17-52a-204.  Council-manager form of county government.

(1) 

Terms Used In Utah Code 17-52a-204

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • 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
  • 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
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes a state, district, or territory of the United States. See Utah Code 68-3-12.5
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Veto: The procedure established under the Constitution by which the President/Governor refuses to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevents its enactment into law. A regular veto occurs when the President/Governor returns the legislation to the house in which it originated. The President/Governor usually returns a vetoed bill with a message indicating his reasons for rejecting the measure. In Congress, the veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House.
  • (a)  The following shall govern a county operating under the form of government known as the “council-manager” form:

    (i)  an elected county council;

    (ii)  a county manager appointed by the council; and

    (iii)  other officers and employees authorized by law.

    (b)  The optional plan shall provide for the qualifications, time and manner of appointment subject to Subsections (6) and (7), term of office, compensation, and removal of the county manager.
  • (2)  The county manager is the administrative head of the county government and has the powers, functions, and duties of a county executive, except:

    (a)  as the county legislative body otherwise provides by ordinance; and

    (b)  that the county manager may not veto any ordinances enacted by the council.

    (3) 

    (a)  An individual member of the council may not directly or indirectly, by suggestion or otherwise:

    (i)  attempt to influence or coerce the manager in:

    (A)  making any appointment;

    (B)  removing any officer or employee; or

    (C)  purchasing supplies;

    (ii)  attempt to exact any promise relative to any appointment from any candidate for manager; or

    (iii)  discuss directly or indirectly with the manager the matter of specific appointments to any county office or employment.

    (b) 

    (i)  A member of the county council who violates the provisions of this Subsection (3) shall forfeit the member’s county council office.

    (ii)  Nothing in this section shall be construed, however, as prohibiting the council from fully and freely discussing with or suggesting to the manager anything pertaining to county affairs or the interests of the county.

    (iii)  The county manager may not take part in securing, or contributing any money toward, the nomination or election of any candidate for a county office.

    (iv)  The optional plan may provide procedures for implementing this Subsection (3).

    (4)  In the council-manager form of county government:

    (a)  the legislative powers of the county are vested in the county council; and

    (b)  the executive powers of the county are vested in the county manager.

    (5)  A reference in statute or state rule to the “governing body” or the “board of county commissioners” of the county, in the council-manager form of county government, means:

    (a)  the county council, with respect to legislative functions, duties, and powers; and

    (b)  the county manager, with respect to executive functions, duties, and powers.

    (6) 

    (a)  As used in this Subsection (6), “interim vacancy period” means the period of time that:

    (i)  begins on the day on which a general election described in Section 17-16-6 is held to elect a council member; and

    (ii)  ends on the day on which the council member-elect begins the council member’s term.

    (b) 

    (i)  The county council may not appoint a county manager during an interim vacancy period.

    (ii)  Notwithstanding Subsection (6)(b)(i):

    (A)  the county council may appoint an interim county manager during an interim vacancy period; and

    (B)  the interim county manager’s term shall expire once a new county manager is appointed by the new administration after the interim vacancy period has ended.

    (c)  Subsection (6)(b) does not apply if all the county council members who held office on the day of the county general election whose term of office was vacant for the election are re-elected to the council for the following term.

    (7)  A county council that appoints a county manager in accordance with this section may not, on or after May 10, 2011, enter into an employment contract that contains an automatic renewal provision with the county manager.

    Amended by Chapter 67, 2020 General Session