remote location, the law requires a quorum of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors to be physically assembled at the primary or central meeting location, and there must be arrangements for the voice of the remote participant to be heard by all persons at the primary or central meeting location.
When such individual participation is due to an emergency or personal matter, such participation is limited by law to two meetings or 25 percent of the meetings of the public body per member each calendar year, whichever is fewer.
A supervisor wishing to participate from a remote location in a meeting of the Board shall notify the Board Chair on or before the date of the meeting that the supervisor is unable to attend, identify with specificity the nature of the personal matter. The Clerk shall record in the minutes the specific nature of the personal matter and the remote location from which the absent supervisor participated.
5.3.1 During a disaster and/or declared state of emergency from the Governor, and it is impracticable or unsafe for a quorum of the Board to assemble in one location then the Board may conduct its meetings electronically to assure the continuity of its government. (See Code of Virginia §2.2-3708.2(A)(3), §44-146.17, §15.2-1413, and §44-146.21.)
5.4 Action of the Board. Action of the Board shall be taken in one of the following ways:
- Ordinances. Where required by law, action shall be by the adoption of ordinances. Ordinances shall be proposed for adoption, notice given, and adoption accomplished as provided for by general law.
- Resolutions. Where it is not required by law or desired by the Board to act by the adoption of an ordinance, action may be taken by the adoption of a resolution. Resolutions shall be proposed in writing and a copy shall be delivered to the Clerk and all members of the Board prior to the proposing of adoption.
- Contracts. In certain instances, action may be required by contract. Contracts shall be proposed in writing; and a copy shall be delivered to the Clerk and all members of Board prior to the proposing of adoption.
- Motions. Where action of the Board is required on a matter simply stated, action may be taken by voice vote. A call for the vote is non-debatable and ends all discussion. The vote shall be taken immediately.
5.5 Voting. Votes shall be taken on all motions made and seconded.
5.6 Roll Call Vote. A roll call vote shall be taken at the request of any member when such a request is made prior to the taking up of any other business. A roll call vote shall be taken on the final vote on any ordinance, resolution, contract, or money matter.
5.7 Restating the Question. The Chair shall restate the question prior to the taking of a vote; however, the Chair may request that another member restate the question if in the Chair’s opinion that will expedite the decision thereof.
5.8 Unanimous Consent. Where no formal action is required, and no objection is heard, a request of a member shall be deemed a request of the Board without further action, when such request is made at a meeting with a quorum present, and the Chair states that such a request shall be deemed a request of the Board.
5.9 Tie Votes. When a tie vote occurs, the question shall be passed by until the next meeting, regular or special, at which time it must be put to a vote again. If the tie remains unbroken the question is defeated and the Clerk will record it as defeated.
5.10 Reconsideration. An action shall be reconsidered only upon a motion of a member voting with the prevailing side on the original vote. A motion to reconsider may be made by a member voting on the losing side of the original vote after a six (6) month period has elapsed. A motion to reconsider may be seconded by any member.
ARTICLE VI - ORDER OF BUSINESS
6.1 Commencement of Meeting. All Regular Meetings of the Board shall begin at 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time, or Daylight Savings Time) and at the specified hour for recessed or special meetings, the presiding officer shall call the meeting to order, provide for the invocation, and direct the Clerk to note the presence or absence of members. A quorum shall be required to commence the meeting at the appointed hour.
6.2 Agenda. The County Administrator shall prepare an agenda for each meeting. The County Administrator shall consult with Chair for any items that need to be addressed or brought forth by the citizens of Wythe County. Any member having matters he desires to have considered shall submit them to the County Administrator and Chair of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors for inclusion in the appropriate agenda at least seven days prior to the meeting where it is to be considered. No matters concerning any department of the County or agency funded by the County shall be considered at a Board meeting unless the matter has been presented to the County Administrator for consideration and has been handled as all other requests. Any emergency matter requiring Board action shall be presented to the County Administrator prior to the meeting so that adequate information can be provided to Board for their consideration.
