Section 11-3-1

Qualifications of candidates for county commissioner; vacancies; composition of commission; meetings.

(a) Any person who is a qualified elector of the county and has resided in the county for at least one year prior to the date upon which he or she would take office is eligible to seek office as county commissioner. In counties where the county commissioners represent a certain district, any person seeking office as county commissioner shall be a qualified elector of and reside within the district which he or she seeks to represent upon election or appointment for at least one year prior to the date that he or she would take office. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the one-year residency requirement provided above shall not apply to the first election following any redistricting of county commission districts in a county. Any person serving as county commissioner, at all times while in office, shall meet the qualified elector and residency requirements set out herein, and in the case of a district commissioner shall reside in the district as it existed at the time of his or her election.

(b) Unless a local law authorizes a special election, any vacancy on the county commission shall be filled by appointment by the Governor. If the appointment occurs at least 30 days before the closing of party qualifying as provided in Section 17-13-5, the person appointed to the vacated office shall only serve until seven days after the next general election following the appointment as provided herein. The person so appointed to fill the vacancy shall meet the residency requirements in subsection (a), and shall hold office from the date of appointment until the eighth day following the next general election. If the original term in which the vacancy occurred would not have expired on the eighth day following the next general election after the appointment, the person elected at the election required by operation of this subsection shall serve for a period of time equal to the remainder of the term in which the vacancy was created. Thereafter, election for the county commission seat shall be as otherwise provided by law.

(c) Unless otherwise provided by local law, by court order, or governed by Section 11-80-12, and as otherwise provided in subsection (d), there shall be in every county a county commission, composed of the judge of probate, who shall serve as chairman, and four commissioners, who shall be elected at the time prescribed by law and shall hold office for four years until their successors are elected and qualified.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law related to election canvassing, certification, or contest, the term of office for county commissioner shall commence at 12:00 a.m. on the second Wednesday following the general election at which he or she is elected and shall expire at 11:59 p.m. on the first Tuesday following the day of the general election at which the successor to that office is elected.

(e) Each county commission shall meet on the Wednesday following the election and tabulation of provisional ballots pursuant to Section 17-10-2 of any one of its members whose term commences on that day pursuant to subsection (d), and at this meeting, shall establish the regular meeting days for the county commission as provided in Section 11-3-8. The meeting shall be in lieu of any meeting of the county commission required by law to be held within the same calendar week and shall be in all respects and for all purposes a regular meeting of the county commission. The county commission shall not meet following the election of any one of its members until the meeting provided by this subsection, unless there is a declared emergency.

An emergency may be declared for the purposes of this subsection upon a unanimous vote of the entire membership of the county commission.

(f) Except as specifically provided in subsections (b) and (c), this section applies in all counties and may not be altered or amended by local law. Any existing local law or portion thereof in conflict with this section is specifically repealed to the extent of the conflict effective with the next election following September 1, 2007. It is the intent of the foregoing that a portion of a local law in direct conflict with this section shall be repealed, and any remaining portions of the local law not in conflict shall remain in full force and effect.

(Code 1852, §697; Code 1867, §825; Code 1876, §739; Code 1886, §819; Code 1896, §951; Code 1907, §3306; Code 1923, §6748; Code 1940, T. 12, §5; Acts 1980, No. 80-808, p. 1663; Acts 1989, No. 89-301, §1; Acts 1997, No. 97-640, p. 1170, §1; Act 2007-488, p. 1037, §1.)