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§15-5-4. West Virginia disaster recovery board created; organization of board; appointment of board members; term of office and expenses of board members; meetings.

(a) There is hereby created the West Virginia disaster recovery board. The board shall advise the Governor and the director on all matters pertaining to emergency services and to perform such other duties as set forth in this article. The board shall be composed of nine members, seven of whom shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and one of whom shall be the Governor or his or her designee, who shall be chairman of the board and one of whom shall be the secretary of the department of public safety or his or her designee. The successor of each such appointed member shall be appointed in the same manner as the original appointments were made. No more than four of the appointed board members shall at any one time belong to the same political party: Provided, That each congressional district of this state shall be represented by a member of the board.

(b) The provisions of this subsection apply to the seven members appointed by the Governor. They shall be appointed for overlapping terms of three years and until their respective successors have been appointed and have qualified. For the purpose of original appointments, three members shall be appointed for a term of three years, two members shall be appointed for a term of two years, and two members shall be appointed for a term of one year. Members may be reappointed for any number of terms. Before entering upon the performance of his or her duties, each member shall take and subscribe to the oath prescribed by section five, article four of the Constitution of this state. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term of the member whose office shall be vacant and such appointment shall be made within sixty days of the occurrence of such vacancy. Members shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties as members, but shall be entitled to be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties.

(c) A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum and meetings shall be held at the call of the chairman. No vacancy or absence in the membership of the board shall impair the rights of a quorum by a vote of the majority participating in such meeting to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the board and the authority.

(d) Upon the occurrence of a disaster requiring immediate action by the board, meetings of the board may be held by telephone conference call or other electronic communications and shall be exempt from the notice requirements of article nine-a, chapter six of this code. Any action taken pursuant to a vote of the board at any such meeting shall not be subject to invalidation by a person adversely affected by such action.

(e) The board shall annually elect one of the appointed members as vice chairman, and shall appoint one of its appointed members as secretary-treasurer. The member appointed as secretary-treasurer shall give bond in the sum of $50,000 in the manner provided in article two, chapter six of this code.

(f) All expenses incurred by the board shall be payable solely from funds of the board or from funds appropriated for such purpose by the Legislature and no liability or obligation shall be incurred by the board beyond the extent to which moneys are available from funds of the board or from such appropriations.

(g) Due to the fact that a natural disaster could strike any part of the state at any time, it is necessary to effectuate a means to immediately implement the provisions of this article. Therefore, until the board has been appointed the Governor shall have the authority to:

(1) Accept and expend any private funds and expend no more than $1 million of the Governor's contingency fund for fiscal year one thousand nine hundred ninety to provide disaster relief as authorized in this article for any counties where disasters may occur before the board is appointed; and

(2) Report to the board when it is appointed on moneys expended and actions taken so that the board may include this information in its annual report required by section twelve of this article.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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