6.3 Citizens’ Time. There shall be an agenda item known as Citizens’ Time to allow Wythe County citizens to address the Board regarding any matter that is not an agenda item. This shall consist of a twenty-minute period and shall be divided among the citizens who desire to speak, however if seven or more persons sign up to speak at citizens’ time each person shall be allocated three minutes. No one shall be allowed to exceed the time limit specified in other sections of the Rules of Procedure. Any person not a citizen of Wythe County may request through the County Administrator to be placed on the regular agenda.
6.4 Supervisors' Time. The Chair shall provide in each regular meeting's agenda, a period during which each Board member shall be entitled to unrestricted use of five minutes for such purposes as each member may deem appropriate. At the end of such five-minute period for each member, the Chair shall call the Board to order, and any continuation of the matter then under discussion shall go over to the end of the agenda, or to a subsequent meeting, as the Chair may determine. Matters not included on the agenda and not disposed of during each member's unrestricted time, shall be taken up only if the presiding officer determines that:
- They are emergency in nature; or
- They involve persons present who would not be present at a subsequent meeting; or
- The member initiating the matter secures the unanimous consent of the members present.
6.5 County Administrator and County Attorney Reports. To the maximum extent possible, County Administrator and County Attorney Reports shall be scheduled on the fourth Tuesday.
6.6 Administrative and Informational Matters. Administrative and Informational Matters shall not be placed on the agenda, or considered by the Board until the interested Board member has ascertained from the County Administrator that all administrative actions have been taken, or following a request for action until an unreasonable time has elapsed and insufficient administrative action has been taken. Matters having to do with actions or failures to act by the Administrative Staff shall not be placed on the agenda or considered by the Board until the County Administrator shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to furnish the interested member or members with an explanatory statement.
6.7 Order on Agenda. The Chair, in consultation with the County Administrator, may amend the order of the agenda, taking into account the need for staff or other presentations, and probable public interest, in order to maximize convenience to the public and minimize adverse impact on performance of normal staff functions, insofar as it is practicable.
6.8 Minutes. The Clerk shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the Board. At the request of any member, made at the time of said presentation of discussion, the minutes shall include a summary of the substance of the presentation or debate. The Clerk shall maintain for five years an electronic recording of the proceedings of all Board meetings except the Closed Sessions. An electronic copy of the minutes of the transcribed proceedings shall be kept on file in the County Administrator's office for the general public and available on the Wythe County website. Copies may be purchased by citizens.
6.9 Approval of Minutes. The Clerk shall promptly transcribe the minutes following completion of the meeting and shall submit digital copies for distribution to the Board of Supervisors for comment as soon as they are available. After the minutes have been reviewed for clerical or grammatical errors, they shall be placed on the County website as Draft subject to Board action. The minutes shall be placed on the next Board agenda for approval upon their completion and review by the Clerk. Approval of the minutes shall be placed on the agenda after citizen time, public hearings and payment of invoices. The minutes shall be approved, or corrected and approved without reading.
6.10 Matters Having to do With Agencies. Agencies which are not under the administrative supervision of the County Administrator shall not be placed on the agenda or considered by the Board until the affected agency shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to furnish the County Administrator and interested members of the Board with background information or data. Any department of the County government, agency, or organization who wishes to submit a request for funds that have not been budgeted will submit their request in writing to the County Administrator at least seven days prior to a regularly scheduled Board meeting so that it can be placed on the agenda. Agencies heads and its employees shall not be allowed to speak at citizen’s time until they have followed all the procedures set forth in this document unless the item deals with issues outside the workplace.
6.11 Finances. The Board of Supervisors is not a lending institution. The Board of Supervisors will not loan money to any authority, agency, or volunteer organization.
ARTICLE VII - ORDER IN THE CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
7.1 Persons Addressing the Board. These persons shall limit their presentation to the time allotted by the Chair on the agenda, unless the Board by unanimous consent, shall extend such time. The Chairperson, in fixing such time, shall take into account the complexity of the matter, its importance in relation to other business of the Board, and time available on the meeting date sought. Insofar as is practicable, persons addressing the Board shall furnish the Clerk and members of the Board with a written copy of their remarks.
7.2 Public Hearings. In instances in which persons address the Board, through the Chair, without having first being placed on the agenda, they shall limit their remarks as follows, except in extraordinary circumstances:
- Person speaking for himself or his immediate neighborhood - Five (5) Minutes.
