WVML Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Municipal Home Rule Board is now accepting applications for 14 new cities, towns and villages to join the 20 that have already been granted home-rule status.

The Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program was created in 2007 and began with four cities: Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling and Bridgeport. The initial pilot program lasted five years and granted those cities authority to enact ordinances, acts, resolutions, rules and regulations without regard to state law with several exceptions. Home-rule municipalities must still comply with the constitutions of the United States and West Virginia, and some state laws, such as criminal and controlled substance laws, are still off-limits.

Based on its initial success, the 2013 Legislature moved to continue and expand the program to 16 more cities. In October 2014, the Home Rule Board accepted the following cities into the pilot program: Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna and Weirton.

On March 14, 2015, the West Virginia Legislature expanded the program for a second time when it passed Senate Bill 323, permitting the addition of 14 more municipalities. The bill specified that four of the new municipalities must be class IV, which is the designation for towns or villages with populations of fewer than 2,000 people.

Municipalities seeking home-rule authority may submit applications to the board any time, and there is no deadline to apply. The application must include a written plan outlining which state laws, policies, acts, resolutions, rules or regulations are preventing the municipality to carry out duties in the most cost-effective, efficient and timely manner, as well as specific problems created by the laws and proposed solutions.

The application as well as guidelines and a checklist are now available online at www.wvcommerce.org/homerule. More information about the program is also available there, as well as applications submitted by existing home-rule municipalities.

By Ashton Marra 
WV Public Broadcasting

Home rule legislation was first adopted in the state as a five year pilot program for four cities. In 2013, the program was extended through 2019 and expanded to an additional 16 cities.

Twenty-two cities applied for the 16 spots in May and board members have been reviewing the applications.

Home rule extends certain authority to municipalities they wouldn’t normally have under the state’s Constitution, bringing more power to the local level.
Clarksburg City Manager Martin Howe said Monday now that his city has been accepted, there are two ways his city council plans to use the new authority in the near future.

“One would be how we can go about collecting for demolition fees that we’ve done in the past as well as implementing a one percent sales tax to reduce the burden on some of our retailers and businesses within the city.”

In order to establish a one percent sales tax, cities must reduce their business and occupation taxes.

Including Clarksburg, the 16 new Home Rule cities are Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna and Weirton.

They join the original four cities of Bridgeport, Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling.

Frontier Communications and DISH Network have launched the America's best Communities Prize contest, a ground-breaking campaign, with over $10 million in cash and other rewards - that will drive economic development, revitalization and sustainable growth in small towns and rural communities.

For complete information, please look at the flyer below:

Download this file (Frontier contest.pdf)America\'s Best Communities Prize[ ]393 kB

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Whether you’ve already registered, or you’re still on the fence, we’ll answer all your Community Leadership Academy queries. Join the “Ask the Expert” Live Chat session on Wednesday, September 17 from noon to 1 p.m. on the WVU Extension Service Facebook page.

Please see the attached flyer below for complete details.

Download this file (Leadership Academy.pdf)Leadership Academy[ ]187 kB

Attached is your Municipal Government Week information packet for


The third week of October each year was proclaimed, “Municipal

Government Week” by the Governor. This year the dates will be October

20-24, 2014, it is our eighteenth annual event and we need your support.

Please take the time to read through the enclosed information and pass it on to the person(s) responsible for putting together this activity.

Call us if you have any questions and as always, share your ideas and news releases with us.

Download this file (Municipal Government Week_2014.pdf)Municipal Government Week 2014[ ]610 kB

The City of Bluefield, West Virginia, "Nature’s Air Conditioned City", is seeking dedicated and energetic individuals who have an interest in serving as the Finance Director. The Finance Director reports directly to the City Manager, and is responsible for providing complex administrative services to the organization and community. The position assists the City Manager in the development and oversight of the implementation of the City’s $10 million annual operating budget.

The Director will be expected to oversee a results-oriented, customer-focused approach in the management of the financial affairs of the organization. Key duties include financial reporting, fiscal analysis, financial forecasting, debt management, investments, purchasing, utility billing, and oversight of the City’s fund accounting. The Finance Director provides oversight of the annual external financial audit for compliance with City laws and policies. The Finance Director also occasionally coordinates grant activities, including grant writing and administration.

The West Virginia Municipal League is sponsoring the "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." essay contest. The contest is open to all 7th grade students in West Virginia. The League wants students to learn more about municipal government and this is a great way to achieve that goal.

Three winners will be chosen from 7th grade students across West Virginia. Each will receive an award plaque and $250 for use toward a savings bond or their college savings fund.

The deadline for entries is November 26, 2014, with essays received at the WV Municipal League office no later than 5:00 p.m. on this day. Winners will be notified in writing by mail.

To enter, complete an entry form (copies are acceptable) and attach to your one page, hand written essay. The students name, teacher's name and school name must appear at the top of the essay

Below is the Entry Form.

Download this file (If I were Mayor2015_Entry Form.pdf)Entry Form[ ]417 kB

The City of St. Marys, WV, is accepting applications for the full time position of City Recorder. In St. Marys, the duties also include that of the City Clerk/Treasurer/HR Director/Office Manager. Applicant must have an accounting background and possess a working knowledge of payroll and labor laws as they relate to payroll. Must have technology skills with the ability to adapt to new business and office hardware and software platforms including a thorough understanding of all aspects of MS Office Software. Possess excellent written and oral communications skills. It is preferred that residency within Pleasants County be established within six months of employment. Salary is negotiable depending on qualifications. Benefits include paid health, dental, vision, life and short term disability insurance, paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave. Retirement is through WV Public Employees Retirement System. Applicants are subject ot a thorough background investigation, including the verification of references. Submit application/resumes along with salary expectations to:

City of St. Marys
Mayor's Office
418 Second Street
St. Marys, WV 26170

Applications/Resumes shall be submitted by August 13, 2014, unless extended by the City until the position is thereafter filled. For further information call City Recorder, Linda K. Wilson at 304-684-2401 during regular business hours.

Topic: The Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions – What Government Employers Need to Know

Date: July 24, 2014
Time: 12 p.m. Eastern Time

Learn about the following topics pertaining to the Affordable Care Act:

  • Defining an Applicable Large Employer
  • Determining whether or not the entity is an
  • Applicable Large Employer
  • When and how the employer shared
  • responsibility applies
  • Forms of transition relief

To register: Click here. You will use the same link to attend the event.

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