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H.B. 364

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ORGANIZATION, ADMINISTRATION, AND

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ALLOCATION OF GOVERNMENTAL POWERS

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1997 GENERAL SESSION

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STATE OF UTAH

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Sponsor: Richard L. Walsh

6    AN ACT RELATING TO COUNTIES; REQUIRING COUNTIES OF THE FIRST CLASS TO
7    HOLD AN ELECTION TO DECIDE WHETHER TO CHANGE THE COUNTY'S FORM OF
8    GOVERNMENT; ALLOWING THE VOTERS OF OTHER THAN FIRST CLASS
9    COUNTIES TO REQUIRE, BY INITIATIVE, THE COUNTY TO HOLD AN ELECTION TO
10    DECIDE WHETHER TO CHANGE THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT; PROVIDING A
11    PROCESS TO IMPLEMENT A CHANGE IN FORM OF GOVERNMENT; PROVIDING
12    FOR THE ELECTION OF COUNTY EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BODY OFFICERS
13    UNDER THE NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT; AND ALLOWING VOTERS TO DECIDE
14    WHETHER CERTAIN COUNTY OFFICERS SHOULD BE ELECTED.
15    This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
16    ENACTS:
17         17-35a-4.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
18    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
19        Section 1. Section 17-35a-4.5 is enacted to read:
20         17-35a-4.5. Election required in first class counties to decide on change in form of
21     government -- Selection committee -- Election to choose form of government -- Election of
22     county officers.
23        (1) (a) The county legislative body of each county of the first class operating under a form
24    of government in which the executive and legislative functions of the governing body are not
25    separated shall hold an election to allow voters to decide whether to change the form of county
26    government to one in which the executive and legislative functions are separated.
27        (b) (i) If a county is a county of the first class on May 5, 1997, the county legislative body


1    shall hold the election under Subsection (1)(a) on November 4, 1997.
2        (ii) If a county becomes a county of the first class after May 5, 1997, the county legislative
3    body shall hold the election under Subsection (1)(a) at the next November special election under
4    Subsection 20A-1-204(1)(a) that is:
5        (A) more than 60 days after the county becomes a county of the first class; and
6        (B) in an odd-numbered year.
7        (c) The voters in a county of the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth class operating under
8    a form of government in which the executive and legislative functions of the governing body are
9    not separated may, by initiative under Title 20A, Chapter 7, Part 5, Local Initiatives -- Procedures,
10    require the county governing body to hold an election to allow voters to decide whether to change
11    the form of county government to one in which the executive and legislative functions are
12    separated.
13        (2) (a) The ballot at the election under Subsection (1) shall pose the question substantially
14    as follows:
15        Shall the current form of government of (insert the name of the county) be changed to a
16    form in which the executive and legislative functions are separated?
17        (b) The ballot shall provide a space for the voter to answer yes or no to the question in
18    Subsection (2)(a).
19        (3) (a) If the proposal under Subsection (2)(a) passes, the county legislative body shall,
20    within 14 days of the canvass of the election under Subsection (1), convene a meeting of a
21    committee composed of:
22        (i) the governor, or the governor's designee;
23        (ii) the speaker of the House of Representatives, or the speaker's designee;
24        (iii) the president of the Senate, or the president's designee;
25        (iv) a resident of the county, designated by the county legislative body;
26        (v) a resident of the county, designated by majority vote of the mayors of all cities and
27    towns in the county; and
28        (vi) four other residents of the county, designated by majority vote of the five other
29    members under Subsections (3)(a)(i) through (v).
30        (b) At the first meeting of the committee under Subsection (3)(a), the members shall elect
31    one of their number to be chair.

