The central job of a county commissioner is to allocate public resources; e.g., tax funds, personnel, facilities, and equipment in a manner beneficial to county residents. Under state law, commissioners may only exercise their power to allocate resources through an official meeting of the board of commissioners.

Individual commissioners have no more legal authority to make decisions than a private citizen, and meetings are the only avenue for commissioners to exercise the collective power of the board. As public officials, commissioners must be vigilant in assuring that board meetings conform to state law. 

However, a legally compliant board meeting does not guarantee an effective and democratically responsive meeting. Thus, in the public sector, governing bodies must also give attention to three other criteria related to their official meetings:

  • Results – do the official decisions made at meetings produce outcomes that meet short and long-term county needs?
  • Process – does that board make decisions in a deliberative, efficient, and ethical manner in a way that promotes healthy citizen participation?
  • Public Image – does the board conduct itself in a setting and in such a manner as to earn public respect and create a positive public image?

Code of Ethical Conduct for County Commissioners:

  • Should be vigorously dedicated to the democratic ideals of honesty, openness and accountability in all public matters involving county government.
  • Should model decorum, respect for others and civility in all public relationships.
  • Should actively practice stewardship of the county’s human, fiscal and material resources.
  • Should strive for excellence and continuous learning in personal development and in all operations of county government.
  • Should perform the duties of public office with fairness and impartiality so as to enhance public confidence in county government.
  • Should neither seek nor accept any favor from any source that may be offered to influence his or her official decision-making.


Central Job of a Commissioner

Code of Ethics

County Commissioner Board Appointments

Emergency Services Boards

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