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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 1696

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/03/2017 08:53am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to counties; authorizing the appointment of county recorders; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 375.08; 382.01; 382.02; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 375A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 375.08, is amended to read:


375.08 BOARD TO FILL VACANCIES IN COUNTY OFFICES.

When a vacancy occurs in the office ofnew text begin an electednew text end county auditor, county treasurer,
county recorder, sheriff, county attorney, county surveyor, or coroner, the county board
shall fill it by appointment. For that purpose it shall meet at the usual place of meeting, upon
one day's notice from the chair or clerk, which shall be served personally upon each member
in the same manner as a district court summons. The person appointed shall give the bond
and take the oath required by law, and serve the remainder of the term, and until a successor
qualifies. When a vacancy occurs in an office that has a chief deputy or first assistant, the
chief deputy or first assistant may perform all the duties and functions of the office until it
is filled by appointment by the county board.

Sec. 2.

new text begin [375A.1205] APPOINTING COUNTY RECORDERS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Authority to appoint county recorder. new text end

new text begin A county board may appoint
the county recorder under section 375A.10, subdivision 2, by following the process outlined
in this section. Notwithstanding section 375A.12, a referendum is not required if the
appointment is made pursuant to this section. A county board shall only use the authority
to appoint under the following circumstances:
new text end

new text begin (1) there is a vacancy in the office due to resignation or death; or
new text end

new text begin (2) there is a signed contract with the county board and the incumbent recorder that
provides that the incumbent officer will be appointed to the position and retain tenure, pay,
and benefits equal to or greater than length of service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Responsibility of county officer. new text end

new text begin At least 104 days before the filing date for
office under section 204B.09, an elected county officer must notify the county board in
writing whether the officer will be filing for another term. If the officer indicates in writing
that the officer will not file for the office and the county board has passed a resolution under
subdivision 6, affidavits of candidacy will not be accepted for that office and the office will
not be placed on the ballot.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Board controls; may change as long as duties done. new text end

new text begin Upon adoption of a
resolution by the county board of commissioners and subject to subdivisions 5 and 6, the
duties of an elected official required by statute whose office is made appointive as authorized
by this section must be discharged by the county board of commissioners acting through a
department head appointed by the board for that purpose. Reorganization, reallocation,
delegation, or other administrative change or transfer does not diminish, prohibit, or avoid
the discharge of duties required by statute.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Discharge or demotion. new text end

new text begin (a) A county recorder who was elected at the most
recent election for that office prior to a county board resolution to make the office appointed,
and is appointed by the county board to the office, may not be involuntarily demoted or
discharged except for incompetency or misconduct.
new text end

new text begin (b) Before demoting or discharging an office holder under this subdivision, the board
must notify the office holder in writing and state its grounds for the proposed demotion or
discharge in reasonable detail. Within ten days after receipt of this notification, the office
holder may make a written request for a hearing before an arbitrator and the request must
be granted before final action is taken. Failure to request a hearing before an arbitrator
during this period is considered acquiescence to the board's action. The board may suspend
an office holder with pay pending the conclusion of the hearing and determination of the
issues raised in the hearing after charges have been filed which constitute grounds for
demotion or discharge. If an office holder has been charged with a felony and the underlying
conduct that is the subject of the felony charge is a ground for a proposed discharge, the
suspension pending the conclusion of the hearing and determination of the issues may be
without pay. If a hearing under this subdivision is held, the board must reimburse the office
holder for any salary or compensation withheld if the final decision of the arbitrator does
not result in a penalty or discharge of the office holder.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the office holder and the board are unable to mutually agree on an arbitrator, the
board must request from the Bureau of Mediation Services a list of seven persons qualified
to serve as an arbitrator. If the office holder and the board are unable to mutually agree on
an arbitrator from the list provided, the parties shall alternately strike names from the list
until the name of one arbitrator remains. The person remaining after the striking procedure
must be the arbitrator. If the parties are unable to agree on who shall strike the first name,
the question must be decided by a flip of a coin. The office holder and the board must share
equally the costs and fees of the arbitrator except as set forth in paragraph (g).
new text end

