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County Commissioners

 

Duties and Responsibilities

Each county in Oklahoma has three County Commissioner districts, which are approximately equal in population and are numbered as districts one, two, and three. One County Commissioner is elected by the electors within each district, and the three together comprise the Board of County Commissioners.

 

The members of the Board of County Commissioners are the principal administrators and business managers of the county. Many citizens perceive a County Commissioner as primarily being responsible for maintaining and constructing county roads and bridges. However, this is only one of many duties and responsibilities of this office. As members of the Board of County Commissioners, they also have the power to make orders and authorizations, to inspect and approve county programs and facilities, to supervise the financial affairs of the county, to develop personnel policies, to investigate the performance of other county officers, to make agreements affecting the welfare of the citizens of the county, and much more.

 

As the chief fiscal entity of the county (except in Budget Board counties), the Board of County Commissioners is in charge of receiving and expending funds and, therefore, must make major financial decisions and transactions, prepare budgets, award contracts, and act on claims. Annually, the Board must consider the estimated needs of each county office for the next fiscal year and publish these estimates. Another important function of the Board of County Commissioners is to ensure fiscal responsibility on the part of all officials who handle county funds. The Board, therefore, not only submits its own annual financial report, but also has the power and the duty to audit the accounts of all officers who receive, manage, or distribute money belonging to or appropriated to the county.

 

The Board of County Commissioners also provides various community services within the county such as rural fire protection and assisting small towns with street maintenance. County Commissioners also serve on other county boards, interact with other county offices and departments, and have the power to create public trust authorities.

 

The Board is required by law to hold a regular meeting on the first Monday of each month and to execute a wide range of legal and fiscal duties. Because of the large amount of business confronting county government, meetings are often held more frequently and an agenda for each meeting is posted in advance at the courthouse. The Board of County Commissioners' business meetings are open to the public and must comply with the Open Meeting Act.

 

County Commissioners Certification Guidelines


County Clerks

 

Duties and Responsibilities

The County Clerk is the principal record keeper for the county and preserves all legal instruments filed by private citizens and public officials within the County Clerk’s office. The County Clerk maintains an accurate and current record of legal instruments including deeds; mortgages; plat maps; oil, gas, and mineral leases; liens; and military discharge papers, plus numerous miscellaneous documents.

 

The County Clerk also serves as the secretary to several boards, including the Board of County Commissioners, the County Excise-Equalization Board, and the Board of Tax Roll Corrections. The County Clerk prepares and posts the agenda for these meetings, records all of the proceedings, and files all pertinent documents.

 

The County Clerk assists the county in its financial affairs in a variety of duties. The County Clerk reviews all claims for payment for goods and services and prepares the proper warrants, including the county payroll. The County Clerk is also responsible for recording all appropriations and expenditures for each county office and department. When preparing the annual budget, the County Clerk processes the estimate of needs for the county and other governmental entities. The Office of the State Auditor and Inspector prescribes all the forms used by the County Clerk.

 

In most counties, the County Clerk, or a designated deputy, serves as the Purchasing Agent for the County. The Purchasing Agent handles the paperwork for purchases, rentals, lease-purchase agreements and advertises for sealed bids for the Board of County Commissioners to make sure that public tax dollars are being spent appropriately. In performing these various duties and functions, the County Clerk ensures that all the transactions of the county comply with state law and serve the public interest.

 

County Clerks Certification Guidelines

County Clerk CEU Request Form


Court Clerks

 

Duties and Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the Court Clerk are to record, file, and maintain the proceedings of the District Court and to maintain books such as trial dockets, case files, and journals useful for locating past court proceedings. The Court Clerk keeps summaries of court actions in an appearance docket; maintains case files; collects court fees, fines, costs, assessments, and forfeitures; and distributes or expends collected monies.

 

The Court Clerk issues legal warrants including subpoenas, orders, processes, and writs as allowed by statute. The Court Clerk is also responsible for issuing marriage licenses and beer, pool hall, and other county licenses. Some Court Clerks issue passports.

