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S.B. 58

             1     

OPTIONAL FORMS OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT

             2     
AMENDMENTS

             3     
2000 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Sponsor: R. Mont Evans

             6      AN ACT RELATING TO COUNTIES; MODIFYING THE PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTING AN
             7      OPTIONAL FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT; ADDING AN ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL
             8      FORM; CLARIFYING OPTIONAL PLAN REQUIREMENTS; PROHIBITING AN OPTIONAL
             9      PLAN FROM INCLUDING CERTAIN FEATURES; MAKING CONFORMING CHANGES;
             10      AND MAKING TECHNICAL CHANGES.
             11      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             12      AMENDS:
             13          17-5-101, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 147, Laws of Utah 1994
             14          17-5-103, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 147, Laws of Utah 1994
             15          17-5-201, as renumbered and amended by Chapters 146 and 147, Laws of Utah 1994
             16          17-16-2, as last amended by Chapter 38, Laws of Utah 1993
             17          17-35a-204, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 1999
             18          17-35a-401, as enacted by Chapter 369, Laws of Utah 1998
             19          17-35a-402, as enacted by Chapter 369, Laws of Utah 1998
             20      ENACTS:
             21          17-35a-205, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             22          17-35a-505, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             23      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             24          Section 1. Section 17-5-101 is amended to read:
             25           17-5-101. County commissioners -- Number.
             26          [Each] Unless it has adopted the expanded county commission form of government under
             27      Section 17-35a-505 , each county that operates under a county commissioner form of government


             28      shall have a board of county commissioners consisting of three members.
             29          Section 2. Section 17-5-103 is amended to read:
             30           17-5-103. Term of office -- Multiple vacancies in same election.
             31          (1) County commissioners shall:
             32          (a) be elected for a four-year term in each county at the general election before the
             33      expiration of the term of office of incumbents; and
             34          (b) hold office for the term for which elected and until a successor is elected and has
             35      qualified.
             36          (2) (a) [Whenever two] If multiple county commission positions are vacant for a general
             37      election, they are designated "county commissioner A," [and] "county commissioner B[.]," and so
             38      on as necessary for the number of vacant positions.
             39          (b) At the time a candidate for the county commission files a declaration of candidacy for
             40      a county commission position when there are [two] multiple positions vacant, [he] the candidate
             41      shall designate on the declaration of candidacy form [whether he] the letter of the county
             42      commissioner seat for which the candidate is a candidate [for county commissioner A or county
             43      commissioner B].
             44          (c) No person may file a declaration of candidacy for, be a candidate for, or be elected to
             45      [two] more than one county commission [positions] position in one general election.
             46          (3) County commissioners-elect shall take office on the first Monday in January following
             47      their election.
             48          Section 3. Section 17-5-201 is amended to read:
             49           17-5-201. Chair -- Oaths -- Quorum.
             50          Each county legislative body shall elect one of their number chair. The chair shall preside
             51      at all meetings of the county legislative body, and in case of [his] the chair's absence or inability
             52      to act the members present [must] shall, by an order entered in their minutes, select one of their
             53      number to act as chair temporarily. Any member of the county legislative body may administer
             54      oaths to any person when necessary in the performance of [his] the member's official duties. Not
             55      less than [two] a majority of all members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business,
             56      and no act of the county legislative body shall be valid or binding unless [two] a majority of all
             57      members present when a quorum is present concur therein.
             58          Section 4. Section 17-16-2 is amended to read:


