Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGO Opinions with Topic: COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
AGO 1990 No. 6 >  June 12, 1990
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - COUNTIES - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - DISTRICTS - ELECTIONS
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- COUNTIES ‑- OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- DISTRICTS ‑- ELECTIONS 1.  In Board of Estimate v. Morris the United States Supreme Court struck down a voting system in which borough presidents, who were voting members of the Board of Estimates, were elected by the voters of each borough and the boroughs varied greatly in population.  2. In San Juan County commissioners reside in commissioner districts that vary in population, however, the primary and general elections are conducted among voters of the county at large, not merely among the voters of the commissioner district.  The United States Supreme Court has approved such at large voting systems, even where the candidates were required to reside in districts that varied in population.  Board of Estimate v. Morris does not cast doubt on the validity of these decision. 3.  The United States Supreme Court has struck down at large voting systems on grounds that they impermissible diluted the electoral strength of racial or other political minorities in the at large district.  This is a factual question.  At present we are unaware of any facts tending to show this to be the case in San Juan County.
AGO 1961 No. 1 >  January 16, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO LEASE AND OPERATE A FERRY
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO LEASE AND OPERATE A FERRY The board of county commissioners is authorized to lease and operate a ferry connecting a public highway within the county with a public highway in the state of Oregon.
AGO 1961 No. 31 >  May 26, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY UNDER CHAPTER 209, LAWS OF 1961, TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARD APPROACH TO ASTORIA-MEGLER BRIDGE - DEBT LIMITATION
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY UNDER CHAPTER 209, LAWS OF 1961, TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARD APPROACH TO ASTORIA-MEGLER BRIDGE ‑- DEBT LIMITATION The board of county commissioners of Pacific county is legally authorized to contribute toward the cost of construction of a Washington approach to the proposed Astoria-Megler bridge, within the debt limit requirements.
AGO 1961 No. 73 >  October 24, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - POWER TO FIND AND DECLARE A PUBLIC EMERGENCY AND MAKE EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWER TO FIND AND DECLARE A PUBLIC EMERGENCY AND MAKE EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS Where in accordance with a prior agreement an individual transfers separately owned real estate to a grantee by a deed reciting consideration of love and affection and the grantee pursuant to the same agreement then executes a deed setting forth the same consideration and transferring the title back to the grantor and another person as joint tenants the real estate excise tax does not apply.
AGO 1961 No. 76 >  November 14, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO RENT ROAD EQUIPMENT
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO RENT ROAD EQUIPMENT (1) The substantive provisions of §§ 1 through 7 of chapter 40, Laws of 1973, 2nd Ex. Sess., redefining the standards to be applied in determining the eligibility of certain property for an exemption from property taxation, apply to assessments made in 1973 for taxes due and payable in 1974. (2) The procedural requirements of §§ 9 through 19 of chapter 40, Laws of 1973, 2nd Ex. Sess., under which the function of determining the eligibility of property for a tax exemption is, henceforth, to be performed by the state department of revenue instead of the various county assessors and boards of equalization, do not apply in the case of assessments made in 1973 for taxes due and payable in 1974. (3) The remedies available under existing law for taxpayers who, during 1974, received tax statements covering properties which qualify for an exemption under §§ 1 through 7, chapter 40, Laws of 1973, 2nd Ex. Sess., include a request for cancellation of the assessment as provided for in RCW 84.56.400, a suit for a refund pursuant to chapter 84.68 RCW, or an injunction under RCW 84.68.010 (2). (4) The provisions of § 21, chapter 40, Laws of 1973, 2nd Ex. Sess., making a general fund appropriation to the department of revenue to administer the provisions of this new property tax exemption law, do not authorize that department to reimburse the counties for their costs incurred in determining property tax exemptions during the 1973 assessment year.
