Now that the votes are in, let the questions begin!
When do new county commissioners get sworn in and who can administer the oaths of office? What are the requirements for the organizational meeting? What powers do the “lame duck” commissioners have prior to the changeover? Who is required to take the mandatory ethics training, and what other training is available for new and returning local government board members? Now that I’m elected, can I still contract with the county?
Coates’ Canons Local Government Law Blog has the answers. This post directs you to some of our archived posts that deal with post-election issues.
The current board members are still in office, and the members-elect aren’t yet sworn in. Are there limitations on what the lame ducks or members-elect can do? Are major decisions made by the lame ducks binding on the new board? And to what extent do new board members stand in the shoes of their predecessors? The following blog posts address these issues:
- Lame Ducks and Members-Elect: What Can They Do After the Election and Before Swearing In?
- Binding Future Boards
- Approving Minutes of Meetings You Didn’t Attend
For information about organizational meetings and oaths office, check out these blog posts:
- The Peaceful and Orderly Transfer of Power: Answers to Questions About Organizational Meetings
- Oaths of Office: How Many and By Whom?
- Filing oaths of office
What happens if a newly elected board member doesn’t immediately actually take office in a timely manner? Learn about “holding over” in this blog post:
Maybe the new board has it in mind to change the members’ compensation. Can they do that in the middle of the fiscal year? This blog post may keep you from making your first official mistake!
To learn about the mandatory ethics requirement for local government board members who were newly elected or re-elected in this election, check out this blog:
And speaking of training, the UNC School of Government and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners jointly sponsor Essentials of County Government & Leadershop. This is a two-day orientation to county government offered in January and February in four locations across the state. The program is for newly elected officials, veteran elected officials and managers. The program includes the mandatory 2-hour ethics training. In addition the Regional LeaderShop for veteran elected officials is open to both county and municipal officials. This year’s Leadershop topic is: People and Jobs on the Move: Implications for North Carolina’s Competitiveness. For more information and to register, go here: https://www.sog.unc.edu/courses/essentials-county-government-and-leadershop-veteran-elected-officials
While you’re waiting for your ethics training, you might want to get a head start on learning about what kinds of conflicts of interest you might have once you’re in office.
- Candidates and Conflicts of Interest – What Happens If You Win?
- Board Member Financial Interest: Mapping the Points on the Continuum
- Board Members Who Serve on Nonprofit Boards – Conflict of Interest?
And finally, here’s a blog post about giving gifts. Honoring outgoing board members and employees is a nice gesture, but, like everything else about local government, you need to know what authority you have to do it.
Do you have more questions about local government law? Use the search box in the upper right hand corner of the blog main page, or use the blog topics index to search for blogs that might have more answers.