Norfolk, Virginia

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Norfolk, Virginia
Seal of Norfolk, Virginia.png
General information
Paul Fraim.jpg
Mayor:Paul Fraim
Mayor party:Nonpartisan
Last mayoral election:May 6, 2014
Next mayoral election:2018
Last city council election:May 6, 2014
Next city council election:2016
City council seats:8
2015 FY Budget:$1.1 billion
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:246,139
Gender:47.8% Female
Race:White 44.3%
African American 42.8%
Hispanic or Latino 7.3%
Asian 3.7%
Two or More Races 3.4%
Unemployment:7.5%
Median household income:$44,164
High school graduation rate:85.3%
College graduation rate:25.4%
Related Norfolk offices
Virginia Congressional Delegation
Virginia State Legislature
Virginia state executive offices
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2013, its population was 246,139.[1]

City government

See also: Council-manager government

The city of Norfolk 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 a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council's policy and legislative initiatives.[2]

City manager

The city manager is the city's chief executive. The responsibilities of the city manager include overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, planning and implementing the city's operating budget and appointing departmental directors and other senior-level positions.[3]

Mayor

The mayor is a member of city council. He or she presides over council meetings and official city ceremonies. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels. Paul Fraim is the current Mayor of Norfolk.[4]

City council

The Norfolk City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[2]

Membership

The Norfolk City Council is made up of eight members. Seven members are elected by the city's seven wards, while the mayor is elected at-large.[4]

A current list of 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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk city boards and commissions, see here.

Budget

Norfolk's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2015 was $1.1 billion.[6]

Contact information

City Council
1006 City Hall Building
810 Union St.
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: (757) 664-4268

To contact individual council members, see here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Virginia

Norfolk City code provides for initiative and referendum powers for city ordinances. An initiative petitions requires signatures equaling 10% of electors who cast their votes a the last preceding regular municipal election for council members. A referendum petition requires signatures equalling 25% of these electors but not fewer than 4,000. Circulators of the petition have 120 days to gather signatures and must get approval of the form, content and language of the petition from the city attorney. If a petition for an ordinance meets the 10% minimum signature requirement the ordinance goes to the legislature. If the legislature fails to pass the ordinance, a second petition requiring signatures equalling 25% of electors but not fewer than 4,000 must be successfully filed to put the ordinance onto the ballot.

Norfold City Code

Lobbying

In 2013, Norfolk's federal lobbying related expenses amounted to approximately $130,000.[7] The issues for which the city filed in 2013, as well as the number of reports, can be seen in the box below. The issues column lists the generic issues that lobbyists working for local governments are required by law to disclose on quarterly federal disclosure forms.[8][9] The reports column gives the number of reports lobbyists filed in regards to each generic issue. To learn more about the details of the specific issues for which Norfolk filed reports, read the federal disclosure forms by clicking the "Issues" links in the box below.

Federal Lobbying Issues, 2013
Reports Issues
4 Fed Budget & Appropriations
4 Environment & Superfund
3 Law Enforcement & Crime

City website evaluation

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Budget
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Meetings
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Elected Officials
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Administrative Officials
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Permits, zoning
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Audits
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Contracts
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Lobbying P
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Public Records N
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Local Taxes
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Transparency grading process
See also: Evaluation of Virginia county websites

This website was reviewed on December 3, 2011.

The good

  • City council members are listed with contact information.[10]
  • Meeting minutes are posted, along with schedules and guidelines for meeting participation.[11]
  • Taxes are payable online.[12]
  • Tax rates are posted for real estate taxes[13] and personal property taxes.[14]
  • Bid opportunities are posted.[15]
  • Bid awards are posted.[16]
  • Administrative officials are listed with contact information within department pages.
  • Budgets are posted.[17]
  • Audits are available.[18]
  • The city posts its lobbying agenda.[19]
  • Zoning information and maps are posted.[20]
  • Building permits are posted.[21]

The bad

See also

External links

References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, "State and County Quick Facts," accessed on October 28, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 City of Norfolk, "City Council," accessed on October 28, 2014
  3. City of Norfolk, "City Manager," accessed on October 28, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 City of Norfolk, "Council Membership," accessed on October 28, 2014
  5. City of Norfolk, "Boards and Commissions," accessed on October 28, 2014
  6. City of Norfolk, "2015 Budget Overview," accessed on October 28, 2014
  7. Open Secrets, "City of Norfolk, VA," accessed on October 28, 2014
  8. U.S. House of Representatives: Office of the Clerk, "Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance," accessed on November 11, 2014
  9. Open Secrets, "Methodology," accessed on November 11, 2014
  10. City of Norfolk, "City Council," accessed December 3, 2011
  11. City of Norfolk, "Council Meeting Minutes," accessed December 3, 2011
  12. City of Norfolk, "Online Payments," accessed December, 3, 2011
  13. City of Norfolk, "Real Estate Taxes," accessed December 3, 2011
  14. City of Norfolk, "Personal Property Taxes," accessed December 3, 2011
  15. City of Norfolk, "Current Bids," accessed December 3, 2011
  16. City of Norfolk, "Public Works Bid Awards," accessed December 3, 2011
  17. City of Norfolk, "Budgets," accessed December 3, 2011
  18. City of Norfolk, "CAFRs," accessed December 3, 2011 (dead link)
  19. City of Norfolk, "Intergovernmental Relations," accessed December 3, 2011
  20. City of Norfolk, "Zoning," accessed December 3, 2011
  21. City of Norfolk, "Applications and Forms," accessed December 3, 2011