The West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Program

The West Virginia Legislature created the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program in 2007. The enabling statute empowered municipalities participating in the program to be creative in addressing local problems by implementing ordinances, rules, and regulations not otherwise available because of the various one-size-fits-all statutes that apply to all municipalities. Bridgeport, Charleston, Huntington, and Wheeling were accepted as the first participants in the program.

The home rule statute, W. Va. Code ยง 8-1-5a, has been amended four times. Most recently, the 2019 Legislature rewrote the statute to make the pilot program a permanent program, open the program to all West Virginia municipalities (only four Class IV municipalities can be admitted to the program annually), and establish a $2,000 annual fee to be paid by each participating municipality beginning July 1, 2019.

Administration

The Municipal Home Rule Program is administered by the West Virginia Home Rule Board. The Board typically meets at least four time a year, and consists the following five voting members:

  • The Governor, or a designee, who shall serve as chair;
  • The Executive Director of the West Virginia Development Office, or a designee;
  • One member representing the Business and Industry Council, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate;
  • One member representing the largest labor organization in the state, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; and
  • One member representing the West Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Certified Planners, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Government Organization and the Chair of the House Committee on Government Organization serve as ex officio nonvoting members of the Board.

Board Members

The current Home Rule Board consists of the following members:

  • Chair Designee for Governor Jim Justice:
  • The Honorable Dave Hardy, Cabinet Secretary
  • West Virginia Department of Revenue
  • 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
  • Building 1, Suite W-300
  • Charleston, WV 25305
  • Designee of Executive Director of WV Development Office:
  • Wesley H. White, Esq.
  • West Virginia Department of Commerce
  • 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
  • Building 3, Suite 300
  • Charleston, WV 25305
  • Business & Industry Council Representative:
  • Mr. Mark A. Polen
  • 5004 Bennington Drive
  • Cross Lanes, WV 25313
  • Labor Representative:
  • Mr. Brian Jones, President
  • Professional Firefighters of WV
  • 1296 Forman Drive
  • Morgantown, WV 26508
  • WV Chapter of American Institute of Certified Planners:
  • Mr. Chris Fletcher, Planning Director, City of Morgantown
  • 389 Spruce Street
  • Morgantown, WV 26505
  • Ex-Officio Non-Voting:
  • The Honorable Gregory Boso, Chairman, Senate Committee on Government Organization
  • West Virginia Senate
  • State Capitol Complex
  • Building 1, Room 217-W
  • Charleston, WV 25305-0311
  • Ex-Officio Non-Voting:
  • The Honorable Gary Howell, Chairman, House of Delegates Committee on Government Organization
  • West Virginia House of Delegates
  • State Capitol Complex
  • Building 1, Room 213-E
  • Charleston, WV 25305-0311

Contact

For more information, contact: