By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 | 12:20 p.m.
TOWN OF MCKENNEY – McKenney’s local government operations are slated to return to normal after a series of resignations were withdrawn following a “misunderstanding,” town officials confirmed.
According to officials with the town’s government, last month, “a majority” of the town’s five-person council had put in letters of resignation from their position as council members last month, resulting in questions about how the town government would proceed without a majority of council members seated.
Less than a week before the town council’s scheduled meeting this Friday, their legal representative T.O. Rainey said the council will be seated and the matter has been addressed.
“[The letters of resignation] have all been withdrawn and the Council is fully constituted and working,” Rainey said.
When asked, Rainey didn’t go into specifics as to what exactly transpired to lead to a majority of McKenney’s town council to submit letters of resignation from their seats, only saying, “There was a misunderstanding and they were able to resolve that misunderstanding.”
If a majority of McKenney’s town council had submitted letters of resignation and they were accepted, the result would have been that the town’s governing body would’ve lacked a quorum to proceed with the town’s business, according to the Code of Virginia.
In Virginia Code Section 15.2-1415, “a governing body may exercise any of the powers conferred upon it at any meeting of the governing body, regular, special or adjourned at which a quorum is present,” which is defined by state law as “a majority of the governing body,” which, in this case, would be a minimum of three members.
If that quorum is not present, it is not considered a meeting of that local governing body, in a similar vein to if a majority of members are absent for a meeting, be it regular, special, or adjourned, that gathering would not be considered a formal meeting of that governing body.
Regarding filling the seats had the resignations been accepted, the Code of Virginia states, “If a majority of the seats on any governing body or elected school board are vacant, the remaining members shall not make interim appointments and the vacancies shall be filled” according to state law, which would see a “majority of the judges of the judicial circuit for the county or city in which it occurs,” in this case, Dinwiddie, making an interim appointment until the vacancy can be filled through either the general election in November or a special election.
According to the Virginia Department of Elections, McKenney Town Council seats are scheduled to appear on the November 6, 2018, ballot as elections for candidates are held every two years.