- 3 - Rocca: pp. 26-42
IV. Recent developments in Virginia.
A. Report of the Commission on Simplification and Economy of State and Local Government, January, 1924.
1. Pointed out weaknesses of county government due mainly to limited power of board of supervisors, lack of responsible authority, lack of unifying financial authority, etc.
2. Some outstanding recommendations a. Further powers of local legislation to board of supervisors. b. Election of school trustees directly by people. c. Uniform system of accounting, records, and reports. d. Fewer commissioners of the revenue (only one for each county provided in Acts of 1926) e. Limitations upon salaries, allowances, and commissions of fee officers. f. More equitable method of distributing school funds. g. Provision for interest on deposit of public moneys. h. Amendment to State Constitution to allow optional plans for organization of county government.
3. Little action taken on this report, but some of results were: a. Passage by General Assembly of 1924 of act requiring uniform accounting in the counties and publication of annual statements of comparative cost of local government in Virginia. Law faulty and never adequately enforced. b. Budget Act and Auditing Act for counties in 1926 also faulty.
B. Report "County Government in Virginia" made to the Governor and his Committee on Consolidation and Simplification by the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, January, 1927.
1. Pointed out "the scattered, disjointed, and irresponsible type of organization" in all the counties.
2. Some recommendations a. The elimination of the detailed Article VII (Organization and Government of Counties) of the Constitution and the substitution of a general article requiring the General Assembly to provide by statute for the organization of county government. b. The adoption by the counties of either the county administrator or county manager types of government, the main difference between the two plans being that the administrator would be elected by the people while the manager would be appointed by the board of supervisors. c. Elimination of magisterial district for purposes of administration. d. Duties of board of supervisors limited to legislative functions, leaving administrative matters to administrator or manager. More extensive local legislative powers to Supervisors. e. Abolition of following officers and boards: coroner, constables, overseers of the poor, superintendent of the poor, jury commissioners, surveyor, examiner of records, inheritance tax commissioner, school trustee electoral board, school board, boards of health and welfare. Other officers to perform duties of these. f. Elimination of fee system. g. Payment of interest by depositories on all county funds. h. Establishment of modern financial and accounting methods i. Cooperation between adjoining counties in carrying on certain administrative functions, and consolidation of a number of county governments.