Chapter 57.12 RCW

OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Sections

57.12.010CommissionersPresident and secretaryCompensation.
57.12.015Increase in number of commissioners.
57.12.017Decrease in number of commissioners.
57.12.020Vacancies.
57.12.030CommissionersTerms.
57.12.035CommissionersVoid in candidacy, fewer than one hundred residents in district.
57.12.039Commissioner districts.

NOTES:

Redistricting by local governments and municipal corporationsCensus information forPlan, prepared when, criteria for, hearing on, request for review of, certification, remandSanctions when review request frivolous: RCW 29A.76.010.


CommissionersPresident and secretaryCompensation.

The governing body of a district shall be a board of commissioners consisting of three members, or five or seven members as provided in RCW 57.12.015. The board shall annually elect one of its members as president and another as secretary.
The board shall by resolution adopt rules governing the transaction of its business and shall adopt an official seal. All proceedings shall be by resolution recorded in a book kept for that purpose which shall be a public record.
Each commissioner shall receive ninety dollars for each day or portion thereof spent in actual attendance at official meetings of the district commission, or in performance of other official services or duties on behalf of the district. However, the compensation for each commissioner shall not exceed eight thousand six hundred forty dollars per year. In addition, the secretary may be paid a reasonable sum for clerical services.
Any commissioner may waive all or any portion of his or her compensation payable under this section as to any month or months during the commissioner's term of office, by a written waiver filed with the district at any time after the commissioner's election and prior to the date on which the compensation would otherwise be paid. The waiver shall specify the month or period of months for which it is made.
No commissioner shall be employed full time by the district. A commissioner shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred in connection with district business, including subsistence and lodging while away from the commissioner's place of residence and mileage for use of a privately owned vehicle at the mileage rate authorized in RCW 43.03.060.
The dollar thresholds established in this section must be adjusted for inflation by the office of financial management every five years, beginning January 1, 2024, based upon changes in the consumer price index during that time period. "Consumer price index" means, for any calendar year, that year's annual average consumer price index, for Washington state, for wage earners and clerical workers, all items, compiled by the bureau of labor and statistics, United States department of labor. If the bureau of labor and statistics develops more than one consumer price index for areas within the state, the index covering the greatest number of people, covering areas exclusively within the boundaries of the state, and including all items shall be used for the adjustments for inflation in this section. The office of financial management must calculate the new dollar threshold and transmit it to the office of the code reviser for publication in the Washington State Register at least one month before the new dollar threshold is to take effect.
A person holding office as commissioner for two or more special purpose districts shall receive only that per diem compensation authorized for one of his or her commissioner positions as compensation for attending an official meeting or conducting official services or duties while representing more than one of his or her districts. However, such commissioner may receive additional per diem compensation if approved by resolution of all boards of the affected commissions.

NOTES:

Part headings not lawEffective date1996 c 230: See notes following RCW 57.02.001.
Severability1969 ex.s. c 148: "If any provision of this act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1969 ex.s. c 148 § 9.]



Increase in number of commissioners.