AGO 1962 No. 108 >  April 3, 1962
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - THIRD CLASS COUNTY - AUTHORITY TO LEASE A PORTION OF COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS TO NONPROFIT RODEO ASSOCIATION
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- THIRD CLASS COUNTY ‑- AUTHORITY TO LEASE A PORTION OF COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS TO NONPROFIT RODEO ASSOCIATION The county commissioners of a third class county have the authority under RCW 36.34.180 to lease a portion of the county fair grounds, for a period not exceeding thirty-five years, to a nonprofit rodeo association.
AGO 1962 No. 124 >  April 25, 1962
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - ROAD FUNDS - PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILE FOR ROAD INSPECTOR - DEPUTY SHERIFF
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- ROAD FUNDS ‑- PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILE FOR ROAD INSPECTOR ‑- DEPUTY SHERIFF The county commissioners may expend some road funds to pay part but not all the cost of an automobile to be used by a person employed by the county as road inspector and by the sheriff as a deputy sheriff.
AGO 1962 No. 159 >  September 4, 1962
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - ROADS - AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENT WITH CITY COUNCIL TO CONSTRUCT ROAD WITHIN CITY
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- ROADS ‑- AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENT WITH CITY COUNCIL TO CONSTRUCT ROAD WITHIN CITY The board of county commissioners and a city council have the authority under chapter 245, Laws of 1961 (chapter 35.77 RCW) to enter into an agreement whereby the county agrees to construct a road within the city at a mutually agreed cost to the city.
AGO 1962 No. 167 >  September 20, 1962
COURTS - JUSTICE OF THE PEACE - CITIES WITH POPULATION OF OVER 5,000 - SALARY - REDUCTION - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
COURTS ‑- JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ‑- CITIES WITH POPULATION OF OVER 5,000 ‑- SALARY ‑- REDUCTION ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS (1) After the county commissioners have raised the salary of a justice of the peace to $3,600 per year in cities with a population of over 5,000 under RCW 3.16.002, they can thereafter reduce said salary under certain conditions. (2 (a)) The salary of a justice of the peace may not be increased or decreased during his term of office. (2 (b) ‑ 2 (c)) The salary may be increased or decreased at any time prior to the commencement of the term notwithstanding the fact that a filing fee may have been paid on the basis of the existing salary for the office.
AGO 1964 No. 91 >  March 13, 1964
COUNTIES - LEGISLATIVE POWER - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM - NO CONSTITUTIONAL OR STATUTORY PROVISION PROVIDING FOR DIRECT LEGISLATION BY COUNTY RESIDENTS
COUNTIES ‑- LEGISLATIVE POWER ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM ‑- NO CONSTITUTIONAL OR STATUTORY PROVISION PROVIDING FOR DIRECT LEGISLATION BY COUNTY RESIDENTS (1) Under existing state law the residents of a county do not have the power to enact county-wide legislation by initiative. (2) The residents of a county do not have the power of referendum under existing state law in regard to ordinances or regulations duly enacted by a board of county commissioners.
AGO 1964 No. 100 >  April 21, 1964
ROADS AND BRIDGES - (1) FERRIES - VACATION OR RECONSTRUCTION - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - PROCEDURE - (2) SNOW REMOVAL FROM PRIVATE DRIVEWAY AND ROADS - OBLIGATION OF STATE OR COUNTY TO PLOW SNOW FROM ENTRANCES WITHIN RIGHTS-OF-WAY
ROADS AND BRIDGES ‑- (1) FERRIES ‑- VACATION OR RECONSTRUCTION ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- PROCEDURE ‑- (2) SNOW REMOVAL FROM PRIVATE DRIVEWAY AND ROADS ‑- OBLIGATION OF STATE OR COUNTY TO PLOW SNOW... (1) The vacation of a ferry service by a board of county commissioners constitutes, and is subject to the same provisions governing, the vacation of a county road or bridge; however, if existing ferry service has been discontinued because the system has been destroyed or partially destroyed, the decision of the board of county commissioners, exercising its discretion, not to repair, reconstruct or re‑establish [[reestablish]] ferry service is not under existing law subject to any procedural requirements. (2) There is no obligation on the part of the highway department or county road departments to plow out or remove snow deposited on entrances to private driveways or roads, within the public highway rights of way, during the plowing of county roads or state highways, provided that access rights have not been taken thereby.
