Article XIV, Colorado Constitution

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Colorado Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
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Article XIV of the Colorado Constitution is entitled Counties. It has 18 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Counties of State.

The several counties of the territory of Colorado as they now exist, are hereby declared to be counties of the state.[1]

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Removal of County Seats.

The general assembly shall have no power to remove the county seat of any county, but the removal of county seats shall be provided for by general law, and no county seat shall be removed unless a majority of the registered electors of the county, voting on the proposition at a general election vote therefore; and no such proposition shall be submitted oftener than once in four years, and no person shall vote on such proposition who shall not have resided in the county six months and in the election precinct ninety days next preceding such election.[1]

Amendments

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Striking Off Territory Vote.

Except as otherwise provided by statute, no part of the territory of any county shall be stricken off and added to an adjoining county, without first submitting the question to the registered electors of the county from which the territory is proposed to be stricken off; nor unless a majority of all the registered electors of said county voting on the question shall vote therefore.[1]

Amendments

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

New County Shall Pay Proportion of Debt.

In all cases of the establishment of any new county, the new county shall be held to pay its ratable proportion of all then existing liabilities, of the county or counties from which such new county shall be formed.[1]

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Part Stricken Off Pay Proportion of Debt.

When any part of a county is stricken off and attached to another county, the part stricken off shall be held to pay its ratable proportion of all then existing liabilities of the county from which it is taken.[1]

County Officers.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

County Commissioners Election Term.

In each county having a population of less than seventy thousand there shall be elected, for a term of four years each, three county commissioners who shall hold sessions for the transaction of county business as provided by law; any two of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Two of said commissioners shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and four, and at the general election every four years thereafter; and the other one of said commissioners shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and six, and at the general election every four years thereafter; provided, that when the population of any county shall equal or exceed seventy thousand, the board of county commissioners may consist of five members, any three of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Three of said commissioners in said county shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and four, and at the general election every four years thereafter; and the other two of said commissioners in such county shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and six and every four years thereafter; and all of such commissioners shall be elected for the term of four years.

The term of office of the county commissioners in each county that expires in January, 1904, is hereby extended to the second Tuesday in January, A.D. 1905, and the term of office of the county commissioners that expires in January, 1906, is hereby extended to the second Tuesday in January, A.D. 1907; and in counties having a population of more than seventy thousand, the term of office of the commissioners that expires in 1904 shall be extended to the second Tuesday in January, 1905, and the term of office of the county commissioners that expires in 1906 is hereby extended to the second Tuesday in January, 1907. This section shall govern, except as hereafter otherwise expressly directed or permitted by constitutional enactment.[1]

Amendments

  • As amended November 4, 1902.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Officers Compensation.

Repealed by Colorado County Officer Salaries, Measure 3 (1968) on November 5, 1968.[1]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

County Officers Election Term Salary.

There shall be elected in each county, at the same time at which members of the general assembly are elected, commencing in the year nineteen hundred and fifty­four, and every four years thereafter, one county clerk, who shall be ex officio recorder of deeds and clerk of the board of county commissioners; one sheriff; one coroner; one treasurer who shall be collector of taxes; one county superintendent of schools; one county surveyor; one county assessor; and one county attorney who may be elected or appointed, as shall be provided by law; and such officers shall be paid such salary or compensation, either from the fees, perquisites and emoluments of their respective offices, or from the general county fund, as may be provided by law. The term of office of all such officials shall be four years, and they shall take office on the second Tuesday in January next following their election, or at such other time as may be provided by law. The officers herein named elected at the general election in 1954 shall hold their respective offices until the second Tuesday of January, 1959.[1]

Amendments

  • As amended November 4, 1902; Effective November 2, 1954.

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Vacancies How Filled.

In case of a vacancy occurring in the office of county commissioner a vacancy committee of the same political party as the vacating commissioner constituted as provided by law shall, by a majority vote, fill the vacancy by appointment within ten days after occurrence of the vacancy. If the vacancy committee fails to fill the vacancy within ten days after occurrence of the vacancy, the governor shall fill the same by appointment within fifteen days after occurrence of the vacancy. The person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of county commissioner shall be a member of the same political party, if any, as the vacating commissioner. In case of a vacancy in any other county office, or in any precinct office, the board of county commissioners shall fill the same by appointment. Any person appointed pursuant to this section shall hold the office until the next general election, or until the vacancy is filled by election according to law.[1]

Amendments

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Elector Only Eligible to County Office.

