17-52a-201.  County commission form of government — Commission member elections.

(1)  As used in this section:

Terms Used In Utah Code 17-52a-201

  • County: means a unit of local government that is a body corporate and politic and a legal subdivision of the state, with geographic boundaries as described in Section 17-50-104, and powers as provided in Part 3, County Powers. See Utah Code 17-50-101
  • County executive: means :Utah Code 68-3-12.5
  • County legislative body: means :Utah Code 68-3-12.5
  • Executive: when used to describe the powers, duties, or functions of a person or body elected as the county executive or a person appointed as the county manager or administrative officer, refers to:
(a) the power and duty to carry laws and ordinances into effect and secure their due observance; and
(b) those powers, duties, and functions that, under constitutional and statutory provisions and through long usage and accepted practice and custom at the federal and state level, have come to be regarded as belonging to the executive branch of government. See Utah Code 17-50-101
  • Legislative: when used to describe the powers, duties, or functions of a county commission or council, refers to:
    (a) the power and duty to enact ordinances, levy taxes, and establish budgets; and
    (b) those powers, duties, and functions that, under constitutional and statutory provisions and through long usage and accepted practice and custom at the federal and state level, have come to be regarded as belonging to the legislative branch of government. See Utah Code 17-50-101
  • Optional plan: means a plan establishing an alternate form of government for a county as provided in Section 17-52a-404. See Utah Code 17-52a-102
  • Person: means :Utah Code 68-3-12.5
  • (a)  “Midterm vacancy” means a county commission position that is being filled at an election for less than the position’s full term as established in:

    (i)  Subsection (4)(a); or

    (ii)  a county’s optional plan under Subsection 17-52a-404(5)(b).

    (b)  “Open position” means a county commission position that is being filled at a regular general election for the position’s full term as established in:

    (i)  Subsection (4)(a); or

    (ii)  a county’s optional plan under Subsection 17-52a-404(5)(b).

    (c)  “Opt-in county” means a county that has, in accordance with Subsection (6)(a), chosen to conduct county commissioner elections in accordance with Subsection (6).
  • (2)  A county commission consisting of three members shall govern each county operating under the county commission form of government.

    (3)  A county commission under a county commission form of government is both the county legislative body and the county executive and has the powers, duties, and functions of a county legislative body under Chapter 53, Part 2, County Legislative Body, and the powers, duties, and functions of a county executive under Chapter 53, Part 3, County Executive.

    (4)  Except as otherwise provided in an optional plan adopted under this chapter:

    (a)  the term of office of each county commission member is four years;

    (b)  the terms of county commission members shall be staggered so that two members are elected at a regular general election date that alternates with the regular general election date of the other member; and

    (c)  each county commission member shall be elected:

    (i)  at large, unless otherwise required by court order; and

    (ii)  subject to the provisions of this section, in accordance with Title 20A, Election Code.

    (5)  Except as provided in Subsection (6):

    (a)  if two county commission positions are vacant for an election, the positions shall be designated “county commission seat A” and “county commission seat B”;

    (b)  each candidate who files a declaration of candidacy when two positions are vacant shall designate on the declaration of candidacy form whether the candidate is a candidate for seat A or seat B; and

    (c)  no person may file a declaration of candidacy for, be a candidate for, or be elected to two county commission positions in the same election.

    (6) 

    (a)  A county of the first or second class may, through an optional plan as described in Subsection 17-52a-404(5) or by ordinance, choose to conduct county commissioner elections in accordance with this Subsection (6).

    (b)  When issuing the notice of election required by Subsection 20A-5-101(2), the clerk of an opt-in county shall, if there is at least one open position and at least one midterm vacancy, designate:

    (i)  each open position as “open position”; and

    (ii)  each midterm vacancy as “midterm vacancy.”

    (c)  An individual who files a declaration of candidacy for the office of county commissioner in an opt-in county:

    (i)  if there is more than one open position, is not required to indicate which open position the individual is running for;

    (ii)  if there is at least one open position and at least one midterm vacancy, shall designate on the declaration of candidacy whether the individual is filing for an open position or a midterm vacancy; and

    (iii)  may not file a declaration of candidacy for an open position and a midterm vacancy in the same election.

    (d)  If there is an open position and a midterm vacancy being voted upon in the same election in an opt-in county, the county clerk shall indicate on the ballot for the election which positions are open positions and which positions are midterm vacancies.

    (e)  In an opt-in county:

    (i)  the candidates for open positions, in a number equal to the number of open positions, who receive the highest number of votes are:

    (A)  for the purposes of a regular primary election, nominated by the candidates’ party for the open positions; and

    (B)  for the purposes of a regular general election, elected to fill the open positions; and

    (ii)  the candidates for midterm vacancies, in a number equal to the number of midterm vacancies, who receive the highest number of votes are:

    (A)  for the purposes of a regular primary election, nominated by the candidates’ party for the midterm vacancies; and

    (B)  for the purposes of a regular general election, elected to fill the midterm vacancies.

    Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 68, 2018 General Session

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