AGO 1964 No. 132 >  December 22, 1964
COURTS - COUNTY NOT UNDER 1961 JUSTICE COURT ACT - JUSTICE OF THE PEACE - AUTHORITY TO HOLD COURT ONLY IN PRECINCT - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO FILL VACANCY IN OFFICE OF JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
COURTS ‑- COUNTY NOT UNDER 1961 JUSTICE COURT ACT ‑- JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ‑- AUTHORITY TO HOLD COURT ONLY IN PRECINCT ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO FILL VACANCY IN OFFICE OF JUSTICE OF... (1) A justice of the peace is not authorized to hold court outside his precinct in a county which has not adopted the 1961 justice court act. (2) The board of county commissioners of such a county may appoint a justice of the peace for a precinct which has never previously had a justice of the peace if a vacancy exists in such office. (3) A justice of the peace may be elected and qualified in a rural precinct notwithstanding the fact that it only has five registered voters.
AGO 1965 No. 59 >  December 17, 1965
FUNDS - FEDERAL FOREST RESERVE - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - DIVISION BETWEEN PUBLIC SCHOOL AND COUNTY ROADS - METHODS OF APPORTIONMENT - USE OF FUNDS
FUNDS ‑- FEDERAL FOREST RESERVE ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- DIVISION BETWEEN PUBLIC SCHOOL AND COUNTY ROADS ‑- METHODS OF APPORTIONMENT ‑- USE OF FUNDS (1) Under § 1, chapter 240, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess. (RCW 36.33.110), the board of county commissioners is required to expend at least fifty percent of federal forest funds received by the county for the benefit of the public schools.  Since the legislature has not prescribed the manner of apportioning the money, the board of county commissioners may, in the exercise of its sound discretion, make any apportionment it desires as long as the money is used for the benefit of the public schools including but not limited to division of the funds either (1) among the school districts of the county to be expended as the boards of directors thereof may direct, or (2) among the school districts of the county to be expended in the manner directed by the board of county commissioners. (2) An expenditure by the county for removal of snow and bridge repair on county roads, which incidentally benefits the schools, cannot be charged to that portion of the federal forest funds which must be expended for the public schools. (3) The county commissioners acting pursuant to § 1, chapter 140, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess., may not allot federal forest funds to the county superintendent's budget.
AGO 1988 No. 27 >  November 9, 1988
COUNTIES - PUBLIC OFFICER COMPENSATION - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MIDTERM INCREASES IN COMPENSATION The Legislature clearly intended, by amending RCW 41.04.190 in 1983, to authorize county commissioners to accept increases in health benefits on a midterm basis; the Attorney General will not comment on the constitutionality of the 1983 amendments.
AGO 1996 No. 15 >  September 4, 1996
COUNTIES - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - HEALTH - DISTRICTS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Simultaneous service of one spouse as county commissioner while other spouse is administrator of the local Health Department in the same county RCW 42.23.030 does not prohibit the service of one spouse as a county commissioner (and ex officio local health board member) while the other spouse serves as administrative officer of the health department; these positions are both public offices and the compensation for them does not arise out of contract.
AGO 1958 No. 195 >  May 15, 1958
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - DUTY TO KEEP ALL COUNTY ROADS FREE OF SNOW DURING THE WINTER MONTHS - AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT ROAD ABANDONED BY STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND CONVEYED TO COUNTY - HIGHWAYS - DUTY OF COUNTY TO MAINTAIN ROAD ABANDONED BY STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND CONVEYED TO COUNTY - ROADS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- DUTY TO KEEP ALL COUNTY ROADS FREE OF SNOW DURING THE WINTER MONTHS -- AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT ROAD ABANDONED BY STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND... 1.  A portion of state highway abandoned by the state of Washington and certified to a county must be maintained by the county.   2.  The county commissioners are authorized to exercise discretion in determining whether or not any particular road can be kept free of snow all winter.
