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The structure of Bedford County Government

The structure of Virginia's local government is unique in the Unites States. Only here are cities and counties entirely separate entities, independent of each other. Towns are part of the counties where they are located, and their residents pay county as well as town taxes for services. There are no towns located in Bedford County.
  • 10.Board-of-Supervisors Blue Button 10.Board-of-Supervisors Green Button

    Board of Supervisors

    The seven-member Board of Supervisors is elected by the voters of Bedford County and each represents an election district of about 9,500 citizens. The supervisors' election terms are staggered and the board elects its chairman and vice chairman each year at the board's organizational meeting in January.

    The Board has overall administrative and legislative responsibilities including the levying of county taxes, appropriating funds, approving and enforcing the county's Comprehensive Plan, which governs land use, making and enforcing ordinances and establishing policies and procedures for the residents of the county.

    The Board of Supervisors meet twice monthly. Unless publicly announced otherwise, meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays at 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room on the top floor of the County Administration Building, 122 East Main Street, Bedford.

    Citizens may request to speak at a Board meeting on a specific topic or ordinance by contacting either their supervisor or the County Administrator's office in advance of the scheduled meeting. 586-7601

    Notices of public hearings are published in area newspapers. Citizens are encouraged to speak at the public hearings. Sign-up sheets for speakers are available outside the meeting room before the meeting begins.


  • 38.Government-Administration Blue Button 38.Government-Administration Green Button

    County Administrator

    The County Administrator serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors and is the county's chief administrative officer, primarily supervising the management of the various governmental agencies of the county. The administrator supervises the provision of services to county residents, presents a detailed proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors early each year and carries out policies adopted by the Board. Currently the County Administrator is assisted by 10 staff departments and offices including Community Development, Economic Development, Fiscal Management, General Properties, Management Services, Information Systems, the Nursing Home, Public Information, Public Safety, Recreation and Solid Waste.

  • County Attorney Blue Button County Attorney Green Button

    County Attorney

    The County Attorney, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, is responsible for providing legal advice and services to the Board of Supervisors and county government staff. This includes drafting and reviewing legal documents, litigation, real estate transaction, and other civil matters. The County Attorney is not responsible for prosecuting criminal matters

  • Constitutional Office Blue Button Constitutional Office Green Button

    Constitutional Offices

    Under the Virginia Constitution, certain officials are elected to serve the citizens of most counties and cities. Bedford County has four constitutional officers elected to four year terms. The Circuit Court Clerk is elected to an eight-year term.

    Clerk of the Circuit Court is responsible for recording deeds, deeds of trust, plats and other documents on the land record books. The office also records judgements and files financial statements under the uniform commercial code. The clerk files and processes all law and chancery lawsuits, which include (but aren't limited to) divorces, injunctions, adoptions, name changes and appeals from the General District Court. The clerk also issues marriage, hunting and fishing licenses, passports and processes all felony criminal documentation. The clerk handles jury scheduling, probating wills and the appointment of administrators, trustees, executors and guardians. 586-7632.

    The Commonwealth's Attorney represents the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Bedford County in the prosecution of criminal laws. The Commonwealth's Attorney is a Constitutional officer elected to a four-year term. 586-7628

    The Sheriff of Bedford County is responsible for law enforcement, courtroom security, serving civil papers and transporting prisoners. 586-7827

    The Commissioner of the Revenueis responsible for assessing the value of personal property, issuing business licenses and processing Virginia income tax return. The office also maintains the land book and administers tax relief under the elderly real estate owners program, along with food and beverage tax collection.

    The Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes, including the mailing of bills, processing payments and investing surplus funds.

  • 68.School-System Blue Button 68.School-System Green Button

    School Board

    Virginia Bedford County public schools are governed by an eight-member School Board. The seven county members are elected for staggered four-year terms. One member is appointed by the City of Bedford under a 1988 agreement whereby the county provides educational services to students who live in the city.

    The School Board sets the budget and the policies for the system. The School Board also appoints the Superintendent, who oversees day-to-day operations. Bedford County operates 13 elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools, as well as the Bridge School and the Bedford Science and Technology Center.

    The Board of Supervisors determines how much tax money will be spent by the school system each year, but once that money is appropriated to categories in the school budget, the school board has sole responsibility over how that money is spent. Although the school board operates independently, it is required to prepare and submit an annual budget to the Board of Supervisors for its approval. Because the School Board can neither levy taxes nor incur indebtedness under Virginia law, the local costs of the school system are in large part provided by appropriation from the county's General Fund. The costs of constructing school facilities are funded by appropriations from the county, by county general obligation bonds issued through the state, through loans from the Virginia Literary Loan Fund or through capital leases

  • 10.Boards-&-Committees Blue Button 10.Boards-&-Committees Green Button

    Other Boards, Commissions & Committees

    Bedford County has representatives on more than 20 other boards, commissions and committees, both local and regional in scope. Locally, the Board of Supervisors appoints members to the Planning Commission, Industrial Development Authority, the Public Service Authority and the Ag Board among others. Regional appointments include memberships on the Central Virginia Community Services Board, the Central Virginia Transportation Board, the Central Piedmont Employment Consortium and the Central Virginia Area Agency on Aging.

    All these entities are composed of citizens and serve a valuable function. If you are interested in volunteering to serve on one of these boards or committees, please CLICK HEREor contact the County Administrator's office to apply. 586-7601.