Earlier this year we filed a law suit in District Court alleging the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners exceeded their authority when dissolving the Johnson County Board of Mental Health Commission provided by our Home Rule Charter.
The Judge ruled in favor of The County’s argument that State Statutes hold supremacy over The County Home Rule Charter. Same as The US Constitution holds supremacy over The Kansas State Constitution. Case closed.
Again referring back to our now crippled Home Rule Charter, the County Offices of Clerk, Treasurer and Register of Deeds are appointed. Here is how Kansas Statutes define Home rule powers (last updated 2012) and the County Offices of Clerk, Treasurer and Register of Deeds.
19-101a. (a) The board of county commissioners may transact all county business and perform all powers of local legislation and administration it deems appropriate, subject only to the following limitations, restrictions or prohibitions:
(1) Counties shall be subject to all acts of the legislature which apply uniformly to all counties.
(b) Counties shall apply the powers of local legislation granted in subsection (a) by resolution of the board of county commissioners. If no statutory authority exists for such local legislation other than that set forth in subsection (a) and the local legislation proposed under the authority of such subsection is not contrary to any act of the legislature, such local legislation shall become effective upon passage of a resolution of the board and publication in the official county newspaper. If the legislation proposed by the board under authority of subsection (a) is contrary to an act of the legislature which is applicable to the particular county but not uniformly applicable to all counties, such legislation shall become effective by passage of a charter resolution in the manner provided in K.S.A. 19-101b, and amendments thereto.
(c) Any resolution adopted by a county which conflicts with the restrictions in subsection (a) is null and void.
19-301. Beginning with the general election in 1976, a county clerk shall be elected in each county, for a term of four (4) years. Such county clerk shall, before entering upon the duties of the office, execute and file with the county treasurer a good and sufficient corporate surety bond, conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of the office. Such bond shall be issued by a company authorized to do business in Kansas, in an amount to be fixed by the county treasurer of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
19-501. Each county treasurer elected at the general election in 1976 shall serve until the second Tuesday in October of 1981 and until a successor is elected and qualified. At the general election in 1980, and every four (4) years thereafter, a county treasurer shall be elected in each county for a term of four (4) years, commencing on the second Tuesday in October following the election, and until a successor is elected and qualified. Such county treasurer shall, before entering upon the duties, of the office execute to the state of Kansas a corporate surety bond issued by a company authorized to do business in this state and approved by the board of county commissioners in an amount of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). Such bond, with the approval of the board endorsed thereon by the clerk, shall be filed in the office of the county clerk. In the event the board of commissioners shall not be in session in time for any county treasurer to present such bond for their approval as above specified, or such county treasurer shall be unable, for any reason, to present such bond at any regular meeting of the board after due notice of such county treasurer’s election, such county treasurer may present such bond to the chairman or clerk of the board for approval, and the approval endorsed thereon shall have the same effect as if done by the board of county commissioners. In the event the amount of the bond is approved by only the chairman or the clerk of the board, it shall not be less than twice the amount of all moneys directed by the board to be levied in the county during the previous year.
19-1201. Beginning with the general election in 1976, a register of deeds shall be elected in each county for a term of four (4) years. Such register of deeds shall, before entering upon the duties of the office, execute to the state of Kansas and file with the county clerk, a good and sufficient corporate surety bond issued by a company authorized to do business in this state in an amount approved by the county clerk of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Such bond shall be conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of the office and that such register of deeds will deliver to the successor in such office all property belonging to such office.
With the current 2014 election filing date looming (noon June 2, 2014) I requested the necessary applications to file for Clerk, Treasurer and Register of Deeds. Here is the response from The County’s Election Commissioner Brian Newby and pertinent excerpts below: (emphasis added)
“Thank you for keeping me in the loop on this issue. We conduct elections on behalf of the jurisdictions who tell us what positions are to be placed on the election. In the cases of cities and counties, they have charters that dictate the elected positions and these charters are allowed by state law. The positions and terms may not be the same as spelled out in a statute because the specific charter overrides it in these cases.
So, I don’t have any authority to accept a candidate filing for a position that one of these jurisdictions has not authorized. In this case, I have been advised by Johnson County’s counsel to not accept filings for positions that aren’t authorized in Johnson County’s charter.“
While our County Commissioners view our Constitution as if it were a carnival’s wigi board, they still believe they won the law suit. Actually, they make us losers, every Thursday 9:30 AM.
Ken Dunwoody GOD
Henpecked Acres One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062