AGO 1958 No. 163 >  February 21, 1958
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - HIGHWAYS
AUTHORITY TO CONVEY RIGHT OF ACCESS TO STATE FOR LIMITED ACCESS FACILITIES / ACQUISITION OF RIGHTS OF ACCESS THROUGH PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY COUNTY THROUGH TAX... Counties may convey rights of access through property acquired through tax foreclosure to the state for limited access highway facilities.
AGO 1956 No. 315 >  September 11, 1956
SCHOOLS - COUNTIES - COUNTY BUDGETS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS - COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, POWERS OF
SCHOOLS ‑- COUNTIES ‑- COUNTY BUDGETS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS ‑- COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, POWERS OF RCW 28.19.110 (§ 29, chapter 157, Laws of 1955) removes from the board of county commissioners the discretionary authority to determine the amount of funds to be annually allocated to the county superintendent of schools, and requires the county commissioners to allocate the amount of funds to the county superintendent of schools that is certified as needed by the county board of education to the board of county commissioners.
AGO 1956 No. 306 >  August 2, 1956
COUNTIES - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - POWER TO ESTABLISH A CIVIL SERVICE OR MERIT SYSTEM FOR DEPUTY SHERIFFS
COUNTIES ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWER TO ESTABLISH A CIVIL SERVICE OR MERIT SYSTEM FOR DEPUTY SHERIFFS The Board of County Commissioners of Clallam County cannot establish a civil service or merit system without a statute enabling them to do so.
AGO 1960 No. 109 >  March 31, 1960
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO GRANT A FRANCHISE OVER COUNTY LANDS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO GRANT A FRANCHISE OVER COUNTY LANDS The board of county commissioners does not have legal authority to grant a perpetual franchise over county lands to the Bonneville Power Administration for a power line.
AGO 1957 No. 103 >  July 25, 1957
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO WAIVE COLLECTION OF THE TEN MILL ROAD LEVY - COUNTY ROAD LEVY - AUTHORITY OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO CONTRACT FOR MAINTENANCE OF ROADS
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO WAIVE COLLECTION OF THE TEN MILL ROAD LEVY -- COUNTY ROAD LEVY ‑- AUTHORITY OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO CONTRACT FOR MAINTENANCE OF ROADS County commissioners cannot waive their right to collect the ten mill county road levy nor can they delegate their powers and duties with regard to location, construction, and maintenance of roads to any other agency.
AGO 1957 No. 90 >  July 2, 1957
INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - CITY - COUNTY - CITIES AND TOWNS - COUNTIES - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES -- OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- CITY ‑- COUNTY -- CITIES AND TOWNS -- COUNTIES -- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS The offices of county commissioner and mayor of a third class city are incompatible.
AGO 1957 No. 83 >  June 13, 1957
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO CREATE A NEW COUNTY OFFICE - VETERANS RELIEF FUND
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO CREATE A NEW COUNTY OFFICE ‑- VETERANS RELIEF FUND County commissioners cannot create a new county office to be known as the county Veterans Aid Bureau, and appoint an individual to administer such office.
AGO 1956 No. 287 >  June 22, 1956
COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO FORMER
COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO FORMER County board of education members are entitled to a mileage allowance set by said board even though in excess of the maximum set down for county officials by the board of county commissioners.
AGO 1954 No. 235 >  April 8, 1954
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - PUBLIC WORKS STATUTES - AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT PUBLIC BUILDINGS WITHOUT ADVERTISING FOR BIDS
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- PUBLIC WORKS STATUTES ‑- AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT PUBLIC BUILDINGS WITHOUT ADVERTISING FOR BIDS Within the limitations of the budget law, county commissioners of third class counties may authorize construction of public buildings by means other than awarding a contract on a competitive bid basis provided the public works statutes are followed.