No person shall be eligible to any county office unless he shall be a qualified elector; nor unless he shall have resided in the county one year preceding his election.[1]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Justices of the Peace Constables.

Repealed by the approval of Colorado County Commissioner Vacancy, Measure 1 (1978) on November 6, 1962.[1]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Other Officers.

The general assembly shall provide for the election or appointment of such other county officers and such municipal officers of statutory cities and towns as public convenience may require; and their terms of office shall be as prescribed by statute.[1]

Amendments

Repealed and reenacted, with amendments by the approval of Colorado Home Rule for Local Governments, Measure 3 (1970) on November 3, 1970.[1]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Classification of Cities and Towns.

The general assembly shall provide, by general laws, for the organization and classification of cities and towns. The number of such classes shall not exceed four; and the powers of each class shall be defined by general laws, so that all municipal corporations of the same class shall possess the same powers and be subject to the same restrictions.[1]

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Existing Cities and Towns May Come under General Law.

The general assembly shall also make provision, by general law, whereby any city, town or village, incorporated by any special or local law, may elect to become subject to and be governed by the general law relating to such corporations.[1]

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Compensation and Fees of County Officers.

The general assembly shall fix the compensation of county officers in this state by law, and shall establish scales of fees to be charged and collected by such county officers. All such fees shall be paid into the county general fund.

When fixing the compensation of county officers, the general assembly shall give due consideration to county variations, including population; the number of persons residing in unincorporated areas; assessed valuation; motor vehicle registrations; building permits; military installations; and such other factors as may be necessary to prepare compensation schedules that reflect variations in the workloads and responsibilities of county officers and in the tax resources of the several counties.

The compensation of any county officer shall be increased or decreased only when the compensation of all county officers within the same county, or when the compensation for the same county officer within the several counties of the state, is increased or decreased.

Except for the schedule of increased compensation for county officers enacted by the general assembly to become effective on January 1, 1969, county officers shall not thereafter have their compensation increased or decreased during the terms of office to which they have been elected or appointed.[1]

Amendments

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

County Home Rule.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 of this article, the registered electors of each county of the state are hereby vested with the power to adopt a home rule charter establishing the organization and structure of county government consistent with this article and statutes enacted pursuant hereto.

(2) The general assembly shall provide by statute procedures under which the registered electors of any county may adopt, amend, and repeal a county home rule charter. Action to initiate home rule may be by petition, signed by not less than five percent of the registered electors of the county in which home rule is sought, or by any other procedure authorized by statute. No county home rule charter, amendment thereto, or repeal thereof, shall become effective until approved by a majority of the registered electors of such county voting thereon.

(3) A home rule county shall provide all mandatory county functions, services, and facilities and shall exercise all mandatory powers as may be required by statute.

(4) A home rule county shall be empowered to provide such permissive functions, services, and facilities and to exercise such permissive powers as may be authorized by statute applicable to all home rule counties, except as may be otherwise prohibited or limited by charter or this constitution.

(5) The provisions of sections 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 of article XIV of this constitution shall apply to counties adopting a home rule charter only to such extent as may be provided in said charter.[1]

Amendments

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Service Authorities.

(1) (a) The general assembly shall provide by statute for the organization, structure, functions, services, facilities, and powers of service authorities pursuant to the following requirements:

(b) A service authority may be formed only upon the approval of a majority of the registered electors voting thereon in the territory to be included.

(c) The territory within a service authority may include all or part of one county or home rule county or all or part of two or more adjoining counties or home rule counties, but shall not include only a part of any city and county, home rule city or town, or statutory city or town at the time of formation of the service authority. No more than one service authority shall be established in any territory and, in no event, shall a service authority be formed in the metropolitan area composed of the city and county of Denver, and Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties which does not include all of the city and county of Denver and all or portions of Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties.

(d) The boundaries of any service authority shall not be such as to create any enclave.

(e) No territory shall be included within the boundaries of more than one service authority.