(1) In the event a three-member board of commissioners of any district with any number of customers determines by resolution that it would be in the best interest of the district to increase the number of commissioners from three to five, or if the board of a district with any number of customers is presented with a petition signed by ten percent of the registered voters resident within the district who voted in the last general municipal election calling for an increase in the number of commissioners of the district, the board shall submit a resolution to the county auditor requesting that an election be held. Upon receipt of the resolution, the county auditor shall call a special election to be held within the district, at which election a proposition in substantially the following language shall be submitted to the voters:
Shall the Board of Commissioners of    (name and/or number of district)    be increased from three to five members?
Yes . . . . .
No  . . . . .
If the proposition receives a majority approval at the election the board of commissioners of the district shall be increased to five members.
(2) In any district with more than ten thousand customers, if a three-member board of commissioners determines by resolution that it would be in the best interest of the district to increase the number of commissioners from three to five, the number of commissioners shall be so increased without an election, unless within ninety days of adoption of that resolution a petition requesting an election and signed by at least ten percent of the registered voters who voted in the last municipal general election is filed with the board. If such a petition is received, the board shall submit the resolution and the petition to the county auditor, who shall call a special election in the manner described in this section.
(3)(a) In any district with more than twenty-five thousand customers, if a five-member board of commissioners determines by resolution that it would be in the best interest of the district to increase the number of commissioners from five to seven, the number of commissioners may be so increased without an election, unless within ninety days of adoption of that resolution a petition requesting an election and signed by at least ten percent of the registered voters who voted in the last municipal general election is filed with the board. If such a petition is received, the board shall submit the resolution and the petition to the county auditor, who shall call a special election in the manner described in this section.
(b) In the event a five-member board of commissioners of any district with more than twenty-five thousand customers determines by resolution that it would be in the best interest of the district to increase the number of commissioners from five to seven, the board may submit a resolution to the county auditor requesting that an election be held. Upon receipt of the resolution, the county auditor shall call a special election to be held within the district, at which election a proposition in substantially the following language shall be submitted to the voters:
Shall the Board of Commissioners of    (name and/or number of district)    be increased from five to seven members?
Yes . . . . .
No  . . . . .
If the proposition receives a majority approval at the election the board of commissioners of the district shall be increased to seven members.
(4) The two additional positions created on boards of commissioners by this section shall be filled initially as for a vacancy, except that the appointees shall draw lots, one appointee to serve until the next district general election after the appointment, at which two commissioners shall be elected for six-year terms, and the other appointee to serve until the second district general election after the appointment, at which two commissioners shall be elected for six-year terms.

NOTES:

Part headings not lawEffective date1996 c 230: See notes following RCW 57.02.001.



Decrease in number of commissioners.

(1) Except as provided in RCW 52.14.020, in the event a five-member or seven-member board of commissioners of any district determines by resolution that it would be in the best interest of the district to decrease the number of commissioners from five to three, or from seven to five, or in the event the board is presented with a petition signed by ten percent of the registered voters resident within the district who voted in the last general municipal election calling for such a decrease in the number of commissioners of the district, the board shall submit a resolution to the county auditor. Upon receipt of the resolution, the county auditor shall call a special election to be held within the district at which election the following proposition shall be submitted to the voters substantially as follows:
Shall the board of commissioners of (name and/or number of district) be decreased from (five/seven) members to (three/five) members?
Yes . . . .
No  . . . .
If the district has commissioner districts, the commissioners of the district must pass a resolution, before the submission of the proposition to the voters, to either redistrict from five commissioner districts to three commissioner districts, or from seven commissioner districts to five commissioner districts, or eliminate the commissioner districts. The resolution takes effect upon approval of the proposition by the voters.
If the proposition receives a majority approval at the election, the board of commissioners of the district shall be decreased to three or five members.
(2) The number of members on the board of the district shall be reduced by one whenever a commissioner resigns from office or a vacancy otherwise occurs on the board, until the number of remaining members is reduced to the number of members that is chosen for the board eventually to have. The reduction of membership on the board shall not be considered to be a vacancy that is to be filled until the number of remaining members is less than the number of members on the board that is chosen for the board eventually to have.
(3) At the next three district general elections after the reduction is approved, the number of commissioners for the district that are elected shall be as follows, notwithstanding the number of commissioners whose terms expire:
(a) In the first election after the reduction, only one position shall be filled.
(b) In the second election, one position shall be filled.
Thereafter, the commissioners shall be elected in the same manner as prescribed for such districts of the state.



Vacancies.

A vacancy on the board shall occur and shall be filled as provided in chapter 42.12 RCW. In addition, if a commissioner is absent from three consecutive scheduled meetings unless by permission of the board, the office may be declared vacant. However, such an action shall not be taken unless the commissioner is notified by mail after two consecutive unexcused absences that the position will be declared vacant if the commissioner is absent without being excused from the next regularly scheduled meeting.
[ 1996 c 230 § 405; 1994 c 223 § 68; 1990 c 259 § 30; 1985 c 141 § 7; 1981 c 169 § 1; 1975 1st ex.s. c 188 § 14; 1959 c 18 § 3. Prior: 1953 c 251 § 4; 1947 c 216 § 1, part; 1945 c 50 § 1, part; 1931 c 72 § 1, part; 1929 c 114 § 6, part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 11584, part. Cf. 1913 c 161 § 7, part.]

