"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves."

Thomas Jefferson (1820)

 

CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS

        CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT

               Linda S. Timmons          540-672-4030          PO Box 230, Orange, VA 22960

        COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE

               Donna Chewning           540-672-4441          PO Box 389, Orange, VA 22960

        COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY

                Diana Wheeler             540-672-4848          PO Box 310, Orange, VA 22960

        SHERIFF

               C. G. Feldman              540-672-1200          PO Box 445, Orange, VA 22960

        TREASURER

               Phyllis M. Yancey          540-672-2656          PO Box 469, Orange, VA 22960

 


In Virginia, the public elects not just its local, state, and federal representatives but also its constitutional officers, so named because the Constitution of Virginia specifically establishes their offices.  This system dates back to the earliest days of the nation and is based on the presumption that the most important services of government should be made directly accountable to the citizens by popular vote.

           Though rooted in tradition, today's Constitutional Officers manage thoroughly modern, efficient operations equipped with the latest technology.  Their commitment to service and integrity however has never changed.  Virginia's citizens can feel confident that the past, the future of these important local government functions is secure in the hands of its locally elected constitutional officers.

             In most of Virginia's localities, citizens choose the following Constitutional Officers:

  Clerk of the Circuit Court

  The Code of Virginia lists over 800 separate responsibilities for the Clerk, many of which are highly complex and challenging.  The Clerk serves as the recorder of deeds and probate judge, issues marriage licenses and is the official court administrator for all civil and criminal court cases.  In this latter capacity, the Clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, prepares court orders and jury lists, contact jurors and issues summons and court processes.

  Commissioner of the Revenue

Commissioners of the Revenue are the chief tax assessing officers in Virginia cities and counties.  They administer the assessments for businesses and individuals in the following areas:

        $     Real estate taxes (in some cities and large suburban counties, assessors handle this function)

        $      Personal property taxes

        $      Business license fees

        $      Consumer utility taxes

        $      Machinery and tool taxes

        $      Merchants capital taxes

        $       Special taxes on meals, lodging and cigarettes

Commissioners also spend considerable time working on state income taxes, helping citizens complete their returns and performing initial processing prior to delivery of the forms to the State Department of Taxation.

Commonwealth's Attorney

The Commonwealth's Attorney represents the people of Virginia in prosecuting criminal cases.  All Commonwealth Attorneys prosecute the most serious crimes, known as felonies, including murder, rape, and robbery.  In many jurisdictions, they also prosecute misdemeanors and violations of local ordinances, including traffic offenses.

Commonwealth Attorneys have numerous other duties and responsibilities as set forth in the Virginia Constitution and Virginia Code.

Sheriff

The Sheriff's responsibilities cover a range of public safety functions that vary from locality to locality.

        $    Sheriffs provide all law enforcement services, including investigating crimes, pursuing offenders and making arrests.

        $    Sheriffs maintain local jails, housing from a handful to hundreds of offenders awaiting trial or serving short sentences, and by statute are represented on governing boards of all regional jails.  The sheriff may also manage other local corrections programs and transport criminal defendants to and from corrections facilities.

        $    All Virginia sheriffs provide security in local courthouses, serve legal papers throughout their jurisdictions, summon jurors and witnesses, and execute upon court judgments.

Sheriffs are assisted in their duties by deputy sheriffs, appointed by the principal officer.

Treasurer

Virginia city and county Treasurers are the chief financial officers for their localities, collecting taxes and local fees, and making payments on behalf of the local government.  The Treasurer is responsible for every form of revenue which comes to his or her locality including:

        $      Real Estate Taxes

        $      Personal Property Taxes

        $      License Taxes

        $      Permit Fees

        $      State Income Tax

        $      Court, Sheriff and Clerk Fees

Treasurers also manage the investment of local funds and maintain records of local finances.

The Treasurer's independent status as an elected official ensures that local funds will be collected, invested and spent by an officer who reports directly to the people.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court serves an eight-year term.  All other officers serve four-year terms.

 

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