 

The Court Clerk keeps records of all jurors and witnesses in the District Court. If required, the Court Clerk acts as custodian of the County Law Library. The Court Clerk works with the County Sheriff’s office in delivering process warrants.

 

The Court Clerk is authorized to administer oaths such as oaths from County Commissioners in condemnation cases and from applicants for passports.

 

The Court Clerk must also make regular reports and provide statistical and other information to the Board of County Commissioners, to the Administrative Office of the Courts, and to the various entities for which the Court Clerk collects fees. Various monthly, quarterly, and annual reports are required.

 

Court Clerks Certification Guidelines

Court Clerks CEU Request Form


County Sheriffs

 

Duties and Responsibilities

The County Sheriff is the chief law officer in the county and is responsible for preserving the peace and protecting life and property in the county. The County Sheriff investigates crimes; apprehends persons charged with criminal activity; serves warrants and process papers issued by the District Court and other lawful authorities; handles reports of various nuisances or dangers to the public; and handles safety matters. The County Sheriff may also assist the state in handling state prisoners.

 

In most counties, the County Sheriff operates the county jail and is responsible for the custody and control of county prisoners plus prisoners incarcerated by many cities and towns.

 

The County Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs may assist in collecting delinquent taxes for the county.

 

Within twelve (12) months of taking office, all newly elected or appointed sheriffs shall complete a sheriff’s administrative school which has been developed by the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association and which has been approved by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). County Sheriffs also receive CLEET accreditation for the classes they take in the County Training Program.

 

The County Sheriff must also enforce the rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution of the United States.

 

County Sheriff Certification Guidelines

CTP Courses Available for CLEET Accreditation


County Treasurers

 

Duties and Responsibilities

The County Treasurer serves as the chief financial officer for the county and administers all county monies. All the revenues received by the county from ad valorem taxes and other sources are deposited with the County Treasurer who makes deposits and maintains records of all deposits. Daily deposits are made into interest bearing accounts in banks designated by the Board of County Commissioners as county depositories. All monies received by the County Treasurer are recorded in the Treasurer's General Ledger and credited to the proper fund. A corresponding set of books is maintained by the County Clerk.

 

The County Treasurer also redeems county warrants, makes prudent investments of county money, issues receipts, and collects fees for various activities in that office.

 

By law, the County Treasurer exercises the power to collect ad valorem taxes for the county and its political subdivisions (such as schools, cities and towns, and special assessment districts). The County Treasurer works from the tax roll prepared by the County Assessor. The County Treasurer is also empowered to issue delinquent personal property tax warrants, to supervise the sale of a tax lien on real property for delinquent taxes, and to sell property for delinquent taxes.

 

To account for county revenues and expenditures, the County Treasurer is required to maintain an accurate record of all the monies received and disbursed, and to prepare daily and monthly reports and quarterly financial statements for review by both state and county officials. The Office of the State Auditor and Inspector prescribes all the forms used by the County Treasurer, and at least twice a year inspects the County Treasurer’s accounts.

 

The County Treasurer may be custodian of school district funds when a board of education does not choose to appoint its own treasurer. In addition, the County Treasurer may serve as the treasurer for any incorporated city or town (with a population of 5,000 or less) within the county.

 

County Treasurer Certification Guidelines


County Assessors

 

Duties and Responsibilities

The County Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties; however, the primary duty and responsibility is discover, list, appraise, and assess all real property and all personal property within his/her jurisdiction for taxation purposes, except as otherwise provided by law. This would include residential, commercial, and agricultural classes of property, and all personal property.


The effective date of the appraisal is January 1st of every year. By law, the Assessor is required to perform a visual inspection of each property as least once every four years and also is required to value and assess new construction or other improvements the following January 1 after discovery. The County Assessor is required to maintain permanent records and files on all information collected.

 

County Assessors Certification Guidelines

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