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1        (c) Members of the committee under Subsection (3)(a) shall:
2        (i) serve without compensation; and
3        (ii) be reimbursed by the county for expenses incurred in the performance of their
4    responsibilities under this section.
5        (d) The committee under Subsection (3)(a) shall:
6        (i) meet as often as necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the committee under this
7    section;
8        (ii) comply with the provisions of Title 52, Chapter 4, Open and Public Meetings;
9        (iii) consider and evaluate forms of county government, whether or not provided for under
10    this chapter, in which the executive and legislative functions are separated;
11        (iv) hold at least three public hearings in geographically diverse locations in the county
12    at least a week apart, before presenting its recommendation under Subsection (3)(c)(vi), to allow
13    public input on what the committee should recommend;
14        (v) publish notice of each hearing under Subsection (3)(d)(iv) in a newspaper of general
15    circulation within the county at least once per hearing and at least seven but not more than 14 days
16    before the hearing that is the subject of the notice;
17        (vi) by May 15 of the year following the election under Subsection (1), present a written
18    recommendation to the county legislative body of at least two but not more than four optional
19    forms of government the committee recommends be placed on the ballot;
20        (vii) include in its recommendation under Subsection (3)(d)(vi) a requirement that:
21        (A) members of the county legislative body under the new form of government:
22        (I) serve staggered terms of four years; and
23        (II) be elected by district; and
24        (B) the terms of initial members of the county legislative body be adjusted so that
25    approximately half of the initial members serve a term of two years;
26        (viii) divide the county into districts of substantially equal population, equal in number
27    to the number of members of the county legislative body under the new form of government;
28        (ix) publish its recommendation under Subsection (3)(d)(vi) in a newspaper of general
29    circulation within the county at least once a week for three successive weeks before the June
30    regular primary election of the year following the election under Subsection (1), the last
31    publication being at least three days before the election;

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1        (x) if the proposal under Subsection (1) passes, assist the county legislative body to
2    develop a plan for a transition from the old form of government to the form of government chosen
3    by the voters at the election under Subsection (4);
4        (xi) monitor and advise the county legislative body in the implementation of the transition
5    plan under Subsection (3)(c)(ix); and
6        (xii) be dissolved as of January 1 of the year following the election under Subsection
7    (5)(a).
8        (e) The county legislative body shall provide, for the effective operation of the committee:
9        (i) suitable meeting facilities;
10        (ii) clerical, secretarial, and staff assistance; and
11        (iii) reasonably adequate funds.
12        (4) (a) If the proposal under Subsection (1) passes, the county legislative body shall hold
13    an election in June of the year following the election under Subsection (1) on the regular primary
14    election date under Section 20A-9-403.
15        (b) The county clerk shall publish notice of the election under Subsection (4)(a) in a
16    newspaper of general circulation within the county at least once a week for two successive weeks,
17    the last publication being at least three but no more than ten days before the election.
18        (c) (i) The ballot at the election under Subsection (4)(a) shall:
19        (A) fairly and accurately present the optional forms of government recommended by the
20    committee under Subsection (3)(c)(vi) and ask the voter to vote for one; and
21        (B) present the question whether each of the offices of county treasurer, county sheriff,
22    county clerk, county auditor, county recorder, county assessor, county attorney, and, if applicable,
23    district attorney, should be an elective office.
24        (ii) (A) The ballot at the election under Subsection (4)(a) shall, for each office listed in
25    Subsection (4)(c)(i)(B), present the question substantially as follows:
26        Shall the office of county (insert the name of the office) be an elective office?
27        (B) The ballot shall provide a space for the voter to answer yes or no to the question under
28    Subsection (4)(c)(ii)(A) for each office.
29        (d) (i) The form of government with the most votes at the election under Subsection (4)(a)
30    shall be the form of government under which the county will operate beginning January 1, of the
31    year following the election under Subsection (5)(a).

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1        (ii) For each office that the voters determine, at an election under Subsection (4)(a), should
2    not be an elective office, the county executive shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the
3    county legislative body, a person to fill the office upon the expiration of the term of the person
4    previously elected to that office. Each appointed person shall serve at the pleasure of the county
5    executive.
6        (5) (a) (i) If the proposal under Subsection (1) passes, the county legislative body shall
7    hold an election in November of the same year as the election under Subsection (4)(a) on the
8    regular general election date under Section 20A-1-201 for the election of county officers under the
9    new form of government chosen by the voters at the election under Subsection (4).
10        (ii) Each member of the county legislative body shall be elected by district.
11        (b) (i) Notwithstanding Subsection 20A-9-202(1)(a)(i), each person seeking to become a
12    candidate for elective county office under the new form of government chosen by the voters at the
13    election under Subsection (4) shall file a declaration of candidacy within 14 days of the canvass
14    of the election under Subsection (4).
15        (ii) Each candidate for election to the county legislative body shall be a resident of the
16    district from which the candidate seeks election.
17        (c) The county clerk shall publish notice of the election under Subsection (5)(a) in a
18    newspaper of general circulation within the county at least once a week for two successive weeks,
19    the last publication being at least three but no more than ten days before the election.
20        (6) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each election under this section shall be
21    governed by the provisions of Title 20A, Election Code.
22        (7) All expenses of the procedure established by this section, including publication of
23    notices, public hearings, and elections, shall be paid by the county.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-10-97 2:33 PM


A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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