Get to Know Your City Leaders
Virginia Beach has a long history but is relatively young as the incorporated city we recognize today. It was born from a 1963 merger of the increasingly popular resort area and neighboring Princess Anne County. The city stretches 28 miles southward from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay to the North Carolina state line, covering 310 square miles of land and water, with 28 miles of public beach. It’s bordered by the South Hampton Roads’ cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake.
Virginia Beach operates under the council-manager form of government. The 11-member City Council is the city's legislative body. The city manager is appointed by the Council and acts as chief executive officer. Through his staff, the city manager implements policies and initiatives established by the Council.
City Council members, including the mayor, are elected to four-year terms on a staggered schedule. While the city’s historic current council election system is seven districts, three at large seats and one mayor, beginning on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, registered voters will only be able to cast ballots for council candidates in the district where they live. All residents will still be able to vote for the mayor; that seat is up for election in 2024.
The system is changing because of a federal court ruling, which also incorporates 2020 Census data into new district maps that adjust for population shifts and changes. Ten voting districts have been created from the city’s original seven.
Note: The city has appealed the ruling and more information about the case is available online. In the meantime, the city is implementing the district changes in preparation for this year’s Election Day when seven of the 10 total districts will be on the ballot. The following list of current council members reflects their historic districts (in parentheses) and the districts in which they now reside. You can check which district you are in by searching for your address on the Virginia Beach City Council Voter Districts 2022 Map online.
Meet your City Council
Robert M. "Bobby" Dyer
Robert W. "Worth" Remick
Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond
Jennifer V. Rouse
Joashua F. "Joash" Schulman
City services won't change because of the court ruling. Neither will your child's school district. The Virginia Beach City Charter says the School Board is to be elected in the same manner and on the same cycle as City Council (except for the selection of the School Board chair). New precinct and polling locations are yet to be determined, but the Voter Registration & Elections office will communicate those changes to voters by mail. Current polling place information can be found on the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Speaking of the School Board …
Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) is a separate legal entity from the City of Virginia Beach. The School Board is responsible for the supervision of all public schools in Virginia Beach. It is an 11-member body and members are elected to serve four-year terms. Board members appoint a chairman and vice chairman annually.
Who are the other elected officials in Virginia Beach?
There are several constitutional officers who are elected by Virginia Beach voters and most serve a term of four years except for the Circuit Court Clerk, who is elected for an eight-year term.
Tina E. Sinnen
Circuit Court Clerk
The Clerk of the Circuit Court is responsible for all books, records, maps and papers deposited in her office as well as records stored in electronic format, according to the Code of Virginia. Civil and divorce suits, and adoption petitions are filed in her office, as well as docketing and filing of criminal actions. Additional services provided by the clerk's office include recording land records and plats; probating wills; issuing hunting and fishing licenses; processing notary public applications; issuing marriage licenses; recording military discharge forms and assumed business names. It is the duty of the clerk to assign a deputy clerk to each courtroom to assist the nine Circuit Court Judges in carrying out each day's activities.
V. Leigh Henderson
The Office of the Treasurer collects revenue for the City of Virginia Beach in the form of personal property and real estate taxes, public utilities and public works fees, parking tickets and other miscellaneous city invoices, including red light citations.
Philip J. Kellam
Commissioner of the Revenue
The Commissioner of the Revenue is responsible for the administration of local taxes levied by the city and state government. Duties of the office include enforcing compliance with state and local tax laws; discover and enroll all persons and property for state and local taxation; assess all local taxes, EXCEPT the real estate tax; as well as assist Virginia taxpayers with filing state and local tax returns and Department of Motor Vehicles customers with vehicle-related issues.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is responsible for prosecuting those charged criminally with violating state laws in Virginia Beach.
The Sheriff’s Office’s responsibilities include operating the Correctional Center at 2501 James Madison Blvd., providing courthouse security, serving civil paperwork and volunteering in the community.
In the know
Both Virginia Beach City Council and School Board hold regular public meetings you can attend in person or watch virtually. It’s a great way to learn about upcoming projects and to see how your city government is spending your tax dollars.
Regular meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays at Virginia Beach City Hall, 2401 Courthouse Drive, and are open to the public, except for closed sessions to discuss certain matters. (Note: Meetings will be held on the first and second Tuesdays in July and December.)
To address the council concerning an agenda item, register with the city clerk or deputy city clerk at (757) 385-4303 prior to the meeting. To address the council concerning an item not on the agenda, a request must be made in writing to the Office of the City Clerk, 2401 Courthouse Drive, City Hall Building #1, Room 281, Municipal Center, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. A member of the council may sponsor a public speaker on any item.
Use CityCouncil@vbgov.com to send an email to all Council members.
Council meetings are cablecast live on VBTV Cox Cable channel 48, Verizon Cable channel 45, on VBgov.com's media center, and on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/CityOfVaBeach). The meeting is rebroadcast on Cox channel 48 and Verizon channel 45 the following Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 9 a.m.; and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Regular meetings are held at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday at 2512 George Mason Drive and are open to the public, except for closed sessions to discuss certain matters. A full schedule and upcoming meeting agendas are available online.
Members of the public may sign up to address the School Board during public comment sections of regular meeting agendas. You can submit an online request form or call the clerk of the board at (757) 263-1016 by noon the day of the meeting unless otherwise noted.
Use VBCPSSchoolboard@googlegroups.com to email the entire board.
School Board meetings can be watched live on VBTV Cox channel 47 and online.