2014 Arkansas Code
Title 14 - Local Government
Subtitle 2 - County Government
Chapter 14 - County Government Code
Subchapter 6 - Alternative Organizations
§ 14-14-613 - Multicounty consolidations of offices and departments.

AR Code § 14-14-613 (2014) What's This?

(a) Any two (2) or more adjoining counties may consolidate functionally similar county offices or departments, either elective or appointive, pursuant to the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, ยงยง 1(c) and 2(b).

(b) (1) Consolidation of Elective Offices. (A) Initiation. Proposals for the consolidation of elective county offices may be initiated by the county quorum courts of each affected county by entering into an interlocal agreement and adoption of an ordinance for referral to the electors of each respective county, or by the filing of an initiative petition signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the qualified voters as provided by law.

(B) Plan of Proposed Alternative Organization Required. All proposals for multicounty consolidation of elective offices referred to the electors shall be prepared in the manner prescribed by law for alternative county government organization proposals affecting a single county. Where applicable and possible, multicounty elective office consolidation proposals should be planned, combined, and referred to the electors jointly with proposals referring alternative single county organizations.

(C) Multicounty Consolidation Agreements Required. All interlocal agreements for consolidation of any elective office shall specify the offices to be consolidated, the duties and responsibilities of the consolidated offices, procedures for the selection and reassignment of personnel, procedures for the transfer of powers, records, documents, properties, assets, funds, and liabilities, and for the possible termination of the agreement. The agreement shall also provide for apportionment of the cost of the consolidated office, based on the equalized taxable valuation or the population, or a combination thereof, of the counties involved. The agreement may contain other provisions pertaining to the consolidated office that the participating counties deem necessary or advisable. Each interlocal agreement shall be adopted through ordinance by the quorum court of each county affected prior to submission to the electors.

(D) Referendum on Elective Office Consolidation. The question of multicounty consolidation of elective county offices shall be submitted to the electors in the affected counties at the next general election following the adoption of the agreements by the quorum courts. If approved by a majority of those voting on the question in each county, the proposed consolidation shall become effective on January 1 following the general election at which the consolidation was approved by the electors.

(E) Appointment of Interim Officer. All proposed multicounty consolidation agreements for a county elective office referred to the electors shall establish procedures for the appointment of an interim officer who shall serve in the consolidated office from the effective date of the agreement until the next general election or until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Such an appointee to an elective office shall meet all requirements prescribed by law for appointment to an office. The appointee to a multicounty elective office shall be deemed to be a district officer and shall be appointed by the Governor.

(F) Precedence of Election. An affirmative majority vote by the electors voting on the issue of multicounty consolidation of elective offices in each respective county shall be deemed the will of the people. The election of a candidate in each respective county for the offices affected by the adopted consolidation proposals shall be considered null and void.

(G) Elections for Multicounty Consolidated Offices. Election for multicounty consolidated offices shall be conducted at the next general election following the establishment of the consolidated office. Elections of persons for consolidated county offices shall be held in the same manner as prescribed for the election of district officers. A candidate for a consolidated county office shall possess the same qualifications for election as required of a candidate for the same office in a single county. The candidate for a consolidated county office receiving a majority of votes cast for the office in the affected counties, taken together, shall be elected. If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast for the office, a runoff election between the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes cast shall be held in the same manner as a runoff election for district officers.

(H) Abandonment of a Multicounty Consolidated Elective Office Plan. A quorum court may abandon any multicounty consolidated elective office plan, or any part or section thereof, adopted by the electors in their respective county by referring the revised plan to the electors at a general election. However, no revised plan for multicounty elective office consolidation shall be considered by the electors until four (4) years have elapsed after the date of the referendum at which the original plan for consolidation was adopted.

(2) Consolidation of Nonelective County Offices or Departments. (A) Authority to Adopt Consolidation Plans. Proposals for multicounty consolidation of nonelective county offices or departments may be introduced and adopted by the quorum court of each respective county by entering into an interlocal agreement by ordinance in each affected county. The consolidation of nonelective county offices or departments need not be referred to the electors for approval. However, any such ordinance shall be subject to the provisions of initiative and referendum in each respective county entering into such agreements.

(B) Multicounty Consolidation Agreements Required. All interlocal agreements for consolidation of nonelective county offices shall conform to the requirements of interlocal agreements prescribed by law.

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