NOTES:

Part headings not lawEffective date1996 c 230: See notes following RCW 57.02.001.



CommissionersTerms.

Except as in this section otherwise provided, the term of office of each district commissioner shall be six years, such term to be computed from the first day of January following the election, and commissioners shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified and assume office in accordance with RCW 29A.60.280.
Three initial district commissioners shall be elected at the same election at which the proposition is submitted to the voters as to whether such district shall be formed. The election of initial district commissioners shall be null and void if the ballot proposition to form the district is not approved. Each candidate shall run for one of three separate commissioner positions. A special filing period shall be opened as provided in RCW 29A.24.171 and 29A.24.181. The person receiving the greatest number of votes for each position shall be elected to that position.
The initial district commissioners shall assume office immediately when they are elected and qualified. Staggering of the terms of office for the initial district commissioners shall be accomplished as follows: (1) The person who is elected receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected to a six-year term of office if the election is held in an odd-numbered year or a five-year term of office if the election is held in an even-numbered year; (2) the person who is elected receiving the next greatest number of votes shall be elected to a four-year term of office if the election is held in an odd-numbered year or a three-year term of office if the election is held in an even-numbered year; and (3) the other person who is elected shall be elected to a two-year term of office if the election is held in an odd-numbered year or a one-year term of office if the election is held in an even-numbered year. The terms of office shall be calculated from the first day of January after the election.
Thereafter, commissioners shall be elected to six-year terms of office. Commissioners shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified and assume office in accordance with RCW 29A.60.280.

NOTES:

Part headings not lawEffective date1996 c 230: See notes following RCW 57.02.001.
Purpose1979 ex.s. c 126: See RCW 29A.60.280(1).
Terms and compensation of county and district officers: State Constitution Art. 11 § 5.
Time of holding election for district officers: State Constitution Art. 6 § 8.



CommissionersVoid in candidacy, fewer than one hundred residents in district.

If the district has fewer than one hundred residents, and if the filing period is reopened for a district commissioner under RCW 29A.24.171 or 29A.24.181 due to a void in candidacy, any person who is a qualified elector of the state of Washington and who holds title or evidence of title to land in the district may file as a candidate for and serve as a district commissioner.



Commissioner districts.

(1) Notwithstanding RCW 57.12.020 and 57.12.030, the board of commissioners may provide by majority vote that subsequent commissioners be elected from commissioner districts within the district. If the board exercises this option, it shall divide the district into three, five, or seven if the number of commissioners has been increased under RCW 57.12.015, commissioner districts of approximately equal population following current precinct and district boundaries.
(2) Commissioner districts shall be used as follows: (a) Only a registered voter who resides in a commissioner district may be a candidate for, or serve as, a commissioner of the commissioner district; and (b) only voters of a commissioner district may vote at a primary to nominate candidates for a commissioner of the commissioner district. Voters of the entire district may vote at a general election to elect a person as a commissioner of the commissioner district. Commissioner districts shall be redrawn as provided in chapter 29A.76 RCW.
(3) In districts in which commissioners are nominated from commissioner districts, at the inception of a five-member or a seven-member board of commissioners, the new commissioner districts shall be numbered one through five or one through seven and the incumbent commissioners shall represent up to five commissioner districts depending on the amount of commissioners. If, as a result of redrawing the district boundaries two or three of the incumbent commissioners reside in one of the new commissioner districts, the commissioners who reside in the same commissioner district shall determine by lot which of the first three or five numbered commissioner districts they shall represent for the remainder of their respective terms. A primary shall be held to nominate candidates from the remaining districts where necessary and commissioners shall be elected at large at the general election. The persons elected as commissioners from the remaining commissioner districts shall take office immediately after qualification as defined under RCW 29A.04.133.

NOTES:

Part headings not lawEffective date1996 c 230: See notes following RCW 57.02.001.