By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Since 2007, four cities in West Virginia have been participating in a home rule pilot program that enables the municipalities to set up their own system of governing and local ordinances without receiving a charter from the state.
Certain limitations do exist, including the inability for the municipalities to make any changes to any law that deals with the U.S. Constitution, the West Virginia Constitution, chapters 60, 61 and 62 of the West Virginia State Code, or other federal laws. Still, the cities that have participated in the program (Huntington, Wheeling, Bridgeport and Charleston) have reported that the new style of government has been successful.
A recent audit of the program, which was originally set to end in 2013, suggested that it be extended to all municipalities with more than 2,000 people statewide.