AGO 1954 No. 281 >  July 22, 1954
DEPUTY SHERIFFS - NECESSARY REASONABLE TRAVELING EXPENSE - LUNCH WHILE AWAY FROM COUNTY SEAT ON REGULAR PATROL - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - NECESSARY REASONABLE TRAVELING EXPENSE - MILEAGE, MEALS AND LODGING INCURRED IN ATTENDING TO COUNTY BUSINESS AT COUNTY SEAT BY REASON OF COMMISSIONERS' RESIDENCE ELSEWHERE
DEPUTY SHERIFFS ‑- NECESSARY REASONABLE TRAVELING EXPENSE ‑- LUNCH WHILE AWAY FROM COUNTY SEAT ON REGULAR PATROL ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- NECESSARY REASONABLE TRAVELING EXPENSE... 1.  Deputy Sheriff on regular patrol away from county seat not entitled to lunch at county expense.  2.  County commissioner residing away from county seat not entitled to mileage, meals and lodging when performing county business at county seat.
AGO 1954 No. 283 >  July 13, 1954
FIREARMS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - POWER TO REGULATE
FIREARMS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWER TO REGULATE County commissioners may make ordinance regulating possession and use of firearms by minors, not in conflict with RCW 9.41.240.
AGO 1954 No. 312 >  September 8, 1954
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - EXPENSES - OTHER THAN MILEAGE - SUBSISTENCE - LODGING - COUNTIES OF SIXTH, SEVENTH, AND EIGHTH CLASSES
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- EXPENSES ‑- OTHER THAN MILEAGE ‑- SUBSISTENCE ‑- LODGING ‑- COUNTIES OF SIXTH, SEVENTH, AND EIGHTH CLASSES 1. RCW 36.17.020 (1953 Supp.), allowing "ten dollars per diem for expenses to commissioners in counties of the sixth, seventh, and eighth classes, does not repeal or amend RCW 36.17.030, allowing mileage, subsistence and lodging to county officers.  2. The "ten dollars per diem for expenses" authorized for commissioners in sixth, seventh, and eighth class counties by RCW 36.17.020 (1953 Supp.) is a limitation upon non-travel [[nontravel]] expenses of those commissioners; such expenses may be incurred, up to a maximum of ten dollars, on any day in which any portion of the commissioner's time is devoted to county business.  3. Commissioners in the counties affected have been entitled to such expenses since the effective date of RCW 36.17.020 (1953 Supp.) (midnight, June 10th, 1953) even though they were already in office on that date.
AGO 1954 No. 336 >  October 22, 1954
HOSPITALS - COUNTY - BUDGET - SALARY AND WAGES - POWER TO FIX - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
HOSPITALS ‑- COUNTY ‑- BUDGET ‑- SALARY AND WAGES ‑- POWER TO FIX ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS County commissioners have the power to fix the budget of the county hospitals.  The board of trustees of a county hospital, through the general superintendent, has the power to hire and classify employees, but the county commissioners fix the budgetary allocation for salaries for each classification.
AGO 1955 No. 98 >  June 13, 1955
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - CLAIMS - APPROVAL
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- CLAIMS ‑- APPROVAL
County Commissioners cannot make valid approval of claim more than thirty days after biennium.
AGO 1953 No. 12 >  April 21, 1953
NOTICE OF HEARING BY PUBLICATION - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - EXCISE TAXES
NOTICE OF HEARING BY PUBLICATION ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- EXCISE TAXES Since an ordinance levying excise taxes on real estate is concerned with revenues and is not a police regulation, the notice provisions as set forth in RCW 36.32.120 (7) do not apply; therefore the proposed ordinance will become effective even though the ten days' notice by publication has not been given.
