The voters of any locality whose governing body has not taken the initiative under § 15.2-3502 may require the governing body to do so by filing a petition with the governing body. The petition shall be signed by not less than ten percent of the voters of the locality registered as of January 1 of the year in which the petition is filed, which in no case shall be less than 100 voters, and shall ask the governing body to effect, in accordance with § 15.2-3502, a consolidation agreement with the locality named in the petition and to petition the judge for a referendum on the question. A copy of the petition of the voters shall also be filed with the judge of the circuit court for the locality. If the governing body within six months is unable or for any reason fails to perfect such consolidation agreement, then the judge of the circuit court for the locality shall appoint a committee of five representative citizens of the locality to act for and in lieu of the governing body in perfecting the consolidation agreement and in petitioning for a referendum.
Code 1950, § 15-164; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1073; 1997, c. 587.