Chap. 18. - An ACT to declare that the Council of the city of Wheeling shall consist of two Boards or Branches.
Passed January 15, 1863.
1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the council of the city of Wheeling, after the next election of officers for said city, shall consist of two separate and distinct boards, with the powers, capacities, and jurisdiction, now by law vested in the council of said city; one of which boards or bodies shall be called the first branch of the council of the city of Wheeling, and the other of which boards shall be caled the second branch of the council of said city; and that no tax shall be levied, no appropriation of money be made, no contract entered into, nor any ordinance, by-law, or order be made or enacted without the consent of both of said branches of said city council. But each branch shall be the judge of the election and qualificatio of its own members, and shall have power to make all needful and proper rules and regulations for the government of its own body, and for the convenient direction and dispatch of its affairs and business.
2. Be it further enacted, That the board created by, and mentioned in the sixth section of the act of the general assembly, entitled "An act to incorporate the city of Wheeling, in Ohio county," passed March eleventh, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, shall constitute and be called the said second branch of the said city council, and shall be chosen and continue, as is now provided by law, with its existing capacity, power and functions, except in so far as the same are abridged, altered or modified by the provisions of this act.
3. The first branch of said council shall consist of two members from each ward of the city, and shall be elected by the persons residing in the respective wards, qualified under existing laws to vote for mayor and members of council.
4. At the first annual election for city officers after the passage of this act, there shall be elected by the qualified voters in each ward, two citizens thereof, to be members of the said first branch of the said city council. The member receiving in each ward the greater number of votes, and otherwise qualified, shall continue in office for two years, and until his successor is qualified; and the other member of each ward, and otherwise qualified, shall continue in office one year, and until his successor is qualified, and thereafter annually there shall be chosen by the qualified voters of each ward, one member of the first branch aforesaid for each ward, who shall continue in office for two years, and until his successor is qualified.
5. No person shall be eligible as a memebr of the first branch, unless he be a citizen of the state, and shall have resided in said city at least three years preceding his election, and is a resident of the ward for which he is chosen. And the first branch, as well as the said other branch, shall have power to fill vacancies occurring in their own body by the appointment of a qualified person; and also to remove a member for misbehavior, provided two-thirds of the whole number of such members shall concur in such removal.
6. At all meetings of the first branch it shall be the duty of the mayor to preside, but in his absence the members present constituting a quorum may appoint from their own body a chairman, pro tempore, and they may adopt such rules and appoint such officers, including a clerk, as they may deem proper for the regulation of their proceedings and the convenient transaction of their business. But the salaries of the officers of each branch shall be ascertained and fixed by the council, as it is by this act created and defined.
7. It shall require the presence of a majority of the whole number of each branch as fixed by law, to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time, and compel the attendance of absent members in such way as the council may have provided.
8. The second branch of said council shall appoint one of its own members to preside over its deliberations, who shall be called the president of the second branch of the city council, and it shall be his duty when present, to preside at all meetings thereof, but in his absence, it may appoint one of its own members to preside as president pro tempore.
9. When the office of mayor of the said city is vacant, the president of the second branch shall be mayor of the city, until such vacancy is filled, except that he shall not preside at the meetings of the first branch; and when the mayor of the city is temporarily absent therefrom, the president of the second branch may, if the council shall so ordain, possess the powers and exercise the duties of mayor during the time the mayor may continue absent from the city.
10. All propositions involving an appropriation of money, shall originate in the second branch of said council, but the first branch may propose or concur with amendments, as in other propositions.
11. The council of said city, as hereby created, shall have full power to make, pass and execute any ordinance which may be necessary or proper, to carry into effect the true intent and meaning of this act.
12. This act shall be in force from and after its passage.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1863