AGO 1953 No. 40 >  May 4, 1953
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - POWERS AND DUTIES - USE OF COUNTY ROAD EQUIPMENT TO SPRAY GORSE GROWTH ON PRIVATE PROPERTY, IF OWNERS PAY FOR CHEMICALS USED
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWERS AND DUTIES ‑- USE OF COUNTY ROAD EQUIPMENT TO SPRAY GORSE GROWTH ON PRIVATE PROPERTY, IF OWNERS PAY FOR CHEMICALS USED. County commissioners have no power to authorize county man power and equipment on private property for spraying gorse growth, even though the owners of said property pay for the chemicals used.
AGO 1953 No. 507 >  March 24, 1953
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - LOBBYING - PUBLIC OFFICERS - PUBLIC FUNDS
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- LOBBYING ‑- PUBLIC OFFICERS ‑- PUBLIC FUNDS. It is not illegal for the executive secretary of the Washington State Association of County Commissioners to act as a lobbyist during legislative sessions, notwithstanding the fact that his salary is paid from public funds.
AGO 1953 No. 51 >  May 20, 1953
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - CONTRACTS - UNLICENSED ARCHITECT - ARCHITECT'S CONTRACT - NECESSITY OF BIDDING
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- UNLICENSED ARCHITECT -- ARCHITECT'S CONTRACT ‑- NECESSITY OF BIDDING 1. County Commissioners cannot contract with unlicensed architect to draw plans for county office building. 2. County Commissioners need not require bids for contract with architect to plan county building.
AGO 1953 No. 1 >  April 7, 1953
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - UNIFORM BUILDING CODE - PUBLICATION OF NOTICE OF HEARING - INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- UNIFORM BUILDING CODE ‑- PUBLICATION OF NOTICE OF HEARING ‑- INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

 (1) A county may not adopt a uniform building code by incorporating by reference such code in its publication of notice of hearing thereon. (2) An ordinance by the county commissioners attempting to enact such a building code by incorporation by reference would not be enforceable even though the penal provisions were omitted from such ordinance.

AGO 1952 No. 335 >  June 30, 1952
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - EXPENSES AS ROAD SUPERVISORS - PUBLIC OFFICERS - COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- EXPENSES AS ROAD SUPERVISORS -- PUBLIC OFFICERS ‑- COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES County commissioners of sixth-class counties are entitled to necessary, reasonable traveling expenses as road supervisors in addition to compensation for their services as road supervisors which by chapter 9, Laws Ex. Sess. 1950, RCW 36.32.320, is limited to $1200.00.
AGO 1952 No. 385 >  August 26, 1952
MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED FOR PRIVATELY OWNED FERRIES - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO EXPEND MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS - FERRIES - PRIVATELY OWNED NOT ENTITLED TO MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS
MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED FOR PRIVATELY OWNED FERRIES -- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO EXPEND MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS -- FERRIES ‑- PRIVATELY OWNED NOT ENTITLED TO MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS Motor Vehicle funds may not be used by the county for the purpose of erecting or maintaining ferry slips contemplated to be leased to a privately owned and operated ferry company.
AGO 1952 No. 321 >  June 5, 1952
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - COMPATIBILITY OF THE OFFICES OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND SCHOOL BOARD DIRECTOR AND PART TIME EMPLOYMENT WITH A PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- COMPATIBILITY OF THE OFFICES OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND SCHOOL BOARD DIRECTOR AND PART TIME EMPLOYMENT WITH A PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT A county commissioner may hold the office of school board director, and also be a part time employee of a public utility district, provided such positions do not create such a multiplicity of business that they cannot be executed with care and ability.
AGO 1951 No. 013 >  April 13, 1951
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - LICENSING ITINERANT JUNK DEALERS
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- LICENSING ITINERANT JUNK DEALERS
County commissioners have the authority to license itinerant junk dealers.