             59           17-16-2. County officers enumerated.
             60          (1) The S ELECTED s officers of a county are: [three]
             61          (a) (i) in a county operating under a county commission form of government under Chapter
             62      5, Part 1, County Commission Form of Government, or the expanded county commission form of
             63      government under Section 17-35a-505 , county commissioners[,]; or
             64          (ii) in a county operating under one of the optional forms of county government under
             65      Chapter 35a, Optional Forms of County Government Act, other than the expanded county
             66      commission form of government, county legislative body members and the county executive;
             67          (b) a county treasurer, a sheriff, a county clerk, a county auditor, a county recorder, a
             68      county attorney, a district attorney in a county which is part of a prosecution district, a county
             69      surveyor, and a county assessor[,]; and
             70          (c) any others provided by law[; but].
             71          (2) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), in counties having a taxable value of less than
             72      $100,000,000 the county clerk shall be ex officio auditor of the county and shall perform the duties
             73      of the office without extra compensation.
             74          Section 5. Section 17-35a-204 is amended to read:
             75           17-35a-204. Election on proposed optional plan -- Procedure.
             76          (1) Subject to Section 17-35a-203.5 , the county legislative body shall hold an election if
             77      an optional plan is proposed:
             78          (a) by a resolution adopted under Subsection 17-35a-202 (2)(e);
             79          (b) in a petition filed under Subsection 17-35a-203 (2)(a) that is certified under Subsection
             80      17-35a-203 (4)(a)(ii)(A); or
             81          (c) in a study committee report filed under Subsection 17-35a-303 (3)(d).
             82          (2) Each election under Subsection (1) shall be held at the next regular general or
             83      municipal general election that is no less than two months after the county clerk's receipt of the
             84      attorney general statement under Section 17-35a-203.5 .
             85          (3) The county legislative body shall prepare the ballot for each election under Subsection
             86      (1) so that the question on the ballot:
             87          (a) clearly, accurately, and impartially presents the proposition to be voted on; and
             88          (b) does not constitute an argument or create prejudice for or against the proposition.
             89          (4) The county legislative body shall:


             90          (a) cause the complete text of the proposed optional plan to be published in a newspaper
             91      of general circulation within the county at least once during two different calendar weeks within
             92      the 30-day period immediately before the date of the election under Subsection (1);
             93          (b) make a complete copy of the optional plan available free of charge to any member of
             94      the public who requests a copy; and
             95          (c) if the optional plan is proposed by a study committee report filed under Subsection
             96      17-35a-303 (3)(d), make a complete copy of the study committee's report available free of charge
             97      to any member of the public who requests a copy.
             98          (5) If an optional plan proposed as a result of a process initiated by the county legislative
             99      body and an optional plan proposed as a result of a process initiated by registered voters are both
             100      scheduled for the same election:
             101          (a) both proposals shall appear on the same ballot;
             102          (b) a voter may vote for or against each proposal; and
             103          (c) if both proposals receive a majority vote of those voting, the proposal with more votes
             104      shall prevail and the other shall be considered rejected.
             105          Section 6. Section 17-35a-205 is enacted to read:
             106          17-35a-205. Election of officers under optional plan.
             107          If an optional plan is adopted by voters at an election under Section 17-35a-204 held on
             108      or after May 1, 2000, the elected county officers specified in the plan shall be elected according
             109      to the regular primary election and regular general election procedure and schedule established
             110      under Title 20A, Election Code, for the election of county officers.
             111          Section 7. Section 17-35a-401 is amended to read:
             112           17-35a-401. Contents of proposed optional plan.
             113          (1) (a) [Each] Except as provided in Subsection (1)(b), each optional plan proposed under
             114      this chapter shall:
             115          [(a)] (i) [specify the] propose the adoption of one of the optional [form] forms of county
             116      government [that is being proposed] listed in Subsection 17-35a-402 (1)(a);
             117          [(b)] (ii) contain detailed provisions relating to the transition from the existing form of
             118      county government to the form proposed in the optional plan, including provisions relating to the:
             119          [(i)] (A) election or appointment of officers specified in the optional plan for the new form
             120      of county government;


