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Resolution 2016-07, Generally Revise Laws Applicable to County Government


It is the intent of the Montana Association of Counties to seek legislation to clarify, update, and correct statutes applicable to county government.

WHEREAS, over the course of time laws applicable to county governments sometimes become outdated or antiquated; some sections come into conflict with other sections and others are not adequately clear to provide consistent interpretation and understanding; and

WHEREAS, during the normal course of county business there are a number of changes to the MCA that are identified as needed for clarity and updating; and

  1. WHEREAS,  the 2013 Legislative Session increased the bidding threshold in section 7-5-2301 for contracts for the purchase of any vehicle, road machinery or other machinery, apparatus, appliances, equipment, or materials or supplies or for construction, repair, or maintenance to $80,000 from $50,000. Section 7-5-2309 provides a bidding preference for county residents for contracts over $50,000. Section 7-5-2309 should be harmonized with 7-5-2301 at $80,000; and
  2. WHEREAS,  prior to the passage of HB 84 in 2015, when a fire district trustee election was cancelled due to a lack of candidates, the position was filled by appointment of the board of county commissioners.  That language was stricken from 7-33-2106 and replaced by general language in 13-1-502 that places the responsibility to fill such an appointment with “the governing body”, however in this context the governing body would be the district trustees.  MACo believes the responsibility for filling a position when any special district trustee or board member election has been cancelled should be with the Board of County Commissioners; and
  3. WHEREAS, Section 7-4-2106 provides for filling a vacancy in the office of county commissioner and 7-4-2206 provides for filling a vacancy in any other elected county office, however those statutes are not worded the same, which causes confusion.  MACo believes those statutes should be harmonized to reflect the same times and processes for filling vacancies in county elected offices; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Counties shall seek legislation Montana Association of Counties to seek legislation to clarify, update, and correct statutes applicable to county government.

2016 ACTION

SPONSOR:  MACo Staff
REFERRED TO: MACo Resolutions & Legislative Committee
ADOPTED:  Annual Conference, Billings, MT, September 21, 2016