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:

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.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Another angle is to combine counties. County boundaries were established a hundred years ago when you needed to ride your horse to county courthouse for business. Now with cars, and most business being done by mail or on-line there is no need for so many counties.

    Idaho probably needs 10 counties or less

  2. George Washington
    Oct 20, 2015, 3:39 pm

    JJ, I agree. The vast differences from one county to another, one city to another, one state to another in terms of policy, taxes, services, etc. is so stark it could be considered unfair and / or unconstitutional.

    Too many Chiefs forcing money from the tribe for pet projects, crazy stupid wasteful ideas, etc etc with no accountability. It’s criminal at times, but the judge and bar association is all part of the program.

  3. We could dismiss all the politicians, then form temporary citizens groups whenever a problem needs solving. It would be nice to have some actual democracy. We could come up with the best solutions for the citizens, eliminate the corruption, and it would save us a lot of money.

    EDITOR NOTE–Law requires a petition proposal with signatures of 15% of the number who voted in the last election to get it on the ballot. Also, the commishes can put a measure on the ballot without petition.

    All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter, reform or abolish the same whenever they may deem it necessary; and no special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted that may not be altered, revoked, or repealed by the legislature.

    (Not sure exactly how we would go about removing the well dug in politicians that infest our public buildings, protecting themselves with armed bullies, but it is our right.)

  5. Eagle Writer
    Oct 21, 2015, 10:42 am

    J Smith,

    Our politicians ARE part of “temporary citizens groups.” Exercising our inherent power, we the people elect them to represent us for as little or as long a term as we wish. It’s a way cool system and exactly what you are wanting.

    I’m not certain what you mean by the “armed bullies,” I certainly have not run into any.

  6. After this off-year election, it won’t take many signatures to get it on the ballot.

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