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Manner of Passing. { 2. Over the Veto.

3. Not Returned.

It has been our experience that even among people otherwise well informed there is a lamentable lack of knowledge of the workings of the municipal government. We would suggest that even the minutiæ be thoroughly explained, the teacher taking care that she is well informed in regard to the various departments of the city or town government.

CHAPTER IV.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT.

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What the County Is.—The Political Code defines the county as the largest political division of the state having corporate power.

In Montana the county is the unit of government, and while not entirely like the county in the south in its functions, it may be described as the southern county with features of the town government of New England.

Number and Classification of Counties. At the time of the adoption of the constitution, the state contained sixteen counties. Since then seven more have been created, making the number at present twentythree.

For the purpose of regulating the number and remuneration of county officers and for fixing the penalties of official bonds, the counties are divided into eight classes. The basis of classification is the value of taxable property in the county, as follows:

1st class, over $20,000,000. .
2d class, between $15,000,000 and $20,000,000.
3d class, between $10,000,000 and $15,000,000.

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Political Code, 84,100. 2 Fiske's Civil Government in the United States.

4th class, between $8,000,000 and $10,000,000. 5th class, between $6,000,000 and $8,000,000. 6th class, between $4,000,000 and $6,000,000. 7th class, between $2,000,000 and $4,000,000.

8th class, under $2,000,000.1 County Officers.-- The officers of a county are the Treasurer, County Clerk, Clerk of the District Court, Sheriff, County Auditor (in counties of 1st, 2d and 3d class), County Attorney, Surveyor, Coroner, Public Administrator, Assessor, County Superintendent of Schools and three County Commissioners. ?

County Administration.—The powers of a county must be exercised by the County Commissioners or under their direction, or by authority of law.

The county is expressly forbidden to loan its credit in aid of, or to make any grant to any person or corporation, nor can it become a partner of any person or corporation.

County Commissioners.—Among the most important powers and duties of the County Commissioners may be mentioned:

The supervision and control of all county officers; the fixing of the number of deputies, and selection of other employes of the county.

The division of the county into townships, school, road and other districts, and the making of such changes in these districts as may be necessary.

The construction and management of roads, ferries and highways within the county.

1 Political Code, 34,328. 2 Political Code, 34,312.

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The care and maintenance of the poor and indigent sick belonging to the county.

The control and management of all county properties and financial and other interests.

They also exercise various executive, legislative and judicial functions in addition to those above enumerated and in general represent the county in its corporate capacity. 1

County Clerk.—The County Clerk is clerk of the Board of County Commissioners and as such keeps a record of its transactions, and preserves copies of all papers considered by them. In particular he keeps the records of the finances of the county, and separate records of warrants, franchises and proceedings respecting roads.

The County Clerk is ex-officio recorder and in separate books records deeds, contracts, etc., certificates of marriage and marriage contracts, births and deaths, wills, official bonds, notices of pre-emption claims, notices and declarations of water rights, assignments, notices of mining location, and many other writings required or permitted to be recorded.

He is also required to keep up indexes of these various records. 2

County Treasurer.—The County Treasurer, besides having charge of all moneys collected from taxes, licenses and other sources, for county and school purposes, is the collector of the county. 3

1 Political Code, 24,230. 2 Political Code, 24,410. 3 Political Code, 34,350.

County Auditor. It is the duty of the County Auditor to examine all claims against the county, and no bills not approved by him can be paid except by special order of the District Court. He also periodically examines the books of the various county and township officers and is ex-officio superintendent of the poor.

County Surveyor.—The County Surveyor makes all surveys ordered by the court, or upon application of any person, and keeps proper record of the same. He also supervises the work and expenditures of the road supervisors, furnishes plans and specifications for road or bridge work, and is chairman of all boards of road viewers.

Other County Officers —The duties of other county officers are treated in the chapters devoted to the judiciary and to education, and need not be enlarged on here.

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