You asked: Updates under consideration
What progress has been made in the long-running effort to update Dillwyn’s charter?
Updates on the town of Dillwyn’s charter have yet to be finalized, according to Town Clerk and Treasurer Peggy Johnson.
Dillwyn Town Council, town attorney and the Farmville based Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) have been working on updating the charter during the past year. According to Johnson, about six months ago, the charter was given to the CRC to be reviewed. CRC staff are currently researching the document, Johnson said.
“We’ve been talking about it for years,” Johnson said.
The push to move forward with changes was put in motion by the board of elections, Johnson said. Because the town has moved its elections from May to November, the board requested the town alter its charter to reflect the change.
The charter currently states, “the first election under the charter for election of mayor and councilmen of the said town shall be held on the second Tuesday in June, 1912, and every two years thereafter, and their term of office shall commence on the first day of September after their election.”
During the update process, other “little things” came up they want to see changed, Johnson said.
One section of the charter being looked at for change is Section 11, which states that any person who sells alcoholic beverages will be fined $50-$100, charged with a misdemeanor and may be imprisoned up to 60 days.
“We’re just updating it; making it more up to date,” she said.
The town last updated the charter in 1952; a previous update took place in 1920. The original charter dates back to 1912.
Once the CRC reviews the document, Johnson said, there has to be a town hearing for the public to approve the changes made.
“The charter is really not an issue right now,” she said. “If we don’t change it, it’s not an issue either.”
According to the Virginia General Assembly, a charter is a legislative document passed by the General Assembly establishing a city or a town and sets forth its organization and powers.
A charter can also be referred to as a constitution. Every city and town in Virginia is required to have one. Any amendment to a charter must also be approved by the General Assembly. Counties are not required to have a charter but may adopt one as a way of organizing themselves, according to the General Assembly website.
(The online version of this story has been updated to clarify the CRC’s role in the charter update process. The CRC is only reviewing the document and does not have approval power.)