AGO 1951 No. 159 >  October 31, 1951
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO GRANT EASEMENTS - TAX TITLE LANDS - DISPOSAL BY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO GRANT EASEMENTS ‑- TAX TITLE LANDS ‑- DISPOSAL BY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES A Board of County Commissioners may in its discretion grant an easement over and across tax title lands held in trust by the county under the authority and subject to the limitation contained in chapter 238, Laws of 1947, section 11295-1 Rem. Supp. 1947.
AGO 1951 No. 122 >  September 5, 1951
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - BUILDING COUNTY HOSPITAL - POWER TO HIRE ARCHITECTS AND LIMIT FEES
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- BUILDING COUNTY HOSPITAL ‑- POWER TO HIRE ARCHITECTS AND LIMIT FEES Boards of county commissioners have authority to contract with architects to prepare plans for county hospitals and employment contracts may restrict remuneration to funds procured by special levy voted upon and authorizing the construction of said hospital.
AGO 1951 No. 75 >  June 20, 1951
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - SALE TO COUNTY AIRPORT
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- SALE TO COUNTY AIRPORT Since county commissioners are the governing body of county airports, sales from one or more of the commissioners to such an airport are against public policy, and void, under subsection 2 of section 82, chapter 249, Laws of 1909 subsec. 2, sec. 2334, Rem. Rev. Stat.).
AGO 1951 No. 82 >  July 2, 1951
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO LEASE
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO LEASE A county may lease its property (excluding that held in trust as acquired for non-payment of taxes), to a city for municipal purposes, but must comply with the provisions of sections 4019 to 4022 (as last amended by chapter 41, Laws of 1951) Rem. Rev. Stat., and may not negotiate such a lease without notice and hearing.
AGO 1949 No. 178 >  December 13, 1949
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY TO CREATE POSITION OF POUNDMASTER AND PERSONS ELIGIBLE
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS -- AUTHORITY TO CREATE POSITION OF POUNDMASTER AND PERSONS ELIGIBLE

County Commissioners may by resolution or ordinance regulate animals running at large in the unincorporated areas of their respective counties and provide for the appointment of a county poundmaster.There is no basic reason why a city poundmaster may not be also appointed as a county poundmaster.

AGO 1950 No. 217 >  February 9, 1950
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - COMPENSATION OF A SUPERVISOR EMPLOYED BY THEM
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS -- COMPENSATION OF A SUPERVISOR EMPLOYED BY THEM The statutory limitation contained in the proviso to chapter 200, Laws of 1949, is inapplicable to a supervisor directly employed by and under the supervision of the county commissioners.
AGO 1950 No. 220 >  February 20, 1950
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - POWER TO INCREASE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES AND WAGES" BY EMERGENCY RESOLUTION
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS -- POWER TO INCREASE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR 'SALARIES AND WAGES' BY EMERGENCY RESOLUTION County Commissioners in the exercise of their discretion may by emergency resolution declare that a public emergency exists and appropriate additional funds to the general class of "salaries and wages," over and above amount provided by annual budget.
AGO 1975 No. 23 >  November 14, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - COUNTY - CITY - GOVERNOR - LEGISLATOR - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
USE OF OFFICE FACILITIES TO PROMOTE PASSAGE OR DEFEAT OF BALLOT PROPOSITIONS.

(1) Although a state legislator may, at public expense, inform his constituents on matters pending, proposed, enacted or defeated by the legislature (including the legislator's own views and/or voting record on such matters), such a legislator is prohibited by RCW 42.17.130 from using the facilities of his office or expending funds appropriated for legislative purposes to persuade or attempt to persuade his constituents or other persons to vote one way or another on a statewide ballot proposition; the question of whether a particular communication is or is not in violation of this statute will depend upon all of the facts of each case including, particularly, the timing thereof as related to the time of the election at which the measure or measures are to be voted upon.  (2) The governor, because of his constitutional responsibility to communicate with the legislature in order to ". . . recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient for their action," may use the facilities of his office to explain, or even, to some extent, to advocate, his official position on a statewide ballot measure pending before the people in their legislative capacity; in the case of other officers of the executive branch of the government, however, the legality of such action will depend upon the constitutional or statutory authority of the particular officer and the relationship of the ballot measure involved to the functions and duties of the office in question.  (3) These same principles also apply, with certain qualifications,21,, to officers of the legislative or executive branches of counties, cities and towns, with respect to comparable local ballot measures.

