Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Seal of Virginia Beach, Virginia.png
General information
William Sessoms.jpg
Mayor:Will Sessoms
Mayor party:Nonpartisan
Last mayoral election:2012
Next mayoral election:2016
Last city council election:2012
Next city council election:2014
City council seats:11
2014-15 FY Budget:$1.8 billion
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:448,479
Gender:50.9% Female
Race:White 68.9%
Hispanic or Latino 7.5%
African American 20.0%
Asian 6.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 0.5%
Two or More 3.9%
Unemployment:4.5%
Median household income:$65,980
High school graduation rate:93.1%
College graduation rate:32.3%
Related Virginia Beach offices
Virginia Congressional Delegation
Virginia State Legislature
Virginia state executive offices
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is considered a county-equivalent. As of 2013, its population was 448,479, while the Virginia Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area contains 1.67 million.[1][2] Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County combined governments in 1963.[3]

City government

The city of Virginia Beach utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council, which includes the mayor and serves as the city's primary legislative body, appoints an executive called a city manager to oversee the city's day-to-day operations.

Mayor

The mayor presides over city council meetings and official city ceremonies. Will Sessoms is the current Mayor of Virginia Beach.[4]

City council

The Virginia Beach City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[4]

Membership

The city council consists of eleven members including the mayor. Three members and the mayor are elected at large, while the other seven council members are elected by the city's seven districts. They all serve four-year, staggered terms.[4]

A full list of city council members can be found here

Boards and commissions

A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Virginia Beach City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.[5]

For a full list of Virginia Beach's commissions, boards and committees, see here

Elections

2014

See also: Virginia Beach, Virginia municipal elections, 2014

The city of Virginia Beach, Virginia will hold elections for city council on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 27, 2014, for party-affiliated candidates and was June 10, 2014, for non-party candidates. The filing deadline for seats where an incumbent has not filed to run for re-election is August 15, 2014. Six council seats are up for election.[6]

Budget

Virginia Beach's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2014-15 was $1.8 billion.[7]

Contact information

Office of the Mayor
Municipal Center
City Hall, Building #1
2401 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Phone: (757) 385-4581
Email: wsessoms@VBgov.com

To contact individual council members, see here.

Lobbying

Main article: Virginia government sector lobbying

The City of Virginia Beach spent $80,000 on lobbying in 2014. They filed for two issues relating to the Federal Budget and Appropriations and one issue each for the following: Energy and Nuclear Power; Homeland Security; Marine, Boats and Fisheries; and Taxes.[8]

Ballot measures

Initiative process

Population as of 2013: 448,479.[1] Virginia Beach is a charter city.

Virginia Beach's initiative process follows state law (see Laws governing local ballot measures in Virginia for details) for both charter amendment and ordinances.

Virginia Beach Charter and Municipal Code

Pensions

Most Virginia Beach is part of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), a multi-employer, defined-benefit pension plan. The city's accrued liabilities for the plan are $1.3 billion, and it is 91.78% funded, with $13.7 million in unfunded liabilities. The annual pension cost in 2010 was $46.7 million for the city and $4.7 million for the school board.[9]

Website evaluation

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Transparency grading process
Main article: Evaluation of Virginia county websites

This website was reviewed Feb. 12, 2013.

The good

  • Elected Officials
    • Contact information for elected officials is posted.[10]
  • Meetings
    • Agendas and minutes for current sessions are posted.[11]
    • Agendas and minutes are archived.[12]
  • Administration
    • Administrative officials are listed with contact information.[13]
  • Taxes
    • Local tax rates are posted.[14]
  • Audits
    • Audits are posted.[15]
    • Audits are archived to 2006.
  • Contracts
    • Bid opportunities are posted,[16]
    • Awarded bids are posted.[17]
  • Budget
    • Budgets are posted.[18]
    • Budgets are archived to 2006.
  • Zoning and Permits
    • Zoning information is available,[19]
    • Building permits are posted.[20]
  • Public Records

The bad

See Also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 U.S. Census, "QuickFacts," accessed August 12, 2014
  2. Virginia Beach, "About the City," accessed December 4, 2011
  3. Virginia Beach, "History," accessed December 4, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 City of Virginia Beach, "City Council," accessed on August 11, 2014
  5. City of Virginia Beach, "Committees," accessed on August 26, 2014
  6. Virginia State Board of Elections, "November 4, 2014 Elections Candidacy Requirements For Local Offices," accessed May 15, 2014
  7. City of Virginia Beach, "FY 15 Adopted Operating Budget," accessed on September 19, 2014
  8. Open Secrets "City of Virginia Beach," accessed on August 15, 2014
  9. Virginia Beach, "2010 CAFR," accessed December 4, 2011
  10. City of Virginia Beach, "Elected Officials," accessed on August 11, 2014
  11. City of Virginia Beach, "Meetings," accessed on August 11, 2014
  12. City of Virginia Beach, "Archived Meeting Info," accessed on August 11, 2014
  13. City of Virginia Beach, "City Officials," accessed on August 11, 2014
  14. City of Virginia Beach, "Tax Rates," accessed on August 11, 2014
  15. City of Virginia Beach, "Audits," accessed on August 11, 2014
  16. City of Virginia Beach, "Bids," accessed on August 11, 2014
  17. City of Virginia Beach, "Awarded Bids," accessed on August 11, 2014
  18. City of Virginia Beach, "Budget," accessed on August 11, 2014
  19. City of Virginia Beach, "Zoning," accessed on August 11, 2014
  20. City of Virginia Beach, "Permits," accessed on August 11, 2014
  21. City of Virginia Beach, "Public Records," accessed on August 11, 2014
  22. Virginia Beach, "Intergovernmental Relations," accessed on December 4, 2011