             121          [(ii)] (B) continuity of existing offices and officers;
             122          [(iii)] (C) continuity of existing ordinances and regulations;
             123          [(iv)] (D) continuation of pending legislative, administrative, or judicial proceedings;
             124          [(v)] (E) making of interim and temporary appointments; and
             125          [(vi)] (F) preparation, approval, and adjustment of necessary budget appropriations; and
             126          [(c)] (iii) notwithstanding any other provision of this title, provide that, with respect to the
             127      county budget, the county auditor's role is to be the budget officer and to project county revenues,
             128      the county executive's role is to propose the budget, and the county legislative body's role is to
             129      adopt the budget.
             130          (b) Subsection (1)(a)(iii) does not apply to an optional plan that proposes the adoption of
             131      the expanded county commission form of government under Section 17-35a-505 .
             132          (2) Subject to Subsection (3), an optional plan may include provisions that are considered
             133      necessary or advisable to the effective operation of the proposed optional plan.
             134          (3) An optional plan may not include any provision that is inconsistent with or prohibited
             135      by the Utah Constitution or any statute.
             136          (4) Each optional plan proposing to change the form of government to a form under
             137      Section 17-35a-501 , 17-35a-502 , 17-35a-503 , or 17-35a-504 shall:
             138          (a) provide for the same executive and legislative officers as are specified in the applicable
             139      section for the form of government being proposed by the optional plan;
             140          [(a)] (b) provide for the election of the county council;
             141          (c) specify the number of county council members, which shall be an odd number from
             142      three to nine;
             143          [(b)] (d) specify whether the members of the county council are to be elected from
             144      districts, at large, or by a combination of at large and by district;
             145          [(c)] (e) specify county council members' qualifications and terms and whether the terms
             146      are to be staggered;
             147          [(d) state the grounds for and methods of removal of county council members from office;]
             148          [(e)] (f) contain procedures for filling vacancies on the county council, consistent with the
             149      provisions of Sections 17-5-104 and 20A-1-508 ; and
             150          [(f)] (g) state the S INITIAL s compensation, if any, of county council members and
             150a      procedures for
             151      prescribing and changing compensation.


             152          (5) Each optional plan proposing to change the form of government to the expanded
             153      county commission form under Section 17-35a-505 shall specify:
             154          (a) the number of county commission members, which shall be S [ an odd number from three ] FIVE OR
             155      [ to ] s seven;
             156          (b) the terms of office for county commission members and whether the terms are to be
             157      staggered;
             158          (c) whether members of the county commission are to be elected from districts, at large,
             159      or by a combination of at large and from districts; and
             160          (d) if any members of the county commission are to be elected from districts, the district
             161      residency requirements for those commission members.
             162          Section 8. Section 17-35a-402 is amended to read:
             163           17-35a-402. Plan shall propose adoption of one of specified optional forms of county
             164      government -- County executive -- Plan may propose change of structural form.
             165          (1) [An] (a) Each optional plan [may] shall propose changing the form of county
             166      government to:
             167          [(a)] (i) the county [commissioner] commission form under Title 17, Chapter 5, Part 1,
             168      County [Commissioner] Commission Form of Government;
             169          [(b)] (ii) executive and chief administrative officer-council form under Section
             170      17-35a-501 ;
             171          [(c)] (iii) the county executive and council form under Section 17-35a-502 ;
             172          [(d)] (iv) the council-manager form under Section 17-35a-503 ; [or]
             173          [(e)] (v) the council and county administrative officer form under Section 17-35a-504 [.];
             174      or
             175          (vi) the expanded county commission form under Section 17-35a-505 .
             176          (b) An optional plan may not:
             177          (i) propose changing the form of county government to a form of government not included
             178      in Subsection (1)(a);
             179          (ii) provide for the nonpartisan election of elected officers; or
             180          (iii) impose a limit on the number of terms or years an elected official may serve.
             181          (2) (a) If an optional plan proposes changing the form of county government to a form that
             182      has a S SEPARATE s county executive, the county executive may be:


             183          (i) an individual elected at large in the county; or
             184          (ii) a county executive body consisting of at least three members, elected at large or by
             185      district or a combination of both, as provided in the optional plan.
             186          (b) An optional plan that proposes changing to a form of government with an executive
             187      body, as provided in Subsection (2)(a)(ii), may divide the executive duties among the members of
             188      the executive body.
             189          (3) In addition to proposing the adoption of any one of the optional forms of county
             190      government under Subsection (1), an optional plan may also propose the adoption of any one of
             191      the structural forms of county government provided under Chapter 35b, Part 3, Structural Forms
             192      of County Government.
             193          Section 9. Section 17-35a-505 is enacted to read:
             194          17-35a-505. Expanded county commission form of county government.
             195          A county operating under the form of government known as the "expanded county
             196      commission" form shall be governed by a county commission, as provided under Chapter 5, Part
             197      1, County Commission Form of Government, except that the number of commissioners may be
             198      S [ any odd number from three to ] FIVE OR s seven.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-11-00 1:57 PM


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

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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