(2) (a) The general assembly shall also provide by statute for:

(b) The inclusion and exclusion of territory in or from a service authority;

(c) The dissolution of a service authority;

(d) The merger of all or a part of two or more adjacent service authorities, except that such merger shall require the approval of a majority of the registered electors voting thereon in each of the affected service authorities; and,

(e) The boundaries of any service authority or any special taxing districts therein or the method by which such boundaries are to be determined or changed; and

(f) The method for payment of any election expenses.

(3)(a) The general assembly shall designate by statute the functions, services, and facilities which may be provided by a service authority, and the manner in which the members of the governing body of any service authority shall be elected from compact districts of approximately equal population by the registered electors of the authority, including the terms and qualifications of such members. The general assembly may provide that members of the governing body may be elected by a vote of each compact district or by an at-large vote or combination thereof. Notwithstanding any provision in this constitution or the charter of any home rule city and county, city, town, or county to the contrary, mayors, councilmen, trustees, and county commissioners may additionally hold elective office with a service authority and serve therein either with or without compensation, as provided by statute.

(b) A service authority shall provide any function, service, or facility designated by statute and authorized as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this subsection.

(c) All propositions to provide functions, services, or facilities shall be submitted, either individually or jointly, to the registered electors in the manner and form prescribed by law.

(d) Each such function, service, or facility shall be authorized if approved by a majority of the registered electors of the authority voting thereon; but if the service authority includes territory in more than one county, approval shall also require a majority of the registered electors of the authority voting thereon in those included portions of each of the affected counties.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection, where, upon formation of a service authority, any function, service, or facility is already being provided in at least four counties or portions thereof by a single special district, regional planning commission or metropolitan council, or an association of political subdivisions, the general assembly may provide, without a vote of the registered electors, for assumption by one or more service authorities of such function, service, or facility.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection, a service authority may contract with any other political subdivision to provide or receive any function, service, or facility designated by statute; but a service authority shall not be invested with any taxing power as a consequence of such contract.

(4) (a) A service authority shall be a body corporate and a political subdivision of the state.

(b) Any other provision of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, any service authority formed under this article and the statutes pursuant thereto may exercise such powers to accomplish the purposes and to provide the authorized functions, services, and facilities of such authority as the general assembly may provide by statute.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of article XX of this constitution, any authorized function, service, or facility may be provided exclusively by the authority or concurrently with other jurisdictions as may be prescribed by statute, subject to the provisions of subsections (3) (c), (3) (d), (3) (e), and (3) (f) of this section.[1]

Amendments

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Intergovernmental Relationships.

(1) (a) Any other provisions of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding:

(b) The general assembly may provide by statute for the terms and conditions under which one or more service authorities may succeed to the rights, properties, and other assets and assume the obligations of any other political subdivision included partially or entirely within such authority, incident to the powers vested in, and the functions, services, and facilities authorized to be provided by the service authority, whether vested and authorized at the time of the formation of the service authority or subsequent thereto; and,

(c) The general assembly may provide by statute for the terms and conditions under which a county, home rule county, city and county, home rule city or town, statutory city or town, or quasi­municipal corporation, or any combination thereof may succeed to the rights, properties, and other assets and assume the obligations of any quasi­municipal corporation located partially or entirely within its boundaries.

(d) The general assembly may provide by statute procedures whereby any county, home rule county, city and county, home rule city or town, statutory city or town, or service authority may establish special taxing districts.

(2) (a) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit the state or any of its political subdivisions from cooperating or contracting with one another or with the government of the United States to provide any function, service, or facility lawfully authorized to each of the cooperating or contracting units, including the sharing of costs, the imposition of taxes, or the incurring of debt.

(b) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit the authorization by statute of a separate governmental entity as an instrument to be used through voluntary participation by cooperating or contracting political subdivisions.

(c) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit any political subdivision of the state from contracting with private persons, associations, or corporations for the provision of any legally authorized functions, services, or facilities within or without its boundaries.

(d) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit the general assembly from providing by statute for state imposed and collected taxes to be shared with and distributed to political subdivisions of the state except that this provision shall not in any way limit the powers of home rule cities and towns.[1]

Amendments

See also

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