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Welcome to Passport to Your County! A basic overview of county government in Utah – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Welcome to Passport to Your County!
A basic overview of county government in Utah
What are Counties?
  • Counties are geographical areas within each state
    that surround one or more cities/towns and
    provide services to all citizens within their
  • Some states call them something different. For
    example, Louisiana identifies them as Parishes,
    while Alaska and New York refer to them as

What are Counties?
  • Counties come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Utahs counties have populations between just
    under 1 thousand (Daggett) and just under 1
    million (Salt Lake).
  • Loving County, Texas is smallest at about 65
    people, while Los Angeles County, California is
    largest at just under 10 million.

What are Counties?
  • Each state has a different number of counties.
  • Utah has 29 counties.
  • Hawaii and Delaware have only three (the least).
  • Texas has 254 (the most).

Why are Counties Important?
  • Counties provide many different and important
  • Citizens who vote and local county leaders decide
    what services their county needs most.
  • Also, the state and federal government require
    counties to provide some services.

Services Provided in Utah
  • These are just some of the main services counties
    in Utah provide
  • Public Safety
  • Jails
  • Road Construction/Repair
  • Animal Services
  • Health Human Services
  • Sanitation Services
  • Parks Recreation
  • Libraries
  • Tourism
  • Economic Development
  • Planning Zoning
  • Many Others

How are Counties Structured?
  • Each county decides.
  • Two main structures to county government in Utah
  • Commission Form
  • Council Form
  • Counties also decide on whether to have an
    elected or appointed administrator, or to not
    have one at all.

The County Commission
  • Commission form is most common in Utah.
    Twenty-four of Utahs 29 counties use this.
  • Commissions are made up of three elected
  • Depending on needs and size of the county, some
    commissioners are full-time, while others are
    only part-time.
  • Some counties have appointed administrators who
    take care of day-to-day issues of running a
    county, while the commission provides overall

The County Council
  • Only five of Utahs 29 counties use the council
    form of government.
  • Councils vary in size, four counties have seven
    council members, while Salt Lake has nine.
  • All councils are elected part-time positions.
  • One of the council counties have an appointed
    administrator (Wasatch), two have elected
    administrators (Cache Salt Lake), and two
    counties has neither (Grand Morgan).

Commissions and Councils
  • Commissioners and council members oversee all
    county services and functions.
  • Each member of the commission or council oversees
    several specific areas so that everything is
  • Members of the commission or council collectively
    oversee the county budget.
  • Each week (usually on Tuesdays), commissions and
    councils meet to discuss the important issues
    facing their county. The public is encouraged to

Other County Offices
  • Besides commissioners and council members, each
    county also elects other key people to oversee
    specific areas of county service.
  • Depending on the population of the county, some
    of these offices are combined or filled with a
    non-elected official.
  • Assessor
  • Attorney
  • Auditor
  • Clerk
  • Mayor/Executive
  • Recorder
  • Sheriff
  • Surveyor
  • Treasurer

County Assessor
  • County Assessors office determines the value of
    business and residential property (homes and
  • Based on the fair value of property, a tax is
  • Property tax money pays for not only county
    services such as parks and roads, but also for
    schools and other things each community feels it

Property Tax Services
County Attorney
  • Attorneys protect citizens of the county in two
    areasCriminal and Civil.
  • Criminal duties include prosecuting individuals
    accused of breaking state or local criminal laws.
  • Civil duties include representing county
    government in law suits, drafting contracts and
    ordinances, giving counties legal opinions and
    advice, and representing the county before other
    governmental entities (such as the Legislature).

County Auditor
  • Because counties oversee large sums of tax
    dollars and the services that they pay for, each
    county has an auditor who ensures that the money
    and assets are handled correctly.
  • Most counties in Utah combine this office with
    the Clerk, calling it the office of the

County Clerk
  • County Clerks oversee all federal, state, and
    local electionswhether county officials are up
    for election or not.
  • Their office also issues marriage licenses,
    receives and transmits passport applications, and
    prepares and retains all minutes, agendas and
    correspondence for the commission or council and
    other meetings.

County Mayor/Executive
  • Only two Utah counties have an elected mayor or
  • Cache County has an elected executive office that
    oversees all the countys day-to-day operations.
  • Salt Lake County has an elected mayor office that
    does much of the same thing.
  • It should be noted that many counties have an
    appointed or non-elected official that oversees
    day-to-day county operations.

Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon
County Recorder
  • The Recorder's Office records and keeps a large
    library of documents. Some of these are quite
    olddating back to the 1800s. These include
  • Records of property that is bought, sold, or
  • Maps called plats that show all the land in the
    county and who owns it.
  • A variety of other records and documents such as
    military discharges, federal tax liens, and court

County Sheriff
  • The County Sheriff is probably the most
    recognized county official.
  • The Sheriffs office oversees law enforcement for
    the entire county, including outside city or town
  • Sheriffs oversee a wide variety of programs
    designed to protect the public. These include
  • Drug enforcement
  • Search and rescue
  • Prevention
  • Dispatch
  • Many, many more

County Surveyor
  • The County Surveyor makes sure that all property
    within the county is correctly located, measured,
    and recorded.
  • Surveyors use this information to produce maps
    showing where everything is.
  • These maps help identify roads, boundaries, and
    other landmarks for citizens, emergency response
    people, postal workers, and many others who need
    to have accurate information about where things

County Treasurer
  • The main function of the county treasurer is to
    bill and collect property taxes.
  • However, they also are responsible for
    distributing the tax revenues to the many
    different entities that assess taxes, including
    school districts and cities.

What County Do You Live in?
  • Utah County

Utah County Interesting Facts
  • Economy consists of education, high tech, steel
    industry, light manufacturing, agriculture.
  • In Utah, Utah is the 16th largest county in land
    area and 2nd largest in population.
  • The average age in Utah County is 23making it
    the youngest county in Utah.
  • Utah Lake is state's largest fresh-water lake.
  • Cabelas, an enormous outdoor retail store, is the
    second biggest attraction in Utah (only Temple
    Square in Salt Lake City gets more visitors).

Utah County Cities Towns
  • Alpine
  • American Fork
  • Cedar Fort
  • Cedar Hills
  • Draper
  • Eagle Mountain
  • Elk Ridge
  • Fairfield
  • Genola
  • Goshen
  • Highland
  • Lehi
  • Lindon
  • Mapleton
  • Orem
  • Payson
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Provo
  • Salem
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Santaquin
  • Spanish Fork
  • Springville
  • Vineyard
  • Woodland Hills

Utah County Landmarks
  • Fairfield Stagecoach Inn
  • Historic Downtown Provo
  • Brigham Young University (Monte L. Bean Life
    Sciences Museum, Museum of People and Culture,
    Harris Fine Arts Center)
  • Utah Lake
  • Timpanogos Cave National Monument
  • Springville Museum of Art
  • Hutchings Museum of Natural History in Lehi
  • McCurdy Historical Doll Museum in Provo
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Sundance ski resort

Utah County History
  • Established in 1850 as a county.
  • Named after the Ute Indians.
  • 1849 33 families, of 150 people, settled Utah
    Valleymostly Provo.
  • Fruit growing and processing of sugar beets were
    especially important early on.
  • Late 1800s to early 1900s many successful mines
    in American Fork Canyon and in Tintic mining
  • BYU, established 1875, was small high-school
    level "academy," but has grown to be a major
    university of 27,000 students.
  • Many hi-tech companies also now call Utah County
    home (ie Novell).

Utah County Government
  • Three Elected Commissioners
  • Other Elected Offices
  • Assessor
  • Attorney
  • Clerk/Auditor
  • Recorder
  • Sheriff
  • Surveyor
  • Treasurer
  • Department heads, administrative officers and
    chief deputies are all appointed, not elected.

Utah County Services
  • Justice Court
  • Law Enforcement
  • Library
  • Mosquito Control
  • Parks Recreation
  • Planning/Zoning
  • Public Works
  • Roads Department
  • Senior Services
  • USU Extension Service
  • Animal Shelter
  • Building Inspection
  • Childrens Justice Center
  • County Fair
  • Elections
  • Emergency Services
  • Economic Development
  • Fire Marshall
  • Health Department
  • Housing Authority
  • Jail

County Government Summary
  • Counties are geographical areas within a state
    that surround one or more cities/towns and
    provide services to all citizens within their
  • Each county decides how their community or group
    of communities will be governed.
  • Each county has several elected officials who
    oversee various aspects of county government.
  • County governments offer a wide variety of
    important services to the community.
  • Utah has 29 counties.

More Information About County Government
  • Utah Association of Counties
  • National Association of Counties