- Person speaking for an organization whose membership is representative of an entire district – Seven (7) Minutes.
- Person speaking for an organization whose membership is representative of the entire county – Ten (10) Minutes.
7.3 Recognition. Shall be given only by the presiding officer. No person shall address the Board without having first been recognized and coming forth stating name and address. When all public testimony has concluded, and the Board is considering and discussing the matter, no person shall thereafter be recognized to address the Board.
7.4 Cumulative or Repetitive Testimony. Shall not be permitted on any matter, and persons of the same position as a previous speaker shall state their name and the position with which they agree.
7.5 Questions. By Board members, shall be reserved insofar as possible for the end of a presentation to avoid interrupting the speaker, disrupting the time-keeping process, and duplicating ground the speaker may cover.
7.6 Oaths and Affirmations. May be administered and taken by the Chair or person presiding in his stead, when a majority of the Board deems it appropriate to take sworn testimony. Such action may be taken by the adoption of a motion to place a specific individual under oath, or to place all of those who will speak to a given item of business under oath. The Chair may place an individual under oath at any time before or during his presentation. Any such person shall be deemed to remain under oath as to the matter with respect to which he was sworn, for the remainder of the duration of the meeting.
7.7 Discussion and Debate by the Board. Shall be conducted following the presentation of testimony on the item of business pending. Members shall not speak to the item until recognized by the Chair, members shall have three (3) minutes to speak on any subject. A member who has spoken to the item shall not again be recognized until each other member desiring to speak shall have an opportunity to speak and the rebuttal comments shall be limited to two (2) minutes. After the Board shall have acted, any member shall have the right to state a protest against the action, and his reasons therefore, for a time not to exceed two (2) minutes. Members of the audience shall not be allowed to address the Board unless a clarification is requested by the Chair.
ARTICLE VIII - DECORUM
8.1 Of Board Members. Shall be maintained in order to expedite disposition of the business before the Board. Questions, and remarks, shall be limited to those relevant to the pending business. Members shall not converse with other members or with other persons in any manner having a disturbing effect on the conduct of business. Members shall address all remarks to the Chair as the presiding officer.
8.2 Of Other Person(s). Shall be maintained by the Chair, who may request such assistance as to him appears necessary. Persons addressing the Board shall limit their remarks to those relevant to the pending items, and to answering questions. They shall address the Board as a whole, unless answering an individual member's questions. The presiding officer shall call the speaker to order, if out-of-order remarks, or other indecorous conduct persists, the presiding officer shall order the speaker from the lectern. The order with gavel, if not heeded, will then cause the Sheriff to carry out the order. Persons whose allotted time to speak has expired shall be warned by the presiding officer to conclude in one minute, after which such person shall leave the lectern, unless he is asked to remain to answer questions from the Board. No persons in attendance shall be allowed to voice remarks except as recognized by the presiding officer after audibly stating their name, address, and who they represent. Groups in the audience creating an atmosphere detrimental or disturbing the conduct of the meeting will be asked to leave by the presiding officer. No person shall bring into the Board Room any sign, banner, or other such item; provided, that models, photos, maps, charts, drawings, and other such demonstrative materials intended for use in a presentation by a specific person shall be permitted. Taping of the meeting shall be permitted from the rear of the Board Room in an area designated for such purposes.
ARTICLE IX - MISCELLANEOUS
9.1 Roberts Rules of Order. Newly revised Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings of the Board to the extent that they are not inconsistent with these rules and the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Clerk shall make available at all meetings a copy of the newly revised Roberts Rules of Order.
9.2 Amendment of the Rules. May be accomplished by a majority vote of the entire membership, provided that such amendment may not be voted upon at any meeting unless the text of the proposed amendment has been presented to at least one previous meeting at which the date for a vote has also been established. Any proposed amendment shall be subject to further amendment at the meeting at which the vote is taken.
9.3 Suspension of the Rules. May occur whenever the Board shall by a two-thirds vote adopt a motion to suspend the rules. In such event, the rules shall be deemed suspended only with respect to the specific matter or question not then in accord with the rules.