Local boards

A. The administration of the system and responsibility for making the provisions of the system effective for each employer are vested in a local board. The department of public safety, the Arizona game and fish department, the department of emergency and military affairs, the university of Arizona, Arizona state university, northern Arizona university, each county sheriff’s office, each county attorney’s office, each county parks department, each municipal fire department, each eligible fire district, each community college district, each municipal police department, the department of law, the department of administration, the department of liquor licenses and control, the Arizona department of agriculture, the Arizona state parks board, each Indian reservation police agency and each Indian reservation fire fighting agency shall have a local board. A nonprofit corporation operating pursuant to sections 28-8423 and 28-8424 shall have one board for all of its members. Each local board shall be constituted as follows:

1. For political subdivisions or Indian tribes, the mayor or chief elected official or a designee of the mayor or chief elected official approved by the respective governing body as chairman, two members elected by secret ballot by members employed by the appropriate employer and two citizens, one of whom shall be the head of the merit system if it exists for the group of members, appointed by the mayor or chief elected official and with the approval of the governing body of the city or the governing body of the employer. The appointed two citizens shall serve on both local boards in a city or Indian tribes where both fire and police department employees are members.

2. For state agencies and nonprofit corporations operating pursuant to sections 28-8423 and 28-8424, two members elected by secret ballot by members employed by the appropriate employer and three citizens appointed by the governor. Each state agency local board shall elect a chairman.

3. For fire districts organized pursuant to section 48-804, the secretary-treasurer as chairman, two members elected by secret ballot by members employed by the fire district and two citizens appointed by the secretary-treasurer, one of whom is a resident of the fire district and one of whom has experience in personnel administration but who is not required to be a resident of the fire district.

B. Upon the taking effect of this system for an employer, the appointments and elections of board members shall take place with one elective and appointive board member serving a term ending two years after the effective date of participation for the employer and other local board members serving a term ending four years after the effective date. Thereafter, every second year, and as a vacancy occurs, an office shall be filled for a term of four years in the same manner as previously provided.

C. Each member of a local board, within ten days after the member’s appointment or election, shall take an oath of office that, so far as it devolves upon the member, the member shall diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the local board and that the member shall not knowingly violate or willingly permit to be violated any of the provisions of law applicable to the system.

D. Except as limited by subsection E of this section, a local board shall have such powers as may be necessary to discharge the following duties:

1. To decide all questions of eligibility and service credits, and determine the amount, manner and time of payment of any benefits under the system.

2. To prescribe procedures to be followed by claimants in filing applications for benefits.

3. To make a determination as to the right of any claimant to a benefit and to afford any claimant or the fund manager, or both, a right to a rehearing on the original determination. Unless all parties involved in a matter presented to the local board for determination otherwise agree, the local board shall commence a hearing on the matter within ninety days after the date the matter is presented to the local board for determination. If a local board fails to commence a hearing as provided in this paragraph, on a matter presented to the board for determination, the relief demanded by the party petitioning the board is deemed granted and approved by the board. The granting and approval of this relief is considered final and binding unless a timely request for rehearing or appeal is made as provided in this article.

4. To request and receive from the employers and from members such information as is necessary for the proper administration of the system and action on claims for benefits and to forward such information to the fund manager.

5. To distribute, in such manner as the local board determines to be appropriate, information explaining the system received from the fund manager.

6. To furnish the employer, the fund manager, and the legislature, upon request, with such annual reports with respect to the administration of the system as are reasonable and appropriate.

7. To receive and review the actuarial valuation of the system for its group of members.

8. To receive and review reports of the financial condition and of the receipts and disbursements of the fund from the fund manager.

9. To appoint medical boards as provided in section 38-859.

10. To sue and be sued to effectuate the duties and responsibilities set forth in this article.

E. A local board shall have no power to add to, subtract from, modify or waive any of the terms of the system, change or add to any benefits provided by the system or waive or fail to apply any requirement of eligibility for membership or benefits under the system.

F. A local board, from time to time, shall establish and adopt such rules as it deems necessary or desirable for its administration. All rules and decisions of a board shall be uniformly and consistently applied to all members in similar circumstances. If a claim or dispute is presented to a local board for determination but the local board has not yet adopted uniform rules of procedure for adjudication of the claim or dispute, the local board shall adopt and use the model uniform rules of local board procedure that are issued by the fund manager’s fiduci