 

AGLO 1975 No. 65 >  July 29, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - PROSECUTING ATTORNEY - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
EMPLOYMENT OF SPECIAL ATTORNEY Where a county, the county commissioners, and prosecuting attorney are sued in their official capacities and a special attorney is employed pursuant to RCW 36.32.200, the costs thus incurred constitute a county expense.
AGLO 1977 No. 12 >  March 18, 1977
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUDITOR - APPOINTMENT OF COUNTY BUDGET OFFFICER
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUDITOR ‑- APPOINTMENT OF COUNTY BUDGET OFFFICER The appointment of a budget officer by a board of county commissioners under RCW 36.32.440 does not relieve the county auditor of his responsibilities under RCW 36.40.010-36.40.050 in connection with the preparation of preliminary county budgets.
AGLO 1974 No. 11 >  January 25, 1974
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REIMBURSEMENT OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FOR USE OF THEIR OWN AUTOMOBILES ON COUNTY BUSINESS RCW 42.24.090 authorizes a board of county commissioners to prescribe by ordinance or resolution a mileage rate for the reimbursement of county officers and employees, other than those designated in RCW 36.17.020, for the use of their own private automobiles on official county business that is in excess of the ten cents per mile rate provided for in RCW 36.17.030.
AGLO 1974 No. 15 >  February 1, 1974
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - PROSECUTING ATTORNEY - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES
EMPLOYMENT OF ATTORNEY A board of county commissioners acting pursuant to RCW 36.32.200 may, with the approval of a majority of the county superior court judges, employ an attorney to advise the board on general matters of its concern; such employment contract, however, may not extend beyond the term of the board.
AGLO 1973 No. 64 >  June 15, 1973
COURTS - JUSTICE COURT DISTRICT - ELECTION - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - AUTHORITY
COURTS ‑- JUSTICE COURT DISTRICT ‑- ELECTION ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY The county commissioners of a fifth class county having a 1970 census population of 15,796 inhabitants does not have the authority to provide for the election of a single, full time judge to serve a justice court district encompassing the entire county.
AGLO 1974 No. 39 >  March 28, 1974
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
HOUSING AUTHORITY (1) A board of county commissioners may not rescind a prior appointment of a member of the board of commissioners of a housing authority but it may remove such a member for cause under RCW 35.82.060. (2) Under RCW 35.82.050, a county housing authority commissioner may not also serve as a manager of a housing facility. (3) The prosecuting attorney of a county is required under RCW 35.82.040 to provide legal representation to a county housing authority.
AGLO 1973 No. 101 >  October 24, 1973
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - LEGISLATOR - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - VACANCY IN OFFICE
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- LEGISLATOR ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- VACANCY IN OFFICE (1) A board of county commissioners may not appoint one of its members to fill a vacancy in the state House of Representatives.
 
(2) If a county commissioner were to resign for the sole purpose of accepting an appointment to the House of Representatives under a prior agreement to that effect with the board of which he was a member, the member would still be ineligible for the appointment notwithstanding his resignation.
AGLO 1974 No. 77 >  August 30, 1974
DISTRICTS - WATER - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
APPROVAL OF FORMATION OF WATER DISTRICT In acting upon a proposal to form a water district under RCW 57.02.040, a board of county commissioners is to make certain determinations; however, the board may properly receive and consider the advice of the appropriate state agencies in connection therewith.
AGLO 1974 No. 102 >  December 4, 1974
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - CIVIL SERVICE
REMOVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONER A board of county commissioners has the discretionary authority not to proceed with a hearing on the merits on charges preferred against a civil service commissioner under RCW 41.14.030 when it believes that the charges are frivolous.
Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo