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Duties and Responsibilities


October 29, 2008
County Commissioners

The board of county commissioners is comprised of three members. Each member represents a district within the county, but they are elected by the county as a whole.

Commissioners must reside within the district they represent and state law requires these districts be redrawn at least once every 10 years. County commissioners are elected to four-year terms, served in a staggered fashion.

The board of county commissioners represents the legislative body of most counties for ordinance-making purposes. Commissioners are responsible for a myriad of duties including but are not limited to:

Controlling, maintaining and supervising county property, including courthouse, libraries, jails and other buildings and equipment; performing election functions; appointing township officials; establishing animal shelters; fixing and posting speed limits and other traffic signs; providing park and recreation facilities; maintaining county roads and bridges; and providing planning and zoning.

2008 salaries:

•Crawford County, $11,288.

•Floyd County, $14,859.

•Harrison County, $22,479.

County Council

The county council is a seven-member body that oversees the financial powers of the county and serves as a check on the board of county commissioners.

Council members are elected from four districts within the county and three positions by the county at-large. Voters living within the four council districts choose a candidate on the ballot for their district, while the remaining three members are voted on by the entire county. Council members serve staggered, four-year terms.

Duties of the county council include but are not limited to:

Local income, excise and wheel taxes; making appropriations on behalf of the county; adopting an annual budget; and borrowing money for county use.

2008 salaries:

•Crawford County, $6,697.

•Floyd County, $9,955.

•Harrison County, $11,941.

County Circuit Clerk

The clerk of the circuit court is a constitutional officer, elected for a four-year term by the voters of the county but prohibited from serving more than eight years within a 12-year period. The functions of the clerk include filing, recording and entering orders from the county's court system pertaining to civil, juvenile and criminal matters; issuing letters of administration, letters of guardianship, recording wills, inventories of estates, sale bills, final accounts and reports distribution in probate proceedings; serving ex officio as a member and secretary of the county election board, and as a member and clerk of the bounty board of canvassers; and receiving candidacy from persons seeking certain elective public offices and issuing certificates of election to successful local candidates, except in the cases of judges who receive commissions from the governor. The clerk's office is also responsible for receiving child support and other court-ordered payments and liabilities, and issuing marriage licenses.

2008 salaries:

•Crawford County, $27,891.

•Floyd County, $41,888.

•Harrison County, $32,470.

County Coroner

The county coroner, elected for a four-year term by the voters of the county but prohibited from serving more than eight years within a 12-year period, determines the cause of death in cases involving violence or casualty or when a person is found dead in unexplained circumstances. Under certain circumstances, the coroner assumes the duties of the county sheriff and is the only county officer who may arrest the sheriff when a warrant is issued.

2008 salaries:

•Crawford County, $6,700.

•Floyd County, $13,692.

•Harrison County, $9,568.

County Recorder

The county recorder is a constitutional officer, elected for a four-year term by the voters of the county but prohibited from serving more than eight years within a 12-year period. The recorder preserves public records such as deeds, mortgages, liens, articles of incorporation and amendments, certificates authorizing foreign corporations to do business in the state, Army and Navy discharges, and bankruptcy notices, among other items.

2008 salaries:

•Crawford County, $25,332.

•Floyd County, $38,219.

•Harrison County, $30,692.

County Surveyor

The county surveyor is elected to a four-year term, and there is no limit to the number of terms that can be served. The surveyor maintains section corner records and supervises all civil engineering work of the county, including construction and maintenance of drains and ditches and of highway, bridges and culverts. The surveyor also must maintain a legal survey record book showing maps of each section, grant, tract, subdivision or group of such areas in detail. The surveyor serves as an ex-officio member of the County Drainage Board and the County Plan Commission.

2008 salaries:

•Crawford County, $11,100.

•Floyd County, $35,813.

•Harrison County, $24,000.

Superior Court Judge

The superior court judge oversees a court of general jurisdiction and oversees felony criminal cases, civil cases, divorces and criminal non-support. The court does not hear cases involving probate, trust matters, juvenile cases or small claims.

The salary is mandated by the state.

State Representative

State representatives serve in the Indiana General Assembly, which, with the State Senate, makes up the legislative branch of state government. During a legislative session, representatives considers matters introduced by members or submitted by the governor. Representatives also approve the state's operating and capital budgets, which may begin as a legislative proposal or a submission by the governor. Under the terms of Article V of the U.S. Constitution, state lawmakers retain the power to ratify Constitutional amendments which have been proposed by the U.S. Congress and they also retain the ability to apply to the U.S. Congress for a national convention to directly propose Constitutional amendments to the states for ratification. Under Article II, state legislatures choose the manner of appointing the state's presidential electors.

Salaries are set by the legislature.

Indiana Attorney General

The Indiana attorney general serves residents through two primary functions: legal services and consumer services.

The attorney general's salary is set by the state legislature.

Indiana Governor

The governor is the chief executive officer of the state. Primary responsibilities include overseeing the functions of the executive branch of government, reporting to the General Assembly and the citizens of Indiana on the condition of the state each January, recommending legislation to the General Assembly and reviewing bills that are approved by both the Indiana House and Senate. If a bill is passed by both the General Assembly and the Senate, the governor can either sign or veto the legislation. If approved, it becomes law. The governor also issues executive orders, serves as commander-in-chief of the Indiana National Guard, and may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons. The governor serves four-year terms and is limited to two consecutive terms.

The governor's salary is set by the state legislature.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction

The superintendent, along with the Indiana Department of Education as a whole, oversees the public education system in the state. The superintendent works with the governor and state legislature in developing policies to better enable public schools to provide a quality education to students. The superintendent serves four-year terms.

The superintendent's salary is set by the state legislature.

School Board

Local school board members oversee the school corporation, including its infrastructure, personnel hiring decisions, and other policies affecting the local school community. Members are elected by district and at-large, and serve staggered four-year terms.

The state establishes a limit of $2,000 per year on the salaries.

U.S. Ninth District Representative

The duties of U.S. representatives differentiate from those of the Senate in that the House of Representatives has the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach officials, and elect the President in electoral college deadlocks.

Congress sets its own salaries.

(Information was provided, in part, by the 2008 Farm Bureau County Government Statistical Report.)

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Schuler Bauer
Barbara Shaw
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