Governance

Richmond is one of more than three dozen independent cities in Virginia, and is administratively separate from the adjoining counties of Chesterfield and Henrico.

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Richmond is one of more than three dozen independent cities in Virginia, and is administratively separate from the adjoining counties of Chesterfield and Henrico. Richmond government operates under a city charter, authorized by the legislature (following the “Dillon Rule,” a national precedent that gives legislature's authority over localities) and requiring legislative approval for changes. The state constitution of 1902 permitted cities to annex adjoining portions of counties. Annexations occurred in 1906, 1910 (the town of Manchester), 1914, and 1942, but by the 1960s suburbanization and school desegregation aroused opposition in the counties. Richmond annexed northern parts of Chesterfield in 1970, in large part as a scheme to restore a white majority. A legal challenge changed city council elections from at large to nine council districts. In 1977, the new council elected the first African American mayor. Since 1948, Richmond’s government had assigned administrative power to the city manager, not the mayor. In 2004, the legislature changed the city charter to permit at-large election of a mayor as executive, with city council taking the legislative function, the only independent city in Virginia without a council-city manager government. State law in 1987 prohibited further annexations by Virginia cities, and regional cooperation remains an aspiration more than a reality. Source: Encyclopedia Virginia 

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City Council usually meets on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Visit the City Council website for more information or to view the next meeting's agenda.  Visit Richmond City's official website for information pertaining to the city. The City Hall is located at 900 East Broad Street, and the 18th Floor provides an observation deck for views of the city. Visit the Public Schools and School Board website for information pertaining to the public schools. The school board meets every first and third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. on the 17th floor of City Hall. Follow the Richmond Twitter account for real-time updates. 

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