S27: Soil and Water/Partisan Election Option. Latest Version
Session: 2023 - 2024
AN ACT to authorize a soil and water conservation board to opt to conduct partisan elections.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Article 1 of Chapter 139 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
§ 139‑6.5. Optional partisan election method.
(a) After conducting the initial election after the issuance of the certificate of organization, a district board of supervisors may adopt a resolution to alter the method of election from nonpartisan, as provided for in G.S. 139‑6(c), to partisan. Prior to voting on such a resolution, the district board of supervisors shall conduct at least one public hearing on the matter, with notice provided at least two weeks prior to the date of the public hearing.
(b) The resolution adopted under this section shall be delivered to the county board of elections and to the Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The resolution shall be effective upon delivery to the county board of elections for the next general election for which the filing period for primaries has not commenced under G.S. 163‑106. The resolution may be repealed by resolution of the district board of supervisors, effective upon delivery to the county board of elections for the next general election for which the filing period for primaries has not commenced under G.S. 163‑106 after the adoption of the resolution of repeal.
(c) Notwithstanding G.S. 139‑6(c), a partisan election under this section shall be held in accordance with Chapter 163 of the General Statutes.
(d) Nothing in this section alters the application of G.S. 139‑7 for the selection and appointment of the appointive members of the district board of supervisors.
(e) A resolution adopted under this section shall remain valid until repealed by the district board of supervisors. Any resolution altering the method of election from nonpartisan to partisan shall be adopted on or before December 1, 2023.
SECTION 2. G.S. 139‑6 reads as rewritten:
§ 139‑6. District board of supervisors – elective members; certain duties.
(a) After the issuance of the certificate of organization of the soil and water conservation district by the Secretary of State, an election shall be held in each county of the district to elect the members of the soil and water conservation district board of supervisors as herein provided.
(b) The district board of supervisors shall consist of three elective members to be elected in each county of the district, and that number of appointive members as provided in G.S. 139‑7. Upon the creation of a district, the first election of the members shall be held at the next succeeding election for county officers.
(c) All elections for members of the district board of supervisors shall be held at the same time as the regular election for county
officers beginning in November 1974. The officers. All qualified voters of the district shall be eligible to vote in the election. Except as provided in G.S. 139‑6.5, the election shall be nonpartisan and no primary election shall be held. The election shall be held and conducted by the county board of elections. Candidates shall file their notice of candidacy on forms prescribed by the county board of elections. The notice of candidacy must be filed no earlier than noon on the second Monday in June and no later than noon on the first Friday in July preceding the election. The candidate shall pay a filing fee of five dollars ($5.00) at the time of filing the notice of candidacy.in accordance with Article 10 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes. Except as provided in this Chapter, the election shall be held in accordance with the applicable provisions of Articles 23 and 24 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes.
(d) Beginning with the
election to be held in November 1974, initial election after the issuance of the certificate of organization, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected for a term of four years, and the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes shall be elected for a term of two years; thereafter, as their terms expire, their successors shall be elected for terms of four years. If the position of district supervisor is not filled by failure to elect, then the office shall be deemed vacant upon the expiration of the term of the incumbent, and the office shall be filled as provided in G.S. 139‑7.
The persons elected in 1974 and thereafter Newly elected members of the district board of supervisors shall take office on the first Monday in December following their election. The terms of the present members of the soil and water conservation districts, both elective and appointive members, are hereby extended to or terminated on the first Monday in December 1974. All qualified voters of the district shall be eligible to vote in the election. Except as provided in this Chapter, the election shall be held in accordance with the applicable provisions of Articles 23 and 24 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes.
The district board of supervisors, after the appointment of the appointive members has been made, shall select from its members a chairman, a vice‑chairman and a secretary. It shall be the duty of the district board of supervisors to to do all of the following:
(1) To perform those powers, duties, and authority conferred upon supervisors under this
Chapter; to Chapter.
(2) To develop annual county and district goals and plans for soil conservation work
therein; to therein.
(3) To request agencies, whose duties are
such as to render assistance in soil and water conservation, to set forth in writing what assistance they may have is available in the county and district.
