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375A.10 OPTIONS RELATING TO CERTAIN COUNTY OFFICES.
    Subdivision 1. General. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary
and in addition to the other options provided by sections 375A.01 to 375A.13, any county may
adopt one or more of the options provided for in this section. Until the adoption of any one
or more of the options herein enumerated, each county shall operate under the plan of county
government relating to the county offices enumerated in this section which was in effect for
that county on July 1, 1973.
    Subd. 2. Certain offices. In addition to the other options provided by sections 375A.01 to
375A.13, any county may institute one or more of the following options; except that a county
which has adopted the auditor-administrator plan may not provide for the appointment of the
auditor or the consolidation of the offices of auditor and treasurer while the auditor-administrator
plan is in force:
(a) provide for the appointment of one or more of the following offices if they have not been
abolished by the adoption of other options: County auditor, county treasurer, sheriff, or county
recorder;
(b) provide for the office of county civil counsel;
(c) consolidation of the offices of county auditor and treasurer.
    Subd. 3. Appointment. In any county exercising the option provided in subdivision 2,
clause (a), relating to the offices of county auditor, county treasurer, sheriff, or county recorder,
the offices shall be filled by appointment by the board of county commissioners unless the
office is hereafter abolished or terminated as provided by law or pursuant to a reorganization
or consolidation. The duties, functions and responsibilities which have been heretofore and
which shall be hereafter required by statute to be performed by the elected officials whose
offices are to be made appointive shall be vested in and performed by the board of county
commissioners of that county through department heads appointed by the board for that purpose.
In effecting this option, the board of county commissioners shall have the authority to initiate and
direct any reorganization, consolidation, reallocation or delegation of such duties, functions or
responsibilities for the purpose of promoting efficiency in county government and make such
other administrative changes including abolishing or terminating the offices or the transfer of
personnel, as are deemed necessary for this purpose without diminishing, prohibiting, or avoiding
those specific duties required by statute to be performed by those officials. The officer elected
to the respective office at the time of the adoption of this option shall serve as the head of any
department created by the board of county commissioners to perform the functions formerly
performed by the office and shall serve until the term of office expires.
    Subd. 4. County counsel; county prosecution. In any county exercising the option provided
in subdivision 2, clause (b), the county board is authorized to establish the office of county civil
counsel and may by resolution appoint an attorney at law to the office; provided that if a county
adopts either the elected executive or the county manager plan, the county civil counsel shall be
appointed and removed by the elected executive or county manager, subject to the approval of the
county board. The county board shall determine the compensation for the county counsel. If a
county counsel is appointed, the county attorney shall continue to exercise all duties relating to
the prosecution of crimes as provided by law. The county counsel shall be the legal advisor to the
county board and county officials involving any official act of a civil nature. The county counsel
shall prosecute and defend all civil actions and proceedings in which the county or any officer
is concerned in official capacity or is a party. County counsel shall perform such additional and
related duties as may be prescribed by law and directed by the county board. The county counsel
and the county attorney may apply for and shall receive opinions from the attorney general on
matters of public importance as provided in section 8.07.
    Subd. 5. Auditor-treasurer. In any county exercising the option provided in subdivision 2,
clause (c), the office shall be known thereafter as the office of auditor-treasurer, if the office is
to remain elective. If the board chooses to make the office of auditor-treasurer elective, and not
require a referendum, it must act with the concurrence of 80 percent of its members.
In the exercise of this option, the county board shall direct which of the offices of auditor
or treasurer shall be terminated for the purpose of providing for the election to the single office
of auditor-treasurer. The duties, functions and responsibilities which have been heretofore and
which shall hereafter be required by statute to be performed by the county auditor and the
county treasurer shall be vested in and performed by the auditor-treasurer without diminishing,
prohibiting or avoiding those specific duties required by statute to be performed by the county
auditor and the county treasurer.
Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the county from exercising the option to make
the combined office of auditor-treasurer appointive as if it had been specifically enumerated in
subdivision 2. If the combined office is to be appointive, a referendum under section 375A.12
shall be necessary.
If the combined office is to be elective, a referendum under section 375A.12 shall be
necessary if:
(a) the county board requires a referendum; or
(b) a referendum is required by a petition of a number of voters equal to ten percent of those
voting in the county at the last general election that is received by the county auditor within 30
days after the second publication of the board resolution that orders the combination.
The persons last elected to the positions of auditor and treasurer before adoption of the
resolution shall serve in those offices and perform the duties of those offices until the completion
of the terms to which they were elected.
    Subd. 6. Oaths, bonds. When any of the offices referred to in this section are combined or
consolidated, the person filling the combined office shall take the oath of each office and shall
give the bond required by the county board provided that if one of the offices combined is the
office of county treasurer, the bond shall be in an amount not less than that required of a county
treasurer in that county.
History: 1973 c 542 s 10; 1976 c 181 s 2; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 75 s 1