Optional Form Of County Government An Option
The ongoing feud between the Ada Commishes and Treasurer prompted the GUARDIAN to look to the Idaho statutes and constitution for some guidance.
The Idaho constitution provides for “optional forms of county government” with approval of the voters. BINGO!
It is entirely within the realm of possibility the Commishes have considered combining the elected office of county treasurer with another elected office or even abolishing the office and making it an appointed position–giving the Commishes authority of not only the pay scale, but the operation of the office. All this would face voter approval of course.
But wait, there’s more! We could also do away with the Commishes, have a part time board of Commsihes and hire a professional “county manager or executive.” The potential changes are interesting. We welcome any opinions from scholars or lawyers.
Here is the relevant section of the code:
COUNTIES AND COUNTY LAW
OPTIONAL FORMS OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT GENERAL PROVISIONS
31-5007. CHANGE IN STATUS OF ELECTED OFFICERS. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or chapters 51 through 57, title 31, Idaho Code:
(1) An elected county officer whose office has become appointive or has been consolidated with another elective or appointive office under an optional form of government shall continue to perform the duties of office until his successor is appointed or elected and qualified. Thereafter the position held by the elected officer shall be deemed abolished.
(2) If the optional form of government consolidating an elective office with another office or making an elective office appointive is approved at an election at which the office was also filled by election, the office shall be declared abolished, the term of office not having commenced prior to the approval of the optional form.
(3) A petition or resolution proposing an optional form of county government may provide that an existing elected officer will continue in office until the end of the term for which he was elected or may provide that an existing elected officer will be retained as a county employee until the end of the term for which he was elected; provided that the person’s salary shall not be reduced except as part of a general salary reduction.
(4) Nothing in this section precludes a former elected official from being appointed or elected to a position in county government.