Draft Charter Update

As of October 10, 2020, Elkins council has released a draft city charter update and commenced the steps required for that draft to be eligible for adoption via ordinance in November. (For more information about the Elkins charter-change process, click here.)

The planned steps for adopting changes to the city charter follow the process laid out in West Virginia Code 8-4-8.

  • Click here to read our blog post announcing this process.
  • Click here to access the proposed charter draft.
  • See the table at the bottom of this page to review the major charter changes proposed in this draft.

Important Dates:

  • Oct. 10, 2020:  Class II legal ad, first publication
  • Oct. 21, 2020:  Class II legal ad, second publication
  • November 9, 2020: Public hearing/first reading of charter change adoption ordinance
  • November 19, 2020: Second and final reading of adoption ordinance (can only adopt changes with no or withdrawn objections)
  • March 2, 2021: Elkins city election (ballot can include charter changes objected to during ordinance process)
  • April 1, 2021: Effective date of changes adopted via both ordinance and election
1901 CharterProposed Changes
Stipulates a plan of government similar to what W. Va. state code now calls the Mayor-Council Plan (also known as “weak mayor/strong council”). Council and the mayor, as a collective group, are the city’s governing and administrative authority, with the mayor holding almost no independent authority.Adopts what W. Va. state code calls the Manager-Mayor plan of government. Council and mayor are the city’s governing body, while administrative authority is assigned to a manager appointed and supervised by council. Click here for more about city managers. (1.04)
Lists more than 80 “corporate powers and duties of council.”Replaces list with the provision that City of Elkins has “all the powers now or hereafter granted to municipal corporations and to cities of its class by the Constitution and general laws of the State.” (1.02)
City council has 10 members, two from each of the city’s 5 wards. Members are elected by the voters of the wards they represent.No change to number or qualifications. City voters cast ballots for all five wards' representatives. (2.02)
City elections held in March of odd-numbered years.City elections would be held in June of odd-numbered years. (2.02)
Mayors serve two-year terms.Mayors would serve four-year terms. (3.01)
Clerk and treasurer are appointed to two-year terms. All other department heads (i.e., fire chief, operations manager, and police chief) are at-will employees.All five administrative officers would be at-will employees. (Clerk: 3.06; Treasurer: 3.07)
Clerk is acting mayor in mayor’s absence or during vacancy in mayor’s office.Council selects one of its own to serve as acting mayor during extended absence. In case of vacancy in mayor’s office, council appoints a new mayor to serve until the next election. (3.05)
Contains no procedure for preparation and presentation to council of the annual budget.Codifies a budget process, including an annual budget message and a five-year capital plan. (Article IV) Budget is supervised by the Finance Committee. (2.09)
Doesn’t stipulate any standing council committees.Stipulates five standing committees:
• Finance
• Rules and Ordinances
• Personnel
• Municipal Properties
• Public Safety

Council/the mayor may create more committees as needed.
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