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S.B. 58 Enrolled
AN ACT RELATING TO COUNTIES; MODIFYING THE PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTING AN
OPTIONAL FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT; ADDING AN ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL
FORM; CLARIFYING OPTIONAL PLAN REQUIREMENTS; PROHIBITING AN OPTIONAL
PLAN FROM INCLUDING CERTAIN FEATURES; MAKING CONFORMING CHANGES;
AND MAKING TECHNICAL CHANGES.
This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
17-5-101, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 147, Laws of Utah 1994
17-5-103, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 147, Laws of Utah 1994
17-5-201, as renumbered and amended by Chapters 146 and 147, Laws of Utah 1994
17-16-2, as last amended by Chapter 38, Laws of Utah 1993
17-35a-204, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 1999
17-35a-401, as enacted by Chapter 369, Laws of Utah 1998
17-35a-402, as enacted by Chapter 369, Laws of Utah 1998
17-35a-205, Utah Code Annotated 1953
17-35a-505, Utah Code Annotated 1953
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
Section 1. Section 17-5-101 is amended to read:
17-5-101. County commissioners -- Number.
Section 17-35a-505 , each county that operates under a county commissioner form of government
shall have a board of county commissioners consisting of three members.
Section 2. Section 17-5-103 is amended to read:
17-5-103. Term of office -- Multiple vacancies in same election.
(1) County commissioners shall:
(a) be elected for a four-year term in each county at the general election before the expiration
of the term of office of incumbents; and
(b) hold office for the term for which elected and until a successor is elected and has
(2) (a) [
election, they are designated "county commissioner A," [
on as necessary for the number of vacant positions.
(b) At the time a candidate for the county commission files a declaration of candidacy for a
county commission position when there are [
designate on the declaration of candidacy form [
seat for which the candidate is a candidate [
(c) No person may file a declaration of candidacy for, be a candidate for, or be elected to
(3) County commissioners-elect shall take office on the first Monday in January following
Section 3. Section 17-5-201 is amended to read:
17-5-201. Chair -- Oaths -- Quorum.
Each county legislative body shall elect one of their number chair. The chair shall preside at
all meetings of the county legislative body, and in case of [
the members present [
act as chair temporarily. Any member of the county legislative body may administer oaths to any
person when necessary in the performance of [
a majority of all members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no act of the
county legislative body shall be valid or binding unless [
a quorum is present concur therein.
Section 4. Section 17-16-2 is amended to read:
17-16-2. County officers enumerated.
(1) The elected officers of a county are: [
(a) (i) in a county operating under a county commission form of government under Chapter
5, Part 1, County Commission Form of Government, or the expanded county commission form of
government under Section 17-35a-505 , county commissioners[
(ii) in a county operating under one of the optional forms of county government under
Chapter 35a, Optional Forms of County Government Act, other than the expanded county
commission form of government, county legislative body members and the county executive;
(b) a county treasurer, a sheriff, a county clerk, a county auditor, a county recorder, a county
attorney, a district attorney in a county which is part of a prosecution district, a county surveyor, and
a county assessor[
(c) any others provided by law[
(2) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), in counties having a taxable value of less than
$100,000,000 the county clerk shall be ex officio auditor of the county and shall perform the duties
of the office without extra compensation.
Section 5. Section 17-35a-204 is amended to read:
17-35a-204. Election on proposed optional plan -- Procedure.
(1) Subject to Section 17-35a-203.5 , the county legislative body shall hold an election if an
optional plan is proposed:
(a) by a resolution adopted under Subsection 17-35a-202 (2)(e);
(b) in a petition filed under Subsection 17-35a-203 (2)(a) that is certified under Subsection
17-35a-203 (4)(a)(ii)(A); or
(c) in a study committee report filed under Subsection 17-35a-303 (3)(d).
(2) Each election under Subsection (1) shall be held at the next regular general or municipal
general election that is no less than two months after the county clerk's receipt of the attorney general
statement under Section 17-35a-203.5 .
(3) The county legislative body shall prepare the ballot for each election under Subsection
(1) so that the question on the ballot:
(a) clearly, accurately, and impartially presents the proposition to be voted on; and
(b) does not constitute an argument or create prejudice for or against the proposition.
