Role of Commissioner
As a constitutional officer, a county commissioner is statutorily assigned to four boards; the Board of County Commissioners, Board of Equalization,
Ambulance Board and the Board of Canvassers for elections.
The County Commissioners (BOCC, Board, or simply Commissioners) is the governing body of
Kootenai County. Consisting of three elected officials, the Board serves as the taxing authority, the contracting body and the chief administrators
of public funds. Among other duties, the Board enacts laws, ensures compliance of laws and secures professional services for the county.
All three commissioners are on the countywide ballot and represent the entire county. While an incumbent or candidate must live the district where she
or he resides, they do not represent the district, they represent the county as a whole. The district qualifier is only a condition for candidacy.
The Commissioners are constitutional officers whose authority encompasses all three traditional types of government powers: legislative, executive and
quasi-judicial. As the county's legislative authority, the Board has the power to enact ordinances, resolutions and proclamations. Ordinances are laws
enacted by a local legislative authority. They may govern matters not already covered by state or federal law or may supplement (but cannot supersede)
existing state or federal law. They are intended to affect the general public and are typically permanent in nature. Ordinances enacted by the Board
are effective only in the unincorporated area of Kootenai County unless specifically provided for in state law. For example, businesses serving
alcoholic beverages are required to obtain the appropriate County license(s) regardless of whether or not they are located within a city.
A resolution is a formal expression of the opinion or will of an official body adopted by vote in a legislative action. Resolutions are less formal
than an ordinance, are administrative in nature, and typically concern internal government operations. Resolutions are usually considered to be
temporary in nature, but often have a long-term effect. While both ordinances and resolutions are legally binding, proclamations are non-binding formal
As part of the executive branch of government, the Board is charged with taking actions and providing resources to ensure compliance with its
legally mandated duties and to ensure that the ordinances it enacts are carried out. Such duties include enforcement of land use ordinances and
building codes, setting of precinct boundaries, and canvassing of elections, among others. The Board is also charged with the oversight of the official
conduct of all county officers, though this authority is very limited under Idaho law. The Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney have the primary authority
to enforce state laws and county ordinances.
In its quasi-judicial capacity, the Board is required to investigate facts, weigh evidence and draw conclusions when taking official action. The Board
exercises discretion of a judicial nature in land use hearings, indigent appeal hearings and Board of Equalization hearings among others. In this
quasi-judicial role the Board cannot partake in Ex Parte' (i.e., communications made outside the context of the hearing on the matter before the Board).
The Board has additional duties as the Board of Canvassers of Election, certifying true and complete abstracts of all votes cast in all elections.
The Board sits as the Board of Equalization (BOE) to hear property assessment appeals and assures that the market value for assessment purposes has
been established by the Assessor as provided for in Idaho Code. The BOE also hears appeals of applications for property tax exemptions.
The Board of County Commissioners, in its capacity of the governing board of the Kootenai County Ambulance District, is ultimately, responsible for
county-wide emergency medical services (EMS). These services are provided through a joint governed organization known as the Kootenai County Emergency
Medical Services System (KCEMSS). As the Ambulance Board, the Board of County Commissioners approves the annual KCEMSS operating budget and levies the
balance necessary to fund the approved budget under the Emergency Medical Services Levy. Additionally, the County Commission appoints a member to the
KCEMSS Joint Powers Board, the joint governing body. This member is Commissioner Jai Nelson.
KCEMSS is a fire-based ambulance service providing 9-1-1 emergency care and facility to facility transfers throughout Kootenai County. KCEMSS operates
through a network of agencies, including all the fire departments within Kootenai County and two non-profit EMS organizations. KCEMSS provides EMS
services up to and including paramedic services. It also provides Critical Care Transport services to the hospitals within Kootenai County as well
s hospitals in the surrounding counties of North Idaho. For more information, please visit the KCEMSS Website at: www.kcemss.org
in county government.
- Decisive Leadership
- Restore Trust
- Idaho Business Owner
- Promote A Prosperous Economy
- Rural Representation