(g) To fill any vacancy in the elected supervisors, the Commission shall appoint a qualified voter from the county in the district in which the vacancy occurs for the unexpired term. If the board member creating the vacancy was elected in a partisan election in accordance with G.S. 139‑6.5, the remaining district board members shall appoint a qualified voter from the county in the district in which the vacancy occurs who is a member of the same political party as the vacating board member to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
SECTION 3. G.S. 139‑7 reads as rewritten:
§ 139‑7. District board of supervisors – appointive members; organization of board; certain powers and duties.
(a) The governing body of a soil and water conservation district shall consist of the three elective supervisors from the county or counties in the district, together with the appointive members appointed by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission pursuant to this section, and shall be known as the district board of supervisors.
(b) When a district is composed of less than four counties, the board of supervisors of each county shall on or before October 31, 1978, and on or before October 31 as the terms of the appointive supervisors expire, recommend in writing two persons from the district to the Commission to be appointed to serve with the elective supervisors. If the names are not submitted to the Commission as required, the office shall be deemed vacant on the date the term is set to expire and the Commission shall appoint two persons of the district to the district board of supervisors to serve with the elected supervisors. The Commission shall make its appointments prior to or at the November meeting of the Commission. Appointive supervisors shall take office on the first Monday in December following their appointment. Such appointive supervisors shall serve for a term of four years, and thereafter, as their terms expire, their successors shall serve for a term of four years.
The terms of office of all appointive supervisors who have heretofore been lawfully appointed for terms the final year of which presently extends beyond the first Monday in December are hereby terminated on the first Monday in December of the final year of appointment.
(c) Vacancies for any reason in the appointive supervisors shall be filled for the unexpired term by the appointment of a person by the Commission from the district in which the vacancy occurs.
Vacancies for any reason in the elected supervisors shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the Commission of a person from the county in the district in which the vacancy occurs.
(d) In those districts composed of four or more counties, the Commission may, but is not required to, appoint two persons from the district without recommendation from the board of supervisors, to serve as district supervisors along with the elected members of the board of supervisors. Such appointments shall be made at the same time other appointments are made under this section, and the persons appointed shall serve for a term of four years.
(e) The supervisors shall designate a
chairman chair and may, from time to time, change such designation. A simple majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting the business of the board, and approval by a majority of those present shall be adequate for a determination of any matter before the board, provided at least a quorum is present.
(f) Supervisors of soil and water conservation districts shall be compensated for their services at the per diem rate and allowed travel, subsistence and other expenses, as provided for State boards, commissions and committees generally, under the provisions of G.S. 138‑5; provided, that when per diem compensation and travel, subsistence, or other expense is claimed by any supervisor for services performed outside the district for which such supervisor ordinarily may be appointed or elected to serve, the same may not be paid unless prior written approval is obtained from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(g) The supervisors may employ a
secretary, secretary; technical experts, whose qualifications shall be approved by the Department, Department; and such other employees as they may require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. The supervisors may call upon the Attorney General of the State for such legal services as they may require. The supervisors may delegate to their chairman, chair, to one or more supervisors, or to one or more agents, or employees such powers and duties as they may deem proper. The supervisors shall furnish to the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, upon request, copies of such ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, contracts, forms, and other documents as they shall adopt or employ, and such other information concerning their activities as it may require in the performance of its duties under this Chapter.
(h) The supervisors shall provide for the execution of surety bonds for all employees and officers who shall be entrusted with funds or property; shall provide for the keeping of a full and accurate record of all proceedings and of all resolutions, regulations, and orders issued or adopted; and shall provide for an annual audit of the accounts of receipts and disbursements. In any given year, if the supervisors provide for an internal audit, and the supervisor serving as
chairman chair certifies, under oath, that this internal audit is a true and accurate reflection of the accounts of receipts and disbursements, then the supervisors shall not be required, notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 159‑34, to provide for an audit of the accounts of receipts and disbursements by a certified public accountant or by an accountant certified by the Local Government Commission.
(i) Any supervisor may be removed by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission upon notice and hearing, for neglect of duty, or for incompetence or malfeasance in office, but for no other reason.
(j) The supervisors may invite the legislative body of any municipality or county located near the territory comprised within the district to designate a representative to advise and consult with the supervisors of the district on all questions of program and policy which may affect the property, water supply, or other interests of such municipality or county.
SECTION 4. This act is effective when it becomes law.