(4) The county legislative body shall:
(a) cause the complete text of the proposed optional plan to be published in a newspaper of
general circulation within the county at least once during two different calendar weeks within the
30-day period immediately before the date of the election under Subsection (1);
(b) make a complete copy of the optional plan available free of charge to any member of the
public who requests a copy; and
(c) if the optional plan is proposed by a study committee report filed under Subsection
17-35a-303 (3)(d), make a complete copy of the study committee's report available free of charge to
any member of the public who requests a copy.
(5) If an optional plan proposed as a result of a process initiated by the county legislative
body and an optional plan proposed as a result of a process initiated by registered voters are both
scheduled for the same election:
(a) both proposals shall appear on the same ballot;
(b) a voter may vote for or against each proposal; and
(c) if both proposals receive a majority vote of those voting, the proposal with more votes
shall prevail and the other shall be considered rejected.
Section 6. Section 17-35a-205 is enacted to read:
17-35a-205. Election of officers under optional plan.
If an optional plan is adopted by voters at an election under Section 17-35a-204 held on or
after May 1, 2000, the elected county officers specified in the plan shall be elected according to the
regular primary election and regular general election procedure and schedule established under Title
20A, Election Code, for the election of county officers.
Section 7. Section 17-35a-401 is amended to read:
17-35a-401. Contents of proposed optional plan.
(1) (a) [
this chapter shall:
government to the form proposed in the optional plan, including provisions relating to the:
of county government;
county budget, the county auditor's role is to be the budget officer and to project county revenues,
the county executive's role is to propose the budget, and the county legislative body's role is to adopt
(b) Subsection (1)(a)(iii) does not apply to an optional plan that proposes the adoption of the
expanded county commission form of government under Section 17-35a-505 .
(2) Subject to Subsection (3), an optional plan may include provisions that are considered
necessary or advisable to the effective operation of the proposed optional plan.
(3) An optional plan may not include any provision that is inconsistent with or prohibited by
the Utah Constitution or any statute.
(4) Each optional plan proposing to change the form of government to a form under Section
17-35a-501 , 17-35a-502 , 17-35a-503 , or 17-35a-504 shall:
(a) provide for the same executive and legislative officers as are specified in the applicable
section for the form of government being proposed by the optional plan;
(c) specify the number of county council members, which shall be an odd number from three
at large, or by a combination of at large and by district;
to be staggered;
provisions of Sections 17-5-104 and 20A-1-508 ; and
prescribing and changing compensation.
(5) Each optional plan proposing to change the form of government to the expanded county
commission form under Section 17-35a-505 shall specify:
(a) the number of county commission members, which shall be five or seven;
(b) the terms of office for county commission members and whether the terms are to be
(c) whether members of the county commission are to be elected from districts, at large, or
by a combination of at large and from districts; and
(d) if any members of the county commission are to be elected from districts, the district
residency requirements for those commission members.
Section 8. Section 17-35a-402 is amended to read:
17-35a-402. Plan shall propose adoption of one of specified optional forms of county
government -- County executive -- Plan may propose change of structural form.
(vi) the expanded county commission form under Section 17-35a-505 .
(b) An optional plan may not:
(i) propose changing the form of county government to a form of government not included
in Subsection (1)(a);
(ii) provide for the nonpartisan election of elected officers; or
(iii) impose a limit on the number of terms or years an elected official may serve.
(2) (a) If an optional plan proposes changing the form of county government to a form that
has a separate county executive, the county executive may be:
(i) an individual elected at large in the county; or
(ii) a county executive body consisting of at least three members, elected at large or by
district or a combination of both, as provided in the optional plan.
(b) An optional plan that proposes changing to a form of government with an executive body,
as provided in Subsection (2)(a)(ii), may divide the executive duties among the members of the
(3) In addition to proposing the adoption of any one of the optional forms of county
government under Subsection (1), an optional plan may also propose the adoption of any one of the
structural forms of county government provided under Chapter 35b, Part 3, Structural Forms of
Section 9. Section 17-35a-505 is enacted to read:
17-35a-505. Expanded county commission form of county government.
A county operating under the form of government known as the "expanded county
commission" form shall be governed by a county commission, as provided under Chapter 5, Part 1,
County Commission Form of Government, except that the number of commissioners may be five or
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