Delegate reintroducing accountability bill

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A bill that would give power to local governments to remove people appointed to boards or commissions at any time is scheduled for a subcommittee review today in the General Assembly.

HB 1383 states: “Any appointee of a local governing body to a local board, committee, or commission, whether appointed pursuant to § 15.2-1411 [of the Virginia State Code] or any other provision of the Code, shall serve at the pleasure of the local governing body and may be removed at any time, notwithstanding the initial term of appointment or any other provision of general law to the contrary.”

The sponsor is Del. Rick Morris (R-64), who presented the issue in 2014.

“It’s the exact same bill,” he said. “I’m trying to bring some accountability to government appointees.” Elected officials, Morris added, are always accountable to voters. But removing people from boards is not as easy. Replacing those who aren’t doing their jobs shouldn’t take “an act of a judge. It’s not good government.”

When the delegate brought the matter up last year as HB 513, he said the bill, “will help make government more efficient and effective.”

That legislation was left in the Committee for Counties, Cities and Towns.

“It’s never an easy process,” Morris said. “We always want to get the right people in the job.”