new text begin (d) The arbitrator shall determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether the
grounds for discharge or demotion exist to support the proposed discharge or demotion. A
lesser penalty than demotion or discharge may be imposed by the arbitrator only to the
extent that either party proposes such lesser penalty in the proceeding. In making the
determination, the arbitration proceeding is governed by sections 572B.15 to 572B.28.
new text end

new text begin (e) An arbitration hearing conducted under this subdivision is a meeting for preliminary
consideration of allegations or charges within the meaning of section 13D.05, subdivision
3, paragraph (a), and must be closed, unless the office holder requests it to be open.
new text end

new text begin (f) The arbitrator's award is final and binding on the parties, subject to sections 572B.18
to 572B.28.
new text end

new text begin (g) In the event the arbitrator rules not to demote or discharge the office holder, the
board shall pay all of the costs and fees of the arbitrator and the attorney fees of the office
holder.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Incumbents to complete term. new text end

new text begin The person elected at the last general election
to an office made appointive under this section must serve in that capacity and perform the
duties, functions, and responsibilities required by statute until the completion of the term
of office to which the person was elected, or until a vacancy occurs in the office, whichever
occurs earlier.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Publishing resolution; petition; referendum. new text end

new text begin (a) Before the adoption of the
resolution to provide for the appointment of an office as described in subdivision 1, the
county board must publish a proposed resolution notifying the public of its intent to consider
the issue once each week, for two consecutive weeks, in the official publication of the
county. Following publication and prior to formally adopting the resolution, the county
board shall provide an opportunity at its next regular meeting for public comment relating
to the issue. After the public comment opportunity, at the same meeting or a subsequent
meeting, the county board of commissioners may adopt a resolution that provides for the
appointment of the office or offices as permitted in this section. The resolution must be
approved by at least 80 percent of the members of the county board. The resolution may
take effect 30 days after it is adopted, or at a later date stated in the resolution, unless a
petition is filed as provided in paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (b) Except when an office is made appointive under subdivision 1, clause (2), within 30
days after the county board adopts the resolution, a petition requesting a referendum may
be filed with the county auditor. The petition must be signed by at least ten percent of the
registered voters of the county. The petition must meet the requirements of the secretary of
state, as provided in section 204B.071, and any rules adopted to implement that section. If
the petition is sufficient, the county board resolution is rescinded.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Reverting to elected offices. new text end

new text begin (a) The county board may adopt a resolution to
provide for the election of an office made an appointed position under this section, but not
until at least three years after the office was made an appointed position. The county board
must publish a proposed resolution notifying the public of its intent to consider the issue
once each week, for two consecutive weeks, in the official publication of the county.
Following publication and before formally adopting the resolution, the county board must
provide an opportunity at its next regular meeting for public comment relating to the issue.
After the public comment opportunity, at the same meeting or a subsequent meeting, the
county board of commissioners may adopt the resolution. The resolution must be approved
by at least 60 percent of the members of the county board and is effective August 1 following
adoption of the resolution.
new text end

new text begin (b) The question of whether an office made an appointed position under this section
must be made an elected office must be placed on the ballot at the next general election if
(1) the position has been an appointed position for at least three years; (2) a petition signed
by at least ten percent of the registered voters of the county is filed with the office of the
county auditor by August 1 of the year in which the general election is held; and (3) the
petition meets the requirements of the secretary of state, as provided in section 204B.071,
and any rules adopted to implement that section. If a majority of the voters of the county
voting on the question vote in favor of making the office an elected position, the election
for that office must be held at the next regular or special election.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 382.01, is amended to read:


382.01 OFFICERS ELECTED; TERMS.

In every county in this state there shall be elected at the general election in 1918 a county
auditor, a county treasurer, sheriff, county recorder, county attorney, and coroner.

The terms of office of these officers shall be four years and shall begin on the first
Monday in January next succeeding their election. They shall hold office until their successors
are elected and qualified. new text beginEach of new text endthese offices deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end be filled by election every four
years thereafternew text begin, unless an office is consolidated with another county officer or made
appointive under chapter 375A or other general or special law
new text end.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 382.02, is amended to read:


382.02 VACANCIES, HOW FILLED.

Any appointment made to fill a vacancy in any of the offices named in section 382.01
new text begin that has not been made appointive under chapter 375A or other general or special law new text endshall
be for the balance of such entire term, and be made by the county board.